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.

Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset

Beyoncé brings sex, hair and Hollywood to Somerset

Wombles a mistake, says Glastonbury boss Michael Eavis

Glastonbury Festival boss Michael Eavis is lamenting the booking of novelty group The Wombles for this year's event - and said it was a mistake.

Album: The Pierces, You & I (Polydor)

Whether it's the involvement of Coldplay's Guy Berryman in the production, or simply their shift to a major label, on You & I The Pierces have lost much of what made 2007's Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge so beguiling.

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis - Swing out sister, brother, sister

The siblings were bullied for wearing retro clobber, but they kept the Fifties vibe, and are playing Glastonbury

Album: Moby, Destroyed (Little Idiot)

A supposed "soundtrack for empty cities at 2am", Destroyed was recorded by Moby while touring, and has an appropriately unrooted feel, full of spooked solitude.

Album: Guillemots, Walk the River (Geffen)

Guillemots have never been short on ambition, and Walk the River opens accordingly, with trepidation and expectation wrapped up together in the title-track's foreboding intro riff, as Fyfe Dangerfield sings of "backing out of the race".

Matt McGinn - 'Coldplay aren't one dude and his hired help'

Matt McGinn is roadie to one of the world's biggest bands. In this exclusive extract from his book, he recalls gigs, Gwyneth and a fight

Coldplay inspired by Ash

Coldplay's new record features a track inspired by Ash's 'Dare To Dream'.

Coldplay to top Glastonbury bill

Coldplay have ended months of speculation to confirm they will be among the headliners at Glastonbury Festival this summer.

Coldplay's 'metal band' approach to songwriting

Coldplay have been approaching new songs "as though they are a metal band".

Chris Martin heartbroken by parents' split

Chris Martin is devastated over his parents' divorce.

The Choir With No Name: Coldplay's Crisis support act is a treat not to be missed

Coldplay fans heading to the band's only live UK performances of 2010 this weekend – two "hidden gigs" for homeless charity Crisis in Liverpool and Newcastle – would do well to arrive early as the evening's support act is a treat not to be missed.

Coldplay to star on Christmas Top of the Pops

Chart stars Coldplay are to top the bill for this year's Christmas Top Of The Pops with a one-off performance of their festive single.

Album: Stars, The Five Ghosts (Soft Revolution/Vagrant)

An offshoot of Montreal-based indie collective Broken Social Scene, Stars' lush indie-pop is here employed for a theme of ghosts, perhaps inspired by the antique double-exposure sleeve photo, whose sullen subject is surrounded by five indistinct faces.

Album: Tired Pony, The Place We Ran From (Fiction)

Tired of penning consoling-arm-around-your-shoulders Coldplay-esque anthems with Snow Patrol (and hearing "Chasing Cars" on US TV shows, perhaps), Gary Lightbody sought a new "country" direction that reflected his love of Wilco, Smog, Calexico etc. M Ward, Zooey Deschanel and REM's Peter Buck all chip in.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain