BOOGIE WOOGIE pianist Jools Holland will make his annual trip to York Barbican with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on his autumn/winter 2024 tour.
Joining Jools on December 11 will be two special guests: Soft Cell and Marc & The Mambas singer Marc Almond and blues guitar prodigy Toby Lee.
Starting on October 31, the tour will take in 30 shows, including further Yorkshire gigs at Sheffield City Hall on November 23 and Leeds First Direct Arena on December 20. Tickets will go on sale on Friday (2/2/2024) at 10am at ticketmaster.co.uk.
Holland last appeared at York Barbican on December 20 2023; Almond previously joined him on that stage in November 2018.
Guitarist Lee, described by Joe Bonamassa as a “future superstar of the blues”, first came to public attention aged ten when he posted a Get Well Soon jam for BB King that went viral with five million views in one week.
Since then, Lee has performed in West End productions, winning Olivier and UK Blues Awards and showcasing his skills in television and live performances around the world.
Once more, Holland’s autumn and winter shows will feature vocal solo spots for blues queen Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall and Sumudu Jayatilaka.
More immediately, Holland’s collaboration with Rod Stewart, Swing Fever, will be released on East West Records on February 23. Recorded with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra at Jools’s Greenwich studio, this new partnership in swing revels in a 13-track salute to songs of the big band era.
The track listing will be: Lullaby Of Broadway; Oh Marie; Sentimental Journey; Pennies From Heaven; Night Train; Love Is The Sweetest Thing; Them There Eyes; Good Rockin’ Tonight; Ain’t Misbehavin’; Frankie And Johnny; Walkin’ My Baby Back Home; Almost Like Being In Love and Tennessee Waltz.
JAMES will release their 18th studio album, Yummy, on April 12 on Virgin Music ahead of playing Leeds First Direct Arena on June 8.
Produced by Leo Abrahams, the album will be available in CD, 2CD deluxe, vinyl, colour vinyl (marbled red) retail exclusive, colour vinyl (marbled orange) and D2C Exclusive formats.
Yummy’s track list will be: Is This Love; Life Is A F***ing Miracle; Better With You; Stay; Shadow Of A Giant; Way Over Your Head; Mobile God; Our World; Rogue; Hey; Butterfly and Folks.
The 2CD deluxe edition of Yummmy adds Pudding, a second disc of demos produced by the Manchester band’s four songwriters: Anyone But You; Close Enough; Mine To Lose; Activist Song; Won’t Be The Same; Tell Me Something; Poolewe Day 1 Jam 4; Arpen Charp; Deliver The Dawn; Something Of A Pleasure; Walk Tall and 50s Out Takes.
Boston Spa-born frontman Tim Booth says of Pudding’s 12 tracks: “Most of them contain the original music and vocals created in the initial jams – which is why many of them don’t have lyrics.
“These are the tracks that didn’t make it to the next stage, where we would take them to all the band members to contribute and I would work on the lyrics before recording the final versions with a producer.
“We always make more demos than we use before recording an album, and we usually jam over 100 songs before choosing which to develop. It’s our way of keeping our quality high. These may be sketches of songs, but we could hear their potential, how they would develop with further work. James have always loved making B-sides as a way to hone creativity. Maybe view these as the B-sides for the album Yummy.”
Lead single Is This Love is out now. Featuring artwork by Studio Fury, who art-directed the campaign for the latest Rolling Stones album, Hackney Diamonds, the song is described as a “complex dissection of love in all its forms” as singer Booth pores over the pain, heat, battle, distance, fear, release and endurance of this emotion, in pursuit of its point and purpose.
Or as he puts it: “Love as a bomb, a Tsunami that rolls over our life as we cling to the wreckage of our peace of mind”.
James will be joined by special guests Razorlight on a tour that will climax with their debut show at the 20,000-capacity London O2 Arena on June 15. Tour tickets are available at tix.to/James24, gigsandtours.com and ticketmaster.co.uk.
Booth, Jim Glennie and Saul Davies, from James, will perform with Joe Duddell and an orchestra at Music Feeds Live: A Concert To Fight Food Poverty in aid of the Trussell Trust at Manchester O2 Apollo on February 27. Box office: ticketmaster.co.uk.
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, James were honoured at the 2023 Ivor Novello Awards, receiving the PRS Music Icon Award in a year when they were joined by an orchestra and gospel choir on the James Lasted tour that visited York Barbican on April 28.
Last June’s orchestral double album Be Opened By The Wonderful reached number three in the UK official chart. Throughout the summer, James headlined multiple UK and European festivals, culminating in two shows backed by full orchestra and choir at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece, and a special guest headline slot at Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Suffolk.
