Arts and Entertainment

Ronnie Scott’s, London

Double Take: 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black' by Nina Simone/Bob & Marcia

Robert Webb's guide to pop's most intriguing cover versions

Arts: Don't let me be misunderstood

In the Sixties, Nina Simone's music radically espoused black civil rights. But by the turn of the decade she had rejected politics. Why?

MUSIC: CD REVIEWS - DANCE

BREAKBEAT ERA: ULTRA OBSCENE (XL Recordings)

Arts and Books: Power and glory at the court of Queen Nina

A NINA SIMONE concert is more like a prayer meeting than a musical event, a religious experience in which the audience declared its devotion and projected its emotions on to a performer they treated like a deity, a people's princess. By the end of a long evening, the audience - young, middle-aged, old, men and women (and particularly the women) - were her devout acolytes, chanting her phrases and singing her praises, celebrating every brief sign. She had become Queen Nina, a sculpture with an inscrutable smile.

First Night: Acolytes chant the praises of Queen Nina

Nina Simone Meltdown/Royal Festival Hall London

The Critics: And his cigarette stayed lit all the way through

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds Royal Festival Hall, London

Festival: meltdown

This year's leftbank festie on the South Bank is kicked off by its curator Nick Cave (right), playing what is a rare show these days with the Bad Seeds. From there Meltdown 99 is a collection of every weird emotion you'd associate with Mr Cave. Highlights include two shows by longtime collaborator Blixa Bargeld (22 June & 1 July); the Estonian composer Arvo Part on 26 June, backed with a set by Dirty Three; and all-round genius songwriter Lee Hazelwood does a live show in London for the first time in some 20 years. Cave almost hits the mainstream with Sir Les Patterson's Australia Night (24 June), featuring Kylie Minogue, while Nina Simone offers some class on 1 July. It all rounds off on 2 July with Hal Willner's Harry Smith Project, a tribute to the man who did much to anthologise folk music. Cave leads the proceedings with Jarvis Cocker among the others involved. Royal Festival Hall, London SE1 (0171-960 4242) from 17 Jun

Pop: Something to bleat about

Pop LAMB THE PARADOX BRIGHTON

You Ask The Questions: So, Germaine, since animals now have rights, how about men?

Germaine Greer's new book, The Whole Woman, which claims women have settled for a fake equality instead of true liberation, is published next week by Doubleday. Nearly 30 years after she wrote The Female Eunuch, she has been driven to write another feminist polemic by the complacency of a younger generation of women. We asked readers to submit their questions for Dr Greer.

POP: CHARTS

SINGLES

What all the best-dressed corpses will be wearing

Death is no excuse for bad dress sense.

Music: Andy Gill on Albums

The Jesus and Mary Chain

JAZZ ALBUMS

1 Blue For You - The Very Best Of NINA SIMONE

Album Review: VARIOUS ARTISTS The Big Lebowski

VARIOUS ARTISTS
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