It’s the month the summer music festival calendar gets serious, but there are still plenty of great gigs happening in London this June. Leave your wellies in the back of your cupboard and check out some of the best live music right here in the city.
The ultra-influential US indie rock group are back in action for the twenty-tens, with original members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson backed by tight session players in the absence of the late Bob Stinson and the long-retired Chris Mars. Known for their pitch-perfect songcraft, as well as their intense, shambolic, booze-fuelled live shows throughout the ’80s, these days The Replacements might have lost some of their unpredictability but (to judge by YouTube footage from their reunion tour) they've held on to their sheer power.Read more
Queensbridge, NY hip hop star Nas returns to our fair isle to perform his classic 'Illmatic' album. The record was released in 1994 but still sounds fresh and feisty even in today's over-saturated hip hop climate. This one will sell out, so snap up tickets quick if you're one of his Nasness's many loyal fans.Read more
‘Watch The Throne’? Pah. Ye and Hova may have the star quality, but when alternative hip hop superstars Killer Mike and El-P bring their collaborative project to London you’ll know what’s really up. Their sound is a genuine meeting of minds: El-P’s menacing, thrillingly textured, vintage-influenced beats are as spot-on as ever, and both men contribute classy, vicious bars throughout. This should be a big one.Read more
Supplementing gilded, affecting vocals with somnambulant piano lines and harmonies as fragile as butterfly wings, Perfume Genius (Mike Hadreas from Seattle) promises a magical live show with a pin-droppingly intimate atmosphere. He returns to London armed with songs from his incredible latest album ‘Too Bright’, which adds some synthpop heft to his delicate balladry. Don’t you dare miss him.Read more
After blowing up with a series of brassy folk-pop anthems in 2012, the Icelandic roof-raisers return to action this year with a new album ‘Beneath the Skin’. It’ll be released only a week before this London show, so expect a real celebration as the five-piece deploy their galloping drums, massive-sounding acoustic guitars, accordions and lots of shouting ‘hey!’. This is music for mega-festivals under the Northern Lights.Read more
At a press conference in a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown on Chinese New Year, Damon Albarn’s fab four announced their new album ‘The Magic Whip’ and this big outdoor show as part of the BST series. It’ll be the fourth time the band have played Hyde Park – more than any other act – so we’re expecting plenty of ‘Parklife’ puns over the next few months. Blur have always been a stonking, hard-gigging live act, with two Glastonbury headline slots under their belts, so they shouldn’t have any trouble whipping up a storming show with new material and old hits alike – and there’s a great support bill including Metronomy, Drenge, Roots Manuva, The Horrors and Teleman. All together now: ‘Oi!’Read more
Cheer up, sad sacks: the Mac are back – and better than ever. Well, better than they were for last year’s partial reunion, because there’s nothing partial about it this time: Christine is (officially) in.
The band’s 2013 tour was a joyous, momentous musical occasion. Fleetwood Mac, it turned out, were still a brilliant live band: Stevie Nicks was still all wavy-armed and magical, Lindsey Buckingham could still shred, and John McVie and Mick Fleetwood still looked like they were both auditioning for the part of Steptoe. But there was a big woman-and-piano-shaped hole on the side of the stage.
For their return to The O2 next summer, they’ve filled that hole with the only woman who could do it justice: original singer and keyboardist (and John’s ex-wife: awkies) Christine McVie. The woman born Christine Anne Perfect (seriously) made a brief cameo with the band in London last year, but now, for the first time since she left the band in 1998, you can hear the writer of ‘You Make Loving Fun’, ‘Little Lies’ and ‘Everywhere’ belt them out like they deserve to be belted. Fleetwood Mac are a walking greatest-hits package, and they just got a little greater.Read more
Much-loved Scottish quintet who are often described as post rockers because of their love of kraut-ish, instrumental workouts but are in fact equally beguiled by the minimalism of Erik Satie, Sunn O)))'s monolithic thunderings and Big Black's boiling rage. These two shows are to mark the band's twentieth anniversary, which should mean an epic trawl through a substantial, distortion-drenched back catalogue, including tracks from 2014's well-received album 'Rave Tapes'.Read more
No-one saw this one coming, but it makes a weird kind of sense: Franz Ferdinand have joined forces with Sparks for a joint record and tour as FFS. Alex Kapranos and his Glaswegian indie four-piece have always teetered (glamorously) towards the suaver side of rock ’n’ roll, so they should make a great pairing with the Mael brothers, America’s glam-pop eccentrics-in-chief. This show in Stepney is their only English date for now.Read more