A sympathetic portrayal of a young girl’s descent into crack addiction and prostitution didn’t sound like the recipe for a global hit.
For the vinyl obsessive, camping outside one of the UK’s remaining independent record shops, today is the equivalent of Stella McCartney launching a limited edition high-street collection for fashion bargain-hunters.
Adele's success looks set to continue as the singer-songwriter picked up a string of nominations for the Ivor Novello Awards.
Kate Bush's first album of new material in six years mixes yetis, snowmen and made-up wintry words. The reclusive star tells Andy Gill why she has the chills
Was kicking back with my favourite young friend the other day, and she asked me to list, in order, the top five things that made me happy. It went like this: (1) my marriage, (2) my faith, (3) getting trashed, (4) going on holiday, (5) my friends.
From Kate Bush to the Beastie Boys and beyond, musicians are once again turning to actors and celebrities to spice up their promos
Director's Cut was greeted with reactions ranging between disappointment, bafflement and ridicule, before anyone had heard a note.
Kate Bush is back with a collection of reworked tracks from two previous albums. Andy Gill welcomes back an eccentric and idiosyncratic talent who explored sexuality and social taboos
The first European exhibition to comprehensively survey avante-garde Japanese fashion from the 1980s to now opens at the Barbican Art Gallery next week.
The Bees are back and the world is suddenly a better place. It's three years since the blessed Isle of Wight sextet came up with a new album, which might be the blink of an eye compared with the timescale on which a Blue Nile or a Kate Bush operates, but for fans of these free-spirited embracers of soul, jazz, and psychedelia it's been an anxious wait.
Books: I've just started reading 'The Black Hand' by Chris Blatchford. It's a biography of a guy who dissented from the Mexican Mafia. Reading it you can tell he was super-intelligent and could have had a very different life. I've also been reading Freddie Foreman's autobiography. He was one of England's biggest criminals, bigger than the Kray twins, but he didn't do the press. I've known him for 15 years – he's a good friend of mine, and it's always interesting reading about someone you know.
The Week in Arts
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.
The music industry executive Bob Mercer played an important part in the success of EMI Records throughout the 1970s.
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.
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.