The Independent Recommends: Pop

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THE CULT OCCASION of the weekend comes courtesy of a solo show by Kurt Wagner of Lambchop, the 14-piece Nashville ensemble dedicated to slow pedal steel-enhanced country soul grooves. A trailer for a full autumn Lambchop show with Vic Chesnutt and desert twangers Calexico, Wagner will almost certainly throw in a spellbinding performance. Water Rats, London WC1 (0171-837 7269) tonight 8pm

These first dates of a major headlining tour by Embrace (right) are recommended in a voyeuristic sense as it's certainly one of the big-hitters of the season and a make-or-break situation for this bunch from Huddersfield. Can they make the (small) leap to playing parks and stadia and hangers as Oasis and the Verve did, or will they be downsizing by this time next year? Personally, it sounds like the scrag end of Britpop with even more strings thrown in to fill the gaps. Barrowlands, Glasgow (0141 552 4601) tonight, Town Hall, Middlesbrough (01642 242 561) tomorrow; Academy, Manchester (0161-275 4815) Sunday. 7.30pm