POP: FIVE KEY READING WARM-UP GIGS

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Afghan Wigs Cincinnati's soulful rocking geezers promise two special nights with a two-hour set mixing new material with favourites.

Alleycat, Reading (08-956 6) 25 Aug; Subterania, London, W0 (08- 960 4590) 26 Aug.

Alabama 3 Larry, the Rev D Wayne and the rest of the Love family bring their maniacal message, set to a soundtrack of southern-fried techno.

Barfly at the Falcon, London NW (07-482 4884) 28 Aug.

Gomez Since getting nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, Gomez have become one even hotter ticket. Live, they're a fun fusion of psychedelic rock, bayou blues and dancey rhythms.

Subterania, London W0 (08-960 4590) 25 Aug.

Yo La Tengo New Jersey's rootsy pop-rockers have an intensely loyal following and this should be another mobbed-out event. The excellent Quickspace support. The Garage, London N (07-607 88) 26 Aug.

El Nino This young, melodic and energetic quartet from Bloomington, Indiana made a good impression on their recent UK debut

Water Rats, London WC (07-837 7269) 27 Aug.

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