Bands looking good for 2006

COLIN WILSON Colin Wilson looks ahead at the bands and artists likely to be big contenders in the next 12 months.


A look ahead at the bands and artists likely to be big contenders in the next 12 months.

t Arctic Monkeys: Already the proud owners of a number one UK hit, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, Sheffield's Arctic Monkeys are certain to be at the forefront of UK bands with the release of their debut album in the early spring of 2006. The band play the UEA, Norwich, on February 9 as part of the sold-out NME Awards Tour 2006.

t The Automatic: The hottest new guitar band out of Wales, these four teenagers from Cowbridge have a fresh take on mixing dance and punk sensibilities with a passing nod to Eighties' pop and indie.

t Corrine Bailey Rae: A stellar new voice in popular music, Corrine from Leeds has the talent to cut through a wide range of musical styles, from classic singer-songwriter to contemporary urban.

t Be Your Own Pet These: Nashville teens cook up a high-octane brew that recalls the smart punk attitude of such bands as Blondie and Television. Lead singer Jemina Pearl is already one of the hottest debutants in modern rock.

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t Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: A five-piece band from Brooklyn whose debut DIY record caused plenty of ears to prick up. The band who toured the UK in November, trade in melodic, exuberant indie rock. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah play the Waterfront, Norwich on February 9 (01603 508050 or

t Dirty Pretty Things: The Libertines' Carl Barat unleashes his latest band in 2006. DPT also features Anthony Rossomando who filled in as guitarist following Pete Doherty's departure from the Libertines and Libertine drummer Gary Powell as well as former Cooper Temple Clause bass player Didz Hammond.

t Field Music: From the same North East scene that spawned the Futureheads and Maximo Park, Field Music comprises a core of three members and an ever-shifting crew of local luminaries plus a whole raft of disparate influences which make up some of the most distinctive pop we're likely to hear in 2006.

t Guillemots: Championed by the likes of Rufus Wainwright, this four-piece band have made an immense splash with their first two indie-label releases. Guillemots feature a veritable United Nations of a line-up - the band's members are from as far afield as Birmingham, Brazil, Canada and Scotland.

t The Long Blondes: Along with the Artic Monkeys, The Long Blondes are very much spearheading the re-birth of Sheffield as one of the UK's great musical centres. The five-piece group - three girls and two boys - are set to make a considerable noise in the coming year.

t Mystery Jets: The Mystery Jets are the only band based on Eel Pie Island in the River Thames and one of the very few to feature a father and son in the line-up. British pop at its most invigoratingly weird - think Syd Barrett meets Dexy's with a touch of Can.

t The Pipettes: Three girls in polka dot dresses with an all-boy backing band called the Cassettes and a brilliant line in catchy doo-wop songs about boys in school uniforms! Brighton's Pipettes revive the idea of Fifties' harmony pop.

t Protocol: London-based five-piece band with their own distinctive vision of blistering 21st-century pop. They certainly aren't shy about their mission to make pure pop credible and exciting.

t Spinto Band: America's six-member Spinto Band made considerable waves in the UK earlier this year, a reputation certain to be consolidated in the next 12 months. The band's indie-pop sensibility is reinforced by a formidable ability to rock out.