Arts and Entertainment

Manchester Academy

Album: Yeasayer, Odd Blood (Mute/Secretly Canadian)

Yeasayer's second album starts by trying to scare the living hell out of you, then spends the rest of its time putting a comforting arm around your shoulder.

Liam Maher: Lead singer with the 1990s 'baggy' band Flowered Up

When Flowered Up formed on a Camden council estate in 1989, they didn't seem to have much of an agenda beyond "a few good gigs and some laughs", as their lead vocalist Liam Maher put it two years later. Yet the London band managed to encapsulate the hedonistic spirit of the acid house generation to perfection in 1992 with the 13-minute epic "Weekender", their sole Top 20 entry. That year, they appeared at two Madstock events in London's Finsbury Park but the New Musical Express chose to sensationalise Morrissey's antics with a Union Jack on the first day rather than draw the obvious parallels between Ian Dury and the Blockheads, also on the bill, and Madness, the headliners, and Flowered Up, then the latest in a direct line of culturally significant groups from the capital.

DJ Taylor: Superior Scots

The English are to blame for Alex Salmond's smugness; the TV book club presenters who know nothing about books; an ode to the old Olivetti; and posterity in pop

Album: Jo Hamilton, Gown (Poseidon)

Scottish chamber-folk artist Jo Hamilton spent a peripatetic childhood shuttling around the Middle East, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, during which time she clearly soaked up a range of musical influences.

Excess all areas: A life in rock'n'roll

When American showbiz lawyer Steven Machat entered the family business, he dealt with Michael Jackson, James Brown, Sam Cooke and many more. In this exclusive extract from his memoir he gives some of his recollections

Charlie Winston: Our newest export

He is a No 1 star in France, but Charlie Winston is virtually unknown back in his native Britain, writes Nick Hasted

John Mayhew: Drummer who played with the fledgling Genesis on 'Trespass'

As one of the biggest British groups ever, Genesis have sold in the region of 130 million albums worldwide. Both the original vocalist Peter Gabriel and the drummer-turned-lead-singer, Phil Collins, have enjoyed hugely successful solo careers, while the keyboard player Tony Banks and the guitarist Mike Rutherford, the two mainstays of the group, have also reaped the benefits of the work the band did in the late Sixties and throughout the Seventies. The drummer John Mayhew was only with them between August 1969 and July 1970, but he contributed to the recording of Trespass, the group's pastorally tinged second album, and their first for the Charisma label.

Gone in 65 seconds: Gabriel quits Oscars

Musician furious at decision to shorten his performance to a little over a minute

Children Of The Khmer, The World@St George's, Edinburgh

The World is a mini-festival that is the brainchild of Toby Gough, who brought young Sri Lankan survivors of the 2004 tsunami to the Royal Botanic Garden three years ago. Now he has enlisted the help of Brian Cox as patron, and Peter Gabriel and Kylie Minogue as backers, to celebrate international culture, from dancers from Brazil's favelas, to musicans from West Africa, to salsa dancers from Cuba.

Win VIP Womad tickets

Britain's best world music festival takes place this month – and we've got 50 pairs of tickets to give away. Sound good? Then tackle our quiz...

Sport on TV: Harsh lessons at Bath's school of hard knocks

They say you should never go back. Not least because you might not recognise anyone. This is especially so at top-flight sports clubs. 'What Happened Next: The Rugby Club' (BBC4, Tuesday) looked back at David Stafford's series about Bath's first season as a professional outfit. Few if any of the original protagonists are still there. After the decision to go pro, most of them found themselves heading for an early bath.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there