Arts and Entertainment

Kings Place, London

Mumford & Sons release details of their new album 'Babel'

The follow-up to Mumford & Son's hugely successful debut album will hit record stores on 25 September.

Album: Samuel Yirga, Guzo (Real World)

Dub Colossus's young Ethiopian pianist is an incandescent talent.

Album: Jimmy Cliff, Rebirth (Trojan/UMC)

Well, yes. Rebirth. Jimmy Cliff has been reborn as exactly the same person he was 40 years ago, when his high-energy skank and wail adumbrated the Marley breakthrough into mainstream tastes: Cliff was a sort of reggae John the Baptist.

Album: Al Ayre Español Handel's Memories: A Selection from Grand Concertos Op 6 (Challenge Classics)

Handel composed his Grand Concertos Op 6 in affectionate emulation of Corelli's Concerti Grossi Op 6 from a quarter-century earlier; and, astonishingly, completed all 12 within a single month, thanks to liberal quoting from his previous work.

Album: Meursault, Something for the Weakened (Song, By Toad)

Named after the antihero of Camus' L'étranger, Scots combo Meursault operate where strident folk-rock meets etiolated grunge and ambient electronica, a blend perfectly measured for the melancholy broadsides of Something For The Weakened.

Album: James Tenney John Cage: Sonatas & Interludes (Hat[now]Art)

John Cage's prepared-piano pieces are the second most famous part of his oeuvre, after the legendary 4'33", though the precision and breadth of moods involved here, from hesitant and inquisitive to expansive and reflective, offers the most potent rebuttal to the claims of charlatanry frequently elicited by that silent piece.

Leopold Trio/Steven Osborne/Pavel Haas Quartet, Wigmore hall, London

Classical music’s talent-spotting schemes don’t always work - as witness the fortysomethings desperately trying to recreate their brief fame as 'BBC young musician of the year' - but Radio 3's New Generation Artist scheme is an exception. Successive concerts by two NGA ensembles this week reinforced the point that this title is a copper-bottomed accolade.

Album: Espen Eriksen Trio, What Took You So Long (Rune Grammofon)

Despite a closing solo piece, "Oslo", invoking the aftermath of the Breivik massacre, there's not a great deal of drama to this rather poppy acoustic-trio album; and that's what's so good about it.

Antibalas

Caught in the Net: 'Dirty Money' pays dividends

The most infectious song I heard all week is the new track by long-running New York Afrobeat crew Antibalas.

Album: Valentina Lisitsa, Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Decca)

The Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa has built a huge audience through YouTube postings of her solo performances.

The Big Music, By Kirsty Gunn

This masterly work of fiction illuminates the music, and magic, of the bagpipes

Donald MacInnes: The real skill is in emulating those who came before

I often wonder which of our abilities are inherited from previous generations and which originate with us. I have never scaled my family tree, so can really only go by those skills I can remember in my parents and grandparents.

Latitude artist spotlight: We Have Band

We Have Band are three friends - Darren Bancroft and husband and wife duo Thomas and Dede Wegg-Prosser - who met whilst working at a record label.

Joyce DiDonato/David Zobel, Wigmore Hall, London

Joyce DiDonato is not just a singer, she's a cheerleader carrying the torch for opera whenever she gets the chance.

Channel Cairo, Barfly, London

Every now and then you discover a new band that you feel have belonged in your record collection for years. Rarer still, you discover that the band live on your own street. This I discovered when a local fire in Willesden Green, north-west London, led me online to Twitter, and to my neighbours, the pastoral dream pop band Channel Cairo.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there