The Best Concerts To Book Now

Whether you’re desperate to see your favourite bands in action again or just want to discover some new music to add to your Spotify playlist, here are some of the best gigs coming up this year – and beyond.

Arlo Parks, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

With three nominations at this year’s forthcoming Brit Awards and the BBC Introducing Artist of the Year award to her name, Arlo Parks has had a great 2021 so far. And this winter, she’ll perform her biggest headline show to date in celebration of her critically acclaimed debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams. A singer-songwriter from London, in her own words, she spent most of school feeling like the Black kid who couldn't dance, listening to too much emo music and crushing on girls in her Spanish class. Inspired by everyone from Portishead to Earl Sweatshirt, her songs are confessional and tender, and her voice is one of the most gorgeous we’ve heard in years.

Shepherd's Bush, W12 8TT; 3rd-4th November

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Bicep, O2 Brixton Academy

Bicep are an electronic duo from Belfast, consisting of Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar. Signed to Ninja Tune, the pair’s second album, Isles, expands on the energy of their 2017 self-titled debut, while digging deeper into the sounds, experiences and emotions that have influenced their lives and work – from early days clubbing in Belfast to their move to London a decade ago. If you can’t make it to Ibiza this summer, this could be the next best thing.

Brixton, SW9 9SL; 9th-10th September

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AJ Tracey, The O2

In the wake of two Brit Award nominations, an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show and the release of his second album Flu Game, AJ Tracey’s next milestone is his forthcoming UK arena tour, which includes a headline show at The O2. At the forefront of pushing creative boundaries, Flu Game draws influence from the story of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls team in the late 90s – referencing one of MJ’s most memorable championship games, where he overcame a bout of food poisoning and took the Bulls to the championship. This tour will bring the story to life.

Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX; 25th November

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The Staves, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Indie-folk trio – sisters Jess, Milly and Emily – are set to tour their fourth album, Good Woman, later this year. A record that was written and recorded in time of turmoil, Good Woman stands as a testament to their strength and that of other women, and is dedicated to sisters, mothers and daughters as well as love, loss and change. Fans of Laura Marling and First Aid Kit will love their vocal harmonies, which really come into their own in a live setting. 

Shepherd's Bush, W12 8TT; 11th October

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Pete Tong: Ibiza Classics, The O2

Revered DJ, broadcaster and dance pioneer Pete Tong has announced the return of Ibiza Classics, alongside The Heritage Orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley. Featuring a host of special guest vocalists and DJs, Ibiza Classics is a classical electronic music event that promises to be a party like no other. Inventive and boldly reimagined, this tour is firmly part of the live music calendar – expect plenty of reworkings from Tong’s three albums Classic House, Ibiza Classics and Chilled Classics.

Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX; 3rd-4th December

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Haim, The O2

Following the release of their critically acclaimed third studio album, Women In Music Pt. III, Haim has announced a run of headline dates for June. The ‘One More Haim Tour’ will see the band perform their biggest UK shows to date. It will be a long-awaited return for the Californian sisters, who sold out Alexandra Palace twice the last time they were in the UK and were set to headline Latitude festival last summer before coronavirus forced its cancellation. WIMPIII topped the UK album chart upon its release last year, so we’re expecting great things from the live version.

Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX; 18th June

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Blondie, The O2

Blondie is one of the most influential bands to emerge from New York’s punk scene. Now, the four-piece have announced a 10-date UK tour, which includes a show at The O2 on 18th November. Joining Blondie for this run – making this a double female-fronted band tour – is Garbage, led by Shirley Manson, who was invited to induct Blondie into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. The two bands have toured together before on the critically acclaimed Rage and Rapture tour of North America in 2017 – if you’re after a bout of nostalgia, this is a great one to book.

Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0DX; 18th November

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Shepherd’s Bush Empire

For their second full-length album, Sideways to New Italy, Melbourne quintet Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever returned home to Australia after a long run on the road, to write the follow-up to their critically regarded 2018 debut, Hope Downs. Following a slew of show cancellations last year, the 6Music favourites are back this autumn – and this headline show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire is set to be one of their most memorable yet.

Shepherd's Bush, W12 8TT; 16th September

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Jessie Ware, O2 Academy Brixton

Pop star and Table Manners podcaster Jessie Ware has returned with her fourth studio album. What’s Your Pleasure? is a reconfiguration of her musical DNA and captures the essence of nostalgia and the spirit of the dancefloor – ideal after more than a year in lockdown. Her run of dates at Brixton Academy have been moved from last April to this December – we can’t wait.

Brixton, SW9 9SL; 12th-13th December

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Jane Weaver, Village Underground

Twenty years on from her debut, Jane Weaver is back with new album Flock. Raised on the enthusiasm of Factory Records founder Rob Gretton and counting Doves and Elbow as her early backing bands, Jane’s desire to promote Manchester's lesser-documented female musicians lead to her long-running Bird records imprint, which released the earliest recordings of Cate Le Bon, Beth Jeans Houghton and Maxine Peake. Having recorded eight critically acclaimed solo albums, Jane has also written and recorded with a wide range of multi-disciplined artists – and her forthcoming tour will no doubt demonstrate this to perfection.

Shoreditch, EC2A 3PQ; 7th November

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