Elisa Bray

Elisa Bray is The Independent's Rock & Pop Editor

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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.

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

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Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there