The Week Ahead from Monday 13th June 2011: Morrissey, Primal Scream, Kaiser Chiefs, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, Ron Sexsmith, Tom Vek, Digitalism and more
Easy now! As the unpredictable British summer veers from dry to wet (and even hail!), we're all looking for a bit of undercover action, without having to wear wellies and a coat. So it's always good to see the king of miserablism, Morrissey, back on the road just to cheer us up. Other indie stalwarts Primal Scream and Kaiser Chiefs are also due out, as indeed are legends like Don McLean and younger upstarts The Horrors.
It's a relatively quiet week for festivals, although the London Fèis is still up for grabs at bargain day-ticket prices and the exciting sense-tickling taste-bud sensations at Taste of London could satisfy a lot of you on many levels. You could always take a peek into John Peel's Shed, if the weather's really bad!
All prices are exclusive of booking fees.
The iconic Salfordite is back on the road from next week, sparking off a summer of considerable activity. His first batch of shows takes place in Scotland, starting with Perth on Wednesday (sold-out) and continuing to Inverness, Dunoon (sold-out), Dunfermline and Hawick. Brother will be on support duty and remaining tickets cost around £32.50.
Bobby Gillespie and co will perform a couple of festival warm-ups prior to heading to Glastonbury, Eden and Oxegen (amongst others). The lucky towns are Leamington Spa on Sunday and Cardiff on the following Monday (20th). The asking price for both is £25 for which you can expect a run through the classic album "Screamadelica", plus more.
This week, Leeds-based Kaiser Chiefs set out to continue their pretty formidable chart-successes with another album, their fourth. "The Future Is Medieval" has a lot to follow and live up to and you can witness the band's progress with festival preparations at the Electric Ballroom on Thursday - that's if you managed to get a ticket, otherwise a trip to Leeds on 10th Sep, might be an option (tickets for that are on sale Friday 10th June).
Seemingly leaving behind their spiky post-punk sound of a few years back, The Horrors have gone all 'widescreen' on us (as reported on Allgigs this week). New song "Still Life" will no doubt play a part in the few gigs coming up in Glasgow (Wed), Manchester (Thurs) and London (Fri) - the first two are still available for a tenner.
My my, Mr American Pie, you are really spoiling us this week. First off, he will be appearing at the ongoing Hampton Court Palace Festival on Wednesday (tickets still up at £65 plus), then it's a headline tour including Birmingham (Sunday), Edinburgh, Liverpool and Nottingham (still available - £33.50) and finally a spot of Glasto action.
Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band
The Hampton Court Palace Festival will also host a show from the ex-Beatle and his All-Starr Band, taking place on Friday and priced at £70 plus. Afterwards, it's headlining time with stops in Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Bournemouth, all priced at £55 and still available.
His aptly-titled new album, "Long Player Late Bloomer", might just give the rightly-revered Canadian songwriter a bit more crossover success than he's had so far. His tour should also help the plaudits come his way, starting with an Anna Calvi-supported show at the Royal Festival Hall on Thursday (£20), followed by more towns until Cambridge on 28th. He returns to the UK in August.
His new album, "Leisure Seizure", appeared on the shelves this week and not surprisingly, the acclaimed songwriter is out on the road with a few selective shows around the UK. Manchester (Monday) and Brighton (Saturday) have both sold out, but remainders cost £12.50 - £15.
Tough punky electro-techno used to be the name of the game for Berlin duo Digitalism, but their recent material sounds a bit less raucous. You can judge for yourselves at their official album-launch performance at London's XOYO on Monday. Tickets are £15, the same price for their autumn tour (on sale Friday).
It's Jazz Cafe all the way for the American soul singer whose last album fittingly appeared on the Stax label ("Unexpected"). You can catch this incredible singer at the Camden venue for three nights from Tuesday - tickets cost £37.50.
From one established artists to a newish soul funk band hoping to break through with their brand new album, "The Life and Soul". They have a handful of shows confirmed for Dingwalls, London (Tues), Brighton, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester with tickets available from just £10.
