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 and Alison Krauss, Wembley Arena, London<br/>Sparks, Islington Academy, London

The Led Zep legend joins the bluegrass diva, while the audience gently drops off

Album: T Bone Burnett, Tooth of Crime (Nonesuch)

Despite the competing claims of such as Mark Ronson and Brian (Danger Mouse) Burton, T Bone Burnett may be the most interesting producer working in popular music at the moment. Equally comfortable helming award-winning soundtracks for Cold Mountain, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Walk the Line, and reacquainting singers like Tony Bennett, Roy Orbison, Cassandra Wilson and kd lang with their roots, his manifold talents combined to powerful effect on last year's peerless Raising Sand collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. But until 2006's The True False Identity, his packed diary left Burnett little time to pursue his own muse.

The Black Crowes, Brixton Academy, London

The Black Crowes believe in a utopian sort of Seventies rock, a hard-played, hard-lived, freak-friendly style somewhere between The Allman Brothers Band, The Faces and the mid-period Stones at their most decadently loose.

The 5-minute interview: Rachid Taha, Singer

'The way political structures are built doesn't allow for honesty'

The Year in Review: Culture

The best of the best our critics' choices

Led Zeppelin, O2 Arena, London

Age has not withered Led Zeppelin at least not enough to stop the Seventies rock legends from burning up the arena

Crowded House, MEN Arena, Manchester; Sons of Albion/ Big Linda, Barfly, Brighton

When a band gets back together after a lengthy hiatus, it's easy to assume that its members have run out of options or ideas and are just trying to recapture past glories. Not so Crowded House. Once the leader Neil Finn asked the bass player Nick Seymour to contribute to what was intended to be another solo album, this most organic of reformations became inevitable.

Warnock lets fly over rules

The Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock has criticised the game's rule-makers for taking no action against Aston Villa's Juan Pablo Angel over an alleged elbowing incident at Bramall Lane on Monday night.

Last Night: WOMAD, Rivermead, Reading

Led Zeppelin meets Latino in this festival of fascinating rhythms

Womad (World of Music and Dance), Rivermead, Reading

Lesser acts provide the big thrills as festival goes mainstream

The Music, The Forum, London

Album: The Darkness

Permission To Land, Must Destroy Music/Mushroom

Travel: 24-Hour Room Service - The Frangipani, St Vincent

FIRST IMPRESSIONS of this Caribbean hotel are of serious old-fashioned style. As far as relaxation goes, the ambience at the Frangipani is fully reclined with sea breeze on face and Sea Breeze in hand. The wooden walls in the main building are all freshly white-washed; inside, the dark wood furniture is solid but sophisticated.

Football: Bickering Magpies have the luck

Newcastle United 3 Bradford City 0
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

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

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
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

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick