Five of the best gigs for Christmas 2015

The festive season is a great time for live music around the UK, from hip electronica to mass arena singalongs

The Courteeners

You wouldn’t guess quite how popular the Courteeners are from their media profile. Though routinely ignored by critics, they’ve quietly built up a colossal live following with their anthemic indie rock. Earlier this summer they followed the Stone Roses’ lead by playing a huge hometown show at Heaton Park in Manchester, and they conclude their autumn tour by returning to the city for eight shows – that’s 28,000 tickets, all of which are sold out. Good luck on the resale sites.

• At O2 Apollo, Manchester, 8–19 December. Box office: 08444 777 677.

Saint Etienne

The beloved trio – whose last album, Words and Music, might have been their best yet – take to the road for Christmas with four gigs. The core threesome will be fleshed out with a full band, so it’s not just going to be Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs pressing buttons behind Sarah Cracknell. The mini-tour concludes with a first ever homecoming gig for Stanley and Wiggs as they take Saint Etienne for a “Croydon Christmas caper” at Fairfield Halls.

• At the Sage, Gateshead, 8 December. Box office: 0191 443 4661. Then touring until 11 December.

Hudson Mohawke

The Scottish electronica maven ticks every box for hipness you could possibly require. Signed to the none-more-influential Warp label in the UK? Tick. Has produced Kanye West? Tick. Indulged in collaborative projects with other equally hip people? Tick – his TNGHT project also involves Lunice. He’s bringing his bleeps to three UK venues before Christmas. Just don’t expect an encore of Merry Xmas Everybody.

• At Roundhouse, London, 10 December. Box office: 0300 678 9222. Then touring to Manchester, 11 December, and Glasgow, 12 December.

Mumford & Sons

Now they’ve swapped their banjos and double basses for a more conventionally rocking sound, you can expect something a little different from the former gentleman yokels as they finally take their Wilder Mind album – an international No 1 on its release in May – to the UK’s enormodomes. Expect mass singalongs and not a hint of confrontation. The shows are all sold out, unsurprisingly, but their website offers links to ticket exchanges.

• At Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, 5 December. Box office: 029-2023 4500. Then touring until 14 December.

Todd Terje

The Norwegian dance producer and songwriter took his stage name in tribute to the house pioneer Todd Terry, and he’s built a reputation to match, with his song Inspector Norse being named track of the year all over the place in 2012. He’s not just an underground phenomenon – he co-wrote Robbie Williams’s No 1 Candy, and Bryan Ferry sang on his album, It’s Album Time, covering Robert Palmer’s Johnny and Mary. Live, he’s promising a Christmas party with special guests when he visits London.

• At Koko, London, 13 December. Box office: 020-7388 3222.


Michael Hann

The GuardianTramp

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