Coming soon: A new musical explosion

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The Independent Culture

The NME Awards shows dominate the diary throughout February, kicking off tonight with the Gaslight Anthem (pictured) at London's Shepherds Bush Empire (0844 477 2000), and Howling Bells at Islington Academy (0844 477 2000) tomorrow.

Further one-offs in the capital, invariably with impressive supporting line-ups, include Simian Mobile Disco at London's Koko (020-7403 3331) on Thursday, Secret Machines at Islington Academy on 16 February, Black Kids at Koko on 18 February, Roots Manuva at Koko on 19 February, Spinerette (Brody Dalle's new band) at Islington Academy on 23 February, and Metronomy at Koko on 24 February.

Some NME acts are taking it around the country. Scandinavian screecher Ida Maria plays Koko on Tuesday, Manchester's Club Academy (0161-832 1111) on Thursday and Glasgow's Garage (08444 999 990) on Friday. Reluctant denim-launderers the View play Koko on Tuesday and Belfast Mandela Hall (0870 243 4455) on 25 February. Gonzo funk-rockers Iglu & Hartly play Koko on 17 February, Manchester Academy 3 (0161-832 1111) on 18 February and Glasgow QMU (08444 999 990) on 19 February.

Tricky rolls up at Manchester Academy (0161-832 1111) on 18 February, Glasgow Arches (08444 999 990) on 19 February and Shepherds Bush Empire on 20 February. Peter Doherty – note the "serious artist" spelling of his forename – plays Shepherds Bush Empire on 22 February and Glasgow Barrowlands (08444 999 990) on 24 February. The Wombats play Shepherds Bush Empire on 23 February, Manchester Academy on 24 February and Glasgow Barrowlands on 26 February.

To round the season off, the NME Awards Big Gig at the O2 (0844 856 0202) in London on 26 February is headlined by this year's Godlike Genius winners the Cure, with guests Franz Ferdinand, Crystal Castles and White Lies.

Other significant springtime tours come from Franz Ferdinand themselves, who start on 4 March at Glasgow Barrowlands (0141-204 5151); Patrick Wolf, starting on 8 March in Colchester Arts Centre (01206 500900); the mighty AC/DC, who crash-land on 14 April at the O2, and codpiece-funk legends Cameo, who play a rare one-off gig at London's Indigo2 (0844 844 0002) on 18 April, with a hearty "owww" for the pretty laydeez, and a stern word for the sucker DJs who think they're fly.