News

Actor is the third 'Marlboro man' to die from a smoking-related illness

Tinie Tempah, Rock City, Nottingham<br/>Anna Calvi, Dingwall's, London

The biggest thing to come out of Plumstead since Shampoo has his audience enthralled, even if the songs are hardly groundbreaking

The Streets, Picture House, Edinburgh

A showman signs off in style

Album: The Streets, Computers and Blues (679)

It's been pretty evident, ever since the celebrity meltdown horrors of 2006's The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living, that Mike Skinner has little time for modern pop stardom. So it's not that much of a surprise he should have decided to draw a line under his career as The Streets, and pursue different creative paths, with plans for a film and a novel.

Mike Skinner: How I stopped doubting and became streetwise

Chancer or genius? As Mike Skinner releases Computers and Blues, his final album as The Streets, John Walsh explains how rap's own Cole Porter finally got under his skin

Ours Are The Streets, By Sunjeev Sahota

Ilook in American eyes/ I see little life/ See little wife/ He's striking violence up in me....I'm pulling out the pin/ Oh, I pull out, pull out the pin." So sang Kate Bush in 1982 about the final reflections of a suicide bomber. These days, artists who have dared to depict the inner life of modern-day martyrs – invariably Islamic radicals preparing to die in the West – have done so in a satirical register rather than an earnest one, perhaps because it is safer. Chris Morris'a film Four Lions was commended for its levity, while Sebastian Faulks adopted a tenderly comic note in his portrait of Hassan, a Private Eye-reading son of a pickle magnate in A Week in December.

Ones to watch in 2011: A new year of cultural highs

From a Da Vinci blockbuster to Frankenstein on stage, and from Scorsese in 3D to The Streets on tour, we select the best of the arts in 2011

Leslie Nielsen, the comic actor who never cracked a smile

Geoffrey Macnab mourns the deadpan star of Airplane and Police Squad!

Caught In The Net: Walk the online tribute to Cash

Recently I happened across a video being created for the title track of Johnny Cash's final studio album, Ain't No Grave, which was released posthumously this year. The video is a collective effort at www.thejohnnycashproject. com. All comers are invited to upload their portrait of Cash to the site – the images are then woven into a video for the song. They've already made versions, but it will continue to evolve as more images are submitted. It sounds gimmicky, but on the version I watched it was quite impressive and moving – it helps that the song is great.

Music videos: Sound and visionaries

YouTube has revitalised the music video, says Elisa Bray &ndash; and unleashed a new generation of directing talent

British hip-hop heads out of the underground

Amid accusations of sell-out and crossover, the UK's hip-hop artists want to win fans while staying true to their scene. By Matilda Egere-Cooper

The return of concept album

Concept albums used to be the most hideous emblem of conceit in rock bands, so why are they now acceptable? By Fiona Sturges

Metronomy, HMV Forum, London

Klaxons started the nu-rave "movement" as a semi-fictional scam, but its after-effects can still be felt tonight. Devon's Joseph Mount, the man behind Metronomy, is associated with the briefly burning scene through remixing and touring with Klaxons, and the nod to their glow-stick fad in the pulsing chest-lights his band wear. More vitally, the way he approaches introspective, guitar-loaded indie music as if it's dance music pulls the same genre-bending trick. Last year's breakthrough album, Nights Out, also offered a version of The Streets' 21st-century kitchen-sink tales. Add Mount's interest in clunky 1980s synth-pop, and Metronomy become an honest cross-over hit waiting to happen.

The Word On... Just Jack, All night cinema

He really turns things up a notch with addictive electro stomper "Goth in a Disco". But... why not try to inject a little humour, rather than leave it trite and unimaginative... Without a single killer track, 'All Night Cinema' is no blockbuster. - Ben Urdang, musicomh.com

Just Jack the lad

Camden town's hip-hop observer has a major label deal and two huge hits under his belt. Chris Mugan goes to a North London basement to find out how Just Jack does it

Album: Just Jack, All Night Cinema (Mercury)

The fairly lacklustre performance of The Streets' Everything Is Borrowed last year perhaps suggests that the hip-pop street-philosopher style may have just about run its course, which would be a shame for Jack Allsopp, who with All Night Cinema has made a quantum leap beyond his previous releases.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
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