Top ten London gigs in December

Check out the cream of the capital's gigs taking place this winter

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Sparks

Having treated London to all 21 albums over 21 nights a few years back, the beautiful Mael brothers continue to twist the live experience. Their LA glam rock project returns with the 'Two Hands, One Mouth' format which they toured last year, deconstructing and reinterpreting hits like 'Something for the Girl With Everything' and 'This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us', and others from their incredible catalogue of quirky, hyper-literate pop.

  1. Union Chapel Compton Terrace, N1 2UN
  2. Fri Dec 19 - Sat Dec 20
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Goat

Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, Goat create ace voodoo psychedelia. As well as chanting over bongos and widdly, Middle Eastern-influenced riffs smothered in reverb, they dress in colourful masks and provide one hell of an energetic, intense live experience.

  1. Koko 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE
  2. Fri Oct 3
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Braids

These soft-core, atmospheric art rockers from Calgary made quite a name for themselves with their debut album, 'Native Speaker'. They're back with a new record, 'Flourish/Perish', which channels Animal Collective, Toro Y Moi and Gang Gang Dance.

  1. XOYO 32-37 Cowper St, EC2A 4AP
  2. Tue Dec 9
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Kavinsky

There's a lot of French electro around these days, but ’80s obsessive Kavinsky is definitely a cut above most. His penchant for nostalgic, 8-bit-tinged productions has seen him through eight years of singles and EPs including the massive 'Nightcall', produced one half of Daft Punk, which was used prominently in Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 film 'Drive'. His debut full-length album, 'Outrun' (released earlier this year) has a goofy sci-fi plot, so expect plenty of high-concept production along with some big old electro beats as Kavinsky brings his new live show to London tonight.

  1. Koko 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE
  2. Tue Dec 3
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Basement Jaxx

Do you know where your head's at? If so, South London's finest are back to help you lose it all over again. The Brixton duo are releasing their first album since 2009's 'Zephyr' later this year, and have already booked in shows to drop the new material. If it's all as instantly catchy and foot-moving as the album's first single 'Back 2 The Wild', then you'll probably know the words to all the songs by the time these gigs roll round.

  1. O2 Academy Brixton 211 Stockwell Rd, SW9 9SL
  2. Thu Dec 11
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Peace

Pushed all over the shop as 'ones to watch' in 2013, Peace are part of of a wave of Brummie guitar-pop bands which also includes Swim Deep and Jaws. Their debut album 'In Love' is heavily indebted to the ’90s, full of Hacienda grooves, Blurry riffs and even the odd shoegazing moment – but the four-piece group, led by floppy-haired frontman Harrison Koisser, have enough energy to sound more like the future than the past.

  1. O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8TT
  2. Sat Dec 7
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Haim

The three Haim sisters (plus a drummer, no relation) bring their brilliant and breezy West Coast harmonies and epic, R&B-influenced pop – as much Wilson Phillips as Fleetwood Mac – to the UK. They're already big news, having won the BBC Sound of 2013 poll, and all signs point to them going supermassive after the release of their debut album 'Days Are Gone'. Book now – this will sell out.

  1. The Forum 9-17 Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY
  2. Thu Mar 6
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Kurt Vile & The Violators

Formerly best known for collaborating with Philadelphia noise-rockers The War On Drugs, Vile's brilliant latest album 'Wakin on a Pretty Daze' has made him (and his crew the Violators) a major live draw. Vile's lo-fi psychedelia and sunny, echo-sodden, eccentric folk-rock is something quite special, with a habit of hypnotically working over chord sequences over and over again while Vile lazily spools out his touching, down-home lyrics in a Dylanesque drawl. It's all cool as hell – and that's even before you find out that 'Kurt Vile' isn't even a stage name.

  1. O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8TT
  2. Sat Aug 16
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THE BIG REUNION: Five + Atomic Kitten + B*Witched + 911 + Liberty X + The Honeyz

Everybody get up for the late-'90s/early-'00s reunion of the year, engineered by the ITV2 programme 'The Big Reunion'. Keeping alight the eternal flame of the era that gave us Smash Hits Top Trumps and many other cultural treasures, each of these six formerly chart-topping groups will perform a set tonight featuring whichever original members haven't quite reached the end of the line. C'est la vie.

  1. The O2 Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
  2. Sat Dec 14
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London Community Gospel Choir

The stunning harmonies of Basil Meade's inspirational vocal troupe are guaranteed to give even the most committed atheist goose pimples. They celebrate Christmas tonight with their annual event at the Jazz Café.

  1. Jazz Café 5 Parkway, NW1 7PG
  2. Mon Dec 23
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