CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 21st February

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Prosecution want to access Jacko’s finances in court case
- Counter-culture author dies
- Beckhams announce birth of third son
- Jason Donovan up for Eastenders role?
- Scottish bands play for tsunami benefit
- Bono on Nobel Peace Prize nominations list
- MusicTank go classical
- EP Review: The Tenderfoot - Vale Industrial
- Homelands line up
- Temporary arena at Wembley opens
- Bad Boy close to Warners deal
- Prince sounds out majors
- Ray Charles’ son fails to up support payments
- Mel C to preview album online
- BRMC sign UK / Europe deal with Echo
- Chart update
- This week’s Student Radio Chart
- Single Review: Radio 4 - Transmission
- Yoko Ono among stars playing benefits to save New York club
- Rock monthlies see biggest rises in ABCs
- Spitzer to go over radio group paperwork in payola investigation
- US radio group involved in Manchester licence bid
- Branson to get involved in Virgin Radio takeover
- Morrisette to re-release Jagged Little Pill
- Gareth Gates to join Boyzone?
- Mr Stefani’s odd valentines gift

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PROSECUTION WANT TO ACCESS JACKO’S FINANCES IN COURT CASE
With the Jacko trial due to resume tomorrow, court papers have shown that the prosecution in the case hope to subpoena documents relating to the singer’s finances, and to call an expert witness to discuss his wealth, on the grounds that Jackson’s financial state may have influenced his actions. Needless to say, Jacko’s lawyers say that such information is irrelevant to the case, adding that to make such financial information public would both violate their client’s privacy and effect his position when making future commercial contracts.

Recently released court papers also reveal that defence lawyers are accusing the family of the accuser of being "professional plaintiffs" with a history of making "outrageous" sex assault claims in lawsuits. Certainly interesting times lie ahead once the tedious jury selection process is finally complete.

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COUNTER-CULTURE AUTHOR DIES
Not strictly speaking music news - but definitely of interest to the music world - American counterculture writer Hunter S Thompson has been found dead in his Colorado home - it seems the 67 year old shot himself.

Best known for ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’, of course, Thompson pioneered so called "gonzo journalism", factual writing where the writer is an essential part of the story. His other books included ‘Hells Angels’ and ‘Generation of Swine’.

In a statement to the Aspen Daily News, Thompson’s son Juan said: "On February 20, Dr Hunter S Thompson took his life with a gunshot to the head at his fortified compound in Woody Creek, Colorado. Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family."

Confirming the suicide reports a spokesman for the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office told reporters: "We do have confirmation that Hunter Thompson was found dead this evening of an apparent self-inflicted wound”.

Author Martin A Lee, who met and interviewed Thompson on a number of occasions, told Radio 4’s Today programme that Thompson's suicide was "sad" but "not surprising", adding that the writer "lived on the edge". He added: "[Thompson] did bequeath a very significant body of literature and journalism. It is wonderful and exuberant writing that opened a cultural space for other writers to follow".

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BECKHAMS ANNOUNCE BIRTH OF THIRD SON
Do stories involving Victoria Beckham count as music news any more? Oh well, those rumours that Posh had given birth to twins last week were, as expected, untrue. Rather, she gave birth to a third son this weekend. David Beckham announced the birth to the press, confirming the new arrival had been named Cruz. As usual the Beckham’s choice of name has won criticism in the press - mainly because Cruz is normally a girls name in Spain! Mother and child are said to be well.

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JASON DONOVAN UP FOR EASTENDERS ROLE?
Do stories involving Jason Donovan count as music news any more? Well, anyway, the former Neighbours actor and biggest selling pop star of 1989 (surely you hadn’t forgotten?) is reportedly in talks with the Beeb about a role in struggling soap Eastenders. The Daily Star quote a friend of Donovan as saying: "It's not signed and sealed yet, but talks between the two parties have taken place and should conclude in the next few days. Discussions have touched on the role Jason would play and how he would be written into the script. Both parties seem pretty excited at the prospect."

A source from the show apparently added: "The intention is to bring Jason in as a bit of a roaming heart-throb. His character will be a real hit with the Walford ladies”. As Mark Owen’s victory on the second series of Celeb Big Brother proved, former teen idols can still pull in the crowds when used in the right way, and the arrival of Jason on Albert Square could be just what the show needs to turn its fortunes round. Now, if only they could find a fellow Aussie to play his love interest - how about the biggest selling pop star of 1988? Now that would be a coup.

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SCOTTISH BANDS PLAY FOR TSUNAMI BENEFIT
The big names of Scottish music were on top form on Saturday at a special benefit concert at Glasgow’s SECC in aid of the post-tsunami relief effort. Franz Ferdinand, Deacon Blue, Mull Historical Society, Travis, Idlewild, Mogwai, Teenage Fanclub and Texas were among the acts that played and helped to raise over £300,000 in funds for the relief effort.

Colin MacIntyre, of Mull Historical Society, made time to perform at the benefit even though he had another gig to play the same day. He told reporters: "I think we were all affected by seeing the reports coming from the Far East. We all know somebody who was there, but more than that it was that we had never seen a wave of destruction, a natural disaster, like this in my generation. I'm lucky as an artist to be able to perform at something like this."

The Glasgow concert took place on the same night as another tsunami benefit event in Bristol which saw Massive Attack and Portishead share a stage for the first time.

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BONO ON NOBEL PEACE PRIZE NOMINATIONS LIST
Talking of pop stars doing good things, U2’s Bono is among 166 nominees for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. Although the organisation who coordinate the prize do not officially release the list of names nominated, key nominees are often leaked, normally by the people making the nomination. Other names said to be on the list include Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar, Pope John Paul II and former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Those who know about these things reckon that the winner of the prize, which won’t be announced until Oct, is most likely to one of the organisations working on the post-Tsunami relief effort - the Nobel’s definition of ‘peace’ is quite wide, and was widened further last year when they awarded it to environmentalist Wangari Maathai.

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MUSICTANK GO CLASSICAL
The next MusicTank Think Tank takes place tomorrow night and, for a nice change, will concentrate on the classical sector. The session will look at the problems that the classical industry currently face, and will ask whether major label short-termism, industry myopia, soundbite culture or a backlash against the CD boom of the 80s and 90s are the main cause. Discussion will then centre on how to reinvigorate the sector.

The keynote presentation will come from Richard Bernas, Conductor and Music Consultant at the Tate Modern. Also on the panel are Paul Moseley (Independent Music & Media Alliance), Sarah Gee (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and Shirley Thompson (Composer & Conductor). MusicTank’s Keith Harris will, as always, chair the proceedings.

It all takes place at Bertorelli on Frith Street - tickets are £20, or £15 for trade body members. You need to book in advance, so check http://www.musictank.co.uk/events.htm pronto.

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EP REVIEW: The Tenderfoot - Vale Industrial (5:15)
"If You've Nothing Nice to Say Don't Say Anything At All" sings Tenderfoot singer Darren Moon on the last track here, possibly intended as a pre-emptive strike against jaded hacks who might be inclined to give short shrift to this mini-album of breezy acoustic whimsy. OK, well I'll try, but no promises! In a climate where the soporific college rock of Athlete and Snow Patrol has seen them elevated to the higher reaches of the hit parade there is evidently a market for the Brighton five-pieces' introspective folk meanderings. But listening to this rather nondescript collection leaves me feeling utterly cold, and only makes me yearn for the sort of wistful bittersweet reverie which Elliot Smith used to provide.
DL
Release date: 14 Feb
Press contact: SonyBMG IH [all]

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HOMELANDS LINE UP
I think we promised you more details on this year’s Homelands sometime last week, so here it is! As always, the first major festival of the summer boasts a fantastic line up, bringing together the best in dance music. Line up as follows:

