The Week Ahead from 19th September 2011: Hard-Fi, Echo and the Bunnymen, Onslaught, The Twang, Viva Brother, Guinness Arthur's Day and more

Posted: 14th September 2011

Now that the festival season has almost petered-out for another year, attentions turn to proper tours and less-elaborate gatherings. Having said that, Ireland's mammoth Guinness Arthur's Day on Thursday, looks like a sell-out with a line-up worth toasting. Hard-Fi, Echo and the Bunnymen and Onslaught head up the music offerings, as well as Yusuf Islam appearing at the worthy Peace One Day 2011 event in London on Wednesday.

Don't miss out on two exciting new plays in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "Terrible Advice", both starring big names from TV.

All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

This week:


Richard Archer returns with his Staines massive and some "Killer Sounds" (the recent Top 10 album), with shows from Norwich on Wednesday to Wolverhampton (1st Oct). All but the HMV Forum show on Friday are still available from us at £15 to £18.50.

Echo and the Bunnymen Echo and the Bunnymen
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The band's successful '80s album, "Ocean Rain", will be the subject of a complete run-through on their tour which starts in Dublin on Friday, before heading over to Manchester on the following night. The final show in Liverpool on 30th September has sold out - but they will return there for a Christmas show on 17th December.

If it's a thorough thrashing you want, head to one of classic metal band Onslaught's first live shows for many years. The first show kicks off in Cardiff on Wednesday and continues with Gama Bomb in support until Irish shows in Cork and Dublin. £10 - £12.

Birmingham's party-animals are back on the road to plug new songs from their upcoming 3rd album, due in January 2012. Luton on Friday triggers a tour covering most of the UK, culminating on 22nd October in Manchester (which has sold out). £12.50 - £15.

Sweeping their recent same-name lawsuit episode aside, the young Brit-rock outfit will be out promoting Top 40 album, "Famous First Words" from Newcastle on Wednesday to London on 30th September. All shows are available for £10 - £12.50.

Another Brit-rock band with their eyes on the prize will be playing some bargain-priced gigs, starting in Wrexham on Wednesday and continuing via Manchester, London and more until hometown Stoke on 8th October. Our tickets are start at £5.

Her new album, "Alone", is a more stripped-down minimal take on her usual top-selling formula of traditional Irish arrangements and beautifully plaintive vocals - you can catch her on tour from Sunday in Brighton (with Emily Baker), followed by intimate UK shows up to Oswestry's gig on 6th October, the latter costing just £5 admission (the rest are from £8).

Felix da Housecat Felix Da Housecat
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Next week, US electro-techno-house legend Da Housecat will pump up the crowds at Brixton's new Electric venue for its massive opening night on Saturday, then heading north to Glasgow's Arches on Sunday. Don't miss out - tickets for both appearances cost just £15!

Salford and Chester will host two big sets by the Hacienda legend, pairing him up with two more DJs commonly associated with the Whitworth Street venue of the '80s/'90s. In Salford (£8), he will be joined by Dave Haslam, while Chester's night (part of his Hacienda Tour) is topped off by DJ Greg Wilson (£10).

Josh T. Pearson Josh T. Pearson
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Also happening this week are the first of three shows from acclaimed alt-country troubadour Pearson, a clutch of shows from hotly-tipped folk duo Spiers and Boden, folk-legend Martin Simpson (with Alasdair Roberts), fabulous jazz 'n' funk artist Trombone Shorty, Brighton's Cave Painting and two rare Perth shows for "Good Tradition" singer, Tanita Tikaram.


Guinness Arthur's Day Guinness Arthur's Day
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Next Thursday will celebrate the black stuff in Belfast, Dublin and Cork with various shows including The Enemy, Ash, Stereophonics, Yasmin, Seasick Steve, Paloma Faith and Scissor Sisters. Some are sold out (Scissor Sisters for example) - others vary in price.

Yusuf Islam Yusuf Islam, Eliza Doolittle, Youssou N'Dour, the English National Ballet and speakers Jeremy Gilley and Jude Law form the line-up of this peace-celebration event on Wednesday. Limited tickets are available for the O2 Arena show for £21 and £50.
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Theatre, Comedy and Arts

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
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Bolton's Octagon Theatre will host this acclaimed work by Edward Albee, starring Matthew Kelly and Tracey Childs. A couple invite their guests to an evening of hell - but we're sure you won't experience such an evening from Thursday onwards. £9.50 - £19.50.

Terrible Advice Terrible Advice
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Canadian actor-cum-playwright Saul Rubinek's new romantic-comedy deals with best friends being best friends but friends with secrets. Andy Nyman and Caroline Quentin head-up the Menier Chocolate Factory for two months from Thursday. Prices start from £29.50.

London Fashion Weekend London Fashion Weekend
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Calling all budding fashionistas - Somerset House in London will be hosting this year's LFW from Thursday until Sunday. A concentration of fashion exhibitors, catwalk shows and of course, plenty of shopping can be yours for as little as £16, rising to £39.50 for all-inclusive 'Shop & The Lot' admission.

Covent Garden's Royal Opera House will present this glamorous George Balanchine ballet dedicated to 'the brilliance and sparkle of emeralds, rubies and diamonds', coupled with the majestic music of Faure and Stravinsky, featuring the Royal Ballet. The first show of six starts on Tuesday with very limited tickets starting from £15.

The Pub Landlord is out and about again in a 'beautiful patriotic show of comedic strength for the beautiful British people'. His first two Barrel of Fun shows are sold out (Cheltenham and Durham) but Leeds, Belfast and Guildford are a few that are still on sale.

If you're in the East Midlands soon, then next week's comedy festival all-dayer may be right up your street. Many of Nottingham's comedy-venues will be hosting shows until 1st October, featuring Reginald D. Hunter, Tom Stade, Howard Marks and an all-dayer at Bunker's Hill on Sunday (£7).

Happy clicking!

Paul Pledger