As the Britpop bonfire consumes lesser acts, Sleeper are rising Phoenix-like from the flames of fashion. Pleased To Meet You, their new album of off-kilter pop toons, will get an airing during

their upcoming national tour. First up is Barrowland, where the notoriously hard- to-please Glasgow crowd will leap about or not in judgement of the new, more mature material. Even tougher to impress will be the critics who have had a love/hate relationship with the band. ’The music press don’t know how to deal with

a woman who can speak in full sentences,

but the bottom line is that I’ve sold over 300,000 records,‘ snaps singer Louise Wener. ’Perversely the criticism has given me a lot of creative freedom. It means Sleeper don’t belong to any stupid little

ghettoised genre of music.’ Blimey. Sleeper

hit back. (Peter Ross)

Sleeper play the Barrow/and Glasgow, Sun 26 Oct, supported by Symposium. Pleased

To Meet You is out now on Indolent Records.

The International Scotch Whisky Festival

A new addition to the city of festivals, Edinburgh’s International Scotch Whisky Festival (which also embraces events in Speyside) kicks off this fortnight, a flavoursome celebration of all that’s fine about the uisge beatha and its country of origin. Beyond a wide range of whisky-based events (including competitions to find Whisky Nose Of The Year and Whisky Cocktail Of The Year) there are ceilidhs, concerts, films, comedy, club nights and more. Cheese- loving DJ Trendy Wendy (pictured) will be among your hosts at a Hallowe'en Party, which also features rock ’n' roll band The Elvises, The Cutting Edge ceilidh band and a light supper. It’s safe to assume there’ll be a wee dram or two on offer as well. (Andrew Burnet)

The International Scotch Whisky Festival runs Mon 27 Oct-Sun 2 Nov (Edinburgh) and Mon 27-Wed 29 Oct (Speyside). The Hallowe’en Party is at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, Fri 37 Oct.

Tango Pasion

’The tango is the eternal battleground between a man and a woman. It is the definitive act of love.’ Thus spake Hector Zaraspe, choreographer of the smouldering Tango Pasidn, which makes its UK debut in Edinburgh this fortnight. Born in the brothels of Buenos Aires, this most sensual of dance- forms has become Argentina’s main cultural export. It's even achieved a slightly disappointing respectability: several of the company’s seven pairs of dancing partners are in fact married. It’s a hot hot hot show, nonetheless, rendered all the more sassy by music from El Sexteto Mayor, which we’re told is the best tango orchestra in the world. As The Washington Post put it, 'history not so much told as relived’. (Andrew Burnet)

Tango Pasidn is at Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Tue 28 Oct-Sat 7 Nov.

All the best

The events bound to tickle your fancy this fortnigrt.

at, :m (I '7', ' '

Film: LA. Confidential Beneath the glitzy surface of 505 Los Angeles - city of angels and home of Hollywood lies a sewer of crime and corruption. James Ellroy’s novel becomes the best American film of the year, with a magnificent cast including Kim Basinger and Kevin Spacey. See feature, page 14 and revrew, page 24. General release from Fri 37 Oct.

Music: Super Furry Animals The bloody-minded Welshmen finally storm Scotland after postponing their October gigs. They come armed with material from Radiator, one of this year's best albums. See preview, page 39. Edinburgh: Jaffa Cake, Tue 4 Nov. Glasgow: Garage, Wed 5 Nov.

Comedy: Sean Hughes - Alibis For Life The Irish comic and pop quiz panellist, who found fame through fey and fluffy hilarity, is back with a critically-acclaimed narrative show. Alibis For Life reveals a darker side to Hughes as he deals with sex and death in gritty style. Still funny, but. See preview, page 39. Glasgow: Cottier Theatre, Thu 23 Oct, Musselburgh‘ Brunton Theatre, Fri 24 Oct.

Music: Peter Grimes Scottish Opera’s revival of Benjamin Britten's masterpiece about a fisherman hounded by his neighbours after the death of his boy apprentice, is the company's most dramatic production for years. An eerie atmosphere of suspicion and hypocrisy filters through the music. Glasgow: Theatre Royal, Sat 25, Tue 28 8: Thu 30. Edinburgh: Festival Theatre, Thu 6 Nov.

Art: Roger Ackling Scorching art from the creator whose raw materials are the sun, a magnifying glass and pieces of driftwood. Edinburgh: Royal Botanic Garden, until Sur‘ 30 Nov

' Video game: Tomb Raider 2 As the

human i8<0 of Lara Croft gets the elbow in the countdown to the game’s launch, we ask what a digital woman can do that the real thing can't. See Scanner preview, page 96 Tomb Raider 2

(PC/Plays ta tron) IS released on Fri 27 Nov, £44.99.

24 Oct-6 Nov 1997 THE U3T3