Life and Style

Now this is a place with real pedigree. I don't mean it used to be owned by Pierre Koffmann or helmed by Marco Pierre White or picked up a Michelin star under Raymond Blanc. Oh no. In Edwardian times it was a theatre-cum-dancehall-cum-bioscope (an early form of cinema, where punters could watch footage of King Edward VIII's funeral).

Guest Columnist: 45 Forever #1

There's something inherently cool about vinyl. Beyond the evident heightened sound quality there's something more to this archaic format, something more than the look, the touch, the smell; there's rumination; there's the childlike excitement of the whole thing. It’s how Rough Trade stays in business, how Moshi Moshi stay so cool, and it’s the thing that has inspired writers, musicians and filmmakers the world over. It’s Anita handing William a copy of Simon and Garfunkel and it’s The Count grappling with death. It’s the reason budding music tycoons get into the business... to release the pinnacle of indie cool, the 7” single. It has, for years, been the platform to launch any new band worth their salt in the realm of guitars, and the point in which they can declare their existence in the music archives.

My Fantasy Band: K'Naan

'John Frusciante is just incredible'

Album: Solus 3, The Sky Above the Roof (Solus 3)

They don't come any more uncategorisable than this.

Album: Lila Downs, Y la Misteriosa en Paris – Live (World Village)

As the undisputed queen of Mexican village music, Lila Downs brings an unusual blend of additional influences, and her art is unique.

The Word On: The Drums, The Drums

While known for blurring the lines between music, performance, video and sculpture, on her new album, Homeland, Laurie Anderson homes in on the music and lyrics.

The Drums, Heaven, London

It would be pretty easy to be cynical about The Drums. Four suspiciously handsome young New Yorkers with impeccable turn-ups and eerily perfect hair, they were spat into the collective consciousness some time last year and accepted without question by a baying blogosphere.

Album: The Drums, The Drums (Moshi Moshi)

A drum, when all’s said and done, is a hollow vessel that makes a lot of noise. It’s the perfect name, then, for the loudly hyped but essentially vacuous Drums.

Jake Hanna: Drummer whose controlled power made him the linchpin of the Harry James and Woody Herman bands

Already established as an outstandingly gifted and versatile drummer, in 1961 Jake Hanna arrived at Harry James's house to join the James band.

Ed Thigpen: Jazz drummer celebrated for his work with the Oscar Peterson trio

One of the most tasteful of jazz drummers, Ed Thigpen was a master of every aspect of music. He rejected the idea of the flashy, gum-chewing soloist who hogged the spotlight and drove the bobby-soxers mad in the Swing Era, nor did he ever try to lead the way in any of the bands he played in. Instead, his drumming was like the spring of a Swiss watch and he was uniquely talented at making himself an integral part of any jazz group.

Album: Decoy, Volume One: Spirit (Bo'Weavil)

Great idea: a free-jazz Hammond-organ trio.

My Fantasy Band: Example

Vocals and guitar - Jack White
He's one of my favourite artists of the last 10 years. I loved Horehound last year. He's got a really interesting voice and mind boggling lyrics.

Album: Stefano Bollani, Stone in the Water, (ECM)

The Blue Note label used to avoid velvet-touch pianists like the plague; ECM has made them a speciality. Italian star Bollani follows his excellent solo work with this trio featuring Jesper Bodilsen on bass and Morten Lund on drums.

Album: Portico Quartet, Isla (Real World)

Forget the ex-buskers' Mercury-nominated debut. With Isla, produced by John Leckie, Portico have found their mojo: a thrumming, intensely textured and dynamic sound flowing between sax, bass, drums and hang. (Looks like a wok, sounds like a steel drum.)

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn