Arts and Entertainment Dusty, Heard Them Here First

Various Artists, Ace: An entertaining and inspiring collection

Arts: Welcome, people, one and all, to Bartholomew Fair

The RSC's new, carnival-style staging of Ben Jonson's rarely seen comedy finally frees the text from the fettering footnotes of its classic status. Even Puritans, says Paul Taylor, will enjoy the fun of this `Fair'.

Supreme victory for Motown fans

Two British Tamla Motown fans have won a 10-year battle to persuade record giant Polygram to open their vaults and release an album of rare tracks.

Dance: Last Poets, Dana Bryant, Lemn Sissay Barbican Hall, London

Regularly namechecked by any rap crew worth its Spike Lee video, the Last Poets were indeed seminal in marrying a militant black consciousness to drums whose angry rhythms still echo today. Encouraging their mainstream counterparts Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye to wake up to their black heritage, they were vital in introducing the issue of race into the woodpile of popular music. Without the Last Poets, no hip-hop or rap. Without either of these twin pillars of contemporary black music, no Public Enemy, no Ice Cube, not much dance music and (perhaps less inconceivable, this one) no Normski.

POP D'Influence / Youngbloods Convention Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Every year there's one dance record that breaks out of its accompanying underground and becomes the nation's summer soundtrack. Soul II Soul, Jamiroquai and Goldie have done it in the past and D'Influence, hot from supporting Michael Jackson and Prince, are aiming to wrestle the coveted mantle of the nation's groovsters from their illustrious predecessors with their impending album, London.

Rollin' with it

POP: Steve Winwood; Hanover Grand, London

It was like a marriage that had gone wrong

The time: 1994

Got to find a way

Revered soul daddy Curtis Mayfield was left a quadriplegic when a freak storm hit in 1990. He can no longer play guitar, but he's back with a new album.

Pop Emmylou Harris Jazz Cafe, London

A couple of years ago, Emmylou Harris had been virtually written off. Three broken marriages lay gathering dust on the trail, and after Songs of the West, a competent but unremarkable album, Warners let her go. This has proved to be a mistake. Early last year, Harris joined forces with Quebecois producer Daniel Lanois; the result is Wrecking Ball (Grapevine), a darkly magnificent collection. Harris comes laden with legend - with ex-Byrd Gram Parsons, she pioneered a brooding fusion of country and rock - and, despite its unexpected departures, Wrecking Ball returns to the birth of country, then scarily re-routes it.

Misery never made you feel so good

ROCK

Record reviews

Suede

Pop Albums: Lewis Taylor Lewis Taylor CID 8049

Undoubtedly the most accomplished debut offering of the year, Lewis Taylor introduces, at the uncommonly ripe age of 30, a major talent who is prepared to ignore the dictates of fashion in favour of his own direction.

So what if the Bible tells me so

Me'Shell Ndegeocello doesn't like morally superior people. But then she's a Go-Go girl from DC.

Obituary: Junior Walker

The saxophone doesn't feature enough in popular music. Too often, it has become synonymous with the bland doodlings of Kenny G or been buried in a horn section used to punctuate chord changes. Junior Walker, the American tenor sax player, was one of the prime exponents of the instrument in all its rasping glory. His playing on Motown classics like "Shotgun", "(I'm A) Roadrunner" and "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)" as well as Foreigner's "Urgent" straddled genres and decades and can still be heard on Gold stations the world over. At various times, he worked with partners whose musical roots went all the way back to the birth of rock 'n' roll itself.

Album Review: Eusebe Tales from Mama's Yard EMI 7243-8-34792-2- 1

Brit-rap has traditionally foundered on its inauthenticity: in a genre that makes claims on reflecting the true realities of the black experience, blatant misappropriations of American "gangsta" schtick sound all the more hollow and insincere applied to the more parochial British environs.
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam