"It's looking like a beautiful day" - that very line should provide a very subtle hint as to the biggest and hottest ticket of the week. Elsewhere it's a big week for indie-bands old and new and a brand new musical.
Truly on the verge of even-greater things, Manchester's prodigal sons have recently announced the release of a new album early in 2011, coinciding nicely with a full-blown tour of the British Isles. Nine arena dates including Glasgow, Sheffield, Cardiff and London, all taking place during March, should see the man Garvey reach out to a wider audience and deservedly so. The asking price is £27.50 plus fees - get busy with the mouse on Friday morning, there really will be just 'one day like this'.
It seems the temptation to play their classic "Screamadelica" live anywhere else, other than London next year has caused Bobby Gillespie to lose control of his senses and announce a proper tour. Not only that but another London date has been included in next year's jaunt, to add to the sold-out Olympia gigs in November. The magnificent seven dates start in Leeds (14th March) and continue back to Brixton (25th March), via the usual big cities. They've cunningly shoe-horned Brighton in (on 22nd) for anyone missing out on Brixton - a spot of "Loaded" by the sea, anyone? Tickets will fly at £28.50-£37.50.
As seen on Sunday breakfast TV, Manchester's Russell Watson is set to release an album of Italian love-songs and arias later this year. He has announced a lengthy 2011 tour this morning with calling-points from Manchester via Liverpool to Ipswich, plus a night at the Royal Albert Hall (3rd May - this will surely increase by a couple more nights). Tickets are due to go on sale at 10AM, priced from £25 upwards.
With the resurgent interest in matters post-punk, it shouldn't be a surprise to see that Interpol's self-titled fourth album clawed its way into the Top 10 album-listings recently. You also won't be surprised to notice another string of UK dates appear on the schedule for next year, taking in towns and cities that have missed out on the 2010 dates in December. Bournemouth, Bristol, Cambridge and Leeds go on sale this Friday - be the first! Brixton's 8th December is selling quickly by the way!
Ian Astbury and co are back with new material as well as their classic "Love" album from 30 years ago - they will play a series of gigs early next year, starting with Leeds on 18th January right up to Manchester on the 30th. £28-£30 will get you the Cult experience and explosive performances of "She Sells Sanctuary", "Revolution" and new tracks from "Capsule 1".
The squeaky clean Irish pop-rock sensations had pretty much sold out their 2011 Ireland dates in minutes, according to their website, so expect these to fly out as well. From Liverpool to Cardiff, via destinations such as London, Newcastle and Plymouth, you can expect to pay £25-£26.50 for these large-scale/arena 2011 dates. Number one albums do tend to cause a rush - "Science and Faith" hit the top slot in the UK as well as Ireland.
Following in the similar footsteps of The Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Tinie Tempah is teenager Fugative. Using 'grime' as a leg-up and now employing the sounds of a genre he calls 'hip-pop', the young wordsmith has announced his own tour in December, starting initially with four dates in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Colchester (nearest to his home region, I guess). Tickets are dirt-cheap as well, mostly under a tenner.
This looks like the start of a possible longer jaunt around the UK, but for now just two special gigs have been announced in support of his next studio album due in late spring 2011. Wembley Arena on 31st March and Manchester's Apollo on 2nd April have been confirmed so far, with support for the "Illmatic" rapper coming from Damian "Jr Gong" Marley. Tickets are from £31.50.
Shrek The Musical
Beginning a massive 200+ date run at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is 'Shrek - The Musical', starting on 6th May 2011 until well into 2012. The lovable green creature will feature in a special family show with all of his usual friends including Donkey, tickets costing from £14.25 plus fees.
Supertramp's legendary vocalist Roger Hodgson has just announced a special Royal Albert Hall on 25th May with tickets priced at £32.50-£37.50. Parody is high on the menu with America's 'Weird Al' Yankovic, this time with the threat of Lady GaGa joining his ever-expanding repertoire - tickets are around £25 (the HMV Forum gig is already on sale). Alt-country rockers Jenny and Johnny have teamed-up for a few UK dates at the end of this year while prog-rock legends Magnum have added three more dates to their 2011 tour, including Newcastle, Oxford and Bristol (still no London though). Finally, much-acclaimed neo-soul singer Janelle Monae has announced a pair of headliners in December.