Voices A US Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan

Watch out, within five years 7,500 drones may be plying American airspace

ROCK : Ow! It's a woman's woman's world

Let's forget the Spice Girls, just for a moment, and turn instead to the mature females of rock: the Spice Women. Four of these were in concert this week, starting with Neneh Cherry, 32-year-old mother of three, whose unconventional tactic for career longevity has been to release very few records, but to make sure those records move with the times. She emerged as a hip-hop star in the Eighties, and she helped to found the current Bristol scene - but last weekend she had come to the Shepherd's Bush Empire to rock. Hard as it was to work out what an "Andrex song" might be, or why Cherry would want to play one, that's what one of her introductions sounded like to me. Twenty seconds of Motorhead-style thrash later, all thoughts of Labrador puppies had been blasted from my mind. I decided that the word had probably been Anthrax.

Pop & Jazz: Eye on the New

The queen of the slush ballad, Belinda Carlisle, is propping up the Tina Turner tour this week. No doubt she'll offer up hits like "In Too Deep" and "Always Breaking My Heart" from her autumn album A Woman And A Man. She really is the supermarket fizz to Tina Turner's champagne, but put together they make a tidy, couples night out.

POP : Ezio Borderline, London

Sometimes, in a back-handed sort of way, you think there really may be hope for Britain. For example, wandering down Charing Cross Road last Friday, you might have wondered who could possibly be playing the Borderline. One of London's least appetising venues, this hell-hole had a queue stretching practically to Waterloo. To see? Ezio. C'mon - obscure twosome from Cambridge; play songs of lamentation, dreams and desire on a couple of acoustics; debut LP Black Boots on Latin Feet out a year ago, good reviews, sank without trace, though it probably gets played to death at dinner parties around Islington's Canonbury Square. Further clue for stragglers: Sue Lawley.

The showmanship must go on

ROCK

New women are happy, independent, imperfect

`Real Women' give up on Superwoman and hate hectoring adverts

Pop Live: Tricky Junction, Cambridge

For every action there is an equal and opposite over-reaction. Given the virtual unanimity of critical accord that greeted Tricky's sulphurously intense 1994 debut Maxinquaye, its even more sulphurously intense successor Pre-Millenium Tension was guaranteed a mixed reception. To those who sought to bury his darkly enthralling second album in an avalanche of ill-founded condescension, the message of Tricky's current live show (by some distance his most convincing and committed onstage arrangement to date) is "Would you like cream with your humble pie, sir?"

STAR-RATED ROCK'N'ROLL HOTELS

Travel: There are London hotels that can cope with the antics of rock stars, even encourage their misbehaviour with bathtubs designed to fit four people. But one band proved too much for the city's hoteliers: those sweet boys from Take That

Arts: Make it a Last Night to remember

Tonight, Felicity Lott and Ann Murray will be only the second duet to perform at the Last Night of the Proms. And they don't even have the decency to conform to petulant diva stereotypes - they're singing the 'Rule Britannia!' solo together. And they're having fun. By David Benedict

When your private life spills out of a cardboard bag on to the street, it's time to take stock

I have been scared of some really dumb things in my time. When I was five, my Mum took me to see Cats, but I was scared of Brian Blessed so we had to leave. The same year, I had a fabulously successful birthday party, at which I held court like a mini Joan Collins until I decided I was scared of the lighted candles on my cake. I screamed and cried and curled up beneath a table until my Montessori mates had to be sent home.

Letter : Bryan's brill

I really hoped Nick Barber wouldn't jump on the "Let's slag off Bryan Adams 'cos he's an easy target" bandwagon (4 August). If I want costume changes, I'll go to see Tina Turner; if I want dance routines, I'll go to see Boyzone; if I want stage effects, I'll wait for the opening of the next Olympics. But if I want two hours of great rock and roll with no pretentions, I'll choose Bryan Adams. The 65,000 people who turned up at Wembley Stadium knew that and I didn't see one disappointed face.

divinely dark

FASHION An extraordinary look, an extraordinary past: Alek Wek, rising star of the catwalk, talks to Angela Buttolph

... and talking of third-agers: Quo get short shrift

It was a disappointing day for the ageing men of rock. The members of the band Status Quo were refused a hearing by a High Court Judge yesterday of their claims that Radio One ignores their music because they are too old.

Classical football gala is music to the ears

Sport on TV

Who wants to be a millionaire? Quite a few of us

The dilemma facing me this weekend is whether or not I should take $11m from four corrupt Nigerian civil servants. It's tempting; which of us, in these sunset days of financial probity, would not be tempted? It seems that all I have to do is indulge in a little crooked paperwork and the money is mine. It would be no more heinous than sitting on a company board and carving myself a fat slice of share options - a "victimless" crime, unless you happen to have been sacked recently in a cost-cutting exercise (sad, but someone has to pay for the rising value of all those share options!) or live poorly in Nigeria.

Graham in grip of a nightmare

Simon Kelner reflects on a sad experience for the Bradford full- back
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