Arts and Entertainment
 

It’s the nightmare haunting every talent scout since Decca rejected the Beatles in 1962 because “guitar groups are on the way out” – letting a global mega-hit slip through your fingers.

The Week In Arts: These over-dedicated followers of fashion

It's tempting to devote this space to querying how the Devon teenager Joss Stone won the urban music award at the Brits last Wednesday. But deconstructing the state of urban music on the mean streets of Paignton might cause the brain to implode.

The Week in Arts: These over-dedicated followers of fashion

It's tempting to devote this space to querying how the Devon teenager Joss Stone won the urban music award at the Brits last Wednesday. But deconstructing the state of urban music on the mean streets of Paignton might cause the brain to implode.

Rock and Pop: Blood on the stage

The family that sings together isn't always harmonious, says CHRIS MUGAN. Can the Bedingfields break the mould at the Brits?

Double Take: 'I Go to Sleep' - Peggy Lee/The Pretenders

Robert Webb's guide to pop's most intriguing cover versions

Music: What Kirsty did next

Though David Byrne has marvelled over her voice and Morrissey has drooled over her songs, the big time still seems to elude Kirsty MacColl. Perhaps the new album inspired by her travels in South America will do the trick?

The Joys of Modern Life 68: The single

THE SINGLE is disappearing. Sales of single recordings have fallen so low in the CD age that the music industry is going to phase them out. And so the brutal logic of the profit-and-loss chart puts paid to one of our great joys.

Film: Murray, king of the nerds

The Big Picture

Music: He's still the one

From bluegrass to boogie and bankruptcy to backing Bob Dylan, Tom Petty has taken his Heartbreakers through the whole American rock'n'roll tradition. And he's always done it his way. By Andy Gill

Band hopes bus song is just the ticket

IT'S THE kind of free advertising most managing directors can only dream about: a single by a trendy, arty band, singing exclusively about your company. It's all come right for National Express, the transport company, which has been immortalised in a new song by Neil Hannon and his band, The Divine Comedy.

Pop: Psychedelia revisited

THE OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL THE GARAGE, HIGHBURY, LONDON

Pop: Heaven knows they're miserable now

BLACK BOX RECORDER DINGWALLS, LONDON

Stills from a life in moving pictures

Wim Wenders made his name with films like `Paris, Texas' and `Wings of Desire'. Now he fancies himself as a photographer as well.

Behind the song

You know the hit, but do you know how it came to be written? What was the inspiration? Today: Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks

Legends of rock put Britain on the map

THE LATE Kurt Cobain of the rock group Nirvana proposed to Courtney Love in TJ's nightclub in Newport, Wales, after arriving in a bright orange Skoda car.

Wednesday's Book: Waterloo Sunset (Viking, pounds 14.99)

A very English group, the Kinks were a hybrid of music hall and Noel Coward on electric guitar. At first they sounded like a garage band. Their three-chord smash hit "You Really Got Me" showed no sign of the mordant, world-weary melancholy to come. But in 1966 Ray Davies gave us "Waterloo Sunset", one of the most beautiful pop songs ever written. It's a perfect vignette, a classic English weepy.
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there