Arts and Entertainment

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London

Christmas album reviews: Leona Lewis, Erasure, Bright Eyes, Mary J Blige, Richard Durrant

Leona Lewis: "Christmas, with Love" (Syco / RCA)

The Bonus Track: Bad Santas

A sideways look at the world of music

Bat For Lashes' Natasha Khan performing live

Music review: Bat For Lashes - Natasha Khan channels an eclectic mix of influences in London

Three albums in, and at the age of 33, Natasha Khan has been in the game long enough, to cultivate a rich, distinctive sound. Debut album Fur and Gold was well-received, but follow-ups Two Suns and last year’s The Haunted Man - which consolidated her phantasmagorical sound into an effortless, distinctive whole - gained real critical acclaim.

iamamiwhoami

Music review: iamamiwhoami, Electric Brixton, London

They're described as a “multimedia entity”, a “internet phenomenon” - but please don't stop reading. Yes, the name iamamiwhoami is annoying, and yes, they are best known for their lengthy, mystery, teaser-trailer, viral internet video campaign – more words to make the heart sink, unless you're a hipper-than-thou 17-year-old.

Kate Bush in 1986
Grace Dent on Utopia:

Grace Dent on TV: Utopia

I watched two episodes of Utopia – entranced, repelled, confused and in quiet admiration

'Purple Rain' again and again; and, Anthony Hopkins 007?

Alice Jones' Arts Diary

Album: Bat for Lashes, The Haunted Man (Parlophone)

If, in the past, Bat for Lashes has sometimes seemed a better proposition on paper than reality – all feathers and no parrot – then The Haunted Man is the album on which Natasha Khan should truly silence all doubters.

Album: Bat For Lashes, The Haunted Man (Parlophone)

There are moments on The Haunted Man when Natasha Khan's carefully-marshalled musical forces evoke exactly the right ambience for songs pivoting on the notion of renewal.

A view of the Olympic Stadium

London 2012: Madness to perform at closing ceremony

Following up on their Diamond Jubilee performance Madness will be taking centre stage at the Olympics closing ceremony.

The Word music magazine to close

Respected music magazine The Word is to close after nine years.

Album: Jesca Hoop, The House That Jack Built (Jesca Hoop Curu)

"Dig it out of the basement, out of the discard and onto the record player," sings Jesca Hoop on "Dig This Record", one of several delightful curiosities on The House That Jack Built.

Adele's wealth soared from £6m to £20m in 2011

Ed Sheeran and Adele take Ivor Novello Awards

A sympathetic portrayal of a young girl’s descent into crack addiction and prostitution didn’t sound like the recipe for a global hit.

Kate Bush scoops South Bank award

Reclusive singer Kate Bush pipped Adele to a prestigious prize after her latest album was recognised at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada