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Rock duo Royal Blood revealed as first act to play Swansea Arena

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The first act to play Swansea’s brand new Arena on Tuesday 8 March has been announced as rock duo, Royal Blood.

To date, Royal Blood have achieved two million global sales, won the BRIT Award for Best British Group, two NME Awards and a Kerrang! Award. Their debut album was also nominated for the Mercury Prize. 

Also now confirmed for Swansea Arena is Jersey Boys – the first West End show announced for the attraction.

Running from Tuesday November 29 to Saturday December 3, 2022, Jersey Boys will take audiences behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  The musical has won 65 major awards and been seen by over 27 million people worldwide.

Tickets for both Royal Blood and Jersey Boys go on general sale on Friday December 3 via swansea-arena.co.uk

West End musical Jersey Boys has also been announced for Swansea Arena

The arena is one feature of the £135m Copr Bay phase one district being developed by Swansea Council and advised by development managers RivingtonHark. Copr Bay phase one construction – being led by Buckingham Group Limited – is due for completion later this year, with the arena, to be run by the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), opening its doors in early 2022.

Cllr Rob Stewart, Swansea Council Leader, said: “The announcement of the first international artists playing Swansea Arena as part of its launch season is a significant milestone for the attraction, with excitement now really starting to build ahead of its opening early next year.”

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said: “The announcement of all the acts already confirmed for Swansea Arena shows that the venue will have widespread appeal, with many of these acts having never played Swansea before.

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“The arena will build on Swansea’s current vibrant and diverse cultural scene, further strengthening it for future generations of audiences.”

Swansea Arena General Manager Lisa Mart said: “We are really excited to be announcing further events for 2022 – especially our eagerly anticipated first act. Royal Blood are absolutely incredible. They are the perfect act to set the tone for our opening year and really test the venue’s capabilities. Jersey Boys, being our first West End musical production, is a real coup for us – it is one of the best touring musicals available and we have no doubt Swansea will love it. 

“There are further world class announcements to round off our launch season to come.”

In 2022 so far, Swansea Arena audiences can also expect to see Alan Carr, John Bishop, Jurassic Live, Katherine Ryan, Rhod Gilbert, Rob Beckett, Rob Brydon, Alice Cooper and The Cult, Diversity, Johannes Radebe, Oti Mabuse, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Will Young, and The Good, The Bad and The Rugby Live.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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Charity

Mal Pope and Steve Balsamo lead star-studded music video for ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ campaign

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Star-studded music video of ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ released for latest ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ campaign

This reimagining of the classic Christmas Carol features a duet between, Mal Pope and Steve Balsamo, with support from Harry’s Youth Theatre Choir Swansea and the Morriston Salvation Army Band.

The video starts with a spine chilling opening monologue from BAFTA winner Michael Sheen and ends with a special message from OSCAR Winner Catherine Zeta Jones. The video also features appearances from Davina McCallMax BoyceElis James, Penny Lancaster and Bonnie Tyler.

The video was Art Directed by BAFTA Award winning Production Designer Edward Thomas, recently returned to Swansea following a year in Malta designing a new Steven Spielberg Film.

The single is taken from the album ‘Christmas with the Pope’ and is available to stream and download from all streaming sites including Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music. The physical CD will be available from select shops or via mail order.

As well as inviting everyone to download and stream the single the video is available free of charge to groups to use over the festive period and asking for donations to be made to the group’s Just Giving page

Everyone Deserves a Christmas

The annual ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ campaign provides festive cheer for people who need a helping hand in the local community.

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Individuals and businesses from across Swansea and beyond work together to raise funds that are used to purchase food for hampers and Christmas dinners. These are then delivered to families across the city to ensure that nobody goes without at Christmas-time. 

“When everyone else was pushing the boat out I was worried about just feeding my family, so didn’t feel like I was part of Christmas”, said Leanne. The campaign says that at Christmas, no-one should be worried like Leanne.

This year, with community help, the campaign aim to create over 700 food hampers full of staples like cheese, meat, and vegetables, and added goodies like pudding, chocolate and crackers. A large team of volunteers will purchase, pack and deliver the hampers in the days before Christmas. There will also be cooked dinners delivered on Christmas Eve to people across the city who are on their own or vulnerable, as well treats for local children.

