Arts and Entertainment

Does success in one genre guarantee it in another?

Did Alan Bennett write `The Sweeney'?

ON MONDAY

Obituary: David McComb

AUSTRALIAN ROCK acts exist in a cultural vacuum and have to earn their dues overseas before being accepted back home.

Books

PICK OF THE WEEK

Could these notes save your life?

The impulse to sing was once irresistible - at home, in the factory, down the mine. Now we leave it to the professionals - except at moments of desperation

Speeches in pursuit of the unspeakable

the week in radio

Pop: She's always in the kitchen at parties

SUZANNE VEGA SHEPHERD'S BUSH EMPIRE LONDON

Books: Inspirations Novelist Justin Cartwright

The music

Accidental Heroes of the 20th Century: 4: Del Shannon, Pop Star

WHO HE? To some, no more than a footnote in the Guinness Book of Hit Singles, or two-and-a-half minutes on a Golden Hits of the Sixties compilation. Yet there is a convincing case to be made for Shannon as one of the true godfathers of modern pop music.

Arts: Can white girls sing the blues? This one can

Finger-snapping and scat-singing are still de rigueur for jazz singers. But not for Lisa Ekdahl.

Pop: Heaven knows they're miserable now

BLACK BOX RECORDER DINGWALLS, LONDON

Music: The plastic dinosaurs of pop

The Future Bible Heroes are the house-band of a 1980s that never was, turning the decade's synthesised smoothness into a wonderland of possibility. Oriental strings strike, animals cry, synth-orchestras crash, computer machinery bleeps. And over it all soar two voices : a detached woman and a mordant man. They're singing about aquatic female monsters, a death boutique and a woman who's stopped believing in the Beach Boys. It's like Leonard Cohen and Nico fronting Sparks. It's like nothing else on the planet.

`Being funny is like being gay. It's hard to admit to, people think it's odd. You're born that way'

The frail, slightly stooped, silver-haired lady turns away from the reversible, flat-weave rugs on the wall to shake her tiny fist at the ceiling. "That noise is breaking my concentration," she complains. "All that clapping and loud laughter. Just what is going on up there?"

Album review: Mark Eitzel, `Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back Out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby...' (Matador OLE 179-2)

Mark Eitzel's reputation as the Leonard Cohen of his generation remains unthreatened on Caught in a Trap and I Can't Back Out 'Cause I Love You Too Much, Baby, a mostly solo, acoustic album. Yo La Tengo's James McNew and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley add bass and drums respectively to four tracks, and former Cramps guitarist Kid Congo Powers scrawls expressionist sheets of fractured guitar noise over three, but otherwise the absence of colluding musicians leaves Eitzel even more bereft than ever, adrift upon the whims of his misery.

I couldn't be Jagger; how about Donovan?

John Walsh didn't make an actual resolution to become a rock star. It just sort of happened. But finally resolving not to be - that was something far more weightily determined.
Career Services

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
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis