The Week Ahead From 27th June 2011: Janet Jackson, The Flaming Lips, Arcade Fire, Lou Reed, Roger Daltrey, Gallows and more

Posted: 22nd June 2011
Blissfields Blissfields, Wireless and Hop Farm could be staring thunder clouds in the face - but we're optimistic that the golden stuff will return soon enough for the weekend's big festivals.
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If you're heading indoors for a gig or a show, you won't have to worry about such trivialities - it's rock legends a-go-go, mingling with big fan favourites and young upstarts. Roger Daltrey and Lou Reed represent the old boys, Bjork and Janet Jackson are fighting in the female corner whilst Arcade Fire and The Flaming Lips slug it out for the bands.

New plays are coming thick and fast, mostly in London although That Face in Brighton may well set a precedent for boutique theatre. Comedy comes from the ladies - Rita Rudner and Shazia Mirna giving it both barrels.

All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

This week:


Up Close and Personal is the name of Janet's world tour dates, just three of which will be performed in the UK. Just how up close you can get several metres up in the Royal Albert hall is anyone's guess, but there are still tickets left for the final show on Sunday - £55 upwards!

The Flaming Lips The Flaming Lips
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It's been a while since we featured the bonkers world of Wayne Coyne and his cuddly-bear toting charges, but they're back with more good times at the Eden Sessions 2011 on Thursday for £42.50, followed by an entire rendition of "The Soft Bulletin" at London's Alexandra Palace (with Dinosaur Jr. playing their "Bug" album) on Friday for £40 and Macclesfield's Jodrell bank on Saturday (sold out)

Hyde Park will come alive to the belting sounds of one of the most eagerly awaited appearances from Arcade Fire, with Beirut, Mumford and Sons and The Vaccines in support. Never mind the weather on Thursday next week - if you are lucky enough to have a ticket, enjoy! The band return to Manchester and Edinburgh later in the year.


Her new long-awaited album, the first since "Volta" in 2007, is expected to be released later in 2011, but meanwhile she has chosen Manchester as the city to unveil "Biophilia", her new theatrical show (and title of that new album). All six shows, from Thursday onwards, have sold out.

Another Hop Farm veteran this year is the ex-Velvet Underground frontman who has walked on the wild side and lived to sing the tale. Aside from the Kent festival, he is playing Wolverhampton on Friday and Hammersmith the Monday after - tickets are £35/£45 respectively.

The ex-Who frontman will begin his tour of the classic double-album, "Tommy", next week with the first port of call being Wolverhampton on Sunday, followed by a string of big town dates (and Newport, curiously - 10th July). Tickets cost from £35, with some shows sold out (Manchester, Southend, Hull and the first O2 date).

Back for some summer shows before they hit Sonisphere, Frank Carter and co will be taking their uncompromising show to Manchester on Monday, Leeds on Tuesday and Bristol on Wednesday. More shows follow the week after and all cost from £13 upwards (N.B. Bournemouth on 6th July is sold out).

Brazilian metallers alert! Long-standing thrashers Sepultura will release their twelfth album in July and will promote said long-player with a handful of shows in Norwich (Monday), Rhondda (Tuesday), Weymouth (Wednesday) and in London at the Islington Academy (Thursday). Prices range erratically from £12.50 (Weymouth) to £18 (you've guessed it, London).

Playing as part of the broad BluesFest London 2011 concert-series is one of the world's most respected jazz pianists, Ramsey Lewis. He's been knocking out great releases since the late '50s and has hosted radio-shows and won Grammys, including one for the track, "The In Crowd". See him at Union Chapel, London on Saturday (£25) and the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (£27.50), where he will perform his classic "Sun Goddess" album.

This Wolverhampton show on Thursday will give fans a taster of new material, the post-punk band's first since 1981's "Magic, Murder and the Weather" album closed their first chapter. Tickets are still available for £16 - expect a run through of their classic tracks and a few newies.

Charlie Simpson Charlie Simpson
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Busted's former frontman is slowly carving out a solo career for himself and has a full tour in support of new album, "Young Pilgrim", coming up. Wednesday sees him hit Glasgow, while further stops take in Newcastle, Birmingham, Manchester and more. Tickets are just a tenner!

Mr Scary Chest returns to the live circuit with a string of outdoor concerts (surely tempting fate as a sun-loving Aussie ex-pat). His first pair of shows takes place on Friday at Haigh Hall and on Saturday at Fontwell Park Racecourse in Sussex - tickets are £27.50 and £29.95 respectively.

It's been a few years since Barnes last troubled any amps in the UK, but he's due to perform at this year's Hop Farm Festival (see the Festival update below), as well as play a few headliners including Dublin (€33.60) on this coming Wednesday and Shepherd's Bush (£27) on Saturday (plus Glasgow and Newcastle next week).

John Mellencamp John Mellencamp
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He's dropped the 'Cougar' moniker but still roars like a rock trouper - Mellencamp will begin his string of UK and Ireland shows with a stop in Dublin on Tuesday (sold out), followed by Manchester on Friday, Hammersmith on Saturday and Glasgow on Sunday. Prices vary but the London date has run out of £30 standing and £45 seated tickets.

Do they have such a thing as 'superduos', instead of 'supergroups'. If they do then Jonny would surely qualify as one seeing as they're comprised of Gorky's Euros Childs and the Fannies' Norman Blake. As well as Truck Festival 2011 and Gwyl Gardd Goll 2011 festivals, they are playing shows in Cardiff (Tuesday), followed by London's Borderline, York and Glasgow - prices start at £7.50 to £10.

Yorkshire's skacore band have a huge pile of shows approaching, taking them right up until the end of the year. The first wave starts in Leeds on Tuesday, followed by Exeter , Alton and a few more into July, before hitting Blackpool's massive Rebellion Festival 2011 in August. Tickets for their headliners start at just £5.

Also happening during the coming week or so are a batch of intimate shows and tours from Turin Brakes, TV On The Radio, Foals (pre-festival show in Coventry) and a clutch of acoustic slots by ex-Lemonhead, Evan Dando


The Hop Farm Festival 2011

This could be the Kent festival's finest weekend if the line-up is anything to go by. The Eagles, Bryan ferry and Brandon Flowers head up Friday, Morrissey, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop give Saturday a thrashing and Sunday goes pop with Prince, Tinie Tempah and Imelda May. Daily tickets are £70, or £170 for the weekend.

Meanwhile up in the 'smoke', Hyde Park follows its Arcade Fire day with a weekend of mainstream pop and dance, including Black Eyed Peas on Friday (sold out), Chemical Brothers on Saturday and, the one everyone's been waiting for, Pulp on Sunday. The latter two days are still up for £48.50.

Also taking place this weekend is the newly located Cornbury gathering with James Blunt, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Davies and Status Quo (£60 a day or £140 per weekend), Chester Rocks 2011 on Sat/Sun with The Saturdays, Taio Cruz, Iggy Pop and The Lightning Seeds (£47.50 a day or £85 per weekend), Blissfields 2011 in Winchester (Tricky, Frank Turner, Gold Panda, Dub Pistols and more), Celtronic 2011 (Carl Craig, Luke Vibert, Pariah, and more) in Derry and the first Epsom Live 2011 concert with Texas (£31.50).

Theatre, Comedy and Arts

Regent's Park will continue its much-anticipated Open Air Theatre summer-season on Saturday with a performance of Shakespeare's sea-faring tale of a young boy who sails the world. Early tickets for the first week cost £12, otherwise £14 from 11th July onwards.

Park Avenue Cat Park Avenue Cat
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If romantic comedies float your boat, head to the Arts Theatre from Friday onwards (part of a six week run) to see Frank Strausser's new production, "Park Avenue Cat", a tale of a twosome becoming a threesome at a therapy session - it's an American thing. Tickets start at £10.

London's Etcetara Theatre will host this new Simon Tierney play about three male friends who share a flat and a desire to change their lives forever, before time catches up with them. Will the weather outside be the final nail in the coffin? Runs from Tuesday until Sunday and tickets cost from £8.

Brighton's Little Theatre is the setting for this play about a pair of teenagers in late education and their controlling mother who supplies them with drugs and alcohol. Described as "explosive and gobsmacking" by The Observer, tickets are selling fast for the short week-long season. £7.50.

Les Ballets C de la B Les Ballets C de la B
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Sadler's Wells continues to push boundaries with its innovative programme and the contemporary ballet, "Gardenia", from Les Ballets C de la B, is no exception - it's based on a Spanish story about a Barcelona cabaret troupe of transvestites, forced to reveal their secrets after their show closes. The show runs from Wednesday till Saturday, priced from £10.

As you may expect, this is a cultural ballet and dance show where East meets West and the Philippine Embassy joins forces with the Inter-Cultural Society of London, to bring you an extravagant and physical show. Tickets for the Shaw Theatre show cost from £22.50.

Performing as part of the Roundhouse's season of Before The Fringe shows is American comedian, Rita Rudner, who came to prominence in the UK during the late '80s and early '90s, with her distinctly assured yet feminine delivery and TV show. Steve Hall also appears and tickets cost £10 - yes, that's just £10!

You may know Shazia from her witty and informed columns in The Guardian and New Statesman, in fact, she's won awards for her columns in the latter publication. Her stand-up comedy understandably leans on her Pakistani heritage with sharp-witted put-downs and dry humour. Catch her show at the Garage in London on Wednesday and Brighton on the 4th. Tickets from £5.

Happy clicking!

Paul Pledger