Swansea City AFC Foundation and the Ospreys in the Community are working with Carolyn Harris MP, Julie James MS, South Wales Evening Post, Swansea Council, Bay Studios, Amazon and very many local businesses, to make this happen.

The campaign say that Christmas should be a time of joy and of giving. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has the joyful Christmas they deserve.

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What started a few years ago with a few friends packing hampers on Carolyn Harris’ kitchen table has now developed into a city wide celebration of Christmas spirit and this year it is hoped that up to 1000 households will benefit from the campaign.

Carolyn Harris MP was recently named Campaigner of the Year at the Spectator Parliamentarian of The Year Awards.

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Arts and Entertainment

Paul Weller announces new Singleton Park concert

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New Wave and Mod Revival singer-songwriter Paul Weller has announced a new open air concert at Swansea’s Singleton Park on Sunday 31 July.

On May 14th, Paul Weller released his 16th solo album since his self-titled debut in 1992, his fourth in as many years and his second in just under twelve months following June 2020’s magnificent, chart-topping On Sunset.

It’s not hyperbole to state that this new album, titled Fat Pop (Volume 1), is among his most compelling collections, bar none, including all of his era-defining work in the 1970s and ‘80s with The Jam and The Style Council. It’s an absolute scorcher.

The show at Swansea’s Singleton Park that will feature work across his prolific career & his brilliant new material, follows successful concerts on the site with Noel Gallagher, Jess Glynne & Catfish & The Bottlemen and again is promoted by award winning promoters Orchard Live.

Pablo Janczur from Orchard Live said: “We are thrilled to be working again with an unbelievable artist like Paul Weller and bringing the Mod Father to Swansea!’’

When lockdown was declared in March 2020, Paul Weller decided immediately that he wanted something to focus on, since it seemed unlikely, he’d be able to tour On Sunset as planned that summer.

“I had lots of ideas stored up on my phone,” he explains down that same handset, speaking from outside his London home, “and at least this gave me an opportunity to develop them.”

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So he started to record songs on his own, doing just vocals, piano and guitar, then sending those sound files to his core band members such as drummer Ben Gordelier, Steve Cradock on guitar and various other instruments, and bassist Andy Crofts for them to add their parts.

“It was a bit weird not being together, but at least it kept the wheels rolling. I’d have gone potty otherwise.”

Presale tickets go on sale on Wednesday 17 November 2021 at 10am.

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Arts and Entertainment

‘Come What May’ starring Strictly’s Robin Windsor heads to Swansea’s Grand Theatre

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One of the nation’s best loved Strictly Come Dancing professionals, Robin Windsor, is coming out of retirement to star in Come What May – one of the UK’s most exciting theatre productions touring across the UK in Spring 2022, and is heading to Swansea Grand Theatre on 19 February 2022.

Come What May is described as the ultimate tribute to Moulin Rouge and other hit movie musicals, including Rocketman, The Greatest Showman, A Star is Born, Burlesque and more.

Joining Robin Windsor are Charlotte Gallagher, David Wyatt, Ollie Augustin, Óscar Fonseca, Chloe Gatward, Emma Jane, Georgia McEnaney, Hannah Morcos, Stuart Rouse and Reece Woodier.

Travel back in time as the children of the revolution take you into the sexy and glamorous underworld of Paris at the Moulin Rouge, journey into the flamboyant world of Elton John, delve into the imagination of the original showman P.T Barnum and finally head to the bright lights of Los Angeles before exploring the glamour of Sunset Boulevard’s Burlesque Lounge.

This musical extravaganza is packed with timeless classics from the movie Moulin Rouge, including Come What May, Your Song, Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend, Roxanne and Lady Marmalade as well as featuring hits from other iconic movie musicals, including Come Alive, Saturday Night’s Alright, Shallow and Show Me How You Burlesque.

This “Spectacular, Spectacular” all-singing, all-dancing show is an unforgettable combination of dreams, adventure and above all – love!

Robin Windsor is a British Professional Latin and Ballroom Dancer, best known for his appearances in the BBC television series Strictly Come Dancing. He is arguably one of the most recognisable faces on Strictly Come Dancing, during his time on the show he partnered Anita Dobson, Patsy Kensit, Lisa Riley and Deborah Meaden and danced alongside stars such as Neil Diamond, Rod Stewart, and Alice Cooper, Katherine Jenkins to name just a few.

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Robin said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the cast of Come What May. Really excited to get moving and work on this fabulous show with this amazing cast.”

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