After 2016’s Girl At The End Of The World, 2018’s Living In Extraordinary Timesand 2021’s All The Colours Of You, Yummy continues a run of albums addressing American politics, AI technology and conspiracy theorists, all the while facing down mortality with an unbeaten smile and striving for love in a world spinning catastrophically out of control.
In the band’s 2024 line-up are: Tim Booth, Jim Glennie, Saul Davies, Adrian Oxaal, David Baynton-Power, Mark Hunter, Andy Diagram, Chloe Alper and Deborah Knox-Hewson.
THE summer season of festival delights is drawing to a close but the outdoors still beckons Charles Hutchinson, who also looks ahead to big names northwards bound.
Festival of the week: Leeds Festival, Bramham Park, August 25 to 27
THE last big outdoor festival of the Yorkshire summer season kicks off on Friday with headliners Billie Eilish (Main Stage East) and Imagine Dragons (Main Stage West). Look out that day too for Steve Lacy, Declan McKenna, Rina Sawayama, Becky Hill and Little Tjay.
The Saturday bill includes headliners Sam Fender and Foals, Loyle Carner, Wet Leg, Leeds band Yard Act, Bicep Llve and Frank Turner. Among the Sunday acts will be headliners The Killers and The 1975, Central Cee, Nothing But Thieves, Knucks, Case Atlantic and Arlo Parks. Comedy and dance stages are on the menu too. Box office: leedsfestival.com.
Tribute show of the week: Supersonic Queen, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
SUPERSONIC Queen return to the JoRo with its “strongest, most talented line-up yet”, guaranteed to blow your mind. Ten years and counting on the tribute act circuit, these musicians “care deeply about delivering the most authentic and entertaining performance”, full of energy, enthusiasm and Queen hits by the dozen. Box office: 01904 501935 or josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Exhibition of the week: Sean Taylor, Illustrations, City Screen Picturehouse café bar, Coney Street, York, until September 2
COINCIDING with City Screen Picturehouse’s latest Culture Shock season of Bruce Lee films, Sean Taylor is exhibiting paintings and pen and graphic drawing at City Screen Picturehouse. Icons aplenty feature, bold and striking.
Circus show of the week: All Ways Good Company in Swings & Roundabouts, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, Sunday, 11am to 1pm
JOIN Jane and Dora, a mum and daughter circus duo, on three trips to the park, where they will share their tales with you and hear yours too before hosting an interactive finale.
Commissioned by Hullabaloo Theatre, Swings & Roundabouts is a selection of short stories about everyday moments in the park, told in an extraordinary way as Jane and Dora flip and fly, turning the park into an aerial playground. Then have a go yourself on the aerial equipment, whatever your age. Wear long sleeves but no jewellery or clothes with zips. Box office: atthemill.org.
Last of the summer season: Olly Murs and Scouting For Girls, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, Wednesday, gates open at 6pm
OLLY Murs concludes Cuffe & Taylor’s season of outdoor gigs on the Scarborough coast with support from Scouting For Girl on Wednesday night. After four years off the music radar, focusing on The Voice and Starstruck, Murs released his seventh studio album, Marry Me, last December, the title being prompted by his now fiancée Emelia Tank.
Tonight, at Scarborough OAT, DJ Pete Tong is in action with his Ibiza Classics. The Essential Orchestra and Jules Buckley will be there too. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
Outdoor theatre show of the week: Slapstick Picnic in Peter Pan, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, Wednesday, 6.30pm
SLAPSTICK Picnic whip up a three-hander version of Peter Pan, inviting imaginations to soar as they dish out J M Barrie’s timeless tale of hapless pirates, feral children and a particularly punctual reptile.
Look out for polished buffoonery and swift silliness as the cast members swap wigs, wings and waistcoats to play all the parts at Slapstick’s characteristic breakneck pace. A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital. Box office: atthemill.org.
Folk night of the week: Gary Stewart’s Folk Club, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, Friday, 7.30pm
EASINGWOLD musician Gary Stewart’s Folk Club, a regular feature in At The Mill’s summer seasons, runs in two halves: The first is a traditional folk club, where anyone can come and play and offer up a song, a tune, a poem or a story. “Just turn up and let us know!” says Gary.
The second half is a headline set by a guest artist, in this case budding York singer-songwriter and newly formed producer Kitty VR, who fashions and performs her songs on electric guitar alongside her delicate vocals, with a sense of vulnerability and relatability. Box office: atthemill.org.
As recommended by the late John Peel: Nina Nastasia, The Crescent, York, August 29, 7.30pm
NINA Nastasia, an alt-folk artist of Calabrian-Italian and Irish descent, was born and raised in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Despite studying piano and showing an early talent for writing short stories, she initially had no aspirations of pursuing a career in music. Nevertheless, seven albums have ensued, along with airplay on the late John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 show and album collaborations with Jim White.
After a period of relative obscurity, Nastasia returned in July 2022, signing a record deal with Temporary Residence to release Riderless Horse, recorded in upstate New York by Steve Albini and Greg Norman. Box office: thecrescentyork.com.
Damian Lewis, yes, that Damian Lewis, at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, October 1, doors at 7.30pm
ACTOR and now singer and guitarist Damian Lewis will play Leeds as the only Yorkshire gig of his 11-date tour with his jazz and rock band in support of debut album Mission Creep, released on Decca Records in June.
Lewis wrote all the album’s original songs during the pandemic’s first lockdown, although the origin story began when, after leaving school, he took to the road with his guitar and went busking through continental Europe. This experience has stayed with him ever since and is reflected in the album, produced by his friend, jazz musician Giacomo Smith. Box office: brudenellsocialclub.co.uk or seetickets.com.
Birthday celebration: Eight@Eighty, Joni Mitchell 80th Birthday Party charity concert, at The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse, York, November 2, 7.30pm
STAN Smith is organising a celebration of Canadian-American singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s 80th birthday this autumn. Taking part will be Edwina Hayes, Emily Lawler, Gracie Falls, Holly Taymar, Jeremy Bradford, Laura Ingram, Sarah Dean and Stan himself. Box office: stansmith.org.
Booking ahead: George Benson, supported by Melissa Errico, Leeds First Direct Arena, July 3 2024, 7.30pm
LEGENDARY American guitarist and singer George Benson, 80, will play Leeds on the closing night of next summer’s five-date British tour.
The ten-time Grammy Award winner will be performing such Gibson soul, jazz and blues favourites as Give Me The Night, Lady Love Me (One More Time), Turn Your Love Around, Inside Love, Never Give Up On A Good Thing and In Your Eyes. He is working on new music too. Box office: ticketline.co.uk.
In Focus: Director Zoe Waterman on reviving Alan Platers’s musical Blonde Bombshells Of 1943 at the SJT
ALAN Plater’s 2004 musical Blonde Bombshells Of 1943 is being revived most warmly and wittily by Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, Bolton’s Octagon Theatre and Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake.
This summer’s glorious co-production finds these northern powerhouse producing theatres collaborating for the third year in a row after Laura Wade’s Home, I’m Darling in 2021 and Emma Rice’s account of Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter in 2022.
Zoe Waterman, who directed Jane Eyre at the SJT last year, is at the helm for Hull playwright Plater’s fortifying wartime story of the North’s most glamorous all-girl Forties’ swing band, whose band leader, Betty, needs to find new musicians for an important BBC job after the latest exodus of members in the arms of American GIs.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be directing Blonde Bombshells Of 1943,” says Zoe. “We’ve got a glorious and terribly talented cast; it’s such a privilege to work with performers who are not only stunning actors but also phenomenal musicians.
“It’s always a joy to make work that celebrates women, and this isno exception: full of hilarious, practical, strong characters who make do and mend as the time dictates and manage to pull an all-singing, all-dancing performance out of the jaws of an air raid.”
Zoe also directed Jim Cartwright’s The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice at Theatre by the Lake in 2019, and when the three theatres discussed who should be the director this summer after settling on Blonde Bombshells for the 2023 co-production, Zoe was approached for the task.
“I’d been called by Paul [SJT artistic director Paul Robinson], who I knew from the SJT, and I’d worked a lot at Theatre by the Lake, where I’d really cut my theatre teeth, first doing a one-person show, then a three-hander in the studio and then graduating to a main theatre show,” she says. “I’d spoken with Lotte [artistic director Lotte Wakeham] at the Bolton Octagon too.”
Crucially too, Zoe had experience of mounting actor-musician productions: “I did The Borrowers that way at Theatre by the Lake and Jane Eyre was in that format at the SJT, and I’ve done actor-musician pantomimes at Theatr Clwyd,” she says.
“I absolutely love this way of working, though I wouldn’t want to do only this one form of theatre, but I love that thing of weaving the music into the story and really thinking of them as one in this piece, whereas in some actor-musician shows you think, ‘if they could have afforded a band and actors, that would have been better’.
“But to have actor-musicians front and centre in this show is fantastic and it works wonderfully.”
Step forward Verity Bajoria, Lauren Chinery, Georgina Field, Stacey Ghent, Rory Gradon, Alice McKenna, Gleanne Purcell-Brown and Sarah Groarke, who appeared in the 2004 premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.
Four weeks of rehearsals in Bolton – where Zoe was working for the first time – has led to a June run at the Octagon, followed by a July stretch in Keswick and now the August finale in Scarborough.
“So often in regional subsidised theatres, in-house productions run for only three weeks, so it’s gone in a blur and you’ve missed it, but co-productions give both audiences and actors a longer run at it,” she says.
“From starting in Bolton, it was wonderful to see how the show had developed by the show’s 50th performance, at Theatre by the Lake.”
Blonde Bombshells Of 1943 runs at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until August 26. Box office: 01723 370541 or sjt.uk.com .
PROMS, outdoor festivals and carnivals, here comes the sun and summer fun as Charles Hutchinson reaches for the cream.
Outdoor event of the weekend: York Proms, Museum Gardens, York, Sunday, gates open at 5pm
BRITISH-IRISH soprano Jennifer Colemen, Opera North tenor Tom Smith and West End musical theatre singer, actress and TV presenter Shona Lindsay will be the soloists for Sunday’s York Proms.
Musical director Ben Crick conducts the 22-piece Yorkshire Festival Orchestra in a musical theatre tribute, from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel and Bernstein and Sondheim’s West Side Story through to Les Miserables and Wicked. The rousing Proms finale will be accompanied by The Fireworkers’ fireworks. Tickets update: sold out; waiting list for returns at yorkproms.com/contact.
Shakespeare Shorts: Twelfth Night, Barley Hall Great Hall, Coffee Yard, York, today, on the hour, every hour, from 11am to 3pm
SHAKESPEARE in only 15 minutes presents an immersive re-telling of Twelfth Night, the one with heaps of mistaken identities, cross-dressing and long-lost siblings.
Barley Hall’s costumed storyteller promises to “make simple a story that has even the characters confused, all while exploring themes of gender identity and the history of cross-dressing in theatre”. Barley Hall admission: barleyhall.co.uk.
Strensall Community Carnival, Strensall Village Hall and Field, Northfields, Strensall, York, today, 12 noon to 5pm
BACK for its 8th year, Strensall Community Carnival has attractions for all the family, with a procession from Hurst Hall, a food court, 30-plus charity and business stalls and entertainment on the outdoor arena.
Look out for Ebor Morris, The Cadet Band, York Karaoke DoJo, Dynamics Band and Generation Groove in the arena; the Robert Wilkinson School Choir and Band and Mark’s Magic Kingdom Puppet Show in the main hall, and the Captivating Creatures animal show, medieval mayhem with the Knights of the Wobbly Table storytellers, Messy Adventures sensory play and Generate Theatre drama games in the outdoor space.
Uke over there: The Grand Old Uke of York, At The Mill, Stillington, near York, tonight, 7.30pm
YORK collective The Grand Old Uke of York grace the At The Mill stage in an unusual twist to their norm: turning their usual set list on its head to bring gorgeous, pared-back vocals, buttery harmonies and ukuleles played with summery vibes – rather than their usual rock mode – to the garden.
Formed more than ten years ago, they love nothing more than to transform expectations of the ukulele’s bounds. Tonight is a rare chance to see the dynamic group stripped back and “almost” unplugged. Box office: tickettailor.com/events/atthemill/925922
Big kid of the weekend: Josh Benson: Just Josh’s 10th Birthday Party!, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, Sunday, 4pm
AFTER a decade of doing other kids’ parties, York family entertainer, magician and pantomime silly billy Josh Benson has decided he should have his own bash.
Expect all Just Josh’s usual mix of daft comedy chaos, magic, juggling, balloons, dancing and games, plus extra-special surprises. “It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon treat for the whole family,” he says. “Yes, even Dad. It is Father’s Day after all!” Ticket update: last few on 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.
Exhibition of the week: York Printmakers: A Showcase, Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until July 31, open Thursdays to Sundays
SIXTEEN York Printmakers members demonstrate techniques and printing processes that date back hundreds of years through to those that push the boundaries of contemporary practice, with laser-cut plates, digital elements and 3D techniques.
Taking part are: Harriette Rymer; Lyn Bailey; Bridget Hunt; Carrie Lyall; Patricia Ann Ruddle; Jane Dignum; Jo Rodwell; Lesley Shaw; Phill Jenkins; Sally Parkin; Emily Harvey; Gill Douglas; Becky Long-Smith; Vanessa Oo; Sandra Storey and Rachel Holborow.
New play of the week: Helen, staged by Terrain Theatre/Theatre 503 at Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, Sunday, 7.30pm
HELEN is 40 when she loses her husband. Becca is 15 when her dad dies. Now it is only the two of them, what do they do next? From Maureen Lennon, the Hull-born writer of York Theatre Royal’s 2022 community play, The Coppergate Woman, comes Helen, a series of snapshots of their relationship’s joys and traumas, laughs and arguments over the next 40 years.
Presented by new northern company Terrain Theatre and directed by Tom Bellerby, this 85-minute play about love, death, grief, postnatal depression, eating disorders, alcoholism, dementia and cancer, and two women up a hillside with ashes stuck to their trouser leg, explores the thread that binds them together and the different ways they damage and save each other. Box office: tickets.41monkgate.co.uk.
