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The Independent Culture
North London station Xfm losing out in the last round of radio licences was the cause of much wailing and gnashing of teeth in alternative rock land, so it's good to hear it back on the airwaves. The indie guitar haven on 107FM does, by its very nature, emit a strong whiff of white- boy conformity, granted. But there are at least two reasons why a permanent Xfm presence is needed. One, the "alternative" rock constituency actually is much bigger than that - it's practically the norm. Two, Xfm DJs actually pick up on left-field, non-guitary music which other specialist stations wouldn't. Ever heard the exotic techno of Transglobal Underground on dance station Kiss? Or a 12-minute jungle tune on Choice? Not a chance. But Xfm has played them all. Presently, as well, it broadcasts live gigs.

This Saturday it's the turn of New Yorkers Girls Against Boys, supported by the melodic but fierce Virginia outfit Kepone (right). Don't let the fact that all three once served in blood 'n' gore medieval theatre metallists Gwar put you off. Their debut album Ugly Dance (Quarterstick) is steamy, savage and acutely intelligent, with the help of provocative lyricism, splenetic power and raging melodies. One new band worthy of wreaking havoc on your mind.

Kepone, The Garage, N1, tomorrow (07-607 1818)

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