Ovation - The Who's Roger Daltrey has announced he will step down as curator of the annual Teenage Cancer Trust gigs, after this year's set of concerts. The shows have been running at the Royal Albert Hall since 2000, raising more than £32m from ticket sales. Daltrey will kick off his final year by staging two orchestral sets with The Who. Noel Gallagher, Young Fathers and The Chemical Brothers will also play.
The series will end with a celebration of the series of shows. Titled Ovation, the concert will feature Daltrey himself, accompanied by artists who helped establish the gigs as a fixture of the music calendar. The line-up will include Robert Plant, Paul Weller, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, The Stereophonics' Kelly Jones and Daltrey's long-time musical foil, Pete Townshend.
From 2025, the concerts will be overseen by a series of guest curators. Daltrey will continue as a Teenage Cancer Trust honorary patron. In a statement, the rock star said: "The £32m raised from these concerts has been the foundation for the 28 specialised units within the NHS, as well as specialist nurses and youth workers to be there for a young person when cancer has turned their world upside down."
Change of Scene - One of London's oldest pub theatres has reopened after moving to a new venue behind its original home in Islington. The King's Head Theatre opened at 115 Upper Street in 1970 and has since built up a reputation for supporting emerging artists. Renowned actors like Hugh Grant, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and Alan Rickman have all performed there. The theatre describes itself as being part of the LGBTQ+ community, focusing on themes and issues of queerness.
The new, purpose-built space set over six floors on 116 Upper Street has a 200-seater auditorium, two bars and a 50-seater late night cabaret space. Acting CEO and executive producer Sofi Berenger said: "The scale, opportunity and professionalism of what we're able to present here will be entirely different to what we were able to do when we were in the pub theatre."
Stamp Duty - Royal Mail is issuing a set of 15 stamps celebrating The Spice Girls as they mark their 30th anniversary. It is the first time Royal Mail has dedicated an entire stamp issue to a female pop group. The Spice Girls said they never could have dreamed of that happening when they first formed, adding: "That's Girl Power!"
Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell-Horner, Melanie Chisholm and Melanie Brown - otherwise known as Baby, Posh, Ginger, Sporty and Scary Spice - came together in 1994. The 10 main stamps feature images from their performances from 1997 to 2012, including at the Brit Awards in 1997, and at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
All Shook Up - Elvis Presley will return to the stage in a new concert production that recreates the king of rock’n’roll digitally using artificial intelligence and holographic projection. Multimedia performance company Layered Reality has announced its show Elvis Evolution will premiere in London in November, ahead of performances in cities across the world.
The announcement comes before what would have been Presley’s 89th birthday on 8 January, and promises a concert experience featuring a life-sized digital version of the performer created by AI, holographic technology, and multisensory effects.
Fake News - Britney Spears has said she will "never return to the music industry" after rumours she was planning a return to the studio surfaced. The pop star was responding to claims in the US media that she was lining up songwriters for a 10th studio album. "Just so we're clear most of the news is trash!!!" the singer wrote on Instagram. "They keep saying I'm turning to random people to do a new album… I will never return to the music industry!!!"
(Jim Evans)
9 January 2024

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