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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.

Obituary: Nicky Hopkins

Nicky Hopkins, pianist: born London 24 February 1944; married; died California September 1994.

True gripes: Honoured guests?: Tourists and a touch of 'Xen'

Truly gripped by that hoary old gripe that tourists clutter up the capital in summer? Look, stranger, tourists are a gift for Londoners. Tourists are in a state of wonder. We've all been there.

Joseph Gallivan on pop

It was Jerry Dammers who wrote the song 'Too Much Too Young', but Terry Hall (below), lead singer of the Specials at the time, sang it with conviction. Now he's 35, he lives in the Warwickshire countryside, his three kids are at school and he's back on the road. But this is not just another case of a Golden Age pop star getting old and ordinary, struggling to rationalise his past and reclaim the limelight with a shred of dignity. Terry Hall is still cool, even after the Fun Boy Three, Colourfield, Terry, Blair & Anoushka, and Vegas. His continuous creativity is akin to Paul Weller's, and he's about due for a similar critical renaissance. 'It's taken me 14 years to get a solo career together,' he says. 'I won't say I get bored with my bands, but bored is the nearest word.' These days the Terry Hall sound is a mellow, middleweight pop with his usual melancholic lyrics sung in that reedy voice. He's been working with Andy Partridge, Nick Heyward, Chris Sharrock of World Party and Ian Broudie of the Lightning Seeds. 'We all grew up loving the Kinks and the Beatles and like that style of writing, or at least that feel. But I've stopped worrying about other artists, it just dilutes your own work. You have to stick to what you do best.' His new songs are more relationship-specific than ever, but that, he says, is because he's been with the same girl, Jeannette, for 20 years. 'I wrote a song called 'Forever J which is about each person accepting that the other is no Mel Gibson or Elle MacPherson, but being happy together on a day to day basis.' So has the man who sang 'Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think and 'It's all a load of bollocks - and bollocks to it all] gone soft?

Tired of London? Far from it: Taylor Parkes wonders what's got into a lot of young boys' heads

Right now, nothing is more fashionable in pop than the cockney accent, the dandy flourish; the whole devalued currency of London pop. Perhaps as a reaction to all-American grunge more and more young groups are adopting a nostalgic vision recycling the precious sepia-tinted imagery of The Kinks and Madness.

ROCK / File under formative: Long forgotten, now revered: Ben Thompson meets the Raincoats

'THE RAINCOATS are so bad tonight that every time a waiter drops a tray we all get up and dance . . . I die so many times during their set that in India they think I'm the fourth prophet.' Such was the verdict of the NME in 1979. The reviewer: Danny Baker, en route to becoming a chat-show host and Daz Ultra's representative on earth.

'Viz' fizz wanes as readers bottom out

THE GUEST list for the Viz party on Thursday says it all. They've got Ray Davies of the Kinks, a couple of blokes from Aerosmith, Lionel Blair, and one of the Bay City Rollers; and Suzanne Dando is a possible. Usefully, the back of the invitation gives ordinary guests etiquette tips: 'DO NOT stare at the celebrities. DO pretend not to recognise them.' But there are no young celebs at all. Viz, the 'comic for older boys and girls', has become the comic for thirtysomething boys and girls.

FEATIVALS / What's so great about the great outdoors?: Glastonbury, soul at Ally Pally, Jazz on a Summer's Day - last weekend, music took to the open air. Our reviewers breathed deeply

The second summer of grunge. The boys had their baggy shorts on, the girls their drop-waist floral prints, and both sexes sported more pairs of army boots than are seen at manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain. But there was barely a fuzz-box riff or a wheedling slacker lyric in the air. The punters may have all looked the same, but the music at Glastonbury catered for many tastes: crusty white dub (Back to the Planet), squeaky clean soul (Jamiroquai), camp pop (Suede), even drab pub rock (the Kinks). And apart from the pub rock, it was great.

ROCK / Carry on hating, Dave and Ray

TIME plays tricks on irony. Something happens in the audience at The Kinks' show at the Clapham Grand which is as poignant as anything in Ray Davies' lyrical canon. A normal-looking, middle-aged fan in shirt and tie, who's been standing rapt and immobile throughout an energetic set, suddenly punches the air and screams out the chorus to 'I'm Not Like Everybody Else' as if his life depended on it. The Grand is the perfect venue for getting uncontrollably nostalgic about The Kinks. The newly opened balconies of the restored music hall spill over with goodwill. In response the band put their all into a set which offers great ness and mediocrity in roughly equal measure.

REVIEW / Higher circles: Jasper Rees tries to forgive the Kinks at the Clapham Grand

Time has etched its signature into a band once described by a judge as 'highly temperamental, jealous and spoilt adolescents', but the chisel has dug deeper into Ray Davies than his kid brother Dave.

ROCK / The mourning after: RIP the T&C? North London's best-loved concert venue is set to close in March. We list the 10 nights you really should have been there

The Town & Country Club in Kentish Town, north London, was known as the Forum Dancehall before it began booking bands in late 1985. The club holds 1,800 people and is one of London's most prized mid-size venues. On 24 March next year its lease runs out. The T&C 2, a smaller venue in Islington which the T&C organisation opened in February 1989, loses its lease simultaneously. Both clubs claim to operate profitably. The T&C building is Listed, so cannot be demolished. Folgate Estates, the landlords, have not announced their plans for the site. John Wallace, from the management, said this week that he was deeply saddened that the landlords will not renew the lease and, in a burst of nostalgia, agreed to nominate the 10 best nights the club has seen. They are, in no particular order:
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