THROUGHOUT his eventful 44 years English comedian, actor, writer and activist, Russell Brand, has been a drug and pornography addict, an alcoholic, suffered from bulimia and battled mental health issues.
But through a 12-step program he has been able to control his self-destructive tendencies and has in recent years become a wellness advocate through his 2017 book Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions and its accompanying speaking tours.
On March 2 Brand will bring his Recovery Live show to Newcastle's Civic Theatre where he'll combine his comedic flair with his dedication to spirituality. Tickets go on sale 9am Monday through Ticketek.
AS we near the completion of 2019 you might have noticed bands and artists posting their Spotify statistics for the year on social media and it's made for some intriguing reading.
One act that really caught our attention was Newcastle indie-rock band Vacations who recorded 9.1 million streams on Spotify from 896,500 people in 79 countries.
They're particularly impressive statistics given the four-piece is independent and has received minimal support from youth taste-master Triple J.
Other strong performers in 2019 have been Newcastle indie-pop artist Kira Puru (4.3m streams from 848,700 listeners), Kurri Kurri's alt-country songstress Tori Forsyth (2.2m streams from 698,000 listeners) and Newcastle's electro-pop singer Anna Buckingham, aka BOI, (1.3m streams from 606,800 listeners).
LONG LIVE NOLLSY
YOU have to hand it to Shannon Noll. For a bloke that's copped plenty of flak online in recent years for his cocaine possession charge and foul-mouthed tirade at a concertgoer in Nyngan, he possesses a great sense of humour.
On Tuesday Noll released his new video Long Live The Summer, which was filmed at the Shoal Bay Country Club and nearby beach.
The clip, which was directed by Newcastle's Josh Holliday, references the long-running social media joke where hundreds of people have posted cheeky comments on Noll's Facebook asking for the singer-songwriter to return various items he's supposedly borrowed.
Even if you're not a Noll fan, it's worth checking out his Facebook site for the comical posts.
Long Live The Summer features voice contributions from TV hosts and comedians Julia Morris and Dave Hughes and NRL legend Brad Fittler, plus Jess Farchione from Hit 106.9's breakfast show.
A host of Noll fans also appear in the video after answering an online campaign.
Meanwhile, Noll will be joining Cessnock's Golden Guitar-winner Travis Collins, Andy and Deb Saunders and the NSW State of Origin team in Taree on December 19 for Carols in the Park to support the victims of the NSW bush fires.
ELTON A NO GOGO
IF you're thinking of heading to Elton John's hotly-anticipated farewell shows at Hope Estate next month with tickets bought from Viagogo - don't bother.
The Pokolbin winery this week announced tickets purchased through the controversial e-sale site will not be accepted for the January 11 and 12 concerts.
This follows news last week that hundreds of fans at the Rocketman's Adelaide show were turned away after purchasing fake tickets through Viagogo.
VIP packages are the only tickets still available for both of John's Hope Estate shows.
LONG-suffering Australian fans of US emo band The Dangerous Summer will finally have the chance to see the three-piece on Thursday at the Cambridge Hotel. Despite releasing five studio albums and disbanding for three years after former guitarist Cody Payne mishandled the band's money, The Dangerous Summer have never toured Australia.
The gig will include a complete performance of The Dangerous Summer's 2009 debut album Reach For The Sun, which includes their most famous song The Permanent Rain.
GOOD DAYS AHEAD
FRESH from winning Best World Album for One Year Of Ska at the ARIA Awards, Melbourne Ska Orchestra are hitting the road to support their latest single Good Days Bad Days.
Melbourne Ska Orchestra are stopping at the Cambridge Hotel on March 12 and one of the biggest obstacles will be how to accommodate the 25-piece band on the venue's stage.
Deciding on a set list will also prove challenging as One Year Of Ska features 52 tracks - a mix of originals and covers of famous film and TV themes like Star Wars and Game Of Thrones.
DARREN Coggan is stepping back into the rhinestone boots to perform his tribute to American legend Glen Campbell at Belmont 16s on February 1. Like A Rhinestone Cowboy - The Best of Glen Campbell features Coggan's own personal touches and stories from the 1997 national tour where he supported the then 62-year-old.