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London's housing boom is pushing businesses out of the West End, a leading commercial property advisor has warned.

Mercy and Grand/I Fagiolini, Spitalfields Winter Festival (4/5, 5/5)

Ever since his elaboration of a tramp’s rendition of ‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’, Gavin Bryars has been a master of the re-use of what one might call ‘musiques trouvees’, sometimes ranging as far as Japanese gagaku.

Man About Town: London needs a new place to party

Once upon a time, all a brand had to do to give itself credibility was to hold a party in Shoreditch. This enclave of London’s East End, represented the new, the different and (as media types are generally inward-looking types), the unknown.

Sea of Bees, XOYO, London

If you are going to disown your overbearing, religious family, then head first to Sacramento, California. That is how Julie Ann Bee escaped, first by falling in with some "witchy, objectionable" types, she says, before reinventing herself as Sea of Bees, a studio project now bearing fruit as a live proposition.

99 Days out for the family: The big events 13-40

There's plenty of waterside fun to be had this summer.

Alice-Azania Jarvis: It turns out London can be cheap and cheerful

London is expensive. Extortionately so – or so runs the conventional wisdom. And it's true: a pint in a Zone One pub costs considerably more than it does anywhere else. The tube is both a necessity and a luxury: yes, it gets you from A to B, but it's also pricey, crowded, dirty and unreliable. And that's before you even take into account the lack of large-scale supermarkets, shunned in favour of their more expensive "metro" equivalents. There's no doubting that London living isn't cheap. But what do visitors to the big city think?

Iconic image: The Smiths outside Salford Lads club

Photographer Stephen Wright says his eleven-year-old son Paul tells him to turn his music down and can’t understand why his old music photos are in black and white.

Between The Covers: 15/05/2011

Your weekly guide to what's really going on inside the world of books

Tender Napalm, Southwark Playhouse, London

An explosive dose of the toughest love

Watcha Clan, Rich Mix, Shoreditch

Marseille-based Watcha Clan are the latest exponents of the Afro-French crossover groove style that has previously spawned bands like Lo'Jo, their music intended to surmount cultural divides through the judicious blending of beats and diverse influences. "This is Radio Berber!" announces singer Sista K, quickly correcting herself, "Radio Babel!"; but she's not wrong either way, there being more than a little of the hypnotic Berber desert-blues vibe about Watcha Clan's music, which reached Britain for the first time in front of a small but enthusiastic audience at east London's Rich Mix.

Hercules and Love Affair, The Village Underground, London

I'm not entirely sure who Hercules had an affair with, but after a cursory glance at the band as I entered Shoreditch's Village Underground, I'd guess Run-DMC, Grace Jones, M-People, Kraftwerk, Queen and Yazoo. An eclectic combination, you might think, and you'd be right. But inadvertently intruding on their eccentric one-night-stand, I found that I wasn't the only one mesmerised by what I saw.

Farewell, Pete

Stars including Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Gambon, Sue Johnstone and Kevin Spacey attend a memorial service for Pete Postlethwaite in London yesterday

Big Society tsar tells council staff to cut hours

The Conservatives' Big Society tsar has suggested that councils cut the hours of their staff and ask them to volunteer in the community instead.

Ian Holloway: They said Charlie was on his way to Anfield... but he was sat next to me in my office

Despite how wrapped up us managers get in everything that happens on transfer deadline day, I had to laugh at what was on the telly. Sky Sports News treat it like it is the most important day in the history of the world. Ever.

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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 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'