On sale this week: The Who, Clarence Darrow, Drenge, Van Morrison, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Jungle, Kevin Bridges and more
It’s been a mighty week for live announcements, with all kinds of ace gigs, concerts, comedy shows and theatre runs appearing. Take full advantage of all this great stuff and make sure you get booking tickets tomorrow morning. And remember, if you’re after more live music, there’s plenty to be found over at our Just announced page.
TEENAGE CANCER TRUST
Royal Albert Hall, Mar 23–28
This series of high-profile charity music and comedy concerts is hosted at the Royal Albert Hall and features an impressive cast of rock, pop, blues and comedy royalty. Music-wise, you can catch Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (supported by Future Islands), The Who (supported by Wilko Johnson), Van Morrison, Stereophonics and Paul Weller. If it’s laughs you’re after, Scottish comic Kevin Bridges can provide those. And we hardly need point out that it’s all in the name of a mighty good cause.
Tickets go on sale at 9am tomorrow
Old Vic, Mar 3–Apr 11
It’s official. Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic and Hollywood film star has confirmed that his final performances on the Old Vic stage while he’s the theatre’s boss will be as Clarence Darrow. Before stepping down later this year, he will revive the one-man piece about the remarkable real-life human rights lawyer, which he performed last year for a two-week run. Tickets go on sale to the general public today, Friday Jan 30 at noon and, needless to say, will probably be sell out faster than you can say ‘Wait! I want one!’ So be quick.
Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Oct 4
London, be prepared to ‘Eat It‘ – the unashamedly ‘Tacky‘ king of musical parodies, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, is heading to the capital to play a huge show at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith. In his nearly 40-year career ‘Weird Al’s recorded over 150 songs – mainly silly parodies of famous tracks – and sold more than 12 million albums.
Never one to be behind musical trends, the 55-year-old comic is currently on a career high. His latest album, ‘Mandatory Fun’ – which parodies Pharrell Williams, Iggy Azalea and Lorde, among others – shot straight to number one on the US Billboard 200, making it the first chart-topping comedy record ever. Not bad for a frizzy-haired accordionist from California.
Electric Ballroom, Apr 21
This weirdly named duo play barrelling blues-rock with just guitar and drums – a minimal format that’s been hugely popular in recent years thanks to the success of various Black Keys and White Stripes. The difference is that Drenge are two punk-loving teenagers from the Peak District: the Loveless brothers. Which would have been a much better band name, wouldn’t it?
Electric Brixton, May 22
The speccy electro wizard finally returned last year with a new album, ‘Luck’, after a three-year wait between LPs – nothing compared to the six-year gap after his ace debut ‘We Have Sound’, but still a long time to go without a fresh dose of his raw riffs, sharp edges and baritone vocals. But we’d hardly stopped spinning the new Vek when he announced that he was taking things right back to the start, playing ‘We Have Sound’ in full at this unmissable London show. Way to keep us on our toes, Tom.
O2 Academy Brixton, Jun 3
The mighty Jungle came from nowhere to become one of 2014’s biggest new music sensations, releasing a series of steamy, disco-edged neo-funk singles backed by instantly viral videos including a six-year-old breakdancer and the High Rollaz freestyle rollerskating team. After selling out a run of London gigs last year off the back of their self-titled, Mercury-nominated debut album, they’re back to dominate 2015 with more big shows. Groovy.
The Phoenix, Feb 20–22
This weekend comedy festival at the Phoenix pub is sure to warm you up this February. The Phoenix Fringe’s winter weekender (the gang also run an alternative to the Edinburgh Fringe during August) featuring a ton of top comics, both big names and circuit favourites. Across the weekend you can catch Russell Howard, Rich Hall, Katherine Ryan, Sara Pascoe and many more, with every show just £10 (or £8 in advance), or ‘session’ ticket of three shows for £20.
Hyde Park, Jun 21
Ms Minogue returns in all her ever-smiling, costume-changing, high-gloss pop glory, this time for a huge Hyde Park show as part of the annual British Summer Time concert series. She has a hefty back catalogue to select from, veering from the genuinely great (‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’) to the frankly rather grisly (‘The Locomotion’), and will also doubtless be airing songs from last year’s ‘Kiss Me Once‘ album. A good chance to see an uberstar and professional performer in a grandiose but far-from-souless setting.
Roundhouse, Jun 24 and 25
Much-loved Scottish quintet who are often described as post rockers because of their love of kraut-ish, instrumental workouts but are in fact equally beguiled by the minimalism of Erik Satie, Sunn O)))’s monolithic thunderings and Big Black’s boiling rage. These two shows are to mark the band’s twentieth anniversary, which should mean an epic trawl through a substantial, distortion-drenched back catalogue, including tracks from 2014’s well-received album ‘Rave Tapes‘.
South Bank, Apr 8–Jul 19
This year’s inflatable-purple-cow based shindig on the South Bank has just announced it’s first batch of shows. Plenty more will be added in the coming weeks, but for now you can book for smart Canadian comic Katherine Ryan, podcasting king Richard Herring (performing a ‘best of’), mischievous musical comedy gang The Horne Section, triple Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee James Acaster and lots more.