CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 11th April

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Mean Fiddler accept Clear Channel acquisition offer
- Indies urge for second delay on chart revamp
- More former employees testify: Jacko trial update
- Encompass confirm seminar line up
- Bestival tickets on sale
- Album Review: Various Artists - Fabric 21: Meat Katie
- All over for the Delgados
- Kelly on her new direction
- Britney walks on water
- Alesha Mis-teeq gets solo deal
- Small problem for Motley tour
- Chart update
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- Fatboy avoids New Labour tarnish this time
- Casey Fischerspooner speaks
- Album Review: VHS Or Beta - Night On Fire
- Manic Wire awarded fellowship
- Brandon tells it like it is again
- Jay-z Man Of The Millennium
- Beyonce Best Pop Princess
- Duncan Blue to brighten mornings, allegedly
- Save the first dance for Bryan



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:

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


Clear Channel has increased its stake in the UK live music industry through a takeover of Vince Power's Mean Fiddler group. Clear Channel will acquire the venue owning and festival promoting business via Hamsard, a joint venture company co-owned by the parent company of Denis Desmond's MCD Productions, which already owns 24.3% of Mean Fiddler. The sale will see Mean Fiddler founder Power pocket a reported £13 million for his 35% stake.

The deal, which was first put on the table by Hamsard last month, will give Clear Channel part ownership of flagship live music venues like the London Astoria, as well a stake in the Leeds and Reading Festivals, and a stake of a stake in the Glastonbury Festival.

Commenting on the deal, a spokesman for the Hamsard venture told reporters: "Following the acquisition, the Mean Fiddler group will continue to pursue a strategy of delivering world-class event promotion and event management both through its festivals and music businesses in the UK"

Although Mean Fiddler has accepted the takeover offer, the deal is still subject to the approval of the company's shareholders. However insiders say that the way this deal has been crafted means Power won't be able to pull the plug at the last minute as he reportedly did last year when another acquisition deal fell through.


With just one week to go until download sales are due to be incorporated into the main singles sales chart, the Association of Independent Music has called on the Official Charts Company, who compile the chart, to postpone their revamp plans. Key players in the independent sector are concerned that, because iTunes has an 80% share of the UK download market, those labels yet to get a distribution deal with the Apple download platform will be unfairly disadvantaged in their attempts to score chart successes. As previously reported, some (and may be most) independent labels in Europe have struggled to get a distribution deal with Apple sorted, even though in theory Apple has agreed a template contract that is available to all AIM member labels.

However the BPI says they are confident the combined physical and download sales chart can launch next weekend without any major imbalance being caused. The BPI themselves persuaded the Official Charts Company to push back the original launch date of the revamped chart from 20 Mar because of the same concerns, however they say they are now happy that the independent labels will be properly represented in the combined chart, pointing out that had last week's chart incorporated download sales the independent sector would have done better overall.

In a statement, the BPI told reporters: "No one is pretending that indie representation on the download platforms is as good as it could and should be, and there is a long way to go. That said, it's simply not true to suggest that indie representation on the charts is an issue ahead of the chart merger. In fact, looking at this week's midweek download chart, the indies have in fact outperformed the majors."

But some key independent labels say they remain concerned over the influence iTunes will have over the singles chart given that they have not been able to get their artists added to the Apple download platform's catalogue. Lohan Presencer of the Ministry Of Sound label told reporters: "The problem is that the download data will come largely from one supplier which controls in excess of three-quarters of the market. Ultimately they dictate what happens."

Presencer confirmed that his label had had problems getting a distribution deal done with iTunes, hindered by the fact most of Apple's music operations are based in the US where European contracts don't seem to be all that high a prority. Ministry has now signed a contract with the computer firm, but their tracks are still not available via the download platform. Presencer explains: "We haven't been told where to deliver the tracks, what format they want them in or what label codes they want assigned. It's like banging your head against a brick wall."

Speaking for AIM, Sam Shentob told reporters: "We have asked for the chart to be delayed. We are very pro the new chart, but there are one or two operational issues that could result in independents being quite significantly disadvantaged."

It remains to be seen whether the independents are successful in their attempts to further delay the launch of the new chart. Insiders at the Official Chart Company suggest the revamped Top 40 is more than likely to launch next weekend as planned despite the continuing concerns in the independent sector.


So, did Michael Jackson fondle Macaulay Culkin or not? Well Macaulay and the Culkin family say not. But several of Jacko's former staff say otherwise. One of them was in court on Friday as the old Jacko child abuse trial continued.

Chef Phillip LeMarque, a former Neverland employee, told the court how he once walked in on Jackson to find him with one hand down the young actor's shorts. Lemarque said he was delivering a late night snack to Jacko and Culkin when he witnessed the former fondling the latter while they played video games. The chef told the court: "I was shocked and almost dropped the French fries".

LeMarque's testimony ended a week in which a number of former Neverland employees were wheeled into the court room to tell the jury they had witnessed Jackson inappropriately touching his young male guests. Each time Jackson's defence lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, has set about attacking the credibility of those witnesses, attempting to portray them as money grabbing opportunists jumping on the 'accuse Jacko' bandwagon, encouraged by an overly enthusiastic prosecution.

The latest witness to be attacked in this way is a former Neverland maid, Adrian Mcmanus, who told the court on Thursday that Jackson had routinely shared his bed with three boys and touched the genitals of a minor. When questioning that testimony, Mesereau accused the former maid of once telling Jackson that she would testify against him if he didn't give her millions of dollars. He went on to reveal that McManus had once unsuccessfully launched a civil suit against Jackson. Details of that lawsuit were not clear, but Mesereau wanted to suggest that she was now testifying against Jackson because she was bitter about losing that round of litigation. When the maid responded that she was only interested in justice, not money, Meserau bit back by saying: "But your idea of justice was millions of dollars"

The case, as ever, continues.


Details of the industry side to the forthcoming London-based music festival Encompass have been announced, as well as a very special deal for CMU Daily subscribers. As previously reported, Encompass is a new music event that will combine a fantastic array of live music showcases in venues around London with a programme of seminars and workshops for people working in or interested in the music business.

Highlights include a Q&A session with Mute boss Daniel Miller, a demo jury to give feedback to unsigned talent, plus panel debates on new business models in the music space, developments in the live sector, the potential of wireless digital media in the music space, and the future of radio.

Full details on the whole event can be found at - details of how you can buy an industry pass at a special discounted price are given at the top of today's CMU Daily. Press info from ePM.


So the Glastonbury Festival is sold out, who cares? Here is the festival you want to get tickets for. Rob Da Bank has formally launched the second Bestival Festival which will take place at the Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle Of Wight from 9-11 Sep this year. Hurrah.

Following up from last year's launch event, the line up for 2005 is already boasting more CMU favourites that you would care to mention, including Soulwax, 2 Many DJs, The Magic Numbers, Ulrich Schnauss, British Sea Power, The Rakes, The Filthy Dukes, Tom Vek, Terry Hall (The Specials), Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Tom Findlay (Groove Armada) feat. MC Madds, Jah Shaka, Two Lone Swordsmen, The Cuban Brothers, Emiliana Torrini, The Earlies, Grand National, Hot Chip, Dub Pistols, Eclectic Method and many many more.

Plus there'll be areas hosted by Radio 1's Bobby & Nihal and local band The Bees and a new acoustic arena hosted by Barfly and Jack Daniels. So far so good, but this being Bestival there will be plenty of other surprises too - the Women's Institute Tea Tent will return, this year with an exhibition celebrating the organisation's 90th anniversary, the local farmers' market will be selling local produce for the perfect picnic and the Carlsbrooke High School Choir will be performing a selection of African Gospel and doo-wop songs acapella style. Sorted.

Tickets are on sale now from 08700 667753 at £89 for the whole weekend, £37.50 for a day pass (childrens tickets are £44.50 and £18.75 respectively). More details at http:// Press info from Get Involved on 020 7240 7770, online press info from Bruce Hay on 07967 502 751.


ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Fabric 21: Meat Katie (Fabric)
Oh Ambassador Fabrique, with these compilations you are really spoiling us! Ahem. Poor jokes aside, Fabric really have been dishing it out recently; with John Digweed's excellent instalment having only just left the CD player, Meat Katie's paradigm of a freaky Friday night in Farringdon is definitely set to be an effortless replacement. I mean, when it comes to the cream of the breaks scene, DJ, producer and label-owner Meat Katie is undeniably gold top all the way, and not a surprising choice for the benchmark mix series. As well as being the increasingly popular artist under the aforementioned porn-inspired name, Mark Pember is also equally notorious among the bitter old-skool devotees as the scourge of 'authentic break-beat'. Being one of the first (and best) breaks jocks to intertwine suitably dirty electro and house in between his driving broken beats; he subsequently received as much hostility as he did respect. But thanks to the hard work of Pember and his peers, those outdated barriers are steadily falling, particularly in cities as diverse as London, where most clubbers have little difficulty in enjoying skilful genre swapping. And that's precisely why this distinct and fresh-sounding mix outshines all other breaks compilations (and to be fair there's a few) as well as most other dance compos in general - an excellently programmed, faultless blend of incredibly cool dirty house and electro, and stimulating bass-heavy, techy break-beats, so inimitable to the Fabric dance floor, that you can practically smell the smoke and sweat. Dazzling tracks such as Albino Allstars 'Can You Hear Me?' and 'Shine A Light' from Atomic Hooligan alone, make this comp shine like a million Ferrero Rocher. Excellentai indeed! OG
Release Date: 18th April
Press Contact: Fabric IH [all]


