Pop: Bob Dylan and Van Morrison

Pop Tim Perry

The Critics: Rock: Scary Prodigy, Weak Prodigy and Temp Prodigy

Offering a defence of the Prodigy may seem like offering Chris Evans a payrise. After all, it hasn't been a bad year for the band, what with releasing an album that's topped the charts in countries most people haven't heard of, and, more importantly, in one country most people have heard of - America. None the less, the Prodigy's annus hasn't been quite as mirabilis as expected. In January, they were pegged as untouchable pop divinities, but The Fat of the Land (XL) had nothing on it that matched "Breathe" and "Firestarter", the tracks which had already been released. At this end of the year, the Prodigy's song-titles and videos are clogging up a lot more column inches than their music.

Master of reality

Ozzy Osbourne gets a grip.

Comedy: Small moments of magic

John Shuttleworth - The Beast Of John Shuttleworth

Music: Old devils of heavy metal make a new pact

Cardinal Ratzinger of the Vatican must be pleased, wherever he is. Black Sabbath, a band he once condemned as an instrument of the Devil, is back. Despite years of biting the heads off bats and being surrounded by the smell of patchouli oil, the original Brummie heavy-metal band is planning a two-night get-together in their home-town next month.

live kd lang Apollo, Manchester

It was, according to kd lang, not so much a concert as a convention. The queue for the ladies, stretching from the foyer halfway into the centre of Manchester, was an early clue. Noddy Holder, there to feel the noise, presumably, was in a tiny minority in the audience; he was male and straight. This was a night for girls, to quote Damon Albarn, who like girls.

Pop: Happiness is a hard luck story

After decades spent on the cusp of folk and rock, art and commerce, Richard Thompson is still making his mind up about some things. Like the Eagles and New Wave. By Andy Gill

Book review / From our friends in the past

THE BEAT GOES ON: The Rock File Reader eds Charlie Gillett & Simon Frith, Pluto Press pounds 10.99

a stranger in paradise

Last week, 13-year-old child bride Sarah Cook embraced life in a Muslim culture. Here, Elizabeth Parker remembers the day she fell foul of Islamic law

One time casualty of the famed rock lifestyle, Ozzy Osbourne now messes with little more harmful than his 'natural endorphins'

the interview OZZY OSBOURNE, ROCK LEGEND TALKS TO BEN THOMPSON

Not dead, but gone to Hereford

REAL LIVES THE SUZI FEAY COLUMN

Exhibitions English Candies

It's 20 years this month since the last great British pop revolution was heralded with a roar of hatred and despair by the ultimate punk band, the Sex Pistols. Love, peace and hippies and the glam rock of Gary Glitter, the Sweet and Mud - glittery, star-studded and ultimately hollow - were shoved aside by the likes of the Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and the Undertones in the stampede to shock the establishment. Never before had a musical movement been so angry, so radical, so charged with political and social overtones and so much a product of underprivileged white youth.

Awards bang gong for heavy metal

THIS was the music awards ceremony from hell. Held with delightful inappropriateness in the crypt of a church and sponsored rather more appropriately by Jack Daniel, K Cider, Carlsberg, Black Death Vodka and Death Cigarettes, heavy metal had its moment of glamour last night.

THEATRE / Broom for improvement: Paul Taylor reviews the 'operamusical' Which Witch at the Piccadilly Theatre

WHICH Witch: it sounds like a consumer-guide on the lines of Which? Microwave or Which? Laptop. Would they be recommending us to snap up the latest state-of-the-art model equipped with broom-phone and self-worming cat? All that I left with, I fear, was a splitting headache and the spooky suspicion that Which Witch is not so much an 'operamusical' with a 16th-century witch hunt setting as Norway's dastardly revenge on the rest of the world for the way it has been treated in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Castle reduces gearing ratio

CASTLE Communications has added fuel to the accounting debate on the worth of intangible assets, by revaluing its audio copyrights upwards by nearly pounds 9m.
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker