CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 7th April

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Lawmakers consider getting involved in codec confusions
- Sony launch new digital Walkman, iPod score well in poll
- SubTV to screen live performances
- Glastonbury organisers warn against buying tickets on eBay
- Tom Vek tour
- Home alone in Jackson's bed: Jacko trial update
- Additions to Carling line up
- New York courts set agenda on US / Europe copyright discrepancy
- Single Review: Vitalic - My Friend Dario
- Lanegan takes break from QOTSA - again
- Franz Ferdinand play Albert Hall benefit
- Karen O solo single gets download release
- Finn Brothers postpone tour
- Osbourne mystery illness revealed
- Bono on Vertigo tour
- Album Review: Aaliyah - Ultimate
- RykoDisc rejig top guard
- Stereo MCs return
- Pavarotti postponed
- Four Tet donate War Child track
- Radio 1 announce Residency line up
- Grace Jones has run in with train official
- Charlatans back in studio
- Mariah on lifts, candles and carpet

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CMU PRESS ROOM>>

CARLING LIVE 24
Carling, the beer behind some of Britain's biggest and best live music events, is presenting another 24 hour music marathon. Following the success of 2004's Carling Live 24 event in London, this year Carling will be bringing an all day all night line up of great live music to both London and Manchester, the former on 30th April, the latter on 28th may. 26 bands and 13 venues will take part in the event, with Embrace, The Zutons, Ian Brown, Babyshambles, The Chemical Brothers, Doves and Kaiser Chiefs among the artists on the bill. For full press information check the CMU Press Room - where more media information will appear as it is available:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/carling24

Advertise your releases and events to CMU Daily's 6500+ readership - classified ad and online press release package just £50 a year. Email sales@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk for details, or check:

http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/info.pdf

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SAME SIX QUESTIONS: DJ FORMAT

How did you start out making music for a living?
It was a lifetime hobby that just got out of hand - I stuck to my beliefs and had a lot of good luck along the way.

What inspired your latest album?
I just wanted to continue where my last album left off but step my game up and make tougher hip hop tracks with a harder edge.

What process do you go through in creating an album?
I dig for breaks to sample first, then build a track around a main theme or piece of music. Then hand the instrumental track over to the MC/MC's for their contribution. Then add the finishing touches.

Which artists influence your work?
Thousands of musicians from different genres, from jazz and rock to hip hop. People like James Brown, Herbie Hancock, Marley Marl, Ced Gee and many less obvious or well known artists and producers.

What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Don't be afraid to enjoy yourself.

What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I would like this album to be enjoyed by people who listen to it - but there's no big big plan really. Short term, I'm going on tour with Abdominal & D-Sisive and fellow Pias artists Little Barrie. Long term, I just wanna be able to make more music that I enjoy and that enough people wanna buy it to keep the cycle going.

DJ Format's excellent album 'If You Can't Join 'Em... Beat 'Em' is out on Monday (11 Apr) on Pias - single release '3 Feet Deep' is out now. DJ Format and Little Barrie kick off their UK tour on 14 Apr - details at http://www.djformat.com

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LAWMAKERS CONSIDER GETTING INVOLVED IN CODEC CONFUSIONS
A meeting of the House Judiciary Committee in US Congress has discussed whether government should take any measures to overcome interoperability in the digital music space. Some in the sector are concerned that customers are confused by the different file formats (or codecs) being used by competing download platforms, which is a problem because most digital music players won't play certain codecs. Some argue that confusion is holding back the development of the digital music market, while others say the fact the downloads sold by anyone platform can only be played on certain digital music players is a violation of consumer rights.

The Committee considered a number of different proposals. Most ambitiously it was suggested that legislation should be introduced that ensures track compatibility across various services. On a lesser but probably more realistic level it was also proposed that authorities should force digital music players to clearly label the packaging of digital music players explaining any codec limitations - so an iPod box would have to state that the player does not support WMA file formats.

Many working on the inside of the download space share the concerns over interoperability, arguing that consumer confusion over competing codecs can persuade some music fans to stick with illegal P2P networks where they can music in the most compatible format - MP3. However, it is likely most of the key players would oppose government regulation. Napster CTO William Pence told reporters that any government intervention would be a mistake, adding that government had "historically not been a participant in competition between early-stage consumer technologies".

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SONY LAUNCH NEW DIGITAL WALKMAN, IPOD SCORE WELL IN POLL
Talking of which, Sony have demonstrated their bid to become a bit more user friendly on all things codec with the launch of their latest digital walkman - the NW-HD. The new walkman plays WAV, Windows Media and basic MP3 files in addition to Sony's own ATRAC format.

Like previous digital walkmans, the new player, which incorporates some aspects of the iPod layout into its interface, competes well on battery life, delivering 30 hours of continuous play. But insiders say the real challenge for Sony is likely to be price point. Other iPod competitors like Creative are lowering prices in their bid to gain market share, and it remains to be seen if Sony is willing (or able) to participate in price wars.

Sony are still working hard to regain some ground in the digital music space, and they need to if a new survey by American investment firm Piper Jaffray & Co is anything to go by. Although Sony came second in a survey on digital music in the youth sector, only 14% of school students who owned a digital music device said they used a Sony player, compared to 50% who said they had an iPod. iPod's other competitors followed closely behind Sony - 7% said they used iRiver players, 5% Rio players and 17% other players.

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SUBTV TO SCREEN LIVE PERFORMANCES
SubTV - the campus media beamed into 65 students' unions around the UK via a network of screens - are staging a live month which will see live footage added to the network's music video playlist. Featured artists are Morrissey, I Am Kloot and Bloc Party - SubTV will be screening live performance videos that appear on up coming DVD or CD releases from each artist.

The promotion is a forerunner for the Subshot Sessions which will see breaking artists perform sessions especially for the network, the first one will come from Universal/Island signings Winterville. The live strands are being produced as part of SubTV's partnership with Upshot - for information on putting bands forward for the programme, or for press info on the service, contact Upshot on 020 7923 5560.

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GLASTONBURY ORGANISERS WARN AGAINST BUYING TICKETS ON EBAY
Pity the person who is going to have to sit at the gates of this year's Glastonbury Festival and turn away the kids who have bought their tickets on eBay and arrive with dodgy ID. Perhaps they could hire Simon Cowell to do the job, then at least they could turn the whole thing into something of a sideshow attraction.

Anyway, Glastonbury bosses are warning music fans not to buy tickets from online auctions, warning that they will strictly stick to their photo ID policy and anyone without the correct ID will be turned away without a refund. Festival organisers made the warning after reports that bids for a pair of tickets (complete with fake ID) up for sale on eBay had reached £600.

In a statement the festival told reporters: "Anyone now offering tickets for sale is utterly bogus. Do not purchase tickets from unofficial sources. This is not permitted under the tickets terms and conditions - you may lose your money and will not gain entry to the festival."

A number of people are selling Glastonbury tickets online. Most of these seem to be individuals rather than dodgy ticket agencies, but that's not stopping said individuals from making a profit. One seller said he was selling on his festival passes because none of his friends had managed to get tickets when they went on sale last weekend. It is also thought that some residents who live near the festival site, who have priority access to an allocation of tickets, are trying to profit by selling them on.

Commenting on the sale of Glastonbury tickets on their website, a spokesman for eBay told reporters: "The re-sale of concert tickets is not an illegal activity and is therefore permitted on eBay.co.uk. We will not prevent people from listing these tickets on the site but we would urge both buyers and sellers of Glastonbury tickets to read and understand the applicable terms and conditions."

