ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Journey To You by The Blow Monkeys (September 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

RELEASED: Friday 24 September 2021

TRACKLIST: Dust At Her Feet; Time Storm; More Than A Miracle; One More Time; Each and Every One; Earthbound; Touching Distance; Unicorn Kisses; Journey To You; Teardrop Rock

The Blow Monkeys found fame in the late 80s by marrying a saxaphone-heavy dance pop sound with lyrics often criticising then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and it’s interesting that the muse for this 1st new album in 4 years is once again female but this time about love rather than hate.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see The Blow Monkeys on their UK tour later this year
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FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie starring Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire & Richard E Grant

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

John McCrea originated the part of Jamie in the Sheffield and West End productions of this musical and for us his appearance in the film’s most moving segment illustrates beautifully one of the piece’s themes about passing on the wisdom about gay life from 1 generation to the next.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see Jamie songwriter Dan Gillespie Sells’ band The Feeling on tour next year
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THEATRE REVIEW: Hairspray starring Michael Ball, Marisha Wallace, Les Dennis & Rita Simons at The Coliseum

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Saturday 18 September 2021, runs to 29 September 2021

RUNTIME: 150 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

We loved John Waters‘ 1988 film on which this musical is based but it is a show which has surpassed its origins and there is a moment tonight when rising star Marisha Wallace sings I Know Where I’ve Been that brings the house down.

  • Read on for reasons including why Michael Ball’s number with Les Dennis reminded of Morecambe and Wise at their best
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THEATRE REVIEW: Blithe Spirit starring Jennifer Saunders at Harold Pinter Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

RUNTIME: 140 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

WHEN?: Matinee Saturday 18 September, booking to 6 November 2021

The last time we saw Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit the part of clairvoyant Madame Arcati was played by the late great Peggy Mount at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in 1989.

  • Read on for reasons including how Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders plays the Mme Arcati role
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GIG REVIEW: Declan McKenna at 02 Brixton Academy

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: Friday 17 September 2021

SETLIST: Beautiful Faces; Rapture; Sagitarrius A; Emily; Make Me Your Queen; The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home; Twice Your Size; The Key To Life On Earth; My House; Listen To Your Friends; Humongous; Isombard; You Better Believe; Be An Astronaut; Daniel, You’re Still A Child; Why Do You Feel So Down; Eventually, Darling; Brazil; British Bombs

It’s a Friday night and the excitement in the venue is palpable as 22-year-old McKenna steps out on stage in front of a screaming crowd of predominantly teenage boys and girls for what he describes as the biggest solo gig of his career so far.

  • Read on for reasons including how you can see McKenna on tour this year and next
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GIG REVIEW: Idles at Portsmouth Guildhall

WHEN?: 12 September 2021

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

Reminiscent of my ex-goth’s conundrum of what to wear to a Cult gig when you’re the wrong side of 40, Mr H was in a quandary as to whether to buy a merch t-shirt. Attired in the überfan Steve Lamacq’s Going Deaf for a Living shirt (Lammo famously championed Idles), Mr H decided to wear the new Idles t-shirt on top. Job done.

  • Read on for reasons including whether A Humdrum Mum rubbed shoulders with the band in their Exeter youth
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THEATRE REVIEW: Back To The Future: The Musical at the Adelphi Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHEN?: Sunday 12 September 2021 (matinee), booking to February 13 2022 RUNTIME: 160 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

‘Great Scott!’ Michael J. Fox starred as hero Marty McFly in 3 Back To The Future films which made more than 900 million dollars in the 80s and 90s.

  • Read on for reasons including how this musical is big on spectacle but short on memorable songs
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THEATRE REVIEW: Camp Siegfried starring Patsy Ferran and Luke Thallon at the Old Vic

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHEN?: Saturday 11 September, opens 18 September, runs to 30 October 2021

RUNTIME: 90 minutes (no interval)

Playwright Bess Wohl penned this play last summer during the pandemic while staying outside New York as Donald Trump’s presidential re-election campaign kicked into gear.

  • Read on for reasons including how Olivier Award-winning Ferran’s indoctrination is centre stage here
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