Virtuoso Kings of Prog Pop

London Lite, the free newspaper, had an interesting review last week of Muse's 2006 UK tour..

London Lite
EVERY now and then during festival season a band plays a career-defining set, a performance that elevates them from second division hopefuls to permiership contenders.

Such events include Pulp at Glastonbury in 1995 and Radiohead in 1997, Muse in Reading can now be added to the list, after the Devonian three-piece confirmed their transition from hopeless Radiohead wannabes to proper monsters of preposterous rock.

It is impossible to overstate how rubbish Muse once were. Their first two albums after Showbiz and Origin Of Symmetry were great formless masses of electro trickery and camp singing, with little resembling a decent tune.

Then, three years ago, came Absolution, a decent, magical take on prog pop that not only overflowed with ideas and invention but was also laden with great melodies and hooks. I went to see them in Milan and also at the Brits and did a 180-degree turnaround - they were spectacular live and, improbably given my previous antipathy to them, I became a huge fan.

The lead singer Matt Bellamy may be about the same size as Kylie but is a virtuoso onstage, switching btween guitars, keyboards and grand piano - often during the same song. He's also a great pop star. He's a conspiracy theory nutter who believes that the Queen might be a lizard alien. Yes, really. We need more pop stars like this. The Muse live show being unvelied at Wembley tonight is likely to be stupendous. Not for these three (Bellamy, Dominic Howard, drums, Chris Wolstenholme, bass) any concerns about global-warming issues. There'll be more lights than Oxford Street at Christmas and a set that has taken more than two days to erect. It will, in short, be one of the rock events of the year.