This week’s hot tickets include long-awaited returns by two great singer-songwriters, two up-and-coming pop stars, and a true hero of US comedy. Check our Just announced page for more, and set your alarm for these big shows going on sale tomorrow…
Twelve years since his magnificent debut album ‘O’ and eight since the follow-up ‘9’ went Top Five, Damien Rice has finally announced his long-awaited next album. ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’ (co-produced by Rick Rubin) will be out in November, and we hope that it’ll live up to the raw delicacy of ‘The Blower’s Daughter’ and the majesty of ‘Cannonball’ while also pointing the way forward for one of the most inscrutable singer-songwriters ever to go platinum. If it does, this grand theatre show in the week of release will be the cherry on a triumphant return.
Having become a muslim convert and changed his name to Yusuf Islam after a near-death experience in 1976, London-born singer-songwriter Cat Stevens took a two decade-long break from the music industry. Over the last 15 years or so he’s made sporadic returns to live performance and recording, and now turns up in London for a big show at which he’s set to perform material from a new album, ‘Tell ’Em I’m Gone’, and raid his stunning back catalogue of sublime folk-pop songs such as ‘Trouble’, ‘Wild World’, ‘Peace Train’ and ‘The First Cut is the Deepest’.
Hackney’s sassy, retro soul chanteuse, who’s an out-and-proud fan of insane outfits, theatrics and doo-wop harmonies, plays cuts from her latest LP ‘A Perfect Contradiction’. Can the show possibly be as bonkers as the album sleeve? Quite probably.
What does a sensitive soul do after quitting a Mercury-nominated jazz fusion act? Nick Mulvey, a founding member of Portico Quartet, has the answer: reinvent yourself as a singer-songwriter performing mellow, jazzy, offbeat folk-pop, with a world music slant. Catch him now as he celebrates his second Mercury nomination – this time as a solo act.
Shaffer Chimere Smith was initially best known as the prolific writer of tunes for the likes of Beyoncé, Britney, Whitney and Usher, but he leapt into the limelight himself back in 2006, and he’s remained a contender for pole position in the great R&B race. He’s got a shedload of slick cuts to reel out at this latest show.
Superbly soulful R&B singer, producer and writer MNEK has had a hand in plenty of awesome projects – singing on club smashes including Gorgon City’s ‘Ready for Your Love’ and Duke Dumont’s ‘Need U (100%)’ and co-writing The Saturdays’ pop gem ‘All Fired Up’ – and he’s only 19. Sickening, eh? Still, we’ll forgive him as he’s so damn good at it. At this show/’party’ he’ll be bashing out tracks from his upcoming debut album.
It’s pronounced ‘Kaiser’, and it’s the stage name of Canadian singer-songwriter Kiesa Rae Ellestad, a former navy codebreaker and Miss Universe Canada contestant who’s now turned her hand to infectious electro-pop. You’ve probably heard her debut single ‘Hideaway’ (a Number One here) – now catch her live as she continues to ascend that slippery slope to superstardom.
The food-loving, sharp suit-wearing star of ‘Parks and Recreation’ is a masterful stand-up. His super-slick, high-energy shows are a real treat. Ansari fills arenas in the US (he’s just played two nights at Madison Square Garden) so us lucky Londoners are getting a relatively intimate show when plays a one-off gig at the Hammersmith Apollo in November. He’ll probably deconstruct love and 50 Cent lyrics and, hopefully, take this piss out of his strange cousin Harris. Don’t miss out. Seriously. If you don’t believe us, check out his ‘Buried Alive’ special on Netflix and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.