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The Muppets bringing their 'musical extravaganza' to London's O2 Arena (2018)

The Muppets

Story by Jack Foley

THE Muppets – aka Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and company – are to bring their ‘musical extravaganza’ to London as part of their first ever European tour.

The stars of the classic ’70s TV show, as well as the recent hit movie, will play two dates at London’s O2 Arena on July 13 and 14. Kermit is being billed as the headliner, after stellar performances during their sell-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl last year.

The enthusiastic frog commented: “We’re thrilled to bring this first time ever live performance to all our fans in the UK. There’ll be music, comedy, incredible surprises, plus total and complete chaos. In other words: It’s the Muppets! Yaaaay!

“We’ve wanted to do a show like this for a long time, and now – after finally getting all Miss Piggy’s luggage through customs – we have the chance to appear live at The O2 Arena!”

Miss Piggy added: “I can’t wait to be there to entertain, astonish, dazzle and otherwise gobsmack all moi’s fabulous fans! Wear socks, sweetie, cause I’m gonna knock ‘em off. I will amaze everyone with this first-ever live performance…. and, of course, for the official renaming of ‘The MOI 2’ arena.”

Tickets for the show go on sale next Friday, March 2, at 09am GMT.

Kylie Minogue announces Golden UK Arena tour (2018)

Kylie

Story by Jack Foley

KYLIE Minogue, currently on a high with her brand new track Dancing, will bring her Golden tour to the UK this autumn.

In keeping with the album title, this production which will be centred around the new LP, although her back catalogue will be embraced. Tickets for the shows go on sale via all regular outlets, including Ticketmaster, on March 2 and can also be purchased via Kylie’s own website.

Kylie fans can take advantage of a special pre-sale on February 28. For info on the pre-sale, please follow this link.

The tour includes two nights at London’s O2 Arena on Wednesday and Thursday, September 26 and 27.

The full tour dates are (all September and October 2018)

September
18 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
20 – Nottingham Motorpoint Arena
21 – Birmingham Genting Arena
22 – Bournemouth International Centre
24 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
26 & 27 – London The O2
30 – Glasgow SSE Hydro

October
1 – Manchester Arena
3 – Liverpool Echo Arena
4 – Leeds First Direct Arena
7 – Ireland Dublin 3 Arena
8 – Belfast The SSE Arena

Brit Awards 2018: Stormzy and Dua Lipa emerge as the big winners

Stormzy

Story by Jack Foley

GRIME artist Stormzy and pop star Dua Lipa have emerged as the big winners at the 2018 Brit Awards.

Stormzy took the night’s biggest prize, beating Ed Sheeran to British Album of the Year for his LP, Gang Signs & Prayer. He was also named best British male solo artist, again ahead of Sheeran.

Dua Lipa, meanwhile, was named British Breakthrough Artist and British Female Artist.

For Stormzy, the win for best album was particularly memorable, given that it took two years for him to complete, following delays with depression and writer’s block. In receiving the award, he said that it was the “hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life”.

The ensuing album mixes traditional grime elements with gospel, soul and R&B.

Stormzy also sprung the night’s first big surprise, when he beat the hotly-tipped global superstar Sheeran to British Male Solo Artist. He chose to thank God for this one, adding: “He’s the reason I do what I do.”

And in what looks set to be a landmark evening for him in terms of global perception from here on in, Stormzy then took to the stage to close the ceremony and performed a memorable set that was shot through with intimate emotion and political point-making.

His performance began with a heartfelt rendition of Blinded By Your Grace. Pt.2, as the rain poured down on him alone, before then evolving into a rapid fire slam of the government and Prime Minister Theresa May over their handling of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

His set then concluded with Stormzy removing his soaked shirt for a bare-chested delivery of his breakthrough hit Big For Your Boots.

Earlier in the evening, the focus was more on Dua Lipa and her two awards. Commenting on her Breakthrough prize, the 22-year-old said: “Wow, you guys have made my dreams come true!”

She also took her younger brother and sister to the stage with her and explained: “They think I’m crazy to bring them up, I told them to believe in magic because it’s real and I wanted them to experience it close hand.”

Of the night’s other main winners, Gorillaz sprang another of the big surprises by being named British Group ahead of the likes of Royal Blood, Wolf Alice and London Grammar.

Frontman and co-creator Damon Albarn also got political when claiming the prize, saying: “I’ve got one thing to say, and it’s about this country. This country is, believe it or not, quite a small little thing, right, but it’s a lovely place and part of a beautiful world. Don’t let it become isolated. Don’t let yourselves become cut off.”

The political messages were a feature of the night, in fact. Liam Gallagher performed a Manchester Arena tribute with a thrilling version of Live Forever – the same song he performed at the Ariana Grande concert held in memory of the Manchester Arena bombing victims.

He described that tribute concert as “an event that epitomised the human spirit… that showed hate will never win and fear will never divide us.”

Another of the night’s top awards went to Rag’n‘Bone Man, who took the award for best British single for his offering, Human. Again, that prize came at the expense of Sheeran, who had to settle for the Global Success Award having gone into the ceremony as the most nominated artist.

Of the international prizes, Foo Fighters were named International Group, Lorde took International Female Solo Artist and Kendrick Lamar the male equivalent. He was among those to stage an impressive live performance on the night.

The full list of winners (and nominees) is as follows (winners appear in bold)…

British Artist Video of the Year
Anne-Marie, Ciao Adios
Calvin Harris Feat. Pharrell Williams/Katy Perry/Big Sean, Feels
Clean Bandit Feat. Zara Larsson, Symphony
Dua Lipa, New Rules
Ed Sheeran, Shape of You
Harry Styles, Sign of The Times
Jonas Blue Feat. William Singe, Mama
Liam Payne Feat. Quavo, Strip That Down
Little Mix, Touch
ZAYN and Taylor Swift, I Don’t Wanna Live Forever

British Breakthrough Act
Dave
Dua Lipa
J Hus
Loyle Carner
Sampha

​British Female Solo Artist
Dua Lipa
Jessie Ware
Kate Tempest
Laura Marling
Paloma Faith

British Male Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran
Liam Gallagher
Loyle Carner
Rag’N‘Bone Man
Stormzy

​British Group
Gorillaz
London Grammar
Royal Blood
Wolf Alice
The xx

British Album of the Year
Dua Lipa, Dua Lipa
Ed Sheeran, ÷
J Hus, Common Sense
Rag’n‘Bone Man, Human
Stormzy, Gang Signs & Prayer

British Single
Calvin Harris Feat. Pharrell Williams/Katy Perry/Big Sean, Feels
Clean Bandit Feat. Zara Larsson, Symphony
Dua Lipa, New Rules
Ed Sheeran, Shape of You
J Hus, Did You See
Jax Jones Feat. Raye, You Don’t Know Me
Jonas Blue Feat. William Singe, Mama
Liam Payne Feat. Quavo, Strip That Down
Little Mix, Touch
Rag’n‘Bone Man, Human

International Group
Arcade Fire
Foo Fighters
Haim
The Killers
LCD Soundsystem

International Female Solo Artist
Alicia Keys
Björk
Lorde
P!nk
Taylor Swift

International Male Solo Artist
Beck
Childish Gambino
DJ Khaled
Drake
Kendrick Lamar

Global Success Award
Ed Sheeran

Critics’ choice
Jorja Smith

British producer
Steve Mac

DMA's announce UK headline tour for April and May 2018

The DMAs

Story by Jack Foley

DMA’S have announced a UK headline tour for April and May 2018, including dates at the Manchester Academy, 02 Forum Kentish Town & Barrowland, Glasgow.

Fans can buy pre-sale tickets through the band’s store on their website from 10am today, February 21, here

DMA’S made a huge impression with their 2016 debut album, Hills End, which became a Gold-selling smash at home and a word-of-mouth hit in the UK. Now the band have raised their game with their new album For Now, which will be released on April 27.

Produced by the band alongside Kim Moyes of The Presets, For Now is being described as a gloriously uplifting album of beautifully honed, passionately emotive rock’n’roll songs.

Last seen as support on The Kooks’ huge arena tour, DMA’S return to the UK for their headline tour this April/May.

The dates are…

April

27 – Rock City, Nottingham
28 – Academy, Manchester
29 – Northumbria Institute, Newcastle

May

1 – 02 Forum, Kentish Town London
4 – The Tramshed, Cardiff
5 – Liverpool Sound City
7 – The Junction, Cambridge
8 – The Waterfront, Norwich
9 – Leeds Beckett University, Leeds
10 – 02 Academy, Oxford
21 – 02 Academy, Bristol,
22 – Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
23 – Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline
25 – The 02 Institute, Birmingham
26 – The Plug, Sheffield
27 – Neighbourhood Weekender

Tom Jones and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra added to Hampton Court Palace Festival 2018

Tom Jones

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Jones and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra have been added to the line-up for Hampton Court Palace Festival 2018.

