Top ten London gigs in January

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



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Cass McCombs

A Californian singer-songwriter, McCombs is probably better known for his unusual lifestyle – constantly moving from place to place, taking part-time jobs, conducting interviews by post, spending long periods living anonymously – as for his music. It's lovely stuff, though, switching between lonesome, drifting basement folk and more expansive, shimmering arrangements, and has picked him up collaborations and support slots with great swathes of the North American indie pantheon. Tonight his travels bring him to a London stage.

  1. Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank, SE1 8XX
  2. Mon Jan 13
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Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks

Now the dust has settled from the reunion of his old band Pavement, the guiding light of the superior US collegiate rockers headlines with his not-at-all-bad solo band. Malkmus is a sharp-witted, dry-humoured sort who writes infamously obscure lyrics, and The Jicks' last album 'Mirror Traffic' was given a classically downbeat, offbeat spin by his brother in idiosyncrasy, Beck.

  1. The Forum 9-17 Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY
  2. Thu Jan 16
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When Mrs Scroggins bought her teenage daughters – Renee, Valerie, Deborah and Marie – musical instruments in the early ’80s, all she was doing was trying to keep them off the streets of the South Bronx. She wasn't to know that she had just accidentally created a band who would pioneer punk-funk, release a single on Factory Records, support The Clash and Grandmaster Flash and get mined for samples by dozens of hip hop producers. ESG's heir minimal, super-funky, bass-heavy polyrhythmic sound hasn't changed much over the years, and they can still bust out an ass-shaking rendition of 'Moody' with nothing but a bass, a drum kit, a couple of congas and Renee's soulful vocals. They claim they're breaking up after their current tour. Do you really want to risk not catching them live while you still can?

  1. Koko 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE
  2. Fri Jan 17
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Fun Lovin' Criminals

Huey Morgan and his funky ’90s crew return to the stage for more of the same: most notably running around, robbing banks, getting whacked off of Scooby Snacks. Originally from New York, over the last few years they've adopted London as their spiritual home, collaborating with Roots Manuva and (in Morgan's case) cosying up to the BBC.

  1. Koko 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE
  2. Mon Jan 20
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I Break Horses

Fancied Swedish electro-shoegazers Maria Linden and Fredrick Balck bring their Slowdive-recalling swooping textures and reverb-heavy beats to town. After her last few London shows sold out lightning fast, we'd suggest getting your tickets for this one early.

  1. Village Underground 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ
  2. Thu Jan 23
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Connan Mockasin

Kiwi artist Mockasin (his real surname is Hosford) could be regarded as leading the renaissance in psychedelic music from Down Under, including trippy bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Tame Impala. Mockasin himself moved to London in 2006, and his creepy but lovely psychedelic tracks have won him critical applause as well as support slots with Radiohead and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

  1. O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8TT
  2. Tue Jan 28
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The word on the street is that Birmingham (or B-Town, for those in the know) is home to a musical renaissance not seen since the days of Led Zep and Black Sabbath – that's right, today's bands eclipse even the grebo scene of the '90s. Jaws, following in the footsteps of fellow Brummies Peace and Swim Deep, do a fine line in shimmery, ’90s-influenced pop, although they're notably more shoegazing than their peers.

  1. Borderline Orange Yard, Manette St, W1D 4JB
  2. Fri Sep 19
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Laying calypso-tinged melodies and funk rhythms over spooky, gnarled electronic textures, these impressive, chillwave-toned Scousers are the rising stars of UK synth-pop. They play tonight from their great debut album, 'Performance'.

  1. XOYO 32-37 Cowper St, EC2A 4AP
  2. Mon Oct 6
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City And Colour

Formerly the lead guitarist in Canadian screamo kings Alexisonfire, nowadays Dallas Green (city, colour – get it?) makes big-hearted, clear-voiced folk-pop that's won three Junos. Three whats? They're Canadian Grammys, obviously.

  1. Hammersmith Apollo 45 Queen Caroline St, W6 9QH
  2. Until Fri Jan 31
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Lloyd Cole

The former leader of The Commotions, Cole is also an acoustic guitar virtuoso who has spent several years in New York recording with assorted avant/electronic/lo-fi folk types. His latest album, 'Selected Studies, Vol 1' – a collaboration with krautrock godfather Hans-Joachim Roedelius – is electronic, ambient and instrumental, so it'll be interesting to see what's on the set list for Cole's solo shows. But he's got plenty of fine material to draw from.

  1. O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8TT
  2. Fri Jan 31
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See all gigs in London this January

Users say




when I look for a concert on Friday night - I would have to trawl through 86 pages! Ok maybe the old gig guide could have been improved but this new version is much much worse


A mess and seemingly tilted towards certain venues.


I agree,this new format makes it impossible to find out about the gigs in London.The old way was better and didn't need changing


Completely agree with Jack. This site used to be perfect for finding all sorts of gigs, now it's just useless.


WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS SITE ??????? IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND DAILY MUSIC LISTINGS. where are upcoming shows ????? why can't u go back to old format that actually had useful information. tempted to no longer bother with timeout !!!!!! ps. the title sats 10 shows but lists seven !!!!!

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