Voices

Smoking is the hazy fug of a 1930s jazz club, the deadline mist of a 1970s newsroom and the chocolate-wood smell of my granddad’s lounge circa 1988

Palma Violets, Boston Arms, London

Crowd surfing continues with the band off-stage, a topless girl balances on a mate's shoulders and the bouncers look panicked. This year’s hotly tipped saviours of guitar rock take all this in their stride, at least until a chaotic finale, suggesting either they learn fast or this is typical of their gigs.

Pete Doherty told the NME he was

Pete Doherty plans spell in rehab

Libertines star Pete Doherty said he has “a long way to go” before he gets off drugs but is planning to enter rehab later this month. .

My Secret Life: Carl Barât, musician, 32

My parents were... two very different peas in a pod, I'm not sure quite how they ever ended up with each other. I love them dearly.

Video: Exclusive footage of Carl Barat

Ex-Libertines singer Carl Barat takes you behind the scenes.

Meltdown: Ready Steady Go! Royal Festival Hall, London

Ready Steady Go! may be the most fondly remembered 1960s pop TV show. It lasted barely three years, fading out, at the end of 1966, before it could outstay its welcome – like the sharp singles it helped to promote. Ray Davies and the producer Vicki Wickham's one-night-only revival for Meltdown can't resurrect the social club the studio became for the Beatles, Stones and Kinks, or the young dancing Mods who were almost trampled by careening cameras. The minimal set – a couple of period photo-decorated signs – is a letdown. But somehow, the spirit of pop at its most warmly creative catches light again.

The albums you can judge by their covers

As Lady Gaga reveals tacky artwork for her new CD, Simon Hardeman cringes at 10 other violations of taste and sense

Carl Barât, Koko, London

Carl Barât's talent has often been superseded by his fame. His combustible relationship with the ever-newsworthy Pete Doherty is well-documented, and rumours continue to swirl about a possible Libertines reunion. Yet in the midst of the headlines, Barât has formed one half of the last decade's most memorable songwriting partnerships and fronted two of its more popular indie bands. Now, standing centre stage at Koko, the limelight shines solely on him, but what's unclear is how happy he is to embrace it alone.

Diary: Kirsty makes a boob on tape

Cheery property expert-cum-TV homemaker Kirsty Allsopp was at Thursday's Hodder dinner at Café de Paris to promote the new paperback edition of Kirstie's Homemade Home. Deciding, however, that the subject of craft would yield few gags, she chose to recount a racy anecdote from her youth.

Carl Barat dances to venture capitalists' tune

Ex-Libertines frontman joins growing number of artists hoping to bypass record labels

Threepenny memoir: The Lives Of A Libertine, By Carl Barât

Perhaps this less infamous ex-Libertine's autobiography is not the one we would really wish to be reading, but it turns out that Carl Barât 's story is inextricably tied up with Pete Doherty's rise and fall.

Carl Barât - The other libertinous likely lad cleans up

Carl Barât has an album, an autobiography, and a baby on the way. Fiona Sturges hears how he has turned turmoil into triumph

Album: Carl Barât, Carl Barât (Arcady)

Regrets, self-disgust and wretchedness: God, I love myself

The Libertines, The Forum, London

When The Libertines announced that they were reforming for the Reading and Leeds festivals, it is fair to say that the news was not greeted with universal excitement. For all those who idolised the quartet (who split up in 2004 in rather acrimonious circumstances), there were also many who saw the group as being over-hyped and over-rated.

First Night: The Libertines, The Forum, Kentish Town, London

Doherty's old boys back in town

Libertines 'electric' for comeback gig

Carl Barat said the chemistry with his fellow Libertines frontman Pete Doherty is "pretty electric" as the band prepared to play their first full gig tonight since their bitter break-up in 2004.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine