CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 27th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Bon Jovi promoters apologise about second date
- Sharkey calls on more UK councils to open rehearsal spaces
- Canadian management firm support anti-RIAA defence
- British courts rule in favour of BPI in P2P cases
- Yahoo UK add audio search
- Creative in profit
- Sony review figures into profit
- Album review: The Lights - Grand Union
- Kandi Heds into the Ministry
- Velocity gathers speed
- James Blunt makes US top ten
- NME writers say Stone Roses are the best
- Jet working on second album
- Zutons announce new album
- Bono launches anti AIDS label
- Barenboim wins Siemens music prize
- MTV shows added to iTunes video downloads
- CD:USA boss says US TV needs more live music
- Watch the Ones To Watch on the telly
- Klass gets show on Classic
- Ordinary Boys add extra dates
- Be Your Own Pet album and tour
- Young Knives single, tour
- White Rose Movement tour
- Album review: Jenny Lewis And The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
- Depeche Mode to headline Wireless?
- Franz Ferdinand to headline Reading and Leeds?
- Motley Crue get star on Walk Of Fame
- Monkeys cover star says some stuff
- Arctic Monkeys won't play Brits
- U2 to duet with Blige
- Oh god, not again
- Mad Madchester Easter thingy planned


Hey, this is a bit of a long Daily, what were we thinking? Well, anyway, we promised no more Celeb Big Brother up here in the top bit, so let's turn our attentions to a different reality show shall we? The Sun reports that Pop Idol is likely to return in May, but with one of those things that TV producers like to call 'a twist'. This will be a celebrity version of the legendary pop reality show. Quite how that differs from that Soapstar Superstar thing that was on at the start of the month I'm not sure - especially as Celeb Pop Idol is likely to adopt that show's model of airing for ten consecutive nights. Presumably there'll be a minor sports star, former TV presenter and celebrity chef among the contestants, and producers say that they hope Ant, Dec and Simon Cowell will be along for the ride, but those are the only differences I can see. Celeb versions of these reality shows are big audience winners, of course, and can be unnervingly addictive should you carelessly let yourself get sucked in as a viewer. But surely the one saving grace of the talent show TV format was that they did provide a platform through which the occasional talented performer could reach a big audience without going through all the crap involved in breaking into the entertainment / celebrity business. When you've got to navigate that crap and get minor celebrity status just to take part, surely the whole format kind of becomes redundant? Still, Simon Cowell laying into minor celebs should be fun, so lets hope some of those signed up to compete really are awful - talent search TV may be dead, but long live the lack-of-talent show.



VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Pressure at Jamm
This Brixton bar/club had an overhaul not so long ago, and I've been looking for an opportunity to check it out. And here it is, because tonight Jamm hosts one of my musical heroes, a man who is, perhaps, one of the reasons I fell in love with electronic music in the first place. Colin Dale was one of the Kiss FM pioneers and his mesmerising Abstrakt Dance shows were truly awesome. Thirteen years on Dale is running his Abstrakt Dance imprint and still playing his version of tech-funk at his new night. Expect quality trench-deep house and funky techno from the maestro, with Dark Star (Mark Dale), Richard Grey, T23, and DJ Bins all in support. The special guest is Soma Records secret weapon: Envoy, who would be worth the trip to SW9 in itself.

Fri 27 Jan, 9pm - 6am, £5 b4 midnight, £7 after, Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6LH. Info at


And there was you thinking that promoters of this summer's Bon Jovi Wembley gig would be apologising for 'lateness', when the first concert due to take place at the revamped stadium was forced to postpone due to unfinished building work. But, with said building work apparently on schedule, in fact the problem is 'earlyness'.

That is to say, AEG Live have issued an apology to Bon Jovi fans after, in a bid to meet demand for tickets, they decided to stage a second gig, a day earlier. The 11 Jun concert was due to be the first to take place at Wembley Stadium post rebuild. But the addition of a second gig on 10 Jun means that ticket holders for the 11 Jun event will no longer be able to say they attended the 'historic first gig'.

Making the apology for AEG Live, the company's senior VP Rob Hallett told reporters: "We took the view, given the band's massive popularity, that it was better to please all their true fans that couldn't get tickets than disappoint a tiny minority who just wanted to be able to say they had been to the first show at Wembley. The new stadium is going to be a fabulous arena - but wherever, whenever Bon Jovi play they deliver a fantastic experience."

The stadium is due to reopen on 24 Jun for that old FA Cup Final thing. Bon Jovi, the last band to play the old stadium back in 2000, will be the first music act to play the relaunched venue. Concerts from Take That, the Rolling Stones and Robbie Williams will all follow during the summer.


