With Easter approaching, you really should be saving your money to buy overpriced chocolate eggs for other people. But that doesn’t sound so fun, does it? What sounds much more appealing is spending your hard-earned on YOU and buying tickets for some of the hottest gigs, comedy shows and concerts around, right? As luck would have it, there have been loads of great shows announced this week. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning, except those for superbly cynical, brilliantly boozy comic/angry guy Doug Stanhope – tickets for his show are available on Monday morning, but we wanted to flag it up, because he’s just as great as the rest of the stuff we’ve highlighted below.
O2 Academy Brixton, May 21
The ringleader of The Killers first went solo in 2010 with an album called ‘Flamingo’, and now follows it up with a second LP called ‘The Desired Effect’ and a live tour. Cue more synths, drama and stadium posing from the most flamboyant Mormon you’ll see outside of the West End and Broadway.
The O2, Sep 20
A man to whom the word ‘legendary’ can be applied without any fear of hyperbole, Brian Wilson was the troubled but titanic talent behind The Beach Boys: the man whose obsession with Phil Spector led him to create ‘Pet Sounds’ and change the face of pop music forever. Now somewhat frail, Wilson nonetheless commands a huge amount of (deserved) respect and has an immense, incredible back catalogue to draw from.
SARAH MILLICAN – OUTSIDER
Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, May 13 and 14 2016
The seemingly sweet but secretly filthy comic has announced a massive new tour – Millican’s playing a whopping 129 dates across the country! You’ll have to wait till May 2016 to catch the BBC Two star’s Hammersmith Apollo shows, though. And good on her for not going down the arena route – Millican could easily fill the O2, but it wouldn’t fit her cosy style.
A childhood spent on the stormy coast of north-east England seems to have bred a glowering intensity in Nadine Shah, or rather in the dramatic gothic ballads she writes and performs. Shah began her career as a jazz vocalist – hence the superb vibrato and captivating stage presence – but nowadays she’s backed by a full band making a clangorous, discordant rock racket that complements her bold melodies very nicely indeed. Hear her here performing from her brilliant new album ‘Fast Food’, a gallery of remembered loves that runs the full range from scathing to tender. There are good reasons why she keeps getting compared to Nick Cave and PJ Harvey.
Royal Albert Hall, Oct 15
Legendary kitchen-sink songwriters Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook have influenced hundreds of artists with their perfect pop gems, and you’ll hear a selection of their finest work at this big gig, the first Squeeze show in London for a few years. The pair patched things up for a partial Squeeze reunion in 2007, and have gigged on and off since then, but this is the first time that they’ve got a substantial body of new material with which to pad out the old hits: the first Squeeze album since 1998 is due this year.
Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Oct 10
We’re massive fans of this hellraising US stand-up (as seen on ‘Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe’). Stanhope tackles hard-hitting topics – politics, sex, drugs, religion, death – with brutal honesty and drunken intelligence. The Arizona-based comic’s rambling, alcohol-fuelled social commentaries are utterly thrilling, and no two shows are ever quite the same. It’s been a while since he played London, and we can’t wait.
Check out the rest of this week’s big live music announcements.