The Jezabels, Koko, London

With each soaring, emotive note, Hayley Mary makes up for Australian rock’s long-standing lack of strong female singers. Despite her pixie dimensions, The Jezabels’ vocalist commands the stage with an easy authority. No wonder they have the confidence to play by their own rules.

Album: Alberteen, Metal Book (Rhythm & Noir)

Their name's sideways nod to The Slits' Viv Albertine is just one of a welter of new-wave influences coursing through Alberteen's Metal Book.

Album: Mark Lanegan Band, Blues Funeral (4AD)

Not a blues album, but an album borrowing heavily from the bank of blues tonality: minor keys, draggy tempos, undecorated structures, an implicit sense of what it is to be enslaved.

Wizzard, Mariah Carey and The Pogues (Shane MacGowan)

'Fairytale' named as true soundtrack of Christmas

It has been called the best festive song never to top the singles chart.

Cummins (left) says of Hook: 'He got really angry, saying my band was a joke and I should give our spot to them'

How We Met: Kevin Cummins & Peter Hook

Peter Hook, 55

Album: Hard-Fi, Killer Sounds (Necessary/Atlantic)

Hard-Fi's third album certainly talks a good fight, with tracks titled "Feels Good", "Excitement" and, of course, "Killer Sounds", which perhaps reveals their ambition to become the British equivalent of The Killers.

Album: The Kills, Blood Pressures (Domino)

"She comes alive when she's dying", sings Alison Mosshart on "Damned if You Do", a spirit of last-gasp jubilance that infects the latest from the fashion-pack rockers, who skimmed the zeitgeist sometime back in 2005.

Drive Angry: Video interview with Amber Heard

Nicolas Cage stars as a vengeance-fuelled father pursuing the killers of his daughter and to save her kidnapped baby in Drive Angry, the new in-your-face shocker from the team behind My Bloody Valentine!

Album: James Walbourne, The Hill (Heavenly)

As a session guitarist who looks like the son of most of the acts he plays with (Peter Bruntnell, the Pretenders, the Pogues, the Pernice Brothers), it's hard not to notice Walbourne if you're lucky enough to have caught him live.

Wire, Rough Trade East, London

The dial is not turned quite up to 11 at tonight's in-store show: epochal post-punk band they may be, but Wire are, still, in their fifties, and they trickle on to a bizarrely polite smattering of applause.

Missing persons services at risk as funding is slashed

National charity to lose all its government cash as police admit their work on the issue will also be hit

Caught on film: Joy Division on tour in 1979

Intimate portraits of Mancunian band Joy Division on tour the year before their frontman Ian Curtis' tragic death are available to buy as collector's items for the first time.

Album: !!!, Strange Weather, Isn't It? (Warp)

Ah, the hubris of the early Noughties, when punk-funk revivalists were so confident the moment was theirs they didn't even bother having proper names.

Shadowplayers: The rise and fall of Factory Records by James Nice

Band of bothers in Madchester

The Fall, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

"I think this is the best line-up I've ever had," Mark E Smith told me back in March before the release of The Fall's new album, Your Future Our Clutter, to generally rapturous accolades.

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