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O2 Live performance

Gigs in London this weekend

Find the best gigs and concerts taking place in the capital this Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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Who’s playing London this weekend? Make the most of your evenings off with some quality live music – here’s our list of recommended gigs happening this Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.

Gigs in London this Friday

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Music
  • Bow

ABBA are back with their first live show in 40 years… but they’re not quite the band we once knew. ‘ABBA Voyage’, which takes place in a new, spaceship-sized venue in Stratford, is a digital gig, which means ABBA themselves don’t actually perform. You don’t find out what that really means until you’re in there.  On opening night, the venue was full of everyone from older couples reliving their ’70s heydays to trendily-dressed Gen Zers who probably first heard the Swedish stars as a TikTok audio. It’s not just any venue, either: it’s a purpose-built arena with 500 moving lights, 291 speakers and a capacity of 3,000. It even has dancing booths.  Chants roar through the audience as the show starts and then you see them: Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida. Dressed in tight, sequinned jumpsuits, crowned with full heads of hair, they’re glowing, smiling and flawless. The 3D digital avatars (or ABBA-tars, as they insist on calling them) were created by George Lucas’s company Industrial Light & Magic and were made by blending five weeks of motion-captured films of ABBA’s current selves with a younger body double, engineered to look like their ’70s prime. It’s a wild idea. But ABBA have always been innovative, so it sort of makes sense that they’re pioneering one of the most exciting, and most ridiculous, technologies in live entertainment today. ‘Last time we played London was 1979,’ says Benny, who fumbles his words, adding to the effect. Björn’s cheeky smile and Frida’s mannerisms are

  • Music
  • Classical and opera
  • Covent Garden

The Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio is home to all sorts of intriguing operatic experiments, and the most eye-catching entry in the new season is undoubtedly ‘Last Days’, which is indeed an opera adaptation of Gus Van Sant’s gruelling, impressionistic film inspired by the final days in the life of grunge icon Kurt Cobain (though the lead character is actually a guy called Blake with a functionally identical life to the Nirvana frontman). With music by Oliver Leith and Libretto by Matt Copson, there are clearly quite a lot of questions to be asked about this project: will it feature a singer with unkept blonde hair, plaid shirt and sunnies? Will the music make any nod towards Nirvana’s explosively metallic sound? How much singing will there even be, given that the film is virtually wordless, and having Blake sing about what’s on his mind would clearly undermine the vibe of the source material? We’ll find out in the autumn.  Tickets will go on sale July 27.  

Gigs in London this Saturday

  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • Hampstead Heath

Music and philosophy combine at this highbrow, but fun, festival at Kenwood House. September’s theme is ‘Error and Rennassaince’ and there’s a nicely eclectic programme of thought-provoking discussion and debate from various creative minds, performance, film, comedy, poetry and music, with some big names from a lot of different worlds rubbing shoulders. A multi-faceted gem. Line up includes: Music from Gwenno and Django Django (DJ), Girls of the Internet, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Rosie Alena; Comedy from Alfie Brown, Tatty Macleod, Ahir Shah’s, Stath LetsFlats’ Sunil Patel; Talks from speakers Peter Singer, Esther Freud, Labour Paul Mason, DavidHare and Amelia Gentleman. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Music
  • Bow

ABBA are back with their first live show in 40 years… but they’re not quite the band we once knew. ‘ABBA Voyage’, which takes place in a new, spaceship-sized venue in Stratford, is a digital gig, which means ABBA themselves don’t actually perform. You don’t find out what that really means until you’re in there.  On opening night, the venue was full of everyone from older couples reliving their ’70s heydays to trendily-dressed Gen Zers who probably first heard the Swedish stars as a TikTok audio. It’s not just any venue, either: it’s a purpose-built arena with 500 moving lights, 291 speakers and a capacity of 3,000. It even has dancing booths.  Chants roar through the audience as the show starts and then you see them: Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida. Dressed in tight, sequinned jumpsuits, crowned with full heads of hair, they’re glowing, smiling and flawless. The 3D digital avatars (or ABBA-tars, as they insist on calling them) were created by George Lucas’s company Industrial Light & Magic and were made by blending five weeks of motion-captured films of ABBA’s current selves with a younger body double, engineered to look like their ’70s prime. It’s a wild idea. But ABBA have always been innovative, so it sort of makes sense that they’re pioneering one of the most exciting, and most ridiculous, technologies in live entertainment today. ‘Last time we played London was 1979,’ says Benny, who fumbles his words, adding to the effect. Björn’s cheeky smile and Frida’s mannerisms are

Gigs in London this Sunday

  • Music
  • Music festivals
  • Hampstead Heath

Music and philosophy combine at this highbrow, but fun, festival at Kenwood House. September’s theme is ‘Error and Rennassaince’ and there’s a nicely eclectic programme of thought-provoking discussion and debate from various creative minds, performance, film, comedy, poetry and music, with some big names from a lot of different worlds rubbing shoulders. A multi-faceted gem. Line up includes: Music from Gwenno and Django Django (DJ), Girls of the Internet, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Rosie Alena; Comedy from Alfie Brown, Tatty Macleod, Ahir Shah’s, Stath LetsFlats’ Sunil Patel; Talks from speakers Peter Singer, Esther Freud, Labour Paul Mason, DavidHare and Amelia Gentleman. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Music
  • Bow

ABBA are back with their first live show in 40 years… but they’re not quite the band we once knew. ‘ABBA Voyage’, which takes place in a new, spaceship-sized venue in Stratford, is a digital gig, which means ABBA themselves don’t actually perform. You don’t find out what that really means until you’re in there.  On opening night, the venue was full of everyone from older couples reliving their ’70s heydays to trendily-dressed Gen Zers who probably first heard the Swedish stars as a TikTok audio. It’s not just any venue, either: it’s a purpose-built arena with 500 moving lights, 291 speakers and a capacity of 3,000. It even has dancing booths.  Chants roar through the audience as the show starts and then you see them: Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida. Dressed in tight, sequinned jumpsuits, crowned with full heads of hair, they’re glowing, smiling and flawless. The 3D digital avatars (or ABBA-tars, as they insist on calling them) were created by George Lucas’s company Industrial Light & Magic and were made by blending five weeks of motion-captured films of ABBA’s current selves with a younger body double, engineered to look like their ’70s prime. It’s a wild idea. But ABBA have always been innovative, so it sort of makes sense that they’re pioneering one of the most exciting, and most ridiculous, technologies in live entertainment today. ‘Last time we played London was 1979,’ says Benny, who fumbles his words, adding to the effect. Björn’s cheeky smile and Frida’s mannerisms are

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