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
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own