Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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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.

Rihanna, The Forum, London

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.

I Am Kloot - In from the shadows

Underrated and enigmatic, I Am Kloot are finally on the rise. Elisa Bray meets them

Deep soul: Kristina Train

Kristina Train: The singer who came back from the brink

After a first-album flop, a divorce and a death, the jazz-pop singer had to reinvent herself. Her new recording reflects that journey, she tells Elisa Bray

Natasha Khan during London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012

Bat for Lashes: Out of hell and back on top

Heartbreak and loneliness made Bat for Lashes' new album her most personal yet, Natasha Khan tells Elisa Bray

Rachel Zeffira, St Andrews, Holborn, London

There could be no more arresting an opening to a gig. As the audience faced the orchestra, awaiting the arrival of the Canadian soprano and multi-instrumentalist composer Rachel Zeffira, a beautiful sound erupted from behind, sending heads turning in the opposite direction.

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The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
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Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam