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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee