Arts and Entertainment Techno wizards: Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys of OMD

Synth-pop pioneers OMD were one of most innovative bands of the Eighties. They're still on a quest for originality, they tell Elisa Bray

Dom Joly: Fat pay cheques and sweet nothings when David phones Posh

"Babes, it's me, David." "David... David the stylist?' "No babes... David... Fluffles...."

Caught on the Net: A killer track to Skream about

La Roux's rise was helped by a remix of "In for the Kill" from the dubstep producer Skream. Now the electro duo are returning to the remix fray, via Major Lazer's electro-dancehall stylings. Apparently put together while Diplo and Switch – the producers behind Major Lazer – were in Jamaica, 'Lazerproof' is a 14-track mixtape with reworkings of La Roux material, alongside new work. Drake and Gucci Mane have added vocals. Diplo is not new to such efforts, having put together, among others, mixtapes with Santogold in 2008 and MIA's era-defining 'Piracy Funds Terrorism Volume 1' from 2004. The latest is a free download from his label MadDecent at Maddecent.com.

La Roux, Brixton Academy, London

Through the haze of hairspray, the jungle of permed hair and the suffocating corsetry of ultra-tight jeans, it can be hard to remember that there were some good things about the Eighties.

Elly Jackson: 'It's not just being catchy'

On the eve of the Ivor Novello Awards, La Roux frontwoman Elly Jackson reflects on the mysterious, cathartic and collaborative art of songwriting

Coco Sumner - Every little thing Sting's daughter does is magic

Teenager Coco Sumner has a three-album deal with Island Records and has modelled with Agyness Deyn. She tells Charlotte Cripps she is enjoying making it on her own

Gabriella Cilmi: Who's that girl?

Her 'Sweet About Me' was the most-played song in the UK in 2009. But now Gabriella Cilmi has ditched the bluesy image and reinvented herself as a sexy electro-pop siren. Gillian Orr finds out what's behind the transformation

Liz Hoggard: Never a better time to be a wordsmith

Popular culture is the crucible where language is being newly minted

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.

Caught in the Net - Something in the Air

Recently in Arts & Books we profiled the next group of female musicians poised to follow in the footsteps of La Roux, Florence and the Machine, Little Boots et al.

Caught in the Net: Back to the other Charlotte

As if it wasn't a productive year already for Charlotte Gainsbourg, what with all that genital mutilation in Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, she's also gone back into a recording studio to follow up her excellent 2006 album 5.55. The first song to emerge from it is "IRM", and it's available for free from charlottegainsbourg.com.

Eye of the storm: Will you dare to wear extreme make-up?

Thanks to Lady Gaga, La Roux and Lily Allen playing with experimental warpaint is catching on

La Roux, Scala, London

Cracks in a mask of confidence

Speech Debelle rises from streets of London to win Mercury Prize

Rap artist's gritty take on urban life scoops prestigious award despite selling only 3,000 albums

Album: Noah And The Whale, The First Days of Spring (Mercury)

Barely a week goes by these days without the appearance of yet another concept album about a failed love affair, with efforts from La Roux and Frankmusik followed here by Noah and the Whale's account of their frontman and songwriter Charlie Fink's break-up with Laura Marling.

Once of no fixed abode, rapper finds a place on Mercury Prize shortlist

Speech Debelle edges out former favourite Lily Allen to pick up nomination
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Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
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Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
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The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
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Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears