Live Music Back On Track!

FeaturesMusic Notes With Stuart Glossop

After two years of false starts at last we can safely say that live music has reurned to normality. Moreover, as they say, there is something for just about everybody this spring.

■ Michael Kiwanuka

British singer-songwriter and record producer Michael Kiwanuka’s self-titled album hit no.2 on charts on its release. Richly textured, sonically adventurous but highly listenable KIWANUKA was greeted with acclaim from all corners of the globe. It’s a record that finds its blueprint in Michael’s previous record ‘Love & Hate’ but pushes harder and travels further. It feels like a body of work that will be listened to for years to come, and is perhaps testament to an artist who hasn’t been rushed nor guided on his recordings beyond the watchful but encouraging eyes of dual producers Danger Mouse and Inflo. He plays the O2 on May 8th.

■ Yard Act

Yard Act have built a sound that speaks inherently to their birthplace of Leeds, West Yorkshire and ties together observations from all walks of modern British life. Across the course of 2020 and into early 2021, the quartet released four increasingly coruscating, hilariously dark singles with ‘The Trapper’s Pelts’, ‘Fixer Upper’, ‘Peanuts’ and ‘Dark Days’ all securing BBC 6 Music airplay, and developing a remarkable, ever increasing fanbase. Pulling off a debut album in a pandemic isn’t easy, but Yard Act made it work with their debut album The Overload. Catch their chaotic stage performance at The Irish Centre on 20th May.

Less than a week later, 25th May,  the fabulous LORDE is in Leeds at the O2. In 2017 LORDE released her second full-length studio album, Melodrama which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 Chart, the album reached #1 in over 45 countries and earned LORDE a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2018 GRAMMY® Awards. She won the BRIT Award for International Female Solo Artist in both 2014 and 2018. Having returned in August with her third full-length studio album, Solar Power, LORDE currently has over 12 million albums sold worldwide and over 10 billion streams worldwide. 

Following the completion of a sold out tour across the UK, ERASURE (Andy Bell and Vince Clarke) have, due to overwhelming demand, added new UK dates for May 2022. The chart-topping duo have just finished a run of sold out UK dates that included The O2 in London, and these newly announced dates follow their recently rescheduled European shows. The duo recently released their eighteenth studio album, The Neon, which went into the UK Official Albums Chart at #4, their highest chart position since I Say I Say I Say, which in turn got a deluxe 2CD expanded hardback book release on 5 November 2021. The band recently released 5-track EP. a companion piece to their latest album, The Neon, with 4 new tracks sitting alongside ‘Secrets’ – which originally appeared on The Neon Remixed.  Catch them at First Direct Arena on 26th May.

The legendary duo Tears For Fears have announced UK tour dates in support of the release of their first new studio album in nearly two decades, THE TIPPING POINT, which was released in February.

As part of the Tipping Point World Tour the band will be touring the UK in July 2022 with special guest Alison Moyet. Speaking about going back out on the road Curt Smith said, “We couldn’t be more excited to start playing concerts again. We’ve missed seeing our friends on the road around the world and the energy of performing live.” Roland Orzabal shared “The Tipping Point has been a long time in the making and we are looking forward to playing our favourites from the new album as well as our classics from throughout the years.” They play Leeds Millennium Square July 14th.

■ Florence + The Machine

After her short run of intimate UK shows sold out within minutes of going on sale,  Florence + the Machine has announced her album tour for November which will take place in the UK, France and Ireland. Florence + the Machine announced her 5th studio album Dance Fever with her new single ‘My Love’. Produced by Florence Welch, Jack Antonoff and Dave Bayley, Dance Fever is the album that brings back the very best of Florence and is released on May 13th on Polydor Records. 

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