The Week Ahead from Monday 30th May 2011: Fleet Foxes, Elton John, Public Image Ltd. [PiL], k.d. lang, Paolo Nutini, Nils Lofgren and more

Posted: 25th May 2011

Well, you can't grumble about next week's entertainment - it's positively brimming with chart-toppers, show-stoppers and city-hoppers from start to finish. Fleet Foxes continue their quiet quest for world domination, JLS are at your local cinema and k.d. lang is back!

It's also a fantastic week for comedy legends (hello, Jerry Seinfeld) and brand new musicals and plays. Why let a little ash-cloud spoil your week - it's all happening here, right on your doorstep!

All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

This week:


It's not unusual to see foxes in London, but these are not the bin-robbing critters we're used to - instead you get gorgeous harmonies and memorable songs for three nights in Hammersmith, from Tuesday to Thursday. The last night has sold out, the others cost £23.50.

You're guaranteed a few sell-out shows when Reg Dwight pops his name down for a gig or six, and Sunday's first open-air performance for Elton has proven to be just that. There are still tickets for most of the following arena dates, but Glasgow (10th) and the Isle Of Man (16th) have sold out. Other shows are £40 upwards.

JLS - Eyes Wide Open 3D Screening

Don your 3D glasses and head to your local cinema - here comes the JLS movie to end all JLS movies and it's coming to a picture-house near you. On Friday, you can witness "Eyes Wide Open" from Batley to Basingstoke - tickets cost from £10.50, if you can get them!

Public Image Ltd. [PiL]

On Tuesday, John Lydon and the gang take to the road for more uncompromising live shows, starting with Coventry (£15) and followed by Middlesbrough (Weds), Cardiff (Thurs) and more until Dublin on the 10th. Tickets are £25, except Coventry which is a wallet-hugging £15.

It's been two decades since Lang recorded with a band, but the Siss Boom Bang have provided a 'live' feel to her new songs on the aptly-titled new album, "Sing It Loud". A double-header at London's Royal Festival Hall on Thursday and Friday is book-ended with shows in Birmingham (Mon), Manchester (Tues), Nottingham (Sat) and Glasgow (6th) - £35 to £40.

Scotland's young pop-troubadour has a brace of big festival appearances coming up, in the shape of Glastonbury 2011, Oxegen 2011 and RockNess 2011 for starters. Nutini has a string of headliners to deal with first, starting with Blackburn on Thursday, followed by York, Sunderland and Aberystwyth.

Robyn Hitchcock Robyn Hitchcock
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Never one for performing straight pop-songs, the always-fascinating Hitchcock is set to play his own songs AND a selection of tracks from Captain Beefheart's "Clear Spot" album during the next week or so, including his slot at Wychwood Music Festival 2011 on Saturday. Tickets for the headliners cost from £12.50 to £15.

Adult-orientated rock (AOR) is a term that still sends shudders down the spines of anyone younger than 50, but joking aside, Journey, Foreigner and Styx are masters of the art. The trio are touring together for a week or so, starting with Wembley Arena on Saturday. Tickets range from £40 to £42.50.

Suffolk's theatrical rockers return with an interesting week ahead of them - their first gig of the week is a charity football tournament on Monday (Bank Holiday) at Charlton Athletic's ground - Celebrity Soccer Six features loads of celebs in a charity shin-kicker - £8 to £40. Then it's back to gigging, starting with Norwich on Sunday, Leamington, Shepherd's Bush then Download!!

Described on his own website as 'a virtuoso rock guitarist', we actually can't disagree with that statement, given his pedigree with Springsteen and Young. His upcoming UK tour starts in Southampton on Wednesday, followed by the first of two stops at Cadogan Hall and many other towns and cities. Prices start at £28.50.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
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Quirky US indie-popsters alert! TPOBPAH might be a curiously silly name (or it might not) but their sound is jolly enough - if you like Weezer, for example, you might appreciate new album "Belong" and be prompted to catch them on tour from Belfast (Friday) to Birmingham (14th June) - £10 upwards.

Not one, not two but FIVE headlining gigs from the marvellous Art Brut and all in one location - The Lexington near Islington. Running from Monday to Friday, the band will be supported by a different support-act every night. Tickets are £11 and are bound to sell out once London's music fans wake up!

One of the most enduring and classic '60s soul-classics is "Knock On Wood", originally written and performed by Mr Floyd. He wrote Stax (groan) of great tunes in the '60s and '70s and you can witness him perform some of them at the Half Moon for three nights, from Thursday onwards! Daughter of Rufus Thomas, Vaneese Thomas, will be supporting him and tickets cost £15. The pair will also be attending a signing session on the Saturday just down the road at Soul Brother records from 4PM.

The last time Collins appeared in the UK was at the then-troubled Half Moon pub in Putney, last year. She returns once more with a half-dozen shows beginning with Glasgow on Thursday, followed by the usual suspects such as London and Belfast. Tickets cost from £17.50.

