Arts and Entertainment Nick Allbrook, of Pond: 'Most of the music I love is made by awful musicians'

'Most of the music I love is made by awful musicians'

Latitude 2013 video: Rachel Zeffira - Here On In

Rachel Zeffira is playing the i Arena at this year's Latitude festival at Henham Park, Suffolk

Friendly Fires to host charity gig after the death of their friend

Mercury Prize-nominated band Friendly Fires are staging a star-studded charity gig after the death of their friend Adam Connolly last week.

Tame Impala, O2 Brixton Academy, London

To the casual observer, it might seem that Australia’s new psychedelic heroes Tame Impala have plonked into the big time out of nowhere; in fact this headline slot at Brixton crowns a steady build of three years among the UK’s more paisley-minded types.

Rachel Zeffira, St Andrews, Holborn, London

There could be no more arresting an opening to a gig. As the audience faced the orchestra, awaiting the arrival of the Canadian soprano and multi-instrumentalist composer Rachel Zeffira, a beautiful sound erupted from behind, sending heads turning in the opposite direction.

Florence Welch took the Best Solo Artist award

Florence Welch beats Adele in double NME award triumph

Adele’s run of award-winning success has finally been brought to an end after Florence + The Machine triumphed with a double win at the NME awards.

Toy, The Shacklewell Arms, London

There's a dark and backcombed shadow that looms over innocent young art-rock hopes Toy, shake their shiny manes as they may on this tiny stage.

Guernica was commissioned by the Republican government, after the Basque city was bombed in the civil war

Robot research aims to assess damage to Picasso masterpiece

Every night, after the last visitor to Madrid's Reina Sofia Museum has left, the prestigious art gallery's newest curator flickers into life. The expert is a robot, which has begun the most exhaustive research ever performed on Picasso's renowned masterpiece, Guernica. The mission: to establish the extent of the damage the 75-year-old painting has sustained during its turbulent life.

Guernica was commissioned by the Republican government, after the Basque city was bombed in the civil war

The Picasso that's been in the wars

He painted Guernica to expose General Franco's tyranny, and refused to let it return home until the dictator was dead. Now it's showing the scars of its global tour, say Alasdair Fotheringham and Enjoli Liston

The Horrors, Academy, Oxford
Lianne La Havas, The Social, London

This band is now so good that our critic is prepared to put its background of privilege to one side; plus, a new soulstress

Album: The Maccabees, Given to the Wild (Fiction)

It's a challenge for even the mildest-mannered Class Warrior to remember to review The Maccabees' music, not their names: Orlando, Hugo, Felix, Rupert (and Sam), but our privately schooled heroes' third album is their best yet.

<p>High spirits: 'Conviviality at Bob Sawyer's: Three Men Enjoying a Drink' (c1836) by Phiz from 'The Pickwick Papers' </p>

Dickens: Nightmare before Christmas

Charles Dickens was driven by demons when he wrote his much-loved yuletide tales. Award-winning author Justin Cartwright feels the pain

Adele's mega-sales may elude Fleet Foxes and but they are the choice of the cognoscenti

Music critics snub the public's taste in Poll of Polls

This year's best-selling singer, Adele, is absent from HMV album of the year list

Seven Houses in France, By Bernardo Atxaga, trans. Margaret Jull Costa

Until now, Bernardo Atxaga's novels and stories, from Obabakoak in 1989 to The Accordionist's Son in 2003, have all dealt with the contemporary history of the Basque Country: its emigration and conflicts. The best-known Basque writer, Atxaga has often expressed frustration at being typecast. Here, in his latest novel, he breaks radically with this subject-matter, though it was written in the Basque language, Euskera, Atxaga's native tongue spoken by no more than a million people. Seven houses in France is set in the Congo in 1903-1904. Atxaga takes it for granted that Belgian imperialism was criminally responsible for this Heart of Darkness. Against this background, his main interest is to explore the feelings and behaviour of the group of white officers confined in the Yangambi garrison.

Season of Light, By Katharine McMahon

It takes a brave writer to tackle the epic subject of the French Revolution. But historical novelist Katharine McMahon, author of a bestselling novel set during the Crimean War, The Rose of Sebastopol, takes no prisoners. It's the summer of 1788 and Paris is ablaze with revolutionary ideas. Swept along in the excitement is Asa Ardleigh, a 19-year-old Englishwoman visiting the city with her newly-married sister, Philippa.

Signed rally photo: Signed by the Hitler Youth leader Arthur Axmann. $150-200

Boom in demand for relics from the Third Reich

US auction house expects bids in excess of $300,00 as memorabilia attracts new wave of buyers

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own