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INTERVIEW: The KIDZ BOP UK kids ahead of their first-ever UK headline tour

#KIDZ BOP, the #1 music brand for kids, is bringing the KIDZ BOP World Tour to the UK for eight live concert dates in April 2020.

This marks the first-ever headlining tour for The British KIDZ BOP kids, who have sold more than 275,000 albums to date.

The tour, which features today’s biggest hits “sung by kids for kids”, will visit iconic venues across the UK during the Easter holidays, opening at the world-famous The London Palladium on Tuesday, April 7. It follows the release of KIDZ BOP’s fifth UK album, KIDZ BOP 2020.

The KIDZ BOP Kids, Ashton, Max, Mia, and Twinkle, will bring the interactive live family-friendly concert experience to the following cities:

  • Tues April 7 – The London Palladium
  • Weds April 8 – The London Palladium
  • Fri April 10 – Liverpool Empire Theatre
  • Sat April 11 – Birmingham Symphony Hall
  • Mon April 13 – Glasgow SEC Armadillo
  • Weds April 15 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
  • Thurs April 16 – Cardiff St David’s Hall
  • Fri April 17 – Manchester Bridgewater Hall

The tour will see the KIDZ BOP Kids perform some of today’s biggest global pop hits live on stage. The all-new show features awesome set design, costumes, exciting choreography, and tonnes of cool surprises! Dads even have the chance to show off their best dance moves on stage during the “Daddy Dance Off.”

Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com 

 We spoke to Ashton (14), Max (15), Mia (14) and Twinkle (13) as they prepare for the tour.

How long have you been in KIDZ BOP?

MAX (15): Just over three years now for me. I wouldn’t say I’m a veteran, but I am part of the original UK team, and we’ve added a few new people along the way.I’ve seen it grow and it has been so much fun doing all the shows.

I’d seen the American KIDZ BOP Kids and watched their videos loads before I auditioned – and seeing them doing all that and their live shows, I was so excited to be chosen for the UK team.

MIA (14): I’ve been in KIDZ BOP just over a year. It was a bit of a different start for me, as I was filmed during the audition process for a TV show. I was at school with Ashton and Twinkle, so I knew a bit of what KIDZ BOP was all about when I started the audition process which was massive with being on TV too. There were a lot of stages, and the very last one I was performing with the KIDZ BOP Kids, and when we finished, I was told I’d been chosen.

TWINKLE (13): I was 10 when I started, so it’s been over three years now, it’s gone so quickly. I did the same as Max and Ashton, going through a whole big audition process at the very start of it all; lots of rounds of dancing and singing, and I eventually got in. I was at the Sylvia Young Stage School for about a year before auditioning.

ASHTON (14): It’s been about three years since I signed up with KIDZ BOP, and it’s been incredible seeing how much we have grown from just making music videos here in the UK through to travelling to New York last year [2019] to film there on location, and then looking forward to 2020 and having our own tour in the UK.

What’s your favourite thing about being a KIDZ BOP Kid?

MAX: I love performing, I love being on stage – so the tour will be amazing; singing some of my favourite songs with some of my best friends. It’s amazing to think we now have a tour which will be all about us, the UK kids, after having done a big live show alongside the American kids last year.

MIA: It’s like all my dreams come true to be in KIDZ BOP; I get to rehearse songs, travel the world with my best friends, it’s all amazing. Honestly, I do love everything about it, but probably at the moment, I’m super excited for the tour and starting rehearsals to learn the new dances.

I love all the clothes we get to wear too. We have a stylist called Gemma, who brings all the outfits to out shoots, I always look forward to seeing what she’s got for us.

TWINKLE: For me, it’s actually the rehearsals for our live shows and performances – which is a bit different to the others. It’s the time when we get to experiment with new dance moves and our vocals, and we learn so much during the rehearsal sessions. The process of creating the show is hard work but so much fun, and then we get to go out there, perform and see all the reactions from the audience; I love watching out for that too.

ASHTON: I really enjoy the production side of it, making the songs and learning about that technical process. Then, of course, we take it out to the live shows and performances and it’s amazing to see people singing the tracks back to you.

KIDZ BOP is massive in America where it first launched – and it’s growing more and more popular here in the UK now too. What’s the difference between the UK and US KIDZ BOP Kids?

MAX: We usually sing UK chart songs, and the US kids will sing the songs from their charts. But then there are some huge hits, which are big tracks on both sides of the Atlantic and we come together for those.

