December gig guide: This month’s must-see live music
Django Django

Though December is typically brought grinding to a halt by Christmas shopping and lax public transport timetables, the live music touring machine is still in full swing.

So here’s a round-up of what we’re looking forward to in the final month of 2015.

From aggro rap/punk crossovers to a pop megastar, there’s something to suit (almost) every taste.

Alt-J

alt-j

The Leeds based experimental indie band seem to court critical acclaim everywhere they go, and have been spending most of 2015 touring their two acclaimed albums – 2012’s Mercury Prize winning An Awesome Wave and last year’s This Is All Yours – across the world. But this month they make their triumphant return to home shores.

December 1 – Bournemouth, International Centre
December 2 – Exeter, Westpoint
December 3 – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
December 6 – Leeds, First Direct Arena
December 7 – Glasgow, SSE Hydro
December 8 – Nottingham, Capital FM Arena

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Django Django

django djano

One band at the peak of their powers is Django Django, who continue to deliver on the early hype that surrounded them. Their second album Born Under Saturn was one of the highlights of the year so far, and included infectious singles like ‘Shake and Tremble’ and ‘First Light’.

December 2 – Nerve Centre, Derry
December 3 – Barrowland, Glasgow
December 5 – Leeds University, Leeds
December 6 – Albert Hall, Manchester
December 7 – The Institute, Birmingham
December 9 – Roundhouse, London

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The Darkness

Fresh off the back of releasing a front-runner for best Christmas song of 2015, the Lowestoft rockers are heading off on an extensive pre-Xmas tour. We can envisage a future where consecutive years of releasing novelty Christmas singles has morphed the holiday into one long celebration of all things classic rock, where catsuits replace the Santa outfit as the traditional Christmas grab. But that’s just us.

December 1: Corn Exchange, Cambridge
December 2: Rock City, Nottingham
December 4: O2 Academy, Newcastle
December 5: O2 Academy, Glasgow
December 9: O2 Academy, Leeds
December 10: Academy, Manchester
December 11: O2 Academy, Birmingham
December 13: O2 Academy, Bristol
December 14: O2 Guildhall, Southampton
December 15: De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill-on-Sea
December 17: O2 Academy, Bournemouth
December 19: O2 Academy, Oxford
December 20: Roundhouse, London

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Shed Seven / Inspiral Carpets

Shed Seven/Inspiral Carpets

Two of the biggest bands of the ’90s team up for this brilliant looking December jaunt. Shed Seven, most famous for hits like 1998’s ‘Chasing Rainbows’, and Inspiral Carpets, whose 1990 hit ‘This Is How It Feels’ gave them their biggest track, take in 16 dates, including a welcome show for the oft-neglected Isle of Man.

December 1: Villa Marina, Isle of Man
December 3: O2 Academy, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
December 4: O2 Academy, Glasgow
December 5: O2 Academy, Bristol
December 7: Pyramids Centre, Portsmouth
December 8: Forum, Hatfield
December 10: O2 Academy, Sheffield
December 11: Academy, Manchester
December 12: Academy, Manchester
December 14: William Aston Hall, Wrexham
December 15: UEA, Norwich
December 17: Rock City, Nottingham
December 18: O2 Academy, Birmingham
December 19: Roundhouse, London
December 21: O2 Academy, Leeds
December 22: O2 Academy, Leeds

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Christopher Owens

christopher owens

Former Girls frontman Christopher Owens will visit the UK as a solo artist this month for a short run of dates to show off his third album Chrissybaby Forever, released earlier this year.

December 1: Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh
December 2: The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
December 3: St John on Bethnal Green, London

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Ash

Press shot

Ash’s recent output isn’t taken quite as seriously as their height-of-popularity classics (up to and including Free All Angels), but 2015 album Kablammo! still packs an unashamed power-pop punch where you least expect it, and the promise of older cuts getting a live airing means this extensive tour is one to get on board with.

December 2: Bierkeller, Bristol
December 3: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London
December 5: Riverside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
December 6: O2 ABC, Glasgow
December 8: Ritz, Manchester
December 9: Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
December 10: Leadmil, Sheffield
December 12: Waterfront, Norwich
December 13: Concorde 2, Brighton
December 14: University Students’ Union, Cardiff
December 15: Olympia Theatre, Dublin
December 17: Róisín Dubh, Galway
December 18: Cyprus Avenue, Cork
December 19: Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
December 20: Empire, Belfast

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Forever Cult

Forever Cult

Leeds’ fastest rising alt. grunge-poppers, Forever Cult’s end-of-year tour straddles November and December , so we’ve included the latter dates here. Hitting the road in support of awesome recent single of the same name (video here), the ‘Tunnel Vision’ tour winds up with what’s sure to be a raucous homecoming at the Brudenell Social Club.

