Arts and Entertainment

The reciprocal half of Gabriel’s I’ll-cover-yours-if-you’ll-cover-mine project Scratch My Back, in which his correspondents respond to his proposition by covering PG songs in return - a round dozen of them, including “Biko”, “Shock the Monkey” and, ill-advisedly, “Don’t Give Up”.

Smit adds to Saracens' Springbok accent

South Africa captain John Smit will join Saracens in October after the conclusion of the World Cup. The 33-year-old is the most capped captain and forward in Springbok history, having featured in 102 Tests.

Lou Reed, Hammersmith Apollo, London

"We love you, Lou!" shouts a crazed audience member. "You know, by now, I love you too," croaks The Velvet Underground legend, who is notoriously uncompromising when it comes to testing what fans are willing to accept as entertainment. Having endured the unlistenable electronic clamour of Metal Machine Music and the crashing downer of Berlin, none of the audience are expecting a full-blown radio-friendly hits showdown tonight.

Metallica record album with Lou Reed

Metallica have recorded an album with Lou Reed.

Wales call-up helps Henson along road to redemption

Gavin Henson has been selected in a 24-man Wales squad for next month's game against the Barbarians at the Millennium Stadium. The Toulon centre, who has not played for Wales since the 2009 Six Nations Championship, was suspended by his club last month while they investigated an altercation involving the 29-year-old and team-mates. Henson was given a second chance and appeared as a substitute in the defeat by Montpellier on Saturday.

Album: Booker T Jones, The Road from Memphis (Anti-)

Having revisited their 1960s landmark Odessey and Oracle a few years back, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone here revive The Zombies as a going concern, with a new album that repositions the band within the sonic lineage of Steely Dan.

When home is where the film-maker's art is

Michel Gondry and Lou Reed are the latest directors to use their families as movie material. Why not, says Kaleem Aftab, when they are such a rich source of drama?

Arthur and the Great Adventure (PG)

Starring: Freddie Highmore, Selena Gomez, Lou Reed, Stacy Ferguson

Lou Reed: From rock icon to film-maker

Most film-school students are in a rush to make their first movie – but not the former Velvet Underground front man Lou Reed. There has been a 50-year gap between the singer first entering Syracuse University to study journalism and film directing, and taking a seat in the director's chair.

Diary: Lou Reed makes Boyle’s day

Warbling Scottish eccentric Susan Boyle has already turned her vocal talents to a number of potentially unsuitable cover versions: "Wild Horses", by Keith Richards and the allegedly underendowed Mick Jagger, to name but one example.

Dom Joly: I'm at the Albert Hall and it's rubbish

I played the Albert Hall last week. I was on stage for all of 30 seconds but still... box ticked. It all started with a call from Dave Arnold, the overly talented film-score composer. He was organising a concert for Care, a charity he is passionate about. The idea was for a night of some of the greatest film music ever composed, all played live with full orchestra – all bells and whistles. In between the music some light relief was wanted and Dave asked if I could do something. I agreed – after all, unless you're Eric Clapton, it's not often you get the chance to play the Albert Hall. The problem was, what to do? I am not a stand-up comedian, so don't have 10 minutes of lighthearted patter to do before moving on to my next three gigs of the evening: "Good evening ladies and gentlemen and can I say how exciting it is to be at the West London Photocopying Awards.... Sorry I'm late, but I've just been playing the Albert Hall."

Album: Alejandro Escovado, Street Songs of Love (Fantasy / Concord)

An aptly titled album, this, by one of the many scions of the Escovedo dynasty – the romance of the American urban thoroughfare writ in whacking great neon capitals.

Album: Laurie Anderson, Homeland (Nonesuch)

Anderson's first studio album in 10 years is one to divide opinion – either enough to induce "stultifying boredom" (the NME) or one that makes her "the most important multimedia artist of our time" (The LA Times).

Album: Laurie Anderson Homeland (Nonesuch)

As the title suggests, Homeland sees Laurie Anderson returning to the familiar territory of her opus magnum United States I-IV, with a series of ruminations and observations upon her native land, in which unashamed intellectualism – references to Kierkegaard, Thomas Paine, etc – is balanced by her dry wit and ironic delivery.

Michael Clark, Barbican, London <br/>Royal Ballet, Royal Opera House, London

Come, Been and Gone? It's a case of All Seen and Done

Canine audience is bow-wowed by festival

Hundreds of dogs and their owners yesterday attended a concert specifically designed for canines, organised at the Sydney Opera House by the performance artist Laurie Anderson.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness