Pop preview: Apr 14-20

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, on tour | Camden Crawl, London | CocoRosie, London | Feist, on tour

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
On tour

After a brief, puzzling period which they spent as a skiffle band, we now find BRMC back in more familiar territory. On new album Baby 81, and upcoming single Weapon Of Choice, they produce the big-riffing guitar sound of their self-titled debut and follow-up, distilling the great music and attitudes of rock'n'roll records past. The fact remains, however, that if rock'n'roll was medical science, while other bands would by now have developed the vaccine, Black Rebel are still working out which end is which on the cow.

· ABC, Glasgow, Sat 14; Ritz, Manchester, Sun 15; Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, Tue 17; Astoria, WC2, Wed 18; Fopp, NW1, Fri 20

Camden Crawl

Though its location harks back to indie days of old, the Camden Crawl is in fact an event that aims to drag you into the future. Now modified into a more civilised form (a two-day saunter around venues in NW1) from its old format (a one-night stampede with intermittent queuing), it's a better way to see a variety of up-and-coming bands. There's no shortage of older turns here - Malcolm Middleton for one - but among the recently-arrived, Scott Matthews provides the acceptable face of singer-songwriting, the Whip bring a Fatboy Slim-sponsored punk funk, while high points elsewhere come from Blood Red Shoes, Foals, Bonde Do Role (the new CSS), and Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.

· Various venues, NW1, Thu 19 & Fri 20


If the last three years have seen the weird turn pro, then CocoRosie must surely be the next band to lose their amateur status. Emerging in the same wave of moderately freaky folky acts like Devendra Banhart and Antony And The Johnsons, sisters Sierra and Bianca Cassady have spent the intervening years, if not exactly storming the castle gates like their contemporaries, then at least hurling rocks at the battlements. In this they've been aided by their more famous friends - Antony has guested before and guests again on the band's current album, The Adventures Of Ghosthorse And Stillborn - but really, you have to wonder if acceptance is what this pair want. Makers of spooky music that owes something to both hip-hop and opera, this is a group defined by the margins as well as resident on them. If you can't feel the music, you have to admire the courage of their stand.

· Shepherd's Bush Empire, W12, Sun 15

On tour

For several years a part of the many-headed Canadian band/collective Broken Social Scene, it is, however, as a solo act that Leslie Feist looks destined to make her most significant impact. With a background not just in BSS's occasionally frazzled rock, but also on the fringes of avant garde hip-hop - she is friend and collaborator with Chilli "worst MC" Gonzalez, has played with Peaches and is mates with Mocky. Indeed, Feist's own work resides nicely between the latter two. A bit like Joan As Police Woman, Feist is someone you could see as the acceptable face of mildly eccentric coffee table music. A writer of immediately accessible, but still slightly odd pop songs, her material is at least as tuneful as it is quirky and domestic, and her new album The Reminder (her third) provides an ample reminder of her talent in this potentially hazardous field. Definitely worth investigating.

· Komedia, Brighton, Mon 16; Shepherd's Bush Empire, W12, Tue 17


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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