Michael Gove is a no-nonsense sort of chap, unafraid to shake his fist at the Human Rights Act. In 2011, the Education Secretary vowed to crack down on unruly pupils, whatever Europe said about their rights, and last year he led the cabinet's huffing and puffing when it looked as if Abu Qatada couldn't be deported. So how surprising to learn he is the trustee of a charity dedicated to promoting, er, human rights! The Charity Commission lists Gove as one of only two trustees of something called the European Freedom Fund. The other is the neocon writer and activist Douglas Murray. Their objective is "the promotion of respect for human rights as set out in the European Convention of Human Rights and fundamental freedoms adopted by the members of the council of Europe on 4th November 1950 and the convention's five protocols". This could put Gove in a tricky position when the Tories come to replacing the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights. Still, the EFF hasn't been too busy: no money has gone in or out since it was founded in 2007. Molto strano!

The worst gigs of all time

Everyone has their memories of great concerts. But what about those that the artists would prefer we forget? Pierre Perrone refuses to let them die

Roy Ayers Ubiquity, Jazz Caf, London<field name="starRating">fourstar</field>

Mostly used for colour in rock and pop, the vibraphone has been a bona fide lead instrument in jazz for decades, most notably with Lionel Hampton, who presented a six-year-old Roy Ayers with a pair of mallets at a concert in the 1940s.

Rock and pop legends prepare a star-spangled 50th birthday for the ultimate electric guitar

When Jimi Hendrix electrified the Woodstock festival with his blazing rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner", it was a Fender Stratocaster guitar he was playing.

Richie Havens, Jazz Café, London

Obituary: Rick Danko

ROCK MUSIC has lost one of its seminal characters and a significant musician with the death of Rick Danko, a founder member of The Band. A deft, melodic bass player and a soulful singer, Danko was a key figure in the group which had the honour of backing Bob Dylan when the singer was at the height of his powers.

Turn on, tune in, buy a folkie record

ALSO SHOWING; A Walk on the Moon (15) Tony Goldwyn; 107 mins The Cup (PG) Khyentse Norbu; 93 mins ed-TV (12) Ron Howard; 123 mins Random Hearts (15) Sydney Pollack; 134 mins Fanny and Elvis (15) Kay Mellor; 111 mins Brokedown Palace (12) Jonathan Kaplan; 100 mins The Other Sister (12) Garry Marshall; 131 mins The Rage: The Rage (15) Katt Shea; 104 mins

Letter: Marx and Lennon


Did you hear the one about the stroke?

ANTI-RACISTS everywhere will be distraught to hear that their favourite bogyman, the comedian Bernard Manning, has effectively retired. After appearing there almost nightly since 1959, he closed his club, the Embassy, on Manchester's Rochdale Road, last Saturday night. Manning has suffered a stroke - not a complete medical shock in an overweight man of 69 who smokes for England and eats a diet of practically pure lard. The affliction has left him deaf in one ear, prone to dizzy spells and under doctors' orders to slow up drastically. The workaholic comedian, who counts Stephen Fry among his admirers for his joke-telling prowess, still plans to make occasional appearances. He remains sought after at northern clubs and functions such as police socials, where his quaint views on racial matters are said to act as a tension-buster for officers forced when in uniform to be fair to ethnic minorities. While those who regard Manning as Satan with a microphone will have to look elsewhere for a target - Jim Davidson might be a good starting point - the spotlight in Manchester now falls on Manning's 39-year-old son, also Bernard. Young Bernard, as he is known locally, was last week given the Embassy Club by his father to do with as he wishes. A sweet and philosophical man whose own taste in comedy runs more to Ben Elton and Eddie Izzard, Young Bernard is pondering his options. "My dad was thinking it could make a banqueting suite for weddings, but I'm looking at turning it into an alternative- comedy venue." What, you mean you'd have anti-racist, anti-sexist comedians playing the stage once occupied by Bernard Manning? "Yes," Young Bernard chuckles. "But I'll still let him come and watch the acts. Now I have to be off to watch some comedians at the club where Steve Coogan and Caroline Aherne started out..."

Police investigate multiple rapes in pit at Woodstock

THE PEACE and love myth of Woodstock took another battering with the disclosure that police are investigating rapes that allegedly took place during last weekend's Woodstock '99 festival in upstate New York. The assaults apparently preceded the mayhem of looting and burning that marred the final night.

The Great Woodstock Disaster of 1999; Lyric Sheets

Unlike the original Woodstock 30 years ago, the vastly overpriced Woodstock '99 ended

As Woodstock breaks up in disarray, a British summer of festivals rocks on

DESPITE ORIGINATING the idea of the open-air music festival, the United States appear to have given way to Britain in keeping alive the spirit of Woodstock, the greatest festival of them all.

Woodstock's new band of plastic people

MERCHANDISING SALESMEN were accepting the Woodstock Platinum Card; a tractor-trailer doubled as a video arcade and there was a sports park. As Woodstock '99 opened yesterday it seemed far removed from the ultimate Sixties hippy event that it was honouring.

Pop music: The greatest show on earth

What better way to spend next month's eclipse? Pay pounds 150 to sit around in mud listening to rich pop stars.



Classical music: Aldeburgh festival

At one point in the opera Powder Her Face, the heroine's aria is reduced to a series of incoherent mumbles - for the simple reason that her mouth is full. The scene is the only known instance of fellatio occurring in an opera, but its inclusion is no mere titillation: it is part and parcel of the life of the Duchess of Argyll, the subject of Thomas Ades's phenomenally well-received stage debut (with a libretto written by Independent columnist Philip Hensher). The duchess makes a suitably tragic operatic heroine, but the work is nevertheless a brave choice to open the 52nd Aldeburgh Festival on Friday. Ades (right) - at 28 the bright new light of British music - is the festival's artistic director, but any charge of self-promotion is unjustified: in his hands, the festival is placing itself at the cutting edge while maintaining its roots in the past.
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