Arts and Entertainment Glory days: US singer Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen has scored his tenth UK number one album with High Hopes, beating the likes of David Bowie and Michael Jackson.

Pop review: California screaming

From sunny California comes the dark, melodic hardcore of Human Waste Project. Each member of the band brings their own attitude to the music, but it's the freaked-out rage of lead singer Aimee which gives HWP their edge

Review: `Nobody's wasting anything too decent on this with the exception of Goldie'

ANDY GILL ON ALBUMS: Various Artists Spawn: The Album EPIC EPC 4881189

Bunhill: Deep Blue reaches cut-off point

So the meaning of life has been staring us in the face all this time and we've only just woken up to the fact: it's a board game. Well, we can't say no one ever told us. The German writer Goethe said many years ago that: "Nature gave us the chess board

CV : JO WHILEY DJ, Radio 1

I TURNED ON MY MICROPHONE FOR THE FIRST TIME AND THOUGHT 'I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY', SO I MADE SOMETHING UP ABOUT THE LEVELLERS' TOUR DATES; THEY WEREN'T EVEN ON TOUR

The rock critic with the bus pass and ear plugs

It is 1.20am at the Atomic Cafe, and a mega-decibel rock band called Iodine is in full roar. A few dozen fans line the black-painted walls, their heads thrashing with the music. But sitting on the floor right up front, just feet from the blast of the amplifiers, is a small old lady. Incredibly, she has fallen asleep.

Not a very good year for the Roses

The Critics: ROCK

Britpop's new movers and shakers

Kula Shaker could be the Next Big Thing: but first they'll be groomed by the image makers. Can they remain unfazed by the 'creative' advice of stylists, photographers and hairdressers?

Yacht ahoy! Prepare to attack fat, follically challenged record exec

A little while ago, I happened to be watching the 1996 World Music Awards (that's narrowed it down - it was definitely in 1996), when I saw something that really has kept me pretty happy these past few June nights.

Pop: Steve Earle I Feel Alright Transatlantic TRA CD 227; Rage Against the Machine Evil Empire Epic EPC 481026 2; Cibo Matto Viva! La Woman Warner Bros. 9362-45989-2

This is the real American rebel: a rootin', tootin', country-rockin' good ol' boy, fresh from smack addiction and jail term, bearing a few extra chins, but more than punching his weight again. Set to a rolling "Gloria" groove, "Feel Alright" lays out Earle's terms: "I'll bring you precious contraband/ And ancient tales from distant lands," he promises, but warns, "Be careful what you wish for friend/ Because I've been to hell and now I'm back again."

No news is good news

News saturation, manipulation and misrepresentation comes under scrutiny in Channel 4's latest season. Steven Poole reports

COMEDY / Lee's still sweet, but Skinner's sounding sour

A YEAR is a long time in comedy, and if you didn't know that Lee Evans has been busy making a series of short comedy- dramas for Channel 4 and co- starring in a Disney film with Jerry Lewis (a cynical ploy to make him big in France), it would be tempting to think he had gone underground. This is the Perrier Award-winner's first proper tour, but if he was worried that everyone might have forgotten him, the warmth of the reception he gets from a packed Lewisham Theatre should have put his mind at rest.

Centrefold: Heading for Reading: Mud, sweat and tears at the South's answer to Glastonbury

If jugglers, aromatherapy and patchouli oil get your engine running, you're out of luck because Glastonbury was two months ago. Tomorrow, the 1994 Reading Festival kicks into gear with a hard-as-nails line-up that should guarantee Henry Rollins (appearing on Sunday) a sizeable bunch of sparring partners to choose from. None of your Rage Against the Machine 'F*** you I won't clean up my bedroom' rich-kid whinging here, that's for sure. Glastonbury is where the hippies chill. But Reading is for rough kids.

LEADERS OF THE PACK / Out of mothballs, into flames: Rock Singer Of The Year

WHY Neil Young? He's what you might call an autumn chicken. His climb back to grace has gone on for so long that he's due for another fall. And all he's released this year is a live album; and that as an instalment of MTV's 'Unplugged' series - a new institution which, in its unending quest for spurious 'authenticity', embodies all that is depressingly retrograde in the state of rock. But there's one number on Young's Unplugged that redeems the enterprise. 'Like a Hurricane' is a song so familiar that even a fan might not expect to be excited by it. Yet its author has taken this simple tune to pieces, and painstakingly rebuilt it - around a wheezing pump organ - into something new and devastatingly beautiful.

ROCK / The not so great outdoors

FASHION NOTES from the Reading Festival: nose rings are still in this summer, and some people are wearing their sweatshirts tucked into their combat trousers. Fears that the popular appetite for festival entertainment might have been sated by Glastonbury and the new Phoenix event in July - set up as a rival to Reading, but now being run by the same people - proved unfounded.

ROCK / The times they are a-changing back

IT'S AN unenviable achievement to be on the oldies' circuit by the time of your first tour, but such is Charles & Eddie's lot. There's a soul nostalgia rather than a next-big-thing crowd at the Clapham Grand, but Messrs Pettigrew & Chacon don't seem too bothered. After all, if PR legend and their own song 'NYC' are to be believed, it was soul nostalgia that brought them together.
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