Krept and Konan

Krept and Konan’s last live show in the UK was held at the 20,000-seat O2 Arena, a hometown extravaganza that was enthusiastically welcomed with appearances by Stefflon Don and Stormzy. These dates, however, will find Britain’s most successful rap duo in a more intimate setting. Their recent album, Revenge Is Sweet, meanwhile, has shown growing maturity, with ruminations on mental health, suicide and loss amid bragging rights.
The tour starts on January 21st, Stylus, Leeds

Schoolboy Q

Finally released after a series of delays – not to mention three albums that were apparently recorded, then scrapped – Schoolboy Q’s CrasH Talk completed his transformation from gangsta rapper to a proud father of playing golf. Among the party hymns for bass, the lyrics were often distressed and self-stimulating, marking the rapper – an affiliate of Kendrick Lamar’s Black Hippy collective – as one of the most thoughtful and confrontational figures in hip-hop.
The tour starts on January 25th, O2 Academy, Glasgow



X-rated … Madonna. Photography: Michael Campanella / Getty Images

The Madame X Tour – in which Madonna has played small clubs for the first time since 1985 – has had good reviews and bad publicity in equal measure. Las Vegas audiences booed her when her show started two hours late, and a United States fan attempted to report her, but critics hastened to cheer on the performances. We’ll see when he comes to London, where the most expensive tickets cost £ 1,200.
January 27-February 16, London Palladium

Fatoumata Diawara

The Malian singer-songwriter has created a unique niche for herself, combining an acting career with an extraordinarily broad approach to music that has seen her collaborate with everyone from Herbie Hancock and Bobby Womack to Damon Albarn and Disclosure. He underlines a disinclination to be fixed that also informs his solo work: his latest album, Fenfo of 2018, ranged from the traditional Malian kora to the soul influences of the 60s.
The tour starts on January 30th, Roundhouse, London

Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen’s career has never diminished the commercial heights of her 2012 hit Call Me Maybe – the song with the greatest chorus of the 21st century according to Billboard – but has instead developed into one of the most intriguing pop characters , gaining control of her own artistic direction, making consistently fascinating albums, including Dedicated from 2019, and gaining a significantly older audience than her peers.
The tour starts on February 7, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester

The Hu

Unique ... Hu.

Unique … Hu. Director of photography: E Altankhuyag

You can never say that rock music no longer arouses anything unexpected: Hu got 25 million views on YouTube for their 2018 debut single Yuve Yuve Yu, in which the Ulaanbaatar quartet combined heavy metal with the Mongolian throat song. Their debut album The Gereg became a global hit in 2019, a sign that they hit something truly unique.
The tour starts on February 8th, Chalk, Brighton

Tame Impala: The Slow Rush

The Slow Rush is the first album of Australian psychedelic expansives for five years and the sequel to Currents, which established them not only as an adventurous musical force, but an influence on mainstream pop. Rihanna covered one of her tracks, New Person, Same Old Mistakes; frontman Kevin Parker continued to partner with Lady Gaga, Kanye West and Travis Scott. Judging by the tracks that followed it, The Slow Rush elaborates on the heavy direction of the synth of its predecessor.
February 14



Dynamism … Nérija. Director of photography: Clare Shilland

A unique concert has been released for the largely female septet whose debut album Blume – a rare foray into jazz, or rather, a compelling blend of jazz, Afrobeat, funk, surf guitar and all the points in between, for the well-known independent label Domino – was released to high applause in August. But the band really shows up on stage, adding a grit and dynamism to their improvisations.
February 18, Village Underground, London

1975: notes on a conditional form

The three singles released so far since the fourth delayed album of 1975 have enclosed everything from the garage in two stages and distorted, screaming punk rock and monologues by Greta Thunberg. Who knows what else it might contain? Not all the roads that 1975 attempt to take lead to perfect results, but there is something commendable in an arena band that is so determined to avoid resting on its laurels.
February 21

Grimes: Miss Anthropocene

The Grimes’ fifth album had a tortuous gestation: initially scheduled for 2018, it was delayed between discussions with his record label and significant personal conflicts, including the death of his former manager and negative media coverage of his relationship with Elon Musk. Apparently it is an obscure concept album about “an anthropomorphic goddess”, which aims to make the notion of climate change “fun”. We’ll see.
February 21

Del Rey wool

A memorable year ... Lana Del Rey.

