It seems that May is a popular time to start your tour, regardless of whether you are a newbie or an established act. Just about every artist in our round-up is on tour for the whole of the month or, in the case of Jools Holland, starting an occasional run of dates in an array of venues around the UK. Barry Manilow has decided against touring, preferring to bed-down in London for a few nights. There is also a real cross-section of events in the arts world that you can feast your eyes on, particularly the Real Food Show at Earl's Court.
All prices are exclusive of booking fees. For ticket availability, click on the images, below.
Jools Holland and His Rhythm 'n Blues Orchestra
Once again the talented blues pianist will be embarking on an extensive UK tour, calling at a few open-air locations later in the summer. Next week however, his inaugural stop is in Hastings on Thursday - tickets are £32.50 and still available.
After much excitement and hype, the legendary songwriter returns to the UK for a quartet of shows at the O2 Arena. Tickets are still available for all four shows, priced at a reasonable (for such a big name) £25. A new album tentatively called "15 Minutes" is due sometime this year.
The ex-UB40 frontman is carving himself a very lucrative solo career, thank you very much, as he promotes his recent Top 20 album, "Great British Songs". You'll no doubt get a few of his '80s anthems, as well as new material which he has been working on. First stop next week is Thursday's show in Oxford, followed by London, Liverpool and Newcastle, all priced at £22.50 (or £30 for London).
A veritable treat awaits hip-hop fans during the week ahead as Rakim sets about bringing you credible support, as well as his own very capable mixture of rhyming and beats. Guests include DJ Format and Klashnekoff and prices for Bristol, Nottingham and Glasgow ranging from £13 to £22.50. He will then take up the support mantle at the sold out London show from Black Star and De La Soul on 10th May.
Taking a break from vocal duties with Big Country, Mike Peters and The Alarm will be hitting the road for the majority of May, starting with Hull on Thursday. The 30th anniversary 'Sound and the Fury' tour will also take in Edinburgh (8th), London (21st) and Gloucester (28th) and tickets cost from £10 upwards.
Leaving behind his recently-reformed Libertines, Doherty begins a solo UK tour from Tuesday onwards, starting with Leamington and continuing across most of the UK until Belfast on 29th May. The London date on the 10th has sold out, but the remaining ones are up for £18.
Panic! At The Disco
If you were hoping to see PATD over the next couple of weeks and you haven't got a ticket, you might be out of luck. Other than Portsmouth and Norwich, priced at £15, this short tour has sold out, including next week's stints in Glasgow, Birmingham and London. They are also confirmed for Reading and Leeds Festivals later in the summer.
Now a regular name on festival line-ups, it's rare to see Wild Beasts headlining their own shows these days. From Thursday onwards, you can catch them in Gateshead and then Glasgow on Friday, Cumbria on Saturday etc until Gloucester on 13th May. Their two London dates have long sold out, with the remaining still available for £12.50 upwards.
There has been a change to vocal duties in Heaven's Basement with the new replacement Aaron Buchanan recently unveiled. The band's debut album will follow their UK tour with co-headliners Jett Black, starting on Thursday in Leicester and finishing in Exeter on the 22nd - all tickets are under a tenner!
Gentleman's Dub Club
If a rattling good night of reggae and ska, done the 21st century way, is to your liking then you should definitely head out to join the Gentleman's Dub Club's ever-growing legion of fans. During May, the nine-piece band will play Bath on Tuesday with further stops such as Brighton, Tunbridge Wells and Southampton - tickets are upwards of £7.
With a new album ("I Was Here For A Moment, Then I Was Gone") waiting in the wings, this tour will give fans of this mainly instrumental band a taste of the new tracks. First stop is Leeds on Monday, followed by Preston, Stoke and finally London on 22nd May - later dates are part of a four-way tour with Earthtone 9, The Ocean and Humanfly.
His new album "Colour Of The Trap" features Noel Gallagher and Alex Turner as guests, but it'll be solo all the way for Miles' upcoming UK tour. Kane's first stop is Stoke on Wednesday, followed by Darlington and more until Brighton on 22nd May - tickets are £9, except for London, Southampton and Manchester which are sold out.
Florida's rockers are becoming big news, especially with a couple of dates on their tour selling out already. Leeds and Newcastle have run out, but remaining nights in Birmingham (opening night on Saturday) up til Belfast on 19th May are still available for around £17.50.
Back by popular demand and playing six shows across the UK is country-rock band Drive-By Truckers. They kick off in Leamington on Wednesday followed by London, Bristol and more until Leeds on the 11th. Expect to hear their recent album "Go Go Boots". Other tickets on sale this week include Deerhoof, Bill Callahan (Smog), Joseph Arthur and Fixers.
The Damnation Of Faust
Berlioz's heady and epic operatic and orchestral work will begin a month long run at the home of the English National Opera, the London Coliseum from Friday onwards. Tickets are still available for the show, priced from £15 to £95.
I Am A Camera
Set in 1930's Berlin and an ever-so-slightly small influence of the musical, "Cabaret", is this play performed at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in London. For £10, you can follow the story of two people trapped in a world of fascism and poverty, drink and drugs and their own friendship. Written by John van Druten, the production begins a month-long residency from Tuesday.
Shrek The Musical
Sadly, not a warts-n-all song and dance extravaganza about our grumpiest footballer, but rather an altogether more rewarding family spectacular starring everyone's favourite green-eared monster. The Drury Lane Theatre Royal will host the show for several months until February 2012 and well worth seeing with tickets costing £14.25.
Verdict [Agatha Christie]
We all love a mystery, right? Especially with Agatha Christie at the controls, literally speaking and this production of her tale of morals, hidden love and a spoilsport called Helen, is all set to perform at York's Grand Opera House. Tickets for the six shows start at £12.
Henry IV Part 1
London's Rose Theatre on Bankside will host a short run for this Shakespeare classic from Friday onwards. Hailed as 'an Elizabethan blockbuster', the story covers the battles between the English and the French and was first performed in the 16th-century at the very same location. Tickets are just £12.
Real Food Festival 2011
Earl's Court will host this annual show of foodie heaven and culinary delights, featuring big cheffy names such as Jason Atherton, Nick Watt, Jun Tunaka and Giorgio Locatelli performing cooking demos, as well as stalls selling a variety of quality food and drink. Tickets for next weekend's shows cost from £13.50.
Grand Designs Live
Meanwhile across the other side of London in Canning Town, the ExCeL centre is hosting a different lifestyle show devoted to the bigger and bolder side of property renovation and construction. Kevin McCloud and resident experts will play their part in making your dreams come true - tickets cost £14 for weekend tickets while £11 is the asking price for weekdays.
Covering all manner of Latin music and dance styles is Tap Olé, a Catalonian dance-company that performs flamenco, jazz and rhythms of the Med region. They will perform at the Peacock Theatre from Tuesday until Saturday with tickets costing just £10 upwards.
What? Don't mention the tour? Too late, because ex-Monty Python and Fawlty Towers legend, John Cleese, has already sold out several dates on his upcoming 'Alimony' tour, including his opening city, Cambridge next week. Wednesday's show has a few tickets left at £32.50, but the rest have all gone and it's a similar story for his next stop, Birmingham.