News Ian Watkins wants to appeal the length of his sentence

Former Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins, who was handed a 35-year sentence for a string of child sex offences, has lodged an application for permission to appeal the length of his sentence.

Canadian rocker Neil Young and his backing band, Crazy Horse, have recorded a version of God Save the Queen for his new album Americana

Britain's national rock anthem: Neil Young to record his take on God Save the Queen

Provoking the indignation of patriotic Americans and traditionalist Brits alike is something perhaps only a Canadian would so gladly risk, but then Neil Young has never been afraid of ruffling a few feathers with his music.

The Doobies: from left, the guitarists and singers Pat Simmons and Tom Johnston, Hossack and multi-instrumentalist John McFee

Michael Hossack: Drummer with the Doobie Brothers

When the drummer Michael Hossack jammed with the Doobie Brothers at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco in June 1971, he proved such a natural fit alongside founding drummer John Hartman that the other two mainstays of the group, the guitarists, vocalists and songwriters Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmmons, asked him to perform with them at the Fillmore West. Within weeks, "Big Mike" Hossack and "Little John" Hartman forged a drumming partnership to match those driving the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers.

Elle for leather: Sinéad O'Connor

Sinéad O'Connor, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

With her combination of vulnerability and assertiveness, anger and empathy, Sinéad O'Connor makes an apt headliner for the Southbank's Women of the World Festival. Especially since, with her new album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)?, she's operating with a rare strength and clarity of purpose, with a band flexible enough to lend light and shade to the full range of her material.

Laura Marling, Hammersmith Apollo, London

With its 5000 capacity, Hammersmith Apollo is a large venue for any band to command, let alone a slight folk songstress with an acoustic guitar. Laura Marling more than rose to the challenge.

Vieux Farka Touré, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Every now and then, if you’re very lucky, you get to witness a live performance that blows everything else away. A gig that’s so inspiring it leaves you with a lasting smile etched on your face and a burning desire to download every track the artist has ever recorded. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Vieux Farka Touré.

Shapely Ankle Preferred, By Francesca Beauman

History is just a series of dates

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to its Own Past, By Simon Reynolds

Pop, deprived of fresh meat, feeds on itself

Album: The Maccabees, Given to the Wild (Fiction)

It's hard not to feel somewhat let down by The Maccabees' follow-up to 2009's Wall of Arms.

White Lies, Wembley Arena, London

Wembley Arena is chilly and two-thirds full, black curtains discreetly veiling unsold seats. “Hello, Wembley!” White Lies’ singer Harry McVeigh greets the faithful anyway.

The best of pluck: less is more for Laura Marling

Why rock and pop stars should end on a high note

Laura Marling has dropped the obligatory encore. Other acts should too, says Elisa Bray

Steel Panther / Mötley Crüe / Def Leppard, LG Arena, Birmingham
Little Dragon, Concorde 2, Brighton

It's as if poodle rock never went away when Mötley Crüe and the hair metallists get together

Album: Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler, This is Christmas (Infectious)

In which indie singer-songwriter Emma-Lee Moss and Ash frontman Tim Wheeler, a couple in real life, join musical forces and attempt, valiantly and with not inconsiderable success, to breathe new life into that stalest of stale old genres: the Christmas song.

Kasabian, Brighton Centre (4/5)

These are tough times for the beery, leery, all-male indie-rock band. At a time when women continue to dominate the charts and synth-pop remains the overwhelming sound of choice, such acts have rarely been less fashionable than they are now.

Album: The Saturdays, On Your Radar (Fascination/Polydor)

The all-too-familiar keyboard vamp which opens On Your Radar is about the clearest white flag that could be waved as regards originality: this is an album that seeks not to separate itself from the herd, but to bury itself so deeply in its midst as to be virtually invisible.

John Wilson

Cultural Life: John Wilson, Conductor

Theatre 'Lend Me a Tenor' at London's Gielgud Theatre. It's hilarious from start to finish. Just what a musical comedy should be. Stunning score and terrific performances. A real shame that it closed so soon because nobody went to see it!

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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'