The Week Ahead from Monday 25th July 2011: Squeeze, Madness, Robert Cray Band, Eddie Spaghetti, James Morrison, Heaven 17 and more

Posted: 20th July 2011

Coming up this week, there are plenty of opportunities to wallow in wet, smelly mud up-and-down the country as the summer really starts to kick in with more rain and superb festivals. Camp Bestival, Kendal Calling and Global Gathering are all hoping the clouds clear next weekend.

There is an element of '80s memory-jogging with Scotland's version of the Rewind '80s Festival and Madness yomping around in Norfolk.

Eden Project in Cornwall is the place to be for their spectacular Labyrinth circus show, while Bob The Builder Live is nailing and banging his way around the UK, keeping the kids giggling and happy.

All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

This week:


From Tuesday onwards, South East London welcomes several big names from the world of pop and rock, starting with The Divine Comedy. Mark Ronson, Status Quo, Squeeze, The Pogues and Chris Difford headline the other shows throughout the week - tickets cost from £27.50.

Blicking Hall in Norfolk will host this special outdoor event featuring the Nutty Boys, as well as Specials singer, Neville Staple, in support. Saturday's show starts at 6pm and costs £34 (£20 for under 13s). This is their only headliner prior to their various festival slots.

Rodrigo y Gabriela and Seasick Steve bring their contemporary global sounds to Marlay Park in Dublin, with hobo-bluesmaster Seasick Steve sharing the spoils with the alt-flamenco Mexican pairing, Rodrigo y Gabriela, who are no strangers to Ireland it seems. Tickets for the Sunday show cost from €39.50.
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Robert Cray Band Robert Cray Band
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A master of the electric blues and a long-standing and respected artist, Cray performs just one UK show this year and it's in London at the Cadogan Hall on Thursday night. If you can't resist this man's masterly fret-work, tickets are still available for £34.50.

Eddie Spaghetti Eddie Spaghetti
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He's normally thumbing the basslines out for US alt-rockers, Supersuckers, but now Eddie Spaghetti is out on his own for a UK tour from Wednesday onwards. Islington is as good a place as any to start - tickets cost £10 or less!

If pop-punk floats your canoe, head to Liverpool or Birmingham on Thursday and Sunday to see the start of this band's UK tour. The first show is sold out, but Birmingham's triple-header with The Famous Class and The Fuel is still up for £6 (as indeed are the following shows).

Easy Star All-Stars Easy Star All-Stars
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Previously famous for adding a reggae lilt to Pink Floyd and Radiohead songs, this entertaining US band now have self-penned material at the ready. Their first stop is a rare date in Hitchin on Friday, followed by August stops in Edinburgh, Brighton etc with all tickets costing from £15.

Before heading to the Roundhouse for his iTunes Festival slot on Saturday, Morrison will perform shows in Norwich (Weds - £20) and Cambridge (Thurs - sold out). There are a few resale tickets available for the latter show, priced from £22.99 upwards.

Fans of this enduring electro-pop outfit will be spoilt for choice this week, provided they have the readies! They play the Vintage Festival 2011 with Recoil and Thomas Dolby at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday (£60/£80), then Whitstable's harbour for Macmillan Cancer Support on Saturday (£50) and the Rewind '80s Festival on Sunday (see below).

Surprisingly, this Monto Water Rats show hasn't yet sold out - Thursday's gig is Dolby's first since the release of his latest material, including the EP "Oceanea" and an album, "Floating City". Tickets are £17.50. He is also appearing at the Vintage Festival at the Royal Festival Hall on Friday.

There are legends and there is Derrick May, a true pioneer of electronic dance music, all the way from Detroit. Manchester's Joshua Brooks club is the lucky venue where you can expect to hear tracks from his own Transmat imprint on Friday evening, all for just £10.


Bestival's smaller sibling has just as robust a line-up at the weekend, including Blondie, Mark Ronson and Primal Scream. Weekend tickets for the bash at Lulworth Castle are still on sale for £170, or £70 for day tickets.

Rewind Scotland - the '80s Festival 2011
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Scone Palace near Perth in Scotland is the location for this line-up of some of the biggest and influential names in '80s pop - The Human League, Go West, ABC, Heaven 17, Kim Wilde and Howard Jones are just some of the two dozen acts. Tickets cost £105 for the weekend or £47.50 per day.

Other festivals taking place this weekend include Global Gathering at Long Marston (Underworld/Sasha/Tinie Tempah - £99), Kendal Calling 2011 in Cumbria (Frank Turner, Blondie, Chase and Status - face-value sold out, resales from £129) and the nearby Maryport Blues Festival 2011 in Netherhall (Joe Louis Walker/ Jonny Lang - £35 to £55 per day).

Theatre, Comedy and Arts

London's Trafalgar Studios will begin presenting this fantasy musical written by Ian McFarlane and starring Ellen Greene (Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors), from Tuesday until 20th August. Two friends are magically transported to the oppressed land of In-Between, in need of some serious rescuing. Tickets cost £25.

For five weeks from Thursday onwards, you can head to Regent's Parks' splendid Open Air Theatre to see this remarkable production of the Gershwin classic musical. You can indeed 'get rhythm' with Early Bird preview tickets costing from £35.50, rising to £37.50 from 7th August onwards.

Against the Tide [play] Against the Tide [play]
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William Morris didn't just design interiors and furniture - he was something of a poet and a revolutionary with a bohemian lifestyle that hinted at drinking, debauchery and decadence. Thus this will make an interesting story with performances in Lewes (Tues to Fri) and Brighton (1st to 6th Aug) costing £10.

Labyrinth [NoFit State]

If you are heading to Cornwall in the next month or so, no doubt you will consider visiting the fabulous Eden Project in its 10th year, especially this large-scale contemporary circus show that features aerial acrobatics and an exclusive stage set. Tickets cost £12.50 for the evening show - runs from Friday until 29th August.

The US pairing have raised the bar of surrealism and satire, no doubt licking their lips at the past fortnight's scandals. Their trio of Leicester Square Theatre shows have long sold-out, but Camden's Electric Ballroom still has limited tickets left for Friday's show - priced at £17.50

Bob The Builder Live Bob The Builder Live
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Can he fix it? You bet he can, though perhaps the UK crime-rate and hacking scandals might be a bit beyond the lovable kids character. But pop him in front of a young live audience and he'll captivate with songs and stories with all his chums. Hastings is the next stop on his occasional tour with tickets costing from £15 - next stop is the North East from 3rd August.

Happy clicking!

Paul Pledger