King of rock

‘Invest in your hair,’ advises David Coverdale, a man with a shag of the stuff glossier than a supermodel’s and as big as a guardsman’s bearskin, even at the age of 67. (He won’t say that number. He insists his age is ‘three score and seven’.) ‘People say to me: “Do you colour your hair?”

Fashion victims

There is something inexplicably exciting about pop’s notion of a ‘scene’: young musicians of similar outlooks drawn together by a common aim to transform music, referring to the past to create something of the present. But enough of Fleetwood Mac and the British blues boom. Instead, to fashionable Dalston, where a young quartet called Black

Arts feature

Selfie queen

The selfie is, of course, a major, and to me mysterious, phenomenon of our age. The sheer indefatigability of selfie-takers, not to mention their number, is amazing. Recently, I stayed in an apartment not far from the Trevi Fountain in Rome — a selfie-magnet so powerful that not only was it surrounded by a dense


Sex pests and patriarchs

Bitter Wheat, David Mamet’s latest play, features a loathsome Hollywood hotshot, Barney Fein, who offers to turn an actress into a superstar provided she lets him rape her. The show’s gruesome storyline has flashes of bitter comedy. Fein boasts that the Writers Guild of America would ‘drink a beaker of my mucus’ if he forced


Saved by the chorus

We’ve cried wolf with Handel. Ever since the modern trend began for staging the composer’s oratorios we’ve hailed each one in turn as the composer’s ‘most dramatic’. We’ve said it of Theodora, Saul, perhaps loudest (and most persuasively) of Jephtha. The trouble is that now, nearly 40 years since we last saw Belshazzar on an


Just another Sunday soap

ITV’s new drama Beecham House is set in late 18th-century India where the British and French were still battling it out for supremacy. Its opening credits feature the east at its most exotic, with a montage of ceremonial elephants parading, sari-clad women gliding and lotus flowers opening. The hero is John Beecham (Tom Bateman), a


All you need is love | 27 June 2019

Yesterday is the latest comedy (with sad bits) from Richard Curtis, directed by Danny Boyle, about an unsuccessful singer-songwriter, Jack, who wakes up to discover that he’s the only one who remembers the Beatles so can now steal all their tunes, if he’s of that mind. Unusually for Curtis, the lead is an Asian and


Tables turned | 27 June 2019

It can’t be easy to find yourself on the other end of the microphone when you’re a journalist of the calibre of Emily Maitlis. You know all the pitfalls, how easy it is to be teased out of your bunker, to say more than you ever intended under the scrutiny of an ambitious, driven interviewer