Comedy booking of the week: Mrs. Brown Ride Again, Hull Bonus Arena, October 27, 7.30pm, and October 28, 2pm and 7.30pm
BRENDAN O’Carroll and Mrs. Brown’s Boys will be back on stage in their “classic play” Mrs. Brown Rides Again from August to November. The only Yorkshire shows of the ten-venue tour with the television cast will be at Hull Bonus Arena in late-October.
Written by and starring O’Carroll as the beloved “Mammy”, the play finds Agnes Brown and her dysfunctional family romping their way through what seems to be her last days at home. After hearing of a plot by her children to have her put into a home, Agnes decides to prove them wrong by displaying a new lease of life. Box office: bonusarenahull.com.
Gig announcement of the week: The Prodigy, Army Of The Ants Tour, Leeds First Direct Arena, November 18
THE Prodigy’s Liam Howlett and Maxim will play Leeds on night three of their seven-date autumn arena tour after a spring and summer run of international festival headline dates. Support will come from Soft Play, the British punk duo of Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman, formerly known as Slaves.
“Army Of The Ants is a calling to The Prodigy peoples,” says Howlett. “We’re comin’ back for u the only way we know, full attack mode, double barrel.” Box office: tix.to/TheProdigy
Recommended but general and VIP admission sold out already:Let’s Rock Leeds, Temple Newsam, Leeds, today, gates 11am; 10.30pm finish
HOMECOMING Leeds duo Soft Cell and OMD top the bill at this retro festival. Tony Hadley, Midge Ure, Stray Cats’ Slim Jim Phantom, The Farm, The Real Thing, Roland Gift, Heatwave and Hue & Cry play too. For any form of tickets left, head to: letsrockleeds.com.
In Focus: York Light Opera Company in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Theatre@41, Monkgate, York, June 27 to July 1
RIOTOUS, rude and relevant, Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts’s off-Broadway musical comedy I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change looks at how we love, date and handle relationships.
In a revamp of the original 1996 production, York Light Opera Company stage this witty hit show with a cast of seven under the direction of Neil Wood, fresh from his menacing Sweeney in Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber Of Fleet Street. Martin Lay provides the musical direction for the two 7.30pm peformances and 2.30pm Saturday matinee.
Noted for its insights into human nature and catchy-as-a-Venus-flytrap songs, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change explores the joys and challenges of love in songs that chart the heart’s path from dating to marriage to divorce.
Guiding audiences through a series of comedic and poignant vignettes will be Richard Bayton, Emma Dickinson, Monica Frost, Emily Hardy, James Horsman, Sanna Jeppsson and Mark Simmonds.
Cue shocks, surprises and songs aplenty as our love lives are reflected in art, up close and personal. Box Office tickets.41monkgate.co.uk
NOEL Gallagher’s High Flying Birds will play Hull Bonus Arena on August 30 and Leeds First Direct Arena on December 18.
Tickets will be available for special pre-sale on Wednesday for fans who pre-order the forthcoming album Council Skies via the official Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds store at store.noelgallagher.com and on general sale at tix.to/NoelGHFB from 9am on Friday.
Erstwhile Oasis guitarist Gallagher, 55, has released his latest album taster, Dead To The World, ahead of his fourth studio set’s arrival on June 2 on Sour Mash Records.
“By some distance it’s my favourite tune on the album,” he says. “It has this film-noir vibe. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever done before. It’s very melancholic, but I like that. I’m a Gemini – I’m as up as I am down, and the trick is to meet somewhere in the middle and turn that into music.”
The arrival of Dead To The World follows fan excitement over mysterious orchestral clips – filmed by Gallagher at Abbey Road Studios, London – emerging on social media at the beginning of 2023.
Dead To The World turns out to be one of several songs on Council Skies that boast strings arranged by Rosie Danvers, a long-time High Flying Birds collaborator. “Rosie gets what I do,” says Gallagher. “Spending a weekend recording strings in Abbey Road…that’s one of the great privileges in a musician’s life. It sounds majestic.”
Already, Gallagher has issued Pretty Boy and Easy Now as singles from Council Skies. The Cure’s Robert Smith remixed Pretty Boy earlier this month, adding a spaced-out dimension.
Council Skies is available to pre-order on CD, heavyweight vinyl with bonus 7”, LP picture disc and various digital formats, including a Dolby Atmos spatial audio version. The Robert Smith remix will appear on deluxe limited-edition triple vinyl and 2CD formats that also will feature a live session version of Live Forever and a Pet Shop Boys remix of Think Of A Number.
