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One of the things we’ve all missed over the last year is live music. We are a musical city, it is a vital part of our DNA. As lockdown lifts and Liverpool comes slowly back to life this spring and summer, the M&S Bank Arena has confirmed lots of gigs, many postponed from last year and now rearranged for the coming months.
We’ve picked 15 of the best for you to choose from.
Vocalist Thomas O’Dell, Matthew Mason on lead guitar and backing vocals, plus Johnny Took on acoustic guitar formed DMA’S in 2012 and released third album The Glow last summer, following previous records Hills End and For Now. The Australian rock trio is often compared to Britpop and Oasis, and precursor The Stone Roses. According to the band, the three letters in DMA’S (pronounced dee-em-ayes) don’t stand for anything, but are an abbreviation of earlier names they’ve had. They were called the Dirty Ma’s before until their manager suggested they change the name to DMA’S.
5 Seconds of Summer, often shortened to 5SOS, are an Australian pop rock band from Sydney, got together in late 2011. The group – lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Luke Hemmings, lead guitarist Michael Clifford, bassist Calum Hood, and drummer Ashton Irwin – started off as YouTube stars. They rose to international fame while touring with boy band One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour back in 2013. Since then 5 Seconds of Summer have sold more than 10 million albums, over 2 million concert tickets worldwide, and the band’s songs streams surpass 7 billion, making them one of the most successful Australian musical exports in history.
They are the first Australian act to achieve three number one albums on the Billboard 200 album chart.
Known as one of the nicest guys in music, Rick Astley made his name as a singer from the 1980s Stock, Aitken and Waterman stable via smash hits like Never Gonna Give You Up, which was number 1 in over 20 countries, and Cry For Help. He famously retired from the business at the tender age of 27, and concentrated on being a family man. He returned to music in 2007 which kicked off the ‘rickrolling’ meme phenomenon and he hasn’t looked back since.
Scouser John O’Connell collaborates with other highly respected musicians from Liverpool to create this band, which interprets Bob Dylan’s work and opens legendary songs to new audiences and well as being appreciated by lifelong fans. John stresses the project is a tribute to Bob Dylan, not a Bob Dylan tribute and because of this ethos has earned a top class reputation since starting the group back in the 1970s. This Arena date is a celebration of Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday so will prove to be extra special.
The original ultimate Motown diva became a household name as lead singer with the legendary girl vocal group Supremes in the 1960s. She’s enjoyed a highly successful solo career, and inspired multiple legends who have followed her, from Michael Jackson to Madonna to Beyonce. Ross has clocked up 18 number one singles, twelve with The Supremes and six on her own and is the only female artist to have chart toppers as a solo act, as one half of a duet – with Lionel Richie; as a member of a trio (The Supremes) and an ensemble member – We are the World-USA for Africa.
JLS, short for Jack the Lad Swing, comprising of Aston Merrygold, Oritsé Williams, Marvin Humes, and JB Gill, are one of the few boybands who have successfully grown with their audience and continued delighting their fans with album after album. It feels incredible now to remember that they were runners up on X-Factor back in 2008. In 2013, after seven very successful years as a band, JLS announced their split would follow a greatest hits album and final tour of the UK and Ireland. A reunion was announced in 2020 and the rearranged Beat Again Tour will see the boys perform their massive much loved hits as well as brand new music.
More of a homage than tribute, Mothership is a true celebration of Led Zep’s music as an art form. You won’t get costumes and wigs, but what you will enjoy is great music, well played and fully respected with no gimmicks. Mothership are described by Classic Rock magazine as ‘the most authentic sounding Zep tribute in the UK’. They are bringing a brand new show lasting over two hours to the M&S Arena. Expect all the classics.
Simple Minds are one of the UK’s most successful bands, having achieved six No.1 albums in the UK as well hitting the top spot in countless other territories including Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. The Scottish 7 piece, fronted by Jim Kerr, is famous for hits Promised You A Miracle, Glittering Prize, Waterfront, Sanctify Yourself, Belfast Child, Mandela Day, Don’t You (Forget About Me), Alive & Kicking, and more. This tour will feature these songs and early fan favourites, plus new material including a cover of fellow Scot King Creosote’s 2014 song, For One Night Only.
25 year old ‘dark pop’ hit maker Dua has earned a string of awards including a Brit for best British Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. Songs from the pop star’s two albums Dua Lipa and 2020’s Future Nostalgia will be performed in September at the Arena. Future Nostalgia is her first number one UK record and boasts 4 top ten singles including Physical, Break My Heart, Levitating and Don’t Start Now.
Legendary rockers Genesis are literally getting the band back together when they kick off the The Last Domino? tour in Liverpool this autumn. Core members Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford make up one of the biggest selling bands in the world. In 2021 they are touring together for the first time in 13 years, since 2007’s worldwide Turn It On Again Tour.
Professor Brian Cox did lots of touring as keyboard player with bands Dare and D:Ream in the late 1980s and early 90s, but this time he won’t be playing music! Nowadays he is known as a science boffin, author or co-author of over 950 scientific publications, and a television show presenter. When he appears at the M&S Arena, using state of the art LED screen technology, he will take audiences on a dazzling cinematic journey, a story of how we came to be and what we can become.
Former Beautiful South-ers Paul and Jacqui reunited in 2011 after Jacqui left the band eleven years earlier to concentrate on her family. They have made four studio albums together as a duo, last year’s Manchester Calling reaching number one. Look forward to an evening of clever, often bittersweet lyrics and catchy melodies, the pair’s vocals blending together wonderfully.
Blondie were co-founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein in 1970s New York. Pioneers emerging from the new wave scene, the band became a highly influential phenomenon and have sold over 40 million records worldwide. Thanks to albums like Blondie and Parallel Lines and hit singles Heart Of Glass, Call Me, Maria and more, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. The M&S Arena date is the opening night of their first UK tour in 4 years, in Liverpool. Blondie will be supported by Garbage.
Formed in Glasgow in the mid 1980s, and led by vocalists Ricky Ross and Lorraine McIntosh, Deacon Blue’s tuneful alternative rock and pop proves to still be a magical formula all these years later. Debut album Raintown contains the classics Dignity, Chocolate Girl and Loaded, follow-up long player When The World Knows Your Name two years later in 1989 was an even bigger smash boasting humungous hits Real Gone Kid, Wages Day, and Fergus Sings The Blues. Deacon Blue have now released an incredible eleven albums, including this year’s Cities of Love, and 2020’s mini album Riding on the Tide of Love. Expect songs from the latest records and those familiar, much loved hits!
The lead singer of Take That is hitting Liverpool with a full orchestra, playing new versions of chart toppers from his thirty year career during which he’s sold over 50 million records. His childhood love of orchestral and big band music led to the creation of his new album, the aptly titled Music Played By Humans. Appointed an OBE in 2012, telly talent show judge and Ivor Novello Award winner Gary will be joined on this tour by 2006 X-Factor winner Leona Lewis.
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