Arts and Entertainment

You may be wondering, with his former protégé Plan B at the top of his game, why we still need Mike Skinner, a previous generation's white British social-realist rapper. The fact is that, while Ben Drew's forte is surveying the bigger political picture, few songwriters around can zoom in and focus on fine detail as skilfully as Skinner.

Human story: Anthony Quinn

The Streets, By Anthony Quinn

A thrilling story of deprivation that shows off the bravura versatility of its author

Beck's website: Song reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012

Beck's new album to be released in sheet-music form

For some music fans, digital MP3 files aren't a patch on old-fashioned vinyl. But now the singer-songwriter Beck is delving further into the past by releasing an album that will be published entirely as individual pieces of sheet music.

Beastie Boys' founder 'MCA' Adam Yauch dies age 47

Adam Yauch, the gravelly voiced Beastie Boys rapper and the most conscientious member of the seminal hip-hop group, has died, his mentor Russell Simmons said tonight. He was 47.

Jamie Hewlett-designed Chuck Taylor shoes

Trending: Are Gorillaz really 'selling their soles'?

This week, an all-star line-up of three of the best acts of the 21st century (or parts of them, at least) will team up for a new collaboration. It's not for a Brits spectacular, but for a track called "Do Ya Thing" featuring Gorillaz, LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and OutKast's André 3000, and funded, and given away by, Nike-owned Converse.

We Love: Chucky Ts - The cartoon band Gorillaz were an obvious choice for a new collaboration with Converse, which sees Murdoc and co. decorating four styles of the canvas high-top shoe. From £45, converse.com

The Fashion Audit: Chucky Ts, Anklets and Bobble Hats

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for....

Album: Gotye, Making Mirrors (Communion / Island)

Anyone coming to Gotye's third album via twinkling torch-song-cum-YouTube-phenomenon "Somebody That I Used to Know" may be surprised, then disappointed.

Heavy D at at the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta last month

Heavy D: Rapper and actor best known for the crossover hit 'Now That We Found Love'

From The Fat Boys to Notorious B.I.G. via Fat Joe and Big Pun, many hip-hop performers have opted for a nom de rap that makes the most of their considerable size.

Science of Speech, Hammersmith Apollo, London

When this show was announced in February, it looked like New York hip-hop was making a stand against today's questionable customisation of the genre or someone had worked out a way to neatly cash in on the legendary reputations of two groups and an MC who've each carved a credible niche in music history. Rakim, for instance, has been every rapper's favourite rapper for the last 25 years, responsible for inspiring lyricists to move beyond pre-school wordplay in favour of more complex rhyme schemes and metaphors. Tonight, he's a respectful warm-up performer, cooly reeling off classics like "Paid in Full" and "Don't Sweat the Technique" with just the help of a DJ. It feels a little rushed and if he'd had 20 more minutes, he might have converted some of the youngsters in the crowd who couldn't help but look on at the 43-year-old obliviously.

Album: Booker T Jones, The Road from Memphis (Anti-)

Having revisited their 1960s landmark Odessey and Oracle a few years back, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone here revive The Zombies as a going concern, with a new album that repositions the band within the sonic lineage of Steely Dan.

The Streets, Picture House, Edinburgh

A showman signs off in style

Album: N.E.R.D, Nothing (Polydor / Star Trak)

If you thought Pharrell had jumped the shark, Nothing will come as something of a shock.

Album: Mos Def, The Ecstatic (Downtown)

Just when you think hiphopis a spent force, alongcomes one of its moreoriginal talents to provethat the genre can stillpack a punch.

De La Soul, The Ritz, Manchester

Three feet high – and mighty

Album: Busdriver, Jhelli Beam (Anti)

"Be real," says Busdriver at the start of 'Jhelli Beam', "conscious rap failed us."

My Fantasy Band: Just Jack

Vocals - D'Angelo and Lykke Li
I've been listening to 'Voodoo' by D'Angelo quite a lot recently and his voice is indescribable, it acts as another instrument. I think there's just something about Lykke Li and I enjoyed her album, 'Youth Novels'. Obviously she looks cool but I think she has a really interesting and unique voice.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

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If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

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