Arts and Entertainment

One minute he was a humble punter trying to peek up Debbie Harry's skirt at a Hammersmith Odeon gig, the next he was the owner of the venue which was to steal the Odeon's crown. If Simon Parkes' autobiography – full of raucous tales and Geezer-speak – is ever made into a film, it will be fun trying to find an actor who can do him justice. When he wants to sound hard, he can sometimes come across like Ray Winstone. But would Ray Winstone ever have banked at Coutts?

Robert Plant performs with the Sensational Space Shifters

Live review: Robert Plant presents Sensational Space Shifters, Colston Hall, Bristol

For a Led Zeppelin reunion refusenik, Robert Plant does perform an awful lot of material by the group who defined seventies rock in all its magnificence and occasional self-indulgence.

Music review: Low, Barbican, London

Acts that project digital countdowns on-screen before showtime usually signpost an explosive opening. For Duluth, Minnesota’s arch-minimalists, however, these huge, blinking numbers facing the seats serve a different function. The display pinpoints when this unassuming, black-garbed trio are ready to start – and even then, with a minute to go, much of the audience is slow to recognise the band take the stage.

British man Robert Plant charged with French jogger's murder

A British man has been charged with the murder of a woman who was killed while out jogging in France.

Portmeirion, North Wales

The Village fete: a festival that takes no Prisoners

Primal Scream, New Order and Spiritualized have just been confirmed to headline the inaugural Festival Number 6 this September. Taking place in Portmeirion, North Wales, the festival is named after Patrick McGoohan's character in the cult sci-fi television show The Prisoner, which was filmed in the town in the 1960s. Just you try leaving early...

Cast, Shepherds Bush Empire, London

When a band reforms after a long hiatus, their comeback album can be seen as an afterthought amid the ensuing cash-in, so credit is due to Cast. After a 10-year break, the Scouse four-piece choose to perform three-quarters of their latest release rather than rely on back-catalogue safety.

'Whistle Test' returns to the BBC

"Whispering" bob Harris is to host The Old Grey Whistle Test once again in a radio revival of the classic BBC music show.

James Lawton: General McCarthy can inspire his men to win their relegation battle

What makes Mick such a formidable customer in a corner is his ability to strip down illusions and still suggest that there may be a fighting chance

McCarthy keeps feet firmly on ground

Sunderland 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3

Elokobi header gets Wolves rocking

Sunderland 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3: Defender ensures Molineux side control own fate as McCarthy finally tastes success at Sunderland

Album: Alison Krauss, Paper Airplane (Decca)

More clear-as-a-bell country from a woman who – though still just 39 – has been making records for precisely the same number of years as Grammys notched (26).

Album: Buddy Miller, The Majestic Silver Strings (New West)

In which Robert Plant's bandleader gathers to himself a supergroup of über-string-benders – Marc Ribot, Greg Leisz and, yep, Bill Frisell – and gets down to "messing up" a small canon of country songs in one room, live.

Alice Cooper blasts Robert Plant

Alice Cooper has blasted Robert Plant for playing "folk music" instead of reforming Led Zeppelin.

Tinie Tempah sets the bar in Brit Award nominations

A South London rapper has led the way in this year's Brit Award nominations, which also saw veteran rocker Robert Plant nominated for the first time in the awards' 34-year history.

Tim Lott: Bald or not, we spend our lives with one eye on the mirror

Men spending vast amounts on their hair is no surprise. But there's grooming, and there's vanity...
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?