CMU Daily - on the inside 10 Jun 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Impala not convinced BMG or Sony can overcome euro-concerns to merger
- Libertines cancel festival dates as Doherty flies to Thailand
- Sky launch free-to-air service
- Sky launch reality music show
- Beatles considering digital options
- Album Review: Hope Of The States - The Lost Riots
- 50 Cent plans retail chain
- Arrest warrant out for Love
- Three footie songs to appear in top ten
- Big Gay Out line up
- The Vines cancel incubus support
- Rio will rock Lisbon again
- Viacom boss took board's advice on replacing Karamazin
- Prodigy return with all star line up
- Clear channel do deal with FCC to end indecency investigations
- Tatu are back, as Tema
- Tate plans to kill of Jurgen Vries
- Songwriter royalties up in 2003
- Live Review: The Killers / Surferosa / The Departure At The Mean Fiddler
- Scottish tourists recruit Speedway to promote their cities
- DMC confirm finalists for UK final of DJ championships
- Bucks fizz reform for Here & Now


The pan-European body that represents the independent sector, IMPALA, has welcomed the European Commissions 'objections' to the proposed Sony BMG merger, claiming that the issues raised by European officials demonstrated they did not accept the two major's arguments that further consolidation was necessary to secure the future of the global music business.

In a statement this morning IMPALA told reporters that they disagreed with the doom and gloom picture of the short-term future of the music industry painted by Sony and BMG in their merger proposals. The independent labels say they have "an alternative view of the music market which remains full of opportunities, including technology development, provided these opportunities are not foreclosed by anti-competitive practices". They said they had asked EU Antitrust Commissioner Monti to "ensure that the independents have access to these opportunities and are not marginalised further by the unprecedented concentration envisaged by the merger current."

The European Commission issues its 'statement of objection' to the proposed merger last month. An open hearing will now be held next week to discuss those objections - the majors will either have to argue their case against the issues raised by officials, or propose compromises that will allay concerns.

But IMPALA president Michel Lambot reckons the majors will have a tough job in overcoming all concerns. He told reporters this morning: "The objections are so fundamental it's difficult to imagine remedies that would be sufficiently far-reaching to deal with the EC's concerns. In fact we have gone one step further and asked the Commission to address existing structural problems it has identified. Anti-trust authorities have a vital role in improving the market environment and the right of citizens to have access to diverse cultural expression."

Since they were published, the two major labels have been keen to stress a statement of objections is routine in merger investigations like this, and does not mean European officials will ultimately block the deal.


Alan McGee has given an official statement regards the whole Libertines situation, following the news yesterday that Pete Doherty has gone to Thailand to try and kick his drug addiction once and for all.

Revealing that Doherty has been back in the Priory in London for the last few days, although under a false name, McGee confirmed that the singer was now on his way to Thailand to attend a rehab programme at the Thamkrabok Monastery, admitting that this meant the future of the band was, for the time being, uncertain.

McGee "We flew Peter to Thailand last night. To be honest his mum, Carlos (Barat) and myself can't believe he did it but he is a man of many surprises. If he's going to get clean permanently anywhere it's in this place. We kept him at The Priory under a different name this last week to avoid people staring at his recovery but deep down we knew he wasn't buying. We cleaned him up as best we could and he of his own accord agreed to go off to Thailand. What happens to the group in the long term, who knows as in any event the man we sent out there will come back a different man. He wanted to change and has done something about it. All we ask of you people is keep the faith in Peter Doherty and The Libertines. Carlos last night told me Peter's health comes before the band and again you have to love the man left in the UK. The (tabloid press) will no doubt be all on our case today but to say we all jumped for joy last night when his escort texted me and said we are on the plane and all systems are go would be the understatement of this year. The man may be away for a month, he may even reject the west and not return. Who knows. All I hope for is he kills his demons and gets better and finds a happy life in The Libertines or in Thailand or wherever happiness lies for him. To be honest his health is the most important thing to everyone involved."

Doherty's trip to Thailand means the Libertines definitely won't be playing at the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury and Meltdown festivals. However the band remain hopeful they may be able to play T in the Park next month and Reading / Leeds at the end of the Summer.

Commenting on the cancellations Carl Barat told reporters yesterday: "We felt that we should not continue with these shows in order to show support for Peter whilst he is recuperating. It has obviously been a very painful period for the band and we wish Peter better more than anything. His health comes first."

The cancellations do not affect drummer Gary Powell's plans to appear with the New York Dolls at their two Meltdown dates at the Royal Festival Hall later this month.


Sky TV have announced their intention to launch a free-to-air multi-channel satellite TV service. It means consumers will be able to buy a satellite dish and set top box for a one off fee (about £150) and then have free access to some 116 TV channels and 81 radio stations. Similar to the Freeview terrestrial digital TV model, the benefit of the Sky system, other than the higher number of channels available, is that Sky have 100% coverage of the UK, Freeview's signal covers just under 75% of the country.

