CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 16th December

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- It's The End Of The Year As We Know It
- British Academy ask to intervene on UK copyright tribunal
- MMF support Alliance too
- Labels accuse Kazaa bosses of contempt
- Original Busted member sues over song royalties
- Clear Channel confirm music spin off plans
- Interesting new night launches for unsigned community
- Hard-Fi release world's first music video sequel on 3
- Neil Young to give SXSW keynote
- Oasis set to headline in Bangkok
- Billy Bragg announces tour
- Streets tour dates
- Fairytale Of New York best Christmas song no brainer
- New DVD to document legendary dance tour
- Playlouder enter new deal to enable music ISP plans to proceed
- GCap promote GWR sales boss to group commercial director
- Sony/ATV enter new publishing co-venture
- Sony Corp boss may have stronger hand in deciding Lack's future
- Rolling Stone rafters woman won't face charges
- Iggy Pop plays way too loud
- Sugababe to quit?
- New Order on soundtrack for Curtis film
- Owen mocks Curtis, apparently
- Robbie Williams is Maximo Park fan
- Even more Take That stadium dates
- Papa Roach plan mansion album
- Britney hires Madonna's people


Now, here's something scary. There are just three more editions of the CMU Daily before Christmas. This is partly because we are all buggering off early (21 Dec), but also because the year that's been known as 2005 is nearly at an end. With that in mind, CMU has been busy chatting to the artists behind ten of our favourite albums of the year. You can find out why we liked those albums here in the Daily, and then read the full interviews on our website. And then, of course, you guys have been busy voting for your favourite track of the year. You can still vote on that, meantime check out how people have been voting here in the Daily.


FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2005 #8: McFly - Wonderland (Universal/Island)
Despite what some people might tell you, music doesn't have to be bad to be popular. Some popular music is bad, granted, but then lots of unpopular music isn't great either, and some of the greatest music ever made was aimed at and embraced by the mainstream. For genuine music fans frustrated with the chart dominance of the pop machine built by the big commercial players in the nineties, I can see why it is tempting to write off anything that is created and marketed using their approach. But to automatically do so would be a mistake, and no more so than with McFly. I ranted at length about this when I reviewed the band's Wembley gig back in October, but I say it again: Prestige Management and Island Records shouldn't be criticised for using the pop machine to create the McFly phenomenon, they should be congratulated for providing the teen pop market, so often dominated by formulaic nonsense, with some damn fine guitar filled pop music. Through McFly, the next generation of music fans are buying a musical product that relies not on fashion, fixtures and dance moves, but on good songwriting and good guitar playing. What's more, because of the band's genuine passion for rock 'n' roll heritage, their teenage fans are discovering some of the greatest rock and pop bands of all time. For me this is one of the most exciting developments in the music industry in the last eighteen months. But it is not the reason why we are listing McFly's second album as one of our favourites of 2005. We're doing that because it really is one of our favourite long players of the year. 'Wonderland' is a great pop album, taking in a refreshingly eclectic range of pop styles and influences, and demonstrating that McFly are maturing nicely as both performers and songwriters. If anything the latter more so - because it is the songs that make 'Wonderland' something special. Yes, the recordings are produced with a pop audience in mind, but the songs aren't written that way and, given an edgier finish, several could easily fit within the sets of any of the indie establishment. Which is why it would be a mistake to ignore these guys. Seemingly in it for the long haul, McFly are some of the great British pop creators of the moment. So if you haven't been enjoying 'Wonderland' this year, I suspect you might be rediscovering it sometime in the future. And hurrah to that.

Read our interview with McFly here:



Pendulum - Slam / Voodoo People Remix
"At the start of 2005 I could be heard pontificating that Drum & Bass sorely needed a credible producer to emerge with a couple of massive chart hits to re-invigorate the scene - for DJs, producers, promoters & punters alike - and to generally give things a good kick up the arse. Pendulum provided all of this, emerging after a remarkably short gestation period as fresh, exciting dnb warriors for the digital age. Their singles 'Slam' and their Prodigy 'Voodoo People' remix (you choose the better one, I can't) succeeded in achieving where all, including Mr Size, have previously failed: playlisted daytime radio airplay. Trigger: these 2 choons being dropped everywhere from the cheesiest student night to the most credible clubs in the country; audiences for DnB doubling across the country overnight; other producers having to raise their game immeasurably...and did you see the video for Slam? First Class. So Pendulum - kinda like the DnB equivalent of Tiger Woods then."
Voted for by: Mike Eccleshall, Warwick Students' Union

Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone (SonyBMG)
"Need I expand on this? TUUUUUUUUNE! (And yes, I do work for a metal label)"
Voted for by: Danielle Sammeroff, Roadrunner Records UK

M.A.N.D.Y. vs Booka Shade: Body Language (Get Physical Music)
"Voted the Ibiza DJs track of the summer, and most definitely my track of the year, this minimal beast redefined house music while causing glorious chaos from the bowels of Fabric to DC10's sun-soaked terrace. And unlike most overblown summer anthems it still sounds fresh, thanks to an ageless, irresistible bass hook and airtight production".
Voted for by: Cila Warncke,

Vote for your track of the year - send the name of your favourite track, a few words on why, and your name and company to



CHRIS' CLUB TIP: Remix Night at Cargo
Christmas Remix Night is always huge, and tonight's bash should be another special one. On stage will be Hyper, aka Guy Hatfield, a man who very much lives by the Remix philosophy that dance music should rock. With his debut album 'We Control' due in the Spring, this is a great chance to find out what the buzz around Hyper is all about. Then you have those must see CMU favourites, the truly wonderful The Loose Cannons, who will be playing live and taking to the decks - hurrah! Talking of the decks, Dub Pistols main man Barry Ashworth will DJing alongside your Remix host Eddy TM. All in all a must go night.

Friday 16 Dec, Cargo, Rivington Street, London, EC2A, 7pm - 3am, £8 before 9pm, £10 after. Press info from Leyline.

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Co-op is Five at Cargo
And yet another Cargo night, but their music policy simply kicks ass. This one is a Co-op night - can it really be a fifth bday?? Cripes how time flies. Originally based at the now defunct Velvet rooms on the Charing Cross Road, the Co-op club night has moved about and now lives in Shoreditch's Plastic People - a fitting venue much like the original. But on turning five they need some more room so have shifted shop. Futurejazzbrokenbeatz is the name of the game - some of it, I reckon, is the bastard son of house, but most hacks prefer the West london Soul description - and it does flit between the two. A who's who of the genre are down there, with front runners Likwid Biskit doing a live jam session, and then a stellar cast of DJs including Marc Mac (mild mannered 4hero star), IG Culture( New Sector), Orin Waters (Afronaught), Phil Asher (Fingers in many pies!!), Domu (Dom Stanton churning out loadsa quality), Daz I Kue and one of my faves Paul 'Seiji' Dolby, who will be rinsing out the busted beats. An absolute christmas cracker, but get there early or book online. Bit steep but worth it...

Sunday 18 Dec, Cargo, London Rivington Street, London. EC2A, 6pm - midnight, £10 adv, £12 door. Press info Sahra at Goya Music or

Think your club is good enough to take the tip?? Then email, but please include the date of your club event in the header!


It's like my mother always says, if you're going to have a tribunal, make sure everyone's invited. The British Academy of Composers & Songwriters aren't, however, invited to the pending UK music copyright tribunal, but they want in.

As previously reported, the BPI and various download platforms have taken the main British publishing royalties body, the MCPS-PRS Alliance, to tribunal after the two parties failed to reach agreement on what share of digital music sales should go to the songwriters and publishers. The BPI claims that moves by the Alliance to push up their share is both unfair and unworkable, especially given the major investment the record labels have had to make to convert their catalogues into appropriate digital formats.

But the Alliance disagree, and BACS yesterday came out in support of the royalties body, requesting the opportunity to 'intervene' in the tribunal in order to formally support the publishing sector's demands at the legal hearing.

BACS chair David Ferguson told reporters: "It is vital that music writers have their voice heard and the Academy is the only organisation within the United Kingdom which fully represents composers and songwriters. The downward pressure on the value of music writing is becoming more and more intense and by launching this complaint the BPI is aiding the users of our work to devalue creativity. The Academy firmly supports the Music Alliance as the collection agency working on behalf of music writers to receive fair remuneration for their craft".

Those overseeing the Tribunal will now have to make a decision as to whether BACS should be allowed to intervene on this issue.


Although they haven't asked to attend the tribunal, the Music Managers' Forum yesterday also backed the MCPS-PRS Alliance in their bid to secure a bigger digital royalty payment for songwriters. Speaking at the trade body's AGM, Biglife Management co-founder and MMF Chairman Jazz Summers confirmed their support for the Alliance, adding that artists and songwriters needed to get a better deal generally for the music business to develop. He told the AGM: "2006 is shaping up to be a defining year for our industry, routes to market are wide open and opportunities abound. Yet this potential will be squandered if all parties do not listen to each others concerns. The Music Managers Forum, via the successful Know More Campaign and its continued involvement with the label/manager groups, will be pushing hard for changes in the way the managers and their artists are treated by some sectors."

Elsewhere at the MMF AGM, Jazz Summers and Gary McClarnan were re-elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively.


More pop court type news. Record label executives in Australia are claiming that the bosses of Kazaa company Sharman Networks were in contempt of court when they closed down access to their P2P software in Australia earlier this month.

As previously reported, Sharman took the measure in response to a court order that ruled they must introduce a filtering system that stops Kazaa users from sharing copyrighted music via their system. The filter would block any files containing certain words, as chosen by the record labels. But instead of introducing the filter, Kazaa simply closed down its Australian site and advised anyone in Australia with the P2P software on their PC not to use it.

The record labels argue this was a cynical move by Sharman. Despite the warning, existing Australian Kazaa users can and probably will carry on using the software, albeit at their own risk. So the only loss to Sharman is any potentially new subscribers who might have downloaded their software after 5 December. This is a relatively small number of people in the global picture, and the loss is a small price to pay in order to avoid having to limit the Kazaa service (by introducing the filter) for the companies existing subscriber base.

But Sharman argue that their action had the same result as what the court desired, so therefore they are not in contempt. In a statement issued this week they said: "What we did in lieu of implementing the filter was to take down the availability of this program in Australia completely. We say that that action involves obedience to the injunction and that is the issue on the contempt application."

An Australian judge wouldn't be drawn on the issue at a preliminary hearing yesterday. The labels have begun contempt proceedings which should go to court on 30 Jan.


Well, it looks likely that High Court judges may well be discussing 'What I Go To School For' in the New Year, as one of the original members of Busted takes legal action over claims he co-wrote some of the band's hits. Ki Fitzgerald was originally in the Busted line up, though he was obviously dropped before they had any of their chart success. But the singer, who now fronts his own band Eyes Wide Open, claims he co-wrote some of Busted's early songs, including 'What I Go To School For', 'Year 3000' and 'Psycho Girl', and that he was forced to waive his rights when he left the group. He is now suing for a cut of the royalties.

Music Week quote Fitzgerald as saying: "I guess it all kicked off when Busted ended. I wanted to fight it earlier, but I couldn't take it anymore I was so depressed. It has taken this much time to pluck up the courage. All I want is my name back on the songs. I just wished it could be settled without all this because we were once all best friends."

No comment from any of the former Busted boys on this. Personally I wish Matt Willis would make some kind of statement, just so we'd know for certain he's still alive.


Media and music conglomerate Clear Channel yesterday confirmed more information about its intentions to spin off its live entertainment business into a separate company.

As previously reported, Clear Channel announced its intent to create the new company for its live and music interests back in May. The new stand alone company will be called Live Nation, and will have its HQ in Beverly Hills. According to the Wall Street Journal, shares in the new company will be issued on 21 Dec, with each Clear Channel stockholder receiving one share in Live Nation for every eight shares they have in Clear Channel Communications. The new status and name change will apply to Clear Channel's entertainment businesses here in the UK too.

The launch of the new company will include a restructure, with the existing fourteen divisions in Clear Channel's live and music business reduced to just six. 400 jobs are likely to go worldwide, with certain US enterprises like music publishing and museum exhibitions being sold off completely.


An interesting new showcase night will 'pre-launch' with a Christmas party at The Luminaire in Kilburn on Monday night. Called 'Community', this new regular night aims to give bands registered with My Space or other similar online communities (hence the name) the opportunity to play live.

It works like this. Unsigned bands from My Space etc will be selected to play. They will then be encouraged to promote the night to their fanbase, and to relevant online communities. The band will then receive £1.50 for every ticket bought by one of their fans (the night's ticket site will be able to tell which band website a ticket buyer came from). Additionally, the line up of the night will be based by how many tickets each band has sold. And finally, the whole night will be recorded and available via podcast. On yes, and ticket holders will be able to submit music from unsigned bands which will be played between the main sets on the night, and will also appear in the podcast. Phew!

Monday night's edition, which will feature Walkpersonm, Dan Clews, Myles Lacey, Kendall and The Delta Vendetta, is something of a pilot run for what organisers hope will become a regular event. One of those organisers, Anna Webster, told CMU: "This night is a novel way of bringing bands from online communities together. Friends can meet the people they've been in contact with in forums and see lots of new music together. To a certain extent it's like a dating agency-without the cringe factor! All this and a free Podcast so the audience have the gig with them forever and so that the band can get their music out there."

