Three Essential Pop Tours in March

Music truly comes alive when you hear it performed in person — especially pop music! The best artists not only sing their hits, but they put on a full stage show complete with choreography, costume changes, and even, sometimes, a narrative story line. March promises some marquee names on tour throughout the U.K. So will the three of these deliver?


Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue

What female wannabe pop singer from the new crop could match up to the legendary Australian queen Kylie Minogue? Not many! Now in her early ’40s, Minogue seems to get better with age — or rather, not age at all. She continues to release high-energy dance-pop anthems that never fail to achieve massive success, and her live shows are prized as all-out sensory extravaganzas. Her eleventh and most recent studio album, Aphrodite, gave her a number-one hit in the U.K. last year in “All the Lovers,” and her spring outing should be celebratory indeed.


The tour starts 28 March at Glasgow SECC, and ends 8 April at London’s O2 Arena. Visit for full details.



Rumer - photo by Kevin Westenberg


British-Pakistani singer-songwriter Rumer (born Sarah Joyce) is quickly becoming one of the runaway success stories of early 2011. Under another pseudonym, Sarah Prentice, she reached moderate success about a decade ago in a more indie style of group called La Honda, but her debut solo album, released late last year, has proved to be her big break.

Although it’s singer-songwriter music, it isn’t dour, but rather draws from the best pop tradition of artists like Burt Bacharach, a noted fan. He’s not the only high-profile supporter of Rumer’s — Jools Holland, Jamie Cullum, and Elton John have all sung (pardon the pun) her phrases. So her upcoming U.K. tour may be one of the last in which fans can catch her at mid-size venues.


The tour starts 21 March at Colston Hall, Bristol, and ends 3 April at Bridgewater Hall Manchester. Visit for full details.


McFly, performing at the 2012 Party in the Mall, London


Long after totally manufactured boy bands like N Sync and Backstreet Boys started to fade, McFly found major success by taking the cute-boy formula and pumping it up with actual musicianship. Though they boasted good looks, singalong songs, a powerful management team, and initial promotion by Busted, the quartet actually wrote music and played instruments, and as such have enjoyed a much greater longevity.

Since McFly’s debut in 2003, the band has continued to release albums at a steady clip every year or two, the latest being last year’s Above the Noise, on its own label, Super Records. The third single from the album, “That’s Truth,” is currently making the radio rounds, and the band is playing several U.K. dates throughout the spring to support the record.


The tour starts 12 March at the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham, and ends 1 April at Wembley Arena in London. Visit for full details.


Beyonce is a Festival Survivor

The news that Beyonce is to headline the Sunday night of this year’s Glastonbury music festival has been met with derision in some quarters. The artist, one of the biggest selling acts of the modern era and a genuine superstar, is felt to be too poppy and not in keeping with the tradition of the festival. Glastonbury hasn’t experienced this much of a controversy over a headliner since Beyonce’s other half, Jay-Z, was listed as the headliner for the Saturday night a few years back. Perhaps the couple will feel as though it is something about them that people don’t like but is there any excuse to get worked up over such an announcement?


The thing about Glastonbury is that it is a mainstream music festival that covers so many different styles and genres. In fact, for many people, music isn’t really part of the Glastonbury experience as there is so much to see and do. However, with a multitude of artists and tents providing everything a music fan could want, should there be such uproar over a pop artist being announced as the headliner? If Beyonce was announced as the headline act for Download or Creamfields, then yes, the attendees may have cause for complaint but it is hard to see why anyone would complain about Beyonce closing the festival on the Sunday night.

This headliner will at least offer excitement

With rumours circulating about Coldplay and U2 being the other headliners, Beyonce is likely to be the most exciting of the three headline acts of the weekend and may provide some much needed glamour and excitement. These bands may sell lots of records and are pretty earnest in their opinions but they are not what you would call exciting or fun. The chance to see Beyonce leading tens of thousands of people in the ‘Single Ladies’ dance is surely something that all festival goers would take some joy from?




The fact that there are so many moans further reinforces the thought that Glastonbury has moved away from the free-thinking festival that it used to be and is becoming as homogenised as the V Festival. Acts at festivals these days can be interchangeable so the fact that Glastonbury has managed to pull in an artist that is rarely on the UK festival circuit should be heralded as a triumph, not deemed as a negative sign.


Is Glastonbury not about being diverse?

The beauty about music festivals like Glastonbury is the fact that they embrace diversity and offer something for everyone. This is part of the appeal of the festival and people cannot start moaning about it now because it is not the sort of diversity they like.

Jay-Z turned out to be one of the most exciting headliners the festival has had in recent years and even managed to make a joke out of the controversy his set had created. Noel Gallagher gave a sound bite remark about Jay-Z’s appearance which the media then blew up but Jay-Z showed some class by performing ‘Wonderwall’ in his set. It can only be hoped that Beyonce has something clever up her diamante sleeve when she headlines Glastonbury.

Glastonbury Pyramid Stage