The weather’s getting warmer and so is London’s gig calendar. Now’s your last chance to book for a dozen massive summer show
First Malcolm Young had to retire, then drummer Phil Rudd left under a pretty major legal cloud and now Brian Johnson has quit to save his hearing after 36 years behind the mic. But headbangers needn’t despair: he’ll be replaced on this tour by Guns ’N Roses frontman Axl Rose, keeping the AC/DC show on the road… for now. Treat yourself to a resale ticket from a reputable dealer and don’t miss out on this mega stadium show.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Jun 4. £65-£95.
Ol’ Neil turned 70 last year, but his latest album ‘The Monsanto Years’ raged against the machine as hard as ever. Maybe he’s drawing energy from his young backing band Promise Of The Real, who have been helping him raid the new album and his deep catalogue on his latest epic tour.
The O2. Jun 11. £50-£65.
Polly Jean’s new album was inspired by her travels in Kosovo and Afghanistan but recorded right here, in a soundproof glass box in Somerset House. She even played some of the new songs at the Royal Festival Hall last autumn as part of an evening of poetry and film. Still, all these arty endeavours can’t disguise the fact that Peej hasn’t done a proper, full-band headline show in London for nearly five years. Don’t miss out when she breaks that long sort-of-silence at this year’s Field Day, where she’s the big Sunday headliner.
Victoria Park. Jun 12. £49.50.
Following last year’s consciously uncoupled ‘Ghost Stories’, Chris Martin and his galaxy-conquering pop-rockers got their ‘whoah whoah’‑ing mojo back on new LP ‘A Head Full of Dreams’. Whether or not you ever want to hear ‘Yellow’ ever again in your entire life (like, ever), Coldplay can always be counted on to put on a spectacular show. Though it still galls us, this run of massive stadium shows is a must.
Wembley Stadium. Jun 15, 16, 18 and 19. £65-£359.
Ri’s back in town, headlining Wembley as part of a massive tour following her eighth album ‘Anti’. At her last London stadium show, dayglo EDM producer David Guetta was the support act. This time it’s brooding MC Big Sean to set the tone for a dark and stormy headline set by the big R herself.
Wembley Stadium. Jun 24. £75-£205.
By the time you read this, Bey might just have dropped a new album, possibly called ‘Lemonade’. Nevertheless, at the time of writing it’s been almost two and a half years since her last full-length and, despite rumours that she’s got something in the bag (other than hot sauce, obviously), we’re yet to hear it. Still, whatever she has planned for Wembley, B’s roll-call of pop and R&B hits makes attendance pretty much obligatory.
Wembley Stadium. Jul 2-3. £40-£120.
Last year, Kendrick’s furious and complex ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ album made practically every other MC sound a bit trivial. This London show (a co-headline at the British Summer Time series with Florence + The Machine) is his first date here since its release and therefore practically a historic occasion. Yes, we’re hyping it big time – but if anyone can live up to that, it’s our Ken.
Hyde Park. Jul 2. £59.50-£199.50.
The multi-million-selling ex-Commodore has experienced a real Richie renaissance in the last few years, and he returns this July to bust out ‘Easy’, ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’, ‘All Night Long’ and the one with the creepy clay head in the video. Whatever that was called.
The O2. Jul 2, 3 and 6. £56.50-£71.50.
Carole King’s 1971 album ‘Tapestry’ is one of the best-selling records of all time. If you’ve got a much-loved copy knocking around at home, then don’t miss this chance to hear King perform it live as part of the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park: her first London gig since 1989.
Hyde Park. Jul 3. £65-£299.
The multi-platinum man band are just a three-piece now, but staff shortages won’t stop Gary Barlow OBE, Howard Donald and Mark Owen from tugging at Hyde Park’s heartstrings as they headline a huge date as part of the BST series.
Hyde Park. Jul 9. £65-£275.
Forty years after its first release on Motown Records, the soul legend drops in to perform his ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ album at the last BST concert. Regular tickets are sold out but you can still treat yourself with a VIP package.
Hyde Park. Jul 10. £65-£249.
Like a black cab or a tube station, you won’t often find Suggs south of the river. But in August his band are taking over Clapham for a feast of ska hits, with support sets by Toots & The Maytals and more. Skank!
Clapham Common. Aug 29. £37.50
…and here are loads more gigs this summer. Don’t say we’re not good to you.
NB. All events were available to book at time of writing.