You can tell that the celebration of the birthday of some bloke with a Spanish boy’s name is upon us when Aidan Moffat gets his Santa hat out. Tuesday 20th sees the former Arab Strap frontman (we can call him that again thanks to last month’s gig) team up with outsider jazz maverick (we can call him that because that’s what he is), Bill Wells, for their “2011 Christmas Revue”, at Glasgow’s Arches.

In Edinburgh the following night, it’s the Tracer Trails Xmas shindig, with Bill Wells again, twice in fact – firstly as part of his National Jazz Trio of Scotland. The quartet (!), which includes Golden Grrrls singer Lorna Gilfeather, and Gerard Black (Otterley / Findo Gask), will be joined by Stevie Jackson out of Belle and Sebastian, and Pianotapes – which is Wells’ collaboration with Stefan Schneider of To Rococo Rot / Tarwater fame. That’s at Old St Paul’s Church, Edinburgh, on Wed 21st.

One year on from Jer Reid‘s 31-day series of improvised duos at Stereo, the former Dawson guitarist attempts to cram much of that month-long set of shows into one night, on Thursday 22nd. Again at Stereo, his Winter Cycle Redux will see him joined by Rosalind Masson, De Salvo’s P6, Laurie Pitt (Furhood, Ultimate Thrush), Joe Quimby (Loss Leader, Take A Worm For A Walk Week), Howie Reeve (Tattie Toes) and Christine Devaney, with others to be added. More at

Same night, We Believe in Father Christmas! is an Americana Christmas Party with The Dirt, the FiREBUGS and the Deadly Winters – at Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms, on Thurs 22nd December.

Finally, The Zips play their comeback gig following drummer Jimi’s recent heart attack. With said sticksman now fighting fit, the band are preparing to re-launch second album 19 Forevva, and play Paisley’s College Bar on Fri 23rd (9pm, free entry)