Arts and Entertainment

A sideways look at the world of music

Tricky, Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

For many, Tricky will for ever be defined by the genre he helped create. He has always been darker and more threatening than his contemporaries Massive Attack and Portishead, but he can't seem to escape trip-hop, or for that matter Maxinquaye, his defining debut album.

Album: Malakai, Ugly Side of Love, (Invada)

Loved by Lily Allen, signed to Geoff (Portishead) Barrow’s record label and described as “the b-boy Syd Barrett”, the debut album by Bristol two-piece Malakai would be irritating if it wasn’t such a work of wonder.

On and off the rails: Britain's old railway routes are being reclaimed

The destruction of Britain's railway network in the 1960s was a disaster for millions of people. But now, as Simon Calder discovers, some of the old routes are being reclaimed

Je t'aime (again): The French love affair with Serge Gainsbourg

As a new warts-and-all exhibition demonstrates, France has rediscovered its affection for Serge Gainsbourg, the anti-hero who came up with the sexiest pop record ever. John Lichfield reports

A higher calling: Why Bill Drummond swapped rave for choir practice

He founded one of the Eighties' most anarchic bands, and famously burnt £1m in cash. But Bill Drummond's latest scheme is truly ground-breaking, as his diaries reveal...

Interview: Alex Zane

Most of you will recognise Alex Zane from Popworld, Channel 4’s Sunday morning music show. Quite a few of you will recognise him as the quizmaster from Balls of Steel, the comedy show – also on Channel 4.

Caught in the Net by Elisa Bray

Prince, and his label NPG Records, may have made a fuss about fans' YouTube clips of his version of Radiohead's "Creep" performed at Coachella, claiming copyright infringement and asking for them to be removed, but Radiohead has no such qualms about website exposure. As Thom Yorke says: "Well, tell him to unblock it. It's our song". Since then, the band's new song, "Super Collider", performed at their 6 June show in Dublin, can be seen on YouTube, albeit with a very shaky picture.

Album: Martina Topley Bird, The Blue God (Independiente)

Martina Topley Bird's CV of former collaborators is one of the more impressively varied in modern pop: since she was discovered by Tricky way back in the mid-Nineties, her vocals have appeared on records by David Holmes, Mark Lanegan, Primus, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Gorillaz, to name but a few.

Album: Portishead, Third (Island)

Say what you like about Portishead; you can't accuse them of being in it for the money. The easy thing to do, a decade-plus since their much-adored debut, would be to play it safe and offer up 'Dummy' redux.

Portishead, Apollo, Manchester

Glory days are back with a vengeance

Ones to watch: Five of the best new acts

CRYSTALCASTLES

Named after She-Ra’s pad in He- Man, this boy-girl Toronto duo state their influences, via their Myspace page, as murder, blank looks on girls and knives. However true that may be, it’s possibly more helpful to say that their sound is an amalgam of Suicide, Kid 606 and Klaxons, while their employment of Atari soundchips in their keyboards also allies them with the currently voguish chiptunes movement.

First Night: Portishead, Hammersmith Apollo, London

The future is bright after a decade in the darkness

Bristol Time: The return of a trip-hop legacy

The capital of trip-hop is back on track with a slew of new recordings from its Nineties pioneers. By Nick Hasted

Cult Classics: 'Histoire de Melody Nelson', Serge Gainsbourg (1971)

Considered in the UK to be his best recording, Histoire de Melody Nelson continues, thematically, where Gainsbourg's hit "Je t'aime moi non plus" left off. Technically a concept work (albeit barely 28 minutes long), it was recorded in London.

Album: The Blessing, All Is Yes (Cake)

At last, a noisy, thrashy post-jazz combo that sounds like a proper band rather than a po-mo "project". It's the Portishead rhythm section's rockier elements – Jim Barr's thrumming bass guitar and Clive Deemer's four-square drumming – that give The Blessing the legs as a jazz-for-standing-up act, while Pete Judge on trumpet and Jake McMurchie on tenor sax communicate a more sensitive, sitting-down side. They're at their best when both worlds collide, as on "Another Brother's Mother", when the Joy Division bass gives way to a beautiful Albert Ayler-ish motif and screaming McMurchie solo.

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Career Services

Day In a Page

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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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