Given singer-songwriter Karl Wallinger's teetering health in recent years, the chances of ever witnessing a World Party show seemed, at one point, a little unlikely. But the man is a fighter and, thankfully, his speech-altering aneurysm at the beginning of the 21st-century has lain dormant for over a decade.
All of which left an enormous gap in his song-writing and release schedule. His last album under the World Party moniker had been the rather super but ignored "Dumbing Up", a confident yet reflective set of songs that didn't sit well with any radio-station, even though the lead-off single "Here Comes the Future" still rates as one of his commercial best, along with "Message in the Box", "Is It Like Today" or "Way Down Now". In the intervening ten years since his illness, Wallinger had amassed a lot of material, from rare archive demos of World Party classics, or never-before-released songs, much of which just had to be issued in some form or another.
That form was a 5-CD set entitled "Arkeology", a box-set of over 70 songs gathered together from all manner of places - radio sessions, concerts and studio outtakes. It feels like a new album, albeit a very long one. And someone, somewhere has to promote it. Cue Karl.
After a triumphant return to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall in 2012, Wallinger is all set to do it again but this time at smaller selected venues around the UK (oh, and London again). So far, Manchester (15th April), two shows at Chelsea's Under The Bridge venue (17th/18th), Nottingham, Cambridge, Southsea and Holmfirth have been confirmed, with more shows likely (there are gaps in the calendar).
Tickets on sale Friday 1st February, with the Manchester and London dates on sale at 9.30am and the remaining gigs on sale at 9am. Prices range from £22.50 to £27.50.