Tickets for Monday night are £5 in advance from, £6 on the door. Press info from


What, with that multiple live track download promotion already up and running, and now this, that Hard-Fi are very busy with digital music type shenanigans. This is an interesting one. If you've seen the video to new Hard-Fi single 'Cash Machine' (out on 26 Dec) and you've been wondering what happens next (OK, it's unlikely, but bear with me), then you can find out by downloading a second 'Cash Machine' video. Well, you can if you are a 3 customer, because the download is exclusively available to that network.

The band's told Steve Kemp CMU: "I think we're the first band to make a video especially for mobiles. We always like to do different things - and lots of people these days are using their phones as their main music player - so it seemed like a great idea to make something specifically for the phone. There's an X-rated version of the mobile video too - so you should check it out!"

The first part of the video shows what happens to a ten pound note inside a 'cash machine'. The second part follows the ten pound note once it has been drawn out by Archer - a jouney which includes being lost, stolen and stuffed into a stripper's knicker elastic (presumably that's the x-rated bit).

On the project, 3 marketing chief Greame Oxby added: "We were delighted to help Hard Fi make better use of the mobile medium by giving them tips on how to film and produce something for the smallest screen".

Don't forget you can read our interview with Hard-Fi right now in our favourite albums of the year feature type thing -


Organisers of the South By Southwest festival have confirmed that Neil Young will be providing the keynote speech at next year's event. The talk, on 16 Mar, will be presided over by film director Jonathan Demme whose film 'Neil Young - Heart of Gold' will also be screened at SXSW.


Oasis are to headline at the Bangkok 100 Festival in the New Year. Other acts confirmed to be appearing at the event, which takes place in the Thai capital on 18 and 19 Feb, include Franz Ferdinand, Ian Brown and Maximo Park. Tickets go on sale on for the festival tomorrow, from, should you be one of those forward-planning, organised, taking in a music festival whilst on a jaunt to Southeast Asia types.


Billy Bragg will tour next year with a series of special concerts, supported by UK campaign groups Unite Against Fascism, Love Music Hate Racism, The Left Field and Searchlight, as well as unions Amicus, GMB, RMT, T&G and Unison. Bragg is joined on the tour, entitled 'Hope Not Hate', by Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan and Mercury nominated Seth Lakeman.

On his supporters he said: "In my home town, Barking, we've organised and begun to turn the tide on the BNP. It couldn't have been done without the support of the unions. If you want to know what trade unions are all about, it's not just what happens in the workplace, it's about building communities - communities where people can live side by side in peace and prosperity. That's why I'm so pleased that Amicus, the GMB, Unison and the RMT are supporting this tour and helping us take the 'Hope Not Hate' message out on the road."

Dates are as follows:

25 Apr: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
24 Apr: Sheffield City Hall
25 Apr: Bradford University
26 Apr: Liverpool Carling Academy
28 Apr: Manchester Bridgewater Hall
29 Apr: Gateshead The Sage
30 Apr: Cardiff St David's Hall
1 May: Barking Broadway
4 May: Leicester De Montfort Hall
5 May: Isle Of Man Douglas Villa Marina
7 May: Edinburgh Usher Hall
31 May: Exeter Lemon Grove
3 Jun: Dublin Vicar Street


More tour dates, this time it's The Streets. Mike Skinner will play four dates in February next year. Here's where you can catch him:

15 Feb: Norwich UEA
16 Feb: Sheffield Leadmill
17 Feb: Bath Pavilion
18 Feb: London Astoria


The viewers of VH1 have voted 'Fairytale Of New York' as their favourite Christmas song for the second year running. I hope this poll has only been running two years, because surely, the Pogues track
has been the best Christmas song in the world ever since it's initial release in 1987?

Anyway, if those viewers got number one bang on, they failed in other areas, as two Cliff Richard songs made it in there ('Mistletoe And Wine' is rubbish) as did Wham's 'Last Christmas' (only 'Christmassy' because it contains the word 'Christmas'). However, the truly truly Christmas classics - Slade's 'Merry Christmas' and Wizzard's 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day' did okay - and so did Mariah's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You'.

The Darkness should also take heart; those Kerrang! types may hate them, but those VH1 types like their Christmas tune.