Feargal Sharkey, now chair of the UK's Live Music Forum of course, has called on local authorities around England and Wales to convert at least one disused property into a rehearsal space, in a bid to boost the UK's music industry at the grass roots.

In Wrexham to open a new studio launched under such a local authority scheme, Sharkey told reporters: "It may be a romantic stereotype - fledgling bands rehearsing in their parents' garage before cutting their teeth on the live circuit. But good quality, properly equipped studios are invaluable in getting a good sound early on. With so many properties lying empty in every council area, I believe at least one has the potential to be a rehearsal studio. Wrexham Council have shown that it doesn't need massive investment - just the donation of a space and a small financial contribution."

Wrexham Council have donated the space rent free to the project as well as making £1500 available for renovation work. The Welsh Development Agency has provided an additional £17,500 to staff the project.


In an interesting development in the ongoing legal fight against illegal filesharing of music via P2P Networks, an artist management firm in Canada is reportedly helping one US music fan fight a lawsuit launched against him by the Recording Industry Association Of America.

The RIAA has taken legal action against file-swapper David Greubel over allegations he shared hundreds of tracks online, including 'Sk8er Boi' by Avril Lavigne. After hearing about the legal action, a friend of Greubel contacted artist MC Lars, who had publicly criticised the music industry's anti-filesharer litigation campaign. He passed on the correspondence to his management, Canada based Nettwerk Music Group, who also happen to represent Lavigne. They too are anti the RIAA's approach to tackling P2P file sharing and they have said they will join and contribute towards Greubal's defence.

Nettwerk Music Group boss Terry McBride told reporters: "Suing music fans is not the solution, it's the problem. Litigation is not 'artist development.' Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love. The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests."

Asked about Nettwerk's viewpoint, a spokesman for the RIAA told Digital Music News that file sharing "deprives labels, songwriters and musicians of their hard-earned royalties", adding that "breaking the law must carry consequences or no one will think twice" about doing it.


Still, don't think that gives you free rein to start downloading. British courts have found in favour of the record labels in the first two cases of P2P related copyright infringement to actually go to court. Two men had refused to settle out of court after being one of the P2P users targeted by litigation by the UK music industry trade body, the BPI.

The first said the BPI had no direct evidence of copyright infringement. The second said he wasn't guilty because he was unaware that what he was doing was illegal, and that he didn't aim or stand to profit from his file sharing. Neither defence was accepted by the courts, and both individuals have been ordered to stop filesharing illegally, and now face bills for costs and damages that run into thousands of pounds. The trade body hopes the rulings will encourage others it has targeted with litigation to settle out of court, while reinforcing the PR message that participating in illegal file sharing could prove costly if you're caught.

BPI top guy Peter Jamieson told CMU: "The courts have spoken and their verdict is unequivocal: unauthorised filesharing is against the law. We have long said that unauthorised filesharing is damaging the music industry and stealing the future of artists and the people who invest in them. Here is clear confirmation of what we also said - that unauthorised filesharing is illegal."


Yahoo have added an 'audio' category to their UK search engine, which will specifically search for downloads, streams and podcasts related to any given artist. Online music services scanned in the audio search include iTunes, Napster, MSN Music and, of course, Yahoo's own music services. The engine also allows you to search specific 'preferred audio services'. The service, already available in the US, follows Google's decision to refine its music based searches.


MP3 player maker Creative has experienced a sales increase and slight profit in the second quarter of its current financial year. Despite continued tough competition in the digital music player space, mainly coming from Apple, Creative sales totalled $390.8 million in the last quarter, up from $375.1 million in the same period the previous year. Profits for the quarter were $8.2 million.


Talking of encouraging financials, SonyBMG has reported a massive seven fold rise in net income in the last quarter of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004. Then again those figures are slightly skewed because the previous year the major was covering the costs of the merger that formed it. In the quarter that ended 31 Dec last year, the record company posted a net income of $178 million on sales of $1.49 billion.

The SonyBMG figures came in a financial report from one of its parent companies - Sony Corp - who had even better news for investment types. Stronger than expected electronics sales in the latter part of 2005 means the entertainment and electronics giant now expects to make a 70 billion yen ($600 million) profit this financial year, which is especially good given they had previously predicted they would make a 10 billion yen loss. The news seems to have had an effect on the entire Japanese investment community, with increased optimism pushing up sales prices across the board.


