Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

CLUBS: CLUB OF THE WEEK; MILK N2 SUGARS @ the annexe

Everyone knows that Britons, dedicated tea drinkers they are, like nothing better than to put the kettle on and have a good natter during the long winter evenings. Alternatively, you can pull on your dancing pants and head down to Soho for one of the freshest club nights in the West End.

Podium Douglas Hurd: The Government must cure our `sick nicks'

From the Bourne Trust Memorial Lecture, delivered by the former Home Secretary and Chair of the Prison Reform Trust

Property: The suburb that never sleeps: Brixton

Hot Spot Brixton, South London; The fact that it's just minutes from the middle of London helps, but what really pulls young buyers to Brixton is its vibrant night life.

event london open house

Another year, another London Open House - and a further opportunity to explore more of the capital's diverse and extraordinary architecture, as 450 buildings around the city are opened for free to the public. Venture inside Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton to see if it's something in the bricks and mortar that makes its council officials the way they are, or head backstage at the Hackney Empire to view a Grade II-listed Edwardian music hall. The offices of both ITN on Gray's Inn Road and BBC Television Centre on Wood Lane will be available for inspection, as will the hotel within the Old County Hall on the South Bank, and George Gilbert Scott's gothic marvel at St Pancras Chambers. If you remain tired of London after this weekend it's no one's fault but your own.

Arts: Friend of the Great Beast

Like Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare was obsessed with sex and magic. But unlike Crowley, he was also an accomplished artist.

We must nurture political correctness

It is the racist comments with a sliver of fact nestling at their heart that are most dangerous

Major: `Thatcher was intolerable'

JOHN MAJOR will make his first public attack on MargaretThatcher in a BBC programme to be broadcast this autumn. Her resignation was, he says, the start of a "Greek tragedy". Whether he is referring to his predecessor's inability to come to terms with her loss of office or his own premiership is unclear from the snippets released by the BBC so far. What is quite clear is the contempt Mr Major has for Mrs Thatcher's sniping from the sidelines.

Book Review: Mixed company for the lonely Londoners

Andrea Henry visits two sides of the black metropolis - the threatening estate, and the enchanting street; Society Within by Courttia Newland Abacus, pounds 9.99, 310pp; The Street by Biyi Bandele Picador, pounds 10, 292pp

Eclipse Winners

The ten winners of last week's Independent and Independent on Sunday eclipse competition were:

Club Of The Week: Indulge @ Mass

The recent opening of Mass has meant even more clubbing choice in Brixton, an area already blessed with half a dozen of London's most innovative promotions.

Eclipse Winners

The 10 winners of last week's Independent and Independent on Sunday eclipse competition were:

Property: Stepping Stones - One Woman's Property Story

RIO SPARKES, who works for a charity, bought her first home in 1981 after finishing college. "The market was rising and the pressure was on," she says. "I knew if I didn't buy then, by the next year I couldn't have afforded to."

Prison officers in bribery inquiry

THREE OFFICERS have been suspended from Brixton prison in south London, accused of taking bribes from inmates.
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
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Voices
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people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
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Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
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Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
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Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
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Career Services

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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker