Drake and Cabbage: this week’s best UK rock and pop gigs

Catch the hip-hop superstar and the politically charged Manchester five-piece. Plus: The Blue Aeroplanes, Anna Meredith and Julian Cope

1 Drake

Drake may have postponed the opening nights of his UK tour, but – as all Drake fans must surely know by now – life on the road is tough and success is difficult to handle, so don’t be too hard on him about it, OK? Besides, there are plenty more shows where those came from – this week he has three at the O2 Arena alone.
O2 Arena, SE10, Monday 30 Jan, Wednesday 1 Feb and Thursday 2 Feb; touring to Thursday 23 Mar

2 Cabbage

Tipping Cabbage can be a risky business – when the Sun tried it at the start of the year they were met with a volley of abuse regarding the Murdoch empire. More power to the Manchester five-piece, then, who with their grubby indie are trying to inject some political anger into a staid guitar scene.
Cardiff, Wednesday 1 Feb; London, Thursday 2 Feb; Sheffield, Friday 3 Feb; touring to Friday 28 April

3 The Blue Aeroplanes

You should probably go to see any band Stewart Lee describes as “like Philip Larkin fronting Television” and the Blue Aeroplanes are no exception. Now 14 albums into their career, the Bristol collective’s lack of mainstream exposure has helped them to age like a fine wine.
Patterns, Brighton, Saturday 28 Jan; Exeter Phoenix, Sunday 29 Jan

4 Anna Meredith

Nobody needs techno with added bassoon in their lives, but luckily composer Anna Meredith’s approach to merging her classical background with dance music is rather more nuanced than that: last year’s Varmints was one of the standouts of 2016, while her shows garnered rave reviews for their pulverising rhythms, ecstatic crescendos and (yes, OK) even the odd bit of bombastic tuba playing.
Sage Gateshead, Saturday 28 Jan

5 Julian Cope

When most musicians try to claim polymath status it normally means they once wrote a Medium post about Jeremy Corbyn. In Cope’s case, though, it involves time spent as a novelist and antiquarian acclaimed for his work on prehistoric stone circles. His gigs usually incorporate such lived experience – so expect yarns to match the tripped-out tunes.
The Junction, Cambridge, Thursday 2 Feb; Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, Friday 3 Feb; touring to Sunday 26 Feb


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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