Standing tickets if you can Hackett...

Standing room only for Steve Hackett
Standing room only for Steve Hackett
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MADDY Prior and the Carnival Band are in town this evening, performing the Carols & Capers tour 2010

The band mixes renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with plenty of humour and a decidedly folk-y outlook.

Expect to hear gems like The Holly and the Ivy and you’ll not go away mad.

Steve Hackett’s date at the venue has long been sold out, but there might just be room enough to squeeze you in to stand and catch tomorrow’s performance at The Stables, which is under the Around The World in 80 Trains Tour banner.

This is the penultimate date of his current road trek, and if you are lucky, there will still be copies of his Live Rails CD for sale too.

It’s the only place you’ll get it...

Another sell-out must surely be on the cards for the seasonal arrival of those local fellas The Barron Knights, playing the last date of their 2010 tour on Saturday 

Their annual parade at The Stables is almost as traditional as mince pies and jingling bells...

Fifty years into a career that refuses to stop rolling, join the lovely Pete Langford and his mates as they take you on a seasonal ride of sensational style.

Over on Stage 2, Lisa Fitzgibbon will be in control.

Her music moves in many worlds, we are told, and certainly the artists she has stage shared with are a wide-ranging bunch, from The Blind Boys of Alabama to Ani Difranco.

Jazz Matters returns on Sunday, a lunchtime chance to chat about the good stuff with likeminded folks, from 1pm.

Speaking of style as we were a few lines ago, Beth Orton has more than most, and the singer-songwriter arrives at the venue on Tuesday evening to show it off.

Emotionally evocative, she pairs intimate folk with subtly atmospheric pop flourishes and her truthful, flowing style has given her a terrifically supportive fan base.

Sam Amidon will support Beth at the show, performing as warm-up and as occasional accompaniment during her own set.

Also on Tuesday evening, Michael Janisch’s Purpose-Built Quintet arrive.

Michael might be young, but he is a hugely talented jazz bassist who previously performed with Stables founder, the late John Dankworth, among others.

Wednesday night wraps up with Ahmed Dickinson Cardenas with Trio Mestizo and their Cuban guitar magic, all cool, contemporary and dazzling, and you can do more than just listen to the Cuban sounds, you can taste them too!

Yep, splash out an additional £12 on top of your £12.50 admission price and you can enjoy A Taste of Cuba pre-performance at Cafe in2.

Comedy nights have been cropping up all over the new city in recent months, but don’t forget to check in at the Screaming Blue Murder sessions at The Stables once in a while.

The gags start coming from 8.45pm and if you take a ticket in advance you will pay just £9.50.

Andrew Bird introduces Simon Clayton and Steve Day, and the night of funnies is all good for those of you aged 16 years and up.

Call MK 280800 for details and to book seats at any of the aforementioned.