Royal Albert Hall

Joe Bonamassa, The Borderline, London

"Thank you for sticking with me all these years," the 35-year-old bluesman acknowledges to his loyal fans before the encore. Occasionally, however, it was a bit of a struggle "sticking" with this two-hour encounter.

Laura Marling, Royal Albert Hall, London

“We don’t do encores... If you want an encore then this is the last song, if you don’t, this is the second to last.” At a time when encores at gigs have become almost mandatory, and therefore meaningless, Laura Marling’s approach to them is refreshingly unconventional.

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Totem, Royal Albert Hall, London

The Royal Albert Hall proves to be an excellent substitute for a big top as it plays host to Cirque du Soleil's now-customary January visit to London. This time the French-Canadian entertainment giant has brought Totem, its second collaboration with the Québécois wunderkind Robert Lepage, one of the world's greatest theatre-makers.