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Right side of the tracks

If being imprisoned for four months for stealing a bottle of water wasn't enough to convince rioters of society's disapproval, a student angling for a place on a music technology course at Riverside College has shown off his skills with a hip-hop track denouncing the unrest.

Paul "Lambizzle" Lamborne, who cites Nas and Eminem as influences, has clocked up more than 4,000 hits on YouTube for It's a Riot: "Rioting for no reason? I can't stand themAll the little pricks jumping on the bandwagon ."

No judge on these matters, FErret referred the joint to his hip-hop correspondent, Ol' Furry Bastard, who pronounced the flow "satisfactory with some wack features".

FErret is not sure an anti-riot rap strikes the right note of rebellion somehow. But then if NWA had been Straight Outta Runcorn, perhaps they would have written Help tha Police instead.

Sounds like a plan

Andrew Wheeldon, a music lecturer at Lincoln College's Newark campus, seems an unflappable chap. When the BBC called to say they wanted him to build flutes, piccolos and clarinets from scrap materials to play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in the Royal Albert Hall, he didn't write it off as a weird dream.

Instead, the 44-year-old got right down to bashing towel rails, old cutlery and washers into shape, finishing the unusual project in 11 weeks. Mr Wheeldon told his local paper that it was "astonishing" to hear the eccentric orchestra play in the Albert Hall.

The results will be shown in Scrapheap Orchestra on BBC4 in the autumn. But let's hope that budget cuts don't force all music departments to follow his lead.

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