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Top ten London gigs in July

Check out the cream of the capital’s gigs taking place this summer

As the city heats up, the gig calendar stays very cool indeed. Thanks to a whole range of music festivals in London and world-class acts stopping over between sets at different UK music festivals, Londoners can catch plenty of brilliant live music right on their doorsteps. Here are the best gigs in London this July.

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Earth, Wind And Fire

Critics' choice

Four decades on, Chicago soul crew EWF are still touring their hugely successful style of horn-heavy, Afrocentric, space-age funk. Maurice White, the band's founder, sadly passed away this year having retired in the ’90s. But his brother Verdine White, along with Philip Bailey and Ralph Johnson, still lead a riotous show full of pyramids, space-ships, levitation, and of course monster hits like 'Shining Star', 'September' and 'Boogie Wonderland'.

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The O2 , Greenwich Peninsula Friday July 1 2016
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Image: Hugo van Gelderen/Anefo
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Enlightenment: A Re-Envisioning of John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme'

Critics' choice

A troupe of contemporary jazz and world music heavyweights re-imagine Trane's transcendental masterpiece, having originally come together in 2014 to commemorate 50 years to the day since the sax saint's original was recorded. The Englightenment Ensemble includes top musicians such as Steve Williamson, Shabaka Hutchings and Cleveland Watkiss, and features everything from saxophone to kora to xylosynth.

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Union Chapel , Canonbury Friday July 1 2016
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Beyoncé

Critics' choice

The one and only Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter – quite possibly the most famous pop star on the planet – is coming back to town. By the time she hits the stage at Wembley this summer, it will have been two-and-a-half years since she last released an album. Let’s hope there are some newies (including her latest banger ‘Formation’) on the setlist alongside Bey’s gamut of world-beating pop and R&B hits. Whatever she has planned, this mega-gig should be another hurricane of full-throttle tuneage and stuff-strutting moves to leave the audience breathless.

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Wembley Stadium , Wembley Park Saturday July 2 2016 - Sunday July 3 2016
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British Summer Time: Florence + The Machine

Critics' choice

The mighty Florence + The Machine headline the BST gig series in Hyde Park, promising a blinder of a show under the London summer sky. Big-league support acts include Jamie XX, Blood Orange and – we’re stupidly excited for this one – Kendrick Lamar, playing his first London date since 2015’s incredible ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ album. Indie maverick Cat Power, LA jazz giant Kamasi Washington and Norse disco king Todd Terje have also just been added to the bill. Huge, basically.

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Hyde Park , Kensington Saturday July 2 2016
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Lionel Richie

Critics' choice

Did someone say 'Hello'? The multi-million-selling ex-Commodore raids his hefty back catalogue, from 'Easy' to 'Dancing on the Ceiling'. Nobody does genteel loverman soul better than this. Read our Lionel Richie interview: ‘I have a vicious, VICIOUS butt dance’.

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The O2 , Greenwich Peninsula Saturday July 2 2016 - Wednesday July 6 2016
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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

Critics' choice

A singer, model and viral sensation from Tokyo, Kiriko Takemura – aka KPP – has totalled millions of YouTube hits with her eccentric videos and infectious J-pop melodies. Read our Kyary Pamyu Pamyu interview on manga, Katy Perry and keeping it pop

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Koko , Camden Town Friday July 8 2016
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© Lester Cohen/Wonder Productions
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British Summer Time: Stevie Wonder

Critics' choice

Forty years on from its first release on Motown Records, soul king Stevie Wonder drops in to perform his immortal album ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ at the British Summer Time festival. With support from Pharrell, Corinne Bailey Rae and King, it’s an incredible way to round off the summer series in Hyde Park.

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Hyde Park , Kensington Sunday July 10 2016
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Courtney Barnett

Critics' choice

Young Australian Barnett is one of the biggest songwriting talents around at the moment, crafting sharp, witty lyrics that tease out the hidden significances in everyday life. She and her powerful band combine those words with circling psych-rock melodies and touching, downbeat indie-pop, and play tonight from her excellent debut album ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’. Read our Courtney Barnett interview and the ten best Courtney Barnett lyrics.

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Somerset House , Temple Wednesday July 13 2016
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© Zackery Michael
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The Last Shadow Puppets

Critics' choice

It’s been seven long years since Alex Turner  and Miles Kane last toured with their string-dripping retro rock side-project, but now they’re back with a new album. Don’t be surprised to hear their Bowie cover when they play first a theatre show in Hackney, then a massive Ally Pally date.

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Alexandra Palace , Muswell Hill Friday July 15 2016 - Saturday July 16 2016
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© Rodriguez
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Rodriguez

Critics' choice

Headlining singer-songwriter Sixto Diaz Rodriguez – to whom the overused word ‘legendary’ truly applies – makes a rare visit to London. A Detroit native who dropped out of the music industry in the ’70s after releasing two albums (now considered lost classics), Rodriguez is back in the public eye thanks to an Oscar-winning film about his disappearance, ‘Searching for Sugar Man’. He’s returned to touring and is preparing songs for a belated third album.

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London Palladium , Soho Friday July 22 2016 - Saturday July 23 2016
See more London gigs in July

Music festivals in July

Music festivals calendar: July

Find a summer festival in the UK or London in July 2016 with our handy music festivals calendar. This is prime time for summer parties, with plenty of choice whether you like your festival action in the city or the countryside. Hit London heavyweights Lovebox and British Summer Time or go for rural bliss at Secret Garden Party or Womad.

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By: James Manning

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