The Week Ahead from Monday 7th March 2011: Westlife, Seth Lakeman, McFly, The Charlatans, Iron & Wine and more
From Monday onwards you can choose from ex-boy-bands, indie favourites, punk stalwarts, folk heroes and a whole bunch of new theatrical treats in the form of comedies, musicals and strippers (well, at least that's got your attention), as well as a show full of home-comforts.
All prices are exclusive of booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below.
The fact that Westlife are heading up this article should suggest that the Irish man-clan (can't really call them a boy-band anymore) have still got what it takes to sell-out arenas. The Cardiff date on Monday certainly has, with many more only having limited seats left - tickets are £37.50 - £40.50.
The popular folks-man returns with members of his band for a rather more intimate UK tour than usual, starting with Shoreham-by-Sea on Wednesday, followed by Poole, Luton and more. Joined by Benji Kirkpatrick and Cormac Byrne, tickets cost £15 - £16.
We stay with boy-bands (just kidding, lads) with McFly who have gone through a bit of a renaissance of late (well, a slight change in style). Nottingham kicks off their UK tour on Saturday, followed by the usual city suspects - tickets are still available at around £28.50.
Stiff Little Fingers
One of punk's most enduring outfits hit the road once more, this time with their Roaring Blaze tour with Spear of Destiny in support. The tour begins in their hometown of Belfast on Saturday and calls at Dublin, Glasgow and then most of England - tickets are from £12.50 to £18.50.
Treading the acoustic route, rather than in full band mode, The Charlatans have briefly become just Tim Burgess and Mark Collins for a stripped-back version of themselves. Wrexam on the 9th is still available for £11, but many of the ensuing evenings have sold out already.
They may well hail from the US but Tairrie B and crew can count the UK as their main fan-base. Wednesday sees the metallers kick off a full tour in Bristol, followed by Winchester, London and many more, with all locations still having tickets for sale at £11 - £12.
Latin-metal bands don't visit the UK often, which makes their co-headlining tour with Breed 77 all the more special. Dates from Reading (Sunday) to Brighton (21st) all cost around £12.50. You might prefer the 5 band spectacular at 229 in London's Portland Street instead - it's on Saturday and costs £27.50.
Iron & Wine
More and more people are enjoying large measures of Beam (that's Sam not Jim) and his Iron & Wine moniker continues to garner rave reviews for the recent "Kiss Each Other Clean" album. The Roundhouse gig on Tuesday is one of four sold out (Brighton, Edinburgh and Manchester) - the rest should cost around £17.
Ninja Tunes favourites and electronic/drum 'n breaks trio Qemists begin a UK tour on Thursday in Bristol, followed by Sheffield, Manchester and more until Brighton on 19th March (that last one costs just £3 to get in!). Other nights cost £6 - £9.
Two Door Cinema Club
In addition to appearances at Isle of Wight, Rockness and other festivals, TDCC have lined up a series of headliners, including Glasgow on Thursday, the Roundhouse on Saturday and more throughout the spring. Not surprisingly, these are both sold out, as indeed are concerts next week from Duran Duran, Bruno Mars, Youssou N'Dour and Amos Lee.
Returning to the UK once again with their brand of fiery gypsy-rebel music is Gogol Bordello, hitting Bristol (Sunday - sold out), Edinburgh (14th - available) and Belfast (16th - available). Tickets cost £17.50 for the latter two.
It's been a very long time since Buffalo Tom graced our venues but on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Boston alt-rock trio will take on audiences in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Surprisingly, there are still a few tickets around for £15 - £17.50.
One of Africa's key performers during the past few decades will appear at the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday, his first visit since Meltdown 2009. Tickets are £20 upwards - previous sell-out concerts in London are a portent of what's to come, with his Notting Hill session on 23rd March long sold-out.
Bonecrusher Fest 2011
If gentle ballads are not your thing, head to the Islington Academy on Tuesday and the Birmingham Academy for an ear-bleeding burst of Bonecrusher 2011. With bands such as Dying Fetus, Annotations of an Autopsy and Keep of Kalessin on the bill, you can expect bloody gorecore galore! £13 - £15.
Theatre, Comedy and Arts
Sign of the Times
Playwright Tim Firth has previously had success with Calendar Girls, so this comedy-play about a signwriter-turned-novelist's dream of living happily ever after should do well at the Duchess Theatre, during its run from Monday to the end of May. Seats cost from £21.
Incest and debauchery abounds in this dark adult play by Portugese playwright, José Maria Eça de Queirós. Running at the Greenwich Playhouse from Tuesday until 3rd April, the story centres on rich aristocracy and the loving relationship between a brother and sister - the problem is, they don't know that they are siblings! £10 - £12.
Antony and Cleopatra
London's Rose Theatre will deliver its adaptation of Shakespeare's tragic tale from Wednesday onwards (until 2nd April). The story follows the doomed relationship between Egypt's Cleopatra and Roman politician Mark Antony and the effect it has on the Roman Empire. £10 - £12.
Tell Me on a Sunday
Reprising Marti Webb's role of an English girl who searches for love on the other side of the pond, is actress/singer Claire Sweeney. Lloyd-Webber's musical features the familiar song "Take That Look Off Your Face" and the show runs from Thursday onwards at Manchester's Palace Theatre - tickets from £15.
The Full Monty
The St Pauls Players from the Lancashire community of Adlington near Chorley are having a crack at the hilarious feel-good musical, The Full Monty from Monday until Saturday. The tale of a group of unemployed men-turned-strippers is probably not for youngsters (but no less funny) and tickets are just £8.
Leeesun very carefully - I will say zis only once! - The popular Lloyd and Croft comical wartime play, featuring Rene, Herr Flick and the 'Fallen Madonna with the big boobies' will resume on tour from Friday at the Rutland Uppingham Theatre, before heading off to Felixstowe and Whitley Bay later in the spring. Tickets start at £6.
Spike Milligan's Puckoon
The classic comedy, written by arch-wit and English eccentric Milligan, will hit the UK after a successful stint in Ireland. A tale of war, drink and a divided village all feature in this madcap comedy based on his book - the Leicester Square Theatre will host this stage show from Tuesday until Sunday 27th - seats are £23.
The Moscow Ballet brings the romantic and comic ballet by Delibes and Saint-Leon to Whitley Bay, Stockport and Dunfermline during the week ahead, as part of a short La Classique UK tour. This delightful tale of a man falling in love with an inventor's life-size dancing doll, has seats available from £20.50.
The Welsh National Opera are presenting this familiar Strauss operetta about Viennese-society at the Birmingham Hippodrome on Wednesday and Friday, before heading off to Bristol at the end of the month. Tickets start from £29.
Ideal Home Show
The Earl's Court Exhibition Centre plays host to the Ideal Home Show from Friday onwards, until the end of March. All your favourite lifestyle celebs will be on hand to steer you through the maze of home-improvement, including Linda Barker and Fiona Phillips. Tickets start from £11.