Simmy Richman

Simmy Richman is Associate Editor of The Independent on Sunday's New Review magazine. He is also a writer and CD reviews editor for The Independent on Sunday

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Slipknot UK tour: The band is riding high in the charts - but who exactly are their fans?

The chart-topping nu metal band are touring the UK, scary masks and all. But can a newcomer appreciate their music? Simmy Richman heads for the mosh pit to try to discover their appeal
American artist Joseph Gibbons is currently being held in custody in New York after attempting to hold up a branch of the Chase One bank

Modern art? It's daylight robbery

Though it’s only open to British artists, and they don’t announce the shortlist until May, they might as well call off this year’s Turner Prize and give an honorary award to an American called Joseph Gibbons.

The title of the latest The Decemberists album proved strangely helpful when it came to the writing of this week’s column

After a grim week, some stories to add light to the shade

It has become inevitable that in any week when the news is bleak, newspaper writers who add light to the shade will be castigated by below-the-line commenters. "How can you talk about X in a week when W happened?" they invariably ask. Fair enough. We're a thick-skinned bunch, and in these social-media days everyone's entitled to (and can vent) their opinion.

End of the line: the main entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, in the village of Brzezinka, Poland

70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation: 'Why I had to visit this monstrous memorial'

Simmy Richman, who had long believed that visits to the concentration camp were little more than macabre tourism, took a journey that he never thought he'd take
Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay's Chris Martin “consciously uncoupled” in March

My best and worst stories of 2014

With this column having been in existence for a smidgen more than 12 months now, it seems right to use the rapidly approaching year's end as an excuse to round up and celebrate some of its more, ahem, memorable people and events.

The first Christmas card: in 1843 the inventor Sir Henry Cole commissioned the artist John Callcott Horsley to draw a card for him to send to family and friends

Hold your temperance: New life for the first Christmas card

It is possible that you are familiar with the story of the first Christmas card. In case not: in 1843 the inventor Sir Henry Cole commissioned the artist John Callcott Horsley to draw a card for him to send to family and friends. The result proved controversial because the British Association for the Promotion of Temperance had just been established and the card depicted a young girl eagerly downing a glass of wine.

Giles Coren, as well as being the restaurant reviewer for The Times, is now a weekly columnist for the London listings magazine Time Out

Named and shamed: How to endear yourself to your new boss

Regular readers of this column (my eldest brother, essentially) might be forgiven for thinking that I am tiny bit obsessed with the writer and television presenter Giles Coren. This is the third time his name has appeared on this page to date, but what's a person to do when he keeps on providing such priceless material?

Enrique Iglesias performs on stage at the MTV EMAs 2014

Enrique Iglesias’s 'Bailando': Why did the global No 1 fail to trouble our top 50?

The worldwide hit crawled to No 75 in the UK chart

The pregnant woman criticised anti-abortion protesters for “making other women feel guilty” by filming outside an abortion clinic

Giving choice a voice: The story behind an internet heroine

Chances are that you will have seen by now the "Pregnant Woman Blasts Anti-Abortion Protesters Outside a Clinic in London" video. At the time of writing, it had registered almost two million views. As you might expect when something is shared in this way, the mainstream media have been climbing over each other to find out who the "pregnant woman" in question is. Sunny Hundal, the journalist who shot the footage, on the other hand, is more interested in raising awareness of the story behind his viral hit.

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

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

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

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?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'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
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

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
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

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