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Out with the old, in with the new. You join us in a vast sports stadium in the centre of Paris, where 14,000 French kids have gathered to witness the unexpectedly fantastic swansong that is The Smashing Pumpkins' final tour. As Billy Corgan and, ahem, friends bid au revoir to Paris for the last time, though, a question: with rock's ambitious old guard hanging up their velvet capes for good, who's going to save us now?

Before the Pumpkins even make it to the stage, we may have found our answer. The band are Sunna, and they come with an impressive CV. Fresh from supporting soulmates A Perfect Circle in the States, hand-picked to open for the Pumpkins all over Europe, and carried from gig to gig on an MTV-stoked buzz, here's a band that are hewn straight from the monolithic face of the nu-metal zeitgeist. As they take to the stage, there's an expectant hush. But it only takes ten seconds of the serrated metal squall of 'I'm Not Trading' for Paris to strike up new allegiances, surge against the barriers, and go absolutely fucking mental.

Look closer, though, because this is only half the story. Hailing from Bristol, Sunna are signed to Massive Attack's Melankolic label. Frontman John Harris first hooked up with the croaky Bristolians when a producer invited him into the studio to lay down the walls of pitch-black guitar squall that characterised 'Mezzanine'. And undoubtedly, Sunna draw as much from Massive's gothic bluster as they do from the ranks of the Stateside rock firmament: see the slabs of brooding electronic noise spun by decksman DJ Flatline - scariest of all, on the jackhammer thud of 'Power Struggle', accompanied by a background buzz of, gother-than-goth, a sodding huge cloud of flies. Brr.

This is the sort of high seriousness that fills stadiums. It might be an anti-climax when Sunna return to England and begin a laborious trudge round the toilet venues of the nation. But they should take heart. It might not be long before the stadiums claim Sunna as their own.

Louis Pattison

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