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A usually reliable source assures me that The Bluetones are a loud, rocking, R&B-inflected guitar force to be reckoned with. "No, honestly, they've really got it," he hisses from behind his lank, black fringe. "You'd like them in the same way that you used to like the groups you used to like. Unless, of course, you've gone soft." Leaving personal issues aside, The Bluetones can be experienced this week in Middlesborough, Hull, Brighton, Southampton and Derby.

I'm not ashamed to say I'll be at London's Jazz Cafe midweek to witness the happy return of sultry British funksters D-Influence (above), who also owe plenty to a lot of the groups I used to like, and still do. Also, there's the weekend-long Essential festival in a Brighton park, climaxing on Monday with an all-day reggae do featuring Zion Train, Danny Red, the incomparable Little Axe and the incomprehensible Lee Perry. No, honestly, they've all really got it.