AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Gig of 2021

It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2021? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 15 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2021.

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GIG REVIEW: Daði Freyr and HYYTS at 02 Kentish Town Forum

By Aline Mahrud

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Friday 26 November 2021, tour runs to 16 June 2022

SETLIST: Lag sem ég gerði; Where We Wanna Be; Hvað með það; Kemur Þér ekki við; Skiptir ekki máli; Clear My Head; Somebody Else Now; Birdy Song; Fugladansinn; Feel The Love; 10 Years; Næsta skref; Something Magical; Think About Things; Daði Guitar song; Endurtaka Mig

The winner of 2020’s Eurovision-that-never-was not only sold out the 2,300 capacity 02 Forum Kentish Town but was uttely charming in doing so.

  • Read on for reasons including how support band HYYTS revealed their Eurovision story
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AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Album of 2021

It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2021? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 15 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2021.

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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Voyage by ABBA (November 2021)

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

TRACKLIST: I Still Have Faith In You; When You Danced With Me; Little Things; Don’t Shut Me Down; Just A Notion; I Can Be That Woman; Keep An Eye On Dan; Bumble Bee; No Doubt About It; Ode To Freedom

November has seen big album releases by Adele, Little Mix and Diana Ross but it is this 1st studio album in 40 years by the Swedish super group that has grown and grown on us since its early November release.

  • Read on for reasons including how ABBA Voyage is ABBA silver rather than ABBA Gold
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for December 2021 starring Pantoland at the Palladium

  1. Pantoland At The Palladium starring Julian Clary

We’ve seen the Palladium’s annual pantomime in each of its 5 years and last year’s run was cruelly cut very short by Covid and so it is with some relief that we can report it is returning in 2021 with much of its now familiar variety-based cast but with Donny Osmond and The Tiller Girls added this Christmas. We’re big fans of Julian Clary and it’s a real treat to see him absolutely in his element. Last year we said: ‘Clary is a master of improvisation and the rest of the cast are clearly trying to stifle their own laughing often and, when Yarrow dries, Clary references Stemp in Mary Poppins  saying ‘Charlie’s chimney’s never dry’.’ Runs 4 December 2021 through 9 January 2022. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including new musical Hex, Spring Awakening revival and world premieres of La Belle Sauvage and Force Majeure
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GIG REVIEW: Shiiine On Weekender 2021 at Butlin’s Minehead Arena

By Carron Stacey, A Humdrum Mum

WHEN?: 12-14 November 2021

It’s taken me a full week to recover from the Shiiine On Weekender, but then I did turn 50 this year. I think that’s the problem; however, I have also discovered the solution – the nana nap.

  • Read on for reasons including Peter Hook and The Light and James Taylor Quartet
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THEATRE REVIEW: The Queen Of Hearts starring and written by Andrew Pollard at Greenwich Theatre

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Saturday 20 November, opens Friday 26 November and booking to 2 January 2022

RUNTIME: 130 minutes (including 20-minute interval)

The best bit of so many highlights in this hilarious, family-friendly pantomime is when 1 character movingly and delicately rebuffs the romantic advances of another to Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For and, in a moment worthy of the very best of Morecambe and Wise, Pollard’s Queen Of Hearts breaks the spell with an atrocious harmonica solo in the instrumental break.

  • Read on for reasons including how Pollard and the villain played by Anthony Spargo have great chemistry
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GIG REVIEW: Rina Sawayama at Electric Brixton

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

WHEN?: Tuesday 16 November 2021, touring until 9 May 2022

SETLIST: Dynasty; STFU!; Comme des garçons (Like the Boys); Akasaka Sad; Snakeskin; Cyber Stockholm Syndrome; Paradisin’; Love Me 4 Me; Bad Friend; Who’s Gonna Save U Now?; Tokyo Love Hotel; Chosen Family; Cherry; XS; LUCID; Free Woman

We’re 1 song into the show, the adoring crowd are chanting: ‘Rina! Rina!’ spurring the object of their affection to say: ‘This is how I know this is my home town.’

  • Read on for reasons including why everything’s in place for album 2 to go stratospheric
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AWARDS SHORTLIST: MONSTAS: Best Venue of 2021

It’s been quite the year, it’s almost Christmas and what would the festive season be without some recognition of the best of 2021? Over the next month we’ll shortlist five nominees in each of 15 categories for our Oscars, or monstas if you will, of 2021.

  • Read on for the nominees for the monsta for Best Venue of 2021 Previous winners in this category have included 2020: Bridge Theatre, 2019: Old Vic, 2018: Bush Theatre
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THEATRE REVIEW: Cabaret starring Eddie Redmayne, Jessie Buckley & Omari Douglas

WORTH A LOOK? *****

WHEN?: Monday 15 November, opens 10 December 2021 booking to 14 May 2022 RUNTIME: 155 minutes (including a 20-minute interval)

We’ve followed Buckley’s career from BBC1 casting show I’d Do Anything, through West End and films including Romeo and Juliet and predict this will be the role that will catapault her to superstardom.

  • Read on for reasons including how good Redmayne and Douglas are and how we’ve never heard an audience reaction like it
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