A critical Guide: Rock

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Loudon Wainwright III (Camden Dingwalls, 071-267 1999, Mon). One-off show for this witty explorer of angst-ridden masculinity.

Beverley Craven (Albert Hall, 071-589 8212, Fri). Thoughtful singer-songwriter.

Aerosmith (Wembley Arena, 081-900 1234, Tues & Wed). Testosterone has no time limit.

The The (Manchester Apollo, 061-236 9922, Wed; Liverpool Royal Court, 051-709 4321, Thurs; Aston Villa Leisure Centre, 021-328 5377, Fri; then touring). Notorious gloom merchants with an ear for a good tune, with support from comedian Simon Day and mithering fops The Auteurs.

James (Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 0902 312030, tonight; Derby Assembly, 0332 255800, Tues; Gloucester Leisure Ctr, 0452 306788, Wed; Brixton Academy, 071-924 9999, Thurs; Portsmouth Guildhall, 0705 824355, Sat; Norwich UEA, 0603 505401, Sun 12 Dec; Newport Ctr, 0633 259676, Mon 13 Dec). Mancunian folk-popsters on a downward career curve which even Brian Eno has not been able to arrest.