CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 8th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- War Child album underway
- Apple and Motorola launch iTunes phone - at last
- Apple also launch Nano iPod
- V2 release Elbow album as physical/digital combo set
- Big Star singer found
- Jay-Z supports West over anti-Bush rant
- LCD Soundsystem single release
- Amsterdam Dance Event line up announced
- ITV and BBC plan free-to-view satellite service
- ITV make shows available via mobile
- ITV confirm fourth channel launch
- Virgin Digital do deal with Blueyonder
- Staind cancel European tour
- Big Day Out find Melbourne venue
- Ian Brown delays release of hits album
- Wilson expresses Mercury related disappointment
- Antony And The Johnsons extend European tour
- Bestival to screen cricket, confirmed
- Wheatus new album
- Wall Of Sound re-release Darkdancer
- Xpress 2 guest at Space
- Elton chased by ladies
- Westlife star says he's engaged
- Welsh FA apologises to Beckham

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CMU PRESS ROOM

ROCK*n*ROLL NEWS via Music Tourist Board : ARTFUL - virtual festival October 1st-31st / Anti-Scene bands at In The City / Calling film makers re Music Documentary / Music Film/Photography Exhibition / Bands invited to Republic of Rock / Dirty Sounds are at Bestival! / DIY underground networking + more! - www.musictouristboard.co.uk/ www.artful.ik.com/ http://rocklands.1.forumer.com/

Full details: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/musictouristboard

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WAR CHILD ALBUM UNDERWAY
As we speak that previously reported War Child album project is underway, with the first artists in the studio recording their bits for what the charity hope will be the fastest ever album release. If all goes to plan you will be able to download it from midday tomorrow. There'll be a full report on it all in tomorrow's CMU Daily.

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APPLE AND MOTOROLA LAUNCH ITUNES PHONE - AT LAST
Well, the long awaited iTunes enabled phone is here. Well, I say here. It's actually in America, though it should be here this time next week.

As expected, the new phone was launched yesterday at a previously announced press conference by Apple boss Steve Jobs. Manufactured by Motorola, the Rokr phone works like an iPod Shuffle, randomly playing tracks from a library able to store up to 100 songs. Those tracks can be transferred onto the phone from a Mac or PC via a USB cable using iTunes software. The plan, of course, is to develop future phones that hold more content, and which can access music directly from the iTunes Music Store over the airwaves, cutting out the need to have a PC in order to download tunes.

The new phone goes on sale in the States today via US mobile operator Cingular. The phone will be initially available from the mobile firm's own stores for $249.99 (£136), though music fans will have to sign up to a minimum two year contract with the network in order to get one. According to Carphone Warehouse, the Rokr phone will go on sale here in the UK on 15 Sep. It will be available for users of the O2 network and will retail at £209.99 for pre-pay customers, but will be free for those signing up to a relevant O2 contract.

There is still much debate over whether or not mobile phones will ever become the device most consumers use to play music. The technology firms are slowly overcoming handset limitations (capacity to hold tracks, battery life), and those who champion mobiles as the music devices of the future always point to just how many people already own a phone. Many of those people will never be persuaded to buy an MP3 player, they argue, but they probably will eventually upgrade to a music-player phone.

The big limiting factor, of course, is the mobile download platforms. The fact Apple have decided to launch with a phone that acquires its music via a computer shows that they have recognised just how shoddy most of the existing mobile download platforms actually are (platforms which some of the existing non-Apple music player mobiles rely on for acquiring tracks). And then there is the consideration of just how long it takes for full tracks to download to a phone over even a 3G connection, and how much that download-airtime costs on most US and European phone networks (ie a lot). But if consumers simply transfer tracks from a PC to their phones, then there is no opportunity for the mobile companies to take a cut on music sales - a revenue stream that most mobile networks are banking on to justify their recent investment in music sponsorship and promotions.

Apple and Motorola - and others - are reportedly talking to networks about developing a user-friendly cost efficient mobile download platform to work with ever higher capacity music player phones. Whether Apple and its mobile partners, or another consortium of technology and tel co companies, can achieve such a thing before those bank rolling the mobile music ventures run out of cash, or patience, remains to be seen.

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APPLE ALSO LAUNCH NANO IPOD
Aside from all the mobile phone excitement, Apple had another new music product to launch at yesterday's press conference - the iPod nano. This is a tiny iPod that is half the size of most of its smallest competitors, weighing just 1.5 ounces (which presumably makes it very easy to lose in even a moderately sized bag). Despite its small size, the iPod nano comes with either 2GB or 4GB capacity, which is rather a lot. Launching the new players, Steve Jobs told the gathered reporters:. "iPod nano is a full-featured iPod in an impossibly small size, and it's going to change the rules for the entire portable music market".

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V2 RELEASE ELBOW ALBUM AS PHYSICAL/DIGITAL COMBO SET
Staying with digital type news, just for a few more lines, and V2 is offering a physical CD / digital album combo package thingy which lets Elbow fans who pre-order a copy of new album 'Leaders Of The Free World' access a digital version of the long player a week before the actual CD is released, if that makes sense.

So, you go to Elbow's website (http://www.elbow.co.uk) today and order a copy of the CD, which comes out on Monday, but as part of a special package you can access a digital version of the album straight away. The digital version of the album also includes two bonus tracks not featured on the CD release. Make sense? Good.

The physical/digital combo package is available for £16, or for £21 if you want a ten track DVD too. John Hazell from Jack Brand, the online marketing firm behind the venture, says that they are finding dedicated fans are willing to pay those kind of prices given the kind of package they are getting. He told reporters: "People are prepared to spend a lot more online than we are led to believe. Just as in record stores if you give people the right package they will pay a premium for it. We have proven that with this Elbow release, by far the biggest seller has been the most expensive package because it's the best, it's what the fans want".

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BIG STAR SINGER FOUND
Big Star singer Alex Chilton has been found safe and well amidst much speculation regarding the New Orleans resident's whereabouts following Hurricane Katrina. According to Billboard the band's producer, Terry Manning, says that although Chilton's exact location hasn't been confirmed, the singer has been in touch with friends who say he is safe and well. Big Star have been back in the news recently after they revealed the plan to release their first album since the 1970s, 'In Space', on 26 Sep.

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JAY-Z SUPPORTS WEST OVER ANTI-BUSH RANT
The hip hop mogul that is Jay-Z has voiced his support for Kanye West, who has come in for some criticism since his impromptu bout of Bush bashing during a telethon to raise money to help victims of hurricane Katrina. As previously reported, West slammed the Bush administration's response to the natural disaster in New Orleans, claiming the White House had not prioritised the ordeal unfolding in the Southern states because it affected mainly poor black people. He told the audience at the benefit event, and those watching the live telecast on the East Coast, that: "George Bush doesn't care about black people" adding that America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slowly as possible".

With some in the (predominantly white middle class run) American press criticising West for making those remarks, Def Jam boss Jay-Z said yesterday that "I'm backing Kanye 100%". Speaking to Billboard, he first up pointed out: "This is America. You should be able to say what you want to say. We have freedom of speech". He then added that he shared West's views on the American government's slow response to the disaster: "It's really numbing. You can't believe it's happening in America. You wonder, what's going on? Why were people so slow to react? I don't understand it."

Meanwhile Kanye West, while sticking by his controversial remarks, has promised he won't be making any political comment when he performs at the National Football League's opening kickoff concert tonight. Talking at a press conference about the NFL event on Tuesday, West sidestepped questions about his TV rant, and said of Thursday's event: "I don't want to detract from the show at all, because it's entertainment, and a lot of times, in a time of need, we need entertainment to lift people's spirits". He made no other comment about hurricane Katrina, except to point out that the NFL had "done a lot" to support the post-disaster relief effort.

In fact Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden, whose band will also play at today's concert, said more about the media backlash to West's comments, telling the press conference: "The great thing about our country is we all get to say what we feel and believe. Whether you agree with him, or whether I agree with him or not, he has the right to say what he thinks. I think Kanye is very passionate about the tragedy down there. ... He's just trying to get other people as fired up as he is."

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LCD SOUNDSYSTEM SINGLE RELEASE
Well, just anyone releasing a single wouldn't necessarily be news. But in this case it's CMU favourites LCD Soundsystem, so that's different. The Soundsystem releases 'Tribulations', from their eponymous debut, at the end of the month. The release includes mixes by Lindstrom and Tiga, and the 7" releases features a Radio 1 Zane Lowe session version of the track. Hurrah. Look out for it on 26 Sep.

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AMSTERDAM DANCE EVENT LINE UP ANNOUNCED
Four hundred or more acts and DJ's are lining up to attend the Amsterdam Dance Event that takes place, as the name might just suggest, in Amsterdam, from 27 - 29 Oct. Organisers expect attendance of up to 40,000 visitors to the festival and conference, which celebrates its tenth birthday this year. The conference side will include panel debates as well as keynote speeches from, amongst others, DJ Paul van Dyk and Duncan Stutterheim, owner of blockbuster dance company ID&T

Acts scheduled to appear include Roisin Murphy, Soulwax, Fixmer & McCarthy, DJ Jean, Bobby Friction & Nihal, Armin van Buuren, Martin Solveig, Freestylers, Sebastien Leger, Sneak, Futureshock, StoneBridge, Adam Freeland, Seymour Bits, Josh Wink, and Hardsoul/DJ Roog. And that's just a small selection.

Find out more from http://www.amsterdam-dance-event.nl. Press info from Phuture Trax.

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ITV AND BBC PLAN FREE-TO-VIEW SATELLITE SERVICE
The BBC and ITV are to collaborate to launch a new free-to-view satellite TV service, aiming to offer Freeview type services to those people who live in areas that the terrestrial digital network cannot reach (currently about a quarter of the population live in such areas). The aim is to ensure everyone can access digital TV signals without paying a monthly subscription fee ahead of the government's planned turn off of analogue TV services.

When the Freesat service launches, ITV will stop encrypting their satellite broadcasts. At the moment ITV's satellite output can only be viewed via Sky's platform because it is broadcast in an encrypted way - Sky's set top boxes 'unencrypt' the signal. Encryption was used to stop satellite TV viewers outside the UK, and especially in Eire, from tuning in to ITV's channels because in theory ITV would be contravening its agreements with movie studios and sports organisations if people outside the UK were able to watch its broadcasts of films or sporting events for which it only had UK rights. But the same was true for the BBC, who controversially stopped encrypting their satellite output a couple of years back, much to the annoyance of Sky who were paid by the terrestial broadcasters to run the encryption service. The BBC hasn't experienced problems in licensing films or sports events because of broadcasting unencrypted satellite signals, hence ITV's decision to follow suit. Does any of that make sense?

Anyway, the BBC and ITV's plans to launch the Freesat service provides more bad news for Sky, or in theory at least. Sky run their own free satellite service which offers viewers the chance to access free-to-air channels via a satellite dish for a one off charge. Sky don't make much money from that service in itself, but use it as a way of upselling its pay-to-view subscription packages. In theory if people opt for the BBC/ITV Freesat service, Sky will have a smaller audience to flog its premium services too. That said, Sky actually welcomed BBC/ITV's Freesat plans, convinced that when consumers get multi-channel TV of any kind they become more likely candidates to upgrade to a Sky-type mega-multi-channel TV package. A spokesman for Sky said yesterday: "Freesat services already form part of Sky's strategy for continued pay-TV growth. As analogue switch-off approaches, we welcome increased promotion of satellite reception by ITV and the BBC"

Channel 4 remained non-committal about the whole thing, except to say they had no intention of unencrypting their satellite output. A spokesman told reporters: "We broadly welcome any development that offers more UK homes the chance to receive the full range of digital services and creates more competition between platforms. We will watch how Freesat develops with interest. However, we have carriage agreements for all our channels with Sky Digital and we have a number of years to run on these deals. We're happy with our current distribution deals with Sky and have no present plans to review these arrangements."

A recent OfCom report said that more than 60% of UK households now receive digital TV of some kind. Government types keen to push for analogue turn off will be very happy that the BBC and ITV are planning to make free-to-view digital TV available to those 25% of households who can't get Freeview. However all of this still ignores the fact that most of those households with access to digital TV will still have second and third television sets accessing analogue signals, which makes an imminent turn off of analogue output seem a little unrealistic.

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ITV MAKE SHOWS AVAILABLE VIA MOBILE
Talking of the telly, ITV have announced a number of services for 3G phone users, including showbiz news, competitions, a TV reminder service and the chance to view highlights or footage of favourite programmes like 'This Morning', 'Coronation Street' and 'I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!'. ITV is also piloting a broadband TV service in the Brighton and Hastings area offering local news and weather, community activities, travel and property advertising. Is it just me, or has everyone gone hi tech all of a sudden?

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ITV CONFIRM FOURTH CHANNEL LAUNCH
And staying with ITV, just for a little bit longer, the TV company has confirmed that it will launch ITV4 on 1 Nov. The new channel will target a young male demographic with a mix of drama, sci-fi and sport. Programmes of that type currently shown on ITV2 will shift to the new channel, giving the second ITV channel, bosses say, a more "female audience skew". ITV also confirmed they are still hoping to launch a kids channel in the next six months.

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VIRGIN DIGITAL DO DEAL WITH BLUEYONDER
And talking of broadband internet (which we kinda were), Virgin Digital have confirmed a parternship with Telewest Broadband which will see the new download platform plug the phone company's Blueyonder broadband service, while Telewest will entice its existing customers to use Virgin's digital music service with free downloads and streaming previews.

Confirming the partnership, Telewest Broadband boss Eric Tveter told reporters: "Our tie-up with Virgin Digital is great news for our blueyonder broadband customers. They will have access to a huge range of music downloads and with added extras such as a download chart and music features, there will be something for everyone."

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STAIND CANCEL EUROPEAN TOUR
Staind have cancelled a European tour that was to begin on 19 Sep in Dublin, due to promotional commitments in the US in the wake of the release of latest album 'Chapter V'. The band plan to reschedule the European dates, probably for March of next year.

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BIG DAY OUT FIND MELBOURNE VENUE
Australia's biggest touring music festival, Big Day Out, will go ahead in 2006 despite initial concerns that a failure to find a home for the Melbourne dates would jeopardise the whole thing.

The Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, which normally hosts the Melbourne Big Day Out dates, is currently undergoing redevelopment - and other venues capable of holding up to 40,000 people will all be under preparation for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, being held in the city in March. However, Melbourne City Council has now given the OK for the event to be held in the city's Princes Park, so it is all systems go.

An initial line up for the late January festival is now expected on 5 Oct. Organisers have confirmed that Red Hot Chili Peppers, who were expected to headline, have pulled out because of delays in the release of their next album, which the performances would have helped promote. Rumours that the replacement headliners would be Pixies have also been called into doubt after Frank Black told Australia's Rave magazine: "It's not that I'm against Big Day Out, but as the Pixies have never played Australia I thought it would be cooler to do our own tour and not play in a great big field but in a room or a club or something where we are in people's faces. You know, 'This is the Pixies and we are here at last'."

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IAN BROWN DELAYS RELEASE OF HITS ALBUM
Ian Brown has been forced to delay the release of his greatest hits album due to manufacturing problems. A statement on his official website says: "Due to a manufacturing error, release of Ian's 'The Greatest' album has been put back one week to September 19. Both Ian and Fiction have decided to do this to make sure this release is perfect for Ian's fans."

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WILSON EXPRESSES MERCURY RELATED DISAPPOINTMENT
Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson has told the BBC about his disappointment at not winning the Mercury Prize, which, as you surely all know by now, was won by Antony And The Johnsons. Wilson said: "So we didn't win...we'll carry on. It would have been the icing on the cake, but this year's cake has been so delicious, I don't think we really need the icing. I am disappointed, but it was good."

He also revealed that the band had planned to give away the £20,000 prize money, saying: "I really wanted that money, 'cause I wanted it to give it to Mark, the guy who runs our rehearsal studios. He's got to move and we wanted to give him the money to start a new rehearsal studios so we can go there and rehearse, so it's not really altruistic! So we've got a new plan now, and if the Mercury people don't mind, we're gonna eBay off our nomination award trophy."

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ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS EXTEND EUROPEAN TOUR
Talking of the Mercury Prize, and the aforementioned winners, Antony and the Johnsons have extended their European tour, adding dates in Wolverhampton, Bristol and an extra gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London.

The full list of dates, because you all need to know when they play in Bilbao, is as follows:

25 Oct: Barcelona Teatro Musical
26 Oct: Bilbao Palacio Euskalduna
28 Oct: Huesca Periferias Festival
29 Oct: Valencia Green Space
31 Oct: Lisbon Coliseum
3 Nov: Vienna Semper Depot
4 Nov: Lille Aeronef
6 Nov: Nantes Olympic
7 Nov: Paris Olympia
8 Nov: Bordeaux Theatre Barbey
9 Nov: Antwerp Bourla
10 Nov: Bruxelles Ancienne Belgique
13 Nov: Oslo Rockerfeller
14 Nov: Stockholm China Theatre
15 Nov: Copenhagen Vega
17 Nov: Helsinki Tavastia
18 Nov: Roma Parco Della Musica
22 Nov: Wolverhampton Civic Hall
23 Nov: York Grand Opera House
24 Nov: Dublin Vicar
27 & 28 Nov: Berlin Volksbuhne
30 Nov: Glasgow Academy
2 Dec: Bristol Academy
4 Dec: London All Tomorrow's Parties
5 & 6 Dec: London Shepherds Bush Empire
8 Dec: Amsterdam Koninklijk Theatre Carre
11 Dec: Reykjavik Frikirkjan

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BESTIVAL TO SCREEN CRICKET, CONFIRMED
I've just realized we've been running short on Bestival plugs this week, so here's one now. Anyone heading to the Isle Of Wight this weekend worried that they might miss out on the cricket, well never fear, because organisers have teamed up with Channel 4 to ensure the Ashes are screened in the Temple Bar on the festival site. That bar is near the wonderful Women's Institute Tea Tent which means plenty of cakes and scones near by to accompany your cricket viewing. And there'll be plenty of Pimms and champagne around should there be a victory to celebrate.

Bestival, of course, kicks off tomorrow and will be fab. More details at http://www.bestival.net

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WHEATUS NEW ALBUM
Hurrah. The lovely Wheatus release their new album on 24 Oct. It's the first release since the dissolution of their relationship with Sony's Columbia Records last year. Singer and songwriter Brendan B. Brown comments: "I know this might be hard to imagine but we have always been a small band from New York. We still are. We have a new record. It's called Too Soon Monsoon and we made it ourselves. It's coming out in October 2005. We wanted to come back to the UK and do things as they should have been done from the start, the way big record companies never do things, the way small bands from New York do. If you see us on this tour you will hear Too Soon Monsoon, and some of the older records but it's also a chance to see us play like we do back home where we have always been a small band. - Much love. bbb."