There are various reasons why Sky would want to launch a free 'lite' service, despite the fact it will essentially compete with their own subscription satellite package. In particular it will give Sky access to a population of customers who might be persuaded to upgrade to a subscription service once they have their dish and set top box in place - especially as all the major sport and movie channels, and the premium US shows, will not be available on the free service. But the free service will also increase Sky's hold on the TV viewing population, which will enhance its bargaining position with sponsors, advertisers and other broadcasters.

There's also the added benefit that the new service will win brownie points with the government, who are still keen to turn off analogue TV signals in 2010, and for whom the limitation of Freeview's reach was a real issue.

Announcing the new package Sky boss James Murdoch told reporters: "This is another step in giving consumers a choice from Sky that suits their needs at the top and lower ends of the scale".
Sky also announced their intention to start broadcasting in the HDTV format in 2006. This is a new system, increasingly popular in the US, which offers a substantially superior picture quality than the current SDTV (standard definition) broadcasts. Such a system would, of course, be limited to subscription customers and give Sky another toy with which to upsell to all those new 'free-to-air' customers.


While we're on Sky, the broadcaster has given details of a new Pop Idol-style programme which will begin auditioning performers in Liverpool later this month. Called First Up the show will be looking to discover young artists or bands performing original music. Presented by Lisa Maffia the programme is being staged in association with Youth Music, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and BBC's Fame Academy Bursary.


With everything getting very competitive in the digital music world just now, all concerned will be eager to pull this one off. Word is representatives for Apple Corps are currently in discussion with a number of digital players with a view to making The Beatles' back catalogue available to legally download for the first time. None of The Beatles' catalogue is, as yet, available via a legitimate download service, but reports suggest Apple Corps - the company owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison - is now looking for a suitable deal.

The timing of these talks is no coincidence of course. Word is Apple Corps will initially look to do an exclusive deal with one download service. With the sector about to become so competitive, but with most of the major players still well funded, now is probably the time when the best possible price can be secured for such a deal.

Apple Corps are yet to officially confirm that any such talks are taking place so it is hard to say which download services are being considered, although rumour has it Microsoft's upcoming Music Store service or Real Networks' Rhapsody are favourites. Certainly it is unlikely The Beatles would go to iTunes, given that Apple Corps are currently fighting Apple Computers over their use of the 'Apple' name in the music space.


ALBUM REVIEW: Hope of the States - The Lost Riots (Sony)
Another week, and another band are acclaimed as the new Coldplay. This time the flavour of the month is Hope of the States. It hardly encourages the cynical musical fan to get excited about a band whom the NME claim, "Have reinvented the wheel". They haven't. There is a definite buzz about the band though. And the death of one of their band mates has earned them a good deal of sympathy from all. The three singles are certainly good songs. The band's calling card, 'Black Dollar Bill' is self-consciously epic, the screaming guitars building to crescendo. 'Enemies/Friends' is a nice melodic song, with thoughtful lyrics: "All the money in the world won't save you, All the prisons in the world won't hold us, Keep your friends close, your enemies wont matter in the end." The latest single 'The Red, the White, the Black, the Blue' is more visceral sounding. But this is a debut album and it comes weighed under by its hype. Very often the music press do these bands a disservice. Sometimes young bands need a bit more time to grow and develop before we can say just how great they are. The Hope of the States aren't quite there yet but maybe they will if given some room. JW
Release date: 7 Jun
Press contact: Darling [RP, NP] Sony IH [CP, CR, RR, NR]


Do they send every hip hop star on a business training course as soon as the first album is in the can? Or are there some very shrewd players behind the scenes? OK, probably the latter. Anyway the latest hip hop business venture comes from Mr 50 Cent. Not satisfied with having a G Unit line of trainers, latest word is the rapper plans to open up a chain of shops across the US stocking jewellery, Gucci wallets, Louis Vuitton bags and the aforementioned trainer range. Groovy.


More, that's right more, from the never uneventful world of Courtney Love. An arrest warrant has now been issued for the singer after she allegedly attacked another women with a bottle and a torch at the home of her former manager and ex-boyfriend. The incident took place back in April, but the arrest warrant was only made yesterday - Love is expected to report to police later today.

With those long long long running drugs charges still working their way through court, and a court hearing still pending over that incident in Mar when she hit a fan with a microphone during an impromptu gig, it's a good time to be Courtney Love's lawyer.


Well, with Euro 2004 kicking off this weekend, there could be three football songs in the top ten this weekend.

