PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for July 2020 starring I May Destroy You

  1. I May Destroy You continues

Box sets and binge watching have highlighted how much brilliant TV there currently is but this series, written, co-directed and starring Michaela Coel has actually benefitted from a dripfeed release of 2 30-minute episodes per week. Give it a chance because we really weren’t sure about it until episodes 5 and 6 (aired in the UK Monday 22/6 and Tuesday 23/6/20) which drew on some rather complicated strands and pulled them tight to devastating effect. There’s 6 episodes to go and all are aired on the next 3 Mondays and Tuesdays on BBC1 and available at BBC iPlayer. We should’ve known it would be good because we last saw Coel dancing on stage at one of our favourite gigs.

  • Read on for reasons including new Rufus and The Streets albums and the return of Like 1999

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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Hotspot by Pet Shop Boys (February 2020)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: now

TRACKLIST: Will-o-the-Wisp; You Are The One; Happy People; Dreamland; Hoping For A Miracle; I Don’t Wanna; Monkey Business; Only The Dark; Burning The Heather; Wedding In Berlin

It seems a very Pet Shop Boys moment that, as the UK leaves the EU, the duo’s ‘Berlin album’ enters this country’s chart at number three.

  • Read on for reasons including how this is the Boys’ best album for 14 years

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for January (2020) starring Madonna

  1. Madonna brings Madame X to the London Palladium

2019’s Madame X collection made our Album of 2019 shortlist and was Madonna’s best since 2005’s Confessions. We were at her last London gig at The 02 in 2015 and are looking forward to the shift from arenas to theatres for this 15-gig run. Tickets The tour opened in the US in the autumn and, despite the late starts, promises much. We’re just glad we don’t have to be up early after what is shaping up to be a late night albeit in thrall to the Queen of Pop.

  • Read on for reasons including new Pet Shop Boys album, Richard Armitage’s West End return and VAULT Festival

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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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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for November

  1. Dear Evan Hansen arrives in the West End

The Tony Award-winning Best Musical written by The Greatest Showman‘s Pasek and Paul arrives in the West End in autumn next year at the Noel Coward Theatre. We’ll be reviewing the show’s Broadway production this week (we’re on Broadway, baby!) for clues about what to expect in London. We’re already big fans of the soundtrack with our favourite song below. Sign up for notifications about the UK production. Broadway tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Game Of Thrones, Harry Potter & Sheridan Smith 

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GIG REVIEW: Soft Cell: One Final Time at The O2

By Carron Stacey

WHERE?: The O2

WHEN?: 30/9

When writing a gig review, I like to explain what sort of fan I am. I was 10 when Tainted Love came out. Of course I loved it. I loved all their 80s hits, loved the naughtiness of their debut Non Stop Erotic Cabaret album of the same year and liked a few of Marc’s solo ballads.

  • Read on for reasons including why Dave Ball’s synth’s Tainted Love “doink doink” was the memorable sound of the night

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ALBUM REVIEW: High As Hope by Florence And The Machine

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 29/6/18

TRACKLIST: June; Hunger; South London Forever: Big God; Sky Full Of Song; Grace: Patricia; 100 Years; The End Of Love: No Choir

Third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful was our favourite of 2015 and Florence And The Machine’s Glastonbury Festival set was our highlight of that year for us, so High As Hope has a lot to live up to.

  • Read on for reasons including how the bombast of their last album is turned down

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PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for May

  1. Sheila Atim headlines Old Vic 200th birthday

Our favourite venue marks its bicentenary with events around the 11/5/18 weekend including an open house, street party, variety night headlined by the Olivier Award-nominated Atim, who starred in Girl From The North Country here last year, and ball. We shortlisted Atim for our 2016 monsta for Best Theatre Actress for her star turn in the all-women Shakespeare Trilogy and she won our 2017 Best Performance Of A Song (see below). We’ve loved how Matthew Warchus has transformed the OV with an emphasis on gig theatre, family entertainment and work with messages. Tickets

  • Read on for reasons including Eurovision, Tears For Fears, Sir Ian McKellen  and Girls Aloud

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GIG REVIEW: Emeli Sande

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: The 02

WHEN: 18/10, tour runs to 27/10

SETLIST: Hurts; Free; Where I Sleep; Lonely; Give Me Something; Every Single Little Piece; My Kind Of Love; Breathing Underwater; Happen; Heaven; Piece Of My Heart; Clown; River; Suitcase; Starlight; Beneath Your Beautiful; Read All About It; Celebration; Wonder; Babe; Highs And Lows; Next To Me; Little Bit Longer

We’re here because we wanted to see her for the first time at this year’s Glastonbury but missed her, such is the competition for attention at our favourite festival.

  • Read on for reasons including how this was a concert of two halves

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