CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 12th July

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- BPI report UK downloading has passed ten million mark
- Radio 1 music chief moves to EMI publishing
- Edwyn Collins out of hospital soon
- Tribal Gathering cancelled because of heightened security costs
- Meat Loaf skids off runway
- New White Stripes single
- Patti Smith gets French honour
- Flowers takes to stage with New Order
- Live Review: Doves At Somerset House
- Fightstar debut release due next year
- Secret Machines finish album
- Hard-Fi uk tour
- Misty's Big tour
- Fruit group launch iTunes promotion
- RIAA end ISP dispute
- Album Review: Penny Broadhurst - Blue Bank
- Whitney to be Idol judge?
- Live 8 round up
- Pressure rises on Jackson to forego Live 8 royalties
- Jet announce V Fest warm up
- Doherty banned from seeing his son shocker
- Ringo mad at Macca
- Spice Girls reunite - but not in the same room
- Church's mum hits back at Bassey
- Spears wants to design maternity gear

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PRESS ROOM>>

*** KILL ALL HIPPIES JULY - London's greatest rock night is once again taking over the Scala, Kings Cross. Live sets come from sublime industrial punkmeister T.Raumschmiere plus Broken Dolls and Kiosk. There are DJ sets from resident curator Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), Jeff Automatic (Transmission) and DJ Syrinx, plus don't forget the Fun House, KAH's second room, hosted by legendary Primal Scream producer Jagz kooner and cohort Richard Clouston. All takes place Saturday 16 Jul, 8.30pm til 4am. Tickets £8, but £3 discount admission if you guest list yourself at http://www.leylinepromotions.com/killallhippies. And don't forget you can download exclusive live sets from Kill All Hippies right now at http://www.tunetribe.com - new sets from this month's event will be available for download from Sunday.

Full press release: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/killallhippies/

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TOP BIT>>

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*** Promote your services or releases here from just £50 a week - email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for info

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BPI REPORT UK DOWNLOADING HAS PASSED TEN MILLION MARK
The BPI yesterday announced that download sales for 2005 had passed the ten-million mark - almost twice the level for the whole of 2004. That figure, the BPI says, shows that the British public are now really opting for the legal download services rather than the illegal P2P file sharing networks.

Confirming the ten-million mark had been passed, BPI Chairman Peter Jamieson told CMU: "The record industry has enthusiastically embraced the new legal download services since their emergence in the mainstream little more than a year ago and now we're beginning to reap the rewards. The battle against illegal filesharing will continue, but we are delighted to have hit this milestone so soon."

The download stats came in the BPI's Quarterly Review thingy, which also revealed the following:

The recent vinyl revival has continued through 2005. It seems more and more record labels are promoting key indie releases with limited edition seven inch vinyl singles, and such releases from the likes of The Libertines, Babyshambles, Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand, plus a limited edition reissue of Iron Maiden's 'Number Of The Beast', have helped shift nearly 1.4 million 7" singles - quarterly sales are up 87.3%, and the last 12 months have been the best for the format since 1998.

DVD single sales have also been performing well this year which means that, while CD single sales continue to be low, if you combine the sales of downloads, vinyl, CD and DVD singles, the singles market is actually doing pretty good - 52.4% up in fact. Lovely.

On all that malarkey, Peter Jamieson continued: "Despite the incredible growth in download sales, there is still a huge demand for the collectible physical formats. It would be wrong to write-off physical formats just yet. Record companies are committed to meeting consumer demand in whatever format people want their music".

Elsewhere, it seems that British music is enjoying increasing success in the US, with 75 UK albums topping the 100,000 sales mark in the US in 2004 - compared with 66 the previous year. Not only that, but Coldplay, Oasis and Gorillaz have achieved considerable successes in the US in the last quarter. Such is the success of British music in the States just now that the BPI plans to step up its marketing efforts there - aiming to capitalise on the momentum and increase further the number of UK artists enjoying success in the most lucrative of music markets.

Jamieson: "We have not seen anything like it for a decade. From Coldplay to Oasis, Dido to Gorillaz, Lostprophets to Franz Ferdinand, British music is on the march. We will prioritise the US in our international strategy in order to make the most of the opportunity. We need to capitalise on the growing openness to UK music".

Finally, the BPI says that the much reported slump in album sales in the UK has been much exaggerated - in fact album sales only fell by a "modest" 1.7%. And it was compilations that suffered the biggest downturn - 14.2% (the cover mount effect perhaps? How many love songs / eighties / rock compilations can any one person need?). If you take just artist albums sales in the last quarter were actually up 2.2% on the same quarter in 2004, reflecting the recently strong release schedule.

Summarising all this good news, Jamieson concluded: "It's been a good quarter for the recorded music business, even though the major releases occurred towards its end. This is testament to the fact that despite difficult market conditions, British music is as popular as ever."

Make a mental note of that for the next time we're told that the file sharing menace is jeopardizing the future of the music business. Perhaps, just perhaps, we should be investing less in expensive litigation and anti-piracy technology, and more in clever thinking (DVD singles, legit download platforms, limited edition vinyl etc) and quality music.

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RADIO 1 MUSIC CHIEF MOVES TO EMI PUBLISHING
Radio 1's Head of Music, Alex Jones-Donelly, is jumping from radio into music publishing by becoming Senior VP A&R at EMI Music Publishing UK.

Confirming the appointment, EMI Publishing MD Guy Moot told CMU: "Alex has done a fantastic job at Radio 1 picking the right bands and pushing music policy forward. He has all the attributes of being a fantastic A&R executive. His extensive knowledge of music, his list of contacts and eye for spotting new and emerging talent is all proven. There are times when it is important to look beyond other record companies and publishers in order to bring in new ideas and perspective on our business. I am absolutely thrilled Alex has decided to join our team."

Alex, meanwhile, told us: "I've got really mixed emotions about leaving Radio 1 as I've had a fantastic time here. The station is currently in such great shape, but I feel I need a new challenge and the opportunity to work with Guy and his amazing team at EMI was just too irresistible to turn down."

Radio 1 boss Andy Parfitt added: "I am very happy for Alex, he's a very gifted guy and we will all miss him. Alex has been part of the talented core team who have delivered the Radio 1 strategy to date and I'm proud of his contribution. The fact that one of our top guys has been offered this kind of job is a big vote of confidence for our musical direction and impact. His shoes will be hard to fill but I am confident we will find the best to take on one of the hottest jobs in music."

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EDWYN COLLINS OUT OF HOSPITAL SOON
Edwyn Collins is well on the road to recovery and is expected to leave hospital soon. As previously reported, the former Orange Juice frontman suffered two brain haemorrhages back in Feb, then contracted the MRSA superbug following his subsequent surgery.

Collins' wife Grace says: "Edwyn is doing fine. He is making steady progress and although he remains unconvinced, there is no sign of hitting the wall. Phase two is rehab from home. It's just all a bit hard right now but, as Edwyn says, 'Reality dawns' and we'll get there."

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TRIBAL GATHERING CANCELLED BECAUSE OF HEIGHTENED SECURITY COSTS
Organisers of Tribal Gathering have announced they are canceling that previously reported benefit festival, due to take place this weekend in aid of the people of Sudan. Organisers say that, following the events in London last week, increased security measures would be required and that has made the event unviable. No details about exactly what security measures would be required, but as a result of those requirements the event, which was due to feature the likes of Groove Armada, Audio Bullys, Mylo and Infadels, will not now take place.

Organisers are advising ticket holders that they can either have a full refund or exchange any one ticket for two tickets for the Tribal Gathering Warehouse party which is due to take place in Manchester on 27 - 28 Aug and will feature Mylo, Carl Cox, Sasha and John Digweed.

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MEAT LOAF SKIDS OFF RUNWAY
CMU favourite (bizarre, I know) Meat Loaf was apparently involved in a bit of an aviation drama at Manchester Airport at the end of last month, when his privately chartered Eastern Airways jet from Hamburg skidded off the runway shortly after landing, forcing some other flights to be redirected to Birmingham and Liverpool. A spokesman for Eastern Airways confirmed: "The Jetstream 41 landed normally but left the runway when close to taxiing speed. No passengers were injured and an investigation has been launched."

Meat Loaf's UK representatives initially refused to confirm that the singer, who had just completed the German leg of his European tour, was on board the flight, but according to Gigwise his press agents have since confirmed that he was.

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NEW WHITE STRIPES SINGLE
White Stripes have confirmed that the second single from latest album 'Get Behind Me Satan' will be 'My Doorbell', and will be released on 8 Aug. Additional tracks on the single will include live versions 'Screwdriver' and 'Same Boy You've Always Known', depending on which format you buy it in.

