* IT’s for good reason The Noisettes have been described as the best live band in Britain.

London’s original odd couple Dan Smith and Shingai Shoniwa, right, make a scorching spectacle, playing spangly pop with added fizz.

On Monday they begin their UK tour to promote new album Contact, starting at the O2 Academy Oxford.

Expect chart smashes like Never Forget You and Don’t Upset the Rhythm, delivered with verve.

An eccentric artist and accomplished circus performer, Shingai thinks nothing of diving into the audience with her guitar, or singing while clinging to a ladder suspended from the ceiling. “We always go that extra mile to give the crowd a night they’ll never forget,” she says.

“We’re really excited because we’ve done so many huge shows in the last year, but wanted to go back to some of the more intimate venues that we love – venues where people can see you from head to toe, see all the cables sticking out of the amps and where people can really hear all of the dynamics.”

Tickets are £15.75 from ticketweb.co.uk


* DESCRIBED by critics as an acoustic Radiohead, Punch Brothers are an endlessly fascinating live act, combing elements of indie-rock, folk, jazz, bluegrass, and classical music. The New York band, formed by mandolinist Chris Thile, rock up at the O2 Academy Oxford tomorrow, for a diverse night of music.

As well as winning over audiences in the Big Apple, Thile and his virtuoso bandmates have gone down a storm on US TV’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman. Come and see your pop preconceptions challenged to the max. Tickets are £16.87 from ticketweb.co.uk * ENJOY a day of great music while doing your bit for those less fortunate on Saturday, by supporting Audiscope.

The all-dayer, which raises money for the homelessness charity Shelter, is headlined by Damo Suzuki, with sets by Arbouretum and Warm Digits Also playing are Land Observations, Alright the Captain, Baltic Fleet, Listing Ships, Message to Bears, Laura Moody, Dethscalator, and the incredible Gunning for Tamar.

The music runs from 1pm to midnight. Tickets are amazing value at just £12 from wegottickets.com * For reviews of the past week’s big shows by alt-J, The Proclaimers and Mystery Jets go to oxfordmail.co.uk/theguide.