At long last, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – live music’s return seems to be on the horizon. By the time we get back inside our beloved venues and have the opportunity to watch our favourite acts tear things up once more, it will have been over a year since gigs largely got put on ice. Don’t fear, though – their return looks set to be massive, with some of the best artists new and old already booked in to tour the UK this autumn.
Of course, these shows are all subject to change depending on the impact of the coronavirus vaccines. But, after such a long time living miserably, let’s look ahead to better days with 10 of the best upcoming tours you can book tickets for now.
When: Cardiff Tramshed (November 9), Birmingham The Mill (10), London Electric Brixton (12, 13), Brighton Chalk (15), Norwich Waterfront (16), Sheffield Leadmill (17), Leeds Beckett’s Union (19), Glasgow QMU (20), Newcastle Boiler Shop (21), Cambridge Junction (23), Manchester O2 Ritz (24), Liverpool Hangar 34 (25), Bristol SWX (26)
Before the pandemic, Shame were a formidable live act. Now they’ve got their glorious second album ‘Drunk Tank Pink’ to pull from, as well as debut ‘Songs Of Praise’, their shows should be elevated to a whole new level of incendiary. If you’re looking for punk thrills, book your tickets now.
Why it’ll rock: If you’ve been longing for crowdsurfing, stage-diving and all the other gloriously sweaty sides of live music, Shame’s gigs will be like a long-awaited reunion.
When: Birmingham O2 Institute (October 4), Cambridge Corn Exchange (5), Glasgow SWG3 (7), Edinburgh Queen’s Hall (8), Sheffield Leadmill (9), Manchester Albert Hall (12), Cardiff Tramshed (13), Leicester De Montfort Hall (15), Reading Hexagon (16), Norwich UEA (17), Brighton Dome (19), London Roundhouse (20)
If you’re worried about re-entering the moshpit after over a year of being socially distanced, don’t worry. There’s plenty of gigs in the offing that won’t find you being sandwiched into a jostling crowd – like Laura Marling’s upcoming tour. The indie-folk icon will spellbind you with her beautiful songs and ease you back into the gigging lifestyle in the calmest way.
Why it’ll rock: Rock might be the wrong word, but Marling’s gigs will certainly soothe your soul.
When: Liverpool Mountford Hall (October 2), Leicester De Montfort Hall (3), Cambridge Corn Exchange (4), Manchester Academy (6, 7, 8), Southampton O2 Guildhall (9), Birmingham O2 Academy (11), Nottingham Rock City (12), Bristol O2 Academy (13), Cardiff Great Hall (14), Sheffield O2 Academy (16), Newcastle O2 City Hall (17), Glasgow Barrowland (19, 20), Edinburgh Exchange (22), Leeds O2 Academy (23), Bath Forum (25), Bournemouth O2 Academy (26), London Alexandra Palace (27)
Despite life being put on hold for an age, Fontaines D.C. are proof that guitar bands can still find success in today’s musical landscape. In just a few short years, they’ve gone from packing out London small venue The Lexington to headlining the mammoth Alexandra Palace. It’s not a trajectory you see often – or so quickly – but it’s no surprise in their case. The Dublin band make post-punk – and subsequently put on gigs – that whip you up into a frenzy and let you exorcise all your frustrations. Expect their return to the stage to be just as irresistible.
Why it’ll rock: If yelling along to Fontaines’ first album was a thrill in the before times, doing the same to ‘A Hero’s Death’ promises to be a brilliant way to get stuck back into gigging.
When: Liverpool M&S Bank Arena (September 10), Glasgow SSE Hydro (11), Newcastle Utilita Arena (13), Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (15), Manchester AO Arena (16), Dublin 3Arena (18, 19), Leeds First Direct Arena (21), London The O2 (24, 25), Nottingham Motorpoint Arena (27), Birmingham Utilita Arena (28)
There have been few albums that have provided such euphoric escape from our current circumstances in the last 12 months than Dua’s second album. It would only be fitting that we celebrate freedom and a return to live music with the pop star and her party-starting bangers. Consider this your official notice to start finessing those dance routines you spent the first half of the pandemic making up in preparation.
Why it’ll rock: If ‘Future Nostalgia’ has sounded good in our living rooms and bedrooms for the last year, imagine how massive it’ll sound being pumped out of arena PAs.
Bring Me The Horizon
When: Liverpool Mountford Hall (September 18), Hull Bonus Arena (20), Glasgow SSE Hydro (21), Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (22), Sheffield FlyDSA Arena (24), Birmingham Utilita Arena (25), London The O2 (26)
Last year, Bring Me The Horizon kicked off a new EP series focused on the destruction of humanity, starting with ‘Post Human: Survival Horror’. Given the year we’ve just had, you might think it’s a bit crass to spend one of your first gigs back thrashing around to post-apocalyptic bangers, but there’s a reason dystopian concepts excel in pop culture – we’re obsessed with the idea of our own demise. Still, having survived a global pandemic should add something of a celebratory slant to their latest tunes – and if not they have plenty of other tunes to get cathartic to.
Why it’ll rock: BMTH’s music might have gotten more accessible in recent years, but they still know how to open up a brutal pit.
When: Dublin The Academy Green Room (October 20), Glasgow King Tut’s (22), Manchester Deaf Institute (23), Birmingham O2 Academy3 (25), London Heaven (27)
Fresh from winning the BRITs Rising Star award, Griff is generously giving us all a chance to see her in some fairly small venues before she ascends to pop superstar level. Expect pop songs that are both infectious and interesting, plus a show that will likely let the musician exercise all angles of her creativity – she’s been known to do her own set design and make her own outfits before now.
Why it’ll rock: Griff is one of pop’s brightest new stars with a ton of bangers already in her arsenal.
When: Dublin The Academy (November 13), Manchester Albert Hall (14), Birmingham O2 Institute (17), Bristol SWX (18), London Roundhouse (20)
A veteran of the grime scene, Ghetts has always known how to get a crowd going. With his acclaimed third album ‘Conflict Of Interest’ now under his belt, his shows should be even fiercer and fierier than before. Plus, with the amount of collaborations he’s racked up, there’s the potential for some very star-studded special guests to turn up.
Why it’ll rock: He’s just put out a career-best album – you don’t think he’s going to celebrate that with shows to match?
When: Dublin The Academy (November 8), Manchester Albert Hall (9), Leeds Beckett’s Union (11), Glasgow SWG3 TV Studio (13), Birmingham O2 Institute (15), London Electric Brixton (16), London Roundhouse (17)
Going to a Rina Sawayama show is like entering a magical new universe – one that’s extravagant and fabulous (the choreography and costume changes see to that), but one that’s also inclusive and welcoming. Her gigs bridge the gap between pop fiesta and community gathering, taking the best bits of each and melding them to form the most fun sanctuary in the world.
Why it’ll rock: Rina is the most cutting-edge pop star around right now – expect her live show to justify that label, and then some.
When: Liverpool M&S Bank Arena (November 6), Birmingham Utilita Arena (8), Manchester AO Arena (9), Hull Bonus Arena (11)
When this tour was first announced for summer 2020, it seemed too good to be true. Blondie and Garbage? On one bill? What an outrageously great idea! Although coronavirus tried to put paid to this dream tour, legends as big as this can’t be stopped. In November, we’ll finally get to experience the joy of seeing Garbage play some of the greatest hits of the ‘90s and Blondie whisk us off to New York in the 1970s. What a dream.
Why it’ll rock: Two legendary bands for the price of one – what’s not to love?
When: Bristol Thekla (November 22), Manchester Academy 3 (23), London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (24), Leeds Belgrave Music Hall (26), Coventry Kasbah (27)
Over the pandemic, Pa Salieu has become one of the fastest rising British MCs in the game, in part thanks to his debut mixtape ‘Send Them To Coventry’, which mixed grime, dancehall and Afroswing to make something that straddled the line between anthemic and raw. He’s had few chances to play live since he began his dizzying ascent, so we imagine the energy in the room will be scorching hot.
Why it’ll rock: Imagine how hard the likes of ‘Frontline’ are going to hit in a room full of bodies.
– All information was correct at the time of going to press