Travel
 

The Red Star Line Museum, Belgium's transatlantic landmark, charts the history of emigration to America

Andrew Love: Saxophonist with the Memphis Horns

The tenor saxophonist Andrew Love played on some of the most enduring soul records to come out of Memphis in the 1960s.

Neil Diamond, O2 Arena, London

A Union Jack and Stars and Stripes flutter on screen together at the close of "America", Neil Diamond's idealistic love letter to his homeland. So in one deft move he rebuilds the special relationship in London. You instantly sense how this trouper in his 71st year strives to make every crowd from Cape Town to Glasgow feel a personal connection. Yet for much of the two-hour set, Neil Diamond remains impossible to resist.

Neil Diamond: 'I need a woman who understands my work ethic'

He's one of pop's biggest names – but when the lights go down, he speaks to his kids via Skype and plays cards with any 'friendly face' he can find. On the eve of a UK tour, Fiona Sturges meets Neil Diamond, the septuagenarian singer for whom the show really must go on

BBC pulls plug on Electric Proms

The electric Proms is to be axed because of cuts to the BBC's budget, the Corporation has confirmed.

Neil Diamond: Radio 2 Electric Proms, Roundhouse, London

"Girl if it lasts for an hour, that's all right/ We got all night/ To set the world right," hollers Neil Diamond, grinning.

Album: Neil Diamond, Dreams (Columbia)

There are no surprises on this anthology of Neil Diamond's favourite songs from "the rock era", just a series of fairly predictable MOR standards treated to his signature melodramatic delivery: acceptable on "Hallelujah", dealt with due solemnity, or "Desperado", already well freighted with theatrical narrative, but inappropriate on more delicate material such as "Blackbird" and "Yesterday".

Pendulum, Wembley Arena

The ambitious Australian quintet Pendulum have their sights set on becoming the biggest electronic act in the world. It must have been a blow to the kudos then when Neil Diamond beat the dance-rockers' second drum'n'bass-meets-metal album, In Silico, to the No 1 slot in 2008.

Album: Neil Diamond, A Cherry Cherry Christmas (Sony)

In the sleeve notes, Neil Diamond pre-empts any feelings of incongruity at the prospect of a Jewish guy singing Christmas songs by stating that this is a magical time of year regardless of one's religion.

Album: Neil Diamond, A Cherry Cherry Christmas (Columbia)

The bulk of these 14 tracks were originally released on previous Neil Diamond Christmas albums from 1992 and 1994 – neither of which, one imagines, bore such a cringingly terrible titular pun.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Neil Diamond, By David Wild

David Wild is a "Diamondhead". It has been this way since childhood, when the music of Neil Diamond filtered through his family home: the Wilds worshipped the musician as a "Jewish Elvis". David Wild manages to turn his personal passion into a profession and becomes a Rolling Stone journalist charged with interviewing his hero several times. He wins Diamond over and the Wild family receives a personal invitation to shows.

Super Furry Animals - still light years ahead

As Wales's kings of psychedelic pop prepare to headline the Wychwood Festival, lead singer Gruff Rhys talks to Nick Hasted about 16 years spent confounding expectations.

Album: Super Furry Animals, Dark Days/ Light Years (Rough Trade)

The worst mistake any band can make, if they want to get noticed, is to release consistently excellent records. Without the clichéd "falls from grace" and the proverbial "stunning returns to form", you just become invisible. So it is with Super Furry Animals, whose endlessly inventive psych-pop ought to have sealed their place as a national treasure after 15 years. Dark Days/Light Years isn't, to my mind, the Furries' finest, but it's growing in stature with every listen. It starts with two pieces of voodoo glam in the style of Marc Bolan, Ringo Starr and John Kongos in "Crazy Naked Girls" (great title) and "Mt". From thereon, it leaps around as many styles as any other SFA album, from the Bollywood-flavoured "The Very Best of Neil Diamond" (another great title) to the childlike "Inaugural Trams". Perhaps the loveliest moment, "Helium Hearts", has barely started before it ends, which tells you plenty: so tune-rich are SFA they can afford to squander a beauty like that.

Kennedy clan passes the torch to JFK's daughter

Caroline Kennedy urged to contest the New York Senate seat being vacated by Hillary Clinton

Forgotten Authors No.14: Richard Bach

There are certain books only college students have the patience to read. In the Seventies, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance were romping up the book charts in university towns. Each generation of wide-eyed freshers promotes one of these into the bestsellers, and at least it can be said that the standard is improving. For all I know, Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated could be wonderful beyond page 17.

Neil Diamond, National Indoor Arena, Birmingham<br />Estelle, Custard Factory, Birmingham

Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond is basking in an Indian summer after more than 40 years of magical pop moments
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