As the New Year breathes new life and shakes free from its winter slumber, artists and management teams alike chug into life, setting up the next batch of tours ready and waiting to entertain a whole host of punters across the globe. Just in case you are one of the tens of thousands of fans poised to purchase tickets for 2019, here’s a quick look into just a few of our top picks for the coming year.
With her 2018 album ‘Sweetener’ breaking records all over the shop, it is set to be a promising year for Ariana Grande. Her glossy pink homage to ‘90s and ‘00s chick-flicks ‘Thank U, Next’ featured twists on nostalgic scenes from movies such as Mean Girls, 13 Going On 30 and Legally Blonde; which also featured some of the original cast –including Jennifer Coolidge and Jonathan Bennett – as did Grande’s own celebrity acquaintances, and an appearance from Kris Jenner. The video proved to be a huge success and hit 829,000 views in just 24 hours, and continued to rise to reach a staggering 88 million hits over the weekend of its release. The song itself broke even more records, spending four weeks at the top position on the UK charts – taking the crown for the longest time spent on the top spot for any female artist in 2018. Quite a feat for the 25 year old popstar.
The American singer-songwriter will be bringing her ad-lib pop tracks to the UK’s doors in the New Year, with dates planned across the country.
> 17 / 19 August, O2 Arena, London
> 14 September, Birmingham Arena
> Glasgow SSE Hydro
> Sheffield FlyDSA Arena
> Dublin Arena
> Info> http://www.arianagrande.com/events
Donald Glover’s list of professions is pretty extensive. A producer, actor, comedian, singer, writer, director, rapper, songwriter and DJ, it’s safe to say that Glover (otherwise known as Childish Gambino) has had his fair share of careers. Having appeared on comedies such as Community and Atlanta, Donal Glover’s pursuits in music have also followed with the same great success, making him one of Time’s 100 list of the most influential people in the world in 2017. It was his third writhing record, ‘Awaken, My Love!’ which drummed up the most hype – particularly thanks to the spawning of sensual single “Redbone.” The track peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, and went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance.
In the summer of 2018, Childish Gambino released the track and video to ‘This is America’ – a visceral, dramatic and chilling audio and visual piece. The multi-layered video directed by Hiro Murai prompted online debates regarding its provocative delivery and connotations.
> 24 / 25 March 2019, O2 Arena, London
> Info> https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/childish-gambino
Seductive and laid-back, mysterious production duo Jungle’s ‘80s infused neo-soul haze is the perfect tool to transport its listeners back to sunnier climes. Luscious falsetto harmonies drift across their trademark groove – comforting, nostalgic and always graceful. Since their self-titled debut, it’s been a long wait for their follow up record in 2018. After a four-year disappearance from music which left fans scratching their heads and wondering if they were ever to return, Jungle swanned back onto the scene from their California retreat, having ‘found’ both ‘themselves’ and their second studio release – ‘For Ever.’ Released on the 14 September 2018 by XL Recordings, the care-free and expansive neo-soul/funk-lite record chases the American dream, and encompasses the coolness and breeziness of SoCal.
The band are lined-up to return to gigging across well-loved venues. The English modern soul collective are based in London, and will perform a number of shows in the UK next year. The University of East Anglia in Norwich will welcome the collective into the country on the UK leg of their tour.
> 13 February 2019, Manchester Academy
> 21 February 2019, Alexandra Palace, London
> Info> http://junglejunglejungle.com/
Trip-hop group Massive Attack may have formed back in 1988, but their lazy, intense and dark electronic tracks still maintain a freshness and modern relevance – just as it did at the time of its conception. From the coastal city of Bristol the group consisting of Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and formerly Andy Vowles released their debut album ‘Blue Lines’ in 1991. Followed by 1998’s ‘Mezzanine’ and the 2003 record ‘100th Window,’ the releases charted at number one on the UK charts. With five distinct studio albums under their belt and over 11 million copies sold worldwide, Massive Attack’s brooding sound is both dramatic and grandiose in its subtleties, often juxtaposed with soft, delicate vocals.
Back with a series of UK dates in 2019, the group made up of Robert Del Naja and Grant ‘Daddy G’ Marshall will mark the 20th anniversary of ‘Mezzanine,’ performing the album in full as part of the shows. Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins who featured on the vocals for single “Teardrop” will accompany the group for the tour.
> 28 January 2019, Glasgow’s SSE Hydro
> 1 / 2 March 2019, Steel Yard Filton, Bristol
> 29 March 2019, Manchester Arena
> The O2 in London.
> Info> https://www.massiveattack.co.uk/
> Maddy Smith