Arts and Entertainment

If Xfm’s festive knees-up truly reflects the station’s character, its male-dominated line-up chafes against most other annual charts and round-ups.

The good life – the future of rock'n'roll

Touring was supposed to be the music industry's financial saviour, but now even gigs are losing their allure. So can packing fans on to a cruise liner pay dividends? Gillian Orr finds out

First Night: Cornbury Festival, Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire

'Poshstock' – the festival offering spa treatments, songbirds and Status Quo

Album: Ruarri Joseph, Shoulder to the Wheel (PIP/ACP)

These are tough enough times for earnest young men with guitars. Ruarri Joseph appears to have it all: decent looks, a worldly backstory, a warm tenor and songs that seem to tick the required boxes.

Matthew and the Atlas, Borderline, London

Make way for the sons of Mumford

First Night: Cornbury Festival, Oxfordshire

The rock festival of Pimms and picnics marks a seventh year

Album: Teitur, All My Mistakes (A&G)

Faroe Islander Teitur Lassen's UK debut The Singer is one of this year's more arresting releases, its mischievous, emotionally revealing songs employing a thrilling mix of memorable images, inventive chamber-pop arrangements, and deceptive lyrical strategies – most notably the unreliable narrator whose observations suddenly turn in upon themselves to illuminate the singer's own situation.

Album: David Gray, Draw the Line, (Polydor)

Old wobbly-head is back with his songwriting as strong in places as it was circa White Ladder, the album that brought him to the attention of those living outside Ireland (where WL is still the biggest selling record of all time).

Album: David Gray, Draw the Line (Polydor)

It's taken David Gray four years to follow up Life in Slow Motion, and frankly, you have to wonder what's been holding him up, as these 11 pleasant, predictable songs represent no great development or deviation from the course of his previous work.

My Secret Life: David Gray, musician, 41

My parents ... moved from Manchester to Solva, a fishing village in Pembrokeshire, where they started a company called Cottage Clothes. It was the 1970s, so everything was a quilted Liberty fabric.

It's not a crime to download, say musicians

Musicians including Robbie Williams, Annie Lennox, Billy Bragg, Blur's David Rowntree and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien said last night that the public should not be prosecuted for downloading illegal music from the internet.

Snow Patrol, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

The army of sensitive, multi-million-selling souls who Snow Patrol are lumped in with show no signs of slowing down.

The Big Chill, Eastnor Castle, Deer Park, Malvern

Grown-up ravers feel the sunshine in Malvern Hills

The new exhibition that's bound to be a hit



Visitors to Ben Turnbull's new exhibition should prepare themselves for not only a visual assault but an aural one too.

Duffy, The Pigalle Club, London

You could call it the herd instinct. Following the success of David Gray and Dido, the British music industry sucked up singer-songwriters of both sexes and we ended up with James Blunt and Katie Melua. The Lily Allen phenomenon then gave rise to Kate Nash and her ilk. And with Amy Winehouse's confessional soul selling millions, everyone has been scouring the British Isles for young women of the blue-eyed soul persuasion.

Review of the year: Pop

A year of vocal tics and indie licks from Gorillaz and Hal to Kaiser Chiefs and Ry Cooder
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links