Pop preview: June 30-July 6

Timbaland, on tour | Air Traffic, on tour | Wu-Tang Clan, London, Manchester

On tour

Not content with the critical respect, it seems now Tim Mosley wants the spotlight, too. Whatever, he certainly can't be doing these solo, "afterparty" shows just for the money. Having produced two of the biggest singles of the last two years - Justin Timberlake's SexyBack and Nelly Furtado's Maneater - it looks rather as though Timbaland has observed the successes of producer-turned MCs like Pharrell and Kanye and thought "I'll have some of that". As he creeps closer to 40, the producer isn't shy of extending his range; professionally, it's what he's generally succeeded in doing. Having formed a hugely popular and creative professional relationship with his erstwhile schoolfriend Missy Elliott, Timbaland's trademark skittering beats became one of the defining features of mid-90s hip-hop, and since then, he's progressively made his influence felt in the wider pop world. Now, it seems, he's going to make that even bigger.

· indigO2, SE 12, Wed 4 to Jul 8

Air Traffic
On tour

A pretty challenging task, to spot a gap in the music marketplace. Air Traffic, however, have set the bar even higher for themselves by trying to find some room for manoeuvre in the narrow breathing space that exists between Coldplay and Keane. That's the picture painted by the band's current single Shooting Star: all round, an impressive, piano-led track destined to be heard over montages of athletic excellence. All a pretty innocent endeavour, you'd think, but the road from early promise to being played in mum's car can be a perilous one. Fronted by piano-playing Chris Wall, Air Traffic, however, aren't a band risking too much. With his emotive, and some might say Chris Martin-style, voice at the forefront, their Fractured Life album is the sound of a small band keeping their eyes fixed on a big prize.

· Carling Academy Liverpool, Sat 30; Club Academy, Manchester, Sun 1; ULU, WC1, Mon 2; Thekla, Bristol, Wed 4; Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, Thu 5

Wu-Tang Clan
London, Manchester

While influential groups tend to break up at the end of their useful life, the innovative Wu-Tang Clan effectively split at the start of their career. After a raw, self-mythologising debut, the Staten Island hip-hop group began to exert its influence by diverging: solo albums by Ol' Dirty Bastard, Genius, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah all contrived to extend the Wu brand through the music marketplace as their clothing did elsewhere. These live dates see the Wu fielding a strong team from the original squad, and one that's working on a new album for later in the year.

· Hammersmith Apollo, W6, Thu 5; Apollo, Manchester, Fri 6


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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