19 gigs to catch in Liverpool during 2019
Music runs through the veins of Liverpool in a flow as wide as the Mersey - after all we're not the World Capital of Pop and a UNESCO City of Music for nothing.
Whatever day it is and wherever you are you can hear great tunes performed by talented musicians and singers.
But we haven't just given the world some great artists - we also welcome them to our city too, and 2019 is shaping up to be no exception.
From massive shows at Anfield and the newly-monikered M&S Bank Arena (that's the good old Echo Arena to you and me and a few hundred thousand others), to up-and-coming talent at indie venues, from 80s favourites at the Phil to prodigal popsters returning home and playing the Olympia - to musical pranksters at the Cavern, there really is the proverbial something for everyone.
And that's not even counting our many major music festivals.
Here are just 19 shows to whet music fans' appetites in 2019.
Kaiser Chiefs – Mountford Hall
Indie favourites Kaiser Chiefs may have been holed up in the studio working on the follow-up to their 2016 album Stay Together, but they are resurfacing in early 2019 for a full headline tour.
Expect the lads from Leeds to perform tracks from across their extensive catalogue of work including Ruby, I Predict a Riot and Everyday I Love You Less and Less.
Holy Holy – Philharmonic Hall
What do you get when you mix Bowie’s drummer and Spider Man from Mars, Woody Woodmansey, veteran producer Tony Visconti, and an all-star band including Glenn Gregory from Heaven 17?
The answer is Holy Holy, billed as “probably the closest experience to a Bowie gig you can get” since the great man himself passed away in 2017.
Support comes from John Bramwell (I Am Kloot).
Bryan Adams – Arena
Canadian rocker and Robin Hood songster Bryan Adams returns to Liverpool for 2019 as part of his Shine a Light tour.
The Grammy-winning artist has seen success from a string of number 1 hits in more than 40 countries and has sold an excess of 65 million records worldwide.
But the 59-year-old from Ontario remains best known for his 1991 chart slayer (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, along with Summer of ’69 and his duet with Melanie C, When You’re Gone.
Art Garfunkel – Philharmonic Hall
He’s one half of one of the most famous musical duos in pop history, but this year Art Garfunkel is bringing his solo tour to Liverpool.
Expect ‘an evening of songs and stories’ as the 77-year-old performs a career retrospective, featuring Simon & Garfunkel songs and solo hits, plus pieces from his new autobiography.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member and Diamond-selling artist has also enjoyed a successful film career, published a book of poetry and released 12 original solo albums.
The Specials – Olympia
The Specials bring their Encore 40th Anniversary Tour to West Derby Road on April 27.
The band, still best known for their 1981 classic Ghost Town, were formed in Coventry in 1977 and were reborn as Special AKA in the early 1980s.
Current members include Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter, Steve Cradock, Nikolaj Torp Larsen and Gary Powell.
Newton Faulkner – 02 Academy
On a previous visit to Liverpool he performed at the Empire in Green Day’s American Idiot.
Now Newton Faulkner is back and he’s kicking off 2019 celebrating a decade in music with his new album, The Very Best Of Newton Faulkner…So Far.
A combination of favourite tracks from the past 10 years, as well as three brand new songs and a collection of covers, the album is a milestone in the songwriter’s career.
The Zutons – Olympia
Zuton fever has descended on Liverpool with a return to the stage for one of the city’s greatest modern musical exports.
But if you are still expecting to be able to get a ticket you may need to beg, borrow or wait for any rare returns as both nights at the Olympia on West Derby Road are already sold out.
The reunion tour marks the 15th anniversary of the album Who Killed…The Zutons?
Fame UK Reunion – Arena
High Fidelity, hi! It’s only the Kids From Fame, although more than 35 years on they’re not kids any more. But who of us are?
Anyway, it’s a chance for those of a certain age to relive their youth as eight of the original Fame TV stars - including Erica Gimpel (Coco), Valerie Landsburg (Doris), Lee Curreri (Bruno) and Carlo Imperato (Danny) – reunite to bring all those top Fame tunes to the stage live.
They will be joined by students from the city’s LMA in two concerts which will raise funds for Claire House Children’s Hospice.
The Rutles – Cavern Club
The Prefab Four are preparing to rock the Cavern this summer as part of their Get Up & Go Again Tour.
Neil Innes (Ron Nasty) and drummer John Halsey (Barry Wom) lead the ‘occasional supergroup’, performing more than 40 years after they filmed All You Need Is Cash.
