AS The Commitments return, what other commitments would Charles Hutchinson urge you to put in your diary?
Irish craic of the week: The Commitments, Grand Opera House, York, Tuesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday matinees
WHEN schoolteacher Roddy Doyle wanted an excuse to bring a bunch of young people together in book form in 1986 to “capture the rhythm of Dublin kids yapping and teasing and bullying”, he decided to find a setting outside school. “That’s when the idea of a band came to me,” he recalls.
Cue a big band with a brass section and backing vocals, playing Sixties’ Motown and Memphis soul “because it felt timeless”. Cue The Commitments, the novel, the Alan Parker film, and the musical, now revived on tour with Corrie’s Nigel Pivaro as Jimmy Rabbitte’s Da and Andrew Linnie in the director’s chair. Box office: 0844 871 b7615 or atgtickets.com/york.
Analytical gig of the week: Dave Gorman, Powerpoint To The People, Grand Opera House, York, tonight, 7.30pm
DAVE Gorman, the comedian behind Dave TV’s show Modern Life Is Goodish, is touring again, determined to demonstrate how a powerpoint presentation need not involve a man in a grey suit standing behind a lectern saying “next slide please”.
“We’ve all had enough of that, so let’s put it all behind us and never speak of it again,” he says. “There are far more important things to analyse.” Well, they are more important in Gorman’s head anyway. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/york.
Power play of the day: York Late Music: Duncan Honybourne, piano, today, 1pm; James Turnbull, oboe, and Libby Burgess, piano, tonight, 7.30pm, St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel, York
AT lunchtime, pianist Duncan Honeybourne plays David Power’s arrangements of David Bowie (Art Decade) and Bowie & Eno (Warszawa), concluding with Harold Budd/Brian Eno/Power’s Mash Up Remembered. Prokofiev and Satie works feature too.
Power gives a 6.45pm talk tonight ahead of James Turnbull and Libby Burgess’s concert, when his composition Imagine Another receives its world premiere, alongside works by Stravinsky, Tansy Davies, Vaughan Williams, Diana Burrell, Britten and Ravel. Box office: latemusic.org or on the door.
Musical love story of the week, White Rose Theatre in The Last Five Years, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Wednesday to Saturday, 7.30pm; 2.30pm Saturday matinee
FOR York’s newest stage company, White Rose Theatre, director Claire Pulpher and Simon Radford perform Jason Robert Brown’s emotionally charged American musical, charting the path of two lovers over the course of five years of courting and marriage, trials and tribulations.
Struggling actress Cathy Hiatt’s side of the story starts at the end of the relationship; rising novelist Jamie Wellerstein tells his tale from the beginning, but will they ever meet in the middle? The Last Five Years promises laughter, tears and everything in between in a score of upbeat songs and beautiful ballads. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Political points of the week: Mark Thomas: Black And White, The Crescent, York, Tuesday, 7.30pm
BURNING Duck Comedy Club presents political comedy firebrand Mark Thomas on his Black And White tour, promising “creative fun” as he takes down politicians, mucks about, ponders new ideas and finds hope.
Londoner Thomas asks: how did we get here? What are we going to do about it? Who’s up for a sing-song? “After lockdowns and isolation, this show is about the simple act of being in a room together and toppling international capitalism,” he vows. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Homecoming of the week: Kaiser Chiefs, plus special guests The Fratellis and The Sherlocks, All Together UK Tour, Leeds First Direct Arena, November 12, 7.30pm
NOW in their 22nd year, Kaiser Chiefs head home to Leeds on their November arena tour, as well as playing Hull Bonus Arena on November 8. “It’s been a while…and we can’t wait to see you all again,” they say. “We’re looking forward to putting on a big KC show. See you there!”
Alongside Yorkshire anthems Oh My God, I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less and Ruby, listen out for new single How 2 Dance, produced by former Rudimental member Amir Amor as the first taster off their eighth studio album, set for release in 2023 as the follow-up to 2019’s Duck.
“I hope to hear it at weddings, on the radio, and in the last remaining indie discos across the land,” says lead singer Ricky Wilson. “How 2 Dance is about letting go, not worrying about what other people think you should be doing. It may not be the smoothest of journeys, but sometimes you need a bit of turbulence to remind you that you are flying.” Box office: Leeds, firstdirectarena.com; Hull, bonusarenahull.com.
Book early for next summer’s comeback: Pulp, Bridlington Spa, May 26 2023, and Scarborough Open Air Theatre, July 9 2023
LET frontman Jarvis Cocker explain why Sheffield’s Pulp have decided to play their first shows since December 2012. “Three months ago, we asked, ‘What exactly do you do for an encore?’. Well…an encore happens when the crowd makes enough noise to bring the band back to the stage,” he says.
“So…we are playing in the UK and Ireland in 2023. Therefore…come along and make some noise. See you there.”. Box office: gigsandtours.com and ticketmaster.co.uk.
York gig announcement of the week: Ryan Adams, York Barbican, April 14 2023
NORTH Carolina singer-songwriter Ryan Adams will play York for the first time since 2011 on his eight-date solo tour next spring, when each night’s set list will be different.
Adams, who visited the Grand Opera House in 2007 and four years later, will perform on acoustic guitar and piano in the style of his spring 2022 run of East Coast American gigs, when he played 168 songs over five nights in shows that averaged 160 minutes.
This year, Adams has released four studio albums: Chris, a tribute to his late brother; Romeo & Juliet; FM, a more traditional rock’n’roll record, and Devolver, given away to fans to mark a year’s sobriety. Box office: ryanadams.ffm.to/tour.OPR and yorkbarbican.co.uk.