Rae Sremmurd and JoJo: this week’s best rock and pop gigs

Youthful, energetic hip-hop and pop-flavoured R&B. Plus: AJ Tracey, Laura Marling and Beach Slang

1 Rae Sremmurd

Mixing the youthful energy of Kriss Kross (who could have predicted we’d be using that reference in 2017?) with the beguiling DayGlo weirdness of much modern hip-hop, it was only fitting that Rae Sremmurd’s Black Beatles should soundtrack last year’s oddest craze: the mannequin challenge. Go wild – or stand still – when they hit the UK this week.
London, Tuesday 17 Jan and Wednesday 18 Jan; Glasgow, Thursday 19 Jan; Manchester, Friday 20 Jan; Bristol, Saturday 21 Jan

2 AJ Tracey

It seems the days when your parents were terminally uncool are over: this west London MC’s dad was a rapper, while his mum was a pirate radio DJ. Happily, musical talent appears to have been passed down the genetic line. Thiago Silva, AJ Tracey’s collaboration with fellow rapper Dave, was one of the Guardian’s top tracks of 2016 and helped make him one of several artists livening up this year’s tip lists.
Fibbers, York, Friday 20 Jan; touring to Sunday 19 Feb

3 Laura Marling

Before a full UK tour in March, Laura Marling is teaming up with the Scottish Symphony Orchestra for her debut appearance at Celtic Connections festival. The 26-year-old has folkie roots, of course, and this will be a chance to hear those explored and reinterpreted with an orchestral makeover.
Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thursday 19 Jan

4 JoJo

Owing to tedious contractual wrangles, 00s pop-R&B singer JoJo has ended up putting out gently experimental mixtapes rather than proper albums for several years. This changed with 2016’s Mad Love, and she’ll be attempting to revitalise her career with an accompanying tour.
The Academy, Dublin, Sunday 15 Jan; Koko, NW1, Tuesday 17 Jan; touring to Wednesday 1 Feb

5 Beach Slang

“Play it loud, play it fast,” is the opening line on Beach Slang’s latest album, A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings, and it’s advice they seem to have taken on board themselves. The Pennsylvanian band’s big, earnest US college rock is responsible for some of the most riotous shows around at the moment.
Exchange, Bristol, Friday 20 Jan; touring to Thursday 26 Jan


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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