• Image of Issue 1303

Funny and self-deprecating, Sam Fender doesn’t take himself too seriously. But the North East singer is deadly serious about his music and its power, finds Richard Smirke.

A gigging musician in Scarborough, Dave Lowe had almost forgotten he used to create computer games and write music for them. It was only when it turned out he’d become a cult figure among retro games enthusiasts that his true status as a pioneer of the industry was revealed.

John Bolloten’s new book is a hard-hitting but intimate portrait of a couple with longstanding addictions. The Bradford-based photographer tells Steve Lee how he won Gary and Maree’s trust and became good friends with them.

A new version of Shakespeare’s Scottish play is set in the modern day with a woman in the role of the politically ambitious would-be monarch. But it’s no radical reworking of the 400-year-old play, the director tells Steve Lee.

Plus Lemn Sissay’s letter to his younger self, books, reviews, news, comment and much more.

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