Arts and Entertainment

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London

Morris Pert: Composer, percussionist and member of Brand X

Throughout the 1970s and most of the '80s, Morris Pert was an in-demand session musician, adding an array of percussion instruments – conga, gong, marimba, tambourine, timbales, timpani, Vibraphone – to big-selling albums by Bryan Ferry, Judie Tzuke, Nick Heyward, Elvis Costello and Elkie Brooks. Pert's contributions particularly enhanced the more recherché output of percussive-minded artists like Mike Oldfield, John Martyn, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Talk Talk.

Klaxons, King Tuts, Glasgow

"Well, you've definitely still got it, that's for sure," Jamie Reynolds breathlessly informs his audience. Hold on, aren't we meant to be the ones making that judgement about Klaxons? It's been three years since their debut album, Myths of the Near Future, rode the crest of nu rave to small-time era-defining status, and next month, their sophomore effort Surfing the Void arrives.

Roy Harper, Jazz Café, London

Lured out of "retirement" by the American folk-harpist darling Joanna Newsom for a string of sell-out European dates, Roy Harper is no stranger to the admiration and respect of his fellow musicians. His collaborators and devotees read like a Who's Who of rock royalty and include Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page is in the audience this evening), the Who, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush. But Harper himself has a modesty and controlled anonymity that has kept him away from the mainstream music machine, and it is this staunch individualism that truly defines his work.

Album: CocoRosie, Grey Oceans (Pias)

The medieval and futuristic rub up against one another on the fourth album from sisterly duo Sierra and Bianca Casady, whose eccentric folk-pop has become subtly familiar via advertising.

Bob Mercer: Music industry executive who signed Kate Bush and masterminded the Now! series of compilation albums

The music industry executive Bob Mercer played an important part in the success of EMI Records throughout the 1970s.

Laura Marling, Camden Barfly, London

She's speaking loud and clear

The Word On... Joanna Newsom, Have One On Me

"Set aside an afternoon, pull down the shutters and immerse yourself in it... It might take a week, a month, or even a year for it to yield up all its treasures; but after only a week in its company, this reviewer's instincts tell him that 'Have One on Me' is a masterpiece." - musicomh.com

Ellie Goulding, The Tabernacle, London

There's a new form of manual communication on the horizon. Forget the "can I have the bill?" or myriad forms of swearing. This one's relevant to your modern-day pop princess and is called "the wide-eyed ingenue". You start with your fingers pinched together then quickly open them, as if mimicking blinking, like an ingenue landing at a debutantes' ball and being amazed at the assembled glamour. If this is a trend, then Elena Jane Goulding is the trend-setter, for she uses these hand movements to accompany both the video and live version of "Starry Eyed", her second single, released next month. It follows her debut "Under the Sheets", which brought her to mainstream attention last year; her album, Lights, is due in March. Brit nominations and BBC poll-topping are already history. She exudes polish on-stage, presumably aided by support slots touring with Little Boots last autumn.

Marina And The Diamonds, Dingwalls, London

The pop world is hardly in need of another curiously named heroine with a big voice and even bigger shoulder pads after those very girls permeated the charts in 2009, but there's always room for one more to join the party, right? So meet 24-year-old Marina Diamandis from Abergavenny, south Wales. Moving to London after completing her A levels, she arrived in the city with one ambition: fame at any cost. She studied dance and auditioned for just about every musical venture being advertised in The Stage, before realising she was chasing a rather empty dream and took a step back to concentrate on honing her talent as a songwriter.

Danielle Spencer - Mother of a comeback

Danielle Spencer took six years off to concentrate on her children. Now she has teamed up with up with Tony Visconti, who produced Bolan and Bowie. Fiona Sturges meets them

Dom Joly: It's hectic at the Ministry of Pointless Annoyance

As both the year and the decade draw to an end and we leave the terribly named "Noughties" for the "Teen" years, one is drawn to reflection on things past. One is mainly drawn to said reflection, because one is bloody busy trying to find some bloody dinosaur toy that is sold out all over the country. One is, therefore, going to give you a list of the things one has loved and hated this year.

Talent 2010: The pop star, Coco Summner

You might think that Coco Sumner – frontwoman of the band I Blame Coco – has an unfair advantage over her indie-pop rivals this year. Coco is the daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, one of the wealthiest, most famous and eminently slappable celebrity couples on the planet.

Album: Jesca Hoop, Hunting My Dress (Last Laugh)

Things you need to say in any review of Hoop's debut album: she has a stint as nanny to Tom Waits' children on her CV. Things you don't: Björk and Kate Bush. That's that out of the way.

One Minute With: Eoin Colfer

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system