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PATTI SMITH GETS FRENCH HONOUR
Fresh from curating Meltdown, Patti Smith has been awarded one of France's top cultural honours in recognition of her contributions to rock music. Described as "one of the most influential artists in women's rock 'n' roll" by the French ministry of culture, Smith was presented with the Commander of the Order of the Arts and Letters at an Aids benefit concert in Paris at the weekend, and said "I have vowed to live up to this honour in my work and my conduct. I can't explain what I feel like. It has uplifted me, and I will work very hard to earn it."

Smith also says she is planning to record a new album of covers featuring songs by Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and Edith Piaf.

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FLOWERS TAKES TO STAGE WITH NEW ORDER
Killers frontman Brandon Flowers joined New Order on stage at T in The Park at the weekend for their performance of 'Crystal' for fairly obvious reasons - the video for 'Crystal' featured a fictional band called 'The Killers', that inspired the Las Vegas foursome's choice of moniker.

New Order also played Joy Division's 'Atmosphere', dedicating it to the people of London following the recent bomb attacks.

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LIVE REVIEW: Doves at Somerset House on 6 Jul
Somerset House, home of the Inland Revenue, perches majestically at the bottom of the City, a grand relic of the British Empire. With its stern neoclassical architecture and spacious central courtyard, it's an elegant host to highbrow art galleries and literature events. This week, however, it delivers with customary panache a series of well-programmed concerts ranging from the delicate folk of Bright Eyes to the Latin vibe of Los Lobos in its courtyard. The Summer set series begins tonight with Doves. The imposing front of the building gives little sense of what's inside: drums and guitars suddenly greet you as you enter the courtyard. The sound is excellent, the atmosphere privileged and intimate. The capacity (2900) crowd, many who still sport suits and professional attire, create the impression of a hidden party in the City. Support was lent by Louis IX, an overly coiffed 4 piece out of Las Vegas. Having previously supported their town folk The Killers, they seem to have picked up a few style tips along the way. They sound and look like a better-heeled Jet. Seeming a bit nervous or perhaps just slightly awkward, the two leads exchange glances to synchronize their rock posturing, sadly with little success. They pull it together towards the end but too little too late. The crowd here doesn't care though; they've come to see Doves. Wild cheers greet every hapless stagehand and sound engineer. When Doves finally take the stage, they're welcomed with a mighty roar and hands in the air. Even lingering office workers hang a little further over the balcony, to the crowd's bemusement. They begin with sweeping grandeur - relentlessly driving drums, textured guitars and plaintive soaring vocals. And they keep it coming. It's a beautiful set, mixing up songs off 'Lost Souls', 'The Last Broadcast' and 'Some Cities' - uplifting yet moody rock. But after an hour it all starts to seem a bit much. Much of the unusual instrumentation and arrangements on the albums has been scaled back for the live show so that, although vocals and instrumentation are both spot on, it all ends up sounding a little too similar. The crowd sings along with an enthusiasm that seems too unbridled for the light of day. When singer Jimi Goodwin trades places with drummer Andy Williams for the encore it injects a well-needed dose of the unexpected, and the concluding 'There Goes The Fear' brings a dynamic end to the set. However, large doses of their music are perhaps better appreciated in a more private setting than in the light of day under a blue sky in a public building. Still the show was very good, the venue's excellent and the series provides a great sense of hidden adventure in the city. Catch a show there if you can - tickets are apt to sell out. MM

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FIGHTSTAR DEBUT RELEASE DUE NEXT YEAR
Fightstar are postponing their debut album release until next year, because the band want to take time over the project. Former Busted boy Charlie Simpson told the Daily Star "The album won't be out until the beginning of next year. There has been pressure but we said to the label that we want to do the best we can. Our label Universal are amazing and really into Fightstar. We made it clear we want control and will write and record all summer."

Meanwhile they've been playing a few festival dates. Simpson commented: "At a festival it's not just your crowd so everybody faces playing in front of people unfamiliar with their music. We've been so lucky with support."

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SECRET MACHINES FINISH ALBUM
The Secret Machines have apparently finished work on their second album, a follow up to last year's debut 'Now Here is Nowhere'. The new album has as yet no title or planned release schedule, but we'll let you know if we hear anything.

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HARD-FI UK TOUR
After missing their Glastonbury performance because of the death of frontman Richard Archer's mother, Hard-Fi have confirmed a series of gigs for this autumn. The tour follows the success of debut album 'Stars Of CCTV'.

14 Oct: Bristol Bierkeller
15 Oct: Bournemouth Old Firestation
17 Oct: Northampton Roadmenders
18 Oct: Oxford Zodiac
19 Oct: London Electric Ballroom
20 Oct: London Electric Ballroom
21 Oct: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
23 Oct: Aberdeen Moshulu
24 Oct: Glasgow Garage
25 Oct: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
26 Oct: Newcastle University
28 Oct: Leeds Irish Centre
29 Oct: Liverpool University
30 Oct: Manchester University
1 Nov: Norwich Waterfront
2 Nov: Cambridge Junction
3 Nov: Brighton Concorde

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MISTY'S BIG TOUR
The wonderful Misty's Big Adventure have confirmed a stack of UK tour dates - so no excuse not to check them out. Dates as follows:

21 Jul: London, Borderline
30 Jul: Nr Newquay, Tapestry Festival
21 Aug: Nr Cambridge, Secret Garden Festival
24 Aug: London, Luminaire
28 Aug: Manchester, Satans Hollow
2 Sep: Brixton, Windmill
8 Sep: Bath, Moles
9 Sep: Isle Of Wight, Bestival Festival
15 Sep: Portsmouth, Frog On The Front
16 Sep: Tunbridge Wells Forum
22 Sep: Leicester Shed
23 Sep: Sheffield Grapes
24 Sep: Birmingham Jug Of Ale
25 Sep: Birmingham Jug Of Ale
27 Sep: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
28 Sep: London Buzzard
29 Sep: Liverpool Barfly

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FRUIT GROUP LAUNCH ITUNES PROMOTION
The only sad thing about this story is that the farmers in question don't grow Apples. Not to be outdone by all those fizzy and alchoholic drinks, sweetie brands and fast food chains that have been using the download phenomena to shift more stock, the California Tree Fruit Agreement have done a deal with iTunes which means that, if you buy three pounds of the consortium's fruit and a 'Fresh Express' salad pack (whatever that is) you get three free iTunes downloads. Sorted. But, alas, the farmers of the California Tree Fruit Agreement grow peaches, plums and nectarines, not Apples.

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RIAA END ISP DISPUTE
The Recording Industry Association of America has announced it is dropping its legal action against internet service provider Charter Communications regarding the identification of individuals suspected of illegally sharing music content online.

The decision ends a long legal fight over the interpretation of the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Recording Industry Association of America argued that the Act forced ISPs to automatically identify the names and addresses of individuals that content owners suspect of online copyright violation (content owners tracking file sharing online only know the IP address of suspected violators, the identity of the person using that IP address is only known by their ISP).

But the ISPs disagreed with that interpretation of the DMCA. They argued that the privacy of their customers should be safeguarded unless a court rules otherwise - ie the content owner would have to initially launch a lawsuit against an unnamed individual (or 'John Doe'), if they proved their case the ISP would then identify the individual and the content owners could begin a second stage of litigation against that person.

At one point in the legal fight that ensued the RIAA scored a court victory over ISP Verizon and for a time the ISPs did have to automatically identify suspected file sharers. But that decision was overturned on appeal and elsewhere the RIAA has been unsuccessful in persuading judges to interpret the DMCA in their favour, making the suing of individual file sharers more costly and time consuming.

In the specific case against Charter, both the US Court Of Appeals and the 8th Circuit Court ruled in favour of the ISP, but the RIAA was expected to continue the fight in the Supreme Court. However, yesterday's announcement confirms that will not now happen, perhaps suggesting that the record industry has accepted defeat on this front, preferring to concentrate their efforts of suing the companies who make P2P software in light of the recent MGM v Grokster court decision.

That said, the John Doe lawsuits against individual file sharers are unlikely to stop - perhaps the RIAA has got so used to pursuing their litigation in this way (after all they've launched nearly 3000 lawsuits so far) that there is no need to change the system through an expensive and risky legal assault on the ISPs.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Penny Broadhurst - Blue Bank (Killer Question)
Tricky stuff, spoken word. Without music to hide behind, you've really got to ensure your art is spot on to engage and connect with the listener. Yorkshire poet Penny Broadhurst has managed it perfectly on a sharp debut album though. 'Blue Bank' comprises nothing but the recital of 15 of Penny's poems, with some occasional, and effective, instrumentation (inner city electronica on '8 Mile High', a scratchy, Barrett-esque guitar on 'Scabby Queen' and some chunky beats on 'Rhythm Rebel'). Meanwhile, 'Dirty Pop' - a genius acerbic commentary on Pop Idol wannabees and indie chancers - deserves deference alone for the line "I think I might duet with Kylie/You know, talk shite barefoot like Jo Whiley". Quintessentially Northern, 'Blue Bank' perfectly captures the frustrations of modern day life. Crushingly honest, this is a defiantly urban record, full of dislocation and claustrophobia, but at times poignant, funny and wise. A talent to watch. MS
Press Contact: info@pennybroadhurst.com

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WHITNEY TO BE IDOL JUDGE?
American Idol producers have apparently asked Whitney Houston to be a judge for its fifth season, but it seems to be dependent on whether Paula Abdul leaves to be a judge on spin-off reality show 'So You Think You Can Dance', according to America's Star magazine.

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LIVE 8 ROUND UP
Doesn't Live 8 seem an incredibly long time ago? So long ago, in fact, that yesterday we didn't report on the results of the G8 meeting, or the Geldof/Bono reaction to it, because it seemed like very old news.

Anyway, as you're probably aware, despite the dramatic events in London on Thursday, the Make Poverty History campaign managed to keep Africa quite high up the agenda of the G8 meeting in Scotland last week and there was some movement on debt and aid which will undoubtedly save many lives in the developing world. But, as expected, those movements were nothing compared with the demands made by many of the aid organisations, and will not get very far in making poverty history.

Nevertheless, Geldof and Bono welcomed the moves that had been made, pointing out they were not inconsiderable achievements, and that they were a good starting point in the long term war against poverty. Bono this weekend told reporters: "A mountain has been climbed here, but it's worth just stopping for a second and looking back down the valley at where we've all come. Doubling aid for Africa has not been easy, and it's been a very hard sell for us salesmen. And I'm very proud to report that these figures are very meaningful."

Of course, there are a number of challenges remaining for Geldof, Bono and the Make Poverty History movement, not least maintaining the pressure on politicians the world over to ensure not only that future G8-style events start to meet other aid, debt and trade needs, but that the G8 nations stick to the modest promises they made last week.

On that point Bob Gelfof told reporters: "Now we must make sure it happens - three billion people will be watching", while Bono added: "If these people [ie the G8 leaders] let us down... they will feel it when they go to the ballot."

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PRESSURE RISES ON JACKSON TO FOREGO LIVE 8 ROYALTIES
Elsewhere in Live 8 news, and Michael Jackson is being encouraged to donate any royalties he receives from the Beatles songs being released in aid of Live Aid to charities combating poverty in Africa.

As previously reported, Universal have released downloads of the Paul McCartney/U2 version of 'Lonely Hearts Club Band' and McCartney's performance of 'The Long And Winding Road', both recorded at the London date of Live 8. EMI's DVD recording of the event, meanwhile, is likely to feature Macca's performances of 'Get Back', 'Drive My Car', 'Helter Skelter' and 'Hey Jude'.

As everyone knows, the publishing on the Beatles catalogue is owned by Jackson's publishing firm ATV, which now operates as half of ATV/Sony Publishing. While McCartney will forego any performance royalties on the Live 8 tracks, a publishing royalty will, in theory at least, have to be paid. All of which means Jacko will benefit financially from the Live 8 releases. While the same is true for the publishers of any of the tracks that might appear on a Live 8 DVD, pressure on ATV to forego their royalty is particularly high given the high profile nature of Jackson and the continuing media interest in his financial affairs.

Foregoing these royalties is probably the kind of PR gesture Jackson needs just now, especially given reports that Jacko was bigging up his charitable credentials while pushing for a slot at the Live 8 USA show. But whether his accountants will let him remains to be seen - they may be less keen on any charitable gestures given they are currently managing an acute financial situation (or at least that's what pretty much every report on the matter concludes).

Of course the easy way out would be to flog ATV to the Sony Group completely. Doing so would liquidate considerable funds to pay off current debts, and hand over this particular PR problem to Sony. But, insiders say, Jackson remains reluctant to lose his share in one of the world's most valuable song collections.