A printed handwritten lyric sheet of title track Council Skies will be included with all album pre-orders via the official store at noelgallagher.lnk.to/Councilskiespr.
Gallagher already has announced a summer series of outdoor venue and festival shows for his High Flying Birds, including Bingley Weekender on August 4 and concluding with a September 1 appearance at Sheffield Don Valley Bowl’s Rock’n’ Roll Circus. These will be his first British concerts since performing on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage last June. Box office: noelgallagher.com/live.
The High Flying Birds have confirmed a 26-date USA tour too, co-headlining with Garbage.
Track listing for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ Council Skies deluxe album:
I’m Not Giving Up Tonight
Dead To The World
Open The Door, See What You Find
Trying To Find A World That’s Been And Gone
There She Blows!
Love Is A Rich Man
Think Of A Number
We’re Gonna Get There In The End
Pretty Boy (Instrumental)
Dead To The World (Instrumental)
Council Skies (Instrumental)
Think Of A Number (Instrumental)
I’m Not Giving Up Tonight (David Holmes Remix)
Think Of A Number (Pet Shop Boys Magic Eye 12” Remix)
Pretty Boy (Robert Smith Remix)
Council Skies (The Reflex Revision)
Flying On The Ground (BBC Radio 2 Session, 08.09.2021)
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (BBC Radio 2 Session, 08.09.2021)
TOM Grennan will play Scarborough Open Air Theatre on July 7.
The chart-topping BRIT and Ivor Novello award nominee will be promoting his third album, What Ifs & Maybes, set for release on Insanity on June 9.
“It’s going to be an amazing night in Scarborough,” says the Beford singer-songwriter. “It’s a stunning venue, so let’s fill it and have a night to remember! Yorkshire crowds absolutely love a party, and the shows I’ve played there have been so special. I’ve no doubt this show is going to be something else.”
Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday at scarboroughopenairtheatre.com for an outdoor gig presented by Metropolis Music and Cuffe and Taylor.
Venue programmer Peter Taylor says: “Tom Grennan is quite simply the man of the moment and a truly special talent. He has a new album set to land in June and he is about to embark on his biggest ever series of headline shows. We’re delighted to be able to bring Tom here to Scarborough and this special venue for what will be an incredible night on the Yorkshire coast.”
Grennan, 27, was nominated in the Alt/Rock category for last Saturday’s 2023 BRIT Awards after notching four top ten singles, This Is The Place, Little Bit Of Love, Let’s Go Home Together (with Ella Henderson) and Don’t Break The Heart, and topping the album charts with March 2021’s Evering Road.
He first made his mark as a guest vocalist on electronic duo Chase & Status’s 2016 track When It All Goes Wrong before delivering a trio of EPs, Release The Brakes, Something In The Water and Found What I’ve Been Looking For. Debut album Lighting Matches arrived in July 2018
In 2021 and 2022, Grennan contributed guest vocals to two top ten singles, Calvin Harris’s By Your Side and KSI’s Not Over Yet.
Next comes Whats Ifs & Maybes.“It’s all about going with your gut, not your head, because you never know what’s going to happen. I’m not afraid to jump into the unknown – because it’s exciting,” says Grennan.
“It’s about rolling the dice and living your best life with nothing to lose. I’m in a new creative space, and I know I’m finally the artist I want to be. I’m so buzzing for these 2023 shows – my biggest gigs to date. I can’t wait to get out and play these new songs to everyone. Let’s go.”
Grennan’s ten-date spring itinerary – his first headline arena tour – includes Leeds First Direct Arena on March 12 at 7.30pm (box office: firstdirectarena.com).
Already confirmed for Scarborough Open Air Theatre this summer are the international tour of Mamma Mia, June 14 to 18; Blondie, June 22; Rag’n’Bone Man, June 24; Sting, June 25; Hollywood Vampires, July 5; Pulp, July 9; N-Dubz, July 20; Pete Tong and The Essential Orchestra Ibiza Classics, August 19, and Olly Murs, August 23. More acts are still to be announced.
KALER on the loose, Christmas music, art and crafts and a stellar trio on the horizon have Charles Hutchinson hopping between diaries
Berwick’s back: The Adventures Of Old Granny Goose, Grand Opera House, York, December 10 to January 8
THE script is complete, as of 6am on Thursday morning, for writer, director and perennial York dame Berwick Kaler’s second year at his adopted panto home, presented in tandem with the Grand Opera House’s new partners in pantomime, UK Productions.
At 76, expect a greater emphasis on the verbal jousting from Dame Berwick, but still with slapstick aplenty in the familiar company of sidekick Martin Barrass, villain David Leonard, principal gal Suzy Cooper, luverly Brummie AJ Powell and ever-game dancer Jake Lindsay in his tenth Kaler panto, me babbies, me bairns. Box office: 0844 871 7615 or atgtickets.com/York.