Fans can expect all those singalong Rutles hits including I Must Be In Love, Cheese and Onions, Piggie in the Middle and the titular Get Up & Go.
The Icicle Works – 02 Academy
Join Liverpool’s The Icicle Works on their ‘35th anniversary tour’ which calls in at the 02 Academy this May.
Technically the band marks its 39th birthday in 2019, with Ian McNabb, bass player Chris Lahye and drummer Chris Sharrock first getting together in 1980.
The Liverpool date is part of a tour which includes gigs in London, Glasgow….and Holmfirth.
Rita Ora – Arena
Singer, songwriter and actress Rita Ora is appearing in Liverpool as part of her tour in support of her latest album Phoenix.
She’s performed on some of the world’s biggest shows, including Jimmy Kimmel and Ellen, and venues from Glastonbury to The White House and even The Vatican. Now she’s coming to the Echo Arena.
Ora will start her 2019 tour in Melbourne in March, taking in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia and mainland Europe before finishing in Glasgow on May 29.
The Waterboys – Philharmonic Hall
The Waterboys return to the Phil featuring the already classic seven-piece line-up they debuted in 2018.
Centred around the guitar and vocals of Mike Scott, the band's line-up also feature electric fiddle maestro Steve Wickham, Memphis soul man Brother Paul on keyboards, Aongus Ralston on bass, Jess Kav and Zeenie Summers on backing vocals, and drummer Ralph Salmins.
Many of their songs, including Fisherman's Blues, The Whole Of The Moon and How Long Will I Love You have become modern classics.
Take That – Anfield Stadium
It’s been over a decade since Anfield hosted a concert (remember Macca in Capital of Culture year?).
Now the stadium is breaking that duck and presenting one of the biggest bands of the last 20 years – Take That – at the start of a month of stellar gigs.
The Mancunians will play the LFC ground as part of their Greatest Hits Live 2019 tour.
Bon Jovi – Anfield Stadium
American rock legends Bon Jovi bring their ongoing This House Is Not for Sale tour to Anfield this summer.
It’s the first time in more than three decades the multi award-winning band, fronted by Jon Bon Jovi, have performed in the city so it’s going to be quite an occasion.
Expect all their biggest hits as well as songs from their most recent album.
Gladys Knight – Arena
The Empress of Soul herself is paying a rare visit to the city this summer to perform in the more intimate surroundings of the Echo Two.
Expect an evening of Knight classics from Midnight Train to Georgia to Licence To Kill, and The Way We Were and You’re The Best Thing (that ever happened to me) along with some songs from her critically-acclaimed latest album Where My Heart Belongs.
And In the End – Philharmonic Hall
Following on from their hugely successful tour in 2017/18, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the nation’s premier Beatles group, The Bootleg Beatles, join forces once again to deliver a Fab Four experience like no other.
Experience two of the Beatles’ most iconic albums performed afresh in this special musical collaboration, adding a classical twist and performing beautifully arranged symphonic versions of both Abbey Road and Let It Be.
The concerts are compered by the inimitable Neil Innes of Bonzo Dog and Rutles fame.
Little Mix – Arena
It was 2011 that Little Mix won X Factor and in the intervening eight years the girls have become pop superstars.
Now they have announced The LM5 Tour, a massive UK and Ireland arena tour for 2019 which comes to Liverpool on 21 and 22 October.
The shows will see Little Mix perform songs from their latest album alongside their greatest hits including Touch, Shout Out to My Ex, Black Magic and Wings.
Midge Ure – Philharmonic Hall
Midge Ure brings The 1980 Tour to Liverpool in 2019.
At the heart of the futuristic new dawn in the late 1970s were two records that set the template for what was to follow - Visage’s single Fade To Grey and Ultravox’s single Vienna.
Both records were co-written, recorded and produced by Ure, and not only transformed the charts around the globe, but his life in the process.
Brought to life by Ure and Band Electronica, this is the first time in the almost-40 years since it was made that the Vienna album will be performed in its entirety. It is also the first time that many of the songs from the debut Visage album will be played live.
Marillion – Philharmonic Hall
Marillion return to the Philharmonic Hall with an extended line up of musicians - featuring the In Praise of Folly String Quartet, plus Sam Morris on French horn and Emma Halnan on flute.
The band will be playing songs spanning a 14 album-career with Steve Hogarth, as 2019 celebrates 30 years of him joining.