The Week Ahead: What's on this week - Monday 6th September 2010?
It seems that tours are a bit thin on the ground this week, although a raft of legends seems to be sailing to the UK for a few exclusives. One London gig sold out within the time it takes to say the performer's surname. The summer festival season is also drawing to a close but what a way to round things off - Bestival AND End Of The Road, not bad at all. There are a few interesting theatre and comedy stints coming up as well - hey, you know what? It's not such a bad week after all - in fact, it's positively brimming with 'must-sees'.
All prices + booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below, or scroll down for the full event listing.
A nation is divided but his audience isn't - Doherty can still cut it, as proven at the Leeds/Reading Festival last weekend. Euphoric return for The Libertines? Seems like it and now a certain Mr Doherty is all booked up to appear at Brixton's Jamm for a very intimate bit of strumming. Saturday night's gig is already sold out, but keep checking back just in case of any returns (as if).
Another frontman bearing a huge support (behave, I mean his fans) is Killers' Brandon Flowers. Currently making short work of ticket allocations for his upcoming UK tour, Flowers is in the capital this week for two exclusive gigs, starting with Maida Vale Studios on Monday, followed by the Relentless Garage concert on Wednesday night (HMV competition only). Sold out, I hear you ask? 'Fraid so as indeed is his October Forum date (and the entire UK tour, for that matter) - keep 'em peeled right here for any additional he may announce.
After the disappointment of the above two selling out, you'll need "Good Times" a-plenty - and that's something that Nile Rodgers and Chic will have in abundance for their upcoming appearances. The master of the disco-bassline brings his pin-sharp band to London's Indigo2 on Friday as a pre-cursor to their Bestival slot on Sunday. Tickets are still available for £25.
In a similar, though less funky, soul ball-park is vocal-group The Drifters who, for several decades, have charmed many with their sweet harmonies and songs like "Up On The Roof" and "Under The Broadwalk". Catch them from Tuesday in Bristol (sold out) and then Manchester, Liverpool etc - £24.50 approx.
Break out the magic teapots and catch a ride on the flying egg, it's the return of Gong with a quartet of 'whirligigs' starting from Glasgow's on Thursday, Manchester's on Friday and London's on Saturday. All tickets for these three plus Birmingham's on the 20th (at the HMV Institute's opening night, no less) are available for around £18.50 plus fees.
If it's rock-legends you want more of then blues-rock guitarist Robin Trower is back on tour during September, starting with Cardiff from Wednesday onwards. The ex-Procul Harum axe-man's tickets won't turn you a whiter shade of pale either - around the £20 mark. To round off the rock section, we have another outfit obsessed with 'white', The Moody Blues. They begin a tour in Brighton on Tuesday, continuing to Plymouth (Wed), Cardiff (Friday) and many more - tickets are around £40.
This Canadian cult act hasn't played here for a fair while (three years) and with a new album entitled "All In Good Time", I guess it's par for the course. They've changed keyboardists but have lost none of their original jolly charm - something you can judge for yourself when they begin a run of gigs on Thursday in Bristol (right up until 26th in Dublin). £25 will get you in.
The eccentric acoustic pop flavour continues with the Keane/Mumfords supergroup Mt.Desolation who are also on tour from Thursday onwards. As word gets around, so the gigs sell out so get in quick (Sunday's Nottingham date IS still available for £10).
The Pop Group
Mark Stewart has a way with words as well as a way with anger, distortion and dubbed-up funk-punk, especially when curdled by The Pop Group. The legendary angsty outfit are back for a pair of very special reunion gigs at the Garage next weekend. I can't believe this hasn't sold out - but who's to say it won't? £17.50 plus fees for a truly mind-bending and ear-splittingly beautiful experience.
John Cooper Clarke
Sticking with wordsmiths, the motormouth from Salford, aka John Cooper Clarke continues his dry-humoured and poetic repartee around the UK with a sold-out stint in St Albans on Thursday, a slot at the Greenwich Festival on Saturday, before hitting the road again the following week (tour tickets cost £17.50). Harlow's finest poet returns to the town for a 30th anniversary concert on Wednesday. I am, of course, talking about Attila the Stockbroker with special guests and requisite tales about 'Nigel' and murderous kids in Wimpy bars. £5 admission.
This is set to be a monster of glorious proportions this year - Dizzee, La Roux, Hot Chip, Prodigy, Flaming Lips, Roxy Music and all sold out too - the fun starts on Thursday. End of the Road Festival 2010 is also close to selling out but if you fancy a sprinkling of Wilco, Iron & Wine and Mountain Goats (and many more) then £134.50 is the asking price for the whole weekend from Friday onwards.
Greenwich Comedy Festival
Greenwich Comedy Festival 2010
This most expansive of laugh-ins begins on Tuesday with performances and shows from John Hegley, Robin Ince and Tom Green (various prices), before further slots from Howard Marks, Stephen K Amos, Ed Byrne, Jerry Sadowitz, Jenny Eclair, Phill Jupitus, John Cooper Clarke and Bill Bailey spring to life. South East London won't have laughed so much in years.
Elvis Forever - A Celebration of the music of Elvis Presley
Not strictly a festival, more an all-dayer is the Elvis Forever shindig in Hyde Park next Sunday. Starring the very best in pop and rock (Fran Healy, Tony Hadley, Scouting For Girls, Imelda May etc), tickets are still up for grabs at £30, guaranteed to get you all shook up. Other festivals worth a mention include Devon's Ivylive 2010 starring Athlete and Magic Numbers (day tickets are £29.50 or £59.50 for the whole weekend) and the sold-out Harvest at Jimmy's 2010, starring Zutons, Kate Rusby and Newton Faulkner etc.
Monday sees the start of a two-week run of the best-selling musical "Evita" at the Salford Lowry Theatre. The story of Eva Peron has been stunning audiences for nigh-on three decades, made all the more famous by Madonna's interpretation later on. Songs include "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" and "Oh What A Circus". Tickets cost from £23 and the run ends on 18th September.
Hit Me! The Life and Rhymes of Ian Dury
Here is a show that does exactly what it says in the title - it tells the tale of one of England's greatest rock 'n' roll poets who passed away not so long ago. After the successful film-translation by Andy Serkis last year, comes a Garrick theatre production starring Mark White as Dury and Josh Darcy as his manager Fred Rowe. It traces his battles with fame, disability and his own demons - a production that sold out often during 2009. Tickets start at £30 from Thursday onwards.
Love on the Dole
This is a tale of battling against adversity, 1930's style. Playing at the Finborough Theatre in London, this portrayal of the Great Depression in Salford is probably not the first play you would consider seeing, especially as we are in similar circumstances these days, or so we think. Sheer poverty isn't going to keep a mother from supporting her family though and this recreation of Walter Greenwood's warts 'n' all story is as poignant as ever. Tickets cost £15 - starts Tuesday.
Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic
A great way to entertain the family - a touring ice-skating show rammed full of Disney songs from across the years. From Friday until 19th Sep, Glasgow's Braehead will host this magical show on a nightly basis with tickets starting from £19 approx to £38 for front-row views. The tour will then continue to Belfast, Nottingham and many more in the run up to Christmas.
BBC Proms in the Park
And finally the summer speeds to its conclusion (typical, the sun has come out) and so do the Proms. Don't forget that the 'Last Night Of The Proms' can be celebrated well away from the pomp and flags of the Royal Albert Hall, with other locations full of, er, pomp and flags. And why the hell not? London, Manchester and Swansea all have special evenings planned with Jose Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, John Barrowman and Catrin Finch all present and ready to join in the fun. It's tradition, like.