ALBUMS : POP MUSIC : Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness Hut HUT-DMC 30

'It's Corgan's claim on greatness, the expression of an ego at extreme odds with its nerdy physical presence'

the interview : TERRY HALL, POP STAR TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

REAL LIVES The man who sang, 'Ain't you heard of the starving millions? Ain't you heard of contraception?' now has two sons, but his dry wit remains as sharp as ever

Blur roll over rivals to hit the No 1 spot

JOJO MOYES

Obscure origins of a thirtysomething crush

AS MIDDLE AGE approaches (I was 34 last week, at last, and promise this will never be mentioned again), I am in the grip of two different cultural obsessions. The first is the obvious one: that all of a sudden, however much I struggle to understand, I don't have a clue about teenage style, let alone the pre-teen variety that my five-year-old is so confident about.

Pop: BLUR

Mile End Stadium, London

CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT : All these wigs look the same to me, Your Honour

WHAT on earth, you will be asking, is going on here? Why has the Captain got 12 photographs of people in wigs across the top of the page? Is this his counter to Page 3 girls? Settle back, and I'll tell you. Last week, His Honour Judge Morrison was trying the case, at Derby, of a young Asian man accused of robbery. After viewing photographs of a dozen Asians, he told the jury: "I have in front of me photographs of 12 Asian men, all of whom look exactly the same, which I'm sure you appreciate." His Honour failed to see what the subsequent fuss was about, saying that he had merely in tended to indicate that the appearance of the people in the photographs was similar. Quite. The Captain appreciates the problem. That is why there are pictures of 12 judges across the top of the page. Well, can you tell them apart? I can tell you that there are two Etonians, one Wykehamist and nine Oxbridgers up there. I was also going to have one of my jolly comps, offering bubbly for correct identification, but I was worried that lawyers might enter, and they live on the stuff as it is. So I have decided to limit the entry to His Honour Judge Morrison. Captain's clue: One of them is an Asian and a woman judge, Judge. (Yes, the only one, since you ask.)

Tired of London? Far from it: Taylor Parkes wonders what's got into a lot of young boys' heads

Right now, nothing is more fashionable in pop than the cockney accent, the dandy flourish; the whole devalued currency of London pop. Perhaps as a reaction to all-American grunge more and more young groups are adopting a nostalgic vision recycling the precious sepia-tinted imagery of The Kinks and Madness.

Fame is the blur: They're London-er than thou even though they're mostly from Colchester and they're hot as can be. Teen dreams. Interview by Emma Forrest

My interview in the park with chart topping new lad popsters, Blur, has degenerated into a gymnastics competition, initiated by singer Damon Albarn doing a messy backwards roll. Bassist, Alex James, does a cartwheel and I do two.

ROCK / Two hours before a master

THE POSTCARD handed to each arriving punter at the Palladium said wistfully of Richard Thompson: 'When will the world wise up to this remarkable man?' Just as soon as there is an international swing towards brutal domestic barnies sung plaintively over medieval folk melodies, presumably.

ROCK / Blurry shades of Sgt Pepper

AT ABOUT seven o'clock this evening, if the midweek sales pointers are correct, Blur's third album Parklife will enter the chart at No 1, outselling Pink Floyd's The Division Bell by a country mile. It will have been a long time since the top spot has been attained by a record of such wit, intelligence and fun.
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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

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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