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Richard Hawley

Album review: Manic Street Preachers, Rewind the Film (Columbia)

An album about midlife resignation may not sound like the best spark to relight creative fires, but the Manics’ return is an unlikely victory even by their standards. After 2004’s potential career-killer Lifeblood, their last three albums proved they could still draw on a patented friction between brazen populism and brittle introspection. But their 11th is fresher still, its mostly acoustic intimacies offering searing, sublime dispatches from a stand-off – “in between acceptance and rage” – with middle age.

Changing man: An audience with Paul Weller

Thirty years ago he was The Jam's angry young frontman. But if Paul Weller has mellowed with age, he's lost none of his edge. On the eve of a general election, the singer talks pop, politics and why he hates MySpace

On the agenda: Tiger, tiger, burning bright – and it's coming


Whether you like to see a master at work or watch an auteur in the making, Rolex's biennial Mentor and Protégé programme will catch the eye. Six virtuosos, from visual artist Rebecca Horn to author AS Byatt, each take an up-and-coming talent under their wing for a year, and will be discussing their experience at various venues around the capital.

Album: Various Artists, Sacred Songs for Worrying Times (Righteous)

A striking anthology of modern faith-based ruminations, some custom-built to fit the compilation's prescient brief, others sourced with impeccable taste from the likes of The Handsome Family ("Grandmother Waits for You") and Slint singer/guitarist Ryan Driver ("When Were You in Mexico").

Inside Story: The 42nd edition of Midem

Midem used to be a bit of a jolly for the music business, especially for staff at the major labels. Networking, wheeling and dealing at Cannes, on the French Riviera, in January? What’s not to like?