The Delgados have split up after ten years together. The break up follows the departure early in the year of bassist Stewart Henderson, who told the band that he did not wish to work on a new album. Whilst the split was amicable, the rest of the group did not wish to continue without Henderson. A statement on their official website said "The Delgados have always been known as uniquely collaborative songwriters and as such, it was decided that the band could not continue without all of its original members."

Stewart Henderson explained his feelings in his internet diary on Friday: "Physically, emotionally and financially I found it increasingly difficult to pour so much of my energy and time into something that never quite seemed to get the attention or respect I felt it deserved. I would be a traitor to myself as well as to every Delgado fan if I continued to clock on and clock off, dragging myself into a recording studio, giving half-hearted, insincere interviews and generally continuing with the band when my heart wasn't in it."

As for the remaining Delgados, Emma Pollock and Alun Woodward will pursue solo projects and drummer Paul Savage will continue to produce at the group's Chemikal Underground label.


Kelly Osbourne is going in a whole new direction, although, to be honest, we can't quite remember what direction she started from. Anyway, she's gone all dance, apparently, and has been spending a lot of time in Miami for the recent Winter Music Conference and M3 Summit.

"I'm here because I've decided to change direction in my music," Osbourne told Billboard "I came to Miami to find out everything I didn't already know about dance music."

The soon to be released second album is already off to a good start single wise in the US, getting to number 13 in Billboard's Dance Radio Airplay chart. On why she's adopted the new sound, Kelly said: "Take a really good look at what girls my age are doing musically. They're all doing the same shit. I hate being the same. So, I had to do something different -- something that I was passionate about," and insisted that "it's still very much me -- the album has an edge. And I'm excited."


Get Britney. According to last weeks Billboard charts, she's managed to get a US hit single with a song that hasn't even been released. 'Do Somethin' made it to number 100 based on airplay alone, and has had no official release and no specific promotion.

The track, which made it to number 6 in the UK, was one of two new songs which were included last year on Britney's Greatest Hits set. US stations began playing it in response to repeated requests by the singer's fans.


Everyone's favourite Mis-Teeq girl Alesha Dixon has signed a solo deal with Polydor, says The Sun, following the girl group's split earlier in the year.

Alesha said: "I can't wait and lay the tracks down. I want people to hear Alesha as a solo artist - it's all brilliant."


Motley Crue have met with a slight snag as they undertake their 'Better Live Than Dead' tour.

Apparently the rockers and their, er, travelling circus were delayed at the Canadian/US border recently as authorities detained 'Mighty Mike', the circus troupe's resident 'Little Person' MC and fire-breather. It was alleged that the Canadian performer did not have his papers in order for the crossing back to the US

A spokesman for the band said that things are expected to be worked out shortly, but the group's Vince Neil was heard to say "This could set US-Canadian relations back a couple of weeks."


As far as I can see it, only a revamp in the way the singles chart is compiled can shift Tony Christie off the top spot - which, conveniently, might just happen, because from what we hear the download sales on the number one aren't so hot. Anyway, Christie and Kay have one more week at the top with '(Is This The Way To) Amarillo', followed by the latest Elvis new entry at 2 and Mario's 'Let Me Love You', which sticks at number three. Other new entries on the singles chart this week come from Garbage at 7, Mel C at 10, Natasha Bedingfield at 12, Feeder at 13, Kelis ft Nas at 17, Bees at 28, The Others at 29, Departure at 30 and Elton John at 32.

Over in the album chart, Natalie Imbruglia proves to those cynics who say things like "well, 'Torn' was a good song but..." that she can still shift a few records by going straight in at number one with new long player 'Counting Down The Days'. She's some way ahead of this week's other new entries - Mariah Carey is at 7, the ace British Sea Power are at 13 while the Morrissey live album is at 18. The Happy Mondays best of goes in at 31, while the new Aaliyah hits album is at 32. Once again there's some strange re-entries on the chart, presumably caused by a sale in one of the high street retail chains - the last Snoop Dog album is back in at 26 while Feeder re-enter the chart at 27 with 'Pushing The Senses'.


