Arts and Entertainment Disclosure, Settle (PMR)

The Lawrence brothers duo Disclosure has been touted as the saviour of UK dance music, which makes one wonder at just how bad a state UK dance music must be in. Featuring track after track of drab, methodical beats plodding along laboriously behind finicky little hihat moves and quacking synth lines, it's the kind of dance music that makes dancing a dreary duty.


This year's bumper crop of summer festivals offers a feast of fun for groovers and culture vultures of every persuasion. Fancy chilling out in the Nevada desert, catching carnival fever in Notting Hill, or dancing in a muddy field in the West Country? No problem! Sharon Gethings has cast her net far and wide, from Womad to Woodstock, to scoop up the best dates on the summer circuit - so pack your sleeping bag, and get ready to toe the party line ... Additional research by Charlie Hamilton

Records: Pop

Add N To (X): Avant Hard (Mute) The title of Add N To (X)'s second album seems to be a challenge, in keeping with the band's forbiddingly artistic reputation: are you cerebral enough to appreciate them? I'm relieved to report, then, that Avant Hard is not hard going at all. The London-based trio make fun instrumentals, overlaying the bloops and squelches of aged analogue synthesisers with honking car horns, twanging rulers, neighing horses and spooky sampled strings - not forgetting the poppy tunes and jazz-rock drums. A few of the vertiginous highlights are the symphonic "Revenge of the Black Regent"; the Jean- Michel-Jarre-meets-the-Chemical-Brothers disco of "Metal Fingers In My Body", and the sinister prettiness - and whistling - of "Machine is Bored With Love". Avant Hard could be Air remixed by Fatboy Slim.

Pop: She can't imagine being told what to do

Singers don't come much more solo than Beth Orton.

Pop: Backwards into the future

From Sinatra to Bartok via Pet Sounds, Mercury Rev are only searching for the `timeless song'.

Album Reviews: Watercolour blues

Andy Gill's round-up


Over the past two years, Filthy MacNasty's has acquired a reputation for slaking the thirst of those who like their literary readings to be as lacking in sobriety as possible. The Clerkenwell whiskey cafe plays host to Vox 'n' Roll, a twice-weekly platform for writers from around the world. It isn't just its boozy ambience that makes similar, bookshop- based events seem churchmouse quiet but the simple (and surprisingly uncopied) concept: let the writers play some of their favourite music while they catch their breath. As a result, the brainchild of landlord Gerry O'Boyle and former music promoter Richard Thomas has become not only an index to who's who in contemporary fiction (Self, Hornby, AL Kennedy etc) but also a chart of who's got what in their stacks back home.

Pop music: Decks'n'drums'n'rock'n'roll


Pop music: Album round-up


The end of the American dream


The Cool Year: 1997 reviewed

They called it Cool Britannia and it seemed triumphantly summed up by Stella's trouncing of the Parisian couturiers. But was it all a load of BritHype, and if so, asks Oliver Bennett, who was really the coolest person of 1997?

Pop: Not our Sunday best

The Sundays Manchester University


Real Life has five pairs of tickets to give away, each pair worth pounds 78, for the biggest and best party of New Year's Eve - the Essential New Year's Eve at the Palace.

Clubs: Say hello, wave goodbye

It's still a couple of weeks away, but if you want a good time on New Year's Eve, you'd better start looking and booking now. Here's the London Eye's guide to the biggest night of the year

Pop: Tellin' stories ... over again

The Charlatans London Docklands Arena

Rock: Wearing their art on their sleeve ...and on the wall

Tomorrow night at Brixton Academy Death In Vegas will prepare the crowds for The Chemical Brothers. Blending musical instruments, record decks and digit buttons, their live dance set has been packing it in since the release of their debut album, Dead Elvis. The secret is their constant stream of super-8 projections, large neon signs and cinematic soundscapes which add visual spice to the tweaking of mixers and changing of records.
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