Arts and Entertainment

Ronnie Scott’s, London

Slick as thieves: Jack Roth played Charlie Wilson and Luke Evans starred as Bruce Reynolds in 'The Great Train Robbery'

The Great Train Robbery, BBC1 - TV review: Bruce and the boys clean up in a gripping tale that's back in the news

Oh, it was a great train robbery. The best. And what made it so good? The fact that the timing was absolutely spot-on. They're still at it too, with the death of Ronnie Biggs yesterday giving Chris Chibnall and Julian Jarrold's The Great Train Robbery (BBC1) a publicity boost worthy of old Brucie Reynolds himself.

Rebecca Ferguson, Freedom: Album review - 'A heartwarming journey from loss to fulfilment'

Emotional power raises the album above a simple collection of songs

Album review: Elton John, The Diving Board (Mercury)

Album of the Week: Elton makes a splash with a great return to form

Cat Power smoulders at the Roundhouse

Music review: Cat Power provides smoky vocals at the Roundhouse, London

Stop mumbling, former RSC star Imogen Stubbs has advised aspiring actors, though the same counsel could apply to the singer heading to the rear of the stage to light a not-so-crafty cigarette. For while capable of reaching earthily soulful heights, the voice of Chan Marshall, aka Cat Power, disappears between numbers.

Yoko Ono is curating this year's Meltdown Festival

Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival tribute to John Lennon

The last album released by John Lennon before he was murdered will be played in full live for the first time when his widow, Yoko Ono, takes over this year's Meltdown Festival.

Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon (RCA)

Album review: Laura Mvula, Sing to the Moon (RCA)

While Laura Mvula deserves credit for blending her Caribbean heritage with her classical training, Sing to the Moon is far from the masterpiece some claim.

Cabaret performer, Lady Rizo

Lady Rizo: "The diva you always wanted to worship, but never found until now”

Lady Rizo, real name Amelia Zirin-Brown, describes herself as “a cabaret superstar, chanteuse and comedian. The diva you always wanted to worship, but never found until now”.

Emeli Sandé, Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Virgin)

Album review: Emeli Sandé, Live at the Royal Albert Hall (Virgin)

Accompanied by strings and backing vocalists, Live at the Royal Albert Hall offers a suitably grandiose showcase for 2012's biggest breakthrough act.

Yoko Ono to curate Meltdown Festival 2013

Yoko Ono will curate next year's Meltdown Festival choosing the musicians and artists who will appear at the annual event.

Album: Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough? (Warner)

Never believe anything anyone tells you in January. The month of second-guessing and self-fulfilling prophecies, it's the period when the music industry and media send out suspiciously samey lists of Bright New Hopes for the year ahead, almost always as cautious as they are tedious. But just occasionally, like a broken clock, they get it right.

Liz Green, Bush Hall, London

“It’s going to be a whole lotta of fun tonight,” Liz Green sings, in her jazz-coated tones, on the perky 'Midnight Blues'. That’s about as jaunty as the 28-year-old’s music gets. She even warns us, jokily (and Green’s very droll, like a blend of Victoria Wood, Linda Smith and Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton), that “I’m going to try and depress you now,” before the exquisite lament 'Hey Joe', adding “it’s a sad song about my imaginary friend’s less than impressive love life.” 

Album: Krystle Warren and the Facultya, Time To Keep: Love Songs EP (Parlour Door Music)

There are elements of Nina Simone and Joan Armatrading in folk-jazz singer Krystle Warren's voice, and even Dusty at her dustiest, on the five tracks which here serve as a taster for two albums' worth of material intended for release over the next year.

Merrill Garbus: To the ukulele...and beyond!

She yelps, yodels, croons and bellows. But, as the fast-rising pop all-rounder (aka Tune-Yards) tells Holly Williams, it's all about the performance

The voice of black America falls silent

Gil Scott-Heron, who has died aged 62, fired today's rappers with his biting satires

Guess who's coming to dinner?: Tracey MacLeod and John Walsh take the Come Dine With Me challenge

Every week, John Walsh and Tracey MacLeod dish out scorching reviews of Britain's top restaurants. What happened when they cooked for each other?
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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain