Voices

It came as a shock last weekend to discover that among my fellow punters at a folk concert back in November 2012 was David Cameron. Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, the Prime Minister slyly hinted at the hipness of his musical tastes by revealing how he and Samantha snuck into a First Aid Kit gig as the Shepherd Bush Empire. Until then, I had flattered myself that I had a cool and recherché appreciation of music, and that hopefully I had avoided the pretentious music so often accompanied by the word “recherché”.

Album: Tori Amos, Midwinter Graces (Universal/Island)

For a festive album with a difference, it's time to vote Tori

Yusuf, National Indoor Arena, Birmingham <br/>My Life Story, Koko, London

At 61, his voice can still break you to pieces, while a nearly band from the '90s are already ripe for revival

Album: Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More (Universal/Island)

Buzz aside, are M&S (and Noah & the Whale, for that matter) anything more than posh kids who've suddenly discovered, that, actually, folk music is, like, really good, actually?

Mumford &amp; Sons: There's nowt so cool as folk

"So is folk now, like, cool with the kids?", I heard someone ask on my way out of last night's astonishing Mumford & Sons show at Scala.

Album: Noah And The Whale, The First Days of Spring (Mercury)

Barely a week goes by these days without the appearance of yet another concept album about a failed love affair, with efforts from La Roux and Frankmusik followed here by Noah and the Whale's account of their frontman and songwriter Charlie Fink's break-up with Laura Marling.

The Word On... Wilco, Wilco (the album)

"Could be described as Wilco in meat-and-potatoes rock'n'roll mode ... But structurally, the album is cleanly cleaved between the sing-along Wilco and the freeform Wilco. When the former begins to overcome the latter, the album suffers." - Noel Murray, avclub.com

Album: Wilco, Wilco (The Album), (Nonesuch)

Wilco (The Album) opens with "Wilco (The Song)". So what, then, is Wilco (The Verdict)?

Album: Wilco, Wilco (The Album) (Nonesuch)

With the magnificent Wilco (the album), Wilco (the band) reach the point that REM were at around the time of Automatic for the People: a group at the peak of its powers, offering hope and consolation in the face of growing discord, and an undimmed faith in the transformative power of rock'n'roll.

Album: Various Artists, Meet on the Ledge: an Island Records Folk-Rock Anthology (Island)

Rarely can a record label's 50th anniversary have been quite as lavishly celebrated as Island's, but then rarely has a record label actually merited such celebration as Island.

Album: Yusuf, Roadsinger (Island)

Just as he had to get past the songs on Mona Bone Jakon in order to get to the material for his major breakthrough with Tea For The Tillerman, explains Yusuf, so did he have to work through the songs on his comeback album An Other Cup in order to reach the more satisfying condition represented by Roadsinger.

Album: The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love (Capitol)

Sometimes, a good idea isn't quite enough. Always a fan of 1960s British folk-rock and prog, Decemberists songwriter Colin Meloy was inspired to create this concept album by hearing Anne Briggs's rare 1966 EP The Hazards Of Love.

Album: The Leisure Society, The Sleeper, (Willkommen Records)

Although it's 15 years since guitarist Nick Hemming and then-vocalist-now-film-maker Shane Meadows broke up their band, the pair still share a similarity of vision: unflinching clarity and a sense of longing for the kitchen-sink-real England and America of the recent past.

Album: The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love, (Rough Trade)

A 17-song folk-rock opera complete with overture, children's choir, reprises, motifs and mythic and mundane themes... just another record from Portland's finest, then.

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona from £949pp
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro from £799pp
Provence from £599pp
Apulia, Lecce and Vieste – Undiscovered Italy from £899pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples from £759
Classical Spain from £539pp
Prices correct as of 12 September 2014
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories