George Michael plays the orchestra for 2011 Symphonica UK tour - tickets on sale Monday 16th May

Posted: 11th May 2011

This is a much-anticipated return to the live circuit and hopefully the beginning of a trouble-free era in the singer's chequered career thus far. He is set to tour the UK, as well as play a four night residency at the Royal Albert Hall during a European tour from August to December and it'll be his first tour of the country since the middle of the last decade (he played a couple of London gigs in 2008, admittedly).

The banner for the jaunt is "Symphonica", which may or may not hint at the theme of his next material - a mixture of symphonic and electronic sounds interesting (and hopefully better than his iffy rendition of New Order's untouchable "True Faith", recently), although rumours of him covering Depeche Mode's "Behind The Wheel" are entirely unfounded, by the way [Not Tommy Steele's 'Crash, Bang, Wallop! (what a picture)'? - Ed]. You can expect sweeping orchestral arrangements of his sizeable catalogue (perhaps "Faith", "Father Figure", "Fast Love" etc), as well as tracks from, what is rumoured to be, a dance-flavoured new album, due later this year.

Back to the tour we go then and first stop is the Royal Albert Hall in London for 4 nights from 25th to 29th October (not the 27th, unless demand dictates we guess), followed by stops in Dublin, London again (the Royal Opera House, curiously), then over the channel for Northern Europe stops, before returning to Cardiff (26th Nov), followed by Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Monday 16th May - ticket prices have yet to be confirmed but, to give you a guide, think around the £50 mark upwards. We'll let you know of course!

Update: Extra shows!

It will come as no surprise to learn that the four Royal Albert Hall and Royal Opera House dates sold-out in no time at all, with tickets also selling fast for all other dates.

Now, Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester all benefit from extra dates, with a new date at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena (27th Nov), Glasgow's SECC (7th Dec), Birmingham's LG (10th Dec) and the Manchester Evening News Arena (12th Dec) - all on sale now.

Not to be left out, George will continue his "tour of London" on 16th and 17th Dec when he plays Earl's Court. Tickets for the new London date go on sale Friday 20th May at 10AM... sharp!

Paul Pledger