The big names have really come out of the musical woodwork this week, with the return of global DJ Fatboy Slim, the frighteningly powerful Rammstein and, as far from the German industrial-metal band as you could wish to get, pop-soul icon Will Young, all on tours across the UK.
Arts-wise, things are pretty quiet although the Royal Opera House never fails to stun and amaze every time it announces a new season. Opera La Traviata and ballet Manon both feature prominently throughout the 2011/12 season, more of which you can read about below.
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For his forthcoming UK tour, entitled the Five Night Stand, he has chosen a quartet of seaside towns - Brighton, Southend, Bridlington and Blackpool and one land-locked one, Swindon (although he has picked the Oasis centre, so it's sort of near water!). The shows will run from 1st to 10th December, priced at £25!
First stop for the "Made In Germany 1995 - 2011" greatest hits tour is the O2 Arena in London on 24th February, followed by stops in Birmingham, Dublin, Newcastle, Manchester and finally, Nottingham on 2nd March. Demand will be seriously crazy - this lot always sell out pretty quickly. Expect scary pyrotechnics and thunderous theatrics.
His sixth studio album, 'Echoes', is released in August and Will Young will be hitting the road in October and November for a 20-plus date UK tour. Starting in Swindon on 27th October, the tour takes in Belfast, Glasgow, Manchester, two dates at the Shepherd's Bush Empire (21st/22nd November) and more, before the final show in Cardiff on Saturday 26th November, all priced around £35.
After his recent concert triumphs at Glastonbury and the Hop Farm, many fans in the capital have been wondering when the ex-Smiths frontman might be heading to a venue near them. Wait no longer - he's just announced two new shows at the Brixton Academy on 7th August (£37.50) and the London Palladium on the 8th (£30).
There are comebacks and there are comebacks - and then there is Pulp who recently amazed all with a greatest hits playlist at the Wireless Festival and a cheeky Glasto spot. Their first headlining gig takes place at the Brixton Academy on 31st August and tickets are sure to sell out pretty fast.
Clarke and Bell have announced their "Tomorrow's World" UK tour starting in Leicester on 12th October, followed by Glasgow, Edinburgh and more, via London and Bristol, before closing it out in Brighton on 4th November. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 9am, priced at £30 or £32. The tour will feature songs from their first new album in 4 years, entitled "Tomorrow's World", set for release in October.
After taking some time out, the band's third album, 'Up, Guards and at 'Em!' was released in March and after a successful spring tour and impending Reading/Leeds appearances, the Leeds gang will begin a new tour in November, starting in Newcastle on the 6th calling at their hometown on the 24th and ending in Dundee on the 26th - all priced from £15.
Incredibly popular in their Irish homeland, The Saw Doctors' brand of rebel-rousing folk-rock has passed many Brits by. However, they can sell out venues at the strike of a fiddle and their late autumn tour will no doubt attract fans and new converts alike. First stop is Leeds on 25th Nov, followed by several more including two London shows and a final stop in Manchester on 17th Dec - prices are £21.50 upwards.
Regan's got a penchant for intimacy for sure - shows at the Slaughtered Lamb in London, a church in Laugharne and the Cork School Of Music have all featured in his recent schedules - now he's playing Bush Hall on 20th September. Tickets are £12.50 and on sale from us on Friday - they will sell quickly.
Also on sale this week are Liverpool's perky pop outfit The Wombats with a pair of hometown shows at the O2 Academy on 8th / 9th Dec, "The Long March 2012" tour for Henry Rollins in January, an exclusive Shepherd's Bush show for art-rockers Crystal Fighters on 14th Sep, a rare Roundhouse show for electro outfit Cut Copy on 27th Oct, a KOKO gig for Belgian rock masters dEUS on 11th Oct and a string of shows for Octane OK.
London's Hyde Park will once again bring BBC Radio 2 and the great British listening public together for a sensational, star-studded all-day show on 11th September, starring the great Lionel Richie and Jools Holland, plus guests Ruby Turner and Sandie Shaw. Tickets cost £32.50 with picnic options also available.
Once again, another superb season from the Royal Opera House in London awaits opera and ballet-lovers alike during the winter months, including this Richard Eyre production of Verdi's heartbreaking story of Violetta, the 'self-sacrificing courtesan'. Performances run from 3rd Oct to 25th Jan and various intervals, with very limted tickets costing from £13.
Other new operas announced by the Royal Opera House as part of their 2011/12 season include Faust (from 18th Sep -10th Oct), Der Fliegende Hollander (18th Oct - 4th Nov) and La Sonnambula (2nd Nov -18th Nov). Ticket prices vary from as little as £15, rising to as much as £200.
As well as new opera productions at the Royal Opera House, the iconic venue is also presenting a new season of ballet performances including this celebration of precious stones. With choreography by George Balanchine and music by Fauré, rubies, emeralds and diamonds are given a respectful gleam by the Royal Ballet. Runs from 20th Sep to 5th October with limited tickets from £15.
Other new ballets at the Royal Opera House include the incredible Manon (3rd - 26th Nov), The Sleeping Beauty (22nd Oct - 21st Dec) and this year's Festive production, The Nutcracker (3rd Dec - 18th Jan). Ticket prices vary from as little as £15, rising to around £100.
Jason Pierce and co have recently announced changes to their upcoming tour schedule. The ATP Royal Albert Hall date is the only one unaffected by the changes, but the Edinburgh date will now take place on 9th Oct (not the 6th) and the Leamington Spa gig taking place on 10th (originally 5th). All other dates will now take place in February. Original tickets remain valid, but if required, a refund can be obtained from your point of purchase.
In the last three or four years, Lakeman has joined the folk elite and, in 2011, he's a guaranteed crowd-puller. Following a series of spring and summer dates, he has announced a UK tour in December, beginning in Cheltenham on the 2nd, then on to Dartford, Exeter, Holmfirth and more until Falmouth on the 18th. Prices start at £17.