CMU Daily - on the inside 3 Aug 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Jacko's lawyers hit out at Sneddon's conference comments
- Beta Band to split
- In The City line up announced
- OfCom leave help pack behind for the pirates
- IDJ chief rumoured to be offering Jay Z a top exec post
- Single Review: A Man Called Adam - Barefoot In The Head 04
- Suits you sir
- Travis back unsigned singer
- Fatboy hits the road
- Embrace add extra date
- Return of the Mack (to jail)
- Optimism continues with strong Autumn release schedules
- Single Review: Seven Stone Lighter - Hope Against Hope EP
- More names added to Reggae In The Park bill
- Industry fear the ramifications after Hallyday court decision
- Brandy to wed basketball player
- Ex- Kitten plans lavish nuptials


More from the ongoing Jacko trial and the media ban that surrounds it.

Michael Jackson's legal people have called on the Santa Barbara Superior Court to investigate comments made by the main prosecutor in the case - Tom Sneddon - at a recent conference of district attorneys. They reckon he disobeyed the gagging order that forbids anyone involved in the trial from discussing the case by explaining to the conference how he was, erm, going about enforcing the gagging order that forbids anyone involved in the trial from discussing it.

Sneddon told the conference that he had contacted a number of potential witnesses in the case "in order to keep them off TV". Jackson's lawyers reckon that even just discussing the mechanics of trial preparations breaks the gagging order and they want the judge overseeing the case to investigate. Sneddon, for his part, denies having broken the terms of the gagging order.

Certainly a few remarks on mechanics don't compare to Jacko's violation of the order earlier in the year when he released a press statement stressing his innocence saying: "I did not, and would not, ever, harm a child."


The Beta Band have announced they are to split after eight years. The band issued a statement on their website yesterday which reads: "All good things must come to an end. And so it is that after eight years of creating consistently innovative music, releasing three critically acclaimed albums and staging some legendary live shows, the Beta Band have decided to call it a day. Sadly, eight years of hard work and critical acclaim but little return in terms of commercial success inevitably takes its toll and a group decision was made to finally lay the band to rest." The band will, however, perform a farewell UK tour in the autumn and a DVD of the band's videos is also planned.

Bassist Richard Greentree said: "The Beta Band apple has over-ripened and become riddled with maggots, it must fall from the tree and let its seeds return to ground." So, that's that cleared up.

Greentree and singer Steve Mason are working on solo albums, while DJ and sampler John Maclean will stay involved in music but also pursue film work. Drummer Robin Jones will also work in film and music.

After releasing The Three EPs compilation, The Beta Band famously described their first full album in 1999 as "the worst record made this year". The band had a bad break in 2001 when they discovered that their planned single 'Squares' used the same sample as I Monster's hit 'Daydream in Blue ' and The Beta Band decided to withdrew their single. The band had a brief moment of fame when they were name-checked in the hit film 'Hi-Fidelity'.


Well, the Edinburgh Festival kicks off this week, which means Freshers' Weeks are not very far away, and that means In The City must be just around the corner. Not that our lives at CMU are stuck to a rigid annual calendar.

Details of this year's In The City have been formally announced. The topic for the event, which will take place at the Radisson Edwardian Free Trade Hall Hotel in Manchester from 17 to 21 Sep, will be 'Music Is Priceless - That's Why We Have To Pay For It'. On the seminar component of the convention, In The City Director Yvette Livesey told CMU: " This year, more than any other in recent memory, there is a strong sense that the old rules are being re-written and a new template for the music industry is emerging. In The City has always been a catalyst for radical thinking and I can't think of a better time to be debating this new era of opportunity at a time when we are facing perhaps our biggest challenges." The seminars will be organised by our good friends at Record Of The Day - more on who will be speaking when we get it.

Music wise, and a special concentration on urban music this year. Jamelia, Manchester-based Raw T, Terri Walker, J'Nay and Big Brovaz are all booked to play, and there will be a special urban unsigned showcase on the Saturday night. On that programming decision ITC founder Anthony Wilson told us: "It is obvious to anybody with even a passing interest in popular music that the British urban scene now has an authentic and unique voice with more and more artists breaking out of the underground and into the mainstream. In The City is celebrating urban music this year with a programme of events designed to highlight the continued success of these artists."

More details on the full line up and delegate registration info are at http://


The men in black from OfCom, who go around closing down pirate radio stations, have adopted something of a positive measure as part of their ongoing bid to stop unofficial radio stations from going on air. From now on, whenever they close down one of the 360 pirate stations believed to be broadcasting around the UK, they will leave behind a pack explaining how to apply for a legit community radio licence.

The new scheme cleverly recognises that many pirate stations serve parts of the community not serviced by mainstream radio. OfCom bosses reckon the pirates are community radio stations in the making and want to help the people behind the stations go legit. And hurrah for that.


Rumours in the New York Times yesterday that Island Def Jam boss LA Reid is sounding out Jay Z for a senior executive post at the Universal division. If true, the move is most likely in response to reports Jay Z was considering forming a business partnership with a rival major, aside from his existing partnership with Universal and Damon Dash through the Roc-A-Fella outfit, which many reckon will be completely bought out by Universal next year as tensions between the two hip hop moguls grow.

IDJ's official line is that no position has been offered to Jay Z. Other sources say he was offered an executive post, that he turned it down but that he is now reconsidering.


SINGLE REVIEW: A Man Called Adam - Barefoot In The Head 04 (Southern Fried)
A Man Called Adam's excellent recent 'retrospective' ('All My Favourite') is certainly one of the strangest greatest hits releases, seeing as, along with the nine classics from the vaults, it really pushed the boat out with the customary new material, by including eight new tracks. Which essentially makes it a new album, doesn't it? Anyway. Far less confusing is the choice of the seminal 'BITH' to re-release. Few Balearic anthems have sounded as gorgeously mellow and sun-kissed as this; even fewer feel as fresh and evocative now as they did over ten years ago (when this track was originally released). There's a new acoustic version to behold which, stripped down to its bare essentials, yields none of the song's beauty and, in fact, enhances the sentiments therein. Pick of the accompanying remixes is from Fug, who turn in a deliciously chilled mix that simultaneously harks back to AMCA's acid jazz days of yore whilst relocating the track to somewhere even more relaxed and picturesque. And it's amazing. MS
Release date: 2 Aug
Press contact: Southern Fried IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]


Guitar legend Eric Clapton has astonished fans (no, really) by admitting he has been moonlighting as the owner of a posh gentlemen's outfitters. The 59 year old rock star owns half of Cordings of Piccadilly and has spent the last few months planning it's re-launch. Cordings is famous for making riding boots for the Queen Mother, the Duke of Windsor and Mrs Simpson. Although not known as a man of fashion, Clapton says he bought into the company because he liked its classic shirts and tweed hacking jackets and wanted to ensure that he could continue to buy the elegant country clothes.


The boys from Travis have been working as the backing band for an unheard of Japanese-American singer songwriter. Travis singer Fran Healy has provided backing vocals for the artist Susie Hug and has produced her record 'A Is For Album'. Healy heard Hug's music by chance and was so immediately impressed that he offered his band's services. They have spent the last two years making the album, fitting the recording in between Travis' busy touring schedule. At present Hug's music is only available via the internet, but Hug who has moved from the US to the UK, hopes to secure a record deal soon.


Fatboy Slim has confirmed the dates for his Oct UK tour in support of new album 'Palookaville', which is released on 4 Oct. Dates as follows:

13 Oct: Newcastle Northumbria University
14 Oct: Sheffield University Octagon
15 Oct: Liverpool University
16 Oct: Manchester Academy 1
20 Oct: Nottingham Trent University
21 Oct: Norwich UEA
22 Oct: Leeds University
23 Oct: Cardiff University

Tickets go on sale via on Thursday (5 Aug), and general release the following day at 9am.


Embrace have added a second London date to their forthcoming UK tour. In addition to their previously announced show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 2 Sep, the band will now play the Hammersmith Palais on 22 Nov.

The tour will promote new album 'Out Of Nothing' - out 13 Sep. The first single release from that album - the band's first single in three years - will be 'Gravity', written by Coldplay's Chris Martin. Out on 30 Aug, the band shot the video for the track last week at London's 'legendary' Abbey Road Studios.
The full tour dates are:

3 Sep: London Shepherds Bush Empire
29 Sep: Newcastle University
30 Sep: Glasgow Barrowlands
1 Oct: Manchester Carling Academy
3 Oct: Nottingham Rock City
4 Oct: Sheffield University Foundry
5 Oct: Bristol Carling Academy
7 Oct: Folkestone Leas Cliff Hall
22 Nov: London Hammersmith Palais


Mark Morrison (remember him?) was arrested and spent a night in jail following a fight at a nightclub last weekend. The singer, as famous for his scrapes with the law as his song 'Return Of The Mack', claims that he was attacked and had a platinum and diamond medallion stolen from him at the After Dark club in Leicester on Saturday night (31 Jul ). He was later released on bail on Sunday morning (1 Aug) after treatment for eye and lip injuries. Morrison claims a man punched him, ripped off the medallion and ran out of the club. Police confirmed a 32 year old man was arrested on suspicion of assault and affray and has been released on bail.


