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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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
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
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
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
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
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