CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 25th November

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- French politicians call for legal action against rap stars
- Glitter will be charged on Saturday
- Walsh back on X-Factor, for now
- Fuller and Cowell close to settlement
- Australian courts set deadline for Kazaa filtering
- Wippit launch mix-your-own-ringtone service
- Babyshambles among the muso's favourites
- The Word does good at mag awards
- Women Of The Year awards
- BBC2 will be available online
- Radio 1 don't plan to play Peel tribute
- Key 103 fined over late night comments
- GWR director reveals capital plans
- Take That reunite for tour
- Williams to make a goose of himself
- Waters wants to reunite Pink Floyd again
- Geldof calls for fair trade again
- Non-famous Scottish band making pots of cash
- Franz Ferdinand play secret gig
- Futureheads record beside the seaside
- The Stands split up
- Simpson and Lachey split
- Elton John plans low key wedding
- Doherty and Moss to settle in US?
- Paul McCartney knows facts about own album shocker

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF 2005>>
You know how you love the CMU Daily and you really want to give something back? Yeah? Well, here's your chance, cos over the next few weeks were going to ask you all to help us out updating our membership records, label and PR directory and that kind of stuff. But this week something much more challenging. Yep, it's that time of year again when we ask you to look back at the music of the last 12 months and pick the one track that you think was the best. It can be a single release, an album track, a remix, a bootleg or even a cover version - as long as it was first released in 2005. Any music from any genre is eligible, except anything recorded by Westlife. We'll publish individual nominations each day of December and release an overall Top Ten just before Christmas.

TO VOTE just email the track you most rate from 2005, with short description as to why it is your favourite (about 50 words would be good) and your name/company/job title to 2005@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Chew The Fat! at The End
A great club night in one of London's best venues - yep the Chew The Fat! boys will once again be caning the The End's fantastic sound system. As always Fat! Records head honcho and all round nice guy Paul Arnold will be hitting it hard, while this time round CMU faves Aquasky will be dashing up from Bournemouth with beats galore and big hitter General Midi will also be taking the stops out. In room 2 Vadim and Pest from Ninja enter the pill box and let off a few dum dums with John Kennedy at this meticulously mental beatz and breakz nite.

Friday 25 Nov, Chew the Fat! at The End, 18 West Central Street, WC1A, 10pm-5am, £10, £6 (NUS), more at http://www.thefatclub.com, press info from anton@trailermedia.co.uk

CHRIS' CLUB TIP: Crossover at Ministry
For those of you out there with rather negative perceptions of everything the modern day Ministry Of Sound stands for, you might want to put your perceptions in a bag before you head out tonight, so you can leave them at the door. Ministry's new Switch night programme really is putting that legendary sound system to good use with an impressive range of DJs and artists that are pulling in a whole new crowd to the former superclub, which has to be a good thing. If you're only willing to believe what you see for yourself, you should go down there, and if you're going to pick one of the Switch regular nights to try out first, you should make it this one. We're biased of course, because it is hosted by Xfm's Eddy TM, but it really is a brilliant night where, as you'd expect, dance really rocks. Tonight the live acts include the truly mesmerising The Bays, who only ever perform live, and who provide a completely unique show every time they play. They are supported by the storming White Rose Movement, while Coburn will join Eddy on the decks in the main room, while Utah Saints, Go Home Productions and Andy Rourke (yes, he of The Smiths) will be DJing on the bar. Whether you want your perceptions changing, or just a damn good night out, give Crossover at Ministry a go.

Friday 25th Nov, Ministry Of Sound, 103 Gaunt Street, London, SE1, 10pm - 5am, £12, (£10 con / £6 NUS), more info at http://www.switch-club.co.uk, press info from Ministry IH.

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email all the info to vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with the date of your club event in the header.

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FRENCH POLITICIANS CALL FOR LEGAL ACTION AGAINST RAP STARS
200 French politicians have backed a petition from one of the country's MPs calling for legal action against seven rappers and bands which he claims have fuelled the recent riots that have taken place around the country. At the very least the MP wants the named artists' music banned from having airplay on French radio stations.

MP Francois Grosdidier told France-Info Radio that he was not surprised young people had taken part in rioting in key French cities after being exposed to music which, he claims, incites violence. He told the radio station: "When people hear this all day long and when these words swirl round in their heads, it is no surprise that they then see red as soon as they walk past policemen or simply people who are different from them."

Although the violence in urban France seems to have died down, Grosdidier submitted his petition to Justice Minister Pascal Clement signed by 153 members of the lower house of the French parliament, and 49 senators. Among the French artists accused of incitement to violence on the petition are Monsieur R, Smala, Fabe and Salif and bands Ministere Amer, 113 and Lunatic. The French Justice Department said yesterday it cannot comment on the petition as yet.

Monsieur R, real name Richard Makela, is perhaps the most high profile of the artists listed, not least because he already faces a separate lawsuit launched by another conservative MP over claims his song 'FranSSe' is an "outrage to social decency". Asked about the latest attempt to ban his music, the rapper told LCI television this week: "Hip hop is a crude art, so we use crude words. It is not a call to violence."

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GLITTER WILL BE CHARGED ON SATURDAY
Reuters report that Gary Glitter is to be charged on Saturday, according to an official in Vung Tau, the glam rocker's adopted home town where he is currently being held by police. The official in question says that Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, "will be charged with engaging in 'perverse activities with children'".

The authorities also indicated that they are not unwilling to grant police requests to detain Gadd for another four months whilst they continue their investigations, although the official spokesman then added: "However, we are seriously considering allowing him bail because there is no way he can withstand conditions in the detention centre for that period." He went on to explain conditions at the detention centre where Gadd is being held, describing how detainees sleep on concrete floors, and how there is a shortage of water for washing.

As previously reported, the former singer has been accused of having sex with two underage girls at his home. Further details have not being forthcoming via official sources but state-owned media reported earlier in the week that police had identified up to ten girls who all admitted having sex with Glitter. Glitter, of course, denies the charges, whilst his newly appointed lawyer, Le Thanh Kinh, says: "What newspapers reported is just hearsay but there has not been any medical certificates to prove there was child sex abuse and how it was conducted."

According to Reuters, Glitter insists he was simply helping the girls with their English. If this is the case, then the former glam-rocker is at the very least guilty of foolishness. After being sentenced to four months in a UK prison for possession of child pornography, and being barred from entering Cambodia, one might think the sensible thing to do would be to avoid associating with underage girls on a one to one basis entirely.

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WALSH BACK ON X-FACTOR, FOR NOW
Well, was it a publicity stunt or a genuine hissy fit? Either way, the Mirror reports that Louis Walsh will be back on the X-Factor this weekend, despite quitting the show earlier this week. However, Walsh says he will not take part in a third series of the show, and the tabloid says that Simon Cowell, as producer of the programme, has agreed to allow him out of a contractual obligation to take part in a third series.

The Mirror quotes one of those sources as saying: "Louis's decision to walk out threw everyone into a state of panic and the show's bosses were holding crisis talks to work out ways to persuade him to return. Both Louis and Sharon Osbourne have contractual agreements to appear in next year's series, if there is one, but Simon agreed to release him. Simon begged Louis not to quit because he didn't want it to have a negative impact on the show. It has also been pointed out to Louis that he would be in breach of contract if he just doesn't bother to turn up."

As previously reported, Walsh claimed he was quitting the show because of the number of insults his fellow judges had starting hurling his way. It all became too much when Sharon Osbourne threw three glasses of water over him during one show, and when Cowell told journalists he was an "idiot".

