First Call, Last Call

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The Independent Culture
First Call

THOUGH IT has been nearly two decades since the formation of the New Model Army, there are murmurs that goth culture will soon be fashionable again. Yet such swings in youth tastes are not of much concern to the band, whose popularity has lasted due to a loyal fanbase, even though they don't play the prestigious gigs they did during the late 1980s.

University of Bristol (0117-954 5810) 9 Dec;

The Octagon, Sheffield (0114-222 8888) 10 Dec; Astoria,

London (0171-434 9592) 11 Dec

Last Call

PAUL MERTON (right) eschews the cheery comic persona with his deadpan delivery and miserable candour, which helps to explain why he is one of the most recognisable faces in comedy. Yet instead of going down the advert route, as have Jack Dee and Alan Davies, Merton is stretching his creative muscles and has recently been forging an acting career, appearing in Live Bed Show at London's Garrick Theatre. Now's your chance to catch him after a 10-year absence from the stand-up circuit, before he begins a nationwide tour.

City Hall, Sheffield (0114-278 9789) 27 Sept; Civic Hall, Wolverhampton (01902 552121) 18 Oct