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WALL OF SOUND RE-RELEASE DARKDANCER
Wall Of Sound are to release a new double CD version of Les Rythmes Digitales' 'Darkdancer', cashing in on the popularity of the track 'Jacques Your Body' after it was used in that dancing transformer thingy Citroen car commercial. The first CD of the new album is the original (which, of course, features guest vocals from the likes of Nik Kershaw and Thomas Ribero), whilst the second CD brings together club mixes, remixes and other special material.

And here are the tracklistings, for your information:

CD1
Dreamin'
Music Makes You Lose Control
Soft Machine (featuring Thomas Ribero)
Hypnotise
(Hey You) What's That Sound?
Take A Little Time (featuring Shannon)
From Disco To Disco
Brothers
Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat)
About Funk
Sometimes (featuring Nik Kershaw)
Damaged People (featuring Thomas Ribero)

CD2
Jacques Your Body (Make Me Sweat) (Club Mix)
Music Makes You Lose Control (LRD remix)
Steps Ahead 5.11
Hey You What's That Sound? (LRD remix)
Energy
Sometimes (Junior Sanchez remix)
Nancy Jamaica
Jacques Your Body (Cassius remix edit)
Hey You (What's That Sound)? [Video]
Sometimes [Video]

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XPRESS 2 GUEST AT SPACE
Those of you still in an Ibiza frame of mind (I know the closing parties kick off next week, but there's still plenty of great stuff going on over there) might care to know that XPress 2, who return with new single 'Give It' on Skint on 22 Sep, will be doing a two hour set at Steve Lawler's Viva residency at Space tonight. It should be good, so if you're on the White Isle, do check it out.

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ELTON CHASED BY LADIES
Elton John says that he's been getting chased round Las Vegas since starting his residency there. The 58 year old singer told Billboard: "Before Caesars I'd never stayed the night here [Vegas]. I don't go out much, but you do get stir crazy. So I'll go see what's in the shops now. [Ops manager] Bob Hailey and I got chased through the mall. We were laughing so hard. Bob said, `We're being chased by 60-year-old women!' And I said, `Bob, we are 60!'"

Elton also admitted his disappointment at the lack of success of last year's 'Peachtree Road' album, saying "My time in the sun, as it were, is gone. I have to accept that. Was I disappointed? Yeah, because I put my heart and soul into it."

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WESTLIFE STAR SAYS HE'S ENGAGED
After his rather public 'coming out' last month, Westlife's Mark Feehily has now announced his engagement to boyfriend Kevin McDaid. According to New! magazine he said: "I've been over the moon since coming out and fans have been supportive, so I know they'll be happy for me. What better way to celebrate this?"

Scarily, former V member McDaid said: "I'm planning to give up my career to support Mark. There is only room for one star in our family and it has to be him." A romantic decision that will presumably prove popular with the couple's bank manager, the V back catalogue presumably not delivering much in terms of a monthly royalty cheque.

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WELSH FA APOLOGISES TO BECKHAM
According to The Mirror, Welsh soccer chiefs have apologised to David Beckham because Goldie Lookin Chain insulted his wife when they provided the pre match entertainment at the recent England-Wales game. GLC dedicated a rendition of new single 'Your Missus Is A Nutter' to Victoria Beckham. Lyrics from the song include the line: "Fighting with bouncers and flashing her bits, after two flaming sambucas she don't care who she hits."

The Football Association of Wales said it was "horrified". Secretary General David Collins said: "People may say it was meant as a joke and we're being fuddy-duddies. But we don't see it like that." It's less the phrase "fuddy-duddies" and more the phrase "well, what did you expect?" that springs to mind, to be honest.

Anyway, GLC have given their response. And here it is. How's that for reportage? "The Beckhams should be honoured that we dedicated our performance to them as an act of friendship and respect, in what could have been in 'sporting terms' a political hotbed. We are currently thinking of dedicating our next single to Geri Halliwell, we hope that this will not cause an equally unexpected and misconstrued outcry".

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