Arts and Entertainment Tom Odell: 'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

'Every band needs a vibe guy to bring up the energy'

True heroes: Why the spirit of the Beach Boys leaves Enoch Powell and Chumbawumba high and dry

Trevor Phillips on the days of summer

Pop music: Lyric sheets

lyric sheets

Obituary: Carl Wilson

Carl Dean Wilson, singer, guitarist and songwriter: born Hawthorne, California 21 December 1946; married 1966 Annie Hinsche (two sons; marriage dissolved 1978), 1987 Gina Martin; died Los Angeles 6 February 1998.

Carl Wilson, Beach Boy founder of surfin' style, dies

Carl Wilson, one of the founding members of the The Beach Boys, has died aged 51. Clare Garner reports on the man who dedicated his life to fun, fun, fun, right up until the very end.

Comment: Tony and Bill find growing up is hard to do

"COMPLETELY useless and pathetic" was Tony Blair's response when William Hague asked a series of questions he did not want to answer during Prime Minister's Question Time on Wednesday. "He is Leader of the Opposition and today we have seen why he will stay so," Mr Blair taunted, demanding to know why Mr Hague had not asked about important issues such as health, education and crime. The obvious riposte is that, with more than four years of the present Parliament to run, Mr Hague has plenty of time to raise all the big issues.

Pop: Warp's vision

Sheffield is the home of innovative electronic sounds, courtesy of Warp Records and their latest signing, Plone, who will be making their presence felt in London this week

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."

competition winners

We've been having fun all winter long, checking the answers to our New Year competition. The questions were all related to the Beach Boys, and many of you achieved excellent scores - aided by the festive wild card, which allowed one answer to be "God Only Knows".

Pop: The avenue to follow in '98

Five unassuming lads, with an interest in all sorts of music. That's The Montrose Avenue. But don't think that they are boringly `muso' - their specialty is the glorious two-minute pop song. Tim Perry meets them

I've been all around this great big world

Fun, fun, fun - for the travel pages' traditional seasonal competition this year, we celebrate the beach, and the Beach Boys, with a singalong quiz.

Pop Review: The trouble with corpses

The High Llamas

Albums of the Year: Andy Gill's top pop boxed sets of 1997

The best of this year's boxed-set CD compilations were both released a couple of months ago, when they were reviewed in fulsome fashion in these pages, so I'll be brief about The Beach Boys The Pet Sounds Sessions and The Doors eponymous retrospective Box Set, two slabs of West Coast pop genius perched precariously on the fault-line separating rock's light and dark sides.

Rock: Sparks still flying

It's as if they have never been away. Sparks are here with a new album and a new tour, but as Nick Hasted discovers, they look the same as they did in the Seventies and they don't sound that much different.

Rock: Middle-youth? That's the fans, not the band

Tragic as it may be that you can't choose your relatives, think how bad it must be when you can't choose your fans. A few years ago, Radiohead wrote a classic song called "Creep", and before they knew it they were every socially inadequate American teenager's favourite band. The song became an albatross - Mark Owen covered it on his latest tour, for crying out loud - so it was no surprise that Thom Yorke came across a little tetchily when he sang it at Wembley Arena on Sunday. Towards the end he ironically conducted a crowd singalong every bit as inappropriate as when the Velvet Underground's audience clapped along to "Heroin" in the same venue four years earlier. No, the real surprise was that Radiohead played "Creep" at all - and made it sound bigger and more frightening than 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
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