1 The 1975
Is 1975 frontman Matt Healy pop’s next great intellectual? One person who seems to think so is Healy himself, while a fair chunk of us suspect he’s merely a good-looking chap who knows his way around a nice tune. Whatever your view, 2016 was clearly his year, with the band’s bombastic second album topping the UK and US charts. Now for some suitably overblown arena shows.
Manchester Arena, Tue; O2 Arena, SE1, Thu & Fri; touring to 22 Dec
2 Bo Ningen
Watching Bo Ningen unleash a psych-noise racket is an exhausting experience, so God knows what it feels like for the band themselves. Primal Scream’s audience will be in for a short, sharp shock when the Japanese quartet support them this week.
Sheffield, Sat; Nottingham, Sun; Portsmouth, Tue; Brighton, Wed; London, Thu
3 The Chemical Brothers
Chemical Brothers gigs are often less of an exercise in live music and more one in trying to scramble their audience’s brains with lasers, lights and beats. Plus, new track C-h-e-m-i-c-a-l shows that the duo still know how to shake a dancefloor – or, indeed, a reasonably sized venue.
Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, W6, Sat & Sun
4 Against Me!
The Florida rockers’ recent album Shape Shift With Me was the perfect example of how the personal is political in the music world: “Trans people should be able to fall in love and sing love songs, too,” is how singer-guitarist Laura Jane Grace put it. Of course, her love songs still come wrapped in punk packaging, so don’t expect much in the way of slushy balladry.
Bristol, Sat; Nottingham, Sun
5 Frightened Rabbit
These Scots seem to have pulled off the trick of supersizing their emo-tinged folky indie without becoming Mumford & Sons. Theirs has been a slow-burn career, which means those stadium-ready choruses can – at least for now – still be heard in relatively modest venues.
Nottingham, Sat; Newcastle, Mon; Aberdeen, Tue; Inverness, Wed; Glasgow, Fri; touring to 18 Dec