The sun’s out – time for a look at some of this summer’s open-air gigs. This week some proper musical legends have announced they’ll be hitting London’s parks this summer, and there are also plenty of big names playing venues with an actual roof. Check out our full ‘Just announced’ list for the whole scoop, but here are the top shows you should be booking tickets for when they go on sale tomorrow morning…
It’s not unusual for Tom Jones to play a huge open-air gig, but it is pretty rare to be able to see him for under 40 quid a ticket. The hyper-affable, mum-, aunt- and gran-friendly Welsh belter headlines the family day of the British Summer Time series: watch out for flying M&S underwear. Also on the bill are Boyzone, Little Mix, 10cc and plenty to keep the under-13s occupied too.
Headlining the night after Aerosmith, funk and soul guru Stevie’s got an almost never-ending supply of timeless, funky, soulful cuts that will be the perfect tonic for the Sunday crowd at the Calling festival on Clapham Common.
The inimitable ex-White Stripe/Racounteur/Dead Weather riffer has announced this one-off UK live date in support of new album, ‘Lazaretto’. It’s White’s first British show since his 2012 tour to promote his ‘Blunderbuss’ album. As ever, expect gnarly guitars, saloon-style piano and plenty of Nashville-steeped soul.
After some canny guest appearances on high-charting songs including Disclosure’s ‘Latch’ and Naughty Boy’s ‘La La La’, Smith’s launched his own career as a deft contemporary R&B songwriter with a wonderfully smooth and delicate voice. Don’t miss him leaping octaves at his biggest London show to date.
Never say ‘Never Ever’: All Saints are back together! Having reunited for the second time last year to support Backstreet Boys, the ’90s girl group are now embarking on another big reunion tour with some fellow ‘Smash Hits!’ alumni: Atomic Kitten (whole again as of 2012), East 17, piano-bashing pop-rockers Let Loose, Big Brovaz and Ace Of Base’s Jenny Berggren. Learn all the words to ‘Pure Shores’ (if you don’t know them already, which you probably do) and strap in for a nostalgia trip. Read more about the All Saints reunion!
The ’80s Celtic soul troupe behind ‘Geno’ and ‘Come on Eileen’ are now operating under a shortened name, and made a triumphant return in 2012 with the critically acclaimed ‘One Day I’m Going to Soar’ – their first album since 1985. They’ll be hitting Chalk Farm’s Roundhouse, dipping into old material (too-rye-ay!) as well as performing most or all of the new record.
The pint-sized electro wizard finally returns with new material. Three years since his last record ‘Leisure Seizure’, expect a clutch of Vek classics – full of Talking Heads-ish raw riffs, sharp edges and baritone vocals – alongside top-notch tracks from his new record ‘Luck’.
The ex-Libertine, Dirty Pretty Thing and all-round indie hero plays the first date with his new band, The Jackals, which he recruited over the internet and through auditions at a south-east London boozer. We don’t know what they sound like yet, but it’s not unlikely that you’ll hear a fair few Libertines and DPT-type indie/rocky/grungy bluesy influences in there.
If you missed out on tickets to childlike comedy superstar Russell Howard’s Royal Albert Hall gigs next week, you’re in luck. He’s heading back to London – to his spiritual home, the O2 Arena – as a pre-Christmas comedy treat.
The brash, confrontational, dangerously funny Aussie comic – who was once a regular on the UK comedy circuit – takes a summer vacation in our city, with a one-off date at the suitably grimy Brixton Academy. Jefferies rarely visits our shores these days – he now spends his time writing and shooting his sitcom ‘Legit’ in the States. But the stand-up’s hardcore fanbase will snap up these tickets quicker than they can down a Jägerbomb.
All hail to the ale! Can you believe Al Murray has now spent 20 years as the Pub Landlord? He’s celebrating the milestone with a huge national tour – ‘One Man, One Guvnor’ – which he’s bringing to the New Wimbledon Theatre and the Southbank Centre. Just remember: please take your glasses back to the bar…