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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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
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Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
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Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
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Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

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Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
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America’s new apartheid

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