Fat Tuesday is the first official date in the calendar, but for those unable to wait, a taste of things to come was provided when local heroes Dorey the Wise played a warm-up gig on Saturday at the newly refurbished Albion in George Street, whose renovation has seen the addition of a fully fitted stage and sound system.
The band was playing on the last date of a mini-tour that took in Leeds and Edinburgh as part of the Off Axis initiative, whereby young, unsigned artists swap and share support slots at each others' concerts, giving themselves a chance to play to audiences across the UK.
Thus Dorey the Wise was supported by Ded Rabbit from Edinburgh and Young Jack from Hull - and the combination of the three formed the basis of a show that was bursting with sheer talent, enthusiasm and originality.
But first a word about the venue. The Albion has been transformed into a spacious and highly viable music venue thanks to its state-of-the-art PA system, small enough not to be obtrusive but delivering a clean, crisp sound, not overly loud but amply beefed up by sub-woofers secreted under the stage.
There was plenty of room for a reasonably large audience without the space feeling cramped, and - best of all - quick, friendly and efficient bar staff meant that no one was waiting too long to buy drinks.
All of this helped build a great feeling of congeniality and a crowd that was ready to give every bit of support to the hosts as well as their traveling support acts.
Ded Rabbit won over the crowd straight away with a huge amount of warmth, originality, twisted humour and some genuinely catchy tunes.
Young Jack were more serious, bringing a genre-busting blend of dirty funk and indie rock to the table.
Then Dorey the Wise stepped up and gave a powerful set, delivered with supreme confidence and buoyed up by a loyal home crowd.
The Dorey faithful were rewarded with a performance that included four or five new numbers as well as the older favourites, and a distinct impression that the band is maturing and producing more complex, deeper material.
The three bands combined to give a clear reminder that there is a huge amount of unsigned talent out there, producing excellent, genuinely original material that doesn't simply pastiche established styles but is pushing music in a new, exciting direction.
Let's hope Fat Tuesday keeps that ball rolling.
Bring it on.
All photo's by Pat Pope: patpope.com