Celebrate the start of March and, hopefully, the start of spring in the best way possible: by booking a shedload of tickets for great gigs, concerts and comedy shows. There’s lots of brilliant stuff on the radar this week, so make sure you’re up nice and early when tickets go on sale tomorrow morning – just don’t rush and end up tripping over your cape in the process.
Hyde Park, Jun 18
One of the biggest indie bands of the noughties are back on British shores for the first time in five years, as headliners for the BST series of open-air gigs in Hyde Park. Julian Casablancas and his slick New Yorkers have had a few bust-ups over the years, and haven’t released a new album in two years (their last, ‘Comedown Machine’, was dropped without much fanfare and there was no tour to promote it), but they’re always a great live act. There’s a cool support bill too, including alt pop perennial Beck (back to his old acid-folk ways on his last album ‘Morning Phase’), Future Islands, Public Service Broadcasting and The Wytches.
Royal Albert Hall, Sep 23-25
Pink Floyd’s long-serving guitar man, singer and songwriter returns to the Albert Hall for his first London shows in almost a decade. Last time he was here in 2006, he was joined on stage by David Bowie, Robert Wyatt, David Crosby and Graham Nash (plus the late Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright) and performed a gamut of classics by his old band. With friends and a back catalogue like that, who cares about a bit of flab on the solo material? Tickets go on sale at 10am tomorrow
The O2, May 15
For a sixth consecutive year, some of British comedy’s biggest-name stand-ups share the stage to help raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital at this massive arena fundraiser. The all-star line-up is more or less the same as previous years, with a few new(er) acts thrown into the arena scenario. Plus, unlike previous years, Lee Evans isn’t on the line-up (yet) having announced he was giving up stand-up at the end of last year. But the line-up does include Michael McIntyre, Kevin Bridges, Alan Carr, Jack Dee, Jonathan Ross, Jon Richardson, Sean Lock, Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe, Katherine Ryan, Aisling Bea, Jason Byrne, Rich Hall, Rob Beckett, Romesh Ranganathan, Seann Walsh, Shappi Khorsandi, Paul Chowdhry and Warwick Davis. Plus more acts to be announced.
O2 Academy Brixton, Nov 8
After performing only sporadically for almost a decade, Shirley Manson and her electro-grunge boys came back with a new album ‘Not Your Kind of People’ in 2012. For fans the bad news is that there’s no more new material, but the good news is that huge ’90s singles ‘Only Happy When It Rains’ and ‘Stupid Girl’ are dead certs for the set list at this Brixton show, where the band will be celebrating 20 years since their hugely popular debut album. We’re assuming that means a full run-through of the album’s 12 tracks.
Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Sep 12 and 13
The Anglo-American folk-rock supergroup come together again for a visit to London, and with a band name like that you can be sure it’s sure the original line-up. David Crosby of The Byrds, Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of The Hollies were at the centre of the Laurel Canyon scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s and made their debut as a trio at Woodstock, and their trademark vocal harmonies are more influential than ever nowadays thanks to the success of bands like Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons.