The 12 Gigs Of Christmas

With the turning of the page on our calendars, December is finally here and with it, full permission to talk about, get excited for and celebrate Christmas. As party season kicks into gear we’re pointing the spotlight on a select few events that we think deserve pride of place in your festive plans. We’re doing this holiday season Ticketmaster style with our 12 gigs of Christmas.

1. Madness

If you’re looking for a party atmosphere (and who isn’t?!) then you can’t go wrong with a double bill of Madness and Squeeze. The latter bring their infectious pop smarts while Madness are just a guaranteed good time, rattling through an insanely long list of huge hits with the panache they bring to every single gig.

When: 2 – 20 Dec

Where: Various venues

2. Ash

Unadulterated bliss with a distortion pedal. Like the musical equivalent of a packet of Tangfastics, Tim Wheeler & Co. have spent over 25 years amassing a reputation for sugar-coated hits with a serious kick. Wheeler also showed his festive side on his 2011 Christmas record, which might just get an outing or two.

When: 5 Dec

Where: The Playhouse, West Yorkshire

3. Jessie Ware

There’s something in the stylish but suspenseful glam of Jessie Ware’s live shows that just lends itself to this time of year. Since 2013’s Devotion the singer has embedded herself into the fabric of UK pop whilst not being afraid to veer left of centre in doing so. Her 2020 work What’s Your Pleasure? had the grandeur of a Bond soundtrack but the soul of a disco classic, and if the likes of ‘Moonlight’ or ‘Remember Where You Are’ don’t top off your year in style, we’re not sure what will.

When: 1 – 13 Dec

Where: Various venues

4. Tom Jones

He’s back and he’s touring the UK. Tom Jones is taking to the road with some of his old school classics and newer hits. After more than half a century performing, Jones says he’s happiest on the stage, singing for his fans, and his voice is as big as ever.

When: 5 – 18 Dec

Where: Various venues

5. Little Simz

Whether locked in tightly with her band on the soulful grooves of ‘Woman’ or letting loose over the old school instrumentals of ‘101FM’, Little Simz’s vocal clarity and dexterity is truly something to behold live. The rapper, singer and actor has rightfully collected increasing acclaim with each release, culminating in this year’s Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, which will no doubt highlight her December tour. Not one to miss.

When: 2 – 18 Dec

Where: Various venues

6. The Libertines

Let Pete and Carl wish you a very messy Christmas the only way they know how – tearing up stages around the UK throughout December with The Libertines. Leave your mulled wine and mince pies at the door, this is a proper post-punk party that should feel like all your best end-of-school mosh-ups rolled into one.

When: 30 Nov – 19 Dec

Where: Various venues

7. The Darkness

Chances of ‘Don’t Let The Bells End’ making an appearance? About the same as these shows involving lycra, falsetto and serious shredding. The Darkness are yet another guaranteed good time. Check your cynicism and your inhibitions at the door, fix your fingers into devil horns and get ready for the loudest Christmas party since that time the whole office did ‘Feliz Navidad’ at a karaoke bar.

When: 2 – 20 Dec

Where: Various venues

8. The Human League

It’s been 40 years since The Human League first released Dare – 40 years since they changed the face of new wave with hits like Don’t You Want MeLove Action (I Believe In Love) and Open Your Heart. Rounding out their anniversary year by playing their debut album in full, the band only have a few dates of their landmark tour left to play.

When: 3 – 18 Dec

Where: Various venues

9. Michael Ball and Alfie Boe

The festive season wouldn’t be complete without a note or two from Michael Ball and Alfie Boe. The pair are heading back out on tour for Together At Christmas and it promises to be the ultimate gift this holiday season. With a setlist filled with festive favourites, Ball and Boe will be touring arenas up and down the country this December.

When: 30 Nov – 21 Dec

Where: Various venues

10. Gary Barlow

Playing a string of dates across the UK, Gary Barlow will be delighting fans this holiday season with his biggest hits. Not only that, but he’ll be pulling some festive favours from famous friends like Leona Lewis who’ll be joining him on stage for a song or two. So, raise a glass of mulled wine to toast the hits that will have you singing and dancing in your seats all night long.

When: 30 Nov – 18 Dec

Where: Various venues

11. Supergrass

The cheeky chappies from the ‘Alright’ video are all grown up now but are no less energetic and energising on stage. December 2021 sees them stop off in Glasgow and Brixton, bringing a bit of bounce to the festive season with their relentless roster of hits from ‘Pumping On Your Stereo’ to ‘Caught By The Fuzz’.

When: 19 – 20 Dec

Where: Various venues

12. Jools Holland

Boogie-woogie bandleader, cultural tastemaker and all-around national treasure, Jools Holland has spent most of his post-Squeeze years hosting the world’s best jam sessions. Already a permeant fixture of most people’s New Year’s Eve, Holland is getting the party started earlier this year – bringing his roof-raising Rhythm And Blues Orchestra to venues all over the UK throughout December.

When: 1 – 21 Dec

Where: Various venues