THEATRE REVIEW: & Juliet at the Shaftesbury Theatre starring Miriam-Teak Lee, Cassidy Janson, Oliver Tompsett & David Bedella

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Shaftesbury Theatre

WHEN? 9/11, opens 20/11, runs to 30/5/20

Swede Max Martin is the third most successful songwriter in US chart history with credits on 22 number singles behind only Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

  • Read on for reasons including how two unexpected love stories challenge stereotypes here

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GIG REVIEW: Ella Henderson at Hoxton Hall

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE? Hoxton Hall

WHEN? 9/11/19

SETLIST: Glow; Glorious; We Got Love; Yours: Bones; Young; Glitterball; This Is Real; Friends; Brave; Ghost

Ella Henderson is at the piano introducing new song Bones reflecting on seeing a large backside in a magazine and realising it was her own.

  • Read on for reasons including how Jax Jones appeared here as a surprise guest

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GIG REVIEW: Marina at Eventim Apollo

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

WHERE? Eventim Apollo

WHEN? 4/11, tour runs to 18/11/19

SETLIST: Handmade Heaven; Hollywood; Primadonna; Enjoy Your Life; I Am Not A Robot; To Be Human; Superstar; From; Orange Trees; Teen Idle; Believe In Love; Bubblegum Bitch; Emotional Machine; I’m Not Hungry Anymore; No More Suckers; Karma; Oh No; Baby: End Of the Earth; How To Be A Heartbreaker

We last saw Marina at a Q&A in London in April where she talked about her artistic freedom and so we’re not entirely surprised when at the close of tonight’s gig she drops a bombshell.

  • Read on for reasons including why this was Marina’s ‘perfect last show for me for a while’

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GIG REVIEW: Shakespears Sister at the Palladium

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

WHERE? London Palladium

WHEN? 5/11, tour runs to 20/11/19

SETLIST: Goodbye Cruel World; Heroine; Dangerous Game; Dirty Mind; My 16th Apology; Heaven Is In Your Arms; The Trouble With Andre; Emotional Thing; C U Next Tuesday; Time To Say Goodbye; All The Queen’s Horses; When She Finds You; Black Sky; Stay; Are We In Love Yet?: I Don’t Care; You’re History; Catwoman; Hello (Turn Your Radio On)

Shakespears Sister are a band of extraordinary peculiarities not least, as lead singer Siobhan Fahey points out, that their final song tonight is titled Hello (while the opener was Goodbye Cruel World).

  • Read on for reasons including a surprise appearance by Richard Hawley

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GIG REVIEW: Little Mix at The 02

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? The O2

WHEN? 1/11, tour runs to 22/11/19

SETLIST: Salute; Power; Woman Like Me; Wasabi; Bounce Back; Only You; Black Magic; Strip; Told You So; Secret Love Song Pt II; The Cure; Joan Of Arc; Wings; Shout Out To My Ex; Woman’s World; Reggaeton; No More Sad Songs; Think About Us; Heartbeat; More Than Words; Touch

There’s a beautiful moment during this arena gig with an audience heavy on parents and young children where Little Mix celebrate their LGBT fans and have some words of hope and encouragement for those with mental health worries.

* Read on for reasons including how you can see Little Mix back at The 02 in November

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GIG REVIEW: Charli XCX at the O2 Academy Brixton

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? O2 Brixton Academy

WHEN? 31/10, tour runs to 28/11/19

SETLIST: Next Level Charli; Click; I Don’t Wanna Know; Vroom Vroom; Gone; Cross You Out; Warm; February 2017; Thoughts; White Mercedes; Official; Shake It; I Got It; Blame It On Your Love; Silver Cross; 2099; Unlock It; I Love It; Boys; 1999

It’s the encore of this sell-out show and its star (pictured above) is in tears reflecting on the success of her biggest London gig to date and making the transition from writing radio hits to songs she fronts that better represent her.

  • Read on for reasons including how Christine and the Queens appeared in person here to duet

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GIG REVIEW: Cher at The 02

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? The 02

WHEN? 20/10, tour runs to 19/12/19

SETLIST: Woman’s World; Strong Enough; Gayatri Mantra; All Or Nothing; All I Ever Need Is You; The Beat Goes On; I Got You Babe; You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me; Welcome To Burlesque; Lie To Me; Waterloo; SOS; Fernando; After All; Heartbreak Hotel; Walking In Memphis; The Shoop Shoop Song; Bang Bang; I Found Someone; If I Could Turn Back Time; Believe

‘What’s your grandmother doing tonight?’ asks the 73-year-old superstar who appears much younger than her years during this high-energy extravaganza.

  • Read on for reasons including how this was Cher’s first UK show for more than 15 years 

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GIG REVIEW: The Divine Comedy at the Eventim Apollo

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHERE? Eventim Apollo

WHEN? 17/10, tour runs to 9/11/19

SETLIST: Europop; Queuejumper; Generation Sex; Commuter Love; Office Politics; Norman and Norma; Come Home Billy Bird; The Synthesizer Service Centre Super Summer Sale; Infernal Machines; You’ll Never Work In This Town Again; I’m A Stranger Here; At The Indie Disco; I Like; National Express; The Life And Soul Of The Party; A Feather In Your Cap;  A Lady Of A Certain Age; Absent Friends; When The Working Day Is Done; Something For The Weekend; Philip And Steve’s Furniture Removal Company; Your Daddy’s Car; Songs Of Love; Tonight We Fly

‘Sometimes I get a little nervous about London. I make myself less nervous by basically assuming that you’re … Nottingham,’ says Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon endearingly to audience cheers. ‘Excellent playing along.’

  • Read on for reasons including how this was a 5* performance not fully appreciated by your reviewer

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GIG REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys at Hyde Park for BBC Radio 2 Live

By Neil Pugmire

WHERE? Hyde Park (press ticket)

WHEN? 15/9/19

If you had to choose the perfect headliners for a Radio 2 festival, it might be the Pet Shop Boys. Famous for matching intelligent lyrics with irresistible synth-pop hooks, and with a 30-year back catalogue to plunder, they could easily entertain thousands of 30 to 50-somethings gathered in Hyde Park on a balmy Sunday evening.

  • Read on for reasons including Bananarama, Clean Bandit, Westlife and Status Quo

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INTERVIEW: Ms Humdrum meets her favourite local businesses at Victorious Festival

By Carron Stacey

WHERE?: Southsea Common (press ticket)

WHEN?: 23 – 25/8/19

During a festival, one of the things Mr Humdrum and I like to do, in that quiet slot between bands, is to wander around looking at the stalls.

  • Read on for reasons including Ms Humdrum meeting some of her favourite vendors at Victorious 

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