Exhibition launch of the week: The Christmas Collection at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York, today until January 12, open daily
YORK ceramicist Ben Arnup opens The Christmas Collection, the last exhibition of Pyramid Gallery’s 40th anniversary celebrations, at midday today. He will be exhibiting 12 new trompe l’oeil ceramic sculptures too.
Gallery curator Terry Brett has invited London printmaker Anita Kelin to fill the walls with 15 large linocut original prints and two paintings in her 28th year of showing her depictions of family life at Pyramid. Exhibiting too will be printmaker Mychael Barratt, sculptors Christine Pike and Jennie McCall, ceramicist Katie Braida and glassmakers Rachel Elliott, Alison Vincent, Keith Cummings and David Reekie, plus 50 jewellery makers.
Return to York of the week: Craft Your Christmas with Sara Davies, York Barbican, tonight, 7.30pm
DRAGONS’ Den entrepreneur Sara Davies, who founded her Crafter’s Companion company in 2005 while studying at the University of York, offers practical demonstrations, creative ideas and a healthy slice of down-to-earth know-how.
Taking you from gifts to garlands, cards to crackers, via a peek into the Den and a sprinkling of Strictly Come Dancing sparkle, Sara will help you to create your own unique handmade Christmas. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
Christmas concert of the week: The Ebor Singers, A Christmas Celebration By Candlelight, St Lawrence Parish Church, Lawrence Street, York, tonight, 7.30pm
PAUL Gameson directs The Ebor Singers in an evening of beautiful choral arrangements for Christmastide that also marks the launch of the York choir’s CD recording of Christmas music by contemporary American composers, Wishes And Candles.
Pieces from the disc, featuring works by Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Dan Forrest, Abbie Bettinis and Matthew Culloton, will be complemented by festive compositions by John Rutter and Bob Chilcott. Expect audience participation in carol singing too. Tickets: eventbrite.co.uk and on the door.
Festive musical duo of the week: Aled Jones and Russell Watson, Christmas With Aled & Russell York Barbican, Tuesday, 8pm
ALED Jones and Russell Watson are reuniting for Christmas 2022, combining a new album and tour. Performing together again after a three-year hiatus, the classical singers will be promoting their November 4 release of Christmas With Aled And Russell.
The album features new recordings of traditional carols such as O Holy Night, O Little Town Of Bethlehem and In The Bleak Midwinter, alongside festive favourites White Christmas, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Little Drummer Boy and Mistletoe And Wine, complemented by a duet rendition of Walking In The Air. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk
Nativity play of the week: York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust in A Nativity for York, Spurriergate Centre, Spurriergate, York, Thursday, Friday, 7.30pm; Saturday, Sunday, 3pm, 5pm and 7.30pm
A NATIVITY for York returns to the Spurriergate Centre following a two-year enforced break, staged by York Mystery Plays Supporters Trust (YMPST). After directing the Last Judgement plays on the city streets in 2018 and 2022, Alan Heaven has created a fresh, vibrant and magical retelling of the Nativity, combining “music, dance, sorrows and joys and some audience participation”.
Heaven’s company of actors, dancers and musicians is drawn from a wide range of community volunteers, in keeping with the YMPST productions of A Nativity for York in 2019 and A Resurrection for York in 2021. Tickets: 01904 623568, at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or in person from the Theatre Royal box office.
Festival of the week: York Early Music Christmas Festival, mainly at NCEM, Walmgate, December 8 to 16; online box set, December 19 to January 31
MUSIC, minstrels, merriment, mulled wine and mince pies combine in York Early Music Christmas Festival 2022, to be complemented by an online box set of festival highlights post-festival.
Taking part will be La Palatine (Fiesta Galante); Ensemble Augelletti (Pick A Card!); Solomon’s Knot (Johann Kuhnau’s Christmas Cantatas); Spiritato and The Marion Consort (Inspiring Bach); Ensemble Moliere (Good Soup); Bojan Čičić (Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas); The Orlando Consort (Adieu) and Yorkshire Bach Choir & Yorkshire Baroque Soloists (Handel’s Brockes Passion). Box office: 01904 658338 or ncem.co.uk.
Homecoming of the week: Sam Hird and Tom Bennett, A Winter Night’s Recital, All Saints’ Church, North Street, York, Friday, 7pm to 9pm
YORK baritone Sam Hird and his fellow Royal College of Music graduate, guitarist Tom Bennett, perfrom classical songs from around the world, by Schubert, Faure and Britten, complemented by festive favourites such as Adeste Fideles, O Holy Night and A Cradle In Bethlehem to stir the Christmas spirit.
