Ed’s… Highlights, May ’12

Before it becomes mandatory to wear a neon wristband and argue with Group 4 to see your favourite bands, the merry, merry month of May has some tasty festival hors d’oeuvres.

Can’t believe I’m making festival references already, wasn’t it snowing last month? Meanwhile, somewhere indoors…

Newton Faulkner and Emily and the Woods share the O2 Academy stage (May 4th), followed by Quantic & Alice Russell in one room – We Are Augustines in t’other at the Hare & Hounds (May 6th). Hardly seems fair, TEAR DOWN THE WALLS.

Whilst back in town, like some blue rose stealing fairytale, Marina & the Diamonds play the HMV Institute (May 11th) before the Happy Mondays return to the O2 Academy – supported by Inspiral Carpets (May 12th).

Continuing the flashback, Ozric Tentacles come to the Hare & Hounds (May 13th) before Aha front man and Casio Kids benefactor, Morten Harket, plays the Symphony Hall (May 14th). Cue jokes about Blue Penguins and everything looking 2D… you’ll either get that or you won’t.

Staying at the Symphony Hall, ‘an overture of five uninterrupted rock and roll tunes announces Elvis Costello and the Imposters to the stage, after which members of the audience are invited to spin the gigantic vaudevillian contraption and select the next song’. It’s billed as the ‘Spectacular Spinning Songbook’ (May 15th), and I’ve honestly no idea.

Then the 1st big merry comes as Jimmy Cliff plays one of only two 2 English dates at the Birmingham Ballroom (May 20th). It might be a Glastonbury hangover, it might be a new album, but the King of Kings(ton – see what I did there) is coming to Dale End; in a laudable coup for the Ballroom.

The 2nd is Guns N’ Roses at the LG Arena (May 25th), which is either the best or worst idea in the world. Hard not to get excited about this one, but experience has taught me not to trust long blondes who scream from the late 80’s/early 90’s.

Also worth mentioning ; Ladyhawke (The Glee Club / May 6th), Estelle (HMV Institute / May 14th), Martyn Joseph (H&H / May 17th), Harvey Milk (H&H / May 22nd), Niki & the Dove (HMV Institute / May 22nd), Poppy & the Jezebels (H&H / May 23rd), Gemma Hayes (The Glee Club / May 27th), THePETEBOX (Birmingham Ballroom / May 29th), Peter Hook & the Light – performing ‘Unknown Pleasures’  (O2 Academy (May 30th), Dionne Warwick (Symphony Hall / May 31st) and Gary Numan (HMV Institute / May 31st).

And although premature and contrary to my intro, when did that stop me, look out for the Lunar Festival – Tanworth in Arden (Umberslade Estate / June 1st – 4th). Deservedly sneaking into the May listings, this new 500 capacity foray of Folk has; Fionn Regan, Scott Matthews, Michael Chapman, Rachel Sermanni, Goodnight Lennin and Hannah Peel , in ‘an intimate camping weekend of acoustic music set in the spiritual home of Nick Drake’.

All that’s missing is ‘back rubs from Hope Sandoval’, but you can’t have everything – for more visit www.lunarfestival.co.uk

You can follow Ed King at www.twitter.com/edking2210