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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Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public