Blimey, there was I, feet up, glass of frothy in one hand and remote in the other, thinking that this week would be a quiet Friday round-up. What a mug. This week sees some cracking tours and one-off specials from Friendly Fires, White Lies, The Rapture and KT Tunstall, plus hilarity from Milton Jones and Richard Herring. Heck, you can even see some early Olympics action (sort of). Read on and salivate...
Tickets on-sale Friday at 9am unless stated. For ticket availability, click on the "Buy Tickets" buttons below, on or after the on-sale date and time. Prices quoted are not inclusive of booking fees.
Armed with successful new album "Pala", their first stop on the jaunt will be Bristol on 10th November, followed by Birmingham (11th) and a whole host of others until the Brixton Academy closing night on the 25th. Expect demand to be very high, especially for the smaller Engine Shed gig in Lincoln (22nd) - tickets average around £20.
What better way to wind up the year's successes, than with a spanking huge Wembley Arena date on 17th December? 'Tis indeed true - the band will ring in solstice bells with a special exclusive show. The guests have yet to be announced, but you can head up the stampede for tickets priced at £23.50.
At around the same time as the release of their much-touted third album, The Rapture will be knee-deep in a European tour, which naturally includes the UK. First stop is The Academy in Manchester on 7th September (£13.50), followed by London's XOYO on the 8th (£15) - expect high demand for the newly-trimmed-down trio.
Scotland's perky pop priestess has already issued a pair of live albums this year, albeit digitally, and looks to be a busy lass during the summer (V Festival, Latitude etc). New vinyl EP, "Scarlet Tulip", is due out soon but, meanwhile, she has a new Solo Show to plug for the autumn. Tickets from Warrington (31st Oct) to Edinburgh (12th Nov) cost from £20.
Pop's most perennially angsty mistress is back in the UK to give her recent album, "Goodbye Lullaby", a much needed shot in the arm, live-wise. The Top 10 album will get an airing in Hammersmith (21st Sep) and Manchester (23rd) with ticket prices costing £29.50 - £32.50.
Recent album "Last Night On Earth" should have gathered momentum by the time Twickenham's finest (only?) hit the road - their new UK tour begins in Nottingham on 6th October and continues via Newcastle, Glasgow and Brixton (plus more) until Bristol on 31st. £15 - £17.50.
In early 2011, Athlete played a one-off 'stripped back' gig in London and enjoyed it so much they decided to take it on tour. The band will be playing seventeen stripped-back dates in July, starting at the Globe in Cardiff on the 11th, with the last date in Birmingham on the last day of the month - £18 to £22.50 regionally, £23.50 for London and on sale from 9.30am.
'Britain's funniest Milton', is continuing his national tour, 'The Lion Whisperer', throughout 2011 and - thanks to phenomenal demand - more dates are being added all the time. The first of the six new gigs is York on 30th October, followed by Southport, two dates in Birmingham, then Grimsby and a return to Oxford (where he visits this month). Others will be added in due course!
New Zealand's bright young things may not have bettered Jessie J in the BBC poll but the sound of summer 2011 is theirs for the taking. In addition to their upcoming Dot To Dot shows, The Naked and Famous will be playing eight UK dates in the autumn, starting in Bristol on 9th November and ending at the Waterfront in Norwich on the 21st, priced at £14 (£16.50 for London).
Sonisphere is probably the Welsh rock-band's calendar highpoint of 2011, although they're normally just at home rifling through the riffs as headliners. October will herald the start of a new UK tour from Bristol (1st) to Nottingham (12th), via London (4th). £13 (or £14 for London).
California's yelping metal/rock/hard/punkcore (or any other 'core', for that matter) [core blimey? - Ed] outfit return with a new album, due for release later this year. "Radiosurgery" promises to give slightly-disgraced Blink 182 a run for its money, as indeed their UK tour may also prove to do. Tickets for Birmingham, London and Brighton in August are on sale from 9.30am.
