Fat Friday 1st July 2011: Britney Spears, The Vaccines, James, Seth Lakeman, The Rifles, Tom Vek and more

Posted: 29th June 2011

At first glance, there didn't appear to be many new shows on-sale this week but, unlike the crazy storms, a steady consistent stream of shows, both musical and artsy, have trickled in gently. Britney Spears, James and The Vaccines head the music pack, while Wicked, Cirque du Soleil and Top Gear Live are bankers for a few sell-out shows and high demand.

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.

We recently told you about her upcoming Femme Fatale tour in and around the UK and Ireland, memorable for the steep admission prices (£55!). It seems that demand has dictated a few additions to the schedule, including Wembley Arena, Newcastle and Sheffield, all of which should sell out pretty quickly.

Last weekend, just 12 months after forming, they were playing a mid-afternoon slot on the Other Stage at Glastonbury. This new tour takes in Newcastle, Lincoln, Leeds and Leamington Spa, among others, before the final show at the Brixton Academy on 7th December. All priced £15, except London (which is £17.50 - and on sale already!).

Booth's boys are realising their dream of touring with a full orchestra and choir in large symphonic halls! Now how special does that sound? First stop is Cardiff on 23rd October, followed by shows in all the usual big cities until returning to London for the final show at the Royal Albert Hall on 4th November, all priced from £22.50 to £35 and on sale from 9:30AM on Friday.

Lead guitarist of Kiss and a formidable axe-wielder at that, Frehley hasn't played outside of London for a very long time. But he's been confirmed to appear at the Hard Rock Hell V Festival in North Wales on 3rd December, preceded by two headliners, one of which is in Cardiff on the 1st and one in Islington on the 4th. Tickets cost £20 - £22.50.

This one show in Holmfirth may point towards further festive activity for the Devon folk-star, who is selling venues out all over the UK these days. This Yorkshire show on 16th December follows a slot at the Great British Folk Weekend on the 4th (one of many such fests he is playing this year) - tickets cost £18 for Holmfirth.

Chingford's indie-darlings are prepping for a third studio album, hoping to make it three Top 40 albums in a row. They've announced an extensive autumn tour to back it up, starting with Cambridge on 26th October and ending up in London on home-turf on 11th November. Tickets will cost £12.50 to £16.50.

We Will Rock You We Will Rock You
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The lightning this week was very, very frightening, which leads us nicely onto the announcement that this futurist musical tale, based around Queen's thunderous catalogue of rock classics, has been extended into 2012 at the Dominion Theatre - tickets are released at 10am Friday.

The Celtic-American connections don't just start and end with Dropkick Murphys, y'know - Flogging Molly also have a reputation for banging out high-energy punky folk-rock. And like the DM's, FM are hitting the UK later this year! New album "Speed Of Darkness" will form the basis of these new shows in London, Manchester and Norwich during November - £15 to £16.50.

Dropkick Murphys Dropkick Murphys
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Talk of the devils - Their last two shows in the capital (Brixton) sold out and next years will be no exception. Tickets for a new show at Glasgow's Barrowlands (6th Feb) go on sale this Saturday at 9am and you can expect the usual Irish slant on things and generally boisterous and rowdy behaviour!

Promising North-Westerners Folks have announced their own headlining gigs to follow-up their support role in October with Miles Kane. The new shows are in Manchester on 22nd November, followed by London's Lexington on the 23rd. These won't be hanging around with a price-tag of just £6!

Also available this week are tickets to see South West England's new folkie on the block, Ben Howard (October tour), American experimental guitarist EMA (September tour - on sale now), stand-up maestro Steve Hall (extra shows in Doncaster, Cambridge and Folkestone - on sale now) and single shows by breakbeat king, Mr Scruff at London's KOKO in October and Tom Vek at Shepherd's Bush in November.

Just Added

Cirque du Soleil - Alegria Cirque du Soleil - Alegria
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Apparently, this new show is 'a baroque ode to the energy, grace and power of youth' - sounds like it'll be useful than those advertised anti-aging creams they keep plugging on TV. Alegria is Spanish for 'jubilation', so you can expect a colourful and vibrant show from the award-winning troupe when they perform on tour next year. Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham are the lucky cities with tickets going on sale from Thursday.

Top Gear Live 2011

If you're a fan of the long-running and successful BBC series Top Gear, there is every chance you'll be drooling at the thought of this live exhibition and event in Birmingham and London. A real indoor-track, the 'star in the reasonably-priced car' and the inimitable trio of Clarkson, May and Hammond will make this a memorable pair of weekends - tickets start at £49.

This musical adaptation with a nod to Wizard of Oz, continues to sell out home and away, and has a full trophy cabinet including - from its London run - the 2010 Olivier Audience Award for Most Popular Show. In fact, it is so popular that it is now booking for next year, right up until October 2012 - prices cost from £15 to £62.50.

Gym Class Heroes Gym Class Heroes
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You can expect high demand for their first UK dates in three years - they will play Birmingham on 29th September, followed by stops in Leeds, Manchester and London. We've spotted a nice four-day gap between the last two shows - which might mean more tour-dates. Tickets cost £12.50 or £14 for London.

A new tour-date has been added to Belfast on 18th December - tickets have just gone on sale for £28.50 - £30. Called the "All Fired Up" tour, the remaining shows have a strong emphasis on 'partying' and will call at Bournemouth on 2nd December, followed by Liverpool (3rd), Cardiff (5th) and other big cities until they arrive back in London on the 16th - none have yet sold out.

If you're not near London for his sold-out November shows, or Belfast for his show with Turisas on 7th November, you can catch the man in mellower mood during August. He'll be playing three acoustic shows in Brighton, Southampton and Exeter from 9th to 11th August, armed with another rocker-turned-strum-meister, Dave McPherson (from InMe). Tickets are on sale now and cost £12.

The electro and synth-pop master has a new project to promote, preceded by an album that we awarded 4 stars to earlier this year. John Foxx and the Maths' "Interplay" is a bit special, as you'll find out if you head to his autumn shows. Just Leamington Spa and Bristol have been announced so far for October - his London XOYO show on 27th has already sold-out, hence a second added on the 25th.

Armed with a recently-issued album, "The Impossible Song and Other Songs", the affable Woomble has announced a quartet of Scottish shows, starting with Aberdeen (29th Oct) then Perth (31st), Glasgow (1st Nov) and Edinburgh (2nd) - prices start at £18.

Having toured the US earlier this year, Todd Rundgren has announced four UK dates for the autumn. He'll be playing the Manchester Ritz on 1st October followed by three dates at London's Jazz Café, from 3rd to 5th October. Tickets are available now, priced £18.50 for Manchester and £27.50 for London.

Explosions in the Sky Explosions in the Sky
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Masters of the BIG post-rock sound, Explosions in the Sky, have already announced a Brixton show next year for which there are still tickets available, priced at £19.50. Now they've added the South West to their schedule with a show on 20th November at Bristol's O2 Academy - tickets are up now for £16.

Chicago the Musical Chicago the Musical
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Foxy Roxie Hart and all your other favourite characters will be touring the UK later this year, including new shows in Sunderland (26th - 31st March, up now) and Manchester (19th - 24th March, on sale Friday). The West End show is currently still booking until 27th August.

Driving Miss Daisy is best known for its 1989 Oscar-winning film adaptation, starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman. This new version starring Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones tells the story of an enduring friendship between prickly Southerner, the elderly Miss Daisy, and her wise and kind-hearted chauffeur Hoke - Tickets for the Wyndham's Theatre show are available now, priced from £38.
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He's been supporting his old mucker, Ryan Adams, on his recent UK tour, but afterwards it will be headline-time. The makings of a UK tour with his band, St Marks Social, is developing with a few dates starting to trickle out, the first of which are in Manchester on 22nd Nov, followed by Glasgow (23rd), Newcastle (24th), Liverpool (26th), Nottingham (27th) and Bristol (29th).

Happy clicking!

Paul Pledger