Arts and Entertainment Strum as you are: Kurt Cobain

What is the best gig you've been to at Brixton Academy? Perhaps it's Public Enemy, or The Smiths' final show in 1986? Simon Parkes bought the seminal venue for £1 in 1982 and what stories he has to tell in his new memoir Live at the Brixton Academy: a Riotous Life in the Music Business.

Leading article: The sound of silence

The road to hell is paved with unintended consequences. The Government routinely proclaims its intention of supporting the growth of Britain's music sector. And quite right, too: there are young votes in it, and sizeable foreign earnings. Music generates about one per cent of the nation's income, with live music the fastest growing part of a troubled industry.

Live music being killed by 'cocktail of legislation'

Music venues and ancient pubs are being forced to close as new neighbours complain, reports Kevin Rawlinson

Police revise 'racist' events risk form

Bowing to pressure from a growing coalition of race activists and urban music stars, the Metropolitan Police today agreed to revise a controversial method of monitoring gigs which critics have labelled "potentially racist".

Shrop' till you drop ... discover secret hills and learn new skills

British breaks: Shropshire

Terence Blacker: Where are the guitar riots and accordian assaults?

This Government has developed a bizarre hatred for a certain kind of live music

The day live music died

A new layer of government bureaucracy is threatening to pull the plug on pub rock. Andy McSmith reports

Fearne Cotton to replace Jo Whiley

Jo Whiley is to be dropped from her prime Radio 1 morning slot after eight years, with Fearne Cotton taking over.

Tom Tom Crew, E4 Udderbelly, London

Tom Tom would be lost without Thum

OFT inquiry threatens Live Nation 'megadeal'

The proposed $2.5bn (£1.5bn) merger between live music giants Ticketmaster Entertainment and Live Nation was yesterday thrown into doubt after it was referred for a second regulatory inquiry, this time in the UK.

Mood music can help babies cope with pain

Playing music to babies in hospital can ease their pain and help with feeding, according to research published today.

Leading article: Music-making without borders

You don't have to be a devotee of Handel – and estimations of his place in the musical canon differ – to appreciate the vision and planning that went into yesterday's Handel Day, arranged by the European Broadcasting Union, or to have enjoyed the result. Listeners feasted on 17 hours of live music relayed, as the world turned, from almost everywhere to almost everywhere else. But Handel Day was just one of many treats of cross-border music-making in recent days.

Old-school fashion

Vintage has long been a buzz word in the fashion industry, bandied around by designers and celebrities alike. No fashion connoisseur should be without at least one timeless, classic vintage designer piece, but what about us mere mortals and penniless students?

Financial crisis 'caused by white men with blue eyes'

With Brown at his side, Brazilian leader apportions blame for global recession

Thrifty Living: The best things in life can be free

Everyone's looking to save a little bit of extra cash at the moment. For some families, that may simply mean eating out a little a less, or getting rid of the cleaner and doing more home chores yourself. For others, however – those who have lost their jobs, for example, or those who are struggling to make their wages stretch to meet their monthly financial commitments – it may mean making much bigger sacrifices.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game