Kate Rusby heralds Christmas tour with York Barbican opening night and Light Years album as she turns festive 50

Kate Rusby: Playing Yorkshire concerts in York, Bradford and Sheffield on her Christmas tour. Picture: David Angel

BARNSLEY folk nightingale Kate Rusby marks turning 50 on Monday with the release of her seventh Christmas album, Light Years, and an accompanying tour that opens at York Barbican on Thursday (7/12/2023).

In the company of her regular band, coupled with the added warmth of “the Brass Boys”, Kate combines carols still sung in South Yorkshire pubs with her winter songs and favourite Christmas chestnuts, whether It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year or a seamless mash-up of Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and Sleigh Ride. As ever, look out for the festive fancy dress finale.

Here Kate shines a light on Light Years, Yorkshire pub carols and Christmas festivities in discussion with CharlesHutchPress.

How did you approach making your seventh Christmas album, Kate? Were you looking to add new elements to your successful format?

“Light Years has the sound and feel of my last two ‘normal’ albums, Hand Me Down (August 2020)  and 30: Happy Returns (May 2022). I’m loving experimenting with sounds, Moogs, layered banjos, low subs, effects etc, all things we have to hand these days as I’m blessed to have the most brilliant musicians around me.

“Produced by superbly talented Damien O’Kane [Kate’s husband, by the way], whose stunning playing also grounds each track musically. These are sounds I have wanted to achieve for so many years of my recording/touring career and finally at the age of 50 we’ve achieved that sound on a Christmas album. Happy birthday to me!”

How come you have made so many Christmas albums, whereas Michael Buble keeps re-releasing one?! 

“Ha! I have the whole treasure chest of South Yorkshire carols to delve into! There are so, so many to go at, with over 30 different versions of just While Shepherds Watched sung in pubs every winter. Don’t tell Michael though!”

What were the circumstances behind writing Glorious, perhaps the most glorious title you could give a winter song?

 “Glorious was written by me one cold February evening, after standing in my garden, snow-laden trees and warm glow of the evening sun illuminating only half of the world. While it was so still and beautiful, I was longing for spring and for the daylight to return.

“As I stood there an image of a lost and broken angel appeared in my head, just sitting there in one of the trees, wandering and waiting to heal and return from where he came. And so the song was born. I can’t wait to do this song live!”

Happy 50th birthday on Monday, Kate. You must have been delighted at having the early birthday present of Alison Krauss and Ron Block working with you on The Moon Shines Bright. How did that recording come to fruition and why that choice of song?

“Thank you! I’ve been celebrating all week and intend to for the rest of the month! The Moon Shines Bright features Alison’s gorgeous singing and Ron’s singing and string banjo; they’re both musical heroes of mine.

“I first sung it back when I was 15 as part of a theatre production of The Mystery Plays, and the song stayed with me all these years. The year after, when I was 16, my dad was a sound engineer working at Edale Bluegrass Festival.

“I was sat beside him when on to the stage came Alison Krauss and Union Station, including Ron Block, who still plays banjo, guitar and sings with Alison after all these years. I was completely blown away and my love of bluegrass began there.

“I’ve been a fan of Alison and Ron for all these years and Ron has become a dear friend and recorded on my last few albums, so it feels like we’ve completed a circle somehow, and needless to say, it’s such an honour and a dream come true to have Alison sing with us. Again, happy birthday me!”

What drew you to A Spaceman Came Travelling: Chris de Burgh’s 1975 gem of a Christmas song that failed to chart in the UK but topped the Irish chart?

“I went on a little road trip with my older cousin (now a brilliant artist called Marie Mills, check her out!). She had Chris de Burgh cassettes in her car, so we listened to his music all weekend. It was the first time I’d heard his music and really loved it.

“Since the first of my Christmas albums I’ve wanted to do a version of Spaceman but it never quite fitted in with the rest of the album…until now.”

The snowy cover for Kate Rusby’s seventh Christmas album, Light Years. Artwork design by Martin Roswell at Simply Marvellous

Where did you discover the Chris Sugden (aka Sid Kipper) parody Arrest These Merry Gentlemen?

“Chris was one half of a folk comedy duo called The Kipper Family, a parody in itself of the famous folk family The Copper Family. They were absolutely hilarious! They wrote parodies of famous folk songs so everyone in the audience at festivals got the jokes.

“Chris later went on to do solo gigs as Sid Kipper, again, totally hilarious. I was brought up at folk festivals as my dad was a sound engineer so we went to many every summer. I’d heard Arrest These Merry Gentlemen way back then, and also The Ivy And The Holly, which we covered on an earlier album. I love them both and love to be introducing his songs to people who’ve never heard them. He’s a proper genius!” 

Always room for another version of While Shepherds Watched! What’s the story behind Rusby Shepherds on the new album?

“There has been at least one version on each one of my Christmas albums. I was deciding which version to put on this one when I accidentally wrote a new tune for it! So I called it Rusby Shepherds, so there’s one more now!” 

Aside from songs and Carols from Light Years, what will be new in the latest round of Kate Rusby At Christmas concerts?

“We have a new set design this year, I can’t wait to see it all on stage for the first gig in York. I know what it is and have seen elements of it, so I’m really excited to see it in situ. It’s going to be so beautiful.” 

What will be the band line-up for this winter’s tour?

“My lovely, brilliant gang of band, brass and crew! Damien O’Kane, guitars, electric guitars, tenor guitar, electric tenor, banjo and vocals. Duncan Lyall, double bass and Moog synthesiser. Nick Cooke, accordions and electric guitar. Josh Clark, percussion and drums.

“Sam Kelly is with us for Christmas for the first time; he’s been in my regular band for a couple of years and we’re pleased to have him along for the Christmas tour this year on bouzouki, guitar, electric guitar and vocals. And of course my lovely brass lads, Gary Wyatt, Mike Levis, Chris Howlings, Robin Taylor and Lee Clayson.

“The most amazing crew is behind us all making sure it all sounds and looks beautiful and that it all happens as smoothly as it can. Alison Povey, Pete Sharman, Zak Nicholson, Harry Le Masurier, David Bower and Asa Duke. I’m blessed to have each and every one of these marvellous humans with me on tour.” 

Roast turkey or goose for the Rusby-O’Kane household on Christmas Day?

“Ooh, now then, we’ve had a goose for so many years but last year we went back to having a turkey from a local farmer, as was the goose, but we loved it so much we’re going turkey again this year. With all the trimmings, including Yorkshire puds gravies, bread sauce etc.”

Which album would you recommend giving as a Christmas present this year?

“Damien O’Kane and Ron Block’s latest album, Banjophonics. I may be a little biased but it’s sunshine in a bottle music. Just what we need in these murky winter days!”

Kate Rusby: Light Years Christmas Tour, York Barbican, Thursday (7/12/2023), 7.30pm. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk. Also playing St George’s Hall, Bradford, December 8 (01274 432000 or bradford-theatres.co.uk) and Sheffield City Hall, December 14 (0114 256 5593 or sheffieldcityhall.co.uk) . Light Years is out now on Pure Records.

Track listing for Light Years: 1. Spean; 2. Glorious; 3. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year; 4. Rusby Shepherds; 5. The Moon Shines Bright (feat. Alison Krauss & Ron Block); 6. Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree/Sleigh Ride; 7. Nowell, Nowell; 8. Arrest These Merry Gentlemen; 9. A Spaceman Came Travelling; 10. Nothin’ For Christmas; 11. Joseph.

Holly Head: Kate Rusby in Christmas headgear on the cover of her 2019 album of South Yorkshire pub carols and winter songs

South Yorkshire pub carols: the back story

FOR Kate Rusby, abiding memories of childhood at Christmas are full of carols in the tap room of many a Yorkshire pub, surrounded by family, community, warmth, happiness, colouring books and crisps.

The tradition of singing carols in South Yorkshire pubs grew out of the original versions being banished from churches by the pious Victorians, their “happier tunes deemed too raucous for choirs”. Instead, they moved to pubs to accompany the beer, the banter and the bunting.

Carols are sung from the weekend after Armistice Day to New Year’s Day. Colloquially known as the Sheffield Carols, they will be sung in the Steel City this winter at The Sportsman, Redmires Road, on Mondays; the Crown and Glove, Stannington, Tuesdays; The Stocks, Ecclesfield, Thursdays; The Travellers Rest, Oughtibridge, Saturdays; and The Royal, Dungworth, The Blue Ball, Worrall, and The Wharncliffe Arms, Wharncliffe Side, on Sundays.

Peter Hook & The Light to play Joy Division and New Order’s Substance albums in full at York Barbican next October. Bradford too

Picture: Julien LachaussÇe

PETER Hook & The Light will open the British and Irish leg of their 2024 travels at York Barbican on October 10.

Bass player Hook’s focus will be on Joy Division and New Order’s Substance albums, playing both in full.  

“It still amazes me how enjoyable it is to play the Substance LPs,” says Hook, former member of both iconic Manchester bands. “The contrast between Joy Division and New Order is very apparent but both complement each other very well.

“My only frustration is not being able to play more of our records each night. I am totally looking forward to the next phase. So, let’s enjoy some Substance and get ready for the future. Lots of love, Hooky.”

The poster for Peter Hook & The Light’s Substance tour of Britain and Ireland

On their Substance World Tour, Peter Hook & The Light will play Australia and New Zealand in May, North America in late-August and September, then 17 British and Irish dates in October and November, including a second Yorkshire gig at St George’s Hall, Bradford, on November 1.

Hook, 67, first revisited Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album in May 2010 for a commemorative charity concert, since when he has performed subsequent albums from Joy Division and New Order’s repertoire each year with The Light, culminating in Factory Records’ Substance compilations.

Hook’s band played Unknown Pleasures and Closer in full in his Joy Division: A Celebration concerts to mark their 40th anniversary. In October, they performed both Substance albums at their biggest London concert yet at the 5,300-capacity Eventim Apollo.

“It still amazes me how enjoyable it is to play the Substance LPs,” says Peter Hook

Hook’s dedication to his back catalogue has seen him move through Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, Closer and Still albums and New Order’s Movement, Power Corruption & Lies, Low Life, Brotherhood, Technique and Republic to arrive at next year’s Substance showcases.

Having toured these albums extensively, Peter Hook & The Light have amassed more than 600 concerts. Among the highlights since he began to reintroduce his early repertoire to a legion of new audiences across the world have been appearances at Benicassim, Primavera Sound, Bestival, Kendal Calling, Victorious and Rebellion, alongside sold-out gigs and extensive touring in Europe, North and South America, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Tickets go on general sale at 10am on Friday (17/11/2023) at peterhookandthelight.live; York,  yorkbarbican.co.uk; Bradford, 01274 432000 or bradford-theatres.co.uk.

Peter Hook & The Light’s logo

Seven Drunken Nights confirmed for York matinee and evening gig among six Yorkshire dates on biggest tour in 2024

Seven Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners: Matinee and evening performances at Grand Opera House, York next March

SEVEN Drunken Nights – The Story Of The Dubliners will return to Grand Opera House, York for two performances on March 10 2024.

In its sixth year, after a Scandinavian tour, the celebration of the Irish music of Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna, John Sheahan, Ciaran Bourke and Jim McCann will be on the road for 79 British and Irish dates.

Further Yorkshire performances on the biggest ever Seven Drunken Nights tour will be at Sheffield City Hall on March 20, Cast, Doncaster, March 21 and 22, Bridlington Spa, April 6, St George’s Hall, Bradford, April 12, and Hull City Hall, May 15.

Much more than a jukebox musical celebration of The Dubliners, the show is steered by its writer and director Ged Graham, whose narration charts the band’s path from their first gig at legendary Dublin pub O’Donoghue’s in 1962.  The Irish Rover, The Leaving Of Liverpool, Belle Of Belfast City, Dirty Old Town, The Banks Of The Rose, Star Of The County Down and The Town I Love So Well and many more Irish favourites will be performed by Graham’s cast of musicians and singers, who last filled the Grand Opera House on April 23 this spring.

Graham is delighted to have received the backing of the families of The Dubliners. “It was very nerve-racking meeting their relatives, as I didn’t know how they would react,” he says. “But meeting Luke Kelly’s brother, Paddy, early on during the first tour was just brilliant.

“He and his family have been so supportive of the show. Likewise, Barney McKenna’s sister came to see the show when we toured Ireland and was very complimentary of how we told the story. Their support means so much to everyone involved with the show.”

In addition to glowing reviews, Seven Drunken Nights has also received praise from the families of The Dubliners. Ged Graham said, “It was very nerve-racking meeting relatives of The Dubliners, as I didn’t know how they would react. But meeting Luke Kelly’s brother, Paddy, early on during the first tour was just brilliant. He and his family have been so supportive of the show.

Likewise, Barney McKenna’s sister came to see the show when we toured Ireland and was very complimentary of how we told the story. Their support means so much to everyone involved with the show.”

Looking ahead, Seven Drunken Nights is set for its record year internationally, performing nearly 300 shows during 42 weeks on the road.

The show’s popularity has been a life-changing experience for Graham, who says: “I can’t quite believe it. Seven Drunken Nights seems to have touched so many people who have become real fans of the show, reigniting their love of The Dubliners.

“It’s had a massive impact on my life, giving me the confidence to write more and be involved in many other productions, including the runaway success Fairytale Of New York. It truly is a great privilege to bring the music of The Dubliners to the stage every night and keep their legacy alive.”

York tickets for the March 10 matinee and evening shows are on sale at atgtickets.com/york. Tickets for all venues on the 2024 tour can be booked at sevendrunkennights.com.

Leigh Francis to play six Yorkshire gigs on debut 2024 tour My First Time. Where?

Leigh Francis: Debut tour with multiple masks

LEEDS comic Leigh Francis, creator of Keith Lemon and Bo’ Selecta, plays York Barbican on March 20 2024 on his debut tour, My First Time.

The BAFTA Award-winning character comedian, 50, has confirmed five more Yorkshire gigs on next spring’s travels, accounting for one third of the 18 dates: Sheffield City Hall, March 15; Halifax Victoria Theatre, March 16; Hull City Hall, March 22; Bradford St George’s Hall, March 23, and a home-city finale at Leeds Grand Theatre, April 6.

Joining Francis as he “brings back all the fun I’ve had over the 00s up to present day” will be his myriad television characters, from Keith Lemon, Bear and Avid Merrion to ‘David Dickinson’, ‘Ant and Dec’ and Myrtle, taking to the stage for the first time in a series of sketches. Expect audience interaction too.

“Hey, really exciting news! Well, exciting for me!” says Francis. “I hope it’s exciting for you! Or at least provokes some sort of interest! I mean, just look how many exclamation marks there is in this quote! It’s definitely news with exciting intent! 

“So, what is this exciting news? I’m doing my first ever tour! Never done one before. It’s gonna have masks in it! The Bear, Avid Merrion, Amanda Holden’s Gran, not her actual gran but me playing her.”

Francis goes on: “I’ll also be playing Keith Lemon. I look just like him! It’s me doing all the characters I do that hopefully have the intent to provoke hilarity! So many exclamation marks, and the word ‘intent’ and ‘provoke’ twice! I’m excited!

“Come see me being other people live for the first time! It’ll be your first time and my first time! Hence the title of the tour, My First Time! (There’s another exclamation mark). How exciting!”

Tour tickets go on sale from 10am on Friday at gigsandtours.com and ticketmaster.co.uk; York, yorkbarbican.co.uk

The Classic Rock Show’s ‘most challenging live set’ heads to York Barbican on Tuesday

For those about to rock at York Barbican: Here comes The Classic Rock Show

THE Classic Rock Show’s 2023 tour is“easily the most challenging live set we’ve performed to date,” reckonsvocalist, guitarist and musical director James Cole.

Hear why at York Barbican on Tuesday (14/3/2023) as the 39-date itinerary heads for its last week after taking in many British cities and towns for the first time. Tickets for “the ultimate live jukebox” are on sale at yorkbarbican.co.uk and ticketmaster.co.uk.

Paying tribute to its favourite rock heroes, The Classic Rock Show thunders through a set list of Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, The Who, Eric Clapton, AC/DC, Queen, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, Pink Floyd, Meat Loaf, Aerosmith, Toto and Rainbow.

Expect note-for-note precision as Cole and co “bring the original and era-defining recordings back to life on stage, with an amazing sound and light show to match”. After anthem after anthem, riff after riff, solo after solo, the climax will be a show-stopping guitar duel.

Jesse Smith: Lead vocalist for The Classic Rock Show

Cole says: “We’re very excited to get back on the road in 2023 with easily the most challenging Classic Rock Show live set we’ve performed to date. To have 39 dates scheduled for the 2023 tour feels fantastic. The band and I really appreciate the ever-growing popularity of the show.” 

Opening on January 17, the tour has visited Yorkshire already, playing Hull Bonus Arena on January 29 and Harrogate Royal Hall the next night. St George’s Hall, Bradford, awaits tomorrow (11/3/2023) with tickets on sale at https://theclassicrockshow.com/tour-dates

Performing alongside Cole will be: Wayne Banks, bass/vocals; Pete Thorn, guitar/vocals; Jesse Smith, lead vocals/guitar; Henry Burnett, keyboards/vocals; Jess Harwood, vocals/keyboards; Rudy Cardenas, lead vocals, and Tim Brown, drums.  

Philly soul veterans The Stylistics to open autumn tour at York Barbican on Oct 29

The Stylistics : In harmony at York Barbican and Nidd Hall Hotel this autumn

PHILADELPHIA soul stalwarts The Stylistics will bookend this autumn’s 25-date UK Greatest Hits Tour with North Yorkshire concerts: York Barbican on October 29 and Nidd Hall Hotel, Nidd, near Harrogate, on December 2.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on Friday at ticketline.co.uk, yorkbarbican.co.uk and warnerleisurehotels.co.uk (for Nidd Hall).

At present playing a sold-out American tour, The Stylistics line up with original members Airrion Love and Herb Murrell alongside Barrington ‘Bo’ Henderson and Jason Sharp.

Competing to be on the set list will be such harmonious highs as 1975 UK number one Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love), I’m Stone In Love With You, You Make Me Feel Brand New, Let’s Put It All Together, You Are Everything, Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart), Betcha By Golly, Wow, Sing Baby Sing, Break Up To Make Up and You’ll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart).

Formed in Philadelphia in 1968 from two groups, The Percussions and The Monarchs, under the guidance of their English teacher Beverly Hamilton, The Stylistics recorded their first song, You’re A Big Girl Now, at Virtue Recording Studio, Philadelphia, written by guitarist Robert “Doc” Douglas and road manager Marty Bryant.

The Stylistics: The very definition of Philly soul

Veteran producer Tom Bell produced the group’s self-titled debut album, featuring Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart), You Are Everything and Betcha By Golly, Wow, among no fewer than six singles. Their second album, the aptly named Round Two, arrived in October 1972, as Russell Thompkins Jr, James Smith, James Dunn, Murrell and Love became the Philly group.

Murrell and Love, friends since junior high school, keep The Stylistics’ Seventies’ institution alive after a career of seven gold albums, five gold singles, two double gold singles, eight platinum albums, one double platinum album, four Platinum singles and a 1974 Grammy nomination for You Make Me Feel Brand New.

In 1994, The Stylistics were given a plaque on the Walk Of Fame in Center City, Philadelphia. Ten years later, they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall Of Fame.

Their autumn itinerary includes further Yorkshire shows at The Dome, Doncaster, on November 25 and St George’s Hall, Bradford, on November 28. Box office: Doncaster, dclt.co.uk/the-dome; Bradford, 01274 432000 or bradford-theatres.co.uk.

The Stylistics last played York Barbican on November 27 2022 on a 27-date autumn visit.

Strictly dance star Johannes Radebe finds Freedom at last in debut solo tour show

FREEDOM. What better title could South African dancer and ground-breaking Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe give his debut British tour.

“It is the freedom to dance to my own tune for the first time,” says 34-year-old Johannes, ahead of his itinerary opening with a Yorkshire show at Bridlington Spa on Wednesday (16/3/2022) before playing the Grand Opera House, York, on April 12.

“I’ve danced in many productions around the world but I’ve never been able to capture on stage where I came from, and I never thought I’d be able to go on my own tour, so it’s a very welcome surprise.”

Radebe (pronounced Ra-dee-bay) was catapulted to new heights of popularity by bonding so exhilaratingly with 2012’s The Great British Bake Off winner and TV chef John Waite as the first all-male couple in 2021’s series of Strictly, pipped for the Glitterball by first deaf contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis and professional partner Giovanni Pernice.

“It was liberating and healing as well,” says Johannes. “I’ve got a better relationship with my mum now, as we can talk about my sexual orientation – and people’s lives have changed for the better too.

“In a world where two men still can’t be free to be  together, I hope to be able to educate the masses, and if people had a glimpse of that with me and John dancing together, then they can think about it.”

Such was the appeal and dancing brio of both partnerships, each marking a first for Strictly, that many would have loved them to have been declared first equal. “I’m with you!” says Johannes, bursting into laughter. “John kept saying, ‘it’s fine if we don’t win’, and yes, it is s fine! At the finale, we both stood there as couples thinking ‘it’s fine’. That’s the friendship that comes through the show.”

After touring the world in Burn The Floor, Joahannes was head-hunted to join the Strictly professionals for the 2018 series, first moving to Britain that year. In his second season, when partnering Catherine Tyldesley in 2019, he danced the first same-sex routine with fellow Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima.

The tour poster for Johannes Radebe’s Freedom show

Last year was to be even more significant. “My decision to finally dance with another man in the competition came about after I lost a friend of mine within our community. He was murdered, and the last words that were uttered to him by his killer was that he was a ‘faggot’,” says Johannes.

He paused, consumed again by the pain of what his friend had suffered, then said: “I get a moment to highlight it in the show. This is something that needs to be done, to give it that platform, and it’s important to keep being flamboyant – but that does require bravery.”

Freedom marks Johannes’s return to the Grand Opera House for the first time since sharing the York stage with Strictly alumni Kevin Clifton and Graziano Di Prima in Burn The Floor in July 2019.

On tour from March 16 to May 1, Johannes Radebe: Freedom is billed as “a celebration of music and dance, from African fusion to fiery Latin, from classic dance arrangements to huge party anthems”, as Radebe and his dancers take the audience on his personal journey, from starting to dance at seven to leaving South Africa at 21 to travel the world, winning international titles and electrifying Strictly Come Dancing.

Now he will be expressing himself to the full in Freedom. “I’ve been on a quest to find Black dancers in this country that are versed in all dance styles, but not many of them are ballroom dancers, whereas where I come from everyone can do the Cha-cha-cha,” says Johannes.

“I’ve chosen everyone through auditions. I had to be in the room to feel their energy, to see if they move me as a dancer, so I’ve found beautiful, individual dancers, which will make it feel a different show.

“It’s a show designed to be representing everyone, and it will be so beautiful to have audiences that support our artform – and I know we have that privilege because of the Strictly audience.”

Johannes has a theory as to why dance and TV audiences feel such a strong connection with him. “It’s because I have no inhibitions. I know that I come alive when I dance. Something takes over. It’s a feeling as an artist that I can’t explain but people connect with it,” he says.

In a nutshell, Freedom. “Absolutely! Nothing is going to stop me. It’s about the joy that my dancing has brought to my mother. Nothing was more important to me than to see my mum be happy when often she would be sad,” says Johannes.

“I was only a child and so I didn’t understand the magnitude of it when she carried me on her back, telling everyone I’d got a prize in a dance competition. She was so proud, even though it wasn’t first place. But that’s the thing. That talent was nurtured from a young age, and though my mum couldn’t support it financially, everyone else contributed.”

Johannes Radebe’s pathway to Freedom was set in perpetual motion, and hopefully another Strictly series awaits too. “We haven’t had the phone-calls yet, but I’ll gladly do it for as long as they will have me,” he says.

Might he look to do another all-male coupling? “Well, you never now. I’m just glad to have kicked down that door.”

Johannes Radebe: Freedom, Bridlington Spa, Wednesday, 7.30pm; Grand Opera House, York, April 12, 7.30pm. Box office: Bridlington, 01262 678258 or bridspa.com; York, 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York. Further Yorkshire performances: Sheffield City Hall, April 3, sheffieldcityhall.co.uk; Bradford St George’s Hall, April 9, bradford-theatres.co.uk; Hull City Hall, April 23, 01482 300306 or hulltheatres.co.uk.

Copyright of The Press, York

Ed Gamble goes Electric for new tour show, playing five Yorkshire gigs. First up, York

Stand-up sits down: Ed Gamble takes a breather between shows

MOCK The Week regular panellist Ed Gamble will be in Electric form at the Grand Opera House, York, tonight and Harrogate Royal Hall tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Co-creator of the food and comedy podcast Off Menu with fellow stand-up James Acaster, Taskmaster winner and Great British Menu judge, Gamble says he is “charged up and ready to flick the switch on another round of attention-seeking.”

Gamble, who has appeared on QI, The Russell Howard Hour, Would I Lie To You? and  8 Out Of 10 Cats, presents a Sunday morning show on Radio X with Matthew Crosby and has his own special, Blood Sugar, available on Amazon Prime.

He will play further Yorkshire gigs on his Electric tour at Hull City Hall on March 25; Bradford St George’s Hall on April 7; Sheffield City Hall on April 19 and Leeds City Varieties on April 22.

Box office: York, 0844 871 7615 or at atgtickets.com/York; Harrogate, harrogatetheatre.co.uk; Hull, hulltheatres.co.uk; Bradford, bradford-theatres.co.uk; Sheffield, ticketmaster.co.uk/event/35005AB2E2A62A3A; Leeds, leedsheritagetheatres.com.