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Brits Week 2023: The biggest gigs from The 1975 to Sugababes

Some of the biggest stars in the country are performing for a good cause (Picture: Rex)

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The Brits are back! With the nominees announced and host Mo Gilligan busy preparing suitable zingers, the music world is readying itself for the UK’s annual festival of gong-giving and (mildly) raucous behaviour.

To generate hype before the big night at the O2 Arena on February 11, the Brits is once again hosting a week of live gigs at intimate venues around the country.

It’s all in aid of the charity War Child, which works tirelessly to provide aid to children affected by conflict. Teams in places like Ukraine, Yemen, and Afghanistan provide life-saving physical aid and then try to limit psychological trauma.

The organisation has long been connected with music, and Brits week is its statement fundraising event of the year. Attending its associated live gigs helps to fund vital work all over the world.

Some of the UK’s biggest artists are joining the cause and putting on special performances this year, with tickets going on sale this morning.

Mo Gilligan is getting ready for the biggest night in UK music (Picture: John Marshall/JM Enternational)

There’s a big showing from indie rock groups, led by The 1975 and their former opening act beabadoobee. The Hunna, The Snuts, and Sea Girls will also be performing.

Purer pop vibes will be provided by easy life and Cavetown – though Rina Sawayama will also be appearing, if you prefer your pop camper and more political.

Metronomy and Years & Years will be representing electronic music, while Kojey Radical and Bob Vylan will be providing jazzy grime and punky hip-hop, respectively.

Oh, and we also have Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls performing, too.

And after the comeback of all comebacks, the Sugababes will also be putting on a show – and everyone likes the Sugababes, so you’ve really no excuse not to attend at least one of these gigs.

Below, we pick out our choices for the biggest shows happening this Brits week – and how to get tickets.

The 1975

Eighties-infused grooves to die for (Picture: Jordan Curtis Hughes)

The 1975’s frontman Matty Healy has become a Mick Jagger for the TikTok age, with footage of his outlandish on-stage provocations circling around social media since the band began touring the US last year.

But where the Stones added the Blues to their rock ‘n’ roll, The 1975 have mixed in distinctly 80s pop – and it’s allowed them to rack up a formidable catalogue of hits.

Expect to hear at least some of them when the band play Manchester’s Gorilla on Feb 1.

Book tickets to see The 1975 here.

Sugababes

Hot off an incredible Glasto (Picture: Lorne Thomson/Redferns)

You might think that the best performance at Glasto 2022 came from 80-year-old Sir Paul McCartney. And OK… depending on who you speak to, you’d probably be right.

But coming in hard on Sir Paul’s heels were the rejuvenated Sugababes, who attracted such an unexpectedly huge crowd that the festival’s organisers had to shut down the Avalon field to accommodate them.

Riding high on the wave of post-Glasto superstardom, the group have refined their live set to a tight succession of hit singles and are now joining the Brits Week line-up in London.

Don’t expect: experimental deep-cuts. Do expect: pulsating pop hits performed by a trio with unbeatable chemistry.

Book tickets to see the Sugababes’ gig at The Garage on Feb 8 here.

Rina Sawayama

Flashy pop with powerful messages (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Rina Sawayama burst into the post-pandemic music world in a technicolour explosion of big vocals and high camp.

Her performances bounce wildly between in-song social justice statements, and pure adrenaline hits of flashy pop that pay tribute to the noughties icons she was obsessed with as a teenager.

If you want your live acts to fuse the best of Sir Elton John and Destiny’s Child with fearless and articulate progressive politics, then Rina is your woman, and a true superstar for our moment.

While tickets are currently sold out for Rina Sawayama at Lafayette, London, on Feb 10, keep checking here as more tickets may become available.

Years & Years

Expect power, playfulness and lots of synths (Picture: Aldara Zarraoa/WireImage)

Best Brits performance of all time? We’d probably go for the explosive duet of Sir Elton and Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander doing It’s a Sin in 2021.

The performance came soon after Olly had starred in Russell T Davies’ poignant Aids drama of the same name, and proved beyond doubt how powerful and moving the singer can be.

But Olly also knows how to enjoy himself, and Years & Years have made a reputation for their ability to generate sheer fun on stage.

Expect both power and playfulness when he hits HERE at Outernet, London, for Brits Week. Oh and synths, lots of synths.

Book tickets to see Years & Years on Feb 2 here.

Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls

An unlikely punk hero (Picture: Redferns)

He’s been likened to a posh Bruce Springsteen and the Eton-educated Frank Turner is perhaps an unlikely punk hero – but his music has an inarguable passion and edge which has helped grow him a huge fanbase over time.

It’s a cliché, but Frank’s songs are genuine stories, and their lilting folk sounds evoke the kind of rural Hampshire venues the musician has claimed his music is perfect for.

The O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire is a very different proposition for Frank and his band, but they’re sure to rise to the occasion.

While tickets are currently sold out for Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls on Feb 10, keep checking here as more tickets may become available.



The full list of gigs happening during Brits week

Tues, Jan 31: The Hunna, Lafayette, London

Weds, Feb 1: Metronomy, HERE at Outernet, London

Weds, Feb 1: The 1975, Gorilla, Manchester

Thurs, Feb 2: Years & Years, HERE at Outernet, London

Fri, Feb 3: Kojey Radical, XOYO, London

Fri, Feb 3: beabadoobee, Lafayette, London

Sat, Feb 4: Cavetown, Omeara, London

Sun, Feb 5: The Snuts, Glasgow Stereo, Glasgow

Tues, Feb 7 (at 6pm and 9pm): Sea Girls, The 100 Club, London

Weds, Feb 8: Sugababes, The Garage, London

Thurs, Feb 9: Xtra Mile Recordings 20th Anniversary with Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Fri, Feb 10: Bob Vylan, Omeara, London

Fri, Feb 10: Rina Sawayama, Lafayette, London

Book tickets for all gigs here.


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