Suzy Bogguss Suzy Bogguss, Gretchen Peters and Matraca Berg are three big names from the world of country-music who will join forces for a series of 'Wine, Women and Song' UK shows, starting with Salford's Lowry on Sunday. For such an impressive line-up, the tickets are a reasonable price, starting at around £19, rising to £23 for the Oxford show on 9th June.
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Prior to her seemingly endless string of festival slots (including V Festival 2011 and Lounge On The Farm 2011), young Goulding is heading to Ireland for a pair of concerts at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin. The Tuesday night show has sold out, but Wednesday is still available for €28.

Now if you were expecting a bit of Nutty Boy-madness (or indeed, Madness) for this show, then you are mistaken. What you will get is an element of that, plus an insight into Suggs' life, past, present and future. This is Suggs laid-bare, speaking live from his on-stage shed and accompanied by special guests and light-hearted (sometimes sad) memory-recall. The Wednesday show at Kingston's Rose Theatre costs £25 - stalls have sold out.

Also on sale this week, we have Australia's premier hard-rockers with just a smidgeon of Led Zep about them. Wolfmother's three dates in 2011 take in Edinburgh, Liverpool and London (from £17.50). Also playing are Texas (Carlisle Racecourse - Sat, £13.60), the soulful tones of Jonathan Jeremiah (Bush Hall - Tues, £8.50), goth-rockers The March Violets (Leeds - Sat, £15) and a rare sold-out High Wycombe gig for Kids In Glass Houses on Thurs (but don't worry, they're on tour in October!).


Wychwood Music Festival 2011

Biggest gathering of the week is this family boutique festival at Cheltenham Racecourse, starring The Charlatans, Ian Anderson, Robyn Hitchcock and many more. Tickets for the weekend cost £115 and there are various day options.

If you fancy somewhere sunnier (possibly) and you are keen to dodge the ash-cloud, you could head to Ibiza Rocks 2011 or Mallorca Rocks 2011 to watch Plan B kick off the first night of Rocks concerts - the series includes The Vaccines, Friendly Fires, Tinie Tempah and many more.

Theatre, Comedy and Arts

If the title of this play at Hoxton's Courtyard Theatre seems familiar, it may be because it was adapted for TV in the '90s. The story by Roger Hall, follows the lives of a married couple celebrating their 21st-anniversary by discussing their marriage, kids and work - but not before the infidelities come out in the open. Runs from Tuesday to Sunday, tickets cost £12 - £15.

The Merchants of Bollywood The Merchants of Bollywood
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Sadler's Peacock Theatre presents this Australian-derived musical which tracks the history of the Bollywood film industry. Fusing dance and a rainbow of colours, the piece by Vaibhavi Merchant plays from Tuesday until 3rd July - £18 to £45.

This comedy play from Simon Gray, continues its West End run at the Duchess Theatre until 27th August and stars Dominic West, star of The Wire. Ben Butley is a university lecturer having a very bad day, ensuring that everyone else experiences exactly the same, by stirring it up everywhere. Tickets cost £26 - £49.50.

Lend Me a Tenor - The Musical Lend Me a Tenor - The Musical
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The Gielgud Theatre will be hosting a brand new musical for the best part of the rest of the year, featuring award-winning Matthew Kelly. Set in the '30s, Lend Me A Tenor tells the tale of an ailing theatre needing a last-minute leading opera-singer, with chaotic results. Tickets cost from £40 and performances begin on Thursday.

Christopher Marlowe's tale based on Faust, tells the tale of Dr Faustus attempts to create power and knowledge in the form of Mephistopheles. He was two choices - either resign his created demon to Hell, or damn himself by being granted all his heart's desires for the next 24 years. Plays at the Rose Theatre, London until 30th June - another version can be seen at the Globe from the 18th until 2nd October.

The award-winning comedian begins an extensive UK tour from Thursday onwards, when he plays in Brighton as part of his travelling "Request Stops" series. Destinations for this jaunt have been suggested by his fans on his forum, hence calling at unusual places such as Harrogate, Chorley and Fareham, as well as the big cities. Tickets cost £15 on average.

I always want to break into the classic Scottish lament, when I see this chap's name. Thankfully, I'll avoid offending you all and remind you that, from Friday onwards, the Live at the Apollo favourite begins a tour in Manchester. His "Messenger (Please Do Not Shoot)" dates take in two nights in London and more, until the last night in Glasgow on 26th. £15.

You may recognize Jo from the occasional TV panel-game appearances, but her acclaimed live shows are worth a visit as well. The whole tour takes in Louth (Thurs) and a few more until Hull on Sunday, as well as hitting the Ealing Comedy In The Park gathering in July.

The ticket-prices might be enough to scare a school of pilot-whales from the West Coast of Scotland (£75!), but Seinfeld is a global star who you may never see again on these shores anytime soon. His '90s TV series was THE thing to watch, the equal of Frasier, so why not head to the O2 on Friday, to find out why?

One of this country's most successful (and accurate) impressionists brings his pin-sharp routine of political embarrassments and celebs-in-meltdown, supported by Ian Shaw and Hattie Hayridge. This is his only scheduled headliner (it's in Bath on Tuesday, by the way) and is thoroughly worth £18.

Another comedy legend, this time playing at Kingston's Rose Theatre on Sunday. Tarbuck has been entertaining for four decades (that's 40 years - incredible) and is still as quickfire as he always has been. Tarby's tickets start from £18.

Happy clicking!

Paul Pledger