See more at Wireless...

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Ross Purdie | 19 June 2006

Festivals are usually sold on headliners and the series of outdoor shows making up this year's Wireless Festival in London and Leeds will be no different. The Strokes, Massive Attack, James Blunt, Flaming Lips, The Who, Depeche Mode, and David Gray are just a few of the huge names on show.

Tickets are still available to buy here.

But look lower down the lineup and you'll find some cracking emerging talent you should also be checking out. With no 5pm World Cup games this week, it's time to tear yourself away from the TV and get down to Wireless earlydoors to sample some of the more interesting artists footing up the bill. Below is our top 10 for the London gigs....

Pigeon Detectives
Wednesday, 21 June. XFM Stage

With Carl and Pete’s current incarnations demonstrating just how average they are without each other, it’s suddenly alright to rip off heyday Libertines again, especially when ratcheted up with choruses large enough to knock out pain embracers, The Cribs - who Pigeon Detectives also sound rather akin to.

Gogol Bordello
Wednesday, 21 June. Main Stage

Anarchy in the Ukraine! Gypsy punk mayhem that’s like Borat singing the Sex Pistols at a drunken Kurdish wedding. Described once as ‘the United Nations in a mosh pit’, there’s enough irony to sink the White House while this truly unique live experience makes a night watching The Darkness about as exciting as The Vagina Monologues.

Two Gallants
Thursday, 22 June. XFM Stage

Gritty folk-punk duo from San Francisco that howl equally of hope and despair over cacophonies of drums and guitars. Like Springsteen and Dylan having a whisky fuelled slagging match in a mid-western hick bar, Two Gallants will pull you down to their gutter level without asking – and you’ll be all the happier to be face down in it.

Thursday, 22 June. Main Stage

Slick and swooning indie pop combining male and female vocals that everyone seems to have been waiting around for a debut album from for ages. Often sound a bit too much like Keane but the gorgeous ‘Frontline’ is worth holding out for alone. 

Friday, 23 June. XFM Stage
A band with beautiful songs and a themed film to accompany every single one of them live. Favourites of The Flaming Lips and with obvious Neil Young affections, Midlake exist in that rare space of being uniquely now and timeless at the same time.

Les Incompetents
Friday, 23 June. MySpace/Fender Stage
Public school-inspired agit indie that leers towards Art Brut-style rambling while maintaining the cool of The Coral. Loads of fun and perfectly fit for festivals, if you’re looking for riproaring and ramshackle scuzz pop then look no further.

Friday, 23 June. Main Stage
Canada’s most hyped band since the Arcade Fire, Metric are a glitzy slice of hook-filled, experimental pop fronted by the beautiful Emily Haines, this decade’s new and improved Kim Deal, who've already made one of the songs of 2006 in ‘Monster Hospital’. Worth going early for if nothing else for Emily’s power moshing! (Also playing on the Main Stage at Leeds on the Saturday.)

Friday, 23 June. MySpace/Fender Stage
One of Glastonbury’s new bands finds, Blackbud are talented musicians with a depth in sound covering everything from Led Zepellin to The Zutons. Emotive songs and good variation, the Wiltshire three-piece are, however, prone to some serious fret wankery at times.

Killa Kela
Saturday, 24 June. XFM Stage
Seen that ad for Fruit Pastilles with the kid and the beatboxer? Well that’s Killa Kela and you can see him doing far more than the ‘boom, boom, teesh’ repetitions he performs there. The guy’s a genius and will have you utterly gobsmacked and arguing with your mate about whether he’s really doing it or not. He is.

Sunday, 25 June. XFM Stage

One of many musical maniacs hailing from Iceland, Ghostdigital boast a chaotic chant-along that squeals and rumbles with electro madness. Last time we saw this band the lead singer brought his seven-year-old son into the fray to smash drums and play tunelessly on keyboards! The sense of humour is obvious, from the wild stage show to their Iceland-inspired album title, ‘In Cod We Trust’.   

Stage times won't be known until the day but acts start at 4pm on weekdays and 3pm on the weekend. Wireless takes place in London's Hyde Park from 21-25 June. Click on the links below for more. 

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