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    Watch Katy B's New 'Movement' Video

    In 2008, Kathleen Brien enrolled at London's prestigious Goldsmiths College to study music, following in the footsteps of alumni like Malcolm McLaren, Blur's Alex James, and Graham Coxon. Goldsmiths is famed for its avant-garde approach, but Brien, who had spent the previous four years alongside Adele at the performing-arts pop factory that is the Brit School, thought she knew what to expect. She was wrong. "At the Brit, I was performing Beatles songs," the singer recalls, flopping onto a couch after a three-hour photo shoot. "My first day at Goldsmiths, they showed us a film of people hanging themselves from hooks in the ceiling. Then they told us to write a song about it. Man, it was brutal." Perhaps, but it did help foster a fertile imagination, and today, Brien, now Katy B, is one of the U.K.'s brightest young stars.

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    Words of Wisdom: PJ Harvey

    On this chilly February morning, Polly Jean Harvey walks into a fairly clinical West London hotel conference room with a steady and all too palpable reluctance. Tiny and birdlike, and dressed entirely in black, she conjures up a smile that lasts less than a second, then folds herself neatly into her chair, chin tucked into her chest, eyes downcast. Unlike so many other modern artists, PJ Harvey is a throwback to another time, someone who would rather leave most things unsaid. So, no, she doesn't tweet. The very fact that she must occasionally break her silence -- invariably on the occasion of a new album -- disconcerts her greatly. "I do find it difficult talking about my music," she admits, carefully pouring herself a glass of water from the bottle in front of her but neglecting to drink from it. "Many artists do. The work, you see, is already done. There it is.

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    PJ Harvey Delivers Chilling, Gripping London Set

    It wasn't until the encore that PJ Harvey finally spoke. "Thank you," she said, leaning hesitantly towards the microphone onstage at London's Troxy, playing the first live show behind her new album, Let England Shake. "Thank you very much." The response this provoked from the 1,200-strong crowd was one of palpable relief: At last, the ghostly presence of the past 90 minutes felt tangibly real. If, before this, the 40-year-old singer had remained notably detached from her audience, both spiritually and physically, then this was entirely deliberate.

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    Atari Teenage Riot Reunite in London

    There are at least two things you should never take to an Atari Teenage Riot show. The first is a sensitive disposition, because ATR are to subtlety what Rage Against The Machine are to anger management, and the second is a headache. The headache can only get worse. Formed in Berlin in 1992 around the nucleus of future Beastie Boyscollaborator Alec Empire, Atari Teenage Riot were early pioneers of the kind of soundclashthat would influence everything from Riot Grrrl (their twosingers were both female, an anomaly in techno back then) to M.I.A.'sdistorted beats.

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    Evanescence Offshoot Debuts New Songs Live

    We Are the Fallen chose to debut new songs Tuesday night in a tiny London, England, student union before barely 200 people, the vast majority of them male, comfortably over 30, and as fond of leather and tattoos as they are of extended axe solos. You may remember that We Are the Fallen is made up of the original members of multi-platinum Arkansas goth rockers Evanescence, minus singer and co-songwriter Amy Lee, who split with her bandmates over creative differences and continued Evanescence with new players. Carly Smithson, a 2008 American Idol finalist, fronts We Are the Fallen. Other than the addition of Smithson, We Are the Fallen seems to be continuing business pretty much as usual.

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    Lily Allen, Paramore, Muse Win at NME Awards

    A week after the Brit Awards confirmed Lady Gaga as the best new pop star of the year, Wednesday night's NME Awards bestowed her merely with Best Dressed and, presumably for the sake of sheer willfulness, Worst Dressed as well. But then the NME Awards, voted by its readers, have always been about rock'n'roll, and 2010 was no different. On a soaking wet London evening at the Brixton Acadamy, Jarvis Cocker, the former Pulp frontman -- who, at 46, is old enough to have fathered many of the winners -- made for a wonderfully deadpan host, leading the crowd into a version of the U.K. TV gameshow Catchphrase before Lily Allen and Slash came on to bestow Muse with the first award of the night, Best British Band. It was, predictably, a determinedly anglophile evening. Londoner Jamie T, a kind of male Lily Allen, triumphed over Julian Casablancas for Best Solo Artist.

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    Hole Play First Concert in a Decade!

    Courtney Love strides onto the stage at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire Wednesday night dressed like a dishevelled prom queen, and launches her band Hole straight into a raucous version of the Rolling Stones' Sympathy For The Devil. It's the first show for one of rock's leading female lights, who has formed a new version of her band and is preparing to release a record, Nobody's Daughter, in late April. Love, now 45, is the only original Hole member left, and though the new recruits -- all guys -- have names and ages and idiosyncrasies of their own, it's difficult to remember them, and you are not entirely convinced you even have to bother.

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    Breaking Out: The Heavy

    Two years ago, something finally went right for the Heavy. After almost a decade of inexplicable U.K. indifference to their swaggering garage rock and sweaty R&B, the then-intermittently gigging quartet found an appreciative audience -- 5,000 miles from their tiny hometown of Noid, England -- when the band was invited to Austin, Texas, for the South by Southwest festival. Three raucous shows later -- including one with MGMT at a Playboy party -- the band knew they had found a safe haven. A U.S. record deal soon followed. "That was pretty special," admits singer Kelvin Swaby, 36, sitting alongside guitarist Daniel Taylor, 35, bassist Spencer Page, 26, and drummer Chris Ellul, 27, in a posh central London bar.

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    Hot New Band: Fight Like Apes

    In a corner of a dilapidated southeast London bar, two members of Dublin's Fight Like Apes sit on a low sofa with their legs pressed primly together. She is a Siouxsie Sioux acolyte, all goth hair and Elvira cheekbones, while he is the archetypal geek: lank haired, unshaven, and full of arcane B-movie references. "In the flesh, we are pretty ordinary, I'm afraid," synth player Jamie Fox admits in his strong accent, "but we come alive in our music. I wouldn't like to say alcohol helps..." "But it helps a lot," singer MayKay Geraghty adds. "We like to be drunk." Fox, 24, and Geraghty, 22, met seven years ago on vacation in Spain and instantly bonded. She introduced him to cheesy TV shows like Beverly Hills, 90210; he played her his cherished Pavement albums.

  • Paul Weller / Photo by Lawrence Watson

    The SPIN Interview: Paul Weller

    As frontman for the Jam and later the Style Council, Paul Weller has been an uncompromising face of British rock for three decades. "I've considered retiring after almost every record I've made lately," he says. "This one is different." Eyes hidden behind wraparound shades, Paul Weller strides through the dark hotel lobby in his habitual fashion, dressed way above what this ostensibly casual occasion demands, in a fine woolen T-shirt, freshly pressed trousers, and a pair of two-tone shoes Al Capone would have approved of. His tan is more redolent of South Beach than southern Yorkshire, which is where he is this May evening—in Sheffield, to be precise—on the latest date of his U.K. tour.

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