IF this column had Hollywood funding you would be reading this opening paragraph to the strains of Looks Like We Made It by rock and roll bad boy Barry Manilow.

As this is a purely British affair imagine Anne-Marie holding a sparkler and singing Auld Lang Syne, dropping good cheer, auto tuning and those tricky consonant sounds with reckless abandon.

But here we are, the last round up of the year, and of course it is a week which is all about party favourites, warm nostalgia and delving into the back-catalogue and serving up the music that you already know and love.

And why not? Christmas is a time for comfort and comfort zones, traditions and treasured sounds. All you have to do is plan a route between here and New Year’s Day’s hangover that will take in all your prefered music options.

There are a still a couple of original shows to be had, one of which comes along tonight at the Beehive in the form of Cartoon Heroes. A band of local legends and musical stalwarts indelibly woven into the musical history of the town, Cartoon Heroes re-assemble every Christmas for a seasonal shindig, to dig out their trusty bag of songs and to let their diminishing hair down. Join them, it’s a tradition like!

Meanwhile stadium excess comes to The Victoria as Bon Giovi break out the songs of New Jersey’s finest. So if a night of anthemic hair-metal and melodic rock is your sort of thing, you know where to be.

The other slice of original music (and it doesn’t get much more original than this) can be found on Friday at The Beehive. Sex Jazz sound a bit like Frank Zappa may have if he had become fixated with insects, bugs, beetles and assorted buzzing things. Bass lines will funk and groove, drums will pound, guitars will do unnatural things and strange topics will be vocalised all to prove one thing...Entomology Rocks! (if they wrote songs about Basalt and Plate Tectonic Theory I would have had a much better joke.)

Kova Me Badd are also doing the seasonal rounds and can be found at The Victoria. The antidote to all cover bands, these fugitives from the law of averages purposefully parody and poke, subvert and caricature the genre to create their own musical form, somehow is the worst and the best cover band you have ever seen (depending on how much you, and indeed the band, have had to drink).

Pre-loved music in a more traditional form can be found at The Castle in the form of Hooch and with Bandantree at The Swiss Chalet.

Saturday is unusually quiet as people instead ready themselves for the end of year bash which is to follow, but there are still a couple of musical options with which to warm up for the main event. At The Victoria Shades of Seattle play their debut gig and as the name may suggest are a tribute to the grunge scene of the Pacific Northwest and the wider alternative rock music of the 90s.

Mojo at the Swiss Chalet will be laying out a wider sonic stall with all eras and genres falling into their musical remit.

And so, the final gig of the year on Sunday comes in many forms. At the Duke of Edinburgh, Bleep Machines play their last ever gig, so those wishing for one final slice of retro synth pop should head along and give them a well deserved send off.

It’s rock at Level III as Shepherds Pie host a rock legends party and at The Groves Company Inn, The Brit Pop Boys do what the name suggests.

Other options come in the guise of Last Call at The Queen’s Tap and a set of high energy, genre hopping covers and Peloton play power pop, new wave, punk and mod and Northern Soul at The Victoria. At The Swiss Chalet, a blast of musical hi-jinks, full on party fever and gratuitous sax can be found as Locomotion see the old year out in style.

And there we go. All that remains for me to say is thank you for reading. I hope this humble gig guide continues to be useful and if nothing else proof that this old town punches well above its weight when it comes to live music. See you next year.