Here's how the top ten list goes:

1. The Pogues/ Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
2. Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You
3. Wham! - Last Christmas
4. Cliff Richard - Mistletoe and Wine
5. Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
6. Wizzard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
7. The Darkness - Christmas Time
8. Cliff Richard - Saviour's Day
9. Band Aid - Do They Know it's Christmas
10. Mud - Lonely This Christmas


System Recordings have confirmed they will release a new DVD package next February documenting Sasha and John Digweed's massive 2002 Delta Heavy tour of the USA - a tour attended by over 85,000 people and named Best Event at DanceStar USA 2003. Produced and directed by Ben Turner, a long standing champion of electronic music the world over and an executive producer for Sasha and Digweed, the DVD package will provide a real insight into an important event in the growth of the European dance music phenomenon in the US.

On the DVD, which will be released on 7 Feb, John Digweed told CMU: "This DVD takes you from the middle of the dancefloor to backstage and into the world of Sasha and myself on a nine-
week DJ tour across America on a scale that had not been done before and has not been recreated since - this really captures every aspect of a DJ's life and then some!"

More info at, press info from


PlayLouder have announced a possible new deal with web company Tiscali which will get their previously reported music ISP package back on the road. The idea behind PlayLouder MSP is to offer music fans a combined internet and digital music package, including access to a label sanctioned P2P network. Plans for the service were postponed earlier this year when PlayLouder's partnership with broadband supplier Bulldog came to a sudden end. The new deal means Tiscali will take over the internet service provision part of the package.

Announcing the new partnership, PlayLouder MSP boss Paul Hitchman told reporters: "Today's deal with Tiscali gives us the national reach and resilience we need to provide the ultimate broadband music experience to our customers".


GCap has appointed Duncan George, formerly the boss of GWR's sales operation Opus, as the merged radio group's Commercial Director. George became MD for national sales after the merger, and the new promotion will put him in charge of all of the group's national and London commercial revenue streams. Although GCap boss Ralph Bernard denies it, the promotion of George will be taken by many former Capital employees as another sign that the merger was basically a GWR takeover.


Sony/ATV Music Publishing has entered into a partnership with Neale Easterby and Richard Ramsey of Empire Management (managers of the Bedingfields, among others) to launch a new publishing company to be known as Empire Artist Music Limited. The new company will look to source "new and exciting songwriting talent" whose work will be managed by Empire in the UK, and with Sony/ATV globally.

Confirming the new venture, Sony/ATV UK boss Rak Sanghvi told CMU: "I have been a great admirer of Neale and Richard for a long time and when this opportunity to work together came along I jumped at the chance. They have proved themselves to be an internationally successful management team with a fantastic understanding of music and musicians and I'm very excited about what we can achieve together."


According to HitsDailyDouble, Sony Corp Howard Stringer is in a slightly more powerful position regarding the future of SonyBMG boss Andy Lack than some had thought. Specifics of the Sony/BMG merger deal means that Stringer has the sole authority to appoint the SonyBMG CEO until 2009. What's more, BMG execs won't be in a position to fire Lack until next August - his contract is up for renewal in March.

That said, contract specifics aside, Stringer might want to make a move quicker in order to end those previously reported tensions in the SonyBMG board room, where former BMG execs reportedly want Lack out of the top job. It may be, though, that Stringer is waiting to see what happens after former BMG exec and SonyBMG COO Michael Smellie leaves the merged major at the end of the month. It was Smellie's decision to quit that provided the initial catalyst for the fall out between top level Sony and BMG executives.


That woman who fell from the ceiling at a Rolling Stones concert back in August will not face public disturbance charges. As previously reported, Claire O' Leary climbed into the rafters at the Stones gig at the Fenway Park Stadium, got stuck, then ended up falling thirty five feet onto the seats below, breaking both ankles and one of her wrists. The police were planning to charge her with 'disturbing a public assembly', but suspended the charges due to the severity of O'Leary's injuries. Now a magistrate at a court in Boston has declined to issue the charge in a hearing held to determine if it was warranted.

Ms O'Leary, aged 20, could not walk for three months following the incident. Clerk magistrate Mark Colcannon says: "Based on her medical record, she may never be able to run again. She still walks very slowly and with a noticeable limp."


Iggy Pop played much too loud at a festival in Switzerland in the summer, reaching a decibel level of 102.5 and incurring the displeasure of local authorities. The Stooges frontman was appearing at the Blue Balls Festival in July, where Lucerne authorities had set acceptable noise levels for the event at 100 decibels, in itself an exception to the rule, seven decibels higher than normally permitted for such events. The festival's producers now face a fine of 1,500 swiss francs for letting Pop get too noisy. Which, in the grand scheme of things, is not a huge amount of money. So perhaps it was worth it.


