Voices

We landed at Heathrow from Hong Kong at the very anti-social time of 4.30am. I'd been scouring the online news for anywhere in the UK that was still above water. Our best bet was probably to swim to Windsor, and then try to get a boat down through the old land areas of Reading and Swindon then hope to beach somewhere in the mid-Cotswolds. Once there, we would have a chance of finding a friendly local tribe to give us safe passage back to our valley. But who might be running the valley now? While we'd been away in Asia the great waters had come, and old social orders had been reversed.

Lily Allen, Somerset House, London

We're smiling in the rain with Lily

Jamie T, Electric Ballroom, London

Diamond geezer's rough passages

Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Somerset

Pop music adjusts to a new world order

Observations: Rosie Lovell serves a loving spoonful

Forget Cider with Roadies, the latest must-have music missive is actually a cookery book – Spooning with Rosie. Not that you should confuse this with the usual "cooking is the new rock'n'roll" pitch. That was old hat soon after Jamie Oliver drove into town on his oh-so-mod scooter and Gordon Ramsay swore on telly like Lemmy with a headache. Rosie Lovell is cut from a different cloth, inspired as she is by music as much as ingredients.

Ladyhawke, Koko, London

We all know that musically, 2009 has so far belonged to the ladies. But with all the attitude, confidence and personality that has strutted up and down stages all over the country care of Lady GaGa, Lily Allen, Florence and the Machine et al, Ladyhawke is in some ways the black sheep of the sisterhood. She may have the look and the tunes but what marks her act out as different is her crippling shyness and the lack of any attempt to form some sort of stage personality, the quirky moniker aside.

Lily Allen to appear in Neighbours

Lily Allen is to cameo in Australian soap opera Neighbours.

Christina Patterson: The day I applauded Alastair Campbell

While politics is flawed, it’s the only process for changing our society we’ve got

Lily Allen admits: 'I feel like a caged animal'

Pop singer reveals her anger and distress at being 'followed by 20 men with cameras all day'

Ane Brun, Union Chapel, London

Given the packaging that surrounds many a budding pop career, it comes as a pleasant surprise to encounter a performer whose style is as pared down as that of the Norwegian singer-songwriter Ane Brun. For her, it's clear, all that matters is the music.

Lily Allen: I still love Ed Simons

Lily Allen has revealed she still loves her ex-boyfriend, Chemical Brother Ed Simons.

Album: Malakai, Ugly Side of Love, (Invada)

Loved by Lily Allen, signed to Geoff (Portishead) Barrow’s record label and described as “the b-boy Syd Barrett”, the debut album by Bristol two-piece Malakai would be irritating if it wasn’t such a work of wonder.

La Roux, Notting Hill Arts Club, London

So girls, you want to make it big in music now that the death knell for guitar bands is sounding? Judging by recent successes – Ladyhawke, Little Boots and Lady GaGa, to name but three – you could be forgiven for thinking it's as easy as giving yourself a quirky moniker, grabbing some synths, a keyboard and laptop and being heralded as the new sound of pop. A strong look is also essential, with these girls respectively resembling Stevie Nicks as re-imagined by Skins, Princess Leia meets the Left Bank and a drag queen. Just don't forget to write some deliciously catchy electropop tunes, too.

Has Lily Allen rejoined the sisterhood?

With her catfights and bitchy lyrics, she's never exactly been a girl's girl. But that's all changed now...

Smith's magic starts to rub off on England

When Andy Goode kicked for the umpteenth time as England strove for a foothold in a breathless match, a guttural Welsh voice in the crowd, full of emotion and speaking for everyone in Wales from Port Talbot to Prestatyn, cried: "That's all you've got". Hearteningly for anyone who wanted a proper match and not a supine deflowering of the Red Rose, England – in short spells of defiance – found the wherewithal to roar an answer.

The Word On... Lily Allen, the new album

"It's probably not as good as 'Alright, Still' but it's still a damn fine album, and nothing resembling the train wreck you'd have expected if you were following her very public meltdown over the past two years. Match that, Winehouse." - Al Byrne, zmemusic.com

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