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TOM VEK TOUR
Everyone loves Tom Vek's debut album don't they? Well, take note then - Mr Vek is going on tour later this month with support from Clor, dates as follows:

19 Apr: Nottingham Social
20 Apr: Birmingham, Bar Academy
22 Apr: Bristol, Louisianna
23 Apr: Exeter, Cavern Club
26 Apr: Manchester, Night & Day
27 Apr: Leeds, Cockpit
28 Apr: Newcastle, Cluny
29 Apr: Glasgow, King Tuts
3 May: Oxford, Zodiac
4 May: Cardiff, Barfly
6 May: Southampton, Joiners
12 May: London, Lock 17

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HOME ALONE IN JACKSON'S BED: JACKO TRIAL UPDATE
A bit of a dull day in the Jacko trial as the singer's former housemaid, Blanca Francia, continued to give her testimony. The only real addition to her previous allegations was the claim that Macaulay Culkin had slept in Jacko's bed during at least one of his many stays at Neverland. She told the court she had seen both the singer and the then child star's clothes on the floor of Jackson's bedroom, adding that only one bed had been slept in. Culkin, of course, has always denied Jackson behaved inappropriately during his stays at Neverland, though he is not expected to be called to testify at the case.

Elsewhere yesterday, the mother of Wade Robson, the boy that Francia has claimed to have seen showering with Jackson, said the former housemaid was "a liar". The Robson have always defended Jackson to the media - Wade has previously told the Sydney Daily Telegraph: "His initial interest in me was because of my dancing. He saw the talent and the spark I had inside me and all he has ever wanted to do is just help my career". Admitting he had slept in Jackson's bed, he added: "Yeah, but nothing strange happened. The biggest thing you have to understand is that he has no concept of reality".

Finally from the Jacko department, a fun quote in this week's Popbitch attributed to one of the jurors in the case, presumably reacting to Gavin Arvizo's claims that Jackson touched his genitals: "Oh boo-hoo, Michael Jackson tickled me..." The case, of course, continues.

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ADDITIONS TO CARLING LINE UP
Funeral For A Friend and LCD Soundsystem are the latest acts to be added to the bill of this year's Reading and Leeds festivals.

Funeral For A Friend are to play the main stage on the Friday in Leeds and on the Sunday in Reading. LCD Soundsystem are to play the NME/Radio 1 stage.

The Carling Weekend takes place from 26-28 August, and is headlined by Pixies, Foo Fighters and Iron Maiden. Other acts appearing include The Killers, Marilyn Manson, Kasabian and Bloc Party.

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NEW YORK COURTS SET AGENDA ON US / EUROPE COPYRIGHT DISCREPANCY
There's been an interesting development in the New York courts regarding the discrepancy in copyright periods in the US and Europe. The copyright on recordings over here lasts for 50 years after the original recording, which means a whole load of rock 'n' roll recordings are about to come out of copyright (hence all the Elvis re-releases). Once the 50 years is up anyone can release those recordings providing they can get clearance from relevant songwriters. In the US, however, the copyright period runs for 75 years meaning, unless moves to have the European copyright period extended are successful, we are about to enter a period when legendary recordings are out of copyright over here, but not in the US. This poses an interesting question on recordings that were made for European companies but which are of interest to American music fans - can independent players release those recordings in the US.

This latest court ruling in New York might suggest not - or, at least, not always. US based independent label Naxos acquired classical recordings by legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin made for the UK based Gramaphone Company in the 1930s. They released them on the basis they were no longer covered by UK copyright. However EMI division Capitol, who through a series of acquisitions own the Gramaphone Company catalogue, disputed their right to do so. Considering that dispute this week the New York courts have decided that, while the recordings are not covered by US federal copyright law, American common law does provide for Capitol to protect its interests.

Needless to say, Capitol welcomed the decision. The label's lawyer, Philip Allen Lacovara, told reporters: "I hope the companies who have been inclined to copy older classical recordings realise the New York court has spoken definitively on this and will end any unlicensed copying". Naxos said the ruling had "a certain insanity" and warned it would stop labels restoring and re-releasing lost recordings which, they argued, would mean music fans would lose out.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Vitalic - My Friend Dario (PIAS)
I don't know what they're putting in the water over there but just now France seems to be *the* home for exciting new music, particularly electronica: One of last year's best albums was by The Hacker, already this year we've had a great album from M83, and hot on their heels is fellow French man Vitalic with this scorching track. Vitalic's real name is Pascal Arbez; his adopted moniker is a Russian name as this is his second language. He's also a producer doing re-mixes for the likes of Bjork and one of his friends/ collaborators is the aforementioned Hacker. His influences include synth pioneers Giorgio Moroder, Fad Gadget and The Normal, whose cult classic 'Warm Leatherette' he covers on the single's flipside. This single is a great slab of pulsating rhythms, excellent synthesised guitar noises riffing like machine guns and robotic female vocals. Expect any time now to read about the demise of the (real) guitar. This is the future! JW
Release date: 4 Apr
Press contact: PIAS IH [All]

