XFM's Winter Wonderland, Brixton Academy, London <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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This bash, in aid of the homeless charity Shelter, was the alternative-rock radio station XFM's chance to give its take on 2005.

It's a year that has seen the Dead 60s emulate the success of the Ordinary Boys with their more muscular, if still derivative, ska-punk. The Liverpool group were only effective here with the frenetic "Riot Radio", as it became clear this was a night for anthems rather than grooves.

Even the gloomy Editors were in a party mood. Their tunes chimed loud and true, with frontman Tom Smith an imposing presence as he hurled his lanky frame around the stage.

Other acts were relegated to acoustic-set status. First up was Norway's Even Johansen. The singer-songwriter known as Magnet improvised over the looped, bell-like tones of a zither, which partly brought to life the beguiling mix of ambience and balladry of his second album, The Tourniquet. He has a soulful voice, but his blurred melodies lacked impact.

Better were the Kooks, who are led by singer and creative force, Luke Pritchard. The singles "Sofa Song" and "Eddie's Gun", both about unrequited lust, echoed the insouciance of Pete Doherty and the ruddy-faced charm of the the Jennifers, the early incarnation of Supergrass.

Thanks to the Libertines, tonight's audience were well acquainted with the unlikely comeback of Chas & Dave, who played "Snooker Loopy" and the still remarkable "Rabbit". Its speedy lyrics did not back up their claim to be rap pioneers, but they still held the torch for a robust English wit.

Which is not an idiom allowed shrift by Hard-Fi's Richard Archer. "We've got something to say," he growled. Except it was hard to get beyond the teenage-poetry clichés of being skint yet "living for the weekend" in a no-mark town.

More intriguing were the Sunderland oddballs Maximo Park. They played the whole of their album, A Certain Trigger, in order, as singer Paul Smith threw twitchy shapes in an angry-Norman-Wisdom manner and smiled triumphantly throughout (except on the anguished spoken-word monologue, "Acrobat").

Kaiser Chiefs responded with an all-out, if frayed, assault - even plinky-plonky disco tune "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" was transformed by throbbing bass and an angrily buzzing guitar. This has been their year, and it is going to be a hard one to bid farewell to.