News Hanging Rock is under threat

Protest meetings – and even a protest picnic - held at the site as petition with 5,000 signatures urges council to reconsider

No wonder so many young men are alienated when we eulogise this ape

YOU will not catch me blubbering because of the latest tragedy to have befallen the nation. Indeed, if we are to use the word tragedy to describe what happens when an unfit footballer is left out of a team what will we say when something really bad happens?

Welcome to the pleasure zone

Is a new interactive installation at the ICA art or massage therapy? By Judith Palmer

Pop review: Super Furry Animals UEA, Norwich

"Please note crowd surfing is not permitted," it said on the tickets. Ferried aloft like the packed lunches of some strain of giant ants, several students in tonight's audience gleefully ignored the ban. Earlier, SFA's shaggy-haired singer Gruff Rhys had confessed he felt tempted to sing a chorus of "Born in the UEA". When this pun at Springsteen's expense segued into one about "Surfing UEA", die-hard fans couldn't resist taking him literally.

Gazza drinks in the last-chance saloon

NOT FOR the first time, though just possibly for the last, Paul Gascoigne's off-field activities consumed about 90 per cent of England's press conference yesterday.

Rock: Saint Etienne almost get into the party spirit

DEPENDING ON which Saint Etienne fan you speak to, Sarah Cracknell, Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley can take the credit/blame for Britpop, Eurodisco, neo-lounge music, the Sixties film-theme revival, the indie-dance crossover, or any combination of the above. And maybe that's why they're not as successful as you'd expect. They're an oddity, neither one thing nor the other, and while bands from Air to the Cardigans have done well for themselves by focusing on one ingredient of the recipe each, Saint Etienne's sophisticated blend of Eighties electropop, kitschy orchestration and grey British lyrics about burnt toast and cold coffee has always been too confused to be wholly satisfying. The music tends to sound as if it's spent too much time hanging around with the glum lyrics. Try as it might to be fluffy and fun, it's too tired and undernourished to get into the party spirit.

Motown writers cash in royalties

LEGENDARY Motown songwriters Holland/Dozier/Holland do indeed know "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved You". They have just signed a deal that turns the royalties from songs like that into a cool pounds 60m loan.

Travel: Gone with the wind

Once you've got over your first ducking it isn't long before you're hooked on sailing. Eric Kendall messes about in a dinghy

Interview: Singin' on the range

Bernie Taupin, expat Englishman and author of a thousand unforgettable songs, has ended up ... herding cattle. Spencer Bright talked to him

Brunei saves face in pounds 180m deal

THE MOST expensive civil action in British legal history - between Prince Jefri of Brunei and two of his closest emissaries - was settled out of court amid speculation that the sultan had ordered his brother to put an end to all his court cases around the world.

Theatre: Adolescence - it's a difficult age to stage

TRADITIONALLY, teenagers on-stage are zombies. They slump on sofas, grunt unintelligibly and only listen to what's on their Walkmans. If you want to know what it is like to be 14 - or if you're 14 and want to see life reflected on stage - the Oxford Stage Company's production of Junk is a stark corrective. Melvin Burgess's disarmingly frank novel won two awards, hit the headlines because of its subject-matter, and went straight into schools as a "text" for teachers and a "resource" for Drug Educational Officers. Now it's on tour.

Pop: The approach to stardom

When Joe McAlinden arrives at the rather swanky Malmaison hotel in Glasgow's West George Street, there's no mistaking him. Superstar's frontman might euphemistically be described as "portly", his short red hair looks like it's just had a playful ruffle, and he's wearing the same pullover that he wore on Jool's Holland's Later. "It's my `Mars Bar jumper", he quips when I quiz him about it over our cafe au laits. "It's for work, rest and play."

The Things That Shaped Our Year: Gianni Versace

From the death of Diana to the birth of Dolly, and from the rise of Bridget Jones to the fall of the Spice Girls - our writers choose the 10 people and events which made 1997 so special

CV: BARBARA CHARONE director of press, WEA Records

Some nights you just want to go home after work, rather than see a band you don't love. But then you meet an unknown who 18 months later is a star

Pop on Record: Janet The Velvet Rope

Virgin CDV 2860

Who called the taste police?

All is minimal, all is tasteful, all is bleached beech and pan- fried kangaroo. Whatever happened to individual style? asks Eleanor Bailey
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