Live Arena: The Streets, Roots Manuva (more tbc)
Arena 1: John Digweed, Richie Hawtin, 2 Many DJs, Layo & Bushwacka!, Felix Da Housecat, Miss Kittin, Grand Master Flash, Plump DJs, Danny Howells, James Zabiela, Hernan Cattaneo

Arena 2 (House): Dimitri from Paris, Steve Lawler, Joey Negro, Ben Watt, Tayo + Frank Tope (Rooty), Nic Fanciulli, Tania Vulcano, Jose Da Divina, Paul Woolford, Jason Bye

Arena 3 (Movement): Roni Size feat. Jocelyn Brown, Rebel MC feat Top Cat, Potential Bad Boy feat. Yush, Makoto feat. Conrad, Calibre feat. MC Fats, Photek feat. Holly G, Fresh feat. Darrison, LTJ Bukem, DJ Marky (Brasil), Bryan Gee, Andy C, Fabio, Hype, Krust, Lemon D + Dillinja, Calibre, Zinc, Die, Dynamite MC, Darrison, ICE, Moose, Stamina MC

Arena 4 (Hip Hop): Jazzy Jeff + Mad Skillz, Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel + Scorpio from the Furious 5, Scratch Perverts, DJ Kentaro (DMC Champ), Skinnyman, Mudfamily, Rodney P, Skitz

Arena 5 (New Revolutionaries): Tiga, Tiefschwarz, Black Strobe, Ewan Pearson, Dan Genacia, Damian Lazarus, Annie Mac, David Phillips, The Youngsters (live), Spectrum (live)

Outdoor stage: Groove Armada (DJ set) feat. MC Mike and Patrick Dawes on percussion (more tbc)

Commenting on this year’s line up Mean Fiddler boss Melvin Benn told reporters: "Homelands has gone from strength to strength and with this, our 8th year we are confident that Homelands is as fresh and innovative in it’s talent and execution as it was in the beginning. I am very excited about this year’s line up and think that the live acts especially will appeal to an even greater number of people than ever before. We’ve expanded on the huge success of last year’s hip hop arena and expect no less in 2005, for this year’s line up promises even more. Not only does Homelands have something for everyone, it’s set in beautiful surroundings with beautiful people, what more could you ask for?”

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TEMPORARY ARENA AT WEMBLEY OPENS
In case you’ve been wondering what the hell the Wembley Arena Pavilion is (it having been appearing on a number of tour ads of late), well it’s the new temporary venue that has been built on London’s Wembley site so that major music events can continue to be hosted there while the main Wembley Arena undergoes a £32 million refurbishment. It’s relevant today because the temporary venue opened its doors this weekend, launching with the X Factor live show.

That Wembley Arena refurbishment began last month and will see the venue redesigned akin to its original 1930s look, with better facilities provided both front of house and back stage. The entrance will also be re-orientated, creating a "triple height facade” overlooking the new Arena Square. The new Arena should be ready to open next year at the same time as the neighbouring Wembley Stadium, which is, of course, midway through its own bargain £757 million redevelopment.

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BAD BOY CLOSE TO WARNERS DEAL
Sources in the US reckon Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs is now very close to signing a new deal between his Bad Boy Entertainment company and Warner Music. Combs’ fashion and music business is currently in partnership with the Universal Music Group, who he allied with back in 2003. Although that deal has another year to run, the consensus seems to be that both sides do not feel the partnership is advantageous any more, meaning Universal would probably let Combs out of their contract if he finds a new major label partner.

According to the US media, Warner’s Lyor Cohen has offered Combs a distribution deal worth $30 million. However, Cohen is asking for a 50% stake in Bad Boy in return. Combs was initially not so keen on such a deal, but has subsequently struggled to find another major partner interested in a distribution partnership and, latest reports suggest, is now back around the negotiating table with Warner.

