Top ten London gigs in December

Check out the best concerts taking place in London this winter

From Christmas concerts to end-of-the-year pop spectaculars, London has plenty of great live music to offer even in midwinter. Here’s our gig guide for December.

This page will be updated as more events are confirmed.

1/10

Madonna

Critics' choice

You might think that Madonna would be chary of returning to The O2, after plummeting backwards down a set of stairs in front of millions of viewers at this year’s Brit Awards. But the Queen of Pop is made of stern stuff, and will be holding court at the venue nevertheless (though we’re not expecting any fiddly-to-unfasten capes this time) as part of her ‘Rebel Heart’ tour. The album contains some of her best work in donkey’s years, and she’s been doing this for long enough that she knows how to pull off big-league pop razzmatazz. And hey: if something does go spectacularly wrong and you’re there to see it first-hand, you’ll have bragging rights literally forever.

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The O2 Tuesday December 1 2015 - Wednesday December 2 2015
© Rob Grieg
2/10

Paul Weller

Critics' choice

Still nattily dressed and crowned by a magnificently unfashionable haircut, the Modfather returns to London for more sweaty soul-pop and rock (and a few Jam classics to please the faithful).

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Eventim Apollo Hammersmith Friday December 4 2015 - Saturday December 5 2015
3/10

The Prodigy

Critics' choice

The pointy-haired rave-punks give Londoners an early Christmas present by filling Wembley Arena with their unique blend of tractor-crash beats, pounding synths and deliberately abrasive guitar abuse. This big date is another opportunity for the Prodge to showcase tracks from their 'violent' (their words) latest album 'The Day Is My Enemy', but you can bet on mass bounce-alongs to 'Out of Space' and 'Breathe' too. Wembley Arena might not be quite in-line with the underground sweatboxes that this lot used to play all those years ago, but even so you should prepare for a fair bit of mayhem.

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Wembley Arena Friday December 4 2015
4/10

Duran Duran

Critics' choice

The ageing princes of new-rom stage the latest chapter in their continued comeback, this time with a huge show at The O2. The performance links in with their new album 'Paper Gods' – due for release in September – which features appearances from Janelle Monáe (who guests on the new record's first single 'Pressure Off'), Kiesza, John Frusciante and even one Lindsay Lohan. With that varied bunch contributing and claims from band members that 'Paper Gods' finds the Durans going back to their early, darker side, it should make for an interesting listen, though expect it to feature plenty of the kind of glam-funk new wave and synthpop eccentricity that we all know them for.

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The O2 Tuesday December 8 2015
© Fiona Garden
5/10

Django Django

Critics' choice

The groovy Edinburghers are back for more melancholy electropop, playing a London show to follow the release of their ‘Born Under Saturn – a new LP-shaped addition to their Beck-meets-The Beta Band-and-Bon Iver sound.

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Roundhouse Wednesday December 9 2015
© Tim Saccenti
6/10

Hudson Mohawke

Critics' choice

Excellent, innovative Glaswegian producer HudMo continues to go from strength-to-strength, whether it's producing songs for Kanye West or simply releasing his own future-funked take on glitchy electronica and spacey R&B. After the release of his latest album 'Lanterns' earlier this year, he's now touring with a live band to recreate that record's many complicated textures and layers. Read our interview with Hudson Mohawke.

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Roundhouse Thursday December 10 2015
© Ben Meadows
7/10

Matt Berry

Critics' choice

Famed on screen for roles in 'Toast of London' and 'The IT Crowd', as well as for his booming voiceover work, in his spare time the multitasking Berry is an increasingly acclaimed musician who’s made two albums of lush, weird, ’70s-throwback psychedelic folk. But don’t worry: as he performs with his band The Maypoles, comic diversions are never too far away. Read our Matt Berry interview

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The Forum Thursday December 10 2015
8/10

Lianne La Havas

Critics' choice

Still just 25 but tipped by Prince and with a Top Five debut album under her belt, south London singer-songwriter La Havas recalls Feist and Erykah Badu with her velvety vocals and mellifluous, synth-shimmering folk-soul sound. Her new album ‘Blood’ could win her a second Mercury nomination – hear bits of it at this big Brixton gig.

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O2 Academy Brixton Monday December 14 2015
9/10

Maximo Park

Critics' choice

Newcastle's new wave-reviving rockers return, meaning we can play two of our favourite indie frontman guessing games: how long will it take for Paul Smith to perform his patented scissor kick? And will his hat ever fall off? With a full run-through of their ten-year-old debut album ‘A Certain Trigger’ on offer, this should be all-round indie entertainment of the highest order.

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Roundhouse Tuesday November 17 2015 - Friday December 18 2015
© Scarlet Page
10/10

The Darkness

Critics' choice

Do you believe in a thing called love? Justin Hawkins still does, even though it’s over a decade now since his glam-rock troupe struck big with their mega-selling debut album ‘Permission to Land’. Always thoroughly entertaining live, The Darkness are still reassuringly theatrical and totally in thrall to Queen, Led Zep and spandex.

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Roundhouse Sunday December 20 2015
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