The Week Ahead from Monday 23rd Jan 2012: Emeli Sandé, Rizzle Kicks, the Maccabees, James Morrison, Kaiser Chiefs, Frank Skinner and more

Posted: 18th January 2012

From next Monday (23rd), two familiar and revered music brands will be unveiling their 'hopes for 2012', music-wise at any rate. Emeli Sandé, Rizzle Kicks, the Maccabees and Dry the River are part of the line-up, while other key tours will be kicking off for James Morrison, Reel Big Fish and Kaiser Chiefs.

Brummie comic Frank Skinner will be taking a break from hit TV-series 'Opinionated' for a showcase residency in London with friends, while Neil Morrissey will be 'picking a pocket or two' in Manchester in the smash musical 'Oliver!'

All prices are exclusive of booking fees.

This week:


Q Now: The Sessions 2012

Five upcoming and much-touted acts will be paraded under the Q banner next week with XOYO hosting shows by Emeli Sandé and Rizzle Kicks (both sold out) and Dry the River, To Kill a King and Howler still available for just £10. You also get good support acts across all the shows.

MTV Brand New For 2012

Not surprisingly, Emeli Sandé also features on MTV's heavily-laden radar - she's appearing at the second of two shows at KOKO next week. First up though are current Top 5 darlings, The Maccabees on Tuesday night (with Lana Del Rey - £15) with Sandé's Wednesday show (with Delilah) selling fast, also at £15.

RBF have recently finished a huge tour of the Americas before the UK tour kicks off in Birmingham on Friday, followed by shows in Nottingham, Newcastle, Manchester, and more before the final date at the Shepherds Bush Empire on Thursday 9th February 2012. That opener in Brum, plus Reading, have sold out with the rest costing £14.50.

After selling out his earlier November tour, Morrison returns with another promotional jaunt for the #1 album, 'The Awakening'. He's sold out half of his dates this time around, with only Dublin, Manchester (31st), Cambridge, Leicester, Birmingham, Hammersmith (10th Feb), Leeds and Nottingham available - prices start at £28.50.

Proof that the future isn't medieval (to misquote their recent album), thousands of Kaiser's fans have ensured that almost all shows on this tour have sold out. All except Friday's stop in Llandudno, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Blackpool, Sheffield, Manchester and Hammersmith, that is. Tickets cost £25/£26.50 and support comes from the fledgling indie kids, All The Young or Frankie and the Heartstrings.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
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The first show on CYHSY's upcoming tour, which starts in Belfast on Friday, has already sold out, but you can still catch the Brooklyn band in Glasgow, Leeds, Norwich etc until their final two stops in Shepherd's Bush and Brighton on 8th and 13th Feb respectively. Tickets cost £12.50 (or £16 for Shepherd's Bush).

Lee Scratch Perry Lee Scratch Perry
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Legends don't come wrapped any more of oddball than reggae and ska producer, musician and dub-prophet, Mr Perry. He doesn't tour in the UK too often, so it'll be worth catching him in his 75th year in Brighton, London's Jazz Cafe and Manchester etc. Expect skanking eccentricity by the lorry-load.

Four Year Strong Four Year Strong
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Armed with hardcore punk-pop tunes and natty beards, Four Year Strong have a new album looming on the horizon and a tour which starts in Brighton on Wednesday night, followed by Birmingham and a handful more until 1st Feb, when they hit Camden's KOKO - tickets for all shows weigh in at £12.50.

Recent album '4everevolution' was due to be plugged last year, but Manuva's ill-health knocked some of this tour forward to next week. The first show on Thursday kicks off in Chester, with Manchester, Leeds and final date at London's Roundhouse just some of the stops on his travels. Brighton is sold out, the rest cost £15/£17.50.

Other tempting shows taking place next week include tours for ex-Stranglers singer Hugh Cornwell (all available at £18/£20), Panic!At the Disco's UK jaunt (Brum, Bristol and Soton all sold out, rest £17.50), folk-rockers Bellowhead (Guildford sold out, rest £23) and soul/r'n'b vocal-group, Boyz II Men (Brighton sold out, rest £27.50/£30).

Theatre, Comedy and Arts

Manchester's Palace Theatre is the setting for their take on Lionel Bart's heart-warming and family-friendly musical. Men Behaving Badly star, Neil Morrissey, plays as Fagin, meanly steering the cast through classics such as 'Consider Yourself' and 'Food Glorious Food' - tickets start at £24, rising to £62 with the show running from Thursday until 10th March.

Sense and Sensibility Sense and Sensibility
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There are a handful of different versions of Jane Austen's classic story, including the fringe production from Rosemary Branch Theatre which starts on Wednesday night and continues until 19th February. Tickets cost from £8 to £12 and are available for all shows.

In amongst the hit Alan Ayckbourn plays of the lucrative '70s sits 'Absent Friends'. This new version at the Harold Pinter Theatre features an all-star cast, including David Armand (Armstrong and Miller), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Whites) and Reece Shearsmith. Special Offer tickets cost from as little as £18 - limited period only.

He may be 'opinionated', but he's still very much into his stand-up comedy. This series of shows at the Noël Coward Theatre from Monday until 4th Feb, features several of Skinner's friends including Jason Cook, Richard Herring, Rob Deering and Beardyman (plus many more). Each show features Frank headlining and costs £16.

Happy Clicking!

Paul Pledger