According to The Sun, Mutya Buena is close to quitting Sugababes. In the last month the singer has pulled out of a lot of public appearances, and the official line is that she hasn't been well, but 'friends' say that in fact she's having a hard time juggling her new role as a mother with her band commitments.

The Sun's source says: "Mutya has told the girls she is leaving the band. It has been tough for her since she had her baby daugher Tai earlier this year. The constant touring and recording schedules have just become too much and she feels it's time to call it a day. Her label have told her she has to stay but her mind is made up. They will try to wheel her out to show the band are still together but it will all be official soon."


New Order are currently working on songs for the soundtrack of the new biopic of their former bandmate, the late Ian Curtis. The film, 'Control' is based on a book by Curtis' widow Deborah, and has been in the planning stage for years. New Order's Peter Hook told NME: "We were asked to do the soundtrack to the film which I thought was a fucking great idea, for Joy Division to do the music for a Joy Division film because we've never really done a soundtrack before. The soundtrack could include new stuff. Basically Anton wants to use certain songs by Joy Division so that each song becomes a video. Like the way the 'Atmosphere' video was filmed, he wants to write videos that appear in the film. Every time we get accolades for Joy Division it makes it sadder, especially with the film. Working on the film has made the whole thing seem more poignant."

It's twenty five years since Curtis committed suicide, and in tribute New Order have been playing Joy Division songs in their gigs all year, with last month's tribute set to John Peel being comprised almost entirely of Joy Division tracks. Hook says the band are considering doing a full Joy Division set at some point, saying: "We have actually talked about doing Joy Division sets and gigs but we haven't actually found our footing yet. We did the festivals and had a bit of time off but because we've played two gigs recently and had the whole UK Hall Of Fame thing we haven't really decided what we're gonna do next. If we deem it to be enjoyable then we'll do it."

A full cast for the film is not yet confirmed, although Samantha Morton is said to be set to play Deborah Curtis. Speculation meanwhile seems to be concluding that a 'young Irish actor', rumoured to be Cillian Murphy, but definitely not Colin Farrell, may well snag the role of Curtis.


Talking of Ian Curtis, The Sun reports that Mark Owen has upset fans at a recent gig by making a graphic reference to the late singer's death by hanging. According to the tabloid, Owen sang classic Joy Division track 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', and at the end pulled his tie up and put his head on one side with his tongue hanging out.

A fan told The Sun "People were shocked. It seemed sick." Another fan said: "It was heinous. He was even dressed like Ian Curtis with his tight shirt. He did the hanging about five or ten seconds after finishing the song and said 'I've been wanting to do that for ages'."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Owen apparently says: "He would never mean to cause offence. He's a very well liked guy." But said spokesman didn't deny the incident. Which all seems very strange because, he's right when he says that Mark Owen is such a nice guy. What was he thinking?


In other Take That related news, Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith has apparently told Gigwise that Robbie Williams is a fan of his band. Smith said: "He came to see us in Los Angeles, and yes, he was entertained and then he came to see us on Jools Holland and came over and had a chat. He didn't have to do that, he seems to have a genuine liking for our music, so respect due, Mr Williams!"


And more from Take That, and wow, the former boy band have shifted 120,000 tickets in half an hour for the stadium bit of their comeback tour when they went on sale this morning. So promoters have added two extra dates - Sunday 18 Jun at City Of Manchester Stadium and Sunday 25 Jun at Wembley. Though I'd get in quick if you want to go, they'll probably be sold out any minute now too.


Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix says that he and his band plan to record their new album holed up in a mansion in Los Angeles. Shaddix says: "We're going to live together and just go crazy, monk-style. It was inspired by Led Zeppelin going and doing records in a castle and Red Hot Chili Peppers in the Houdini mansion up in the Hollywood Hills."

Shaddix also referred briefly to the likely influences of Papa Roach's new album, indicating that it's likely to be less 'nu-metal' than previous output. "I've been listening to a lot of records like AC/DC and Mötley Crüe," he said. "I'm a music whore, I mix it up."


Britney Spears has apparently employed some of Madonna's team of writers and producers after being impressed by their work on 'Confessions On A Dancefloor'. The pop princess hopes to reinvent herself with the help of writers Bloodshy and Avant and writer-producer Peer Astrom. According to The Sun she wants her next output to be "a cross between Madonna and Kylie with an electronic edge." Can't wait.

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