Arts and Entertainment

Sometimes, even the most hardened doubters of Gary Barlow’s MOR entertainer schtick have had to concede that he can write ’em. Cynics can relax, though, because no such concessions are required for his first solo album since 1999, which falls below Barlow’s best – “Patience”, “Rule the World” – at just the point when he needed to up his game.

20-year-old Ed Sheeran has four nominations. He's up for best British male solo artist, best British breakthrough act, best single and album of the year

Ed Sheeran leads nominations for Brit Awards

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran heads the field for this year's Brit Awards with four nominations.

Coldplay first to top 2012 singles chart

Coldplay have knocked the Military Wives choir off the top of the charts after their single Paradise became the first official number one of 2012.

Adele's mega-sales may elude Fleet Foxes and but they are the choice of the cognoscenti

Music critics snub the public's taste in Poll of Polls

This year's best-selling singer, Adele, is absent from HMV album of the year list

Coldplay, 02 Arena, London (2/5)

The Kraftwerk allusions, the Brian Eno productions, the “experimental” new directions: the propaganda which comes with each new Coldplay album would make you think they were a major rock band.

Freedman unruffled by Eagles' landing

Crystal Palace 1 Derby County 1

Chris Martin and Johnny Buckland, Church of St John at Hackney, London
Frank Turner, Academy, Bournemouth

A semi-acoustic session in a church by half of Coldplay made me realise there are some pearls among all that dirgy dross

Mencap Little Noise Sessions: Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland; Emili Sande; Ben Howard, St John at Hackney Church

For Coldplay fans, this was a rare opportunity. To see one of the biggest bands on the planet (well, half of them), in the tiny surrounds of a church. For fans of the band this is about as good as it gets.

Can't stream? Won't stream!

Coldplay have shaken their fans and their record label by becoming the latest big act to refuse to make tracks from their new album available for streaming on Spotify. Adam Sherwin reports on a revolt that is rocking the music industry

Niall Doherty and Hugh Montgomery: One thinks Coldplay's latest album is a 'megahit', the other, one long boring whine...

On the eve of a fifth album, two writers clash horns over the band

Album: Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto (Parlophone / EMI)

Hearing for the first time the songs that will, inevitably and inexorably, become part of the fabric of Western life from X Factor auditions to shopping-centre muzak, is a strange and often depressing experience.

Album: Coldplay, Mylo Xyloto (Parlophone)

Generally speaking, the more producers involved with an album, the less distinctively defined its contours, the various opinions tending to nullify the more extreme ideas.

Coldplay, iTunes Festival, Roundhouse, London

"You have to jump to this," Chris Martin commands before "Viva La Vida". Only it's not really a jumping song, they're not really a jumping band. Although the rangy Martin, bless him, regularly bounces on the spot like a welterweight.

Coldplay and Lady Gaga set for iHeartRadio Music Festival

Lady Gaga, Coldplay and The Black Eyed Peas have signed up to appear at the iHeartRadio Music Festival.

T in the Park, Balado, Kinross

Amidst the Sunday mudbathing, the novelty of an almost completely redesigned site and some thrilling headline performances, this year's T in the Park was memorable for two very different sets that nailed the spirit of their times. One, although not quite up there with Glastonbury '95, was the latest instalment of Pulp's reunion tour on the Sunday evening, a poignant reminder of just how few contemporary pop artists write from the position of taking a close look at the world around them.

Video: British acts rock Glastonbury

With the sun shining, Tinie Tempah, Jessie J and Coldplay did the UK proud at Glastonbury.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam