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Top ten London gigs in December

Check out the best concerts taking place in London this winter

From Christmas concerts to end-of-the-year pop spectaculars, London has plenty of great live music to offer even in midwinter. Here’s our gig guide for December; check out our list of Christmas gigs for shows with some extra festive sparkle.

Electric Six
1/10

Electric Six

Recommended

Dick Valentine and his gang of entertaining Detroit disco-rockers return, no doubt blasting out plenty of tracks from their 2003 debut 'Fire' ('High Voltage' and 'Gay Bar', for sure), but also selections from their surprisingly extensive back catalogue. They're still the closest thing to a modern Roxy Music we have (the fun Roxy, before they got all 'Avalon'), so embrace oddity where you can get it.

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O2 Academy Islington , Angel Friday December 1 2017 - Friday March 2 2018
Jesca Hoop
© Frank Ockenfel
2/10

Jesca Hoop

Recommended

Californian pop-folk singer Hoop was once employed by Tom Waits and his wife as a nanny. Nowadays she lives in Manchester, which (alongside her beguilingly warm-blooded songs recalling Joni Mitchell and Björk) no doubt helped endear her to Hoop groupie Guy Garvey of Elbow.

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Union Chapel , Canonbury Friday December 1 2017
Orbital
3/10

Orbital

Beat-loving brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll are still experts at channeling the rave after all these years. They’ve got a hefty back catalogue, featuring plenty of euphoric bangers and subtler electronic compositions – and they can still command a dancefloor with their expertly curated bleeps and beats.

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Eventim Apollo Hammersmith , Hammersmith Saturday December 2 2017
Gorillaz
Gorillaz
4/10

Gorillaz

The animated electropop, rock, dance and hip hop outfit fronted by Damon Albarn in support of their new album, Humanz, which boasts many contributions from the likes of Grace Jones, De La Soul and Rag'N'Bone Man.

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The O2 , Greenwich Peninsula Monday December 4 2017 - Tuesday December 5 2017
Benjamin Clementine
© Micky Clement
5/10

Benjamin Clementine

A show from the Mercury Prize-winning, charismatic singing poet Benjamin Clementine. He hails from Edmonton Green but was discovered while singing on the Paris Metro, giving him a chance to spread his heartfelt blues and deep soul vocals further afield. Witness his raw talent at this big Brixton show.

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O2 Academy Brixton , Stockwell Tuesday December 5 2017
The Darkness
© Scarlet Page
6/10

The Darkness

Recommended

Do you believe in a thing called love? Justin Hawkins still does, even though it’s over a decade now since his glam-rock troupe struck big with their mega-selling debut album. Always thoroughly entertaining live, The Darkness are still reassuringly theatrical – and, crucially, this is a December gig, which means that Hawkins and co. are fully justified in breaking out their Xmas rawk anthem, ‘Christmas Time’. Give in and sing along, you know you want to.

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Eventim Apollo Hammersmith , Hammersmith Sunday December 10 2017
Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan
7/10

Mark Lanegan

The troubled, tattooed, chain-smoking and once drug-ravaged wildman of alt rock makes a welcome return to the capital. Known for his work with Screaming Trees, Queens Of The Stone Age and The Gutter Twins, Lanegan has a vast back catalogue to dip into, from the cheerily titled and critically acclaimed ‘Blues Funeral’, to covers record ‘Imitations’ to latest album ‘Gargoyle’, released earlier this year.

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Koko , Camden Town Tuesday December 12 2017
Mogwai
Mogwai
8/10

Mogwai

Glasgow’s post-rock outfit have been going for over two decades now, but they sure still know how to wring-out their huge, distortion-drenched tunes in epic style. Latest album ‘Every Country’s Sun’ finds the lads taking a bit of a poppier direction than usual, so you might even get the chance to do a bit of bopping alongside all the shoegazing.

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O2 Academy Brixton , Stockwell Friday December 15 2017
Pete Tong presents Ibiza Classics
9/10

Pete Tong presents Ibiza Classics

Recommended

Pete Tong is much more than a piece of latter-day cockney rhyming slang; he’s also a scene-shaping DJ. This winter, he’s teaming up with the 60-piece Heritage Orchestra to raise the O2’s roof  with some big-room anthems, for all you ravers who only want to grow up a little bit. And even though there’s an orchestra, you can still expect to see a few hands in the air.

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The O2 , Greenwich Peninsula Friday December 15 2017 - Saturday December 16 2017
Eliza Carthy And The Wayward Band
Eliza Carthy And The Wayward Band
10/10

Eliza Carthy And The Wayward Band

The Scarborough-born singer and fiddler performs traditional English folk, backed by an all-star ensemble which includes members of Bellowhead, Mawkin, Blowzabella, Edward II and more. A bill bursting with folk royalty, not least of which is the magnificent Ms Carthy herself.

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Union Chapel , Canonbury Saturday December 16 2017
See more London gigs in December

Soundtrack your Xmas party

The 50 best Christmas songs

As Noddy Holder once screeched: it’s Christmas! You might have heard some Christmas songs enough times to make you want to perforate your eardrums with a candy cane, but many festive pop songs are great works of art. Here’s our countdown of the Top 50 Christmas songs, from ancient carols to the best Christmas Number Ones.

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By: Sophie Harris

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