The recent growth in the music sector looks likely to continue this Autumn with record labels promising one of the strongest pre-Christmas release schedules for years. With most of the major labels already seeing revenues and profits on the rise, some reckon the combination of forthcoming major album releases and the usual year-end best of compilations will make 2004 a particularly successful year for the industry at large.

Among the artists delivering new studio albums this Autumn are U2, Kings Of Leon, Jennifer Lopez, Green Day, Destiny's Child, Elton John, REM, Nelly, Joss Stone, Daniel Bedingfield, Westlife and Duran Duran. Meanwhile Robbie Williams, Marilyn Manson, Super Furry Animals, Britney Spears, Blue, Ronan Keating, Seal and The Verve will all release greatest hits albums.

The number of new albums is crucial. In the same period last year most of the big releases were best of compilations. The combination of both kinds of album from leading artists should send record sales sky high.


EP REVIEW: Seven Stone Lighter - Hope Against Hope EP (Seventeen Hot Girls Records)
Be not deceived by their name. SSL are heavy. They are also tuneful, original and funny, coupling their poppiest tune 'Spitting Paper' with lyrics about 'me, myself and my spleen'. Their song writing follows in the tradition of ambitious, earnest rock at its best. If one is partial to the odd bit of pompousness (as I must confess I am), this debut, and especially the 7-minute epic closer 'Ivy Cottage', is a find. Production-wise, this Scottish unit recalls 'Angel Dust'-era Faith No More and 80s metal with brilliant rock riffs, bass-lines and vocals. 'Give Me Your Eyes' is the catchy, tuneful, perfect opener for this gem. I'd urge any rock station to playlist it. And any rock lover to get heavy with it. SIA
Release date: 16 Aug
Press contact: Head Honcho [all]


More on 'Reggae In The Park' - the new one day festival celebrating all that is great in reggae. Taking over East London's Victoria Park on 5 Sep the line up for the event now includes Marcia Griffiths, Sizzla Kalonji, Freddie McGregor, Barrington Levy, Vybz Kartel,Gregory Isaacs and The Mighty Diamonds, with many more acts still to be confirmed. Press info from Noble PR.


Record companies may be forced to revisit questionable recording contracts following a landmark decision in the French courts yesterday. French rock legend Johnny Hallyday is suing Universal Music France. He claims that they engineered for him to become indebted financially to the label, thus enabling them to force him to agree to projects and contracts he would otherwise have rejected.

Having settled all past debts through royalties, Hallyday wants to regain control of his recordings and to secure compensation for the poor deal Universal dealt him in the past. The French courts awarded Hallyday ownership of his recordings yesterday, while appointing an independent specialist to analyse all past contracts between Universal and the singer to check his claims deals were consistently done in an unfair way.

Universal refute Hallyday's allegations, arguing they loaned the singer monies secured on future record sales totally at his request, often helping him avoid bankruptcy or jail threats being made by French authorities over unpaid taxes. They also argue that it sets a dangerous precedent if artists can revist recording contracts at a later date and renegotiate past terms. Nicolas Boespflug, representing Universal, said: "If all Johnny's claims are responded to favourably by the industrial tribunal, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic for the recorded music business".


Only a couple of weeks after admitting she did not marry former boyfriend Robert Smith (a music producer not the Cure singer), R&B star Brandy has announced her engagement to basket ball player Quentin Richardson. Brandy was reportedly furious when Smith recently told a NY radio station that the couple were not legally wed but had merely said they were to preserve the singer's reputation when she fell pregnant. But the singer was all smiles when 24 year old Richardson presented her with an 11 and a half carat diamond ring worth $1 million at a party at the Century Club in Los Angles. Luvly.


Elsewhere in pop wedding news, and former Atomic Kitten Jenny Frost and DJ Dom Thrupp have hired an entire tropical island and will use a budget of £200,000 for their wedding on New Year's day. The Mirror contradicts previous press reports that the couple were splitting up. Jenny told the paper: "It makes me want to cry with happiness when I think about my wedding, I'm so excited." Seventy guests including former band mates Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon, will be flown out to the Maldives and Frost has even offered to pay for the flights. For the dress for her big day Frost is considering top fashion house Dolce & Golbanna or Lawrence Steel, the American designer who made Jennifer Aniston's gown for her marriage to Brad Pitt.

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