Pop: Mind-expanding melodies

One particularly satisfying aspect of the South Bank's "Meltdown" shindig is that John Peel has chosen to support bands most of his colleagues would not even try getting their heads around.

Extreme Noise Terror, the thrashers who've kicked up a racket for more than 10 years, put in an appearance, but even more notably there's Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, who clocked up their first Peel sessions as obscure, psychedelic knights of Welsh pop, and are now on their second album for a major label.

"We were recording our album and Peel came to interview us for his show on Channel 4," explains Gorky's vocalist Euros Childs. "He mentioned in passing that he was doing Meltdown, and a couple of weeks later he asked us to play at the festival.

"It's a good line-up - more adventurous than most festivals. Last year we did three festivals and saw exactly the same bands at each one.

"But the only thing we have in common with Cornershop [who Gorky's play with at Meltdown] is that we had a sitar player on one of our records a couple of years back. We have played with them twice before - last year and in 1994 - and I enjoy their music."

The new album from Gorky's is due in August - apparently a melancholic affair compared with last year's Barafundle, in which Gorky's knack for turning out a glowing pop melody was matched only by their urge to twist it out of shape with a nod to Syd Barrett.

Their new single "Sweet Johnny" certainly deserves the nation's ears, skipping along with a lullaby joyfulness, all the intermittent guitar uproar of the noisier album version surgically removed.

Straight after Meltdown, Childs is looking forward to a couple of weeks' holiday, splashing on the suntan lotion in Greece, so he'll be fresh and ready for the band's next single, "Let's Get Together".

Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: Royal Festival Hall, SE1 (0171-960 4242) on 30 Jun, 10pm

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