LondonNet MUSIC EXTRA Newsletter...
17 September 2004, Issue 16 : R.E.M.

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Music: Rock and Pop
(Music: headlines, rock/pop listings, classical listings, tickets)

R.E.M. - 2005 UK Tour
- Onsale from 9.00am Saturday 18th September 2004

Their next time in the UK, and R.E.M. won't be surprising anybody. The indie rock favourites-turned international superstars-turned cult favourites once more, have announced several 2005 dates for the London area.

After whetting fans' appetites for their upcoming album with a surprise special guest appearance at an Oxfam benefit, R.E.M. will be briefly returning in February. The band will play just one show in London at the Hammersmith Apollo on the February 19 (UKP35), with shows to immediately follow in Sheffield (21 Feb, Hallam FM Arena, UKP35) and Birmingham (23 Feb, NEC, UKP35). R.E.M.'s thirteenth proper studio album, Around the Sun, will be released on October 5 .

For the first third of their career, the Athens, Georgia natives won over critics and more sophisticated college audiences alike with their unique brand of lo-fi guitar rock that still lent itself to memorable pop songs. In the process, they made some of the most influential albums of the eighties, and paved the way for a string of three albums; Green (1988), Out of Time (1991), and Automatic for the People (1992), that managed to be massive commercial successes while still pleasing their old legion of fans. Monster (1994) was considered by some to be a downturn due to its more straightforward rock nature, but it also found the band at the apex of their commercial success.

After a few somewhat experimental albums that lacked strong singles or great commercial support, and losing original member Bill Berry (the band didn't have the heart to replace him and continued on as a trio), R.E.M. finally returned to its roots on Reveal (2001), although it failed to find mainstream success (despite being lauded by many critics and old fans of the band) R.E.M. then went the retrospective, some might say tired, route of releasing a carefully packaged greatest hits album from its commercially viable Warner Brothers era.

As greatest hits albums often serve as the creative and physical eulogy for a band, R.E.M. is at yet another critical juncture in its career. The band can ill afford another dud, but the three years of down time between original material and the similar nature of U2's return reveal that the elements might be in place for yet another masterpiece.

The marathon tour with a summer stint added to February's English dates divulge that perhaps R.E.M. is expecting this reaction. In June and July they will appear for larger scale shows at Lancashire (Lancashire County Cricket Ground, 17 June, UKP35), Loch Lomond (Balloch Country Park, 18 June, UKP35), Hull (the KC Stadium, 5 July, UKP35-45), Nottingham (The City Ground, 6 July, UKP35-45), and large scale shows to finish off their UK stint at Hyde Park (London, 9 July UKP35-45) and Cardiff (Millennium Stadium, 10 July, UKP35-40). Whether or not this will also serve as a victory lap remains to be seen. (Steve Marshall)

R.E.M. - Indoor Shows
Hammersmith Apollo, London - 19 February
Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield - 21 February
Birmingham NEC - 23 February
R.E.M. - Outdoor Shows
Lancashire County Cricket Ground - 17 June
Loch Lomond Balloch Country Park - 18 June
The KC Stadium, Hull - 5 July
The City Ground, Nottingham - 6 July
Hyde Park, London - 9 July
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff - 10 July
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N.B. - On sale from 9.00am Saturday 18th September 2004


Just In:
Extra tickets: Morrissey

18 December - Earl's Court (London)
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Top Five Gigs
1. R.E.M. - Hammersmith Apollo
2. The Beta Band - Brixton Academy
3. Lionel Richie - Shepherd's Bush Empire
4. The Corrs - Wembley Arena
5. Diana Krall - Royal Albert Hall
(Based on LondonNet sales in last 7 days)
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Click Here for full list of upcoming gigs


Music: Classical and Dance

The Greek Passion, Royal Opera, Royal Opera House
To Fri, 1st October , Tickets UKP46.00 + fees
More Passion Than Athens
: The Greek Passion collects a number of stodgy, ethocentic Greek villagers, brings in a bunch of foreigners, and sets them out to do a big production. Sound familiar?

As chaotic and dramatic as preparations for this year's Olympics, The Greek Passion heats up the foibles of a small village's faith against an influx of refugees, when the characters suddenly become their roles. David Poutney's interpretation of Martinu's last work promises to be high drama and brilliant costuming, good for pushing out the poor memories of this year's British Olympic failures and bringing in the classical greek drama in even the smallest of villages. (Megan Retka)
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Andrea Bocelli, Wembley Arena
Sun, 7th November 2004, 7 p.m., Tickets: UKP85.00 + fees
Andrea Bocelli's concerts are always the classical music events of any year. Seven UK hit albums (three certified platinum) in five years have confirmed Andrea Bocelli as not just the British public's favourite classical artist, but simply one of the British public's best loved vocalists. This concert is a rare opportunity for British music lovers to experience the voice, in a programme that will feature the greatest Italian arias.
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Top Tickets
1. Andrea Bocelli
2. Cinderella
3. The Ring of Nibelung, Part I
4. The Ring of Nibelung, Part II
5. Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake
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