Top ten London gigs in May

Start off the summer with some of the best live music London has to offer



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Clean Bandit

An oddball electronic troupe from Cambridge, Clean Bandit use synths, violins, drum machines and a rotating cast of vocalists to make very appealing, intelligent pop. Unusually for a group so fond of loops, they’re known for building their tracks on stage without pre-recording anything. They've also been picked up by Black Butter, the record label which helped Rudimental to the top of the charts, so watch this space…

  1. O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire Shepherd's Bush Green, W12 8TT
  2. Fri May 9 - Sat Jul 19
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Jagwar Ma

Coming on like a baggier Dandy Warhols, this pair of Australians (including prolific producer Jono Ma) are all lanky grooves and undulating synths, although they've also been known to tap into a more Beatlesque vein of psychedelia too. Their debut album 'Howlin' is a stormer, and they've started consistently selling out shows, so book right away.

  1. Electric Brixton Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ
  2. Wed May 14
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Benjamin Clementine

Charismatic 25-year-old poet, pianist and affecting songwriter Benjamin Clementine hails from Edmonton Green, but was discovered while singing on the Parisian Metro. Thus giving him a chance to spread his heartfelt blues and deep soul vocals further afield.

  1. Koko 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE
  2. Thu May 15
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Chick Corea

Piano fusion legend Corea plays a rare solo show. As well as performing material from his new album 'Portraits', he'll dip into a repertoire that spans five decades, united by uniquely lustrous rhythmic and melodic interplay.

  1. Barbican Hall Barbican Centre, Silk St, EC2Y 8BS
  2. Mon May 19
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Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Childhood friends Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero used to be in a thrash metal band before they moved to the seaside to hone their slinky, enjoyable, AOR-tinged take on flamenco. They're now international stars with four albums under their belts: the latest, 'Area 52', features a full band accompanying the pair for the first time.

  1. Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
  2. Tue May 20 - Wed May 21
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This great new outfit, featuring former members of Pete And The Pirates, fuse classic psychedelic songwriting in the Syd Barrett vein with tasteful synths and sparse guitar.

  1. Islington Assembly Hall Upper St, N1 2UD
  2. Tue May 20
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Seasick Steve

Gnarly, raw blues man, producer and ex-hobo Steve Wold brings his three-string guitar, weather-beaten voice and stomp-box to London once more. He'll play tracks from his back catalogue as well as his latest album, 'Hubcap Music'.

  1. Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
  2. Fri May 23
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Arctic Monkeys

The ferociously talented boys from Sheffield prove just how stratospherically enormous their popularity has become, with two dates in Finsbury Park – that's 100,000 people altogether! Blimey. But they are one of the country's finest young bands – still all under 30 years old – with a white-knuckle blend of sinewy alt pop, hard-driving rock and lyrical chicanes. Their recent (fifth) Number One album, 'AM', is another winner too, so don't miss this chance to hear it live in London. Both dates are now officially sold out, but resale tickets are still available.

  1. Finsbury Park Seven Sisters Rd, N4 2NQ
  2. Fri May 23 - Sat May 24
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The War On Drugs

The cosmic, sprawling, Americana-influenced indie rock outfit from Philly provide a glimpse into an alternate universe in which the young Bob Dylan fronted a shoegaze band. Their latest album 'Slave Ambient' was excellent, and we've got high hopes for their newie, 'Lost in the Dream': hear songs from it in London for the first time tonight.

  1. Koko 1a Camden High St, NW1 7JE
  2. Tue May 27 - Wed Nov 5
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Katy Perry

The pop-licious Ms Perry returns to London, performing all her juicy hits: 'I Kissed A Girl', 'Hot ’n’ Cold', 'Firework', 'California Gurls', her latest smash 'Roar', and more. There'll be costume changes, glitter, confetti and a veritable sugar rush of perky, air-punching pop, including bits of the new album 'Prism'. In the support slot are Icona Pop, the Swedish duo behind the international Number One track 'I Love It'. Should be a good ’un.

  1. The O2 Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
  2. Tue May 27 - Sat May 31
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See all London gigs in May

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