Last year [2019], we went to New York to film with the US kids – and did Lizzo’s Truth Hurts where we appear in the US kids’ video, and we did Jess Glynne’s One Touch with them in our video. In November 2018, we had our first trip to America with KIDZ BOP, recording One Kiss (Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa) in the studio, but the trip last year was the first time we got out and about filming videos as well as recording in the studio.

ASHTON: Probably my favourite song of all the ones we’ve done so far is Beautiful People (Ed Sheeran), which we filmed on that trip – the video is awesome. We were filming on a beach in front of Coney Island… What’s not to love about that?

Do you enjoy making new friends and all the experiences which KIDZ BOP has brought you?

MAX: It’s been brilliant to meet everyone through this experience and we’ve all become such good friends. We all share the same passion and come together to sing and dance. Then there’s meeting the fans too, and we’re so lucky to have them… It’s like we’re all one big global KIDZ BOP family.

TWINKLE: It was amazing working with the US kids, with different people and on different songs. The trips we get to go on to film abroad are great fun. We’ve been to Germany to film with the German KIDZ BOP kids too, joining in with their videos – so we get to learn songs in other languages too. We might not have spoken the same languages but, like Max said, we share the love of singing and dancing and that’s what brings people together wherever they come from.

ASHTON: The whole experience is a dream come true for each of us. We’d never have imagined a few years ago that we would have achieved all of this; none of us had done anything like it before and we just didn’t realise how many opportunities it would bring us; traveling, meeting so many people, touring the UK. It’s just WOW.

Obviously, life as a KIDZ BOP Kid is limited – you’re only a kid for so long! So what would you like to do in the future?

MAX: Hopefully I’ve still got a little while as a KIDZ BOP kid, especially as I’m still loving it. I would definitely like to stay in music – writing and producing my own songs. I play guitar and a bit of piano, and I have a bit of software on my computer at home.

MIA: I would love to stay doing this forever if I could! But I’d also maybe like to try acting on TV. I had done some bits and pieces of acting before KIDZ BOP and TV adverts, but one of the things which has been really amazing about being in KIDZ BOP is getting to experience lots of different areas of the industry – music, TV, producing, performing. I’ve just learnt so much and it’s really opened my eyes to different things.

TWINKLE: Yes, I’d like to stay in the industry too, making more music and also doing more acting, probably in TV.

ASHTON: Before KIDZ BOP, I just wanted to be an actor, but this has really opened my eyes to so many different things and different opportunities in the music and entertainment business. I would love to work in music, but there are lots of things I want to know more about now too.

What are you looking forward to most with the tour?

MAX: For me, the Palladium dates will be the big ones as I’ve got my family and friends coming along, and it’ll be so good to see them all there in the audience. I’m especially looking forward to performing Uptown Funk, that’s my absolute favourite track at the moment because it gets such a great reaction when we perform it, whether it’s been live or on TV.

MIA: The first songs I did with KIDZ BOP were Rise and One Kiss, so they’re always special for me and I’m looking forward to doing them on the tour. Although, like Max – I also love Uptown Funk, it’s such a great track.

And the Manchester show will be extra special for me, as I come from Lancashire so lots of my family and friends are coming. Every time I speak to them, they’re telling me more people have booked to come and see me there.

ASHTON: I’m excited to perform in Birmingham, because although I live in London I have a lot of family from there who don’t always get to see what KIDZ BOP is all about for me. And of course, who doesn’t want to say they have performed at The London Palladium? That’s going to be special as London is home. But I can honestly say, I really want to see the reactions from everyone right across the country – that’s going to be incredible.

When we did the KIDZ BOP World Tour headline show in London last year, with the US KIDZ BOP Kids, that was great – it was the first time people in the UK had had the chance to come out specially to see KIDZ BOP in a live performance, we’d always been part of other shows… And now, here we are preparing for our very own KIDZ BOP UK tour. We can’t wait.

INTERVIEW: John Barrowman talks about his festive show coming to Glasgow this December

It’s the most FABULOUS time of the year – and entertainer extraordinaire John Barrowman will be celebrating the festive season with fans as he returns to the UK with a dazzling new Christmas tour.

The eight-date JOHN BARROWMAN – A FABULOUS CHRISTMAS  tour in November and December follows the success of his sell-out summer shows, celebrating his 30 years on stage and screen, and will coincide with the release of his new album of the same name.

Barrowman is a singer, actor, dancer, presenter, judge and author. Last year, UK audiences delighted in supporting him as he made the final three in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2018. And he’s recently been announced as the new judge for ITV’s Dancing On Ice, having competed on the show’s first series in 2006.

Speaking about the tour and new album, John said: “I am so looking forward to starting everyone’s Christmas off with a festive bang.

“It’s been great to get back into the studio recording new Christmas tracks. I love this time of the year, but this is the first time I’ve put together a full album of Christmas and festive music for the most FABULOUS time of the year.

We caught up with John for a festive chat as he prepares for a truly FABULOUS Christmas…

What is Christmas all about to you?

“It’s about family, friends, celebrating the birth of a child, and basically coming together and enjoying people’s company. Everybody talks about presents, but my favourite time is Christmas morning after all the presents have been opened, having brunch, relaxing, playing games, all that stuff.

“Of course, I have to fit music into Christmas, and that starts on Christmas Eve. We have all the Christmas songs on, line up bottles of Champagne – from the most expensive to the cheapest… And by the time we get to the cheap ones, they all taste exactly the same anyway.”

Home is obviously Palm Springs, but you’re still very much attached to your Scottish roots. Where do you spend Christmas?

“Prior to last year, Christmas has always been spent at my cousin’s in Dunblaine, as when I’ve been working in panto, you only really get Christmas day off, so not much chance to travel too far. So last year was the first time in many years where I’ve actually been at home with family, in the States, for Christmas, and that’s where we’ll be this year too.”

Do we assume your house looks fabulous at Christmas?

“Absolutely. My house gets decorated to the hilt; pilots could mistake our house for a runway! That said, by the time I’ve actually finished the tour and other work I’ve got on, there’s only going to be about five days to do all the decorating and shopping.

“We have two trees. One is decorated in a Scottish-American-Welsh-British traditional style, recognising all the places I’ve lived in. The other is more glitzy and sparkly, with a dash of Star Wars – we have a Star Wars tree topper.

“All the trees outside have huge baubles on and we really go all out.”

Who will you spend Christmas with and what’s the plan?

“Mum and dad are just down the road, so they’ll be with us, and my aunt and uncle and Scott and mine’s best friends – just the eight of us.

“Everyone shares the jobs, although one day I’ve got a chef booked so no one will have to cook at all. But we’re a diverse family, so we really try to include lots of different elements.

“Mum will make shortbread, obviously – being Scottish, my aunt is from Belgium and she does the hors d’ouvres. Then it’s a traditional turkey dinner with everybody pitching in to help.

“One rule though, whoever cooks does not clean up – so I make sure I get really stuck into the cooking, and make a mess…”

Are you a gift giver, or receiver?

“I like to give more than receive, for sure. But I do absolutely love to receive gifts which are made personally, crafty gifts. There’s so much more heart to those things.”

What’s the best present you’ve ever had?

“I remember one year as a kid, all I wanted was a silver flute. I’d come down, opened all my presents from Santa and I didn’t get it. Mum and dad asked me to get something out of the drawer in the other room where they kept the silverware, and there among it all was this very particular flute.

“I like to make gift giving an event like that – it really adds to the occasion.”

The tour is coming to Glasgow, obviously, how could you not include your home city, especially at Christmas?

“It really will be the homecoming show, and home is so important at that time of year. The audiences really know what to expect, are always totally fabulous and get right behind me.

“I always go a little bit further there than anywhere else, as I know I can get away with it. It’ll be like an early Hogmanay.

And lastly, what can fans expect from John Barrowman – A Fabulous Christmas Tour? The summer tour was truly fabulous, and your mum, dad and Scott almost managed to steal the show on those dates… Will we be seeing them again?

“It’s going to be totally Christmassy… I’ve written a letter to Santa to see if ‘Mr and Mrs Claus’ are able to come along. Scott will be there again, on the merchandise stall, and on stage at some point. I hope to integrate mum and dad into it – which will be quite exciting, I hope.

“Like the summer shows, there will be music, stories and photos, but this time sharing all my favourite moments from Christmas through the years.”

Tickets are on sale now from www.cuffeandtaylor.com

John Barrowman ‘A Fabulous Christmas’ is out 6th Dec on Decca Records

See JOHN BARROWMAN – A FABULOUS CHRISTMAS at:

  • SUN DEC 1 GLASGOW, SEC

REVIEW: Bianca Del Rio It’s Jester Joke – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

Hands-down the most successful drag queen in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race, self-proclaimed ‘clown in a gown’ and winner of season 6, Bianca Del Rio is back in town with her gaudy, bawdy brand of biting comedy.

 

Despite touring to several large-scale venues in previous years, indeed this isn’t the first time Del Rio has sold out this enormous venue, this tour will be the biggest solo headlined drag tour ever in the UK.

Supported by the equally X-rated Wendy Ho (above), this is not a show for the faint-hearted, but I doubt that there’s anyone in the audience who isn’t familiar with the drag firebrand’s old-school insult comedy and reputation for saying the things the rest of us only dare to think to ourselves. I’m racking my brains to think of any group left un-insulted, from lesbians to Brexit, disability to straight people, from Naked Attraction to Catholic priests, everyone is treated with the same derision.

Clad head to toe in an eye-popping electric pink sequinned jump suit, curly orange wig and turban, Del Rio rattles through an hour of brutally honest observations that have the audience howling, leaving us in no doubt why she was named the most influential Drag Queen by the New York Times.

Del Rio is a welcome change from a world in which everyone is desperate to be offended – refreshingly controversial.

 

WHAT’S ON JUNE 2020 – Trixie Mattel returns!

She’s back….

Drag queen, musician, stand-up comedian, entertainer, entrepreneur.

After a successful UK tour in 2018, All Stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel returns in May 2020 for a full length theatre tour!

Trixie Mattel is not only a major pop culture figure but a stand-up comedian and musician with talents that defy classification. Trixie’s coming to the UK on tour with an exciting electro-folk reinvention. Expect to feel that you’ve landed in a PeeWee Herman video, with some surf rock and a love for 60’s country music. She’s listening to a lot of Fountains Of Wayne and Apples In Stereo, collecting mod Barbie dolls and watching Brady Brunch reruns!

Trixie Mattel has broken major ground as an entertainer, first rocketing to national fame when she competed on RuPaul’s Drag Race’s seventh season, and later coming back to win the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. She co-created and currently stars in the wildly successful comedy web show UNHhhh in the US with fellow Drag Race alum Katya Zamolodchikova, which was later adapted into the Viceland program The Trixie & Katya Show. Aside from her musical and television accomplishments, Trixie is the subject of the documentary Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year, and she is also launching a cosmetics line, Trixie Cosmetics, this year.

For more information please see: http://trixiemattel.com

 

Sun 31-May-2020                    Festival Theatre           Edinburgh

Wed 03-Jun-2020                    SEC Armadillo            Glasgow

REVIEW: Let It Be – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow

2019 marks 50 years since The Beatles walked over that famous crossing on Abbey Road, 50 years since they played on the roof of the Apple Corps. building on Savile Row and 49 years since they released their last album. Seen by over two million people worldwide, Let It Be, continue their celebration of the music of The Beatles with a brand-new show for 2019.

The revamped show is split into two halves: the first a potted history of the Fab Four, starting from the famous Royal Variety Performance in 1963, through Shea Stadium to Sgt. Pepper and beyond. The second, is set a decade after The Beatles went their separate ways. It’s the 9th of October 1980, John Lennon’s 40th birthday, the band reunite for one night only for “the ultimate concert that never was”. Here we get a chance to hear some of the hits from each Beatles’ solo careers.

Let It Be is the Rolls Royce of Beatles celebration acts and the quality of the musicianship is outstanding. Emanuele Angeletti (Paul McCartney), John Brosnan, Ben Cullingworth (Ringo Starr) and Richard Jordan (John Lennon), go beyond simple impersonation. To the ear, this is as close as you are going to get to the real thing. Every specific tone and intonation of each man is captured in impressive detail.

While fans of the original show may wish to see something a bit different from the usual history and greatest hits of The Beatles, it is understandable that after seven years the performers and producers might want to shake things up a bit. This production is very much a show of two halves and while the quality of the vocals and musicianship never dips, the choice of songs in the second half mean that there’s a distinct shift in atmosphere. The joyous celebration of The Beatles early years is replaced by some more sombre moments from their later careers. That said, the whole evening ends on a high and with the audience on their feet, a series of Fab Four classics sending the crowd out into the rainy night with these musical masterpieces ringing in their ears.  Well worth catching if you can.

Review originally written for THE REVIEWS HUB | Image: Anthony Robling

 

NEWS: War Horse’s Joey visits Glasgow before its run at the SEC Armadillo

The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of War Horse, based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo arrives at The SEC Armadillo from 15 January – 2 February 2019 as part of a national tour.

Joey, the life-size equine puppet from War Horse made a special early appearance in Glasgow next to The Duke of Wellington Statue last week as well as his home for January – The SEC Armadillo. The event also included a talk about the history of the show from War Horse’s Assistant Puppetry Director, Matthew Forbes.

 

The puppeteers operating Joey in Glasgow are: Gareth Aled (Head), Michael Taibi (Heart) and Antony Antunes (Hind).