December 2: Old Blue Last, London
December 3: Lemon Factory, Swansea
December 4: Le Pub, Newport
December 5: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

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The Magic Gang

Press shot (Credit: Emma Swann)

Brighton’s Magic Gang are notoriously prolific, with members frequently releasing cuts from their own side-projects or solo endeavours, or recording more songs than they know what to do with. Thankfully, they’ve worked out what to do with at least some of those tunes, and release their EP titled… erm, EP… on January 8. They’ll be showcasing their wares up and down the country in December, and you’d do well to pop along to their geek-rock party.

December 2: Hope & Ruin, Brighton
December 3: Joiners, Southampton
December 4: Bullingdon, Oxford
December 5: Louisiana, Bristol
December 7: Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
December 8: Studio2, Liverpool
December 9: Sound Control, Manchester
December 10: Bungalows & Bears, Sheffield
December 12: Think Tank, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
December 13: King Tut’s, Glasgow
December 14: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
December 15: Lexington, London

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Bloc Party

bloc party

Bloc Party hit the road extensively next February as headliners of the 2016 edition of the NME Awards Tour, but we’re more than a little excited to hear what’s to come next from the always changing band. Luckily, a couple of December dates will satiate those of us lucky enough to nab tickets.

December 3: Albert Hall, Manchester
December 4: Hackney Church, London

Ho99o9

Press shot

We caught Ho99o9 (pronounced “Horror”) as we blindly wandered into the punk tent at this year’s Leeds Festival, and it’s not something we’ll forget in a hurry. Loud, noisy and confrontational, the New York duo’s exciting meld of rap and punk rock excels by kicking your suspicions of gimmick reliance down your throat. Catch them now before they self-destruct.

December 7: 100 Club, London
December 8: Patterns, Brighton
December 9: Soup Kitchen, Manchester
December 10: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
December 11: Poetry Club, Glasgow
December 12: Rewind, Wrexham
December 13: Louisiana, Bristol
December 14: Waterfront, Norwich

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The Charlatans

The Charlatans

Another ’90s stalwart, The Charlatans have been keeping up appearances ever since, with 12 albums spanning a 25 year career. So plenty to choose from when picking the setlist, and you can be sure that fan favourites like ‘The Only One I Know’ and ‘One To Another’ will nestle alongside cuts from this year’s Modern Nature quite nicely.

December 8: Rock City, Nottingham
December 9: Tramshed, Cardiff
December 11: UEA, Norwich
December 12: O2 Academy, Birmingham
December 14: Usher Hall, Edinburgh
December 15: Caird Hall, Dundee
December 17: O2 Academy, Newcastle
December 18: O2 Academy, Liverpool
December 19: Brixton Academy, London

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Idlewild

Idlewild_at_The_Outsider_2007

One of Scotland’s finest bands, Idlewild will be exploring both sides of their output as they offer both acoustic and electric sets on this end of year run (though Wakefield and Nottingham will have to settle for electric only). A Hogmanay date in their native Edinburgh is sure to see you into 2016 in just the right way.

December 9: Unity Works, Wakefield
December 10: Riverside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
December 11: Koko, London
December 12: Anson Rooms, Bristol
December 13: Rock City, Nottingham
December 31: West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

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Johnny Foreigner

Press shot (Credit: Steve Gerrard)

Only a handful of gigs from the Birmingham rockers, but any show from Johnny Foreigner is worth shouting about. One of the most exciting bands going, JoFo have chugged along nicely since their debut on the scene nearly ten years ago. With five albums under their belt and a rabid fan base, expect some high octane shows from the four-piece.

December 11: Kraak Gallery, Manchester
December 20: Venue, Derby
December 21: Flapper, Birmingham

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Madonna

madonna

The original Queen of Pop, Madge will be hoping to stay on her feet at she swings her Rebel Heart World Tour by the UK for three dates this month. Expect one hell of a stage show and some of the finest pop classics ever written.

December 14: Arena, Manchester
December 16: Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
December 20: SSE Hydro, Glasgow

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