Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Her Majesty’s Theatre, London

“It’s a tiny bit weird standing up here in this theatre,” says Nick Cave. Usually home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-hit musical The Phantom of the Opera, the ornate theatre is, however, a suitable stage for the Brighton-dwelling Australian, rock’s most dramatic storyteller and a theatrical frontman who embodies every word that he sings.

From Hot Chip (pictured) to Conor Oberst, the gigs organised by online fan campaigns

From Hot Chip to Conor Oberst, the gigs organised by online fan campaigns

Frustrated that your favourite band never plays near you? Now, says Elisa Bray, you have the power to make it happen

Jamie Lidell appears to have settled into a new, comfortable place

Jamie Lidell: soul man turns the page

Jamie Lidell's latest album is feel-good and funky, and reflects a growing optimism. It's all down to his new wife, the singer tells Elisa Bray

He will still rock you: Queen's Freddie Mercury

Online music archives: Net gains for those who love rare rockers

There are sites full of undiscovered gems emerging online all the time

Ed Harcourt will play Bush Hall on 16 December and The Bull and Gate on 31 December

Ed Harcourt, Cecil Sharp House, London

“Does anyone want to hear another love song? Because I’ve got lots”, quips Ed Harcourt.

Sharon Van Etten, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

There aren’t many artists who, when a fan sneezes halfway through a heartfelt torch song, the crowd transfixed, can pause to say “Bless you!” into the microphone, and instantly resume where they left off, recapturing the song and its all-enveloping mood. But Sharon Van Etten can.

Elizabeth McGovern: 'It never was Cora suddenly being in the band, it was this person in a band suddenly being Cora.'

Countess Cora: a rock chick at heart

She's well-known as the refined lady of Downton Abbey, but Elizabeth McGovern has a wilder side. She talks to Elisa Bray about her alter ego Sadie and her passion for music

Eno pictures paint 1,000 words

The brief? To take photos, perhaps from the window of the room where fans were listening to Brian Eno's latest album LUX, as the light of their day changed.

How the Horrors helped Rachel Zeffira blossom

She was about to be an opera singer –and then Rachel Zeffira was deported. So how did she wind up in a baroque-pop outfit that set her up for solo stardom? She tells Elisa Bray

Rihanna review: blatant advertising on the 777 Tour

Three songs into her set, Rihanna hollers with shameless gusto as she brandishes a mobile phone: “Everybody say HTC! Say Budweiser! River Island!” So this is what pop stars have become a vehicle for: blatant advertising.

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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness