CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 29th June

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Bono in court to battle stylist over stuff
- Artists line up to back Grokster ruling
- Jersey government close cheap CD loophole
- Loose Cannons live
- Teifschwarz album launch
- London Panafest event announced
- BT planning TV on demand over phone line
- Flaming lips to release DVD
- Oasis video C4 exclusive
- Dylan latest artist to sign Starbucks deal
- RWD appoint new editor
- Smashing Pumpkins closer to reuniting
- Pet Shop Boys headline Moscow Live 8
- Commercial radio unite for Live 8
- Blair to take part in MTV debate on G8
- MTV launch games division
- Stone Roses reunion rumours update
- Festival Review: Glastonbury 2005
- Ryan Adams cancellations
- Smirnoff Experience goes to the races
- The Paddingtons tour
- Wireless resumes
- Oceansize tour
- Damien Rice denies romance with Zellweger
- The Game gets stuck with Punk'd stunt

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COLLEGE MEDIA NETWORK>>

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***Calling all music / media people - advertise your summer internship opportunities in the CMN interns directory - email company name and details, internship dates and details plus a contact email to chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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PODCAST COMPATIBLE ITUNES LAUNCHED
Apple yesterday quietly launched iTunes 4.9 and it includes the previously reported podcasting functionality. This means that iTunes users with the latest version of the player can subscribe to receive 'podcasts' by simply entering the 'podcast feed' details into a subscriptions window.

No word on whether the timing of the new iTunes release is designed to coincide with the fact that CMU is currently publishing test transmissions of its new music news podcasts at http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/podcast, though it's hard to believe that that wasn't Steve Jobs' primary motivation. Either way, what better way to put the new iTunes functionality to test than surfing on over to http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/podcast and subscribing to one of our podcast test transmissions? I can't think of one.

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BONO IN COURT TO BATTLE STYLIST OVER STUFF
Paul Hewson - that's Bono, to you and me - appeared at the Dublin Circuit Civil Court yesterday to try and get some of the band's stuff back - and accused U2's former stylist of blackmail.

The stylist, Lola Cashman, who worked for U2 back in the eighties and recently wrote an unauthorised biography of the band, attempted to sell some band memorabilia at Christie's, but the sale was stopped when U2 told the auction house that the items were not hers to sell. Among the items put up for sale were a pair of Bono's trousers, his hoop earrings and his iconic Stetson hat.

Cashman claims that the items were a gift, but Bono disputed that, saying in court yesterday "it would be like The Edge giving one of his guitars away. It is not something which will happen." He continued: "They sound like trivial items, they're really not. They are important items to the group and we take them seriously." He added that the band only occasionally gave away memorabilia to charitable causes.

In a direct reference to Cashman, he said "You may have wealth and power, but when someone is trying to push us around and blackmail us and threaten us with books, at a certain point you have to say 'Stop right there'."

Bono was also forced to admit that the stylist had bought him trousers in several different sizes during The Joshua Tree tour, saying "Sadly I put on weight all the time. Oscillate is a word you could use. It's not particularly embarrassing because it's likely I would fit them again, whether they were a smaller size or a larger size." Bless.

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ARTISTS LINE UP TO BACK GROKSTER RULING
Following those reports that the major record labels were all lining up their big name artists to comment on the Supreme Court ruling on the MGM v Grokster case, sure enough a string of US based a-listers have been doing the media rounds to comment on the landmark P2P ruling. Given that the Supreme Court defied expectations and ruled in favour of the content owners, saying that the companies who make P2P software could be held liable for the copyright infringement they enable, the artists in question have been busy talking up the judges' decision.

Rapper-tuned-label-exec Jay-Z told reporters that the Supreme Court's decision was a "great victory" for those who "make their living through the creative process", welcoming a ruling which allows record labels to begin copyright infringement proceedings against the P2P makers.

Eagles star Don Henley, president and co-founder of the Recording Artists Coalition and one of 53 artists who signed a legal motion in support of the record companies, welcomed the ruling, saying that P2P companies were making millions in advertising revenues without giving anything back to the artists whose music their software is used to share.

Bonnie Raitt, who also signed that legal motion, told reporters: "We fully embrace P2P technology. But artists must have a choice between systems offering music for free and systems that pay us."

However not all artists fully welcomed the ruling. Singer-songwriter Janis Ian, who gives away some music via her website, said that she feared the ruling would spark the end to free P2P networks that can be used by new artists to reach an audience and promote their work. She told reporters: "This is going to cut off a lot of avenues, especially for start-up bands".

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JERSEY GOVERNMENT CLOSE CHEAP CD LOOPHOLE
The government of Jersey has said it will crack down on a VAT loophole which has allowed a number of British retailers to sell music releases at vastly cheaper rates.

Under European Union law retailers that operate outside the EU can sell products valued at under 22 euros to consumers in member states without charging VAT. The Channel Islands are not part of the EU, but are close enough to the UK, geographically and commercially, to make them a viable base for British distribution or mail order businesses. This has enabled the likes of Tesco, Amazon, Asda and Woolworths to sell major music releases at knock down rates - new release albums retail at just £8.50.

However the Jersey government says they will not grant any more licences to firms looking to trade in this manner. Senator Frank Walker, the president of the island's policy and resources committee, told UK newspaper the Sunday Telegraph: "The publicity we have received regarding this practice has been very unwelcome. It is a real concern - it has been damaging".

The UK's Forum of Private Business praised the move, saying: "It is utterly absurd that retail giants should gain an unfair competitive advantage over small businesses by cynically exploiting the tax system".

However, despite criticism that companies already exploiting the loophole do not employ islanders or pay tax to the Jersey government, the island will not revoke existing licences. On that point Mike Dillon, who owns the Scotland based Record Factory, told reporters: "If the Jersey government is against new companies setting up in Jersey to exploit the loophole, it should be against those already there. All high street shops in the entertainment business are suffering because of this".

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LOOSE CANNONS LIVE
A date for your diaries ladies and gentlemen - CMU favourites the Loose Cannons will be playing live at a special bash at Koko in Camden on Saturday night (2 Jul). The official after-show for the Saturday bit of the B-Live festival (the other large open air music event taking place in London this weekend), the Loose Cannons will be live on stage with their fabulous eight piece band around about 11.15pm, celebrating the release of new single 'Out 4 The Nite' which is being released via http://www.tunetribe.com. Tickets are £15, or £10 in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Plus we're giving some away in this week's Remix Update (which is out tomorrow), so if you want the chance to win some, you'd better send that email over now to remixupdate.subscribe@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

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TEIFSCHWARZ ALBUM LAUNCH
And another date for your diaries ladies and gentlemen. On Saturday 9 Jul, Tiefschwarz will be hosting an exclusive party at Issst at the Key Club in London to celebrate the release of their forthcoming album 'Eat Books' (which is out on 11 Jul on Fine Records). The duo will play a special four hour set, with support from label mate Turntable Rocker. Tickets are £12. Press info from Darling Dept.

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LONDON PANAFEST EVENT ANNOUNCED
Now, here's an interesting one. Panafest UK will take over London's Porchester Halls on 16 Jul in a bid to "highlight the creative industries and business opportunities in Ghana". A mini-version of the Ghana Panafest festival, the London event will centre on a gala dinner featuring entertainment from Ben Brako, the Massive Troupe Abladei Dance Band and more tbc.

Organisers explain: "Panafest provides a forum to promote unity between Africans on the continent as well as those that form the African Diaspora. It is a clear affirmation of the heritage of African people worldwide by defining and promoting Africa's contribution to worldwide civilisation. African art, culture and tourism are used as a vehicle to reinforce the history, lifestyle and experiences of the African community. Panafest UK, by its diversity, is potentially the most prestigious and relevant cultural event in the UK along side its African originator."

So there you go. Full details at http://www.panafestuk.com - press info from Cassie Williams on 07994 361 209.

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BT PLANNING TV ON DEMAND OVER PHONE LINE
BT have done a deal with Microsoft which might mean you'll be getting Homechoice style TV-on-demand down your BT broadband phone line. The phone firm hopes to start piloting the TV-over-broadband service, which would work via a special set top box, early next year.

BT Retail boss Ian Livingstone explains: "TV-over-broadband services will play an important role in BT's triple-play offering for consumers. Our proposed complementary approach of over-the-air broadcast and broadband-delivered video-on-demand, interactivity and enhanced support is the perfect solution and complements existing TV propositions already in the UK market." So that's that cleared up.

BT's announcement follows those previously reported broadband TV trials from cable company Telewest, and an announcement last week by BSkyB that they plan to add on-demand sports and movie functions as part of a service upgrade later this year. This all replicates the service that has been pioneered in London by Homechoice for years - giving users access to a library of new and archive programming which are delivered over a broadband phone line and can be watched when the viewer chooses.

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FLAMING LIPS TO RELEASE DVD
The brilliant Flaming Lips are to release a career spanning DVD video collection on 22 Aug. The 19 track compilation 'Void' - or 'Video Overview In Deceleration' - will include the single promo for 'Mr Ambulance Driver' from the band's hotly anticipated new album 'At War With The Mystics', which is due out next year. It appears alongside classic tracks such as 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots', 1994 single 'She Don't Use Jelly' and two versions of 'Do You Realize?'.

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OASIS VIDEO C4 EXCLUSIVE
And talking of video promos, those of you who just can't wait to see the new Oasis video for single release 'The Importance Of Being Idle' should stay home on Friday night (or set your video, I suppose) because it will be getting its world premiere on Channel 4 at 7:55pm on 1 Jul. The video features actor Rhys Ifans. Which is good for people who like Rhys Ifans. And even better for people who like Oasis as well as Rhys Ifans. Anyone?

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DYLAN LATEST ARTIST TO SIGN STARBUCKS DEAL
Bob Dylan is the latest musician to sign an exclusivity deal with coffee chain Starbucks. The coffee company has bought up an unprecedented 18 month deal that gives it the exclusive rights to sell 'Dylan: Live at the Gaslight 1962', a new album featuring ten previously unreleased tracks recorded at New York's Gaslight Cafe more than 40 years ago. The album will go on sale through Starbucks' US stores from Aug.

The Dylan deal is the latest in a string of partnerships that are helping to establish Starbucks as a credible music retailer. The success of Ray Charles' album 'Genius Loves Company' - with which Starbucks shifted over a quarter of all units sold - has encouraged a number of other high profile artists to use the coffee chain as away of reaching music fans. However Starbucks' music deals have not been without controversy. As previously reported, HMV Canada boycotted all Alanis Morissette products after the singer entered into a deal with Starbucks that gave the coffee chain exclusive rights to sell an acoustic version of her album 'Jagged Little Pill'.

It's also not the first time Dylan has entered into a deal with a retailer. Last year he made an exclusive compilation CD of his work available to lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret, who sold the album through their stores across America.

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RWD APPOINT NEW EDITOR
Independent urban music magazine RWD has just recruited a new editor. Hattie Collins took over the editor role at the magazine at the start of the week. She told CMU: "With an ABC of some 29,000 and a readership of around 90,000, RWD is one, if not the, widest-read UK urban title. The website, http://www.rwdmag.com is also doing fantastic business with around a quarter of a million unique users each month who have access to features, news, video, audio and ringtone downloads and an incredibly busy forum. In four years RWD has achieved a huge amount and we're now looking firmly to the future in terms of building the brand to even greater levels."

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SMASHING PUMPKINS CLOSER TO REUNITING
Well, it looks like taking out an advert in a paper to try and get your band back together might work out after all. Following that previously reported news that Billy Corgan had taken out a full page ad in the Chicago Tribune saying that he plans to try and get the band back together, drummer Jimmy Chamberlain has said that he is also in favour of a reunion.

Chamberlain spoke to the Chicago Tribune last week, and said "All I can say is that the Smashing Pumpkins are Billy [Corgan], James [Iha], myself and D'Arcy [Wretzky]. In an ideal world, that's what it will end up being. The hope is that everybody will come to the table, but I can only speak for myself in saying that I'm in, and I'm excited."

The drummer said that he has not spoken to Wretzky since she left the band in 1999, but is in touch with Iha and added "I intend to reach out to him." Chamberlain is not aware if Corgan has managed to talk to the remaining members of the band yet, but said that the ad in the paper "opened the door" for a return. He continued: "It's still all very new, and I don't know if anybody really knows what's going on. We really haven't sat down at the table and figured out the nuts and bolts."

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PET SHOP BOYS HEADLINE MOSCOW LIVE 8
The Pet Shop Boys are to headline the very recently announced Live 8 concert in Moscow, which is set to take place in Red Square. The Moscow event has brought the total number of Live 8 gigs taking place across the globe this Saturday to 10, one in each of the G8 nations, with additional live events in South Africa and at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

And in related news, fans of Elton John will be able to see coverage of Live 8 at his Dublin show on Saturday as there are plans to erect two giant screens at the venue, which will open early, at 1pm, so that the audience can watch his Live 8 set before he flies over to Ireland.

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COMMERCIAL RADIO UNITE FOR LIVE 8
Talking of Live 8, a record UK audience of 28 million is expected to tune in to listen to some or all of the protest-fest this Saturday following the news that more than 200 commercial radio stations will join together to cover the event. In an another attempt by the commercial radio sector to take on the ever mighty BBC, all of the key radio groups will output the same coverage, featuring presenters from across their collective networks.

The 15 hour show will feature presenting stints from Johnny Vaughan, Liza Tarbuck, Richard Bacon, Ronan Keating, Ulrika Johnson, Patrick Kielty and Cat Deeley, with Heart 106.2's Jamie Theakston hosting late night coverage of the Philadelphia leg of the gig. Back stage reports will come from the likes of Craig Doyle, Kirsty Gallacher, Iain Lee, Katy Hill, Mark Goodier, Jayne Middlemiss and Lauren Laverne.

Commenting on the combined Live 8 coverage effort, Capital FM boss Keith Pringle told reporters: "In terms of scale this is probably the biggest production commercial radio has ever put on. People will have a choice between listening on Radio 1 or 2, but we want our coverage to be the best. It will almost certainly be the most listened to".

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BLAIR TO TAKE PART IN MTV DEBATE ON G8
And talking of G8 type shenanigans, Tony Blair will take part in a live debate this Friday on MTV, tackling issues relating to next week's G8 conference. Among the top political experts putting questions to Blair will be Destiny's Child and Kanye West - though questions will also come from MTV audiences in 24 countries, including 9 African nations, so there is still the chance someone will throw in an awkward question to energise the proceedings ("so Tony, we appreciate your good intentions and all, but frankly George Bush doesn't give a toss does he?").

Commenting on the show, Michiel Bakker, MD of MTV Networks UK & Ireland, told reporters: "This is a unique opportunity for young people to make their opinions heard on the eve of the G8 Summit. We are committed to giving our audience a platform to discuss the issues that affect them and we know they feel very passionately about the topics on G8's agenda. We look forward to a lively and thought-provoking debate".

The show, called 'All Eyes On Tony Blair' (so a nice ego boost for Tony if nothing else), will air in the UK on the main MTV channel at 7pm.

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MTV LAUNCH GAMES DIVISION
Talking of MTV, the music network launched MTV Games on Monday, a new partnership venture with Midway Games which will see the Viacom company developing its operations in the gaming sector. Three releases are expected to follow shortly, including one called LA Rush which will feature the cast of hit MTV show Pimp My Ride and a massive 75-song soundtrack.

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STONE ROSES REUNION RUMOURS UPDATE
More on the much rumoured Stone Roses reunion. Following the appearance of former fellow Stone Rose Mani during Ian Brown's Glastonbury set at the weekend, and reports that Mani and other former band mate Reni had been seen at a Coral gig in Manchester, one 'source' has told reporters that the band have been rehearsing together.

By 'the band' it is unclear if the source means just Brown, Mani and Reni, or whether he was including John Squire. Skepticism as to whether the long feuding Brown and Squire could ever collaborate again has long been the main reason for doubting any reports of a full Roses reunion - but stranger things have happened I guess.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Glastonbury 2005
Well, we've rescued them from the mud bath, dried them off and then pumped them for information. So here it is, the CMU team's Glastonbury review - Friday today, Saturday tomorrow, Sunday the next day. Sorted.

ISP: Expecting, initially, the heat wave I'd been suffering in London for the last two weeks to continue through the Glastonbury Festival, and despite the subsequent forecast of some heavy showers, there was still a slight feeling of disbelief when I woke up to the sound of monsoon level rain thumping on to my tent. And as the rain just kept falling and falling and falling, for what seemed like hours, things were not looking good. As I ventured out of my tent I couldn't help wondering if mud and water would be what Glastonbury 2005 would be principally remembered for. But, and here's the thing, despite the gallons of water that fell on Worthy Farm on Friday morning, the site wasn't that water logged, and it wasn't that muddy. That's not to say there wasn't plenty of both, but as the production types started to distribute what must have been a small forest worth of wood chip across the festival site, everyone - including those whose tents had been all but washed away in the storm - just donned their wellies, headed for the stages and forgot about the weather. Which possibly wasn't wise because as the sun started to shine I didn't think to apply any sun cream, leaving me rather sunburnt by the end of the weekend. But there were just too many distractions. The first such distraction being the Undertones, who mustered up a considerable crowd of fans given how early in the day they performed. Unfortunately they were mainly John Peel fans which meant only a lukewarm response to much of the band's set, and then a riotous frenzy from the minute the opening chords of 'Teenage Kicks' began to play. During that track everyone had a ball - well everyone except, perhaps, the band, who looked a little disappointed that it took a hit from 1978, from an era well before current frontman Paul McLoone's time with the band, to get a real audience response. Still, that didn't stop the John Peel loving audience from getting their teenage kicks, providing a much needed morale boost following the morning's meteorological problems.

MM: I didn't head to Glasto until Friday morning itself, so avoided the horrors of the aforementioned storm, though the sinking sensation you felt as reports of the weather started airing on Radio 1 were probably worse than actually being there. And camping in that rain can't have been anywhere near as bad as driving through it. But by the time we reached Worthy Farm and started the mini-trek from furthest car park (basically at Stonehenge) to the top of the hill where my wise friends had camped, the rain had completely gone. So we mopped up the trek-induced sweat, sported wellies and set up tent on fairly dry grass. First stop was then the Crown tent where some friends were DJing as part of Sunday Best's Glastonbury festivities. And so it was that I found self on stage with some Loose Cannons doing extreme aerobic stretching and some slightly over the top podium dancing - wellies and all. I'd just got the hang of it all when we were kicked off the stage and parked in front of it to watch Kish Mauve, a three girl, two boy outfit purveying effortlessly cool, slightly breathy tunes - it was a bit like the back up singers from Robert Plant's Addicted to Love video had gone into the studio with Blondie and Martina Topley-Bird. If you can imagine what that would be like. And then to the Other Stage for Babyshambles.

ISP: Now I'd never seen Pete Doherty perform live before, and headed to the Other Stage more out of curiosity than anything else. I wasn't alone - the crowd could be split into Doherty faithful at the front, and curious on lookers at the back. Those at the back all knew that a Doherty live show could be hit or miss, and that was more than proven by Babyshambles' Glastonbury set. Well, the miss bit was anyway. Despite a short lived bit of stage diving, which got the crowd going a little, Doherty was not the showman us, the uninitiated, were expecting. And without the showmanship the songs don't really stack on their own. To be fair the fan-to-onlooker ratio was probably tipped too far towards us curious types at the back, and had this set been housed in a dark sweaty Camden club with an audience of mainly Doherty fanatics the whole thing may have been very different. But it wasn't - and as a result it was a bit rubbish.

MM: In Pete's defence he did show up 20 minutes late and Kate Moss was there - a late arrival with super-model girlfriend in tow being the main thing us curious types were looking for in a Babyshambles show. But if the Glastonbury set was designed to demonstrate Babyshambles' music credentials, then it was mission unaccomplished. There was a bit more focus towards the end of the set but generally Pete, frequently with his back to his audience, didn't pull it off too well. Unlike Bloc Party, who were great, or at least were for the ten minutes of their set I caught. Alas I had to rush to the Pyramid Stage to see Doves. Lovely stuff, the music suiting the site with its heady Northern soul infused, wind swept and rain tossed melodies. The crowd jumped as best they could in the mud - euphoric and showing their love. Doves looked very pleased to be there and responded with a very nice display of gratitude. Good for them.

ISP: I'd headed for the Jazzworld stage where I caught the tail end of the Nigel Kennedy jazz project, which really did sound like someone was strangling a cat. No, really, the cliché could have been written for this set. But it was quickly over, making was for Alabama 3. Introduced by Howard Marx, which was a bit of a surprise (but a nice one), these guys were really good. It was a smaller show than when I saw them on the Pyramid Stage last year, but they got a good reaction from their loyal crowd, and proved to be good early evening entertainment.

MM: I stuck around the Pyramid Stage for the Killers - enormous crowd, good songs. If I'm being honest, I wasn't blown away, but they played a very good tight set. With only one album under their belts they didn't really have enough material for their billing (though kudos to them if, as rumoured, they turned down the Kylie Sunday night headline slot for the same reason), and the show lacked that extra something special, but nevertheless I was glad I'd stuck with the crowds to see them.

ISP: You can say what you like about Fatboy Slim, but when he's on good form he can muster up quite a party, and on Friday night he was on top form. Cook's set went on and on and on, but in a good way - an aggressive dance set well put together and really well received. I had meant to sneak off to see the White Stripes, and a little part of me wishes I had because I heard good things about them. But Fatboy was performing just too damn well for me to shift my loyalties at that late hour.

MM: The White Stripes were indeed good. They are quite amazing musicians who are clearly skilled at putting on a good show. But, and don't ask me why, I just wasn't feeling it. The guitar solos went on just a little too long. So I left early - but that proved to be good fate, because it meant I caught the brilliant intimate set from Tom Vek back at the Crown. Playing his third set of the day, he seemed very shiny of face and well intoxicated - glasses off, and eyes closed, he sort of swaggered and staggered around stage, but he would then suddenly pull it all together brilliantly whenever he sang. Offering a warmth and depth that isn't always so apparent on his recorded work, Vek proved he is a charismatic performer, but a modest one too - he looked truly elated to be performing for us at this late hour in this hidden corner of the Glastonbury Festival. And we were elated to be there too.

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RYAN ADAMS CANCELLATIONS
Further to that report that Ryan Adams was unable to play at Glastonbury due to an ear infection, news that the singer has also been forced to cancel UK headline dates due to the same problem. Affected shows are tonight at Manchester University and tomorrow at the Shepherd's Bush Empire. No news yet as to whether the shows will be rescheduled.

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SMIRNOFF EXPERIENCE GOES TO THE RACES
Yet another date for your diaries. The Smirnoff Experience thingy is heading to Brighton Racecourse on 23 Jul, with three rooms of top tunes. The Herbaliser will be headlining the main room and are set to preview tracks from their forthcoming new album. Also on the bill are British Sea Power, The Paddingtons, The Infadels, Morton Valance, The Nextmen and Alice Russell. And as if all that wasn't enough (it would be), the whole thing will be hosted by Xfm's Eddy TM.

It all takes place on 23 Jul from 9pm to 4am. Admission is free - you just have to guest list yourself at http://www.smirnoffexperience.co.uk

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THE PADDINGTONS TOUR
In not altogether unrelated news, the wonderful Paddingtons have a stack of other live shows coming up in the next few weeks, not least a performance at Hedi Slimane's Dior Fashion in Paris on 5 Jul (apparently Slimane has become something of a fan after photographing the band for Interview magazine). Dates run thus:

29 Jun: Reading, Fez
30 Jun: Exeter, Cavern Club
1 Jul: Bournemouth, Villa
5 Jul: Hedi Slimane's Dior Fashion Show
5 Jul: Paris, Scala
8 Jul: T in the Park
9 Jul: Godiva Festival, Coventry
14 Jul: Water Rats, London (Single Launch Party)
22 Jul: Diesel U Music @ Canvas

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WIRELESS RESUMES
The Wireless Festival resumes in London's Hyde Park later today with Keane, Supergrass, James Blunt, Engineers, Little Barrie and Do Me Bad Things among the bands due to grace the stage. The final day of Wireless is tomorrow, and we hear that Soulwax have been moved up the bill (hurrah!). Apparently because of their storming Glasto performance at the weekend (but possibly because they're just fabulous anyway) they have been promoted from the Xfm stage to play a set on the main stage, just ahead of Babyshambles. The Dewaele brothers will, however, still DJ as ToomanyDJs on the Xfm stage.

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OCEANSIZE TOUR
More live news, and Oceansize have announced a number of Aug gigs to coincide with the release of new single 'Heaven Alive' on 15 Aug. Dates as follows:

15 Aug: London Barfly
16 Aug: York Fibbers
17 Aug: Glasgow Barfly
18 Aug: Liverpool Barfly
19 Aug: Cardiff Barfly
20 Aug: Beautiful Days Festival, Escot, Devon

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DAMIEN RICE DENIES ROMANCE WITH ZELLWEGER
Damien Rice has denied rumours sparked earlier this year that Renee Zellweger and he were romantically involved, which is possibly quite a good thing, give that the Bridget Jones star has now married country musician Kenny Chesney.

The singer songwriter insisted that the two, who did spend some time together earlier in the year, were just friends. According to breakingnews.ie, Rice said "We... we hung out, that's all. People would see us hanging out and immediately think - well, you know. She's really very nice indeed, Renee, so intelligent, so sharp and sorted out. I learned a lot from her, and we became very close and sweet new friends. I'm so happy for her now. And I'm glad I met her. She's a lovely woman."

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THE GAME GETS STUCK WITH PUNK'D STUNT
Former G:Unit rapper The Game may well be dissing Ashton Kutcher as much as 50 Cent in future raps, after being set up on the actor's Beadle style MTV show Punk'd.

Word is The Game wasn't too impressed when TV pranksters told him workmen had created a lake of wet cement over the only exit to a car park where he had parked his car. Suggesting that he would have to leave his car there over night, AND perhaps "pitch a tent, get some sleeping bags", the rapper shouted: "Y'all better build some kinda ramp man... If you don't build a ramp, I'm gonna start building a ramp".

He then started throwing garden chairs and brooms at the concrete in an attempt to build a bridge, before unsuccessfully trying to drive his car through the cement. Kutcher better watch out - two men got shot when the Fiddy / Game feud got out of control a couple of months back.

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