The Week Ahead from Monday 29th Nov 2010: Scissor Sisters, Faithless, Pendulum, Arcade Fire and more
A cracking week in prospect with many big names gracing stages up and down the country, be it music or theatre. Big names in line for 'album of the year' awards head up the music, while some rare plays begin their residencies at a few of London's key fringe-theatres.
All prices are exclusive of booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below.
Tours and Festivals
The native New-Yorkers are back in the UK for more disco-shenanigans, starting with Brighton on Thursday (standing only - £30) and Birmingham (£30) on Friday, before the gang replace the pounding synths and drums with acoustic guitars for a special charity bash in West London on Saturday (on sale 26th Nov - £35). The remainder of the tour carries on from the following Monday in Cardiff.
Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz bring their massive new album "The Dance" (and Example as support) to numerous venues from Tuesday onwards, starting with Bournemouth (seats only - £29.50) then Cardiff (Wednesday, standing only - £29.50) and many more right up to London's O2 on the following Saturday (seats only - £32.50). All other dates are still available.
Another chart-topping band with a decent supporting band in tow is Pendulum, fresh from the festival successes this year, as well as a transitional album "The Island". Their UK arena and stadium tour kicks off in Glasgow from Wednesday onwards, followed by Birmingham on Thursday and London on Friday. Tickets are still around at £22.50-£25, not bad considering you also get rockers Hadouken!
Here we have another band in line for a few 'album-of-the-year' awards - Arcade Fire certainly succeeded in taking the album "The Suburbs" to the suburbs and are now all set to fill a few stadiums next week. First stop is the O2 on Wed/Thurs, followed by sold-out dates in Dublin. Out of the remainder, only Manchester is sold-out with the rest costing £27.50. Psych-folker Devendra Banhart supports.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Gritty rock and roll with an edge has always been BRMC's forte, something which you can witness next week beginning with Portsmouth on Thursday, followed by Nottingham, Manchester etc. Tickets are still available, priced at £18.50 - the Brixton date on the following Saturday has all but sold out apart from seating (£22.50).
Belle and Sebastian
The Scottish pop-ensemble returns to the live circuit next week, with a forthcoming double-whammy. Their own headline tour begins in Belfast on Weds and Dublin on Friday, followed by a string of sold-out stints in Gateshead and Birmingham etc. Of course you'll be able to see them at this year's ATP Bowlie 2 in Minehead (10th-12th Dec) - that's if you can get tickets (some cabin options available). Prior to that, Godspeed You! Black Emperor will curate the ATP Festival running from Friday onwards - which is sold out!
A formidable fore-runner to the current wave of folky-pop strummers is Beth Orton, armed with a pile of new songs as well as her many popular favourites. Her first full tour in a while begins in Nottingham on Wednesday, followed by Holmfirth and Leamington (Thurs/Fri). It's not a huge tour but tickets are still in demand - tickets are around £17-£18. New album due in 2011!
The Human League
Phil Oakey and co have a veritable catalogue to choose from for their new upcoming jaunt, but the synth-pop legends actually have a brand spanking new album to parade in front of us. The album appears in March next year, but you need only wait until Monday to catch them in Norwich (£22) and several other towns next week. St Albans has sold out though.
80's Rewind - The Christmas Tour 2010
If the Thatcher years provided you with your favourite music ever, head to the 80's Rewind - The Christmas Tour 2010, which starts in Birmingham on Tuesday. £37.50 gets you Kool & the Gang, ABC, Go West and more.
Predictably I will claim that the Loaf will sing and perform like a 'Bat Out Of Hell' when he starts his arena tour next week, beginning in Cardiff on Monday, continuing to Bournemouth (Wed), Birmingham (Sun) and Wembley (the following Tuesday) plus many more. Even at £48, you can be assured of a total show, the Meat Loaf way. Less frenetic but from the same era, ex-Marillion-man Fish plays a rare date in Tavistock (near Plymouth) on Saturday, ahead of a short tour - £17.50 gets you in.
Hard Rock Hell
Hard Rock Hell IV
It's been a hefty old week for Metal on Allgigs - check out our full round-up ('Metal Round-up' link in the sidebar on the right) - and this head-banging festival takes place at Prestatyn's Pontin's Holiday Park from Friday, right through Saturday. Tickets cost £46 per day (or you can camp it up for £40 per person sharing). Accept and UFO headline the proceedings. Not mentioned in our Metal article, but no less influential, is Cathedral playing a one-off gig in Islington on Friday (£15) and Helloween in Kentish Town on Sunday (£20).
Capable of charming rock, pop and folk audiences alike is Frank Turner and the young troubadour has a new EP waiting in the wings. Called "Rock & Roll", it features 5 songs ahead of his next album, due in 2011, some of which you are bound to get a taste of from Wed onwards. Aberdeen is first stop on the tour - the excellent Ed Harcourt supports, making the £14-£15 admission a total bargain. Billy Bragg is surely a Turner influence - the Barking bard embarks on his tour from Wed in Hatfield - tickets are £16 upwards.
Two pioneers from the world of dance-music hit the decks next week - progressive house legend Sasha plays the Saturday Sessions at the Ministry of Sound on, you've guessed it, Saturday (£18), while hard-trance 'n' house Dutchman Ferry Corsten mans the decks at Birmingham's Gatecrasher on Saturday (£15 - Marco V supports).
Theatre, Arts and Comedy
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Not surprisingly, Christmas and pantomimes dominate this time of year and this wonderful adaptation at the Opera House, Manchester is just what you need during this cold weather. With Tina O'Brien from Corrie and other soap stars playing the lead characters, you're sure of star-studded fun - tickets are from £17.25 and the run begins from Saturday.
You know it's the Festive season when "The Snowman" comes to the West End. You'll be 'walking on air' with this updated adaptation at the Peacock Theatre, but still packed full of your favourite moments and THAT song, plus it's a Sadler's Wells/Birmingham Rep collaboration. The season starts on 1st December and tickets start at £12.
Midsummer (A Play with Songs)
There are a few key new plays starting in the capital this week, starting with this romantic play appearing at the Tricycle Theatre, London. For two months (from Wednesday) you can transfer yourself to Edinburgh during Midsummer, to watch the events surrounding two totally ill-suited people who probably shouldn't get it on. But they do. Tickets cost from £15.
Decline and Fall
Evelyn Waugh's classic satirical novel about the failings and foibles of 1920's British society, appears on stage for the very first time at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington from next Tuesday. The cast includes one-time Doctor Who Sylvester McCoy. Some evenings have already sold out, so be quick - tickets are £16.
The ever-reliable Fulham theatre, The Finborough, has unearthed another JM Barrie comedy in the vaults. "Quality Street" (apt for the time of year, perhaps) is a comic tale set around the time of the Napoleonic Wars and follows the (mis)fortunes of two school teachers, a victorious army's return and a dazzling beauty. Preview shows run on Tues/Weds, priced at £5-£9 (£5-£13 for all other dates).
Taste of Christmas
Like Quality Street (the sweets, not the play), this really is a 'taste of Christmas', a jam-packed Festive exhibition designed to inspire and tempt you to maybe try something different this year, rather than slamming a scrawny old bird in the oven. Top-class chefs, restaurants, vintners and market stalls are just some of the attractions on offer from Friday to Sunday - tickets cost £19, with the option of purchasing 'Crowns' (the exhibition's currency to buy goods).
Stephen K Amos
The comedy scene is deathly quiet this week, as far as new tours are concerned, but Stephen K Amos is playing an exclusive night at this fabulous Islington venue on Saturday (3rd). A very special secret guest (a big name) is also promised, as well as The Thick Of It star Will Smith. £15 to get in - but hurry!