POP: SLEEVE NOTES

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The Independent Culture
After selling close to a million tickets at 57 amphitheatre and arena shows in north America, this summer the Lilith Fair, a celebration of women in music, tests the European market with a showcase gig at the Royal Albert Hall on 23 September.

Overseen and headlined by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan, a multi-platinum, Grammy-winning artist, the night features a rare UK set from Sinead O'Connor (above), plus Beth Orton, Lisa Loeb, Alison Moyet and N'Dea Davenport. As in the Lilith tradition, expect all of them to come on stage at the end of McLachlan's set for a mass singalong. It's all a taster for a full European tour next year that will see a changing roster of female artists or women-led bands playing the continent.

It was 10 years ago or thereabouts that the acid house thing got going, and Alex Patterson started the Orb project. To celebrate this anniversary, Island will be releasing the U.F. Off compilation that takes in most of the singles, including "Little Fluffy Clouds", and gems off all albums, from their debut, The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Underworld, to last year's Orblivion. Released on 12 October, the first few thousand will have a bonus CD. Later in the month the Orb play the Royal Albert Hall for the first time on 22 October. Patterson promises it will be a "greatest".

Other gigs coming at the Royal Albert Hall, probably the nation's most prestigious venue, include Neil Finn (4 Oct), Saw Doctors (9 Oct), Brian May (25 Oct), David Essex (29 Oct), John Otway (30 Oct) and Morcheeba (9 Nov).

Tim Perry

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