Arts and Entertainment

The accompanying information’s boast of “ultra-rare tracks” could have been a euphemism for “scraping the barrel”. But because of the apparently bottomless pit of 1970s Afro-funk still being found and dusted down – and because this is an Analog Africa release – you can be sure quality control has been maintained for this “Return to Ghana 1974-1983”.

`Er... where is Heriot-Watt?'

Universities aren't impressed by the "A-Z" approach to clearing

When is a moisturiser a 'face protector'?

When it's a male skincare product. Andrew Tuck on why more and more British men are slapping it on

5 days in the life of JAMES BROWN

Monday: The announcement in a national newspaper that I'd been eating Slim Fast seems to have shocked more people than anything else I've done at loaded over the last three years, including my resignation. For an hour last Friday I explained my departure from one men's mag to another as a symptom of "growing up" but by late Sunday this was old news. I celebrate my appointment to the editorship of GQ by driving to a benefit for Striking Liverpool Dockers at the Mean Fiddler in Harlesden with two Scouse rascals, Kevin and Glen. We were going to watch the band Hunkpapa featuring the vocal talents of one Peter Hooton, late of The Farm, but arrive to discover Noel Gallagher will also be appearing. Which is nice. Noel's appearance has been kept so secret to avoid a stampede that at 7pm the organisers ring Radio 1 to get more punters. All the way up to the Fiddler I knocked back Glen and Kev's misguided assertions that I am the new King of European Cool by spitting out my editorial intentions through mouthfuls of popcorn. A classy operator, for sure. Glen wiped his boots on the weekend's newspapers and Kev spilt chips everywhere. If this is the way they do things at Italian Vogue then I'll eat my own spit. In true style we end the evening serenading the very patient bar manager at the Hyde Park Stakis Hotel.

JAZZ Ernest Ranglin Jazz Cafe, London

That the guitar is really a percussion instrument in disguise should surprise no one who's seen a flamenco player knocking at the door of his instrument, or heard James Brown's Bobby Byrd beat the strings as if they were talking drums. Jamaican guitarist Ranglin picks at his fretboard so closely to the bridge that the resulting noise sounds like woodpeckers hammering away at a bough. The strings are tamped so tautly that the instrument's tonal palette begins to resemble that of a marimba, until Ranglin relaxes the action to move into more conventional chordings, intersecting big fat jazz licks from the classic Fifties school of semi- acoustic masters like Wes Montgomery or Grant Green. Mainly, though, he is content to skank, supplying the supple rhythm for an easy-loping reggae pulse, and decorating the beat with loose, scatter-shots of Studio One chugga-chugga rhythm-figures joined to proto-Memphis funk.

Christmas books: Comedy

Now here's a jolly new conspiracy theory for you. This year, for the first time, over 100,000 titles were published in this country: obviously all our leading publishing houses are being paid massive kickbacks by a sinister "Mr Big" from the Pulping Industry. This explains why publishers produce books of such shameless, cynical awfulness. It's so they can be pulped within weeks of publication, thus keeping the pulpers in lucrative employ, the publishers in large lunches, and the book-buying public in the dark.

Long makes untroubled progress

Rowing

Orchestral manoeuvres - six great string performances in pop

The Beatles: Eleanor Rigby

Correction: Tony Cooper remembered

Correction: Aids deaths

TICKET OFFER: BOBBY BYRD

Bobby Byrd (right), the man who led James Brown's band during the Sixties and wrote more than 40 of the Godfather's hits, is back in town. The Godfather's Godfather, Byrd, along with his wife Vicki Anderson, played a large part in the success of the "James Brown Show", and their cult solo tunes like "I Know You Got Soul" and "Hot Pants" still pack out the dancefloors. Tonight's gig, at the Forum, will feature Bobby, Vicki Anderson, plus very special guests, supported by DJ Jasper the Vinyl Junkie.

Where James Brown meets Jim Morrison

"THERE WILL be no support act for tonight's show," announced the poster tacked to the wall of the Hemel Hempstead Pavilion, "as Terence is performing for two and a half hours." Crumbs. Surely this is a warning to make even the hardiest Terence Trent D'Arby fan tremble. It might have been simpler if the poster had just said: "For every 'Wishing Well' or 'If You Let Me Stay' Terence will also play a polite, easily ignorable, MOR ditty."

Sly, Miles and Jimi: the album

Too many musical heroes can spoil the broth, but not on Bill Laswell's latest funkathon. Mark Prendergast reports

Pleased, pleased, pleased

Rock

where shall we meet? Bar Royale, NW1

bar royale is a hotchpotch of styles that can't make up its mind what it is apart from knowing that it's not a pub. It's vaguely reminiscent of American bars: the bar is the focal part of the front room and there could just possibly be a touch of the meat market around. Nonetheless, it's lively and fun: green walls, stained glass panels, TV screens, some very large classical naked ladies on the walls and a good mix of race and age among the customers. Cocktails are under pounds 2 in happy hour; hamburger- type snacks range from pounds 3.50-pounds 5. Music - James Brown-type funky thang - is loud in the front room and reasonably gentle in the back.

JAZZ / Tired roots?: Phil Johnson on Maceo Parker at the New Trinity, Bristol

James Brown may be to blame for refusing to let his band wear frilly shirts on stage, but in their dark lounge suits Maceo, Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley - the Holy Trinity of ex-JBs horn-men - now look like seriously middle-aged representatives of the party machine. Maceo, his slightly excessive sideburns signalling his role as leader, takes the stage first and carefully manages the opening number so that it not only showcases his alto sax but also allows him to test the mikes and the lights for the rest of the front-line. When tenor-player Pee Wee and trombonist Fred join him, they gather at the front for a vocal caucus, whispering funky imprecations to the house before taking up their instruments and beginning the sound that launched a thousand samples, tight horn- punches provoking spasms of movement in every listener.

People: Greek gifts with a history

HIS collection of ancient Greek artefacts is extensive and, Constantine Mitsotakis acknowledges, some of it may have reached him by dubious means. The Greek Prime Minister said he had 'bought the collection on the open market like all collectors do' and if he had not done so 'perhaps the pieces would today be sold in either Germany or the United States'.
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Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
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Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

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Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game