Pop: The five best gigs

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The Independent Culture

Depeche Mode Tue, Wed

One of Britain's most successful acts internationally, the Essex boys play their greatest hits. See Preview.

Wembley Arena (08-902 0902) Tue, Wed; Nynex Arena, Manchester (06-839 0700) Fri


Eels Mon

Prestigious London setting for the quirky Californians currently in a more downbeat mood with their new Electro-Shock Blues album.

Royal Festival Hall, London SE (07-960 4242) Mon


BabyBird Sun, Mon, Tue

A tour plugging the darker new album There's Something Going On.

Junction, Cambridge (0223 55) Sun; Arts Centre, Salisbury (0722 32744) Mon; Peacock Theatre, London (07-34 8800) Tue


Rocket from the Crypt Thur, Fri

Though they tend to be a one-trick pony, it's a good pony and RFTC's rock'n'roll shows really have to be seen at least once.

Pyramid Centre, Portsmouth (0705 358608) Thur; University, Cardiff (0222 78400) Fri


Fun Lovin' Criminals Sun, Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri

Consistently good outfit play live.

UEA Norwich (0603 50540) Sun; Corn Exchange, Cambridge (0223 35785) Mon; University, Exeter (0392 425309) Wed; Newport Centre (0633 662666) Thur; Guildhall, Portsmouth (0705 824355) Fri


Beta Band With the release of The 3 EPs CD, these eclectic Scots are one of the hottest tickets around.

Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth (0705 863 9) Tue; Electric Ballroom, London NW (07-485 9006) Wed

BR5-49 This band's manic honky-tonk sound translates well to the big occasion.

Corn Exchange, Cambridge (0223 35785) Tue; Shepherd's Bush Empire, London W2 (07-77 2000) Wed

Delgados On the verge of a breakthrough, the Delgados play with fellow Scots, Six by Seven.

Union Chapel, London N (07-226 686) Thur

Dar Williams One of America's best rootsy songwriters plugs her new End of the Summer album.

Fiddler's, Bristol (07-929 9008) Wed

One Nation Under a Moog A feast of so-called "post-rock" from 4pm, headlined by Laika.

Garage, London N5 (07-607 88) Sun