Love Train Vs piao!, Islington The Garage, Highbury Corner, London N1 (0171-607 1818), tomorrow

Sneaker Pimps, Kenickie and Bis are a few of the bands who've shimmied their way from obscurity to the Top 30 in the past year, but they also have something else in common. They've all performed at festivals in London organised by Love Train label woman, Lisa Paulon.

Gig-going in the capital has been made extra special by these events, which have showcased great new arrivals from Scotland, Ireland and England over the past couple of years. All the marathon gigs in question - Boomtastic Blow-Out, Easter Eggsplosion, Camden Crawl I and II - have been sell-outs, and the latest venture, a Garage all-dayer, will inevitably cause a roadblock in Islington. It is to celebrate the release of the 18th Love Train single by bouncy yanks Lunchbox, "Up To You", and to reflect on the past two years by bringing together on one bill more than 10 bands which have played previous Love Train wing-dings in London's Camden Town.

"There'll be a whole variety of bands," Lisa enthuses. "Hood, Freed Unit and Mogwai make ambient guitar music, Spare Snare and Lunchbox do things in a much more pop-orientated way, while Ligament and Bob Tilton play harder-edged stuff. Headliners Urusei Yatsura seem to incoporate all these things."

While downstairs at the Garage the bands (also including Prolapse and Quickspace Supersport) will be going through their paces, upstairs plays host to the piao! club folk, Chris and Loretta, who have had a hand in the bills of all the Love Train festivals. Highlights include easy-listening disc-spinner Martin Karminski from Blow Up, and a video band extravaganza from Sweden, called CVI. "It's only natural that we should do this together - many of the bands were discovered at live gigs by piao!," explains Lisa. "Philosophically, we and the bands share similar views on gigs and what the record industry should be about. The live scene at the moment is a bit depressing, to be honest - really disjointed. So many bands have gone on to have big tours and sign for loads of money, it's going to take a while for the underground to rejuvenate itself. But it will happen."


While Tricky has been quiet on the home front in recent months, he's been warping the minds of punters in the US and Japan of late. Live, expect more paranoid and delirious bursts of genius from his album Pre Millennium Tension, and complete reshuffling of the grooves from Maxinquaye. This man likes to keep himself, and us, on our toes.

Birmingham Que Club, 10 Apr ; Glasgow Barrowlands 11 Apr; Nottingham Rock City 13 Apr; Southampton Guildhall 14 Apr