A memorable year … Lana Del Rey. Photography: Andrew Chin / Getty Images

2019 was a good year for the former Lizzy Grant. His sixth album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, influenced by Joni Mitchell and set in Laurel Canyon, has surpassed many year-end critical lists. Some publications have gone so far as to suggest that it is one of the albums of the decade. The tour that bears his name has already visited the United States and the Middle East. His career set seems to end with the album’s epic centerpiece, Venice Bitch, 10 minutes long.
The tour starts on February 25, O2 Arena, London


Barrington Hendricks promoted his third experimental hip-hop album under the name Jpegmafia as “a disappointment”. However, no one else seemed to agree with this assessment. It was more accessible and melodic than his past work, yet his sound remained chaotically eclectic – stated the influences of Ol Dirty Bastard and Throbbing Gristle – and his vocal style of consciousness flow was more manic and provocative than ever. It remains to be seen how his approach to collage glitch works live.
The tour starts on February 27, EartH, London

Michael Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka.

Balanced … Michael Kiwanuka. Director of photography: Suki Dhanda / The Observer

The Guardian named Michael Kiwanuka’s third self-titled album – a cycle of songs showing the influences of the gospel, psychedelic soul and Jimi Hendrix, co-produced by Danger Mouse and London-based hip-hop author Inflo – “one of greatest albums of the decade “, evidence of how finely worked his songs were and how perfectly he balanced the retro and the contemporary. In addition, he is a compelling live performer, able to expand his material without looking forgiving.
The tour starts on March 1st, O2 Academy, Birmingham

SEED Ensemble

The 10-piece band of saxophonist and composer Cassie Kinoshi is at the height of the young London jazz revival: his training shares members with Sons of Kemet, Kokoroko and Maisha. Their Mercury Driftglass nominated debut album was an uncompromising, politically committed but accessible fusion of the 1960s Blue Note and South African jazz with funk, hip hop and neo-soul, marked by the sharpness of Kinoshi’s writing.
The tour starts on March 15th, Blue Arrow, Glasgow


Fresh and new ... Kelis.

Fresh and new … Kelis. Director of photography: Michael Mora

Kelis’ debut album in 1999, Kaleidoscope, marked not only his arrival, but a leap in the profile of producers Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, AKA the Neptunes. Her career since then has been uneven, going from the EDM friend of the charts to collaborations with TV on the David Sitek of Radio, but on this tour she returns to her debut, now 20 years old and still seems, as she would say, young, fresh and new.
The tour starts on March 16th, Albert Hall, Manchester

The Who

Despite being recorded without the pair ever meeting in the studio, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey’s latest album, Who, proved to be an unexpected triumph: a robust and lively song collection and a marked improvement on the Endless Wire of 2006. Their recent live shows were also impressive, adding the usual classics with deeper dives in their back catalog.
The tour starts on March 16, Manchester Arena

Baxter Dury: The Night Chancers

Baxter Dury.

Darkly comic … Baxter Dury.

Baxter Dury already had a cult following, but his latest album, Prince of Tears, was a significant step forward and one of the best of 2017: musically eclectic, his alternately thoughtful and roughly funny lyrics, the sound of an artist who finally comes to his. The ominous and darkly comic Slumlord single – an exhausted view of the world of social media, full of “scary people who say stupid bullshit” – suggests that his sequel is of the same standard.
Released March 20


Five years have passed since Dan Snaith released an album under the name of Caribou, the brilliant Our Love. In the meantime, he seemed more concerned about his direct alias Daphni facing the dance floor. All this makes the imminent return of Caribou with a new album, Suddenly, and a series of live dates, all the more welcome. The single You and I suggests that there has been no drop in the quality of its hot and melancholy electronics.
The tour starts on March 30th, Brighton Dome

Trippie Redd

2019 was a positive year for Ohio-born Los Angeles rapper Trippie Redd. His mixtape A Love Letter to You 4 entered the US charts at number 1, testifying to his transition from the cult of Soundcloud to mainstream success. Stylistically varied or hopelessly focused, depending on your perspective, his best moments suggested an artist who could turn his hand to anything from heavy guitar rap emo to club banger.
The tour starts on April 4th, Brixton Academy, London

Harry Styles

Devotion to the cause ... Harry Styles.

