The unmissable sounds of classical, jazz, folk and rock

I Dle Walkllre Much excitement surrounded Scottish Opera's first instalment of Wagner's Ring Cycle at last year's International Festival. Die Wa/kUre (Festival) Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 473 2000. 23 Aug—7 Sep, 5pm, 5650—555.

I La Bottlne Sourlante The world-renowned Quebecors nine~ piece shake up their regional traditions with Latin. Celtic and salsa influences. not to mention the talents of foot percussionist Michel Bordeleau. La Bottine Sour/ante (Fringe) Queen's Hall, 668 2079, 20 Aug, 8.30pm, 2 75 (E 72).

I The Bhundu Boys The original world music pioneers will have you on the dancefloor.

The Bhundu Boys (Fringe) Gilded Balloon at Tevrot Row House, 650 4403. 3-9 Aug, 7 7.30pm; 73 Aug, 7am, £9 (£8).

I Vltal Informatlon If the dreaded f-word fusion. that is causes you to feel distinct ennui. check out this latest version of drummer Steve Smith's long running band. Crisp. fresh and imaginative. Vital information (Jazz Fest) Queen ’3 Hall, 668 2079. 29 Jul, 8pm, £7 750—27 5.50 (£6).

I Davld Murray’s Mblzo Exclusive UK date for saxophone giant David Murray and his thirteen-strong Mbizo. David Murray 's Mbizo (Jazz Fest) Queen's Hall, 668 2079, 7 Aug, 8pm, 27260—27850 (£6).

I Supergrass Topping the T on the Fringe line-up. Oxford's finest play their only Scottish date of the year. Supergrass (Fringe) Corn Exchange, 339 8383, 23 Aug, 7.30pm, £7 5.

I Frank Black And The Cathollcs The former Pixies frontman shows no signs of slowing up. Frank Black And The Catholics (Fringe) Liquid Room, 339 8383, 6 Aug, 7. 300m, £.‘ 72. I The Avalanches With more samples than a sperm bank. this Australian phenomena are gaining momentum. The Avalanches (Fringe) Liquid Room, 339 8383. 75 Aug, 7.30pm, £72.

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No longer the poor relation, contemporary music has come into its own thanks to T on the Fringe and Planet Pop. Words: Doug Johnstone

or a stupidly long time. there was one glaring omission from the cornucopia of events across a myriad of Edinburgh Festivals: contemporary music. While theatre and comedy junkies have been spoilt for choice in past years. fans of new music have always had to scrape about in the nether regions of the

listings for one-off events or mistaken bookings of


There have been attempts to rectify this sorry state of affairs. most notably the Flux Festival. which ran from 1996 for three years. But while the organisers of that event had admirably eclectic ambition. their line-ups were patchy and too often missed the mark.

This year. though. things are very different. with two separate and distinct mini-fests bringing a host of quality music to the Festival party. T on the Fringe launched last year. and with the serious muscle of Tennents as sponsors. this year's line-up shows it consolidating its position as an organisation with serious intentions. Putting on gigs in both the Corn Exchange and the more intimate Liquid Rooms. T on the Fringe acts include the likes of Supergrass. Space and The Bluetones.

It‘s not just blokes with guitars though. In the twenty-odd gigs scattered across the whole of Augtist there‘s a refreshing variety on show. Among the diverse highlights is a rare show by The Avalanches.

this year‘s feelgood dance sensations. laid-back hip hop from Michael Franti and Spearhead and countrilied rock from London‘s Lowgold.

The second music festival has considerably less financial clout. but has grown up from humble origins to become a full-fledged and important addition to the festival scene. Since its launch in 19%. Planet Pop has been combining established international talent with the best undiscovered homegrown artists. This year the excellent little festival comes of age.

Among the highlights of the

Planet Pop line-up are such

critically acclaimed outfits as

Texan guitar manglers And You

Will Know Us By The Trail Of

Dead. Gothic country beauty

from Sparklehorse and a visit by

ex-Pavement frontman Stephen

Malkmus. As well as a handful of

well chosen gigs at Gaia. Planet Pop is putting on a whole host of stuff at the Venue.

Best of all. it's organised six free entry shows of unsigned Scottish talent. which include welcome appearances from the promising likes of Ballboy. Sputnik's Down and Huckleberry. So if. as will surely be the case. you're sick to the back teeth of crap stand-up by about the second day of the Fringe. you could do a damn sight worse than check out some of the top class music on show. You're allowed to enjoy the Festival. you know.