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Top ten London gigs in January

Start the year with some seriously good live music – here are our picks of January’s gigs

January is a quiet month for the London music scene, but there are still plenty of great gigs and top artists passing through town. Here’s our January gig guide – book now or regret it later!


The Line of Best Fit: Five Day Forecast

Critics' choice

Online music mag TLOBF are tipping some ones-to-watch for 2016 with this five-day series at Islington indie pub The Lexington. Acts set to take to the stage throughout the week include Inheaven, Pumarosa, Haelos, Diet Cig, Oscar and Postiljonen.

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Until Fri Jan 15
Photo: © Youri Lenquette

Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards

Critics' choice

The annual Worldwide Awards, organised by superb selector Gilles Peterson, act as a showcase for some of the very freshest talents from the worlds of funk, hip hop, jazz, dub, house, electronica and more. Performances this year come from young London rapper Little Simz, LA freak-jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington and some other mighty talents. It’s a pricey one, admittedly, but if you're willing to splash out a little for the ticket you're in for a real treat.

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Until Sat Jan 16
Photo: Robin Christian


Critics' choice

Creating a splendid collision of fuzzed up chords and sun-blasted vocals, Cheatahs include members from three Dalston slacker-pop bands (Male Bonding, Weird Dreams and Sunbirds) and four countries (the UK, the US, Germany and Canada). Their single ‘The Swan’ was one of 2012’s best rock tracks, but mystifyingly they’re still playing small gigs that cost well under a tenner. Catch them while that lasts.

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Until Tue Jan 19

Patty Griffin

Critics' choice

As American as apple pie and on a par (in her best stripped-back country moments) with Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch, Griffin is the kind of singer who can bring a lump to your throat with just one searing note and one autobiographical nugget.

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Until Thu Jan 21
The Maccabees © Jordan Curtis Hughes

The Maccabees

Critics' choice

Battersea’s finest are back, bashing out their radio-friendly indie rock full of angular riffs, south London accents and infectious, anthemic tunes. Their new album ‘Marks to Prove It’ was their biggest yet, topping the charts and giving them plenty of big new songs to add to the setlist at these two big Brixton shows. Read our Maccabees interview.

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Until Sat Jan 23
© Richard Dumas


Critics' choice

The London post-punk quartet show off their thrillingly dark clatter, which recalls The Slits and Siouxsie And The Banshees as well as noisier bands like Dead Kennedys and Sonic Youth. Following their furious and essential debut album ‘Silence Yourself’ they’ve made a new LP, ‘Adore Life’, and here’s an album launch show for the real early birds – doors open at 8am.

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Until Thu Mar 17

Rebecca Ferguson

Critics' choice

You know that awkward period where an ‘X Factor’ runner-up thinks she’s actually going to be given a shot at stardom, just before Syco pull all the money and just leave her standing there dumbly trying to remember how to write a CV again? Well, fortunately it’s looking increasingly like that won’t be the case for Scouse soulstress Rebecca Ferguson. Her Stax-meets-Minnie Riperton styles are rather a breath of fresh air among the talent show clichés, and here she’s performing her new album – a track-by-track cover version of Billie Holliday’s classic album ‘Lady Sings the Blues’ – alongside other soulful numbers.

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26 Jan 2016
© Eliot Lee Haze


British folkie Elena Tonra leads this delicate but expansive three-piece as they play gothic pop from their debut album ‘If You Leave’ and its upcoming sequel ‘Not to Disappear’, both released by 4AD.

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Until Thu Jan 28


Critics' choice

Young and brooding Dublin singer Andrew Hozier-Byrne rocketed into the public eye with his angsty hit ‘Take Me to Church’ and has started to sell out venues astonishingly quickly. His pop songs come edged with folk, soul and gospel, as you might expect from a former choirboy.

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Until Sun Jan 31
© Roger Sargent

The Libertines

Critics' choice

Catch up with Pete ’n’ Carl (’n’ Gary ’n’ John), who’ve extended their reunion with a new album: ’Anthems for Doomed Youth’, their first record in 11 years. You’ll hear plenty of it at this arena show alongside all the rough-and-ready Libs classics. They’re are as erratic as they ever were on stage, but they’ve got a deep repertoire of great songs that haven’t faded despite age, addiction and animosity. Read our Libertines interview.

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Until Sat Jan 30
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