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The Return of the King: Eric Cantona Proclaims New Tour

The footballer-philosopher will be bringing his brand of Serge Gainsbourg-meets-Leonard Cohen songs to the stage in April 2024.

king eric
Source: MAR/Capital Pictures / MEGA
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Footballing legend turned singer Eric Cantona has announced a new set of live shows, following his successful “mini-tour” last October.

The former Manchester United striker and occasional actor, poet and philosopher will play eight dates in what is billed as the “Cantona Sings Eric” tour across Ireland and the U.K. in April 2024, starting in Dublin’s Liberty Hall and climaxing with what is sure to be a hero’s welcome at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on April 20. Scroll down for full dates.

Cantona launched his debut EP I’ll Make My Own Heaven in October 2023 with lead single “The Friends We Lost”, a Serge Gainsbourg-meets-Leonard Cohen style piano ballad, described by the Guardian as “a gorgeous meditation on life with a handful of gnomic Cantona-isms thrown in for good measure.”

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Speaking of the release at the time, Cantona said: “Writing is a way for me to exist, as only my existence can result in writing this way.

“Music has always been a part of my life. I’ve always had music playing. Why start today, so many years later? Simply because I had lacked the time before. During lockdown, I finally managed to give the guitar a serious go, and even though I’m still a poor guitarist, I felt confident enough to whip a few songs into shape.”

The erstwhile footballer, who was as celebrated for his philosophical nuggets off the pitch as much as for his mercurial genius on it, supported that EP with a well-received run of dates in Manchester, London and Dublin.

“Next year, I’ll be playing with a band, but for now I’m starting with a modest piano and cello to play alongside me in intimate venues,” he said of that tour. “I’ll be starting in Manchester, because it’s a city that has stayed with me so much. For football of course, but also the general atmosphere.”

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eric cantona
Source: MAR/Capital Pictures / MEGA

Eric Cantona has achieved hero status, as much for his artistic endeavors as for his footballing prowess.

No support act for the new tour has been announced, and in an interview with the BBC, Cantona was asked which artists he would consider opening for as a support act himself. He responded: “I do not understand what you mean. I am a headliner. It’s why I cannot understand you. Maybe The [Rolling] Stones can support me.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Cantona also revealed that he intends his debut LP to be a live album – a tactic that notably failed with the Yardbirds: “I always had this dream to go on stage and to be in front of people, because the show is something that we make together," he explained.

"The audience, if they are in a good mood, a bad mood, we all use the energy of each other. These 20 tracks were built to be on stage. It's why I wanted to do a live album first. It will be finished like the last touch on a painting."

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cantona sings eric
Source: Decca records / press

Cantona's forthcoming tour will take in eight dates across Ireland and the U.K.

Eric Cantona 2024 UK and Ireland tour

APRIL

10 – Dublin, Liberty Hall

12 – Glasgow, O2 Academy

13 – Aberdeen, Music Hall

14 – Newcastle, O2 City Hall

16 – Leeds, O2 Academy

17 – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

18 – Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall

20 – Manchester, Palace Theatre

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