Midweeks suggest that that dreadful reworking of the Farm's Alltogethernow, the official song of the England football team, will move up a couple of places after entering the chart at number ten last Sunday. Meantime the top ten will also feature new entries from 'Born In England', the football song created by Xfm's breakfast show, and 4-4-2's reworking of 'Come On Eileen' - called 'Come On England' (of course). Despite the footie fever, none are likely to knock current number one Mario Winans off the top spot.

Commenting on the midweeks, HMV's Gennaro Castaldo told reporters yesterday: "None of them are going to knock Mario Winans off the number one position, but they all have a good chance of being in the top 10. Midweek sales show The Farm song has gone up a couple of places to number eight and 'Born In England' was the 10th best seller when it was released on Monday. But 'Come On England' is doing the best so far. Based on the sales it did on Monday it's currently number two and has a very good chance of being in the top 10."


Big Gay Out, the revamped post-Gay Pride march mini-festival, has confirmed a line up including, among others, The Sugababes, Jamelia, Blu Cantrell, Shapeshifters, Har Mar Superstar, Liberty X, The 411, Peter Andre, Boy George, The Freestylers, Mark Moore, Lisa Pin-Up and Killa. It all takes place on 3 Jul in Finsbury Park. Tickets for the event will be £25 - with all profits going to fund the costs of the earlier Pride march.


There is more speculation about the future of Australian band The Vines today after they announced they were pulling out of a lucrative support slot on the high profile upcoming Incubus US tour because of exhaustion. The decision follows a controversial radio promotional gig in Sydney last month when bassist Patrick Matthews stormed off stage, and frontman Craig Nicholls allegedly verbally abused his audience.

Confirming the cancellation of the Incubus support slot a spokesman for the band told British music magazine NME: "The decision to cancel the tour has been made for the band to take a break and deal with mental and physical exhaustion issues they currently face. The band would like to thank their fans and everyone close to them for their continued support and understanding."


That unprecedented decision to host the Rock In Rio festival in Lisbon rather than its home city seems to have paid off. So successful was the six day festival in the Portugese capital that organisers have vowed to return there in 2006.

385,000 people attended the event over its six days, with an estimated 700 million tuning into TV coverage of the event, which included performances from Metallica, Foo Fighters and Britney Spears among others.

Confirming he would stage the event in Portugal again, Rock In Rio founder Roberto Medina told reporters yesterday that his decision to host the event in Europe gave it a global relevance, enhancing its social message.

Medina: "This is a great opportunity to use music as a universal language in order to promote great changes in the world, which is needed urgently! We use social marketing in a straightforward manner and explicit with this objective in mind."


According to the New York Post Sumner Redstone - the CEO and majority shareholder of MTV/CBS parent company Viacom - wanted to give MTV head Tom Freston the top job at Viacom after Mel Karmazin's departure last week. However he gave in to his 'governance committee' who insisted Karmazin's job should be split between Freston and CBS boss Les Moonves.

The logic behind that insistence is that Moonves, while friends with Freston, would probably not have been happy reporting to him. With rumours Karmazin might get a top job at Disney, Viacom insiders were concerned Moonves would quit CBS and take up a job there instead.

Word is the Viacom board now want to see how Freston and Moonves both perform in the next three years prior to the time when Redstone is scheduled to stand down from the CEO's role, the better of the two getting that job. Although both Freston and Moonves are said to be getting on together well, that competition has got to make things a little bit stressful over the coming months.


The long, long, long awaited new album from The Prodigy will be released on 16 Aug and is set to be a star studded affair featuring guest appearances from Princess Superstar, Kool Keith, Twista, Juliette Lewis and Noel and Liam Gallagher. While not involved in the recording of the album, Maxim and Keith Flint are both set to join Liam Howlett on an extensive Prodigy tour in the Autumn.


Clear Channel have almost done a deal with US media regulator, the FCC, in a bid to end pending 'indecency charges'. According to the LA Times Clear Channel have offered to pay $1.75 million in fines to put to an end investigations into various indecency complaints against the group, including some that haven't even begun. Although one commissioner at the FCC is reportedly against the deal, given that Clear Channel have already dropped more or less anything vaguely controversial from their schedules there is a high chance the regulator will go for it. Which will help us all sleep at night surely.


TaTu have announced details of their new single - except, of course, it won't be released under the name TaTu. That name is owned by Russian music mogul Ivan Shapovalov who created the band and came up with the whole lesbian thang. But since parting company with Shapovalov, the TaTu girls have had to come up with a new name, and they've gone with the not entirely different looking t.E.m.A.

So, t.E.m.A. have announced details of their new single - 'Who, If Not Me' will be released later this month. How soon an album will be released remains to be seen - Julia Volkova did indicate she would be taking some time off given that she is midway through pregnancy.


DJ / producer Darren Tate has said he is planning to kill off his Jurgen Vries moniker. Having had three top ten hits under the name - including that 'The Opera Song' collaboration with Charlotte Church - Tate says current single 'Don't Say That' is likely to be his last under that name.

Tate: "It will probably be the last single release for Jurgen Vries. I can see eyes around me going 'Don't say that!', but the truth of the matter is I have got my head somewhere else right now. There will be a Jurgen Vries compilation which will feature all of the hit singles, but I am now concentrating on other projects."


Well, record labels may still be struggling, but presumably the music publishing and song writing community will be pleased to hear that the royalties collection by the Performing Rights Society and Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society were up last year.

According to the latest figures PRS collected £283.2m in royalties last year, up from £268.4m the previous year. MCPS meanwhile collected £242.5m, up from £221.4m the previous year.

Announcing the figures MCPS executive director Sandra Cox told reporters: "These are good results for MCPS given the climate for audio products in 2003. Continental European market conditions remained difficult but the long-awaited downturn in audio product sales in the UK again failed to materialise and it was the UK performance that helped lift our distributions to members."

PRS executive director John Axon added: "This was another good year for PRS and its members. Overall licensing revenues reached an all time high and this resulted in record amounts being available for distribution."


LIVE REVIEW: The Killers / Surferosa / The Departure at The Mean Fiddler on 3 Jun
The Departure are a very promising new five piece outfit from Northampton. They have an angular rhythmic sound, that thanks to the likes of Franz Ferdinand is very now. Their look is more New York cool via Interpol with dark clothes and asymmetric haircuts. The vocals switch disconcertingly from sounding like James' Tim Booth to the Psychedelic Furs aping Bowie but the overall effect is very good. They're one to watch out for definitely. Surferosa are a very different proposition. The singer Mariann looks like the image of what people in the 80's thought we would look like in the future, blond, androgynous and wearing bacofoil. She gives a strong energetic performance. The band sound like how they look, very electro power pop, with vocals somewhere between Saffron from Republica and Toyah. The night belongs to the Killers of course. Only a few months ago they were playing the Camden Barfly and now here they are selling out the Mean Fiddler and celebrating a top 10 hit with their excellent single 'Mr Brightside'. It's all about the tunes really, 'On Top', 'Smile Like You Mean It', 'Jenny Was A Friend of Mine', they all sound like potential hits. Their sound isn't totally unique; guitars embellished with imaginative use of synthesisers has been done before but they do it very well. Singer Brandon Flowers is as lovely as his name suggests and he makes a striking frontman. As gigs go I'd say this was total entertainment. JW


Scottish tourist agency VisitScotland have recruited the lead singer of Scottish band Speedway - Jill Jackson - to be an 'ambassador' for their recently launched online guide to Scotland's six cities, -

The move is part of the tourism group's attempts to connect with a younger audience. As an ambassador Jill offers her own tips on where to go / eat / drink / party in Scotland's cities, with a special guide to Glasgow. Meanwhile there will be promotions surrounding the Scottish cities on the bands current UK tour and new single 'In & Out'.

Commenting on the 'ambassador' role Jill told CMU: "I've travelled all over the UK and Europe with Speedway, and I can guarantee that Scotland's cities are hard to beat. They're beautiful as well as having some of the best clubs, bars and restaurants around, and each city has its own very distinctive vibe. I'm delighted to have been chosen as an ambassador for the site and thrilled that I can get people down to all my favourite haunts when they visit Glasgow!"

More on the band, current tour and new single at


DMC have confirmed that the UK final for the World DJ Championships will take place on 3 Jul held, as always, at Shepherd's Bush Empire.

There will be a live PA by Phi Life Cypher, sets from C2C (DMC World Team Champions 2003), DJ Tigerstyle (Battle For World Supremacy Champion 2003) and DJ 2tall. Plus, of course, the finalists, picked from three months of heats around the country, will all be on the decks. Finalists are as follows:

Leicester - Komplete
Leeds - Matman
Bournemouth - Muzzell
Cardiff - Skarfade
Glasgow - Ritchie Rufftone
London - Blakey
Manchester - Mike-L
Derby - Sinical
Bristol - Dare Devil

The world final will take place on the weekend of 4 & 5 Sep at the Carling Apollo in Hammersmith.

Press info on both from Zzonked.


Well, with the sun hiding behind the clouds, here's some news to brighten up your day. Bucks Fizz in their second line up of Cheryl Baker, Bobby Gee, Mike Nolan, and Shelley Preston (Preston replaced original member Jay Aston back in 1984) are reforming for the ever popular Here & Now eighties music tour. They will join Belinda Carlisle, Midge Ure, Limahl, Nick Kershaw, Living In A Box and Kim Wilde on the next set of the eighties nostalgia fest.

The December tour will visit Newcastle, Manchester, London, Plymouth, Brighton, Birmingham and Sheffield.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at