Arts and Entertainment

Wrote a Song for Everyone finds John Fogerty revisiting his Creedence songbook in the company of rock and country guests, with a final nod to his imagined bayou roots on a "Proud Mary" bristling with cajun raunch and second-line New Orleans funk, courtesy of Allen Toussaint and the Rebirth Brass Band.

Like a Fishbone, Bush Theatre, London

I had high hopes for Like a Fishbone, the new play by Anthony Weigh. His previous piece at the Bush, 2,000 Feet Away, was a sharp, thoughtfully balanced look at how a society's over-reaction to paedophilia can be strikingly counter-productive. So it's particularly dismaying to find him trading now in his own brand of melodramatic extremities in this latest work, which arranges a heated but enlightening scrap between religious faith and rational humanism.

Hurt up for second 'naked' Bafta

John Hurt has said that he had long been reluctant to reprise the part that made him famous - that of gay raconteur Quentin Crisp in Jack Gold’s 1975 biopic The Naked Civil Servant - that he preferred “to let sleeping dogs lie”. The dogs in this case were presumably those who might bark about cherished memories of such an iconic television drama being sullied by a potentially inferior sequel. To some it must have been seemed as if John Cleese had suddenly announced that he was going to write a new series of Fawlty Towers. Tantalising but horrifying at the same time.

Album: Brendan Benson, My Old, Familiar Friend (Echo)

Prior to hooking up with Jack White in The Raconteurs, Brendan Benson was a classic case of a cult artist in search of an audience – which is to say, a small coterie of fans treasured his recordings of polite, learned pop, which steadfastly refused to reach a commercial tipping-point.

Endgame - Truth and reconciliation

The man who was a key player in bringing South Africa's bitter political rivals together tells Gerard Gilbert how a new TV drama captures the tension of the apartheid era

Story of the song: 'Hurt', Johnny Cash (2002)

"Hurt" – a song on Nine Inch Nails' 1994 release The Downward Spiral – came to the attention of the country legend Johnny Cash in 2002, through a mutual friend, the producer Rick Rubin. Cash listened to Trent Reznor's song more than 100 times, hailing it as "the best anti-drug song I ever heard", before recording it for the Rubin-produced American IV: The Man Comes Around. Reznor was unsure at first that a Cash cover would be a good thing. "I listened to it, and it seemed incredibly strange and wrong to me to hear that voice with my song," he said.

American Music Club, Bush Hall, London

Would you look at Mark Eitzel? One minute he's playing the arch barfly-cum-ham-cum-raconteur to a T. The next, he's hunched down into a song, pulling its melody into his burly frame, then throwing it out like some shot-putting balladeer. He can sing the hell out of a song when his mind is on the job, and he gives no half-measures tonight.

The Long-Player Goodbye, by Travis Elborough

Golden age of grooves

Foo Fighters, Wembley Stadium, London

The Foo Fighters are one of the biggest rock bands in the world now, and I still struggle to see why. This first headlining gig at Wembley, and last album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace's debut in the UK charts at No 1, confirm their conquest here. But it has been a traceless rise, leaving few truly memorable songs or moments. All that lingers, as with tonight's show, is the fiercely grinning good humour and heart of Dave Grohl. The cliché that he is the nicest man in rock seems true, an honourable thing after his last band Nirvana's end. But musically, that means nothing.

Foo Fighters, City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

'Do you mind," Dave Grohl asks several thousand Mancunians, "if we play some new shit, some old shit, some rock shit, and some acoustic shit?" That's a lot of shit. But the Foo Fighters have a lot of time. "I hope you've had a really big piss," he cautions not long after the start. "It's gonna be a long night."

Garbage, Scala, London

Manson's sex appeal still rockin' after all these years

You can't stop the music

Copy-protected CDs are designed to curb large-scale piracy, but they also discourage file-swapping and home recording. Charles Arthur finds a solution

Foo Fighters, Wembley Arena, London

Yes, there is life after Nirvana

Album: Foo Fighters

One by One, Roswell/RCA
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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

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

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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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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
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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

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

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The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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