Hark the herald alt-popsters sing: Christmas albums from the most unexpected angles

Watch the exclusive Erasure video for 'Make it Wonderful' above

Heart and soul: Jessie Ware

The Week in Music: Jessie Ware is still pulling all the strings

With Mercury and Brit nominations, Jessie Ware has had a stellar year. The singer is unveiling her latest song, written with the Blue Nile's Paul Buchanan, at the ASOS All-Nighter (an online house party) on 12 December. She's dedicated the next few months to writing the follow-up to her debut album. "I want my album out next year," she tells me. "It's definitely going to be electronic, but if I can have strings I'm definitely going to!" Expect more collaborating with Julio Bashmore, Kid Harpoon and Dave Okumu.

Connan Mockasin: 'I don't like flashy bass playing'

Fantasy band: Connan Mockasin

'I don't want a flashy bass player'

Proud but not vain: Tinie Tempah

Music review: Tinie Tempah, iTunes Festival

“When I was a kid I wished that I could be in Narnia,” Tinie Tempah raps on “Wonderman”. It’s a rare moment of introspection during one of his biggest hits, a hint at his life growing up in south London’s giant, now condemned Aylesbury Estate, and later in Plumstead, not so far from another huge landmark, the O2 Arena, which he’ll headline for the second time later this year.

Mason Caton-Brown makes mark as London Broncos rise from dead

Hull Kingston Rovers 22 London Broncos 34

Jon Brookes, from The Charlatans, has died aged 44

Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes dies aged 44 after battle with brain tumour

Band pays tribute to 'one of the finest drummers of his generation'

William Mysterious: Bassist with punk rockers the Rezillos

Using the pseudonym William Mysterious, Alastair Donaldson played saxophone and bass guitar with the Scottish punk band the Rezillos. Combining a sci-fi, day-glo aesthetic, references to Thunderbirds and The Flintstones, and a fast, fun take on 1960s beat music, the group burst on to the Edinburgh scene in January 1977 and later that year signed to Seymour Stein's Sire Records, the home of New York punk-pioneers the Ramones and Richard Hell. Credited as Mysterious on their exuberant debut Can't Stand the Rezillos, which made the Top 20 in August 1978, Donaldson left before the band appeared on Top of the Pops to promote their paean to the very same television show but returned to contribute to their swansong release, Mission Accomplished... But the Beat Goes On, recorded live at the Glasgow Apollo on 23 December 1978.

Album review: James Brown and the Famous Flames, Best of Live at the Apollo: 50th Anniversary (Polydor)

This is not, as you might imagine, a reissue of the classic 1962 Live at the Apollo, but instead a selection of tracks from that release alongside later performances from James Brown's 600-plus appearances at the Harlem venue, culled from shows in 1962, '67, '71 and '72.

Logic Pro X is the latest update to Apple's professional grade DAW software suite

Review round-up: Logic Pro X keeps the professionals happy

The long-awaited update to Apple's professional audio suite allays fears of dumbing down

Jon Hopkins' album 'Immunity' is out now

Fantasy band: Jon Hopkins

'Daniel Lanois brings magic to any song he touches'

Josh Groban: 'I’ll manage them. But I’m taking 30 per cent'

Fantasy band: Josh Groban, singer

'I’ll manage them. But I’m taking 30 per cent'

Album: Black Sabbath, 13 (Mercury)

Like track one of Black Sabbath's debut, this starts with big, sludgy Tony Iommi doom-chords and Ozzy Osbourne mournfully wailing a rhetorical question ("Is this the end of the beginning?").

Not so messianic now: Ian Brown in 'The Stone Roses: Made of Stone'
Firefighters tackle the blaze at the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association and the Al-Rahma Islamic Centre

Police make fresh appeal over English Defence League graffiti on destroyed Islamic centre

The letters EDL were spotted on the wall of the community centre

Michael Adebowale pictured shortly after last Wednesday's attack

Woolwich attack: Police to begin questioning Michael Adebowale on suspicion of murdering soldier Lee Rigby

22-year-old was moved into police custody yesterday after being discharged from hospital

News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

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