Well, actually, last term's Student Radio Chart. Yep, before the college radio stations return for the Summer Term (or Semester 2, Segment B as it is now known) here is a round up of the 30 most played songs on student radio so far this year. Sorted.

1. Kaiser Chiefs - Oh My God (B Unique)
2. Beck - E-Pro (Universal/Geffen)
3. The Futureheads - Hounds Of Love (679)
4. The Bravery - An Honest Mistake (Universal/Polydor)
5. Doves - Black And White Town (EMI/Heavenly)
6. Green Day - Holiday (Warner/Reprise)
7. Kasabian - Club Foot (SonyBMG /RCA)
8. Queens Of The Stoneage - Little S*ister (Universal/Polydor)
9. Arcade Fire - Neighbourhood (Rough Trade)
10. Basement Jaxx - Oh My Gosh (Beggars/XL)
11. Willy Mason - Oxygen (EMI/Virgin)
12. Jimmy Eat World - Work (Universal/Interscope)
13. The Subways - Oh Yeah (Warners)
14. Stereophonics - Dakota (V2)
15. Kings Of Leon - King Of Rodeo (SonyBMG /Handmedown)
16. Moby - Lift Me Up (EMI/Mute)
17. Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl (Universal/Polydor)
18. KT Kunstall - Black Horse And The Cherry Tree (EMI/Relentless)
19. Phantom Planet - California (SonyBMG /Epic)
20. U2 - Sometimes You Cant Make It On Your Own (Universal/Island)
21. New Order - Krafty (London)
22. My Chemical Romance - I'm Not OK (I Promise) (Warner/Reprise)
23. Estelle - Go Gone (V2)
24. Jem - They (SonyBMG)
25. British Sea Power - It Ended On An Oily Stage (Rough Trade)
26. Idlewild - Love Steal U From Loneliness (EMI/Parlophone)
27. Mcfly - All About You (Universal/Island)
28. The Chemical Brothers - Believe (EMI/Virgin)
29. LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing (DFA)
30. The Bees - Chicken Playback (EMI/Virgin)


Good news for Fatboy Slim, the Labour party have shied away from using one of his tracks as their anthem for the up coming General Election. As previously reported, Norman Cook reacted angrily when Labour used his track 'Right Here Right Now' for their conference and bye-election campaigns last year, issuing a statement to stress that the use of the song did not, under any circumstances, imply any kind of endorsement by Fatboy for the government. He told the press: "The use of the song implies that I support Blair; nothing could be further from the truth". At a previous party conference Tony Blair took to the stage to Fatboy Slim's 'Praise You' - a very modest choice.

Anyway, no Fatboy this time round. Word is Labour will be tarnishing U2's 'Beautiful Day' by adopting it as their election anthem - presumably that means they are relying on a warm sunny Spring to boost the nation's flagging morale and win them the election. The Conservatives, who saw their most cool pop supporters (Busted) split up earlier this year, have opted for Elvis' 'A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action' as their track. No word on what Elvis thinks about that - I'll ask him next time I go to the chippy. Though they are presumably using the remix done by one Junkie XL - I don't know what hidden message that has, but I'm sure there's one in there somewhere.


Fischerspooner frontman Casey Spooner has been talking to NME about all those suggestions that the band's debut album was a commercial disaster. Spooner said of the electroclash group's much hyped first release #1, that "it couldn't have been more successful for me, really."

But then 'success' to Casey doesn't necessarily require popularity. He told New York website "If everyone likes what you're doing, you aren't doing anything interesting," Spooner told the website. "If you're trying to challenge people's beliefs or understanding of something, people aren't going to necessarily like it always - some people do and some people don't. For me a successful audience is a divided one."

Either way, all of that is a bit less cocky than "Michael Jackson's dead. Britney's OK but her virgin-whore complex is getting on my nerves. The people on the top are desperate. It's time to take over." Which is what he said to The Guardian in 2002.


ALBUM REVIEW: VHS Or Beta - Night On Fire (Astralwerks)
The interestingly named Kentucky band arrive on these shores at exactly the right time; in the last six months, similar sounding bands, such as The Killers and The Bravery have stormed the charts and dominated the music press pages. Whether they would like to or not, it's inevitable that VHS Or Beta will be aligned with these bands, and perhaps unfortunately for them, may be labelled bandwagon jumpers (the truth is that Night on Fire is the band's second album, but such is the fickle nature of the music press). Even without this knowledge, the band's name, which refers to consumer products of the 1980s, gives a rough indication of where the band's musical interests may lie. You get the impression that the bands they grew up on have deeply inspired their sound - one can hear traces of Duran Duran (the riff on the title track recalls 'Planet Earth') and Echo And The Bunnymen, and the vocals must be the most impressive Robert Smith impersonation ever. However, their tastes aren't wholly Anglicised; the likes of Daft Punk must have had a large impact on their musical direction. As much as they replicate English indie-rock, VHS Or Beta have adopted French dance-funk, which makes for an interesting combination. The title track, which opens the album, is a bold statement of intent, and starts proceedings impressively. They maintain this standard with a number of other tracks; 'You Got Me', 'The Ocean', and 'Irreversible', for instance. However many of the songs seem to go nowhere or seem too much like filler. Perhaps this is not surprising; song writing is a new art for the band, whose previous album 'Le Funk' was formed of purely instrumental tracks. VHS Or Beta have potential, but have to develop their craft some more, and it's feasible to suggest they'll improve in time. As to whether they escape the jibes that are allocated towards bands who emerge when a scene is in full swing is another thing. KW
Release date: 11 April
Press contact: APB (RP)


Manic Street Preacher Nicky Wire has received an honorary fellowship from Swansea University. Vice Chancellor Richard B Davies interrupted a show at the town's Bragwyn Hall to make the award.

The bassist, who graduated from the Welsh university in 1990 with a degree in politics said "I never got a chance to receive my own degree as we were on tour at the time. This more than makes up for it - what a great way to start a gig."

The Vice Chancellor said: "Nicky has made an exceptional contribution to the world of music. The lyrics he writes for the band display a keen awareness of political history that has firm roots in Welsh radicalism. It is heartening to see that his studies at Swansea have remained with him and I wish him, and the rest of the band, continued success for the future."


Following that MTV interview in which he had a go at The Bravery, Brandon Flowers has had a bit of a dig at his audiences.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, The Killers frontman was asked who was more fun to play to, British or American audiences, Flowers praised the British crowds, saying "I think they appreciate music more in England because they're not as spoiled as we are, you know, with the movies and cars and toys." Because there, er, are no cars and toys and movies in the UK.

Though it wasn't all praise for the Brits: "They definitely like different songs. Like, we have a song called 'Midnight Show' and in America they love it. In England they don't move at all. What's wrong with them?" What's wrong, indeed? Maybe it's because they don't have enough cars and toys.

Flowers also described a recent encounter with David Bowie. "I could see him the entire time. I was fucking dying, cause he's the one for me. He came backstage afterward, and I shook his hand, and he said, 'I felt like I just saw the history of rock & roll'. I think he was basically saying we rip off from every genre."


The Power Music Summit is to award Jay-Z their 'Man of the Millennium Award' on 16 Apr in New York, for his contributions to the hip-hop community. The Power Music Summit is a one day conference attended by business executives, aspiring label entrepreneurs, song writers, producers and artists.


Beyonce has beaten Britney, Christina, the Girls Aloud and Kylie to take that, er, coveted title Best Pop Princess. According to The Sun, Ms Knowles got 30 percent of the vote in a poll conducted by Universal Music and teen website Kylie Club for the Pop Princesses 2 album.


Elsewhere in according-to-The-Sun news, Duncan James of Blue is soon to be inflicted on early morning eyeballs on a regular basis. The singer, who was reported to have secured a solo deal with EMI in November, is apparently being lined up to present GMTV's Entertainment Today slot with Jenni Falconer, replacing Ben Shepherd, who is set to become a regular GMTV presenter.

A source at GMTV said: "We are looking as him as a regular presenter. He'd be a great replacement for Ben and he gets on really well with Jenni."


Sometimes I really worry about the state of the nation, I really do. Especially when surveys reveal things like the fact that Bryan Adams' 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)' is the nation's favourite 'first dance' track at weddings. Come on Britain, why else did the Prodigy go to the effort of releasing 'Smack My Bitch Up' if it wasn't for family gatherings like that? Anyway, The Carpenters' 'Close To You' came second in the poll undertaken by Lloyds TSB, with Louis Armstrong's 'We Have All The Time In The World' in third place. More unusual first dance requests in the poll included MeatLoaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell' and Ugly Kid Joe's 'I Hate Everything About You'. Now that's more like it.

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