Susie Rushton: Fencing for all hits the mark

Urban Notebook

Communion, Notting Hill Arts Club, London

You'd expect the capital's most fertile ground for new musical acts to be somewhere hip like Camden in the north, or Dalston in the east. But right now it's the comfortable south-western enclaves of Barnes, Wimbledon and Fulham that seem to be producing the goods. Thus the first Sunday evening of every month sees dedicated followers of the district's folk scene descend the stairs to the Notting Hill Arts Club for Communion, a regular night organised by Mumford & Sons' keyboard player, Ben Lovett, and Cherbourg (the band, not the ferry port) bassist Kevin Jones.

Voices of Plastic People are raised in protest as iconic club faces closure

The dancefloor is tiny, grimy and pitch-black. The sound system, though, is perhaps the finest in any British nightclub, and it played the opening strains of the now internationally acclaimed "dubstep" music genre – a sort of 21st-century reggae that grew out of boys' suburban bedrooms.

Observations: A meeting of minds in the nu-folk revolution

With Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale and Mumford & Sons among its alumni, west London's informal school of folk is known for regularly producing popular, talented young singers and songwriters. Members of the aforementioned bands used to play together at the Bosun's Locker on the King's Road, until that venue closed. For the last two and a half years, however, their regular meeting place has been the monthly Communion night at Notting Hill Arts Club.

Hadouken!, The Scala, London

“Does anyone remember 1992?” shouts Hadouken! singer James Smith. Judging by the appearence of Smith and the fresh-faced crowd, I'd be surprised if anybody actually does. A smattering of grunts from the back proves my point.

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down, The Barfly, London

Thao Nguyen and accompanying instrumental talent The Get Down Stay Down play this first London show on the back of their latest album, Know Better Learn Faster (2009). Hailing from Virginia, and now residing in San Francisco, the band is signed to Kill Rock Stars, a label synonymous with the experimental music scene of North America that it is credited with shaping into the current contemporary-musical vanguard.

Gay rugby star hosts 'coming out' party to thank friends

Sport and stage stars turn out to show solidarity with Wales's 'role model' player

Hamilton-Brown set for Oval talks as Sussex give go-ahead

Surrey moved a step closer to re-signing Rory Hamilton-Brown yesterday when Sussex gave the 22-year-old permission to speak to the London club. Although his current employers remain keen to hold on to the talented all-rounder, the lure of the captaincy at one of English cricket's biggest names may prove very difficult for him to turn down.

Ban did not affect fitness says Kakuta

Chelsea prodigy Gael Kakuta insists his FIFA-imposed ban has not affected his fitness levels after making his first-team debut at the weekend.

Doves, The Roundhouse, London

Doves released their fourth album, Kingdom of Rust, earlier this year, and it has been widely hailed their best yet. Its bittersweet lyrics and sweeping melodies, delivered in epic rock songs, are not far from their first album, Lost Souls, that won them a loyal fan base in 2000. That's not to say their music hasn't developed – it just hasn't flirted with fads.

Speech Debelle, Scala, London

Look at you all!" says Speech Debelle, admiring a fairly full house of mostly well-heeled white pseudo-bohemians. "See what the Mercury can do!"

Cipriani and Rees injuries hit England

Danny Cipriani has been ruled out of England's autumn Test matches through injury. The fly-half is on crutches and is expected to be out for six weeks after picking up a hairline fracture to his right calf bone.

The Girl on the Landing, By Paul Torday

This is a tricky one, mainly because the writing is so lamentably prosaic ("the food and the wine were good" – a horribly unimaginative sentence that Torday might have gotten away with had it been intended to display the torpor of his main character's mind, but it's also repeated by that character's wife, and is also indicative of a great deal of the writing in this novel), and the characters so ridiculously stiff, formal and old-fashioned that it's a shock when they mention emails and texts.

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