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JET ANNOUNCE V FEST WARM UP
Jet have announced a warm up show for their up coming V Festival sets - what will be there first live show in the UK in almost a year. They will play a show at Nottingham Rock City on 18 Aug. Tickets go on sale around about now.

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DOHERTY BANNED FROM SEEING HIS SON SHOCKER
Pete Doherty's ex lover and babymother Lisa Moorish has apparently banned the singer from seeing his son, according to the Sunday Mirror. Moorish is said to be fed up of the Babyshambles frontman putting his career and his model girlfriend Kate Moss before his 18 month old son, Estile.

An obviously very good 'friend' told the paper "Lisa is finding it very difficult to keep Pete in Estile's life. Pete is still battling his heroin demons and that has made him extremely unreliable. Sometimes he will see Estile every day for a week and then he'll disappear for weeks on end and have no contact at all. He doesn't stick to planned arrangements and hardly ever answers his phone - and that has really frustrated Lisa. Estile is very young and Lisa won't take the risk of him being messed about by Pete. It isn't fair on him. Lisa's main priority is to protect her son, which is why she has told Pete in no uncertain terms that she doesn't want him to see him any more."

Moorish promises to let Pete back into his son's life if he gets himself sorted out; but there's no word on whether she promises to change that poor child's name before he starts school.

And elsewhere in Doherty news (and continuing the theme of children with bizarre names), 16 year old Peaches Geldof has denied Doherty's claim that she squeezed his bum and whispered suggestive comments in his ear as he was about to take to the stage in Hyde Park last week. The singer used this as one of the myriad excuses why his Live 8 performance was so poor.

According to The Mirror, Peaches said: "I was standing with my dad and my boyfriend of two years at the time. It is ridiculous to say I would make a pass at Pete in front of them. And how could I whisper over the noise of the band?" She also revealed that it was sister Pixie, 14, who convinced dad Bob to include Pete in the Live 8 line-up. Which was a bit of a cruel revelation really; as we may never forgive poor Pixie for the fact that we all had to live through that horror.

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RINGO MAD AT MACCA
More Live 8 related angst now, as Ringo Starr has expressed his anger and disappointment that Paul McCartney did not invite him to perform with him at the big event. As you all know, McCartney opened the concert with 'Sgt Pepper', backed by U2, and Ringo is a bit mad he wasn't asked to play the drums. Starr told "I was never asked to do it, he didn't ask me. It's too late now - it's disappointing. But I would have only done it if I'd been able to wear my Sgt Pepper suit."

Hmmm. Perhaps Macca saw that previously reported interview on Access Hollywood in which Ringo said he had no plans to ever play with McCartney again. Although to be fair, he did say 'tour together', not 'play together'.

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SPICE GIRLS REUNITE - BUT NOT IN THE SAME ROOM
Word is that the Spice Girls are working on a couple of new tracks to appear on their up coming greatest hits albums (surely the OFT should investigate this habit of putting as yet unproven songs on 'best of' or 'greatest hits' albums - how can we be sure they are going to the best or the greatest?). However, that doesn't mean a reunion is in the offing, even in the studio. Word is each of the Girls is recording their bit separately in different studios around the world. The official line is that work commitments are stopping the whole group from being in the same studio at the same time, although one 'source' admitted to the Sun that "there's tension after Mel B refused to make a comeback for Live 8". As for the sound of the new tracks - well, the source says: "It's early stages. The girls won't release anything if it doesn't sound right - but they are hoping for the best."

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CHURCH'S MUM HITS BACK AT BASSEY
Charlotte Church's Mum has had a go at Shirley Bassey after she had a go at Charlotte in an interview a couple of weeks back. As previously reported, Bassey criticised the young singer for her binge drinking and her move into rock music, saying "she's really let herself down."

Maria Church told the Mirror: "Shirley's just jealous of Charlotte's youth and success. She should put her hand over her mouth to stop herself talking like that. She and Charlotte have met several times and Bassey has never had time for her - in fact, she was downright rude. You'd think she would be supportive of another Cardiff girl. My daughter is taking no notice."

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SPEARS WANTS TO DESIGN MATERNITY GEAR
If there's one thing I'd like to see in my lifetime, it's yet another celebrity clothing range, and if we're lucky, Britney might get on the case. She's apparently said that she would love to design her own range of maternity clothing. She said: "There's so much nasty stuff out there for mums-to-be, I can't work out why stores don't sell funkier stuff. I have ideas about more modern designs and it would be fun to utilise them."

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