Kick start the new decade as you mean to go on by enjoying all the best gigs, shows, and art the town has to offer.

1. Milton Jones: Milton Impossible, Charter Hall, Leisure World, Colchester, January 24. Doors 6.30pm. £29.50 plus booking fee. 01206 573948.

The comedian who put quirk in quirky, in this new stage show Milton reveals the truth about being an international spy, before being given a disappointing new identity which forced him to appear on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo. Gloriously daft nonsense.

2. The Verdicts, Sandcastle Jesus, Anorak Patch, Upstairs @ Three Wise Monkeys, High Street, Colchester, January 16. Doors 6.30pm, first band 7pm. £5 on the door.

Three of the best new bands on the local music scene. Headliners The Verdicts have already hit the news with their debut single, Sandcastle Jesus had their debut EP Left Knocked Out played on BBC Introducing, and Anorak Patch are releasing their EP on the night. See page 27 for more details.

3. Beneath the Skin/This is Me, Headgate Studio Theatre, Chapel Street North, Colchester, January 12, 7pm. £5. 01206 366000.

Two new pieces devised by directors Andrew Hodgson and Kerry King, using new writing, excerpts from established texts and real life narratives performed by such super local actors as Michael Cook, Charlotte Still and Elly Kent Dyson.

4. Unfamiliars: On Freaks, Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, January 15, doors 6.30pm. £6. 01206 500900.

The town’s art collective returns with another scratch lab and zine launch with a difference.Acts include grindcore band Chestburster.

5. Miles Davis: The Birth of Cool, Firstsite art gallery, Lewis Gardens, Colchester, January 11. 1.30pm. Tickets from £6.50. 01206 713700.

Firstsite is fast becoming the place for great films, especially cutting edge documentaries such as this one about the legendary jazz musician.