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11 top pop and rock gigs and tours to see in 2024

The Last Dinner Party
The Last Dinner Party - Cal McIntyre

Bring me the Horizon

Not as critically celebrated as old Sheffield schoolmates Arctic Monkeys, BMTH are nevertheless one of the most progressive and thrilling bands in Britain, blending electronica, pop, classical and rap with sci-fi heavy metal. They release their 7th album, Post Human – Next Gen (Sony) on January 12th.
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff then touring until Jan 21
(bmthofficial.com)

The Last Dinner Party

The most exciting new group in Britain tour to launch their hugely anticipated debut album, Prelude to Ecstasy (Island) on February 2nd. A quintet of audacious women drawing on glam, prog and indie rock, this may be the last chance to catch them in small venues.
The Fleece, Bristol then touring until Feb 11
(thelastdinnerparty.co.uk)

Depeche Mode

The synth rock pioneers overcame the death of founding member Andy Fletcher in 2022 to deliver sombre 15th album Memento Mori last year. Charismatic frontman Dave Gahan and multi-instrumentalist songwriter Martin Gore’s powerful electronica has deepened with age.
O2 Arena London, then touring until Jan 31
(depechemode.com)

The 1975

Whilst constantly brushing up against cancel culture through the antics of controversial frontman Matty Healy, The 1975 remain one of the UK’s most audacious and compelling bands. Their current two-part show is a theatrical tour de force.
Glasgow Ovo Hydro, then touring until Jan 21
(the1975.com)

Niall Horan

The Irish member of One Direction may be coming second best to Harry Style’s swaggering global takeover but he’s building up a solid solo career. Horan’s 2023 album The Show was another well-crafted set of Laurel Canyon singer-songwriting and he remains an appealing live performer with plenty of old-fashioned charm.
SSE Arena, Belfast, then touring until Mar 5
(niallhoran.com)

Alison Goldfrapp
Alison Goldfrapp - Tabatha Fireman

Alison Goldfrapp

After two decades as frontwoman of electronic duo Goldfrapp, Alison G has claimed back her surname and struck out on her own, pushing the dance element to the fore. Always a commanding performer with an audacious visual style.
Glasshouse International Centre for Music, Gateshead, then touring until Mar 3
(goldfrapp.com)

OMD

Since reuniting in 2006, eighties synth pop pioneers Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark have slowly rebuilt their reputation as craftsmen of highly sophisticated electronic art pop. They have said 2023’s excellent Bauhaus Staircase album will be their last, suggesting this tour could be (the beginning of) the end for OMD.
Ulster Hall, Belfast, then touring Mar 27
(omd.uk.com)

Brit Awards

Live on ITV from the O2 Arena, who will carry away the big awards in a strange year for British music? Vintage rockers The Rolling Stones and The Beatles must be in with a genuine shout, against such contemporary stars as Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran. There are new genre awards to try and spread the love around.

Judas Priest

The Brummies who put the leather and studs into heavy metal are back, with their 19th album, Invincible Shield (Epic) out on March 8th, and a UK tour. Since getting sober in 1986 and coming out as gay in 1998, frontman Rob Halford has grown in stature as a pioneering figure in heavy rock.    
Ovo Hydro, Glasgow, then touring until Mar 21
(judaspriestinivicibleshield.com)

Yard Act

One of the most exciting UK bands to emerge in recent years, Mercury-nominated Leeds quartet Yard Act release a second acerbically brilliant album, Where’s My Utopia? (Island) on March 1 before embarking on their biggest tour to date.
UEA LCR Norwich, then touring until March 27
(yardactors.com)

Simple Minds

Led by the mercurial Jim Kerr, Simple Minds rose from arty new wave synth weirdness to become one of the biggest bands of the 1980s, with an epic sound that helped define the decade. After years in the wilderness, the swaggering Scottish purveyors of “the big music” are back in the arenas where they belong.
First Direct Arena, Leeds, then touring until March 30
(simpleminds.com)