Tickets for the concerts will go on sale at 9am on February 23 and can be purchased here.

Musical icon Tom Jones returns to headline Hampton Court Palace Festival on Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22, having last performed a string of sold out shows in 2016.

He will be singing hits from his unrivalled repertoire from a career spanning more than 50 years such as timeless classics Delilah, What’s New Pussycat and It’s Not Unusual.

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will also be returning to Hampton Court Palace Festival to perform on Saturday, June 23.

Against the atmospheric backdrop of Base Court, the palace’s most impressive Tudor courtyard, the internationally acclaimed Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will perform scores from the mainstream masters of classical music. A fireworks display will provide a spectacular finale to round off this superb evening.

Now in its 26th year, Hampton Court Palace Festival, is a series of truly special and unique open-air concerts. Attendees will arrive at the sumptuous Palace Gardens to enjoy a spot of picnicking in the spectacular surroundings with champagne available to purchase from the festival’s Champagne Partner, Champagne PIAFF.

The festival also offers the perfect opportunity to celebrate special occasions in a prestigious setting, with exclusive dining and corporate entertainment available, ensuring a memorable VIP experience. Artists perform in an intimate 3,000-seat auditorium in Base Court, set against the backdrop of Henry VIII’s magnificent Tudor Palace.

Already announced to perform at Hampton Court Palace Festival 2018 are international superstar Lionel Richie on June 5 and 6, pop sensation Paloma Faith on June 8, legendary guitar player Joe Bonamassa on June 12, musical virtuoso Jools Holland on June 14, legendary American rock band The Beach Boys on June 15 and 16 and Take That star Gary Barlow on June 19 and 20.

Tickets are still available to purchase for all other concerts, except for general admission seating for the Lionel Richie and Gary Barlow concerts as they are now sold out.

Tickets for the Tom Jones and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will go on sale at 9am on Friday, February 23.

Tom Robinson to perform Power In The Darkness at London show (2018)

Tom Robinson

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Robinson will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his classic album, Power In The Darkness, with a live London show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday, October 27, 2018.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday, February 23.

The Tom Robinson Band’s debut album, Power In The Darkness, was first performed 40 years ago in Victoria Park, London in front of 80,000 people at Rock Against Racism’s Carnival Against The Nazis alongside Steel Pulse, The Clash and X-Ray Spex.

The album was certified gold in the UK and Japan resulting in a major 28-date UK tour supported by Stiff Little Fingers in the Autumn of 1978.

When Tom performed the entire Power In The Darkness LP at London’s 100 Club last year, all three shows sold out almost instantly.

In October, to mark the album’s 40th anniversary, Tom will once again be performing it live on tour in the UK – culminating in a special headline show at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Saturday October, 27.

As ever his incendiary band features Faithless drummer Andy Treacey, Richard Ashcroft guitarist Adam Phillips, keyboard virtuoso Jim Simmons and Tom himself on bass and vocals.

Bjorn Again to perform Abba's greatest hits on 30th anniversary UK tour (2018)

Story by Jack Foley

TO celebrate the huge 30th Anniversary of BJÖRN AGAIN, Australian Director and Musician Rod Stephen will be taking the internationally acclaimed show on tour throughout the UK and Ireland in November/December 2018.

The show was created and founded in 1988 in Melbourne by Rod Stephen. Designed as a rocked-up light-hearted satirical ABBA spoof, the show rapidly achieved worldwide Cult status and acknowledged for singlehandedly initiating the ABBA revival which brought about ABBA Gold, Muriel’s Wedding and MAMMA MIA!

Acknowledged by ABBA’s blonde vocalist Agnetha Fältskog, the ultimate aim, as always for Rod, is to keep his brand at the top and continue for as long as people want to hear the much-loved ABBA repertoire performed the way only the BJÖRN AGAIN show does.

Speaking on the tour, Rod Stephen said: “We are really looking forward to this 30th Anniversary tour. Come and join us for loads of great songs combined with tons of fun and antics.”

Performing all of the greatest hits from the past 30 years, this promises to be one of the biggest parties of 2018!

The UK dates are (all November and December 2018)

November
23 – Dublin Olympia
24 – Belfast Limelight
30 – Brighton Centre

December
1 – Birmingham O2 Academy
2 – Oxford O2 Academy
4 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
5 – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
6 – Norwich UEA
7 – Leicester O2 Academy
8 – Newcastle O2 Academy
11 – Liverpool O2 Academy
12 – Glasgow O2 ABC
13 – Sheffield O2 Academy
14 – Leeds O2 Academy
15 – Manchester Academy
18 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
19 – Bristol O2 Academy
20 – London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire

Tickets go on general sale at 9am on Friday, February 23.

The Chemical Brothers announce huge night at Alexandra Palace (2018)

The Chemical Brothers

Story by Jack Foley

FOR the very first time The Chemical Brothers will be bringing their full live show to the iconic London Alexandra Palace this October.

For the past 20 years, The Chemical Brothers have redefined the idea of live electronic music.

In that time, their live show has evolved from humble beginnings in dank London nightclubs into one of the most in demand headline sets in the world. This new London date follows major summer festival appearances across Europe.

The Ally Pally gig takes place on Friday, October 5, 2018.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday, February 23 at 9am from all the usual outlets.

Katherine Jenkins, Jools Holland and UB40 to headline new A Boundless Summer festival

Story by Jack Foley

KATHERINE Jenkins OBE, Jools Holland & his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis, UB40 (plus support ASWAD) and The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes & Tonnino Baliardo have all been confirmed to headline inaugural summer festival, A Boundless Summer.

Set to become a highlight of the UK festival calendar, with tickets starting at just £30 (booking fees apply), the festival will take place in the grounds of Borde Hill Garden, Hayward’s Heath on July 7 and 8, 2018, and Bowood House, Wiltshire on July 21 and 22.

UB40 (plus support ASWAD) and The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes & Tonnino Baliardo will take to the stage at Borde Hill Garden on July 7 and 8 respectively.

Jools Holland & his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis, with special guest Chris Difford and guest vocalists Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall & Rosie Mae will take to the stage on July 21 at Bowood house, and the weekend will close with Boundless Summer Proms with Katherine Jenkins with The National Symphony Orchestra and special guest John Owen-Jones and conductor Anthony Inglis.

Bringing world-class acts to spectacular historical settings, A Boundless Summer is sure to give attendees a memorable and unique experience.

Guests making their way to Borde Hill Garden will be treated to a concert in front of the lakes within the beautiful parkland setting with the backdrop of the Elizabethan Mansion House, whilst at Bowood House; guests will be surrounded by a two-thousand-acre oasis of beautiful rolling landscape, set next to a large lake.

There will be a good quality range of catering and refreshments available to purchase on-site, and guests are able to pre-order a picnic hamper for collection on the evening of the show.

Carl Fillery, CEO of Boundless, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting our first ever summer festival, A Boundless Summer, at Borde Hill Garden and Bowood House. The range of world-class acts on offer means there really is something for everybody.

“We’re a club dedicated to helping people get the most from their free time, so we’re delighted to be able to offer members of the public a chance to experience a Boundless event.”

Tickets for A Boundless Summer go on sale on Friday, February 23 at 9am, and can be purchased here

HAIM announce UK leg to Sister Sister Sister tour (2018)

Haim

Story by Jack Foley

FOLLOWING their win for Best International Band at Wednesday’s NME Awards and nomination for Best International Group at next week’s BRITs, Los Angeles trio HAIM are set to return to Europe for a highly anticipated run of headline dates this summer, bringing their Sister Sister Sister tour to these shores for Part 2.

The UK and Ireland leg will kick off at Glasgow’s O2 Academy on June 10, 2018, before finishing up at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace on Friday, June 15.

Tickets will go on sale from February 23 with a pre-sale from February 21.

The tour follows the band’s surprise Electric Ballroom date and triumphant sets at Reading & Leeds and Glastonbury festival last year.

Ahead of their UK run the Californian sisters – Danielle, Este and Alana – will perform across North America on the 21-date US leg of their tour, including a prestigious slot at this year’s Coachella festival on Saturday, April 14 and April 21.

Their UK/EU tour will be bookended by appearances at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound on Friday June, 1, following their surprise late night appearance at the festival last year, and Lisbon’s Rock in Rio on June 23.

HAIM’s critically acclaimed NO.2 UK and Top 10 US sophomore album, Something To Tell You, is out now on Polydor Records.

HAIM’s UK dates are as follows (all June 2018)

10 – Glasgow O2 Academy
11 – Manchester O2 Apollo
12 – Dublin Olympia
15 – London, Alexandra Palace