Album: James Levy & the Blood Red Rose, Pray to Be Free (Heavenly)

PTBF is an attempt by the Brooklyn singer-songwriter James Levy and one half of the Pierces (Alison) to create an orchestral pop-duet album in the spirit of Lee and Nancy. It is a near-total triumph: Levy's smooth baritone and Pierce's breathy vocals wrapping themselves around songs of love and loss (mainly loss).

Album: Martin Speake, Live at Riverhouse (Pumpkin)

Some musicians make fun of corny standards.

Michael 'Würzel' Burston: Guitarist who contributed some of Motörhead's finest rocking moments

Led by the ultimate rock'n'roll reprobate, the gruff-voiced bassist Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, Motörhead have been playing faster, heavier and louder than most of their heavy metal competitors for over 35 years now. Known to all the group's fans by his suitably umlaut-accented nickname, the guitarist "Würzel" – né Michael Burston – was a semi-professional musician whose take-no-prisoners approach to the instrument lived up to Kilmister's high expectations when he auditioned to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Brian Robertson, once of Thin Lizzy, in November 1983.

Death Cab for Cutie, Brixton Academy, London

All hail this thrashing joy ride

Album: Weather Report, Live in Offenbach 1978 (Art of Groove)

This version of Joe Zawinul's ship of state featured Peter Erskine and Jaco Pastorius as the Rhythm Section Which Gives You More, but no ancilliary percussionist.

Caught & Social: Double joy for Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood’s night at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards was better than he realised.

Album: Barry Green, Dave Green, Turn Left at Monday (Moletone)

Impossible to dislike, bare bones piano and double bass duo by the unrelated Greens.

Album: Kevin Figes Quartet, Hometime (Pig Records)

If new UK jazz groups sometimes seem marred by superficiality with, as an older bandleader put it, "everyone sounding different, everyone sounding the same", saxophonist Figes has strength in depth.

The Shadows bassist Jet Harris dies

The Shadows bassist Jet Harris has died aged 71.

Album: Matana Roberts, Live in London (Central Control)

Wailing, bluesy free jazz from alto saxophonist Roberts, following up her excellent debut with this Vortex recording accompanied by pianist Robert Mitchell, bassist Tom Mason and drummer Chris Vatalaro.

Chapel Club, Heaven, London

Vocalist Lewis Bowman smiles wryly as he flexes his sinewy fingers, wrapping them tightly around his microphone. Starting a show with your best-known single is risky, but as Bowman delivers the gothic, melancholic lyrics of "Surfacing", which samples the 1930s classic "Dream a Little Dream of Me", he clearly relishes the challenge.

New Romantic pioneer Mick Karn dies

Mick Karn, former bassist with the band Japan, has died at the age of 52 from cancer.

Robert Wilson: Influential bassist with 1980s funk group The Gap Band

In the mid-1970s the bass guitar became a pivotal instrument in the funk and electro-funk genres. While not as flamboyant or flashy a player as Larry Graham, "Bootsy" Collins or Rick James, Robert Wilson was an influential musician whose distinctive bass lines helped The Gap Band, the group formed by his older brothers Ronnie and Charlie, make some of the most infectious party anthems of the '80s.

Bedouin Soundclash, Monto Water Rats, London

Husky vocalist Jay Malinowski is rapidly losing his voice onstage. It must be every musician's dream to have a crowd of hundreds singing their lyrics back to them, and judging from the grins on the faces of the Canadian urban reggae trio Bedouin Soundclash, it certainly is theirs. But tonight, the band are probably thankful their sweaty sold-out audience aren't just repeating what they hear, they're taking the strain for Malinowski.

The Temper Trap, Somerset House, London

At venues as beautiful as Somerset House, there is an unwritten rule: any band that sets foot onstage should give a performance to match the magnificence of their surroundings. Having conquered the charts and critics' hearts worldwide with their indie-pop debut, Conditions, Melbourne quartet The Temper Trap attract an excited crowd to their sold-out gig in the cobbled open-air square.

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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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