News that Noel Gallagher is to take his brother to court reminds us there are few more dispiriting sights for dedicated music fans than seeing their heroes on the way to hearings. Trussed up in unfamiliar shirt and tie combinations, they look as uncomfortable as ex-lags at job interviews. It is bad enough when artists attend divorce proceedings or face the beak for falling asleep at the wheel, but far worse is when they have brought the suit (legal, not sartorial) themselves. Any dealings with the legal system are bound to make the protagonist look petty-minded, venal or underhand.
Taking fellow bandmates to court is usually a mistake, says Chris Mugan
Of all The Kinks' hits, Waterloo Sunset is the one that still casts a spell. Ray Davies tells the band's biographer, Nick Hasted, how he came to write a genuine anthem
As a founder of The Kinks, with brother Ray, Dave Davies was a pioneer of the British music explosion that ignited the Sixties. Yet, while he devised the trademark jagged guitar sound that inspired many other beat groups, the younger of the two warring brothers was also on a more ethereal quest.
When the BBC Proms kick off tonight, a starring role will be taken by an amateur choir from north London
Sun, sea, sand and sweaty festivals wouldn't be the same without the right soundtrack. Robert Webb selects the hottest holiday hits
The niche eroticism of the Japanese never ceases to amaze, does it? Given the historic vulgarity of the professional British horizontale, the weirdness of Nipponese sexuality has always intrigued us. The 17th-century shoguns set up "pleasure quarters" where gentlemen could visit prostitutes (and wives were OK about it) but Japanese girls kept dragging the arts into the basic eroto-financial transaction, until male visitors could hardly find a genuine harlot anywhere among the dancers, singers, lute-fingerers and exponents of calligraphic skill.
From Mamma Mia to Jersey Boys, the stage is awash with kitschy jukebox musicals inspired by pop bands. But Damon Albarn's Monkey kicked off a credible age for the rock musical, as new works from Tori Amos, Fela Kuti and Sparks now show. Andy Gill reports
Stackridge's brand of folk-prog-rock proved a little too parochial and well-mannered to follow in the footsteps of Jethro Tull and Yes back in the 1970s, though they can claim the distinction of being the very first band to play Glastonbury.
Another step away from the showbiz ledge, towards which an early signing to a jazz major once edged her.
In the Sixties, only one station truly tuned into the spirit of the age. Radio Caroline sparked a pop revolution – and now it's inspired a movie. John Walsh sails back in time
The history of President Records, one of the first independent labels in the UK, is inextricably linked to that of music publisher Edward Kassner. Born in Austria to Jewish parents in 1920, Edward dreamed of becoming a composer but his orchestral aspirations were cut short when Hitler annexed Austria.
“He was tipped off by his friends that they were rounding up Jewish boys,” says David Kassner, Edward’s eldest son and now MD of President. “He fled through Belgium and got caught trying to cross the border at Aachen twice. On the third occasion a German soldier caught him but let him go saying that he hadn’t signed up to shoot young boys.”
With Jarvis Cocker giving a talk at the Brighton Festival on the craft of songwriting, Will Hodgkinson asks what makes a great lyric