WHERE IT'S AT (MAYBE): YOUR TOWN-BY-TOWN GUIDE

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Newport: the rainswept town that proved there's more to Wales than sheep jokes. Branded "the new Seattle", rumour has it that if you phone 01633 then six more figures you're bound to get through to a pop band and not a chip shop. A handful of bands - 60ft Dolls, Novocaine, Flyscreen and Dub War - have helped to rocket the town to fame. Rumour has it that Newport has already had its 15 minutes and the "scene" has mutated 12 miles west to Cardiff.

Cardiff: "We're starting to steal the thunder from Newport," says John Rostron, publisher of listings magazine Finetime. "In the last 12 months the club scene has gone 'Wow'. Bands currently "wowing the kids" here are Super Furry Animals and Catatonia, while a drum 'n' bass scene is also, apparently, thriving - check out Club Clwbiforbach.

Coventry: a throbbing epicentre for drum 'n' bass although hipsters here moan there aren't enough clubs. Still an active scene according to locals. "A lot of artists come from this area," says drum 'n' bass producer James Carlito. For a hip night out Coventry boasts junglist nights at two clubs, Browns and The Coliseum, where names to drop are DJ Neil Trix, DJ Addiction and Doc Scott.

Beccles, Suffolk: until recently the only entertainment to be had was hanging around at bus stops and head-nodding to car alarms. Yet behind the twitching curtains of the village's twee-looking cottages some of the country's leading knob twiddlers are at work. Left-field record company Moving Shadow have even put out a compilation of Suffolk's cutting edge sounds: Storm From The East. The label's co-ordinator Caroline Butler says: "There's this kind of perception that drum 'n' bass is a soundtrack to the ghetto, when actually a lot of the music is being made in the leafy countryside in middle-class homes." Hot names are Jay and Alex in E-Z Rollers, Hyper-on Experience, Flytronix and JMJ and Richie.

Great Yarmouth: drum 'n' bass activity must be directly related to the dive status of the location, and some may say this seaside resort is no exception. Yet it's club scene is active and thriving. Alex of E-Z Rollers says: "What kick-started the area was the soul weekenders organised by Richard Routledge. Then he dipped his toes in rave and the scene has never ended."

Bristol: appears to be thriving although the first wave of trip hop has passed. Simon Hargreaves, assistant editor of local listings section Velocity, explains: "There's a second wave now which covers all styles of music as well as techno and mainstream dance." Club highlights are Lakota and New Trinity Community Centre. Big names are Roni Size, DJ Krust and DJ Die.

Ipswich: forget Seattle, Ipswich is the new Mississippi. "You could call it the Orwell Delta," says Paul Burrows, editor of Ipswich "vibe" predictor Music Grapevine. Even if no one else is convinced, Suffolk musoes argue East Anglia has never been so trendy. Hell, even John Peel, patron saint of Indie, lives nearby.

Blues artists include Built For Comfort, Swagger and Shaboogamoo Shufflers. "For some reason, this area always stands out for the Blues," he muses. If you've ever been to Ipswich you'll know why.

Hertford: the unlikely setting of - yup - another drum 'n' bass "vibe".

Rob Haigh, a highly successful junglist aka Omni Trio, explains:

"The kids love the underground scene - it seems like a totally alternative culture." For evidence, see the Flex night club in Hitchin and the Ice Bowl in Stevenage. Name to drop - Deep Blue and LTJ Bukem. Nearby St Albans also has the class drum 'n' bass act Source Direct, signed to Virgin.

Brighton: this irritatingly trendy London-by-the-Sea may look nice but fails to deliver. Even Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream no longer ligs at the Zap and has come back to London. One saving grace is Brighton-based trip hop label Skint. According to Andy Pemberton at MixMag: "They've come out of nowhere to become one of the best dance labels in the country." But if Brighton's only famous musical inhabitant is Kevin Rowland, you wonder what all the fuss was about.

Sheffield: steel city renowned for quintessential pop with a dark underbelly - see Pulp and more recently BabyBird. A city with a split personality - home to many girls in white stilettos dancing around handbags as well as Warp Records, famed for its prestigious roster - Autechre, Aphex Twin, Nightmares on Wax - producing spooky minimalist techno. What's more, Sheffield may well be "the new Barcelona" - the council are currently meeting Spanish advisors to discuss possibilities of a 24 hour city.

Manchester: now those Gallagher boys have left town, not as "Mad" as it used to be.

Glasgow: "the new Detroit" (for its minimal techno) as well as the home of lo-fi with bands like Urusei - Yatsura and The Delgados. Cutting edge clubs are The Tunnel and the Sub Club. Also Paisley is home to the extremely underground Club 69. Roy Weller, Scottish clubs writer for i-D, sums up the activity as "A concentration of talent, luck and a lot of open-minded people."

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