CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 20th December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Another Baby-shambles
- Last ever Libertines gig?
- Last ever PJ Harvey gig?
- SonyBMG and EMI publishing work together on new technology
- Elton and David wedding not imminent
- Anderson and Butler add extra dates
- Love Shack burns down
- Canadian courts say no to MP3 player tax
- DMX charged with driving offences - again
- Mother of Damageplan gunman says son had schizophrenia
- Live Review: The Darkness, Ash, Do Me Bad Things at Wembley Arena
- Beatles guitar sells for over a quarter of a million
- iPod news
- ES Lite hits main ES sales
- Band Aid is Christmas number one shocker
- Chart update
- Websites close as BBC cuts back online activity
- BBC download radio a success
- Moyles tops BBC streams poll
- Guardian question label's schools marketing scheme
- P2P servers down after MPAA's action
- Andre to be dropped?


Well, Christmas is nearly here, so you have just four more days to cast your votes in the CMU Track of the Year poll survey thing. Just email your vote to If you want to offer a 50 word explanation of your vote then that would be cool - we'll include a couple of votes in here each day this week for inspiration.

Voter: Sophie Sharpe,
Vote: The Killers - Somebody Told Me
Words: I'll never hear this song and not be reminded of summer 2004. Unbelievably catchy, it had me on the dance floor every time it was played. The Killers were one of my favourite bands and albums of the year, and I'm really looking forward to the January NME tour.

Voter: Luke Wallace, Cargo
Vote: Lady Sovereign 'Chi Ching' (Cheque 1,2) (Casual Records)
Words: Fucked if I know how you'd dance to this, but this grime stomping barrel of bass just demands you turn it up louder. Produced by Ceri 'Sunship' Evans (who's probably blown his ear drums from sitting in the studio with it cranked up loud), Sovereign's catchy 'Chi Ching' chants get stuck in your head and her cheeky raps don't hold back - the ragga midget is going big places.

Agree? If not, get voting,


Well, the clue is in the name I suppose. The UK tour of Babyshambles ended in, erm, shambles on Saturday night after another Doherty no-show. Following Pete's shabby performances in Blackpool and Liverpool last week, the band's Sheffield date on Thursday night reportedly went without incident, raising hopes that Saturday night's Astoria date would come together after all. But when, by 2am, Doherty had failed to show for his midnight set, the gig's promoters decided to tell the increasingly impatient crowd that Babyshambles would not be playing after all, reportedly leading to something of a stage invasion during which 150-200 people attempted to trash the band's equipment.

One audience member told NME over the weekend: "Several of my friends say that they saw Pete arrive at the venue - whether that is true or not I don't know. Whatever happened, Babyshambles didn't play and after two hours of waiting, the curtains were lowered on to the stage and an announcement was made. Seconds later what could best be described as a riot began to take place. The curtains were torn down, drinks were thrown, the drum kit was smashed and essentially the entire contents of the stage were destroyed. The security forced the kids back to the other side of the barrier".

A spokesperson for the Met police confirmed they had been called to the venue at about 2.30am but said that when they got to the Astoria any incident that had occurred had come to an end and no arrests were made.

Presumably the real Babyshambles fans in the audience weren't too annoyed - a high possibility of a Doherty no-show now very much part of the Babyshambles 'brand'. Though said fans are probably due the fun of a small riot when such a no-show occurs, if only to justify the ticket price.


Those Babyshambles fans in London would have been better off being in Paris, where the Libertines (minus Doherty of course) successfully showed up and completed a one hour set in front of 350 competition winners at the city's Studio 287 on Friday night. The consensus is that this could well be the Libertines last ever gig, with frontman Carl Barat considering solo projects for the New Year.


Talking of last ever gigs at Studio 287 in Paris on Friday night, PJ Harvey, on the same bill as the Libertines, also revealed she is giving up performing live. According to the NME she told her audience: "This is the last show I will ever play." Perhaps she just got carried away with the whole 'last ever gig' thing. Presumably if she had been on the same bill as Babyshambles she would have just not shown up.


SonyBMG and EMI Music Publishing have announced an arrangement which will mean the two companies consider new music distribution technologies, as and when they become available, together. The two companies hope to recruit other major record and publishing companies into the consortium.

The aim is to speed up the process by which major music companies investigate and utilise new technologies, presumably to end that increasingly common occurrence - independent company creates new technology, majors ignore new technology, independent makes new technology a huge success, major labels held to ransom by independent in order to make use of new technology.


Elton John's partner, David Furnish, has denied rumours that the couple plan to marry at a private chapel at David and Victoria Beckhams' Hertfordshire home, saying there will be no wedding until the Civil Partnership Bill, which will recognise gay partnerships in law, has worked its way through Parliament. Furnish told reporters this weekend: "Elton and I will be going to the Beckhams for a christening ceremony, not to get married. I have been following the Civil Partnership Bill through the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and hope that we'll be able to do something about it in six months' time."