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PRINCE SOUNDS OUT MAJORS
Talking of artists in major label talks, word is Prince spent Grammy week sounding out the majors regarding a distribution deal for his next album. ‘Musicology’ was released via a one album deal with Sony label Columbia - but Prince is said to be open to offers for the distribution rights to his next album. It’s not clear if only a one album deal is on the table, or whether Prince would consider signing up with a major long term again (because that worked so well last time round).

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RAY CHARLES’ SON FAILS TO UP SUPPORT PAYMENTS
Grammy week, of course, was a good week for the late great Ray Charles, who won loads of gongs at the US music industry’s annual awards fest. It was a less good week for Charles’ teenage son, though, to be honest, it’s hard to feel too sorry for him.

Mary Anne den Bok, who’s son with Charles, Corey Robinson, is now seventeen, was in court last week in a bid to force the Charles estate to increase child support payments from $3000 a month, to $15,000 a month. While those demands were somewhat reduced from Bok’s original suggestion her son should receive $60,000 a month, the courts weren’t convinced and said that the current monthly payment was fine, although added that additional monies should be made available for education and medical fees.

Commenting on the need for more cash than just three grand a month, the teenager told reporters outside the court last Wednesday that he wanted "to return to the lifestyle he enjoyed when Charles was alive” - living in a much larger house with a room to invite friends to stay over.

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MEL C TO PREVIEW ALBUM ONLINE
Melanie C will debut a track a week from her new album via her website. As previously reported, Mel C will self-release her third album after parting companies with EMI’s Virgin Records after the disappointing sales of second album ‘Reason’. A track from new long player ‘Beautiful Intentions’ will be previewed each Friday starting this week, and running up to the release of the album on 11 Apr.

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BRMC SIGN UK / EUROPE DEAL WITH ECHO
Talking of bands who parted company with Virgin Records last year, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club have signed a new deal with Echo. They will bring their Abstract Dragon imprint to the Chrysalis owned label, who will oversee the marketing and distribution of their music in the UK and mainland Europe. That will include the band’s third album, working title ‘Americana LP’, which is due for an early summer release. The band are still negotiating for a similar deal in the US but expect to have something sorted in the next few weeks.

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CHART UPDATE
Quick chart update, and it was Jennifer Lopez who stopped Elvis getting his number one this week. She may be feeling a little under the weather at the moment, but that didn’t stop ‘Get Right’ going top in yesterday’s singles chart. Elvis’ ‘Surrender’ went in at 2, while LL Cool J and friends are at 3, Eminem lingers on at 4 and The Game ft 50 Cent are at 5. Other new entries on this week’s singles chart include Angel City at 9, Atomic Kitten at 10, Embrace at 11, Willy Mason at 23, Trick Daddy et al at 26, the super Biffy Clyro at 27, Death From Above 1979 at 33, Mark Joseph at 36 and New Rhodes at 38.

Albums wise, last year’s biggest albums swap places at the top (so, that’s Scissor Sisters at 1 and Keane at 2). New entries wise, Bloc Party go in at three (hurrah!), while singer songwriter Charlie Landsborough gets a new entry at 38. And that’s it.

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THIS WEEK’S STUDENT RADIO CHART
The Student Radio Chart returns this week, based on airplay on college stations across the UK. And here it is!

1. Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God (B Unique)
2. The Futureheads - Hounds Of Love (679)
3. Green Day - Holiday (Warners/Reprise)
4. Willy Mason - Oxygen (EMI/Virgin)
5. Doves - Black And White Town (EMI/Heavenly)
6. Beck - E Pro (Universal/Geffen)
7. Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl (Universal/Polydor)
8. The Bravery - An Honest Mistake (Universal/Polydor)
9. Idlewild - Love Steal Us From Loneliness (EMI/Parlophone)
10. U2 - Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own (Universal/Island)
11. Charlotte Hatherley - Bastardo (Double Dragon)
12. The Chemical Brothers - Galvanize (EMI/Virgin)
13. Athlete - Wires (EMI/Parlophone)
14. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Get Ready For Love (EMI/Mute)
15. Moby - Lift Me Up (EMI/Mute)
16. LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing (DFA)
17. Eminem - Like Toy Soldiers (Universal/Skint)
18. KT Tunstall - Black Horse And The Cherry Tree (EMI/Relentless)
19. The Explosion - Here I Am (EMI/Virgin)
20. Stereophonics - Dakota (V2)
21. Fatboy Slim - The Joker (Skint)
22. The Mars Volta - The Widow (Universal/Island)
23. Bloc Party - So Here We Are (Wichita)
24. Queens Of The Stone Age - Little Sister (Universal/Polydor)
25. My Chemical Romance - I’m Not OK (I Promise)
26. The Subways - Oh Yeah (Warner)
27. The Little Flames - Goodbye Little Flame (Deltasonic)
28. People In The Planes - Talking Heads (White)
29. CDOASS - Speak To Me (White)
30. The Duke Spirit - Lion Rip (Universal/Polydor)

College stations wanting to include their chart in the overall chart should send it by email to chart@studentradio.org.uk by Thursday at 4pm.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Radio 4 - Transmission (City Slang)
A few months ago when punk funk sounds were filling the dance floors and getting acres of press the leading contenders were Radio 4 and !!!. Now, of course, it seems rank outsiders Bloc Party have beaten them to the winning post. But, given Bloc Party’s chart success, now seems a good time to release ‘Transmission’ from Radio 4’s 2004 album ‘Stealing Of A Nation’. Their dub heavy bass and insistent meaty rhythms still sound fresh. The lyrics (rhyming "dance floor” with "cold war”) are a little simplistic, but this is a great track. Also included are some nifty remixes, one is old skool electro style, another is more reggae influenced. JW
Release date: 21 Feb
Press contact: City Slang IH [CP, RP] Dogday [NP] Anglo [CR, RR, NR]

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YOKO ONO AMONG STARS PLAYING BENEFITS TO SAVE NEW YORK CLUB
Yoko Ono, Medeski Martin & Wood and Jim O'Rourke are among the artists lined up to play benefit shows in a bid to save a New York club that has built a reputation for specialising in experimental and avant-garde music.

The Tonic club in NYC’s Lower East Side is only seven years old, but it has won a dedicated following among fans of the avant-garde end of the music spectrum. The club is now facing eviction from its current home because of increased rent costs and the collapse of its main sewer line.

The clubs owners hope to tackle that problem by raising $100,000 through a series of benefit gigs. Yoko Ono, celebrating her 72nd birthday, and son Sean Lennon played a benefit gig for the club this weekend. Other fund raising gigs are scheduled through to the middle of Mar.

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ROCK MONTHLIES SEE BIGGEST RISES IN ABCS
Media news now, and I knew it was a bad idea to report on the new ABC figures without the full stats in front of me. Rock fans across the CMU Daily readership were keen to point out that while the dad rock monthlies performed well in the most recent magazine circulation figures, it was the real rock titles that did best in terms of readership increase. With Kerrang!’s readership down 10%, it would seem the rock kids are switching allegiances to the monthly rock titles - Rocksound and Metal Hammer. The former saw their ABC’s up 10% to 22,014, while Metal Hammer had a massive year on year rise of 30.0% to 38,313. They might be the smaller titles in terms of overall circulation, but as rock rises in importance so do the rock monthlies. So we’ll try not to miss them out of our next ABC’s round up (presumably all the hip hop and dance mags who we omitted will be on the email now!).

