Last night: Reading Festival, Berkshire

This year’s Reading bill looks over-familiar from top to bottom, faithfully reflecting a rock scene desperately waiting for new heroes.

V Festival, Hylands Park, Chelmsford

If you are expecting a deep and meaningful experience from a music festival like glastonbury or Green Man, you’re not going to find it at V.

Album: Bloc Party, Four (Frenchkiss)

As ever, Kele Okereke’s energies are divided between the political and the personal on Four, with agit-punk assertions like “ Coliseum” and “Kettling” and the contemptuous pillorying of political duplicity in “So He Begins to Lie” punctuated with more tenderly rendered emotional wrestling on tracks such as “Truth” and “Real Talk”.

Noel Gallagher 'told to mime at Olympic show'

Noel Gallagher has claimed he turned down an invitation to perform at the Olympics closing ceremony after being asked to mime.

Blur in 2012 and 1991

Blur - It looks like we might have made it to the end

Blur are marking 21 years, and possibly their final days, by re-releasing almost everything they have ever recorded. Andy Gill discovers a host of unheard gems

Macy Gray, Jazz Café, London

Soul survivor's got it covered with her sexed-up show

Album: Heiner Goebbels, Stifters Dinge )ECM New Series)

This soundtrack to Heiner Goebbels' installation piece Stifters Dinge is one of the most gripping musical experiences I've had in ages.

Bombay Bicycle Club

It's time for Britpop's Bright Young Things to take centre stage

New bands should take top billing at the big festivals, says Emily Mackay

Tunbridge Wells' Forum scores NME top music venue award

Royal Tunbridge Wells may be the traditional voice of Middle England’s morality but the busybodies are in danger of being drowned out after one of its nightspots was named the best small music venue in the UK.

Brand: QualitySolicitors
Song: Hard Road To
Travel by Jimmy Cliff
Artist: Rachel K Collier

Singing with the brand

Cutesy covers of classic songs are marketing gold, says Rhodri Marsden

Telling Stories, By Tim Burgess

There are several eye-watering anecdotes in this memoir by Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, though one in particular stands out. It involves a straw, a paper cone, a Rizla paper and two willing participants, and offers the seasoned cocaine user a novel method of ingesting their drug of choice. Suffice to say that this chapter is called "Cocainus".

Cast, Shepherds Bush Empire, London

When a band reforms after a long hiatus, their comeback album can be seen as an afterthought amid the ensuing cash-in, so credit is due to Cast. After a 10-year break, the Scouse four-piece choose to perform three-quarters of their latest release rather than rely on back-catalogue safety.

One Minute With: Tim Lott, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see?

Britpop revivalists Viva Brother quietly announce their demise

They were the “future of music”, the band with a quote for every occasion who would revive Britpop’s stadium-filling glory days.

British booming pop band One Direction

One Direction – but where next? Writers join battle to create boy band's next hits

The search is on for composers to help the X Factor-created act to follow up US success

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn