Arts and Entertainment

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London

Lily Allen feels the fear and bags three Novellos

Lily Allen broke down in tears as her song "The Fear" scooped three prizes at the Ivor Novello Awards yesterday.

Lily's in tears over Ivor Novello triumph

Lily Allen broke down in tears as her song The Fear scooped major prizes at the Ivor Novello Awards today.

Album: Goldfrapp, Head First (Mute)

Having leapt feet-first on 2008's Seventh Tree into the spooky wyrd-folk world then being opened up by the likes of Bat For Lashes, Goldfrapp now suddenly effect a complete volte-face on Head First, heading back to the electronic pop of their three previous releases.

Album: Thao, Know Better, Learn Faster (Kill Rock Stars)

We Brave Bee Stings and All, Thao Nguyen's 2008 album with her band the Get Down Stay Down, was that year's best-selling record on the Kill Rock Stars label and something of a breakthrough.

Beth Jeans Houghton, Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London

The next big thing wigs out

Album: Cate Le Bon, Me Oh My (Irony Bored)

The debut release on Gruff Rhys's Irony Bored label, Me Oh My shows Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon to be a strikingly different prospect to the recent run of new female singers – closer to wyrd-folkie than soul-diva, but blessed with a unique line in imagery, and a ramshackle innocence to her musical approach that recalls the third Velvet Underground album, if Mo Tucker had sung all the songs.

Caught in the Net: Back to the other Charlotte

As if it wasn't a productive year already for Charlotte Gainsbourg, what with all that genital mutilation in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, she's also gone back into a recording studio to follow up her excellent 2006 album 5.55. The first song to emerge from it is "IRM", and it's available for free from charlottegainsbourg.com.

Bat for Lashes, Roundhouse, London

When Natasha Khan asks "shall we carry on with a bit more dancing?" she might as well be talking to herself. The trademark cape has a bit more sparkle than previously, but tonight's audience is not looking for a big pop performance. They stand in awe as she powers through the best of Fur and Gold and Two Suns.

Speech Debelle: The night I won the Mercury Prize

How does it feel to be the first female artist in seven years to scoop the coveted award? What do the nominees eat for dinner? And what is La Roux really like? Speech Debelle reveals all

Nick Hasted: Grim experiences give inspiration for the 'hip-hop Tracy Chapman'

Speech Debelle told her producer Wayne "Lotek Hifi" Bennett to make her sound like a "hip-hop Tracy Chapman". For better and worse he succeeded. The 26-year-old south Londoner's debut Speech Therapy is a rap album rooted in the genre's respectable, conscious traditions – the lineage typified in the 1990s by A Tribe Called Quest, Mos Def, Common and Arrested Development.

Laura Marling and Friends, Royal Festival Hall, London

There's a west London alt-folk musical community that you get a glimpse of when attending Laura Marling's gigs. Tonight, Marling, who is, with her Mercury nomination last year (at the tender age of 18), the biggest star among them, has brought her friends together for a one-off show.

Bat for Lashes, Roundhouse, London, <br/>Doll and the Kicks, Brixton Academy, London

Bang that tambourine, but forget the gong: Natasha Khan can certainly shake it, but her inclusion in the Mercury shortlist embodies all that is wrong with the award

Bat For Lashes reveals studio dream

Bat For Lashes has revealed that she wants to scoop the Barclaycard Mercury Prize this year so she can get her own studio.



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Paul Scholes column

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