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LANEGAN TAKES BREAK FROM QOTSA - AGAIN
I'm not sure I can keep up with the membership of Queens Of The Stone Age. The latest line up switch centres on former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan who, you might remember, stopped collaborating with QOTSA main man Josh Homme about the same time Nick Oliveri was sacked from the band, but who then appeared on one track on new album 'Lullabies To Paralyze' and who has recently been playing at the band's gigs. Well, it seems he is back on the bench after the band issued a statement saying he would no longer be appearing on their tour, though the statement was keen to stress there were no new tensions between Homme and Lanegan.

The statement reads thus: "Mark Lanegan is taking a brief sabbatical from the ongoing Queens tour due to exhaustion. The band would like to wish a speedy recovery, so that he can return back to the touring Queens circus ASAP. Josh and Mark have already been in discussions to figure out when Mark will be able to return. The band stresses that all other rumours regarding this subject should be written down, burned and pushed into your eyes so that you are unable to find your watercooler / sewing circle. Thank you, the Duchess Of Insider."

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FRANZ FERDINAND PLAY ALBERT HALL BENEFIT
Franz Ferdinand headlined the bill on Tuesday at the first of those shows to be held at the Royal Albert Hall to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Also playing last night were Kaiser Chiefs, Graham Coxon and the Magic Numbers.

It marked Franz Ferdinand's first live performance of 2005, and the band played four previously unreleased songs - 'Your Diary', 'This Boy', 'Wee Andy' and 'Evil Heathen' - which may feature on the band's second album, which is due out later in the year.

Last night a second show was headlined by Peter kay, and Keane appear tonight, with UB40, Eric Clapton and Goldie Lookin Chain in the final show on Friday.

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KAREN O SOLO SINGLE GETS DOWNLOAD RELEASE
Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has recorded solo track which, we hear, is a quiet acoustic number quite different from the YYY sound. Called 'Squeak E Clean', it's being used in an advert for a shoe company over in the US, and will get a download only release on iTunes there next week.

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FINN BROTHERS POSTPONE TOUR
The Finn Brothers have postponed the whole of their European tour following the death of former Split Enz and Crowded House drummer Paul Hester. As previously reported, the brothers had originally cancelled some dates and rearranged others in order to attend the funeral of Hester, who committed suicide in a Melbourne Park at the end of Mar. Now all of those dates are to be put back.

A message on the band's web site explained that "following the tragic events of the past two weeks, Neil Finn has been diagnosed as suffering from mental exhaustion and stress and is taking an immediate four-week break from touring on doctor's advice." New dates are expected to be announced in the coming days.

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OSBOURNE MYSTERY ILLNESS REVEALED
Following those reports that Sharon and Aimee Osbourne had pulled out of appearing in the West End production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, the reason for their abrupt return to Los Angeles, Aimee's previously undisclosed illness, has been revealed.

A statement was released explaining that Aimee has had a breast cancer scare and has had a lump removed, but does not reveal whether it was cancerous or not.

Sharon said: "The operation went very well on the whole but there have been a few minor complications and she will be having more treatment and lots of rest over the next few weeks. We're sure she'll make a complete recovery."

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BONO ON VERTIGO TOUR
Bono has been talking to NME.com about teething difficulties at the start of U2's Vertigo world tour. The tour began last week, a month late, the original first date was delayed due to a family illness.

Bono admitted that the band had a hard time preparing for the tour. Following that first appearance he said: "It's still a strange feeling. We were sick with the rehearsals for this tour. We weren't getting lift-off. If you'd seen the rehearsal show, you wouldn't believe we would get to San Diego."