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SPITZER TO GO OVER RADIO GROUP PAPERWORK IN PAYOLA INVESTIGATION
Investigations by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into allegations of dodgy payola practices in US radio (ie record labels paying to get tracks playlisted, covering up transactions as payments to buy ‘playlist data’ ) continue, with the legal man now subpoenaing the three big American radio groups to gain access to correspondence between them and the music companies. Spitzer has already subpoenaed similar documents from the major record labels. Clear Channel, Entercom and Infinity will all have to hand over paperwork. Still no word on whether these investigations will lead to any prosecution. The music industry maintain payola is very much a thing of the past, and any new incidents of paying for radio play will either be isolated, or will fall into that tricky category where the question is posed, at what point do PR perks become payola?

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US RADIO GROUP INVOLVED IN MANCHESTER LICENCE BID
Talking of large American radio groups, US media firm Emmis Communications is apparently behind one of the bids for the new Manchester radio licence. Emmis is the backer of the bid being made by UK based Atlantic Radio. If they were successful it would be an important development in British radio because Emmis would be the first American media player to take advantage of that recent change in media ownership legislation which allowed non-EU firms to enter the UK broadcasting market.

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BRANSON TO GET INVOLVED IN VIRGIN RADIO TAKEOVER
Elsewhere in radio ownership news, it looks likely Richard Branson will get involved in any attempts by Lord Alli and venture capital firm 3i to force SMG to sell Virgin Radio. Branson’s Virgin Group allowed the station to keep the Virgin name when they sold it to Chris Evans eight years ago, but with the proviso they could stop use of the brand name if any takeover takes place. They allowed the station to keep the Virgin name when it was sold to SMG, but insiders say Branson will be looking for any buyer to be pledging the kind of cash investment many say the station needs before allowing a third company to use the Virgin Radio brand. If 3i were not willing to make that kind of investment it would be interesting to see whether the finance firm would plough ahead with their hostile takeover plans. It is not completely clear yet if Alli and 3i are after the Virgin Radio brand or its national radio licence.

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MORISSETTE TO RE-RELEASE JAGGED LITTLE PILL
Here are two things that will make you feel old (well, unless you’re not old, I guess). Firstly, one of CMU’s college reviewing team was speaking to a fresher at his college the other day and it turned out he was too young to have heard of Gordon the Gopher, which is scary. Also scary is that it is ten years since Alanis Morissette released ‘Jagged Little Pill’. To celebrate the singer will re-issue the album complete with bonus acoustic tracks. The re-release album will be one of two Morissette releases this week - she is also planning a greatest hits album.

Morissette, meanwhile, became an American citizen last week at a ‘becoming an American citizen’ ceremony in LA. However she was keen to state that she wasn’t turning her back on home country Canada: "I will never renounce my Canadian citizenship. I consider myself a Canadian-American. There was a turning point during the ceremony where I felt connected to this country in a way that I didn't quite expect. America has been really great to me and I have felt welcomed since the day I came here."

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GARETH GATES TO JOIN BOYZONE?
Bizarre story of the day - there’s a rumour doing the rounds that Gareth Gates might be joining Boyzone. According to the Daily Star the Irish boy band are planning a comeback tour after Keith Duffy leaves Coronation Street, but, as previously reported, Ronan Keating doesn’t want to take part. With that in mind, rumour has it the band are sounding out Gareth about joining the group. Gates’ pop career, of course, has gone quiet since the disappointing performance of his second album. A source tells the Star: "There's always been one major sticking point in getting the lads back together and that was Ronan. He refused point blank to join the band again. But Gareth has the right look and voice and the boys really rate him."

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MR STEFANI’S ODD VALENTINES GIFT
And while we’re in the bizarre zone, Mr. Gwen Stefani - Bush singer Gavin Rossdale - proves he shares some of his wife’s madness. He had told reporters he once sent his missus two sacks of potatoes as a Valentine’s Day gift. He explains: "There was a time I was writing a record in Ireland so I sent Gwen two sacks of potatoes - just something from where I was from, like I was thinking of her. But I think it kind of backfired because when they arrived they were from Oregon so I was a little unlucky. Bad idea, no one eats carbs these days." Yeah, no one.

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