The custodian of the Underworld is someone you don’t dis. Equally hard to ignore is James Woods’ inspired vocal performance as the villainous mischief-maker in Disney studios’ excellent new animated feature Hercules. The film is packed with excitement, adventure, jokes and romance you know, for kids but also offers allusion-spotting for those who fancy themselves as classical scholars. Olympic fun and games all round, in fact. See review, page 26. (Andrew Burnet)

Hercules is on general release from Fri 70 Oct.

2THEUST10—23 Oct 1997

Look! It’s a serious gig! At Barrowland, home of real rock‘ groups! Who’d have thought Robbie Williams would beat Gary Barlow and Mark Owen onto the 'proper' gig circuit with his bona fide band and his non-bubblegum

material? Gary may yet

trash him in the event of a commercial showdown,

but Robbie’s debut album

Life Thru A Lens is a more convincing departure

from his past, with a bit

of everything thrown into

the mix. However,

Cheeky Spice still knows

his audience he may be playing a grown-up \‘ venue, but it’s strictly

fizzy pop for the under-18s. (Fiona Shepherd)

Robbie Williams plays Barrow/and, Glasgow on Fri 70 Oct, supported by The Supernatura/s. Life Thru A Lens is out now on Chrysalis.

Murray Lachlan Young

The Anglo-Scottish performance poet caused much in the way of spluttering earlier this year when it was revealed that he had signed to EMI for {1.1 million instead of starving in his windswept garret like any responsible poet. Still, it did produce memorable headlines such as ’From one-night stanzas to £1 m. Could do verse’. All grist to the publicity mill but distracting from what Mr Young does best: creating witty, sarcastic poems that castigate the folly of the glamorous and vain. A book of his poetry has just been published. It's called Casual Sex And Other Verse and it’s very good. Buy it. (Jonathan Trew)

Casual Sex is published by Bantam on Thu 9 Oct at E 7. 99.