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Blur, Maida Vale Studio, London

If now's the time to assess Blur's place in the grand scheme, this was a reminder that they were always streets ahead of the monobrows

Jackie Leven

Further to your obituary of Jackie Leven (17 November), when I was writing a book about the British on holiday, and wanted to include a chapter on cruising, a mutual friend put me in touch with the singer-songwriter, who in his droll Scottish manner told me about his experience as the "entertainment" on a two-week cruise of the Norwegian fjords in 2002.

Caught in the Net: Super sisters' early promise holds true

Colette and Hannah Thurlow, the London-based sisters behind 2:54, first appeared in this column in the summer of 2010 as an unsigned band touting an early demo of shoegaze/new wave-inflected gloomy guitar pop on Myspace (ind.pn/c08ayP).

Givers, XOYO, London

Afro-pop folk band Givers don't have a slogan, but if they did it would be "It's nice to be nice". The singers, Taylor Guarisco and Tiffany Lamson perform with the emphatic smiles of drama school children in panto. Their music is uplifting; to watch them is like watching happy Muppets dancing around, on ecstasy. They're aggressively happy – they bounce, and wiggle and gyrate and smile a lot. They even use the break between songs to tell us how much they love London ("I love that you drive on the left here. I really do," says Lamson).

Beryl Davis: Singer who worked with Sinatra, Miller, Reinhardt and

The British song stylist, Beryl Davis, was never as acclaimed as her favourite singer, Ella Fitzgerald, but she had a momentous career working with Django Reinhardt, Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra. In the 1920s, Oscar Rabin ran one of the UK's top dance bands but he preferred to play saxophone and have the band led by Harry Davis, a showman who sang and played guitar and banjo. Harry's wife, Queenie, would tour with him and their daughter, Beryl, was born in the Palace Theatre, Plymouth in 1924.

Album: Professor Green, At Your Inconvenience (Virgin)

Having managed to parlay an association with Lily Allen into the semblance of a career, Professor Green punches above his weight on his second album, with tracks indulging the standard hip-hop tropes of self-aggrandisation ("At Your Inconvenience") and aimless antagonism ("DPMO (Don't Piss Me Off)").

More headlines

Ian Brown: The third coming

The Stone Roses are as famous for their feuds as their music. But what else would you expect with a singer whose ego is the stuff of legend?

Camulodunum, Firstsite, Colchester

Colchester's Firstsite has a dramatic new building, a golden curving shell designed by Raphael Viñoly that hugs a garden and gently preserves an ancient Roman mosaic under a glass floor at the heart of the gallery. The Berryfield Mosaic was discovered in 1923 with a human skeleton, oyster shells and pottery, and it can be read as a kind of cornerstone for Firstsite's opening exhibition, Camulodunum (the exhibition title taken from the old name for Colchester). The tone is set by Danh Vo's huge sculpture We the People (2011), part of a larger work in which he is making a replica of each part of the Statue of Liberty in copper. Packing crates, tools and rags are strewn around a huge hand, which will never likely never find its way on to an arm.