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FULLER AND COWELL CLOSE TO SETTLEMENT
Elsewhere in the world of pop-reality-fall-outs, according to Broadcast, pop moguls Simon Fuller and Simon Cowell are close to reaching an out of court deal over the Pop Idol / X Factor copyright dispute. As previously reported, Fuller's company 19 TV is suing Cowell's company Syco over allegations that the Pop Idol judge ripped off the Pop Idol producer by stealing his ideas and repackaging them as X-Factor. The case was due to go to court this week, but was postponed when lawyers on both sides said they were close to reaching a deal. That deal, according to the trade magazine, would see the two Simon's getting a cut of each other's formats. 19TV would get 20% of any profits made by X Factor, while Cowell's company would get 30-40% of any future profits made on American Idol (presumably in addition to the $15 million he reportedly receives for every episode and all the royalty cash he receives from those American Idol / Pop Idol releases - like the millions he must be earning of Michelle McManus' releases).

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AUSTRALIAN COURTS SET DEADLINE FOR KAZAA FILTERING
More from the lovely pop courts, this time the Sydney branch, where judges have ordered P2P company Kazaa to have a copyright filter in place by 5 Dec or shut down its system.

As previously reported, Kazaa owners Sharman Networks were first told they must adapt their software so that it filters out copyrighted music when, back in September, the Australian courts ruled that they were guilty of copyright violation for allowing their subscribers to use its software to illegally share music.

With Sharman currently going through the motions of appealing that ruling, no such filter has as yet appeared on the Kazaa network, hence the newly imposed deadline. The Australian courts have more power over the P2P company than most because they have their main administrative offices in the country, although they are actually registered in the Pacific island state of Vanuatu.

Sharman are yet to comment on the new demands, but John Kennedy of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry welcomed the move, telling reporters: "It's time for services like Kazaa to move on - to filter, go legal or make way for others who are trying to build a digital music business the correct and legal way".

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WIPPIT LAUNCH MIX-YOUR-OWN-RINGTONE SERVICE
Independent download people Wippit have launched a new service which lets you go online, edit music files, create a realtone ringtone from it, and then send it to your mobile. You can create, download and use your ringtone for just 99 pence.

Wippit boss Paul Myers told CMU: "Wippit began offering monophonic ringtones in 2001 alongside MP3 files on our P2P service and we were the first and only service to offer to offer this level of PC and mobile convergence. Now we're first to offer an online music editor giving our customers the chance to make their own ringtone online, securely and legally and let everyone in the bus queue know what their favourite is."

Among the record labels making their music available for the editable ringtones service are Cooking Vinyl, Cherry Red and Craze with artists as diverse as Aaliyah, Alien Sex Fiend and Hanson.

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BABYSHAMBLES AMONG THE MUSO'S FAVOURITES
Arctic Monkeys and Babyshambles are among the artists most rated by other artists, according to this year's Muso Awards, held in London on Wednesday night. New band Arctic Monkeys were named Best New Act while Pete Doherty's band won the Music Writer's prize at the annual awards event based exclusively on the votes of other musicians.

The full list of winners run thus:

Best Album - Razorlight 'Up All Night'
Best Band - The Futureheads
Best Single - Graham Coxon 'Freaking Out'
Best Female Vocal - Alison Goldfrapp
Lead guitar - Barry Hyde from The Futureheads
Songwriter Award - Damon Albarn (Gorrilaz)
Best Live Act - Kaiser Chiefs
Best New Act - Arctic Monkeys
Best International Act - The Strokes
Best Gig - Pink Floyd (Live 8)
Best Male Vocal - Gaz Coombes (Supergrass)
Best Drummer - Andy Burrows (Razorlight)
Bassist - Mani (Primal Scream)
Keyboard - Martin Duffy (Primal Scream / Oasis)
Muso's Muso - Primal Scream
Music Writer's Award - Babyshambles

Talking of those in the know voting for their favourite music - this is surely the ideal time for you to vote in CMU's annual 'track of the year' poll. Just pick your favourite track of 2005 (it can be a single release, album track, remix, bootleg, whatever) and email it with a approx 50 word description as to why it is your favourite, plus your name, company and job title to 2005@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk. We'll start publishing individuals' votes during December, and will reveal the overall chart just before Christmas.

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THE WORD DOES GOOD AT MAG AWARDS
More awards news. The British Society Of Magazine Editors staged its annual awards this week, with Mark Ellen, the editor of The Word magazine, winning the top prize - the Editors' Editor Award. The award was in recognition of his 25 years in the industry working on titles like Q, Empire, Heat and Mojo, as well as the independently owned The Word.

Collecting his award, Ellen said: "The six of us at [The Word publisher] Development Hell have been lucky enough to have had some success in the past when we worked for Emap and to have picked up the odd award as well, but I simply can't tell you how it feels to win when you're out in the publishing world on your own. The Word went into profit in the summer and we bought Mixmag last week so, at last, our little empire is flying. And this award is the cherry on a cake that currently appears to be made almost entirely out of cherries."

The full list of winners from the awards look not altogether unlike this:

Editors' Editor Of The Year: Mark Ellen, The Word (Development Hell)

Editors Of The Year:
Business Magazines (Non-Weekly): Matthew Gwyther, Management Today (Haymarket)
Business Magazines (Weekly): Phil Johnson, Pulse (CMPI)
Entertainment Magazines: Conor McNicholas, NME (IPC)
Contract Magazines (Business Readership): Tim Hulse, Business Life (Cedar)
Contract Magazines (Consumer Readership): William Sitwell, Waitrose Food Illustrated (John Brown)
Current Affairs Magazines: Bill Emmott, The Economist
Lifestyle Magazines: Sarah Miller, Conde Nast Traveller (Conde Nast)
Men's Magazines: Adam Mattera, Attitude (Remnant)
Newspaper Magazines: Judy Mcguire, News Of The World's Sunday Magazine (News International) Special Interest Magazines: Michael Harvey, Top Gear (BBC Magazines)
Women's Magazines (Non-Weekly): Trish Halpin, Red (Hachette)
Women's Magazines (Weekly): Jane Johnson, Closer (Emap)
Youth & Children's Magazines, Comics Or Fanzines: Lisa Smosarski, Bliss (Emap)

Launch Of The Year: June Smith-Sheppard, Pick Me Up (IPC)
Magazine Website Of The Year: Damian Carrington, Newscientist.Com (RBI)
Innovation Of The Year: Colin Kennedy, Empire (Emap)
Brand Building Initiative Of The Year: Marcus Fairs, Icon (Media 10)
Fiona Macpherson New Editor Of The Year: Annabel Brog, Sugar

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WOMEN OF THE YEAR AWARDS
What, more awards? Surely not. The 2005 Women Of The Year Awards For The Music Industry And Related Media took place in London yesterday. As award events go, WOTYAFTMIARM hasn't got the catchiest title, but its all in aid of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity so we shouldn't knock it.

Among the winners this year were Deby Fairley of EMI Records, Caroline Ellery of BMG, Tina Waters of The Tour Company and Janet Fraser-Crook who, among other things, was co-creator of Later With Jools Holland, as well as the producer of a stack of big live shows, including the Glastonbury Pyramid Stage since 1997. Well done one and all.

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BBC2 WILL BE AVAILABLE ONLINE
BBC 2 will be available via the good old internet from next year as part of the Beeb's experiments in making its content available via new media platforms. BBC 2 will be the first of the Corporations TV services to be webcast. BBC 2 controller Roly Keating told a media conference this week: "We will start at the website - upgrade that and move it in to broadband. We want to have as full a service as possible."

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RADIO 1 DON'T PLAN TO PLAY PEEL TRIBUTE
Elsewhere in the Beeb, and a possible controversy in the making following the news that Radio 1 isn't going to playlist that track being released in tribute to the late great John Peel. As previously reported, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, and Elton John are among the artists who have participated in a new version of The Buzzcocks' 'Ever Fallen In Love' that aims to pay tribute to Peel, and raise money for one of the charities he supported, Amnesty International. But Radio 1 bosses have reportedly said the charity cover doesn't fit in with their music policy so won't be played by the station.

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KEY 103 FINED OVER LATE NIGHT COMMENTS
Talking of radio things, Manchester's Key 103 has been fined £125,000 for allowing presenter James Stannage to make racist comments and to joke about murdered hostage Ken Bigley. The offending comments were made during four separate editions of the station's late night phone in show in October and November of last year. The fine is the highest ever imposed by OfCom, based on the fact that the station allowed the comments to be made despite a previous fine relating to comments Stannage made after the death of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay.

Key 103 accepted the fine and made no attempts to defend themselves or Stannage, who they fired earlier this year. Key 103 MD Gus McKenzie told reporters: "We completely accept the Ofcom finding and have apologised wholeheartedly. James Stannage no longer works at the station, his contract having been terminated earlier this year."

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GWR DIRECTOR REVEALS CAPITAL PLANS
For all its sins, I'm not sure that what Capital Radio needs to do is adopt the one-size-fits-all model used by all those dreadful (but, of course, commercially successful) GWR local stations. But with the former GWR management now well and truly in control at the merged GCap, that may well happen.

To be fair, former GWR and now GCap operations chief Steve Orchard is right when he says that Capital bosses failed to respond quick enough in reinventing their flagship station as rivals like Heart, Kiss and Magic competed for some of their traditional audience, instead continuing with a format that was still too "cheesy" and promotion filled. And perhaps Capital bosses were wrong when, having finally decided to take some action, they decided to launch new programmes aimed more at the "blokey" audience rather than the female demographic, though, arguably, by that point Heart and Magic had already won over that audience, and a strategy concentrating on the male listener had its merits. Either way, the former GWR top guard, now in control of London's former number one, have some ambitious plans for the station. Which might be good news, if they weren't behind some of the most mediocre programming out there in regional radio land.

Quite what the January relaunch of Capital will bring remains to be seen, but that nineties mantra of 'less-talk-more-music' seems to be back in fashion. Johnny Vaughan's breakfast show is probably safe, even though his show is very much part of the "bloke-radio" strategy that the GWR directors are dismissing. However, because of his contract, kicking out Vaughan would cost the station millions, and GCap are unlikely to want to foot that bill when the whole point of the revamp is to keep share holders happy. That said, some expect the station to control the breakfast show more tightly, cutting short Vaughan's longer rants on the microphone.

Richard Bacon's recently launched drive time show might be a victim of the revamp, however - if only because when the Guardian spoke to Bacon's agent she was very non-committal stressing that her client was busy "considering a number of career options" at the moment. The Guardian also reckon daytime hosts Neil Bentley and James Cannon might also be out as part of the revamp.

Music wise, the kind of tracks played are likely to stay the same, though there will be more of them in each hour of output. Orchard has said that DJs will be given a number of freeplay tracks in order to increase "risk and passion", which is nice to hear, but we'll withhold judgment on what the future holds for Capital until we can hear it for ourselves. The GWR top team know the radio business inside out and if they can't turn round the station's commercial fortunes no one can. But whether they'll create a decent radio station in doing so remains to be seen.

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TAKE THAT REUNITE FOR TOUR
This just in. We'd all been on the edge of our seats here at the CMU office this morning, as four former members of Take That yesterday promised that a "very exciting announcement" would be forthcoming today.

And that special announcement is that the band - Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Jason Orange, obviously, not Robbie Williams - as widely predicted, have agreed to get back together for one last tour. As previously reported (twice, actually), the band members have reportedly been offered a million quid each to do the tour, and Gary Barlow indicated last week that he and his fellow former bandmates (but not Robbie, of course) were not particularly averse to the idea.

Tickets for the shows go on sale on at 9am on 2 Dec, so set yourself a reminder.

24 Apr: Newcastle Arena
27 - 28 Apr: Birmingham NEC
30 Apr: Glasgow SECC
2 May: Sheffield Arena
5 - 6 May Manchester MEN Arena
8- 9 May London Wembley Arena
12 May: Dublin Point
14 May: Belfast Odyssey

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WILLIAMS TO MAKE A GOOSE OF HIMSELF
Could it be that the real reason Robbie Williams doesn't want to take part in a Take That reunion is because he'd rather appear in a genuine pantomime? Well, he's all set to make a guest appearance in one, in his home town of Stoke-On-Trent, although he won't be pitching up every night to do his bit. Williams will apparently feature in a scene on video in the pantomime, a production of Mother Goose starring the pop singer's best mate Jonathan Wilkes

According to the Mirror, Wilkes says Williams begged for the chance to be in it. He explained: "As soon as Robbie knew I was doing panto, he didn't like the fact that he wasn't."

He continued: "This is the first time you'll see Rob in panto. If that's not a reason to see it, I don't know what is. Robbie and I are both very proud of Stoke-on-Trent. We'll try to give a great show this Christmas."

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WATERS WANTS TO REUNITE PINK FLOYD AGAIN
Pink Floyd's Roger Waters has said he would like to reunite with his former Pink Floyd band mates again, following their performance at Live 8 in the summer. Waters told the BBC: "I'd be very up for doing a lot more. It [Live 8] was such fun. We went in and did some rehearsals, and the moment we plugged in for the first rehearsal, it was like putting on an old shoe."

You know what, though? I don't think anyone should hold their breath on this one.

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GELDOF CALLS FOR FAIR TRADE AGAIN
Bob Geldof has been in Rome accepting that previously reported Man Of Peace honour, awarded by former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev at the opening of this year's World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. In accepting the award he spoke of the need for fair trade, which must have gone down a treat with a crowd of Nobel peace prize winners. "Africa must be allowed to trade itself out of poverty," he said, describing the continent's situation as "not only intellectually absurd but also morally repulsive."

He also called on the European Union to take the initiative at World Trade Organisation talks in Hong Kong next month, saying "the EU must break the deadlock and as of today it has failed to do so. We live in a broken world which has never been healthier or wealthier, but some 500 kilometres south of here they die of want."

Previous recipients of this award include the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam, and Italian actor and director Roberto Benigni. On hearing that he was receiving the award, Geldof said last month that it was "more than an honour, it's almost ridiculous. It's almost too big, all the Nobel Peace Prize winners voting for you as their Man of Peace."

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NON-FAMOUS SCOTTISH BAND MAKING POTS OF CASH
Wee Scottish band Loopers aren't very well known, but are making lots of money because one of their instrumentals has been picked up by copying giants Xerox. Based in Glasgow, the band were formed originally by Stuart David, a founding ex-member of a slightly more famous Scottish group, Belle And Sebastian. Anyway, the tune that's made the band £500,000 in royalties thus far is called 'Mondo 77', previously appeared on the soundtrack of Tom Cruise remake Vanilla Sky, and is now the Xerox signature tune.

Stuart David said: "It started off in the Vanilla Sky film because Tom Cruise was a fan of the song and they were playing it on the set. After that I think Xerox picked it up from there. The four of us have been able to live on this song for the last five years."

The band are now working on an album which they intend to release as a free download. David continues: "Our main ideal is giving the songs away free to people. Because we can make money from the films and adverts that takes care of having to make money from it. We don't sell any records anymore."

He went on "I am pleased that Looper didn't take off in a big way - it's not good for you in the long run, I don't think. I can only think of two or three fans we've ever heard from off the back of the Xerox ad. It brings in enough money for us to have been able to treat it as being our job."

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FRANZ FERDINAND PLAY SECRET GIG
Franz Ferdinand are, as you'll know, on a great big arena tour, but on Wednesday they took time out to appear at a significantly smaller venue, the Glasgow Stereo, ahead of their gig at the city's SECC arena that evening. According to reports, the group were onstage for forty five minutes, playing an eight song set and thanking and naming a variety of their Glasgow friends and associates (Glasgow is where the band was formed, in case you've been asleep).

Franz Ferdinand's continue their tour this evening at Hull Ice Arena.

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FUTUREHEADS RECORD BESIDE THE SEASIDE
The Futureheads have begun recording their second album at a studio in the seaside town of Scarborough in Yorkshire. On the recording process, guitarist Ross Millard told NME.com: "What we needed to do is go back to the way we did our first album. We've acquired a year's worth of ideas - chord progressions and riffs - and now we've got seven weeks to put everything into effect. There's a lot of stuff to pick from so I think we'll be alright."

The band release a new EP, 'Area', on 28 Nov.

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THE STANDS SPLIT UP
The Stands frontman Howie Payne has decided to quit the group, which presumably means that the band are no more.

Writing on The Stands official website, Payne wrote "I thought I should be the one to break the news that after much thought I have decided to no longer continue with The Stands. It has been a wonderful few years or so but over the last months my heart has been slowly being drawn towards the idea of change and musical pastures new, there have been many changes leading to many reasons, recent times have been both creative and difficult in equal measure. I guess in order to seek clarity I want to now take the time to take some time to get some fresh air and move onto something new. We all thank each and every one of you all for all your support, taking the time to listen to our records and coming to see us play, it's been a pleasure, thank you so much to you all."

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SIMPSON AND LACHEY SPLIT
Another split, this time between a husband and wife. 'Newlyweds' Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey have finally admitted that they are to part, following weeks of speculation amongst the US tabloids and US bloggers. The no-longer-a-couple released a statement reported by Us Weekly which said "After three years of marriage, and careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways. This is the mutual decision of two people with an enormous amount of respect and admiration for each other. We hope that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."

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ELTON JOHN PLANS LOW KEY WEDDING
Elton John has been known to stage a few lavish celebrations in the past, but apparently his civil marriage to partner David Furnish is to be very low key. The couple are expected to marry on 21 Dec, the day that gay civil partnerships become legal. The singer is quoted by Attitude magazine as saying it would be "a very small family affair" but said it would still be "an incredibly emotional day".

He continued: "The ceremony itself will be David's parents and my parents and the two of us," he said. "They've been so fantastic to us and so supportive. Out of respect for their support, we want to just keep it small. Not to make a ballyhoo of the ceremony. There will be a party somewhere, but the day will be very low-key and we'll take our parents to lunch afterwards".

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DOHERTY AND MOSS TO SETTLE IN US?
According to The Sun, Pete Doherty and lady love Kate Moss are planning to live in America if and when Pete gets through his rehab (if he really is in rehab) in Arizona. A source said: "Pete has finally decided to ditch drugs for good - and it's all thanks to Kate. She laid down an ultimatum that she would only see him again if he got clean. They're madly in love but Kate knows if they stay around all their old pals it will be easy to slip back into old habits. So America is definitely an option for them."

In case you wondered, I think it's a bad idea. Surely he's just setting himself up to fall foul of those extreme drugs laws they have over there? No? Ah well, don't suppose my opinion matters. Not on this one anyway.

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PAUL MCCARTNEY KNOWS FACTS ABOUT OWN ALBUM SHOCKER
Paul McCartney caused a bit of a stir when he entered a phone-in quiz on LA radio station KLSX-FM recently. McCartney, on tour in the US at the moment, phoned in to answer a question about the cover art for his latest album release 'Chaos And Creation In The Backyard', making staff at the Californian station think he was a hoaxer.

It seems they believed him in the end, though, as he ended up giving an impromptu interview, as well as getting the quiz question right. His prize was a copy of Ringo Starr's new album which, reportedly, McCartney said he'd always wanted. And couldn't buy a copy of, clearly, because he's a bit hard up these days.

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