Speculation that the couple may wed followed comments made by Elton recently with regards which of his celebrity friends he would involve in his wedding: "I think I would like Lulu as my maid of honour and Victoria Beckham as my best man!"

Celebrity guests aside, however, Furnish told reporters this weekend not to expect a big flash wedding when it does finally happen: "We have decided that everything would be done very simply, in a Register Office. There's absolutely no discussion of having a party or anything like that."


Having confirmed they will play at the NME Awards Show in London on 16 Feb, Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler's new band The Tears have announced two other gigs - 13 Feb at Manchester University and 14 Feb at Edinburgh Liquid Rooms.


A cabin which most probably inspired the B-52's track 'Love Shack' has burned down. The band's Kate Pierson once lived in the house just outside Athens, Georgia, and word has it the band penned their other big hit, 'Rock Lobster', there. Authorities are investigating the cause of the blaze - arson has not yet been ruled out. Perhaps someone dropped a match after they got pissed off with Fred Schneider shouting 'I can't hear you' every time they banged at the door.


The Canadian courts really don't like the music industry. Having told the record labels they can't target illegal file sharers there with RIAA style litigation until there is a change in copyright law, now the Federal Court of Appeal has said the proposals to add copyright tax to MP3 players sold in Canada are illegal.

Canada, like a number of other countries, has long added an extra tax to CD-Rs and audio cassettes which is passed on to the royalty bodies to compensate them for the copying of their artists' music that the CDs/tapes allow. As MP3 players arguably replace CD-Rs and audio cassettes in the digital age the record industry were pushing for a similar tax to be added to the sale of iPods et al. However Justice Marc Noël said last week that the current copyright act does not allow this: "As desirable as bringing such devices within the ambit of [the Act] might seem, the authority for doing so still has to be found in the Act".

That ruling will provide further incentive to the Canadian Recording Industry Association to push for changes in the country's copyright legislation. However, revamping said legislation could well take some time, so the CRIA may take their case for an MP3 player tax to the country's Supreme Court in the meantime.


If I had a pound for every rapper convicted of driving offences this year … God … I'd have … erm ... eight pounds. Which would buy me a Wetherspoons Christmas dinner, which would be nice.
Of course most of those offences were committed by the same rapper - DMX. Yep, less than a month after admitting to driving while on valium, DMX, real name Earl Simmons, has been charged with three more driving offences after being pulled over in New York last Wednesday. Simmons has been charged for speeding, driving while his licence was suspended and driving an unregistered vehicle. He will face the new charges in court on 18 Jan.


The mother of the gunman who shot dead four people at a Damageplan gig in Ohio - including the band's lead singer 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott – has admitted to Columbus TV station NBC 4 that she gave her son the gun he used during the shooting. Mary Clark, mother of gunman Nathan Gale, told the TV network: "When he came home for Christmas the year he was in service, I was proud of that man for cleaning up his life the way he did. And I bought him that gun. I'll never, never be able to live that part down."

Apologising to the families of those who died in the shooting, Clark explained that her son suffered from paranoid schizophrenia (she gave him the gun before that was diagnosed), a condition that led to his medical discharge from the US marines for whom he served for just under two years. She continued: "I still don't understand the whole thing, but he came home with his medications, and I don't know if he took them or not. I don't know if he was afraid to, or. ashamed to, or. didn't believe it himself. I have such remorse for those families, and I am so sorry that they are losing their loved ones. Their sons, brothers, fathers."

Gale had long term issues with Abbott's former band Pantera - at one time claiming he had written their songs and that they had stolen them off him. However Clark said she felt her son had overcome many of his issues before the shooting: "It seemed like he. he put it out of his mind. It seemed like, OK, everything was better."

Clark concluded by commending Columbus police officer James Niggemeyer who, on arriving on the scene of the shooting, shot her son dead to stop him shooting others in the audience.


LIVE REVIEW: The Darkness, Ash, Do Me Bad Things at Wembley Arena on 12 Dec
What a line up. Usually my nights are spent watching three terrible unsigned bands from Essex, Enfield and Woking playing the Water Rats. But tonight saw an all star cast including the new kings of rock, the stalwart underdogs and some fantastic, if precocious, young upstarts just ready to whip that mantle away...

Darkness label-mates, Do Me Bad Things, were as awesome as expected - filling the massive Wembley Arena stage with bodies and the space between them with joyous rock soul noise. This band truly deserve to be on a stage of their own this size, and if there is any justice in this world, then next year will see them rise to wreak real havoc on the charts and our wanton ears.

Sadly, Ash were less than amazing. The britrock heavy weights, whose career seems longer than Barbara Cartland's, seemed unanimated and slightly forced - maybe the tour had worn holes in their energy. While Charlotte Hatherley shifted awkwardly from foot to foot, and their (still) 12 yr old bassist pogoed and played his bass by his ankles, Tim Wheeler's songs and performance seemed soulless.

This feeling was only accentuated by Justin Hawkins, who set new standards for 'last night of tour' with an absolutely explosive show of classics, brilliant new material, a disarming crowd rapport that would put Tommy Cooper to shame and, of course, the already legendary stuffed tiger that sails over the crowd with Justin going diddle-liddle-liddle atop it. Even though the band's music stands up on its own, their show is unlike anything else being indulged in right now - apart from, say, Disney On Ice or Paris's New Year fireworks. So many shit bands hide their music behind performance and appearance, but the Darkness have every base covered: an album full of top ten singles and a live show with more pops, bangs and flying silver confetti than a Nam vet could deal with.

'Permission To Land' is a painfully good album, and from the sound of their new material, the next album won't go the way so many of us feared: splashing out with Warner Music's money at the expense of rawness, heaviness and grit. Last year's Xmas single was a worrying follow up to one of the albums of the year, and lots of people predicted a softening in the band's new material - but judging from the new songs there'll be just as much heaviness, hook, falsetto and ludicrously good soloing as any fan could ask for.

Ever the perfect host, Justin took to the keys and endeared the crowd to him even more with some humorous takes on Take That tracks and the odd bar of Queen. What Justin doesn't have in painfully vapid good looks he makes up for in every other arena; he is one of the most engaging, warming and talented showman to emerge in the last ten years. The future's bright, the future's Darkness. JG


A Gibson SG guitar used by both George Harrison and John Lennon has sold for £294,000 at an auction in New York. The guitar was used by Harrison from 1966 to 1969 (including during the recording of 'Revolver') and by Lennon during the White Album sessions. Harrison gave the guitar to Peter Ham of rock band Badfinger in 1969, and after Ham's death in 1974 it ended up with his brother. It was only rediscovered two years ago when the US Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame approached Ham's brother looking for memorabilia to include in a Badfinger retrospective in 2002. It sold to an anonymous bidder at the auction last week.


iPod news now, and firstly some are questioning those reports last week that supplies of Apple's digital music players are likely to run out in the run up to Christmas. Although some major retailers, including Amazon, have run out, an analyst for music research company Jupiter Research (who monitor such things) said last week: "Supplies might be tightening, but I'm not convinced there's some terrible shortage". Whether the shortage story was subtly pushed by Apple's press people to create a sales rush is unclear - there's a chance the press ran with the story on their own back to generate a bit of pre-Christmas copy.

Talking about Apple's relationship with the press, the computer firm is suing an unnamed individual for acquiring and leaking "confidential information" about the company's iPod plans. A number of rumours have circulated about future iPod partnerships in recent months and it is unclear which of those are alleged to have started with the defendant in this legal case.


Did we mention that the London Evening Standard last week launched that free 'Lite' version we have been gossiping about in recent months? No. Well, they did - central London vendors last week started distributing the free lunch time 'edited highlights' edition of the paper last week.
According to today's Media Guardian some of those vendors reckon the new free sheet is impacting on sales of the main paid-for edition of the paper. One vendor in Farringdon (well, if you're going to ask one, you might as well start with the Standard seller who stands just down the road from your London offices) told the Guardian: "It's definitely hit sales. The free version is very popular - it's usually gone by about 1pm".

However ES management - whose main aim is to expand their overall readership in London - are unlikely to too bothered by those reports. Editor Veronica Wadley, who described Standard Lite as "bold, innovative, exactly aimed at the market we want to reach", admitted last week that the new free version might have an impact on main edition sales, adding: "It's an inexact science, not something anyone knows. It may even promote the main edition. We've just got to see how it goes."


Well, no surprise here then. Band Aid 20 topped yesterday's singles chart, in doing so getting that strangely prestigious title of 'Christmas number one'. The charity record has now shifted more than 600,000 units in three weeks, and in the last week outsold its nearest rivals - Kylie and Ronan Keating - by five to one. The continuing success of the charity song repeat is fuelling speculation that plans are afoot for a second Live Aid. Geldof apparently told reporters he was "open to being persuaded" into organising Live Aid 2, but needed to be convinced it wouldn't just be a copy of the


Elsewhere in chart news, and more good news for the Band Aid Foundation given that Ronan Keating gets the highest new entry this week at number two with his new version of 'Father & Son' - the profits of this single are also going to Band Aid. Kylie slots in at three for her second week on the chart, with Avid Merrion's collaboration with Davina McCall and Patsy Kensit (also a charity record) going in at five. Other new entries this week from Morrissey at 10, Cliff (of course) at 13, Electric Six at 21, GLC at 22 and Damien Rice at 27.

