The Week Ahead from Monday 27th Sep 2010: Manic Street Preachers, Jean-Michel Jarre, Sting and more

Posted: 22nd September 2010

It's a pretty busy and exciting time from Monday onwards, with several big names and much-fancied up and coming acts beginning tours. New theatre and arts productions are minimal but there is still something to savour for everyone.

This week:

All prices + booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below


Manic Street Preachers

Top of the pile is James Dean Bradfield's charges, who embark on a string of UK dates beginning on Wednesday in Glasgow, armed on most dates with a cracking support act capable of selling out their own concerts - British Sea Power. The gigs continue until the beginning of November, but some are already sold-out (Cambridge, London- 29th, Bristol, Newport, Bournemouth, Derby, Norwich, Edinburgh and Leeds) - the rest are selling fast at around £26 plus fees.

Jean-Michel Jarre

Old lazer-fingers (and genius creator of the first album I owned) is back and what a show he has promised for you. Even more dazzling lights, extravagant backdrops and classic instrumental passages from best-sellers "Oxygene", "Equinoxe" and "Magnetic Fields" plus later works such as "Téo & Téa" are expected. Tickets are still available priced £43.50 and the tour starts on Sunday 3rd in Glasgow.


From one instrumentalist to another, this time armed with an 'axe', the musical variety. Carlos Santana is a bewilderingly clever craftsman who has woven a mix of blues, rock, jazz and South American fusion for four decades. His last huge hit was "Smooth" in 1999, yet the man still sells out venues around the world. Catch the master at work from Wednesday onwards (in Dublin), followed by London, Manchester and Newcastle, all starting at around £38.50.


Continuing his 'Symphonicity' project with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra is Sting, armed with full orchestral versions of the man's legacy with The Police and the solo years. Prices for tickets nudge the 'steep' bracket, yet Gateshead and the Royal Albert Hall (1st) have sold through within the time it takes to sing the chorus to "Englishman in New York" - £35 - £76.50 for the remaining nights, including the second RAH concert.

Mayday Parade

Young and full of beans, Mayday Parade begin their first UK jaunt since 2008 by promptly selling out most of the venues pretty quickly. Word of mouth has certainly worked for these cheeky pups who begin their tour in Birmingham on Thursday. Glasgow, Leeds, Yeovil, Brighton and, surprisingly, London are still available.


It sure is a "Wonderful Life" - hit single, hit album and now a tour that is fast selling out - oh gawd, it's 1985 all over again with those braces and suits, yet their sound has a bit more depth than most 80's homage. The first date in Brighton on Saturday is sold out (as are most others), but you can still get tickets for Glasgow, Birmingham and Bristol - just. It's only £9 (plus fees) to get in as well.


Of a similar ball-game is Violens, fresh out of the US. They too have a small handful of headliners before joining Drums as support on tour. After appearing at the Rough Trade store in West London on Tuesday, they will play the Lexington on Wednesday (with Manchester and Leeds soon after) - tickets are just £7.

NME Radar Tour 2010

This tour stars two fawned-over new bands, The Joy Formidable and Chapel Club. The magazine-sponsored jaunt begins in Birmingham this Monday and continues around the usual university-cities until a return to London on 14th October. It's not often you can see two top acts on one bill for around a tenner. Go to it.

Fenech Soler

Another NME favourite band is Fenech Soler - they will embark on a lengthy meander across the nation, starting with Inverness on Wednesday. Many dates are around a tenner, some are selling fast - it's your move!


Not a tour as such, more a double-night residency with Placebo's welcome return to the capital on Monday and Tuesday next week, ably supported by duo Little Fish. The first date has long sold-out, but if you are quick enough you may just get standing tickets for Tuesday night - prices are £29.50 plus fees.

Also playing next week

Lonnie Liston Smith

You might like to consider the funk-jazz legend Lonnie Liston Smith (from Friday in Brighton), hefty-metallers on a mission, Architects (with guests from Thursday in Leeds), the hardest-working and noisiest band around The Jim Jones Revue (from Wednesday in Leicester) and Trevor Horn's first foray with The Buggles, supported by OMD and Claudia Brücken (tickets still available for the one-off London bash on Tuesday).

Shows/ Theatre


Beginning a three-month run at London's Novello Theatre is this soul-searching play written by award-winning playwright Martin Sherman, starring Robert Lindsay. The plot concerns the successful tycoon and playboy Aristotle Onassis and his hell-bent journey through women, businesses and power. Forget Sir Alan Sugar, Onassis was the real, though not admirable, deal. Starts Thursday - from £21.

Departure Lounge

An energetic youthful musical, written by Dougal Irvine, which tells the comical story of a group of teenagers desperately beating boredom at a Malaga airport. Naturally, the chatter and banter turns to the events of the past week away - and the less-than-exclusive shenanigans between one girl and the group's members. Playing at Waterloo East Theatre - £19.

Calendar Girls

The popular stage-production of a tale concerning the Women's Institute's decision to get naked for charity, begins a national tour from Monday in Liverpool (for six nights). Starring Jennifer Ellison and Mikyla Dodd, the tour continues across the country until next year.

Onegin [Ballet]

This is a charming ballet performed to Tchaikovsky's enchanting music, based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin and originally choreographed by John Cranko. It is a tragedy full of reversal of fortune - she becomes a successful aristocrat, he a despairing shadow of his former self. The ballet version plays here for the first time from Thursday, tickets start at £15.

Traces [Les 7 Doigts De La Main]

Hailed as a success in Edinburgh's Fringe in 2007, this show mixes real-life drama and physical circus routines, plus a spot of music to boot. You will witness the performers leap through hoops, balancing acts and general breath-taking feats whilst relating their stories to the audience. Playing at the Peacock Theatre, London from Tuesday - a show for all the family from £10 upwards.


Pam Ann

When a previous show has been entitled, "Pam Ann - Terror at 41000 Feet", you know you just have to witness it, or its subsequent follow-ups. Aussie comic Caroline Reid brings her fearsome creation to London from Wednesday. Playing at the Vaudeville Theatre - £23.50. Expect another pin-sharp performance for the woman who sold-out Hammersmith twice last year.

Jason Byrne

Loud excitable funnyman Jason Byrne will begin a five-night residency at the Leicester Square Theatre from Tuesday to Saturday. The latter has sold out, but the others are available from just £15.

Paul Pledger