ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Dance Fever by Florence and the Machine (May 2022)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

TRACKLIST: King; Free; Choreomania; Back In Town; Girls Against God; Dream Girl Evil; Prayer Factory; Cassandra; Heaven Is Here; Daffodil; My Love; Restraint; The Bomb; Morning Elvis

Choreomania is a social phenomena that took place on mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries where sometimes thousands of people would gather and dance into a frenzy that would end through exhaustion or injury.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see F+TM on tour later this year
Read More

GIG REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys at The 02, London

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN?: Sunday 22 May 2022, tour runs until 16 October 2022

SETLIST: Suburbia; Can You Forgive Her?; Opportunities; Where The Streets Have No Name; Rent; I Don’t Know What You Want But I Can’t Give It Anymore; So Hard; Left To My Own Devices; Single – Bilingual; Domino Dancing; Monkey Business; New York City Boy; You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk; Jealousy; Love Comes Quickly; Losing My Mind; You Were Always On My Mind; Dreamland; Heart; It’s Alright; Vocal; What Have I Done To Deserve This?; Go West; It’s A Sin; West End Girls; Being Boring

We popped our Pet Shop Boys live cherry in 1989 at the old Wembley Arena and this greatest hits gig means we’ve seen the duo, we think, 14 times across each of the last 5 decades.

  • Read on for reasons including how, amidst all the hits, there were 2 very special moments
Read More

GIG REVIEW: Dua Lipa and Griff at The 02

By Neil Durham

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Tuesday 3 May 2022, tour runs until 16 November 2022

GRIFF SETLIST: Say It Again; Walk; Forgive Myself; One Foot In Front Of The Other; Head On Fire; One Night; Shade Of Yellow; Black Hole

DUA SETLIST: Physical; New Rules; Love Again; Cool; Pretty Please; Break My Heart; Be The One; We’re Good; Good In Bed; Fever; Boys Will Be Boys; One Kiss; Electricity; Hallucinate; Cold Heart; Levitating; Future Nostalgia; Don’t Start Now

We arrive early at this venue because we want to see support act Griff who was named the Rising Star at 2021’s BRIT Awards and released her debut album last year.

  • Read on for reasons including how Dua Lipa made good on Levitating at this gig
Read More

PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for May 2022 starring My Fair Lady

  1. My Fair Lady starring Amara Okereke at the Coliseum

We saw lead Okereke in both The Boy Friend (Menier) and Spring Awakening (Almeida) and so know how deserved this casting is. We last saw Martine McCutcheon’s triumphant take on this Lerner and Loewe classic in 2001 and it returns to the West End at the Coliseum 7 May through 27 August 2022. Tickets 1st preview review

  • Read on for reasons including Legally Blonde, Amy Adams’ West End debut and last Little Mix gig
Read More

GIG REVIEW: Steps & Sophie Ellis Bextor at The 02

By Aline Mahrud

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Saturday 27 November 2021. Last night of tour, next year gig details below

SETLIST (Sophie Ellis Bextor): Take Me Home; Get Over You; Lady; Groovejet; Sing It Back; Crying At The Discoteque; Like A Prayer; Muder On The Dancefloor

(Steps): What The Future Holds; One For Sorrow; Heartbreak In This City; Neon Blue; Take Me For A Ride; 5,6,7,8; After the Love Has Gone; Something In Your Eyes; Say You’ll Be Mine; Chain Reaction; It’s The Way That You Make Me Feel; Slightest Touch; A Hundred Years Of Winter; Last Thing On Your Mind; Stomp; Heartbeat; Better The Devil You Know; Love’s Got A Hold Of My Heart; Better Best Forgotten; Deeper Shade Of Blue; Here And Now; Scared Of The Dark; Tragedy

Steps proved what strength in depth they have tonight as Faye Tozer returned to the line-up after suffering from Covid which also meant bandmate Lee Latchford-Evans could not appear at this show.

  • Read on for reasons including how good support Sophie Ellis Bextor was
Read More

9 reasons why we can’t wait for November includes Cabaret starring Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne

  1. Cabaret starring Jessie Buckley and Eddie Redmayne

The West End’s Playhouse Theatre is being repurposed as the Kit Kat Club to stage director Rebecca Frecknall’s (Summer And Smoke, Almeida and West End) vision of this musical and movie classic with film stars Redmayne and Buckley (Romeo and Juliet, Sky Arts). Runs from 15 November 2021 and is currently booking to 16 April 2022. Tickets 1st preview review

  • Read on for reasons including new ABBA album, Dadi Freyr tour, Beverley Knight musical and Rina Sawayama gig
Read More

PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for May 2021 starring Eurovision

  1. Eurovision Song Contest returns

Covid-19 caused its cancellation for the 1st time in its 66-year history in 2020 and this year it comes live from the Ahoy in Rotterdam on Saturday 22 May 2021. We’ve previewed semi 1, semi 2 and the pre-qualified finalists. Our pick to win is Iceland’s Daði Freyr (pictured) with hits group Gagnamagnið and entry 10 Years, a song of the week for us in March.

  • Read on for reasons including the return of the West End featuring Drag Race UK stars, the Southwark Playhouse and Glastonbury
Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More