Albums wise - erm, nothing to report. No new entries at all, while the top 3 have just swapped positions so that Robbie's greatest hits sits back at number one.


The BBC will again cut back its online activity in a bid to curb claims it is unfairly competing against commercial players in the web media industry - claims the Beeb is more sensitive to in the build up to Charter renewal.

BBC Director Of New Media And Technology, Ashley Highfield, has told the Guardian he is looking to slice up to £6 million off the Corporation's online spend. Among the planned cut backs are the closure of a BBC site dedicated to US sport (which critics say replicates commercial sites) and one on local history (which critics say offers poor value for money). The BBC's site dedicated to cult TV will be slimmed down to deal primarily with cult shows currently in the BBC TV schedules, while the BBC's local information sites will be reduced in size so as not to compete with commercial players in that area (in fact there is talk of the Beeb partnering with local newspapers on said sites).

The latest cut backs follow the closure of several BBC sites earlier this year after a government review of the Beeb's online activities praised the Corporation's website for its wide reach, but said it was overstepping its remit in some places.


Presumably those cut backs won't affect BBC Radio's online ventures, which continue to reinvent the way listeners relate to radio stations. Reports suggest the BBC's latest development in this area - providing radio shows as an MP3 that can be listened on a PC or MP3 player - has been particularly successful. The new project not only allows listeners to download the programmes, but provides them with a tool whereby they can opt to have new episodes of those chosen series automatically downloaded to their computers when they become available. The latest programme added to the venture - Radio 4's history documentary 'In Out Time' has now been downloaded 70,000 times. That follows the success of a similar project involving the 'Reith Lectures' earlier this year.

Commenting on the project, Simon Nelson, Controller of BBC Radio & Music Interactive, told reporters: "We've been surprised and delighted by the demand for downloads of what is one of our most challenging programmes; it demonstrates the public's appetite for new ways of listening. Of course we recognise that we can't offer all programmes in this way but we look forward to working with rights holders to explore ways we could learn from developments like this to drive radio listening forward."

What the copyright implications will be should the BBC extend this service to music programming (which surely they will) are yet to be seen.


Talking of BBC online radio, the latest figures from the Beeb show that Radio 1's Chris Moyles show has overtaken The Archers as the most streamed (on demand) show from BBC Radio - perhaps helped by star interviews with the likes of Elton John and Destiny's Child in Nov. However the real success story in the latest radio on demand figures in, perhaps unsurprisingly, Radio 4's 'Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' which has had over a million 'on demand' listens.


The Guardian has questioned the ethics of recruiting school children to act as 'on the street' marketers for bands. Schools were added into the music marketing mix years ago of course, but the paper is challenging the schemes used most effectively by Universal Records to sell Busted, McFly and V where by teenage fans get free stuff in return for distributing posters and flyers for the bands at their school, and are encouraged to vote for said bands in any online polls, to request their tracks on local radio stations, and to talk up releases in chat rooms. The paper quotes John Bangs, head of education at the National Union of Teachers, who reportedly said of the label's marketing strategy: "These methods are unacceptable."

In response Universal Records says: "We've been running the school chairman scheme for over two years now, and we've not had one single complaint from any child, school or parent. What's more, the children do really enjoy doing it."

Certainly the kids interviewed by the Guardian were positive about the label's marketing scheme, and surely compared to schools using Pepsi branded exercise books, Universal's strategy to involve teenagers in the promotion of bands they are already huge fans of isn't that much to worry about.


P2P SERVERS DOWN AFTER MPAA'S ACTION and - two of the main servers used by the BitTorrent P2P network being targeted through the courts by the Motion Picture Association of America where both down this weekend. They are both key servers in the network, and the other smaller servers used by BitTorrent will have been taking the strain while they are out of action.

It is unclear if the servers being down has anything to do with the MPAA's legal action. If so BitTorrent is likely to look for servers outside the US and Europe whose owners are less likely to be concerned when the MPAA wins the right to fight P2P networks in the US Supreme Court.


How long the celebrity reality shows can maintain a supply of d-listers on the basis of "it will re-launch your career" remains to be seen – certainly on the music front there is little evidence it works in the long term (Mark Owen anyone?).

Despite much press attention, and his own late night fly-on-the-wall show with Jordan, word has it Peter Andre will be dropped by his label in the New Year after the single sales success for post-jungle hits 'Mysterious Girl' and 'Insania' failed to be matched by album sales. Given that his current label is Atlantic (formerly East West) who bought out his old label Mushroom, in a round about kind of way that means Mr Andre will have been dropped twice by the same label. Which presumably wasn't Andre's aim when he signed up for 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here'.

Talking of reality show stars getting dropped, The Sun reckons both Darius and Gareth Gates will be dropped by their record labels in the New Year too - though rumours that BMG will end Gates' recording contract have been circulating for months.

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