David Coverdale continues to tour his beloved band, complete with classic rock-favourites like "Fool For Your Loving" - next week is no exception as the '80s rockers are set to play Newcastle on Monday (and a few more besides). They've sold out that date, as well as Glasgow and Manchester - other dates are available for around £38.50.
Also starting this week are tours from up and coming acts including alt-rockers Tellison (from Cambridge on Monday to Camden on 30th), Scottish electronica duo, Laki Mera, out plugging new album "The Proximity Effect" (from Edinburgh on Tuesday to Glasgow on 22nd), a sold-out show on Monday at the Underworld for Masters of Reality and hard-rock band Atlas&i (with Evarose - from Leeds on Saturday to Soton on 5th July).
London Fèis 2011
Some of the biggest names in the history of Irish music, including Van Morrison, Christy Moore, Clannad and Thin Lizzy, as well as THE folkfather of them all Bob Dylan, will grace Finsbury Park at the weekend - tickets are still available at the special price of £40 for Saturday and £60 for Sunday.
High Definition Dance Festival 2011
Essex becomes a dancing hot-spot at the weekend when big names from the world of clubbing descend on Loughton, including Boy George, Dave Pearce, Seb Fontaine and DJ Hatcha. Two full days are still available, both costing £40 each.
The Big Mix [Macmillan]
Loads of big names will fill Brick Lane with charity-fundraising cheer, including Newton Faulkner, Clare Maguire, Tim Burgess - DJ Set and Treetop Flyers. Macmillan Cancer Support will benefit from the annual day-fest that used to be called The Brick Lane Takeover. Tickets are now £20 (Earlybirds have sold out).
Theatre, Comedy and Arts
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
The Theatre Royal in Haymarket will present this Hamlet-inspired Tom Stoppard play for several weeks, starting from Thursday until 20th August. Ticket prices start at £36, rising to £51 for stalls and royal circle.
Esteemed Shakespearian actor, Simon Callow, presents his acclaimed one-man show that brings together his favourite and our most memorable scenes and characters from the great Bard's repertoire. Tickets for the Trafalgar Studio production start at £20.
The Railway Children [Centreline Productions]
After a successful 2010 run for E.Nesbitt's "The Railway Children", Waterloo Station continues with another lengthy stint under the glass-arches of the terminus, starting on Sunday and running until 8th September. The whole amazing production (with real moving train!) costs from £22.75.
The King and I
The ever-popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical gets a Worcestershire makeover when the classic show, set in Bangkok. Droitwich is host for ten days, starting on Wednesday with tickets costing from just £9 upwards. Expect classic songs such as "Getting To Know You"!
Tell Me on a Sunday
Take that look off your face because the classic Lloyd-Webber musical, starring the inimitable Claire Sweeney, hits Edinburgh from Wednesday until Saturday only. Tickets for the show at the Playhouse cost from £15, rising to £24.50, which represents good value for a rare visit from the show.
John Peel's Shed
What a fabulous prize to win - access to a box of records that took presenter, John Osborne eight years to listen to. Here he relates how he 'sought solace in wireless radio' and presents his personal ode to radio at the Rosemary Branch Theatre on Monday and Tuesday only. He then takes the show to Leicester Square Theatre for one night on the 20th July. £5 - what a bargain!
Taste of London
Imagine a real-life Saturday Kitchen presented in green-space with plenty more chefs than you get on the popular morning foodie show. Imagined it? Then head to Taste Of London in Regent's Park from Thursday till Sunday where you can watch Michel Roux Jr, Silvena Rowe, Atul Kochhar and Gary Rhodes serve up great dishes in front of your very eyes. Dozens of chefs, oodles of food stalls - what more could you want. Tickets cost from £22.
The Pajama Men
The very surreal world of comedy, theatre and physical zaniness will greet audience-members at the Soho Theatre in London as the acclaimed duo of Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez take residency with their story of abducting aliens, love and action. Tickets cost from £17 upwards, but 21st and 22nd June have sold out already.