The Week Ahead from 31st Jan 2011: White Lies, Paul Weller, Madness, Joan as Policewoman, Feeder, Penguin Cafe and more
Finally, 2011 starts to kick into gear during February with some big names starting to loom on the horizon, all armed with their cunningly released new albums (or at least forthcoming). The week ahead is no exception - it's rammed with many big boys - read on!
All prices are exclusive of booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below.
Having just issued their acclaimed "Ritual" album recently (we gave it 3.5 stars, by the way), Ealing's White Lies take the new songs (and the old) on the road for a nearly-sold out UK tour, starting in Cambridge on Friday. If you have only just landed on Earth, you can steer that spaceship towards Norwich, Brighton, Shepherd's Bush, Glasgow and Newcastle - the only locations with tickets at face value!
Their new album "Red Barked Tree" is a bit of a brooding beast and possibly their best since "A Bell Is A Cup", so no pressure with their upcoming live dates - they've been performing live since the mid '70s and are still the mutt's nuts. They open the UK tour in Brighton on Tuesday, followed by a night at London's Scala on Wednesday (and many more afterwards). Tickets start at £14.
The folk-rock legends who always pull in the crowds are back for a busy, yet spread-out, February, beginning with an appearance at York's Grand Opera House on Tuesday. Tickets for this one start at £19, but you might want to check their other chosen venues - an interesting mix!
A victim of the severe winter-weather (and clearly in need of buying himself some skis), was Mr Weller who literally became stranded en route between two venues during December. He plays his two rescheduled gigs in Aberdeen (Thursday - standing tickets available for £35) and Newcastle (Friday - seating available also for £35). The Rifles are supporting.
Also victims of the same icy shenanigans before Christmas were those Nutty Boys who will play their two rescheduled nights on Saturday in Hull and Sunday in Sheffield. Unlike Mr Weller's concerts, there are no tickets left (except resales) for this pairing, further proof of the demand for a bit of Madness.
The Go! Team
We can lay claim to one thing - this lot's new album is a jolly affair and no mistake (review soon come!), so you may well want to muscle in on some action from this never-less-than-interesting instrumental/soul-pop outfit. Their first gig is in Glasgow on Thursday, followed by more Scottish gigs and then nearly a month of live action. Tickets are £12 (or £14 for London).
Held in high-esteem by many (including our Solange), The Bravery begin a four-night weekly residency in Hoxton on Tuesday, the first of which has already sold out - the others are still available in limited numbers for £12.77 (odd price thanks to the VAT-man), plus the in-between regional dates in Brum, Glasgow etc are up for a tenner each.
Joan as Policewoman
Another act with a new album, "The Deep Field" (out now) is Joan Wasser, singer and violinist and contributor to Lloyd Cole's recent set. Her first night is in Oxford next Tuesday, before hitting Brighton, Nottingham, Bristol, London and many more. Her gigs cost £15 and there are some left for all concerts.
Busy in the studio for the last few weeks has been Welsh rock-band Feeder, aiming to have a new album ready as soon as possible. Their recent tweets have revealed that New York has been home for a while - now they start their new tour on Friday in Belfast, before resuming next week in Liverpool, Leeds and many more. Note that face value tickets for Dundee, Cambridge and Leamington have sold out - the rest are £20 - £22.50.
Next Saturday sees the return of one of the most quintessentially English neo-classical/nu-folk outfits from the past 40 years, reform, rename and reconvene with a different line-up. New material beckons, but first it's the unlikely location of Croydon that heralds the start of touring activity next Friday. After this, they team up with jazz act Portico Quartet from Saturday onwards. Tickets vary from £15 upwards.
It's certainly going to go all Pete Tong in Portsmouth next Saturday night - the 'Essential Selection/ Essential Mix' master is appearing at the Pyramid for a rare DJ-ing set in the city. Tickets are just £15. Expect guests and the usual array of classic tracks and breaking new tunes from the Radio 1 legend.
Next Big Thing
Next Big Thing 2011
For the next couple of weeks, dozens of up and coming artists and performers will vie for your attention, provided you live in or near London - first up on Friday are sets from Anna Calvi, James Blake, Skepta and more spread across numerous venues. Many are sold out - click the image for the full list.
Kerrang! Relentless Tour 2011
This branded event attempts to get out a bit more than Next Big Thing, plus the line-up of Good Charlotte, Four Year Strong and Framing Hanley remains consistent throughout the tour which begins in Dublin on Friday, followed by Southampton, Norwich and university towns throughout February. It's pretty much sold-out apart from balcony seats at the Birmingham gig (17th).
NME Awards Tour
NME Awards Tour 2011
Another magazine and another important tour, this time in support of their annual awards. Four big names in: Crystal Castles, Magnetic Man, The Vaccines and Everything Everything ensures that your £15 - £17 is money well spent - and when you think about it, when did you last spend under £20 and see four top-notch chart bands? The first night is in Glasgow on Thursday.
Theatre, Comedy and Arts
The pub landlord has an extensive UK tour coming up later in the year (he added some dates earlier this week), but prior to all that he is rehearsing for a new Channel 4 show called "My Funniest Year". For just a fiver you can join in with celebrating The Pub Landlord's favourite moments from 1997, featuring archive clips and Murray patter. The gig takes place on Thursday on the moored Tattershall Castle on Victoria Embankment and there are now just a handful of tickets remaining.
This touring production of the popular musical (from the '80s film) should enable everyone to get a little footloose (and fancy free). Next week, the lively all-dancing, all-singing show begins the first of six performances in Southampton on Monday (until Saturday). Seats cost £25 and still available before it heads off to Milton Keynes from the following Monday (7th).
The all-dancing troupe from Britain's Got Talent resume touring by playing two nights in Manchester, then Liverpool, Grimsby, York etc, right through until March. Tickets for the shows start at £20 and you can expect energy and nimble-footedness par excellence.
Otherwise translated as "The Magic Flute", this very famous Mozart opera will begin a short residency at the splendid Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (they've just announced their new season - we'll have more of that in our newsletter, so sign up now! [http://www.allgigs.co.uk/newsletter.php - helpful Ed]). Opening night is on Tuesday and tickets are few and far between for pretty much all nights.
Just down the road from Covent Garden sees the ENO presenting the incredible Donizetti opera based on the Victor Hugo play of the same name. As usual with opera, passion jealousy and murder-plots abound and tickets are still available for the month-long residency from Monday onwards, priced from £10 upwards.
The Taming of the Shrew
Hoxton's Courtyard Theatre will host their production of Shakespeare's "Taming Of The Shrew" from Tuesday until 20th Feb, with tickets costing just £10 - £12 for all performances. This is one of the Bard's greatest comedies, full of trickery and sub-plots and well worth witnessing.
Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre will feature an award-winning playwright's new work from Wednesday onwards - Andrew Sheridan's "Winterlong" concerns Oscar, a character who surrounds himself with losers up to the point where he must decide whether to take flight, or remain trapped in the underworld. Tickets are £10.
Why go all the way to the West End, if you live in Oxfordshire? Abingdon's Unicorn Theatre is presenting the acclaimed Mike Leigh play made famous in the '70s, "Abigail's Party", from Wednesday onwards for four nights. Presented by the Old Gaol Theatre Company, tickets for this social commentary that seems oddly relevant today cost £7 (but they are selling fast).
Deirdre and Me
From one '70s icon to another - Corrie's Deidre Barlow, the subject of dowdy Susan White, writer Rachael Halliwell's character in this one-woman comedy-play. Brockley Jack Theatre (in South East London) will present this light-hearted evening for four nights only - £8 - £10.