Bono also explained why the set list for Vertigo included songs from debut album 'Boy', saying "there is a strong link between those songs and the new album. The first was an ode to innocence and the new one is innocence regained. The first album is becoming a bit of a cult classic for bands like The Killers who talk about it. We thought it was time."

The world tour will reach the UK in June. Speaking about the ongoing development of the show, he said: "We'll stick with it the way it is for the next few shows. We have other material to get working on. A few surprises to bring as the tour gets on. We tried a few things (on the first night) that didn't always work.. You know, I wasn't sure what we were before, if we were still a rock band. But when I was whacking the tambourine on 'All Because Of You', it felt like an old song, like we were back, like we were a rock band again. At times it was a political rally, at time it was a gospel tent, at times it was a Las Vegas show."

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ALBUM REVIEW: Aaliyah - Ultimate (Believe Music)
The unfortunate passing of Aaliyah in August 2001 robbed the music industry of one of it's most promising young artists. Although her career only spans three studio albums, you're left wondering how much she could have achieved, and how much potential remained unfulfilled, especially considering the fact she was making great strides, both commercially and creatively. This welcome compilation, sensitively timed, gives a just overview of her career, ranging from the early recordings under R Kelly's tutelage, such as 'Back and Forth' and 'At Your Best' to the more innovative Timbaland productions, such as 'More Than A Woman' and 'We Need A Resolution'. She emerged in the mid 90s as the protégé of R Kelly, and according to reports, his teenage wife (which takes on added significance considering Kelly's current predicaments), and although these recordings sound a little too slick and polished, buried in the production somewhat, they display a maturity beyond her years. The fear that she could have become a mediocre, R&B songstress was banished once she hooked up with Timbaland and Missy Elliott, who guided Aaliyah's career in the right direction, and collaborated on her strongest recordings. The likes of 'Try Again' (her first big UK hit) showcase the signature Timbaland production; jerky rhythms and hypnotic beats, which complimented Aaliyah's sultry vocals perfectly. Her final years were defined by innovative and deeply textured sonic experiments, a perfect example being 'We Need A Resolution', which mixes futuristic beats with traditional Middle Eastern sounds. This compilation celebrates her musical accomplishments, and it's not an understatement to describe her as one of the brighter female talents of the 1990s, and her career was still rising into the new millennium. Who knows where she may have gone from here? KW
Release date: 4 April
Press contact: Smash Press (CP, RP, NP)

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RYKODISC REJIG TOP GUARD
Two top execs at the New York HQ of independent record label Rykodisc have been promoted and will now oversee the label's London office, which coordinates the company's activities outside the US. In the rejig William Hein, currently President of the company's US operations, will become President of Rykodisc's US & International label operations, while Neil Levine has been named General Manager/Senior VP Sales and Marketing, also for Rykodisc's worldwide label operations.

The labels boss, Sam Holdsworth, told CMU: "I am thrilled to have William Hein and Neil Levine overseeing Rykodisc's worldwide marketing and A&R. This will allow Rykodisc to even further integrate the over 40 territories we currently release records in, and continue evolving and integrating Rykodisc's global marketing efforts on behalf of our artists".

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STEREO MCS RETURN
Stereo MCs are back this summer with a new album. The album is called 'Paradise' and is set for an August release, preceded by two single releases, 'Warhead' and 'First Love' in May.

On their new material, the band told CMU: "This record represents a new surge of energy for us, in that we're making music as we feel it again, with much collaboration, reflection and interaction, culminating in our new label Graffiti Recordings, and our 5th album "Paradise". We've made a record in our own backyard, homegrown, and without relying on the mainstream - we're really excited to be setting all this off in 2005"

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PAVAROTTI POSTPONED
Two Pavarotti concerts, part of the Summer Nights Concert Series, due to take place in the UK on 11 Jun and 9 Jul have had to be postponed until 2006.

In a statement Clear Channel and Harvey Goldsmith, producer of Pavarotti's Farewell Tour, said that the tenor has undergone surgery to his neck and will need a further operation at the start of June. It has been impossible to reschedule the dates within 2005 and the concerts will now take place at the Reading Majedski Stadium on 1 Jul 2006 and at Chatsworth House on 8 Jul 2006.