Devotion to the cause … Harry Styles. Photography: NBC / Getty Images

Styles has somewhere the most successful solo career of any former director. There have been more buyers for his pop-by-way-of-classic-rock brand than his old allies with R&B and Sheeran’s acoustic fantasy. It remains to be seen whether the recently released second album Fine Line will repeat the commercial performance of its self-titled debut, but the level of devotion that Styles inspires suggests that it will.
The tour starts on April 15, Birmingham Arena

Saucerful of Secrets by Nick Mason

Saucerful of Secrets, in which the Pink Floyd drummer and a series of musical associates including the charge of Sparyu Ballet’s Gary Kemp through key pieces of the Pink Floyd’s pre-dark Moon repertoire, could have failed. Instead, it was a huge success, gaining praise from both his former bandmates and fans. These concerts fall under the More Games for May banner, a reference to the 1967 Pink Floyd concert at the Royal Festival Hall.
The tour starts on April 23, G Live, Guilford

Bon Iver

Width ... Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

Width … Bon Iver. Director of photography: Gus Stewart / Redferns

Justin Vernon’s musical progress from his insane debut For Emma, ​​Forever Ago was one of the most interesting in alt-rock, taking detours in electronics, R&B and hip-hop: on his most recent album, I presented cameo roles for all rap producer Wheezy by Bruce Hornsby, who gives you an idea of ​​its breadth. It’s also nice that experimental music can end up in such large places.
The tour starts on April 26th, Wembley Arena, London

Nick Cave and the bad seeds

Nick Cave’s most recent live activities have involved solo performances and questions and answers from the unmoderated audience, a sort of IRL version of his Red Hand Files website, in which fans are invited to ask him anything. This tour, however, brings back the support band from Bad Seeds, in the wake of their acclaimed 2019 album Ghosteen. It will be intriguing to see how the beat-free songs of that album work in arena-sized venues.
The tour starts on May 2nd, Birmingham Arena

Live not classified

A series of beloved unclassified shows from Radio 3, this concert series at the Southbank Center features modern classical composers against artists working in electronics. Owen Pallett and Daniel Avery offer new compositions in previous installments, but this final show features electronic sound artist Tim Hecker together with composer Daniel Elms.
7 June Royal Festival Hall, London

Thom Yorke

Radiohead frontman’s solo tour is named after his 2014 album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes rather than his 2019 successor Soul. He is accompanied by producer Nigel Godrich and visual artist Tarik Barri who provide live projections. So far, the setlist has occasionally taken part in Radiohead’s tracks, but has largely focused on Yorke’s solo work and the work of his supergroup Atoms for Peace. By all accounts, live performances add a boost and focus on its experimental electronics.
The tour starts on June 19th, SEC Center, Glasgow

Diana Ross

For a surprise ... Diana Ross.

For a surprise … Diana Ross. Photograph: Rick Kern / Getty Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

The news that Diana Ross will fill the “legend” slot on Sunday afternoon at this year’s Glastonbury festival was greeted with great joy: it is a combination that seems as close as possible to unexpected success as possible. But Glastonbury is only one stop on a UK tour, and if the lineup is something like that of his acclaimed Las Vegas residence – heavy on the successes of Supremes and his disco era produced in Chic – it will be a surprise .
The tour starts on 30 June, Leeds Arena

Taylor Swift

This year’s British Summertime concerts in Hyde Park include a pop extravaganza starring Little Mix and Pearl Jam performing with the Pixies as a support, but their choice may be the arrival in the UK of the self-styled Lover Fest -styling by Taylor Swift, in which she avoids her usual stages to bring her most recent album to festivals around the world. “The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER,” he explained on Instagram. “I want to run it in a way that seems authentic.”
July 11, Hyde Park, London

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish.

