Chief of mischief Mark Thomas has 50 Things About Us he wants to say on tour

Satire this way: mischief-maker Mark Thomas has 50 Things About Us he wants to get off his chest. Pictures: Steve Ullathorne

MISCHIEF-MAKING activist comedian, satirical writer, political agent provocateur, TV and radio presenter, journalist and podcaster Mark Thomas sets out on his 50 Things About Us: Work In Progress tour on January 23.

Among the 54 dates are The Crescent, York, on March 4 and Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on April 9 as the South Londoner combines his trademark mix of “storytelling, stand-up, mischief and really, really well researched material to examine how we have come to inhabit this divided wasteland that some of us call the United Kingdom”.

Thomas, 56, will be picking through the myths, facts and figures of our national identities to ask how we have so much feeling for such a hollow land. “Who do we think we are?” he ponders.

Mark Thomas: keeping an eye on the state of the nation

50 Things About Us is billed as “a show about money, history, songs, gongs, wigs, unicorns, guns, bungs, sods of soil and rich people, in the vein of The Manifesto-meets-sweary history channel”.

Thomas has made his mark down the years by stopping arms deals; creating a manifesto and bringing the winning policy to parliament; walking the entire length of the Israeli wall in the West Bank and setting up a comedy club in the Palestinian city of Jenin.

He has hosted six series on Channel 4, alongside several television documentaries and radio series; written books; grabbed a Guinness World Record; sold out numerous tours; won awards aplenty; nabbed himself a Medal of Honour and succeeded in changing some laws along the way. 

His Work In Progress tour also takes in further Yorkshire gigs at Hebden Bridge Trades Club, February 16; Sheffield Memorial Hall, March 1, and Wakefield Theatre Royal, March 5. Box office: York, 01904 622510 or at; Leeds, 0845 644 1881 or; Hebden Bridge, 01422 845265 or; Sheffield, 0114 278 9789 or; Wakefield, 01924 211311.

Country duo Ward Thomas will be live and Unfiltered at Leeds City Varieties in April

Ward Thomas: Playing Leeds City Varieties this spring

COUNTRY-POP twin sisters Ward Thomas will play Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on April 30, the second night of their Unfiltered acoustic tour.

After winningthe Global Artist Award at the 2019 CMA Awards, Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas have announced a seven-date tour for Spring 2020.

The Hampshire twins will be complementing fan favourites from 2019’s top ten album, Restless Minds, 2016’s chart-topping Cartwheels and 2014 debut release From Where We Stand with new compositions.

The stripped-back arrangements will show off the sisters’ harmonies in an intimate setting after a year when they toured Europe with Jack Savoretti, joining him in a duet of The Killers’ Human at his sold-out Wembley Arena show. They also played the Isle of Wight Festival, supported David Gray on his Australian tour and performed Whiskey Lullaby with Brad Paisley at London’s O2 Arena.

Tickets for April 30 are on sale on 0113 243 0808 or at or

10cc’s Graham Gouldman to play Leeds and release solo album

Graham Gouldman: new tour, new album in 2020

GRAHAM Gouldman will play Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on March 25 on next spring’s tour to launch his first solo album in eight years.

The 10cc luminary’s 14-date travels with his semi-acoustic band, Heart Full Of Songs, will run from March 19 to April 4, coinciding with the March 20 release of his as-yet-unnamed record on the British independent label Lojinx.

One notable guest on Gouldman’s first solo set since 2012’s Love And Work is The Beatles’ Ringo Starr, who plays drums on Standing Next To Me.

Last year, Gouldman, 73, was invited by Starr to join his All Starr Band for tours of Europe and the United States that featured three 10cc songs.

“Playing with Ringo Starr and The All Starr Band was absolutely brilliant, and having Ringo play drums on one of my new album’s songs was the icing on the cake,” says Gouldman.

“Absolutely brilliant”: Graham Gouldman’s verdict on playing with Ringo Starr in the Beatle’s All Starr Band last year

“The song is about how I came to be asked to join his band, and about my experience of being on the road with Ringo alongside Steve Lukather, Colin Hay, Gregg Rolie, Warren Ham and Gregg Bissonette, who also plays drums on three of the album’s tracks.”

When Gouldman formed what became Heart Full Of Songs, it was for the pleasure of playing his songs in their simplest form, leading to the acoustic four-piece’s first tour in April and May 2013.

Gouldman’s band now tours Britain, Belgium, Holland and Germany with a line-up of Gouldman, Ciaran Jeremiah, Dave Cobby and either Iain Hornal, Nick Kendal or Andy Park, depending on their commitments.

The Heart Full Of Songs set list will feature such golden Gouldman hits as 10cc’s I’m Not In Love, Dreadlock Holiday and The Things We Do For Love, The Hollies’ Bus Stop, The Yardbirds’ For Your Love and Wax’s Bridge To Your Heart, complemented by new material.

“I always love taking my Heart Full Of Songs show on tour,” says Gouldman. “Acoustic performances always create a very intimate atmosphere where every song – which is what it’s all about – can truly be heard. It also gives me a chance to explain how the songs came about and something of the writing process. We’ll see you there.”

Tickets for his Leeds concert, Gouldman’s only Yorkshire date, are on sale on 0113 243 0808 or at

Did you know?

In 2014, Graham Gouldman was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, an arm of the USA’s National Academy of Music. Previous inductees include Noel Coward, Irving Berlin, Burt Bacharach, Neil Sedaka, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John and Leonard Cohen.