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

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.

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

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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch