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: The Blow Monkeys at 229

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Friday 9 October, touring until 27 August 2022

SETLIST: Celebrate (The Day After You); OK Have It Your Way; One More Time; Crying For The Moon; More Than A Miracle; It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way; Choice; It Pays To Belong; Out With Her; Dust At Her Feet; Said Too Much; Time Storm; Digging Your Scene; Wait; The Wild River; Earthbound; Touching Distance; Superfly; Man From Russia; You Don’t Own Me

‘It doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t make it sing,’ observed the dearly departed Curtis Mayfield on tonight’s opening song and, while we’re massively missing his input, as well as Sylvia Tella’s vocals on her hit duet with the band and some of the sharpest backing vocals of the 80s, this is still a joy of a gig to behold.

  • Read on for reasons including how we would have loved the band’s iconic saxophone to have been louder tonight
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9 reasons why we can’t wait for October 2021 starring Saoirse Ronan in The Tragedy of Macbeth

  1. Saoirse Ronan makes London stage debut

Ronan is an Irish/American actress who starred opposite Kate Winslet and James McArdle (Angels In America, National Theatre) in film Ammonite earlier this year. She’s been shortlisted for an Oscar 4 times (including for 3 of our favourite films BrooklynLady Bird and Little Women) and makes her London stage debut this month at the Almeida opposite McArdle again in The Tragedy Of Macbeth which runs 1 October to 20 November 2021. Review Tickets 

  • Read on for reasons including Stockard Channing, The Blow Monkeys’ tour and new Bob Marley musical
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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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