It’s time to welcome the spring sunshine. Surely? Even if that turns out to be short-lived, we can welcome our new issue which adds blossom to the internet tree.

Over in Word Life you’ll be acquainted with our new section editor, Elizabeth Gibson, who introduces three poems on her curational debut.

Our interviews include BBC songs spinner Gilles Peterson taking about his Future Bubblers scheme, while Nikesh Shukla tells us about his literary project, The Good Immigrant, and Jamie Groovement sat down with Stranger Things soundtrackers Survive. Phil Lockwood is this month’s featured artist and he answers our questions about his formative years: “From the age of 11 I was surrounded by people who all had skills in the artistic sphere, so it came as a huge shock to discover later, when I went into the big wide world, that some people couldn’t draw”.

Localcheck looks ahead to the mayoral election hustings taking place this month and next, while Tom Arnold puts forward his idea for Manchester as England’s capital city in order to rebalance the north-south power divide. Music venues on both sides of the north-south divide can fall foul to the side-effects of regeneration, as David Ewing discusses in Sound.

In the more prosaic offerings, Zachary Freeman finds out what Paul Nuttall’s been up to since the Stoke by-election in the latest instalment of Down In The Mouth, Apocalypse Nut, and Elliott Mills walks along Oxford Road to take in the signs of life, inspired by ‘Before I Die…’.

Elsewhere, you’ll find reviews of Gnod’s latest LP, a compilation by Craig Charles, the Bat Out Of Hell musical and more across music, film and stage.