You may have seen them at the opening ceremony for last year's FIFA World Cup, held in South Africa and following a series of late 2010 dates, The Parlotones will be returning to these shores this November for four dates starting at the Shepherd's Bush Empire on Wednesday 9th November. A breathless four days see the band then visit Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham - £12.50 (£15 for London).
It's highly likely that you'll see more than 36 of them pumping the air at this upcoming UK tour - their last album, "Collisions and Castaways", bothered the bottom end of the Top 100, which has to be a few thousand copies sold. Translate that to ticket-sales and they should do alright from Oxford (1st October) to Birmingham (22nd) - £13 to £15.
At 10am on Friday, you can grab yourself tickets to the classy Ms Knight's new UK tour, announced this week. She's become one of Britain's most-esteemed soul-singers and looks set to cement this reputation with a new album, entitled "Soul UK". The tour takes in large venues from Liverpool (14th Nov) to Bristol (27th), via the Royal Albert Hall (16th), with tickets starting at £19.50.
Apart from Ali G and Bobby Davro, Staines hasn't exported much in the way of entertainment with only Denny Laine (Wings, Moody Blues) and Hard-Fi troubling music-bloggers and magazine-writers. The latter play the HMV Forum on 23rd September for what looks like an exclusive London appearance - tickets are £18.
It seems that The Vaccines have turned into your archetypal festival band this year - Iziza Rocks, Latitude, Reading etc - but look closely and they have a pair of Reading/Leeds warm-ups approaching. London (23rd Aug - on sale Friday) and Edinburgh (24th - on sale now) - should be stunning!! £12.50 - £15.
In addition to their recently-announced Glasgow gig at the ABC 1/2 on 25th June, US pop chin-strokers Barenaked Ladies will also play a London gig, this time at Camden's KOKO venue on the 27th. Tickets are on sale from £25.
Also on sale, long-serving goth rockers The Mission have announced a date at Leeds Academy on Friday 28th October, on sale at £25 - expect plenty of incense and black-clothing. You can also pick up a Bush Hall ticket for rockers Yellowcard, new tours from Alabama 3 and Forever The Sickest Kids and extra tour dates from East 17, Eddie Spaghetti (from Supersuckers), Jimmy Cliff, Sons & Daughters and Wire
New album Hotel Shampoo was released on Valentine's Day 2011 and Rhys' will be airing the new material at several festivals, plus an autumn UK tour. So far, ten dates have been scheduled, starting in Llandudno (where else) on Sunday 2nd October and ending in Ashford in Kent on Thursday 13th October - tickets start at £14.
London Prepares Series
Unless you've been living on Neptune, you'll be geared up for the London Olympics in 2012. Fancy seeing a few 'dry-runs' of sporting events set to take place around the capital, a year early? The London Prepares Series will feature official sports contests such as beach volleyball, basketball, BMX supercross and more and will start in July and continue through August - various prices.
In October, Sadler's Wells will present a new full-length solo piece by the acclaimed dancer Akram Khan. Entitled "Desh", it's not surprisingly inspired by his home country, Bangladesh and is his most personal work to date. Set to run from 4th to 8th October, tickets cost £10 to £36. Check out our 2011/ 2012 Sadler's Wells round-up in the sidebar, on the right.
As well as other exciting new Edinburgh Fringe tickets around (see below), acclaimed comedy-writer Herring offers up his "What Is Love, Anyway" show, inspired by 'Welsh philosopher, Howard Jones'. He'll be based at the Underbelly Cow Barn from 4th till 28th August - tickets from £12.50.
After finishing working with PJ Harvey, unrelated Mick then headed back to Australia to finish off a four-year musical project. To celebrate the completion of this new album, "Sketches from the Book of the Dead", Harvey will appear at XOYO in Shoreditch on 5th June, armed with these new songs, as well as a few older bits and pieces. Tickets for the show cost £15.