TOP TEN: Gigs we’re looking forward to in 2023


It’s time for us to stop looking back and to look forward to the glorious year ahead. Here are our editors’ 10 gigs that we’re looking forward to this year.

The Weeknd – I’ve been raving about the current ‘era’ of The Weeknd’s career on this website for a while now, a reminder that Blinding Lights was released in 2019(!), while Tom has joined in this year picking out Dawn FM as his album of the year. Live shows were inevitable and after a postponed, then cancelled arena tour, soon upgraded to Stadiums across the world Europe finally has a leg of this huge tour set for next Summer. I will be there at the Etihad Stadium (at the back obviously) finally able to hear some of my favourite music of the last 3 years. I can only hope it’ll be worth the long wait. Sam Atkins

Sounds From The Other City, Salford – Earlier this year I made an impromptu decision and bought a mate’s spare tickets for Salford’s alternative Sounds From The Other City festival. I didn’t regret it. I came home with a raft of discoveries, from The Bug Club’s amusing lyricism to the literary wit of Hamish Hawk, and I’ve already bought my ticket for 2023. Tickets are still available, so if you’re in the North West of England I’d wholeheartedly recommend. Tom Burrows

Any gig at all please – Sure I made it to a few gigs in 2022, but I missed almost as many as my second daughter joined us in April. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about that, but the glut of post-pandemic gigs towards the end of 2021 was an incredible run which I’d foolishly hoped I’d be able to keep going. So on to next year and…I have tickets for ONE gig. So far. That one is Anna B Savage so it will be great. But I’d like some more. Lets see what the year has in store – I’m sure it will be an exciting one. James Spearing

Self Esteem – Well they’re a Picky Bastard favourite. With two great albums that have some real staying power, she is probably my most listened to artist of the past 3/4 years. And I’ve heard they’re amazing live continually since Fran introduced them. But finally Self Esteem’s debut US tour is here. And I can’t wait. Matt Paul

The Murder Capital – Just a few weeks before the first lockdown, I saw The Murder Capital play in Manchester. It was so good that I was convinced to go and see them again a few days later in Liverpool. I pictured a life of following them round the country, taking in their energetic and emotional performances every single night. Then I was told I wasn’t allowed to gigs at all. A lot has changed for me in the intervening years, and now the idea of chasing a band around for a whole tour seems literally impossible, but if The Murder Capital still sound anything like they used to when playing live then maybe I can recapture that spirit for just one night. Fran Slater

Darkside Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington’s Darkside project released a near-perfect album, Psychic, in 2013, and called a hiatus afterwards. It seemed like an ingenious mic drop to leave the audience wanting more. So I’m pretty astounded to be writing about them in my anticipated gigs for 2023, but here we are. They returned with a second, rockier album, called Spiral in 2021 and will play Manchester’s shiny new New Century Hall in June. I’ve banged on about Jaar in particular on the podcast before, so I’m beyond excited to hear a live show in the flesh. Tom Burrows

Biig Piig – In 2021, Metronomy released the Posse EP volume 1 which was full of features and quirky little songs. ‘405’ became a quick obsession, with it’s smooth vibes and Biig Piig’s whispery vocals. That obsession has since spread to the rest of Biig Piig’s limited discography. 2023 could be a big year as they’ve been named on the BBC sound of 2023 and, most importantly for the list, are heading out on tour. Matt Paul

Berwyn – Booked this one on a “I’m going to see Berwyn at this new venue in Manchester if you fancy it” office chat. It’s at ‘Canvas’, which I used to work near during its construction and had no idea it was going to be a gig space. So I’m ready for the unknown. I liked Berwyn’s Mercury-nominated Demotape/Vega, and his performance at the awards, so fingers crossed it’s a good set. Tom Burrows

Big Joanie – I won’t have to wait too long for this one, as it’s only a couple of weeks away. But I’ve been waiting to see Big Joanie for a long time. Lockdowns and cancellations have only grown my desire to see this awesome trio thrash out their unique brand of post punk on stage. It’s gonna be a banger. Fran Slater

Anna B Savage – It’s been about 5 minutes since she got a mention on this site so allow me to break the silence. It’s the 2023 big PBs social as 4 out of 5 editors will be in attendance at Anna’s YES show in March (Matt decided against travelling from the US for some reason). Why not grab a ticket and come along? Tom Burrows

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