The 15th century All Saints’ Church will be the “perfect backdrop” to this candlelit concert, Hird’s professional solo debut. A glass of mulled wine and a mince pie is included in the ticket price of £10 plus booking fee, available from samhirdmusic.co.uk and on the door.
Big jumpers, big songs: Alistair Griffin presents The Big Christmas Concert, St Michael le Belfrey Church, York, December 9, 10 and 17, 8pm; doors, 7.30pm
BILLED as “the biggest Christmas concert in York”, singer-songwriter Alistair Griffin’s winter warmer returns with classic Christmas tunes, carols and bags of festive cheer, heralded by a brass band.
The Big Christmas Concert takes a festive musical journey from acoustic versions of traditional carols to Wizzard, Slade and The Pogues, as audiences sing along and sip mulled wine while enjoying the fairytale of old York. Christmas jumpers and Christmas attire are encouraged; a prize will be given for the best costume. Box office: www.alistairgriffin.com.
Booking ahead: Blondie, Scarborough Open Air Theatre, June 22 2023
LOWER East Side New York trailblazers Blondie are off to the East Coast next summer to play Britain’s largest outdoor concert arena.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icons will be led as ever by pioneering frontwoman/songwriter Debbie Harry, 77, guitarist/conceptual mastermind Chris Stein and powerhouse drummer Clem Burke, joined by former Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, guitarist Tommy Kessler and keyboardist Matt Katz-Bohen.
Blondie join Sting, Pulp, rock supergroup Hollywood Vampires, N-Dubz, Olly Murs and Mamma Mia! among Scarborough OAT’s 2023 headliners, with plenty more to be added. Box office: scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.
Booking ahead too: The Waterboys, York Barbican, October 12 2023, 7.30pm
GREAT, Scott will be back for yet another evening with The Waterboys at York Barbican, this time to mark the Scottish-founded folk, rock, soul and blues band’s 40th anniversary.
Mike Scott, 63, has made a habit of playing the Barbican, laying on the “Big Music” in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018 and October 2021, since when The Waterboys have released 15th studio album All Souls Hill in May. Box office: yorkbarbican.co.uk.
A brush with an artist: Grayson Perry: A Show All About You, Harrogate Convention Centre, October 1 2023, 7.30pm
ARTIST, iconoclast and TV presenter Grayson Perry follows up A Show For Normal People with A Show All About You, wherein he asks, “What makes you, you?”. Is there a part deep inside that no-one understands? Have you found your tribe or are you a unique human being? Or is it more complicated than that?
Perry, “white, male, heterosexual, able bodied, English, southerner, baby boomer and member of the establishment”, takes a mischievous look at the nature of identity, promising to make you laugh, shudder, and reassess who you really are. Box office: 01423 502116 or harrogatetheatre.co.uk.
Also recommended but sold out: The Cure, The Lost World Tour 2022, Leeds First Direct Arena, Tuesday, doors, 6pm
ROBERT Smith’s ever-changing band play Leeds for the first time since September 21 1985 at the whatever-happened-to-the Queens Hall. Expect a long, long set of all the heavenly, hippy pop hits, the gloomier goth stalwarts and more than a glimpse of the long-promised 14th studio album, Songs Of A Lost World, pencilled in for 2023.
YORK heroes Shed Seven will take over Leeds Millennium Square on July 15 in an exclusive open-air Yorkshire show next summer.
Joining them on Sounds Of The City 2023’s 6pm to 10.30pm bill will be Britpop cohorts Cast, John Power’s Liverpool indie rock combo, and fellow terrace-anthem York group Skylights.
“This is a HUGE show for us, and we hope the Shed Seven family will make the pilgrimage to Leeds and join us on what’s sure to be a special night,” say The Sheds, who played to a 10,000 crowd at Leeds First Direct Arena in December 2019.
All tickets for this standing-only outdoor triple bill with a 6,000 capacity are priced at £35 (£38.50 with booking fee) and go on sale tomorrow (18/11/2022) at 9am at millsqleeds.com/whatson-event/shed-seven-sounds-of-the-city/
GONE in a flash. All tickets have been snapped up within a day for Shed Seven’s Leeds Millennium Square gig.
The Sheds took to Twitter today to say: “SOLD OUT. A massive heartfelt thank you to everyone who bought tickets for our Leeds Millennium Square show yesterday. We can’t wait for this show, 6,000 people singing along with us in the sunshineeeeee …. Old and new tunes… maybe some special guests too! Love the Sheds x”
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.
TWO Big Egos In A Small Car culture podcasters Chalmers & Hutch have their say in Episode 67.
Also under discussion are Blood Youth, heavy metal and heady beer; James & Happy Mondays’ Manchester night in Leeds; Harrogate Theatre’s sublime pantomime, Cinderella; Mick Jagger’s dedication to the blues and House Of Gucci’s style versus content.