Cheer … Billie Eilish. Photograph: Mike Blake / Reuters

The sensational teenage feeling of 2019, whose debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? she spawned five US platinum singles, returned to the UK for a series of concerts in the arena. The feeling that his brand of dark electronics, teenage psychodrama and gothic sci-fi images produced at home is a step forward has been strengthened by critical acclamations and comparisons not with his pop peers, but with Nirvana, the latter courtesy of Dave Grohl.
The tour starts on July 21, Manchester Arena


You can get an idea of ​​how Stormzy outperformed his hip-hop peers in the UK based on the geographic variety of tour dates in support of his second album, Heavy Is the Head. Its sound is still rooted in British filth, as evidenced by the recent single Wiley Flow, but his concerts do not only concern Europe, but also the Middle East, China and Australasia. The biggest shows, however, will be in Britain: a stadium-sized victory lap.
The tour starts on September 2nd, O2 Arena, London

Elton John

Elton John on his farewell tour Yellow Brick Road.

Extravagance … Elton John on his farewell tour Yellow Brick Road. Director of photography: Mackenzie Sweetnam / WireImage

The gigantic Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour enters its third year with a string of UK dates. So far it has proven remarkable not only for its vast commercial success – only the first stop grossed $ 125 million – but the degree of acclaim it has received. It’s a beautifully staged two and a half hour extravaganza in which the hits are launched with remarkable taste – apparently for the last time.
The tour starts on November 2nd, O2 Arena, London

Prisoner of state

Beethoven will dominate concert times on its 250th anniversary and his only work, Fidelio, will have a new production at Covent Garden, with Lise Davidsen and Jonas Kaufmann at the head of the cast. Before that, however, the BBC Symphony Orchestra begins its year with the European premiere of David Lang’s contemporary version of Fidelio’s story; Claron McFadden is the nameless woman who struggles to save her partner from unfair imprisonment.
January 11, Barbican, London

Nixon in China

A new generation ... Nixon in China at the Royal Danish Opera.

A new generation … Nixon in China at the Royal Danish Opera. Director of photography: Camilla Winther

For over a quarter of a century, John Adams’ first was indelibly associated with 1987’s original Peter Sellars production. But recently there has been a whole new generation of Nixon outfits, including the John Fulljames version, seen for the first time. once in Copenhagen and now shared with the Scottish Opera. Joana Carneiro directs a cast led by Eric Greene as Richard Nixon and Mark LeBrocq as Mao Tse-Tung.
February 18-22, Theater Royal, Glasgow; February 27-29, Festival Theater, Edinburgh

Beethoven: 1808 rebuilt

Philharmonia reconstructs the historic concert that Beethoven held in Vienna on 22 December 1808, which included previews of his Fifth and Sixth Symphony and the Fourth Piano Concerto, as well as Choral Fantasy. Esa-Pekka Salonen directs the monumental program, which also includes the movements of the Mass in C and the air of the concert Ah! Perfidious.
March 15, Royal Festival Hall, London

The Complete Varèse

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Looking to the future … Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla Photography: Benjamin Ealovega

In a couple of concerts, one with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the other with the Birmingham contemporary music group, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla leads an investigation into the achievement of the most intransigent and far-sighted of the great modernists of the twentieth century. It combines the music of Edgard Varèse with that of Debussy; The BCMG concert in London also includes works by Rebecca Saunders and Gérard Grisey.
May 4, CBSO Center, Birmingham; May 7, Symphony Hall, Birmingham; May 9, Royal Festival Hall, London; May 10, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

The Nightingale / Bluebeard Castle

The centerpiece of the summer season of the Welsh National Opera is a double proposal by Stravinsky and Bartók, directed by Tomáš Hanus. The puppeteer Mark Down stages The Nightingale, promising life-size puppets alongside the cast of eight singers, while the former WNO artistic director David Pountney directs Bluebeard Castle, with Bryn Terfel as Whitebeard and Michelle DeYoung as by Judith.
June 9th, 11th and 13th, Millennium Center, Cardiff

Cassandra Miller

This London-based Canadian composer is one of the artists residing at the 73rd Aldeburgh festival. In addition to Tracery, a new multi-speaker, split-screen installation, there is the first performance of a work commissioned for the soprano Juliet Fraser and the Bozzini Quartet, and the British premiere of Miller’s The Large House for string orchestra and percussion.
13, 16 and on June 20, Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh


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