Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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Matt Bellamy of rock band Muse

Review: Muse, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Stadiums and festival main stages are Muse’s typical performing spaces – in May, they embark on their biggest stadium tour yet – but at tonight’s special concert for War Child, they play to just 2,000 people.

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

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In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

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A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
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'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
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Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
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Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'