The 12 biggest pop and rock gigs to book tickets for now

From left: Liam Gallagher, Emeli Sandé, Ariana Grande - Getty
From left: Liam Gallagher, Emeli Sandé, Ariana Grande - Getty

Our critic picks a dozen stars to see in Autumn 2019, from Liam Gallagher to Ariana Grande


Like a cross between Queen and Radiohead, the Devon trio combine edgy sci-fi rock with cod-operatic bombast. Their Simulation Theory tour is amongst the most mind-bogglingly spectacular ever staged, akin to Cirque De Soleil channelling Blade Runner and Iron Maiden. O2 Arena, London ( Sept 14 and touring

Ariana Grande

The second UK leg of the Sweetener tour from the US star, who has made an immaculate transition from sugary teenybopper to grown-up icon. She conjures an appealing mix of sweetness and swagger on smart, slick, emotional and highly inventive digital R’n’B pop. Arena Birmingham ( Sept 14 and touring


The Irish singer-songwriter has a seriousness of purpose and range of skills that put most of his poppy peers to shame. His second album Wasteland, Baby! exuberantly demonstrated an affinity with such late greats as Jeff Buckley, John Martyn and Nick Drake. Symphony Hall, Birmingham ( Sept 15 and touring


The post-Britpop band have reunited after a five-year hiatus, following singer Tom Chaplin’s recovery from drug addiction. New album Cause and Effect (due on Sept 20) picks up where they left off, with elegant, emotional anthems driven by sonorous piano. Symphony Hall, Birmingham ( Sept 24 and touring


Veteran British rapper Kane Robinson has picked up the challenge of Stormzy, Skepta and Dave with the most powerful album of his career, Hoodies All Summer. Boldly tackling big socio-political issues from knife crime to Windrush, it represents a new maturity for the grime genre. The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow ( Oct 2 and touring

Grime star Kano's new album Hoodies All Summer has been praised by critics - Parlophone
Grime star Kano's new album Hoodies All Summer has been praised by critics - Parlophone

Here We Go Again is the first UK tour in 14 years for the veteran US singing and acting superstar. Cher’s own hits share space with brash covers from her ABBA tribute album, Dancing Queen. O2 Arena, London SE10 ( Oct and touring

Charli XCX

One of the most interesting pop stars around, British songwriter Charli XCX combines underground style with mainstream hooks. Could her third album Charli (out Sept 13) lift her to household name status? SWG3, Glasgow ( Oct 27 and touring

Vampire Weekend

The American guitar band marry slinky afrobeat licks with gorgeous pop melodies and lyrics so smart you might need a degree (or Wikipedia) to decipher them. Joyously spirited live. Usher Hall, Edinburgh (, Nov 7 and touring

Christina Aguilera

It has been a long time since she ruled the charts but the US pop diva remains an extraordinary powerhouse vocalist, with a pyrotechnical melisma to compare with Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. SSE Hydro, Glasgow ( Nov 7 to Nov 14

Liam Gallagher

The former Oasis frontman’s solo comeback has been an extraordinary success, despite essentially sounding like a tribute to his old band. His second solo album, Why Me? Why Not (out Sept 20) promises enough combative swagger and Beatlesy melody to keep the bandwagon rolling. Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff ( Nov 11 and touring

Emeli Sandé

One of Britain’s most soulful singer-songwriters, Sande’s fifth album Real Life (out Sept 20th) promises another masterclass in anthemic, emotional pop. She is also a qualified neurologist, presumably quite handy in the event of medical emergencies in her audiences. Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent ( Nov 15 and touring

Sam Fender

It’s been a long time coming but the Brits Critics’ Choice winner’s debut album, Hypersonic Missiles, arrives Sept 13, with a tour to follow in November. Wordy, passionate and actually quite old-fashioned rock songcraft, delivered live with burning, youthful intensity. Manchester Academy ( Nov 22 and touring