• Image of Issue 1287: May 20-26

Fest foot forward
Want to save money and keep it local for this year’s festival season? Emily Roberts guides you through the best northern events – plus, we have free tickets to give away.

Sum of their parts
One of the first post-punk bands to get to grips with funk, A Certain Ratio insist not having a major hit has been a key to their success. With a new box set and a two-day event in Manchester to celebrate their fortieth anniversary, they tell Richard Smirke they’re still looking to the future.

Split the difference
The gentle mockery Mark Steel’s perfected means he can get away with joking about tax fiddles in front of a Manx audience and telling the people of Huddersfield that they’re a dour bunch. Now he’s turned that mockery on himself, following his recent divorce. By Christian Lisseman.

Plus
News about local authority energy schemes that are saving people money, arts and entertainment, columnist Saskia Murphy asks why Love Island isn’t going the same way as Jeremy Kyle, Russell T Davies’s letter to his younger self and more.

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