Manecas Costa: Grin and share it

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Preview Pop: The Who

By far the most exciting live prospect in the run-up to Christmas is this pair of surprise gigs by one of the most full-blooded rock'n'roll bands ever - on their home turf in west London. The shows tie in with the release of Pete Townshend's Lifehouse box-set - the follow-up to Tommy, which has taken almost 30 years to see the light of day. It comes in the wake of a couple of Stateside concerts that have received ecstatic reviews. Over these two nights, the band will be playing most of their classics, and their aggressive, energetic and loud approach should transform an often-staid venue into a hot, sweaty rock joint. Joining original members Townshend, Daltrey and Entwistle will be Ringo Starr's son Zak Starkey on drums, and John "Rabbit" Bundrick on keyboards. The only down side is that Christmas will literally have come early for the ticket touts.

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pop supergrass

Catatonia may have been added to the line-up to make MTV's Five Night Stand (9-14 May) at the Shepherd's Bush Empire a six-night affair, but that makes no difference as to what is the hottest ticket of the week. After what seems like just too long, they're back with a new single, "Pumping On The Stereo", in which Gaz Coombes reveals new Jagger-esque tones. It's quite possibly the best thing they've ever done, and the whispers are that their new album - out in September - is something quite special. Whereas other British bands appear with a bang and then allow their music to get bloated, Supergrass have kept their edge - it's getting better all the time.

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1

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Pop: Wilco

Back at the start of the 1990s, Jeff Tweedy, Wilco's vocalist, was banging mandolins and electric guitars in the pioneering Uncle Tupelo. They were possibly the most innovative band on the US underground but then grunge broke and they were consigned to cult status. By the mid-90s, Uncle Tupelo had split: Jay Farrar, the other main songwriter formed the excellent Son Volt while Tweedy got the more poppy Wilco together. Now three albums on Wilco have dropped their twang resulting in the stunning Summerteeth album which puts a 90s urban feel onto the classic foundations of the Byrds, Beach Boys and Beatles. Their last gig here was a disappointment but there's so much more to play for this time as Wilco could become massive in this country and Tweedy's golden tonsils are among the very best in current day rock.
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