Events not to miss this October
The Jim Jones Revue
Clwb Ifor Bach
Like the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or Nick Cave’s Grinderman Jim Jones sees the dirty black heart that made rock ‘n’ roll so powerful and he’s out to remind us that the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and even Elvis Presley were once elemental and dangerous figures pedalling the devil’s music.
Described by one critic as ‘a gangfight set to 12-bar blues’ and looking like they’re might well have switch blades under all that black leather, their reputation for fearsomely committed live shows should be in full force on the opening date of their UK tour in support of soon to be released third album, The Savage Heart.
If you have daughters, you should probably lock them up.
Tickets: £11. Over 18s only.
The Civil Wars
It’s never been more fashionable to be a tobacco chewing, hollow dweller singing about the Preacher Man who’ll never save your soul.
The Civil Wars have ridden the crest of that backwoods wave with their modern take on adult Americana. They’ve won some big name fans in their speedy ride to the top: Adele choose them as support on her latest US tour and Taylor Swift got a bit of roots credibility by featuring them on her Hunger Games single Safe and Sound.
Looking like Johnny Depp and Joanne Whalley can’t have helped Joy Williams and John Paul White’s career (they’re not a couple contrary to what the auto-complete on Google might want you to believe). But there’s some real song writing craft there too; they met at a songwriters’ camp and latest single Barton Hollow is gutsier, with a real classic feel to it.
If things keep going this way for The Civil Wars they’ll be in a far bigger venue next time they call into Cardiff, so catch ‘em while you can.
Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders
When it comes to ‘local boy made good’ Cardiff can’t do much better than Andy Fairweather Low.
From his 60s pop heartthrob days with Amen Corner to one of the most sought after session men, his voice and guitar have been constants at the top of the music business.
His musicianship has been good enough for Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, David Gilmour, The Who and Kate Bush to call on his services.
Promising to cover his whole career in a nostalgic hometown show this should be an emotional evening.
Tickets: From £20. Box office: 029 2087 8889, www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.
October 15 – 20
Wales Millennium Centre
Proving that nothing safe from the musicals juggernaut comes this blockbuster show from America’s political punk pop kings.
Leader Billie Joe Armstrong recently showed his rock and roll credentials with a foul-mouthed onstage tirade at concert organisers before checking into rehab. But this show is unlikely to change Johnny Rotten’s verdict that the Californian outfit are more ‘plunk’ than punk. .
Based on the 2001 Grammy winner, American Idiot tells the story of the Jesus of Surburbia and his two best mates. Itself inspired by rock operas and musicals, there’s no reason why the album shouldn’t successfully transfer to the stage. The critics love it and, far from being embarrassed by it, Billie Joe has even taken to the stage himself on occasion.
With some big anthemic hits - Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends, Holiday and the title track – belted out by an onstage band, this could be the musical for people who don’t like musicals.
Tickets £16.50 - £39.50. No under fives, suggested for 12 years and above.
October 18 – 21
Ice Age Live!
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
Stage plays that transfer to the screen are pretty few and far between these days. Most of the traffic is from silver screen to footlights in the era of 360 degree franchises keen to get that pester power going.
Call it cashing in if you want, but there’s no denying the success of the frozen animated adventures that are the latest franchise to transfer from screen to stage.
Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth, Scratt the sabre-toothed squirrel and Diego the tiger have been delighting youngsters and their parents through four animated adventures including this summer’s Continental Drift.
This promises to be a big budget spectacular with plenty of familiar faces and some new surprises too.
Tickets: From £20. No unaccompanied under 14s.
Alice Cooper’s Halloween Night of Fear
Motorpoint Arena Cardiff
It might surprise a young Slipknot fan today, but back in the day Alice Cooper’s theatrical rock ‘n’ roll spiced with cheap horror movie shocks and vaudeville tricks was considered quite shocking.
The appetite for his schlock rock has never diminished (some cracking songs don’t hurt) and his UK Night of Fear Tour is in Cardiff just in time for the warm up to Halloween.
Alongside Alice – in reality a golf loving born again Christian - are Loaded, featuring Guns ‘n’ Roses legend Duff McKagan. You also get Ugly Kid Joe for your ticket money, the boys behind the archetypal Wayne’s World Song, Everything About You.
Tickets: From £41.25. www.livenation.co.uk 029 2023 4
October 30 – November 3
Birmingham Royal Ballet: Autumn Celebration and Swan Lake
Wales Millennium Centre
BRB are one of the ‘Big Three’ of the British ballet world and are back at the WMC with two evenings of dance which show off their full range.
The first two nights are dedicated to three new short pieces. The Grand Tour is a twirl through the 1920s to the timeless tunes of Noel Coward. Faster, Higher, Stronger was commissioned as part of the Cultural Olympiad alongside the London games and showcases the power, speed and skill of these dance athletes. Finally, The Dream is inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream to the music of Mendelssohn.
The company’s residency ends perhaps the most iconic ballet of them all, Swan Lake. To Tchaikovsky's beautiful score, a timeless story of good, evil and all-consuming love plays out.
Dance is booming at the moment, so why not see some of the best.
Tickets: £19 - £32. Box office: 029 2063 6464 wmc.org.uk