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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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

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Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
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The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?