Album: The Gossip, Music For Men, (Columbia)

If you're only gonna have one trick, make it a good 'un. The Gossip's template – Beth Ditto's almost absurdly soulful vocals set against an urgent rock-disco backing – hasn't altered significantly on their Rick Rubin-produced fourth album.

Album: Gossip, Music for Men, (Columbia)

Since "Standing in the Way of Control" hoisted Gossip from cult favourites to stars in 2006, Beth Ditto's larger-than-life personality and unfettered outsider opinions have made her the natural focus of media attention, so much so that it would be easy to forget that Gossip is a band, and not just Beth's backing crew. Hence, presumably, the album title - a sardonic hedge against groundless suppositions that she might be addressing a purely lesbian constituency - and the cover photo, which features just the drummer, Hannah Billie, looking like the kind of androgynous rockabilly dreamboat one might find adorning a Morrissey album sleeve.

Gossip, Scala, London

When Beth Ditto and her often-naked plus-size form crashed on to the scene three years ago, her band, Gossip, were lauded as irreverent pop-punk heroes, geek-chic hipsters tasked with smashing pseudo-political monoliths of discrimination and intolerance.

Sophie Morrris: Forget Beth Ditto. Fat is still a fashion issue

I am so over the fashion world's obsession with Beth Ditto. The Gossip's fat frontwoman has been everywhere in recent weeks. On the cover of one magazine (naked), between the sheets in another. She might as well have been the official mascot at Paris Fashion Week. She posed with Karl Lagerfeld before squeezing into the sequinned bustier and hotpants he had designed especially for her to perform in at the Fendi party. She's been snapped hanging out with Kate Moss and front row at Vivienne Westwood. At the Jean Paul Gaultier and Loewe shows, she wrapped herself in skintight printed dresses.

Noisettes, Komedia, Brighton

Make way for pop's new leading lady

C'mon feel the Noisettes

Style icons rarely make good pop stars, but pop stars can make magnificent style icons.

Pandora: Sir Fred's unlikely promise still holds

It is, as they say, the final insult. Nearly six months after Sir Fred Goodwin resigned as chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland following its costly government bailout, not to mention the disclosures that he is to receive a £703,000-a-year pension, we face the prospect of seeing his signature on our bank notes for two more months.

Sarah Sands: Naked flesh sells – but don’t choose just any body

When I joined the Daily Telegraph many years ago, some guardians of journalism complained that I would infect the grand old institution with a strain of perky anarchy. Yet it was the old masters of the Telegraph who egged me on. Lord Deedes was recklessly light-hearted. Auberon Waugh made me swear that I would get a naked woman on the front page. I sidled towards it with some fashion models wearing diaphanous blouses and finally stuck a Lucian Freud portrait above the fold of the front page.

Rising Stars: Yo Majesty, rappers

Yo Majesty, a Christian lesbian rapper duo from Tampa, Florida, challenge the women-bashing, materialistic, homophobic habits of old skool hip-hop – and they're not afraid to be outrageous.

Album: Various Artists, Independents Day '08 (Independents Day)

A sterling affirmation of the creative vitality of independent music, Independents Day 08 is a two-stage expression of how the baton of inspiration gets passed from one era to another.

Songs of freedom

A double CD celebrating independent music in the UK is released today, on which established names promote up-and-coming bands.

Har Mar Superstar, Komedia, Brighton

"I just want you to know I'm made of booze and MDMA," warns Har Mar Superstar. "And the MDMA was an accident..."

Kris Kristofferson, Royal Albert Hall, London<br />Be Your Own Pet, Audio, Brighton

He's a rather craggy icon these days, but the eyes still have it

Album: The Gossip, Live In Liverpool (Columbia)

The week's other live album doesn't feature an intrusive film director – but then, with Beth Ditto shouting "This is for the faggots!" before one track and "This is for the dykes!" before the next, it hardly requires commentary.

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