Arts and Entertainment

With Daniel Blumberg off to pastures new, the slimmed-down Yuck's sound seems svelte of style, having lost most of its rougher edges and lo-fi feistiness. What's left builds on their Teenage Fanclub-style guitars'n'harmonies approach, but takes it in a less intriguing direction. Effectively, the reverberating soft-focus sheets of chiming guitar and slow-burning, methodical arpeggios of tracks like "Out Of Time", "Somewhere" and "Memorial Fields" resuscitate the long-forgotten corpse of shoegazing, albeit with better melodies for the most part.

Album review: Van Morrison, Moondance Deluxe Edition (Warner Bros)

Though already condemned by Van himself, there's much to appreciate about this 4-CD expanded edition of one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It's fascinating to follow the development of a track such as "Caravan" across half a dozen takes; and the previously unreleased "I Shall Sing" is a delight, like discovering a delicious new centre in your favourite box of chocolates. But what should be particularly gratifying for the singer is that throughout, he's clearly made the best choices for each and every song.

Album review: Mark Lanegan, Imitations (Heavenly)

This album of covers was inspired by Mark Lanegan's childhood recollections of his parents' social evenings, when the tones of such as Andy Williams, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra would wrap warmly around proceedings. His own sepia baritone summons some of that warmth on versions of “Solitaire”, “Autumn Leaves” and “You Only Live Twice”. Elsewhere, the crepuscular tone spreads into more recent material such as The Twilight Singers' “Deepest Shade” and a beautiful version of Nick Cave's “Brompton Oratory”.

Cover story: Solo by William Boyd

First look: Cover for new James Bond novel, Solo

You might be forgiven for mistaking the cover of the new James Bond novel, Solo, for something relating to another well-loved long-running franchise in the process of being rebooted: Star Wars (although the novel has nothing to do with Hans Solo, obviously).

Paperback review: The Watchers - A Secret History of the Reign of Elizabeth I

Stephen Alford's fine study begins with an intriguing titbit of counterfactual history: in 1586, Queen Elizabeth I is assassinated, prompting a Spanish invasion after which Protestant England is reconciled to Rome.

William Boyd says of literary Bond, he's 'a far more interesting character than the cinematic one by enormous degrees'

The name's Solo: William Boyd reveals title of his James Bond novel

The author of the new James Bond novel has revealed there is a “strangely Bondian” code hidden in the title of the book, which will be called Solo.

Sean Connery as James Bond (left) and Daniel Craig as 007 in 'Skyfall'

From Skyfall to the Sixties: New James Bond novel by author William Boyd set in 1969

007 is getting a new literary outing 60 years after Casino Royale

Roger Moore

Cultural Life: Roger Moore, Actor

Interview

A South Korean investigator shows off the killer pen with its protruding poisoned needle

Poison pen is mightier than the sword for North Korea's assassins

The first weapon looks like an innocuous electric torch, except it is able to fire three bullets. The second is a ballpoint pen with a poisoned needle. The third is another "poison pen", containing a bullet that both punctures the skin and releases a deadly toxin.

'Like a scene from James Bond': Pensioner steers bus as driver passes out in Leicester

A “brave” pensioner has been praised by police after he grabbed the wheel of a bus after its driver passed out.

Cineworld banks on Bond boost

The latest James Bond film, Skyfall, has brought in £60m at box offices across the UK in the two weeks since its release, according to the cinema group Cineworld.

The Big Six: 007 sleeps

Pera Palace Istanbul

Charlie Higson

Comedian Charlie Higson to condense 12 original James Bond novels into 140-character tweets

The 007-fan was tasked with condensing the classic series in a way that would appeal to both diehard and new readers

Luke Blackall: Bond is good again - but so is the London Film Festival

Man About Town: The series seems to be moving away from hack acting, gags which invoke the gag reflex, and bimbonic Bond babes to something altogether more serious

Claire Beale on Advertising: The name's Bond – and I'm licensed to sell

It's 50 years since James Bond made his film debut and the world's most famous secret agent has being having a not-so-secret affair with big brands ever since. From the watches, the beers and the cars that pay top dollar to feature as Bond's brands of choice in his movies, to the ads that have shamelessly appropriated some 007 cool, Ian Fleming's hero has probably sold more products than any other fictional character.

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