Arts and Entertainment
 

Eminem was the only artist to take home two awards at the ceremony

Diary: Kings face pigeon revolt

Alarming news that stadium rockers Kings of Leon were forced to abandon a recent gig following a surprise airborne pigeon attack undoubtedly represents what music observers would politely describe as their "Spinal Tap moment".

Kings of Leon, Hyde Park, London

Just how have Kings of Leon got so big? For ages they were no more than a middleweight indie band with a little bit of underground cachet and a smattering of profile. Suddenly, they're everywhere, headlining festivals, rocking daytime radio playlists, and soundtracking Saturday afternoons in Argos.

Can the Kings of Leon make the Features rock royalty?

Little known outside Nashville, this week the Features play to 50,000 people in London.

So who runs the record labels now?

Stars like Jack White, and Kings of Leon, and many cult acts, are starting labels. Why? Are their signings better than those to traditional companies? Elisa Bray looks at the small print

Local Natives, Heaven, London

It's not uncommon for US bands to be embraced in the UK before their homeland catches on to their charms. Certainly the Strokes, Kings of Leon and MGMT were playing big gigs and posing for magazine covers over here while, stateside, they could barely attract a groupie. It's not too often it happens the other way round (let's not forget Jay Sean, though – America, you're welcome).

Album: The Features, Some Kind of Salvation (Serpents & Snakes)

Should you give the Features a chance because they are Kings of Leon's favourite band, as well as the first act signed to their fledgling label?

Rhiannon Harries: What matters is how safe you feel

Urban Notebook

Carola Long: Barbour jackets are having a revival thanks to the likes of Kings of Leon and Lily Allen

Although we're a nation obsessed with the weather, many of us Brits seemed surprisingly unprepared for the snow. I'm not talking lack of grit here, or a failure to stockpile Spam in case food supplies run low, but about being sartorially ill-equipped.

Dame Vera Lynn tops charts

The Forces' Sweetheart has trumped the Fab Four in the battle for the top of the charts, making Dame Vera Lynn the oldest living artist to have a No 1 album.

Mystery of the missing nominee for the Mercury

Glasvegas frontman leaves bandmates in the lurch – then turns up in New York

Reading Festival, Berkshire

The band of brothers threw an Oasis-style tantrum at Reading Festival, but Chipmunk and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs made their mark

Festivals get under way

The festival season reaches its climax with the start of the Reading and Leeds festivals today.

Album: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Up from Below, (Rough Trade)

Better luck this time for the Age of Aquarius

Album: Paolo Nutini, Sunny Side Up (Atlantic)

The follow-up to Nutini's 2006 debut finds Ethan (Kings of Leon) Johns gamely trying to make production sense of a record that ranges from ska to soul via country and ragtime. Adventurous, but this 22-year-old does possess a voice that conveys a maturity beyond his years, even if it's lost at times due to lack of musical continuity. "Come Up Easy" is an Otis Redding-like highlight, while "10/10", a punchy ska number, teleports you to a place closer to the Caribbean than Nutini's home town of Paisley.

Games Review: SingStar Pop Edition

PS3, Sony, £24.99 without mics
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project