Arts and Entertainment

“Say ‘hola’ to la luna,” says Damon Albarn, turning thousands of heads towards the full moon that is casting its beautiful glow, adding to a magical atmosphere.

Album: Graham Coxon, The Spinning Top (Transgressive)

On previous solo outings, Graham Coxon's penchant for lo-fi American indie-rock and a rather solipsistic, self-pitying worldview has somewhat hobbled his ability to develop significantly as an artist.

The Five Minute Interview: Dave Rowntree, musician

Dave Rowntree, 44, is best known as the drummer from Britpop band Blur. He joined the band in 1989, playing with them throughout the 90s and early 2000s. Late last year the band ended their period of hiatus and announced a series of summer 2009 concerts. Outside of Blur, Dave is known for his political activism, his animation, and also for his involvement in the Beagle II mission to Mars. Dave is currently studying to become a solicitor and is supporting the Science: So What? So Everything campaign challenging apathy towards science. direct.gov.uk/sciencesowhat.

Stage to page: Has Luke Haines written the great pop masterpiece?

Luke Haines is the latest Britpop survivor to perpetrate a book. In memoir and fiction, musicians and writers hunt the great pop masterpiece. Jonathan Gibbs wonders if anyone ever will find it

Blur are back as Albarn and Coxon make up

Britpop group bury the hatchet seven years after guitarist quit

Alex James: It's park life, but not as you'd imagine it

Rural Notebook

Blur to reunite for gig in the park

Blur are getting back together, it was confirmed on their their website today. All four members of the band will play a concert in London's Hyde Park next summer.

Alex James: Cows are cooler than aeroplanes

Rural Notebook

Make Me A Maestro: Alex James goes to Baton Camp

As Alex James competes to become a conductor in a new BBC reality show, he and his mentor talk to John Elmes

Pandora: Guess who's coming to dinner?

Cheesemaker Alex James has pencilled in an unusual dinner guest: the Colombian Vice-President. The Blur bassist turned Independent columnist, who for years stuffed marching powder up his toot, went to the wartorn state to film a Panorama about the cocaine industry and the associated kidnappings, landmines, refugees and habitat destruction.

Open Eye: Hirst and Blur back Beagle2

Artist Damien Hirst has joined musicians from the band Blur in backing Beagle2, the Mars lander championed by Professor Colin Pillinger of the OU's Planetary Sciences Research Institute.

Lonely hearts let bridge do the trick

SO HOW do you think Radiohead and Blur pass those long hours on the tour bus? No, it's not drugs, nor sex, not even over-consumption of vodka. The lads like nothing better than a rubber of bridge.

Arts: Pop: Back on song

BLUR BBC HIPPODROME THEATRE LONDON

Open Eye: ESA gives green light to Beagle 2

The European Space Agency (ESA) has given the green light to Beagle 2, the British Mars lander vehicle being developed by a consortium led by the OU's Professor Colin Pillinger. The decision came at a meeting in Paris in November, when ESA also approved the European mission, Mars Express, which will carry Beagle 2 to the planet in 2004. Beagle's mission is to search for evidence of extra-terrestrial life, and its payload will include miniaturised scientific instruments designed and built by the Planetary Sciences Research Institute team at the OU.

Killing Britpop, then kicking the corpse

Are Blur the new Sex Pistols? Yes, if their punked-up, perversely uncommercial Newcastle gig was anything to go by; ROCK
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker