Arts and Entertainment Steve Mason

On an evening where the big news of the week was still a live talking point, there was precious little sympathy in a famed back room in Glasgow. “Did you hear what Frankie Boyle said about Thatcher?” asked Steve Mason, sometime Beta Band singer and now the proud-owner of an alias-spattered solo career which has recently taken a turn for the incisively political. It’s the old gag about spending the public money earmarked for the late former PM’s funeral on spades, then “everyone in Scotland can dig a hole and deliver her to Satan in person.”

T in the Park, Balado, Near Kinross

When Glastonbury takes a year off, smaller festivals have a chance to mark out for themselves as much of the massive void left behind as possible.

'We've still got it,' declares Ian Brown last night in Manchester

Stone Roses reunion gigs net £23m

The Stone Roses generated £23m for the Manchester economy by reuniting for a three-day musical extravaganza in their hometown, experts have estimated.

Ian Brown, lead singer of the Stone Roses, leaves court yesterday with his solicitor 'Mr Loophole' Nick Freeman

'Model citizen' Ian Brown escapes driving ban

Solicitor known as Mr Loophole makes passionate defence of Stone Roses frontman

King Lear, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

King Lear is a daunting prospect for any actor – so too for an audience. Uncompromising, dark and sprawling.

Album: Radiohead, KOL RMX 1234567 (XL)

If Radiohead's The King of Limbs wasn't quite abstruse enough for you, then this could be just what you're waiting for: 19 remixes of its eight tracks by dubstep and avant-rock producers – the best-known being Caribou, Four Tet and Modeselektor – most of whom seem to adopt the inscrutable manner of "Feral", whichever track they're remixing.

Song Intros: It's the start of something amazing

What's the best way to begin a pop song? Guitar? Drums? Wind? Donald MacInnes chooses 12 of the best intros in pop history

The Stone Roses to 'reunite'

The Stone Roses are set to reunite.

Ex-Stone Roses singer Ian Brown has driving charge dropped

Former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown was told he was "free to go" by a court today after prosecutors dropped a driving charge against him.

Fionn Regan, University of London Union, London

Dark star of the plaid brigade

NME Godlike Genius award for Modfather Paul Weller

Chart veteran Paul Weller is to receive a top honorary prize at this year's NME Awards, the annual Godlike Genius title, it was announced today.

The Secret Garden, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

There are no silver bells, cockle shells or pretty maids but Mary's garden grows enchantingly in this new musical version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel. Mary, nimbly portrayed by Jayne Wisener, is certainly a contrary little girl. She's as rudely dismissive of her ayah in India as she is of the maid Martha Sowerby whom she encounters when, suddenly orphaned, she's shipped to England.

The Word On - Ian Brown, My Way

"There's an easy mastery of things previously introduced. The string beds, the mariachi horns, the deep mystical groove, they're all elements which have appeared in isolation on separate outings, but here are brought together in spectacular fashion." - musicomh.com

Observations: Dancing under the covers at new Shoreditch club night

The chirps, buzzes, choral harmonies and fuzzy bass-lines of the Los Angeles synth-pop duo the Bird & the Bee's cover of Rihanna's floor-filler "Don't Stop the Music" epitomise the soundtrack at Cover to Cover, a new club night in London's Shoreditch. The idea behind the night, held in the Queen of Hoxton on Curtain Road, is piled on zeal for great cover versions. We're not talking Mike Flowers on "Wonderwall", more Ian Brown murmuring through "Thriller" or "Billy Jean", or the Bronx – a hardcore outfit from Brooklyn – bouncing along to Prince's "I Would Die for You".

Album: Ian Brown, My Way, (Fiction)

Regrets? He's had a few. But then again...

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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
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?