Perhaps the most diverse week of 2011, from Monday 14th March, you have a choice of classic rock, pop, hip hop, a bit of grime, plenty of metal, a few laughs, ballet and the odd new musical-or-two.
All prices are exclusive of booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below.
Tickets for Londoner Kate Nash's March/ April UK tour are now in short supply for some venues - sold-out for many others. The singer will start her tour at Stoke-on-Trent's Sugarmill on Sunday 20th March, continuing to Edinburgh on 10th April, hitting London, Liverpool and many others in-between. Tickets are still available at face value for: Northampton, Bournemouth, Brighton, Reading, Bath, Yeovil, Liverpool, Durham, Edinburgh - but they are likely to be snapped-up quickly, now.
The Toto axe-man will be over in the UK on two separate occasions in 2011 - next week, as part of his 'All's Well That Ends Well Tour' UK tour, then once more complete with his band of accomplished musicians as Toto in June. His short tour takes him to Leamington Spa, Manchester, Holmfirth and finally Dublin on Sunday 20th March.
With another UK tour just announced (featuring Lemar - tickets on sale Friday), the Spanish smoothie will hit UK and Ireland arenas from Friday 18th March, starting in Dublin, then moving south to Belfast, across the Irish sea to Newcastle, then Manchester, London and finally Birmingham on Saturday 26th. Face value tickets for Dublin and Belfast are long-since sold-out, but there are still some at face value for all other dates.
The Teenage Cancer Trust ambassador will play two dates next week - one at the helm of the Teenage Cancer Trust in the Royal Albert Hall, the other in Bournemouth. The Who main man will play Bournemouth's O2 Academy on Saturday 19th March, then the Royal Albert Hall the following Thursday. Tickets for both (£26.50/ £35 - £75 for London) are still available, but are now quite limited for the London gig.
Primal Scream will once again hit UK venues with their popular "Screamadelica live" tour. Starting in Leeds on Monday, and supported throughout by DJ/ remixer Andrew Weatherall, the tour then hits Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester (x2), Brighton, Leicester and finally a double-header in London at the Brixton Academy. The Brixton dates have the added bonus of The Orb Sound System and On-u-Sound's Adrian Sherwood as support (as well as Andrew Weatherall). Face value tickets are available for all but the Leeds, Glasgow and first Manchester gigs, priced around £29 (£37.50 for London).
Shayne Ward has been away from the UK gig (and record) scene for a long time now, with his last UK tour taking place in 2008, but now the X Factor 2005 winner is back with a new (ish) album - 'Obsession' - released at the tail-end of last year, and an eight date UK/ Ireland tour starting in Wolverhampton on Tuesday, continuing to London, Manchester and Glasgow, before going to mainland Ireland for the Irish leg of the tour, which closes with a double-date at Dublin's Olympia Theatre on Saturday and Sunday 26th/ 27th March. Tickets for all dates are on sale now, priced around £25 (£26.50 for London/ 39.20 for the Irish dates).
With their December tour a runaway success, New York's Interpol return for some more UK action, with dates in Bournemouth (Friday 18th), Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds and finally London's Shepherds Bush Empire on Wednesday 23rd March. Tickets cost £22.50 for all dates except London (£25), note that face value tickets for Bristol are now sold-out.
Yet another artist who has eyes for the UK is Katy Perry, who's two-leg 'California Dreams 2011' UK tour kicks-off modestly at the Hammersmith Apollo with a trio of dates from Thursday 17th, then upping the ante to arena dates in Manchester, Liverpool, Dublin, Nottingham, Bournemouth, Cardiff, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow and finally a date at Wembley Arena on 9th April. And the bad news for fans is that face value tickets sold-out in the blink of an eye, the good news is that there are still tickets for her autumn tour, and even better - new dates for London and Glasgow go on sale this Friday (11th March) at 9am.
Multi award-nominated folk band The Unthanks tour the UK for exactly one month from Saturday 19th March at the Phoenix in Exeter until 19th April, where the tour finishes in Hebden Bridge, stopping-off at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, Manchester Cathedral, the Journal Tyne Theatre - near their neck of the woods, and many more. Tickets cost around £15 (more for London, Liverpool, Manchester and Hebden Bridge) and are sold-out for Bristol and Cambridge.
The Squeeze guitarist and singer will head-off on a quirky little tour title 'Chris Difford and his Imaginary Friends Tour ' starting at the Junction in Cambridge on Sunday 13th March, ending reasonably close to his childhood stomping-ground at the Wapping Project on 2nd April, with an intimate date at the Pizza Express in Maidstone followed by a date at the Royal Albert Hall with Squeeze a few days later, and further dates the length and breadth of England and Scotland. Tickets for most dates are still available, costing £10 - £15 for the tour dates (£25 - £75) for the Royal Albert Hall Squeeze (Teenage Cancer Trust) date.
Funky jazz-punk band Pigbag reformed (of sorts) this year, with - I think I'm right in saying - their first UK dates since the '80s. The band, now sporting acclaimed trombonist Annie Whitehead will take floor-filler 'Papa's got a Brand New Pigbag' amongst many other songs on the road for a whistle-stop tour encompassing Exeter's Phoenix (Friday 18th), London (Jazz Cafe on 26th) and finally (currently) Fiddlers in Bristol on 8th April. Tickets available, costing £10 - £18.50 (London).
Since he's had commercial success, Skepta is just a sell-out. No, I don't mean he's sold-out artistically, I mean he has just sold-out his entire March tour, with the exception of Cardiff. If you have tickets, you can catch the Roll Deep/ Boy Better Know DJ and producer in Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Cardiff and London from Monday.
The Maine are another band which have sold-out - again, not artistically, but ticket-ly. Appearing in the UK in October with Mayday Parade (which sold-out), who are from Arizona, not Maine, have repeated history with another - almost-complete sell-out. Never Shout Never provide the support for the tour, which starts on Wednesday in Brighton, running until 24th March where the tour ends at KOKO. The only gig with tickets available at face value now is Manchester, costing £11.23.
Raekwon the chef embarks on a brief UK tour, with dates in Edinburgh, Manchester, London (HMV Forum) and finally Brighton from Tuesday until Saturday. Tickets to see the Wu-Tang rapper range from £13 (Manchester) to £18.50 (London/ Brighton) - still available. Fellow Wu-Tanger GZA is also over in the UK next month.
The first of the "proper" festivals for the 2011 season is Hammerfest - the annual Prestatyn resident, taking place at Pontin's Holiday Park. The 2011 event is the third annual festival, staged by Metal Hammer magazine and it will feature: Accept, Wolf, Revoker, Sylosis, ill Niño, Municipal Waste, Breed 77, Turisas and many more across the Friday and Saturday. Day passes cost £51, with a two day pass costing £96, or from £282 for a two bedroom ticket, with many other options available.
Betty Blue Eyes
Musical, Betty Blue Eyes opens at the Novello Theatre from Saturday 19th March. Adapted from Alan Bennett and Malcolm Mowbray's comic film 'A Private Function', Betty Blue Eyes tells the tale of Betty - a pig who is being illegally reared to ensure that the local dignitaries can celebrate the forthcoming Royal Wedding with a lavish banquet, whilst the rest of the country tighten their belts in post-war Britain. Starring Sarah Lancashire and Reece Shearsmith, tickets range from £15 (limited) to £40.
Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story
This popular musical, telling the story of early Rock 'n Roll pioneer Buddy Holly, was resident in the West End from 2007 to 2009, returning as a touring show in early 2009. Now it's back, and touring again from 14th March (Bristol) until 15th October (Carlisle), calling at Manchester, Sunderland, Edinburgh and Tyne and Wear in between. Tickets cost from £18.50 to £26.50.
The last of Terence Rattigan's (whose Flare Path opened in the West End last week) plays, Cause Célèbre opens at the Old Vic on Thursday 17th March. The play is based on the true story of Alma Rattenbury, who went on trial with her much-younger lover for the murder of her husband. Causing a public outcry, Alma's fate lies in the hands of a sexually repressed jury forewoman. Tickets cost from £15 to £43.50 and the play runs until 11th June.
Two different productions of Macbeth running almost concurrently in London this month, with a third on the way next month? It's enough to make Shakespeare blush! First up is the version at Croydon's Clocktower (17th/ 18th) and Greenwich Theatre (21st - 23rd), produced in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company and English Touring Theatre, featuring just six actors. Tickets start at £10. Next is the Lazarus Theatre Company's production at the Blue Elephant theatre (22nd Mar to 16th Apr) in Camberwell, featuring an ensemble cast of over 15 actors. Tickets cost £9.50 - £12.50.
Javier de Frutos - The Most Incredible Thing
With an original score composed by Pet Shop Boys, choreography by award-winning Venezuelan dancer and choreographer Javier de Frutos and featuring former Royal Ballet star Ivan Putrov, The Most Incredible Thing is a modern fairytale, showing at the Sadler's Wells from Thursday 17th March until Saturday 26th March. Tickets are now in limited supply, costing £10 to £35. Note that whilst the show is family-friendly, under-5s are not allowed.
'Still Life' at the Penguin Café is a contemporary ballet created by David Bintley and scored by the late Simon Jeffes and the Penguin Cafe (Orchestra), which made its debut 1988. Showing at the Royal Opera House along with the Frederick Ashton and Alastair Marriott ballets Rhapsody/ Sensorium and featuring the Royal Ballet, tickets (very limited now) range from £4.10 to £71.30.
Prior to his debut "Hello Ladies" UK tour from September (tickets selling fast!), Ricky Gervais' right-hand-man will head to Bush Hall for a "Bush Hall presents: A Mighty Night of Comedy" gig on Friday 18th March, with comedy magician Pete Firman, Holly Walsh and Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell as the host. Tickets have now sold out.
Popular comedian and TV presenter Dave Gorman presents new monthly night: "Dave Gorman's Screen Guild" at the Hoxton Hall from Saturday 19th March, featuring Dave, a laptop, a big screen and guests (hand-picked by Dave). The debut night has sold out, but there are tickets for all of the other monthly performances until July. Tickets are a pocket-friendly £12.
Veteran Northern Irish comedian will play a few UK dates this spring, opening in Newcastle on Monday, then Ayr (with Mick Miller), Boston (Lincolnshire), Morecambe and finally (currently) Manchester. Because of the way he tells them, you can guarantee it's going to be a cracker... [ouch! - Ed]