First Call, Last Call

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The Independent Culture
First Call

IT HAS been quite a year for Garbage (right). Version 2.0 is already the year's sixth best-selling pop album, spawning the hit "I Think I'm Paranoid" and a tune on the best-selling PlayStation game, Gran Turismo. Despite being a four- piece band, attention has always focused on Shirley Manson's stand-out vocals and feisty interviews. However, the real Garbage is to be found in their collectively provocative and intelligent pop tunes.

Birmingham NEC (0121-780 4133) 17 Jan; London Wembley Arena (0181-902 0902) 20 Jan; Manchester Evening News Arena (0161- 930 8000) 22 Jan; Glasgow SECC (0141-248 7777) 23 Jan

Last Call

CONOR McPHERSON'S acclaimed play, The Weir, has just gained an extended run thanks to its success at the Duke of York Theatre. McPherson places a magnifying glass on group dynamics when a stranger bewitches locals in a small bar in rural Ireland with tales of her supernatural experiences. Aside from intense characterisation, McPherson gives the audience a strong sense of Ireland's past in this remarkable work.

Duke of York Theatre, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 (0171-836 5122) to 6 Feb

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