Tickets already purchased will be valid for the rescheduled dates, though refunds will also be available at the point of purchase from 11 Apr.

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FOUR TET DONATE WAR CHILD TRACK
Four Tet are the latest artist to donate a track to War Child Music, the download website that raises money for programmes of material aid for children affected by conflict around the globe.

The single, 'Joy', is available to download from warchildmusic.com from 12 Apr and follows the commercial release of 'Smile Around The Face' on 11 Apr. Both songs are taken from forthcoming album 'Everything ecstatic', scheduled for release on 23 May.

Four Tet have also announced some new live dates, as follows:

19 Apr: London Scala (DJ set, Caribou/Boom Bip show)
20 Apr: London Scala (DJ set, Prefuse 73/Battles show)
4 Jun: Koko, London (with guests Steve Reid, Tyondai Braxton and more)

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RADIO 1 ANNOUNCE RESIDENCY LINE UP
Radio 1 have confirmed the DJs who will participate in that previously reported new dance show The Residency. The new show will run for 36 weeks and will see six DJs appear on different weeks playing their favourite current dance tracks. The six DJs, and their respective genre preferences, are as follows:

Eddie Halliwell - Across the board from trance, techno to hard dance
Nic Fanciulli - Acid house and techno
Jon O'Bir - Progressive/Uplifting trance
Kutski - Underground hard dance/Hardcore
Crissy Criss - Drum & Bass/Jungle
Trophy Twins - All genres of house, from funky to tribal

Confirming the line up for the show, Radio 1 Head of Specialist, Speech and 1Xtra Ian Parkinson told CMU: "I am delighted to welcome 'The Residency' DJs to the station. The addition of this slot will make our specialist music schedule the most exciting listen possible. The line-up have exceptional talent and cover genres that will appeal to a huge cross-section of our audience."

The Residency will kick off at 3am on Sunday morning, 1 May.

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GRACE JONES HAS RUN IN WITH TRAIN OFFICIAL
I'm not sure Grace Jones would be too happy that a couple of reports on her run in with a Eurostar guard labelled her as a former 'Bond actress', like she's done nothing to surpass her appearance in a 1985 Bond film. But anyway, Jones was in the news yesterday for having a run in with a Eurostar official who tried to move her out of the premium zone in first class because she didn't have the right ticket or the required cash to upgrade. In the end the British Transport Police had to shift her.

A spokesman for Eurostar told reporters: "Grace Jones was challenged by the train manager and was told that, as she did not have a premium class ticket, she would have to pay for an upgrade. She said she had no money and refused to move from the carriage. Passengers told us that she was arguing and verbally abusing the train manager. She then attacked the manager, grabbing her arm. We are not pressing charges but we will not tolerate any verbal or physical abuse from anyone against passengers or staff on Eurostar."

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CHARLATANS BACK IN STUDIO
According to Billboard The Charlatans have started work on their next album, their first for new label Sanctuary Records. The industry mag says the band have "returned to the drawing board" for the new album, whatever that means. No title or release date as yet, though the band say they hope to have the album out before the end of the year.

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MARIAH ON LIFTS, CANDLES AND CARPET
Mariah Carey, busy spouting nonsense as part of the promotion of new album 'The Emancipation of Mimi', has told the Big Issue that she hates using lifts in Britain because they are "so much smaller" than in the US. Revealing that she "really, really hates elevators", she told the magazine: "But I go in them when I have to. In Britain, the elevators seem to be much smaller than in America, so it gets me feeling even more uneasy. All the time I'm saying 'can't we just take the stairs?' I'm always about stairs unless it's 20 flights. I even use stairs when I'm in my heels."

Mariah also denied those reports from last week that she demanded three-foot candles and a red carpet on her arrival at London's Bagloni Hotel last month. Carey: "Who even knew three-foot candles existed? Did you? I wouldn't have noticed if it was a purple carpet with polka dots on it. I'd just got off a plane and it was three in the morning. Trust me, my only thought was, 'Where's the bed?'"

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