ALBUM REVIEW: The Lights - Grand Union (Seeca)
This is a cracking, inventive debut album. 'Grand Union' would be more of a standard indie guitar LP were it not for the fact of its being flecked with crystalline electronic lushness and the twin joys of contrasting male and female vocals. Tender opener 'Good As It Gets' emerges with iridescent guitars, dreamy synth pulses and soothing female vocals from Imogen Andrews, the overall effect being akin to The Sundays produced by William Orbit. A plethora of styles follow: 'Hole In The Head' cranks up the guitars with some bluesy power pop, whilst 'Only Way Out' is built on a bedrock of skanking dub and underwater guitar. Meanwhile, there's first single 'Neighbours', a simply perfect slice of boy-girl disco pop. There's a dark undertow creeping through this city too though. 'Free Ride' has a seediness allied to its 80s funkiness (it's one of three tracks featuring a sax solo!) Prince gone punk-funk in a neon-lit brothel, whilst the title of 'The Executioner' says it all, frankly. It's ultimately an ambitious, overtly metropolitan album that grins with exuberance and knows it's on to a good thing. And so should you. MS
Release date: 6 Feb
Press Contact: Seeca IH [all]


Ministry Of Sound, apparently the UK's largest independent record company (though EMI like to say they're an independent record company, of course), has acquired the Enterprise Records bit of the Guardian Media Group, which brings with it both OneTwo Records and the Hed Kandi record label.

Announcing the takeover, Ministry Of Sound Recordings boss Loham Presencer told reporters: "We are very excited at the prospect of bringing our two businesses together. Hed Kandi is a brilliant brand with great integrity, built very skillfully by the team over many years. We look forward to preserving Hed Kandi's core values while helping to build the business still further."

John Myers, CEO of GMG's radio business, which owned the Enterprise Records operation, added: "Hed Kandi is a great brand but it is clear to us that it needs to be part of a much larger and experienced record business and this sale will now allow our team to focus on the development of our radio portfolio which is expected to see significant development over the coming months."


London based music PR firm Velocity have announced the appointment of two new team members - Stuart Kirkham, formerly of EMI Records, and Lee Haynes, formerly of Planet Publicity. They will join Velocity next month overseeing, among other things, campaigns for legendary Latin American label Fania Records for V2.

Announcing the new appointments, Velocity MD Andy Saunders told CMU: "We are really excited about Stuart and Lee joining Velocity. They are both hugely experienced and will bring a wealth of creativity, energy and understanding of the music industry to our team. With their input we are now ready to take Velocity to the next level in 2006!"


Well, he may be pretty much loathed by the readers of NME (see the NME Award nominations), but you can't argue with sales. Much. Anyway, it would seem our American cousins are as collectively as hot for Mr B as we (the British public, that is) are, given that his debut 'Back To Bedlam' has made it to number nine in the US album chart. It was released in the States sixteen weeks ago, so it's taken a while, but actually, it followed a similar kind of pattern of ascent here. All goes to show, really, that Blunt has a weird, evil and insidious ability to seep slowly into hearts and minds. Bless him.


Yeah, but whadda they know? Only kidding. A poll of NME writers has voted The Stone Roses eponymous 1989 debut the best British album of all time. Well, go on. It is quite good. They triumph just ahead of The Smiths' 'The Queen Is Dead' at two and Oasis at three with 'Definitely Maybe', thus proving that the NME crowd have an enduring soft spot for Mancunians. In fairness, though, other towns in the north are represented. In fact, six of the top ten albums are from Northern bands. And the other four aren't. Here's the top ten; if you want to know the remaining ninety best British albums according to NME, then you'll have to buy the latest issue. They sell it in shops.

1. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
2. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
3. Oasis - Definitely Maybe
4. Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks
5. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
6. Blur - Modern Life Is Rubbish
7. Pulp - Different Class
8. The Clash - London Calling
9. The Beatles - Revolver
10. The Libertines - Up The Bracket


Jet are working on their second album, a follow up to 2004's 'Get Born'. The band wrote a message on their official website which reads: "After 2 wonderful years in the limelight and hundreds of shows all around the world, we are delighted to announce that we have finally commenced work on our as yet untitled 2nd album. We have taken a long time with this baby...because every time we got together, more and more songs piled we couldn't decide which ones to work on. Not the worst of problems."

The planned LP is expected to be released in mid-2006, and will be dedicated to John Cester, the father of band members Nic and Chris, who died in 2004.


The Zutons have announced that their second album 'Tired Of Hangin' Around' is coming soon. The Stephen Street-produced LP will be out on 17Apr, preceded by a single 'Why Won't You Give Me Your Love?' on 3 Apr which will be released as two CD singles and a 7".


Bono has been at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to launch a new scheme to harness the selling power of top brands to raise money to fight AIDS in poor countries. The initiative is known as 'Product Red' and involves the sale of specially designed items which will have a distinctive red label, or will be entirely and unusually coloured red. Bono told reporters: "This is not a rock star cause, it's an emergency. We launch this today with four companies, we want 40, then 400, we are looking for the best and the brightest to work with us."

The first products, which will be launched in March include a red Amex card, a red Gap T-shirt manufactured in Lesotho, and specially embossed Armani sunglasses. A percentage of the proceeds of the sale of the products will go to anti-AIDS programmes, mainly for women and children in Africa.

Bono continued: "People see a world out of whack. They see the greatest health crisis in 600 years and they want to do the right thing but they're not sure what that is. Red is about doing what you enjoy and doing good at the same time. It's not philanthropy, it's business. Philanthropy is hippy, this is punk rock, even more it's hip-hop, they want to make money in the ghettos."


Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has won the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Prize. The Argentinian-Israeli musician says that he will donate 100,000 euros of the 150,000-euro prize money to helping renovate Berlin's Staatsoper Unter den Linden opera house, of which he is Artistic Director, whilst the remaining 50,000 euros will go to his own new foundation for talented young musicians.

Barenboim, who is also Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, was described by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation as "a universal musician, who has given us outstanding interpretations of the entire classical and romantic repertoire and who is also firmly committed to the cause of contemporary music." He'll receive the prize at a special ceremony in Vienna on 12 May.


I have a mental block on whether Apple have announced before that they will be making MTV programmes available to download via iTunes video store. On the off chance they haven't, take this as the news - MTV/Comedy Central/Nickelodeon shows Real World, Punk'd, South Park, Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Laguna Beach will all soon be available to download via iTunes. Well, they will in the States. Over here you might have to make do with classic Emmerdale.


Fox TV exec David Hill has been bigging up CD:USA, the American version of CD:UK which launched last weekend.

Talking about the show, which follows a pretty similar formula to the UK programme, and which airs via the Murdoch owned US satellite TV provider DirecTV, Hill said this week: "MTV has moved away from music. The only time you see live performances nowadays is in the Grammys. CD:USA is filling a glaring hole in our lineup. The hope is that it sparks a schoolyard conversation on Monday morning and that little Suzy comes home and tells her mom that unless she has it, she'll be a social pariah."

As previously reported, CD:USA may be followed by an American version of Top Of The Pops, which US TV impresario Louis J Pearlman is busy trying to flog to networks over there. Wonder if the US TV audience is ready for an American version of Popworld yet?


Talking of live music on the telly, a TV round up of Levi's recent Ones To Watch tour will air on Channel 4 next week. As previously reported, the Ones To Watch tour took Editors, The Kooks and Kubichek to Barfly venues all around the UK last December. The TV round up includes performances by each of the bands, plus backstage footage.

Commenting on the show, and Levi's Ones To Watch programme in general, Rupert Leigh from Channelfly/Barfly told CMU: "LOTW is a great platform to see the bands of the future today, and is years ahead of what anyone else is doing... and now LOTW TV has finally brought the fans what they want!"

The TV show will air on 4 and 12 Feb at 12.30 am over there on Channel 4. Press info from Exposure.


And talking of CD:UK, one of the show's presenters, former Hear'Say girl Myleene Klass, has signed up to present a Sunday morning breakfast show on Classic FM.

Starting on 12 Feb, Klass (a classically trained musician, let's not forget, from six generations of classical musicians, apparently) will be playing her favourite pieces from 7am until 9am. It's a slot recently vacated by everyone's favourite former choirboy Aled Jones, who quit the station to move to the BBC.

On the new radio show Klass said: "Classical music has always been my first love. It's the foundation of all music. I've listened to Classic FM since its launch, so to present a show on the station is truly a dream come true."

Station manager Darren Henley said: "Myleene's a sparkling new talent for Classic FM. As soon as I heard her behind the microphone, I knew she'd be a perfect fit for Sunday mornings. She has an easy, laid-back style and an infectious enthusiasm for classical music."


Talking of minor celebrities with reality TV links, The Ordinary Boys have announced additional tour dates, cashing in on Preston's Big Brother boosted profile, or is that satisfying the growing interest in the band's music? I can't remember. To the March dates we've reported on before, you can add these:

21 Apr: Brighton Dome
22 Apr: Birmingham Academy
23 Apr: Liverpool University
25 Apr: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
26 Apr: Newcastle Academy
27 Apr: Norwich UEA
29 Apr: Bristol Academy
30 Apr: Cardiff Great Hall
1 May: Exeter Great Hall

On the tour, the band's William Brown says this: "We're really looking forward to touring the UK. It seems a long time has passed since the last UK tour in October of last year. We know the fans are looking forward to it and, as ever, it will be good to see The Ordinary Army at the gigs and maybe showcase some of the new songs we have been working on."


Precocious American teen-rockers Be Your Own Pet, who released their new single on 23 Jan, have confirmed that their eponymous debut album will be released on 27 Mar. In the meantime they're on tour as of last night. So you missed that gig at Manchester's Roadhouse, sorry. Here are the rest:

27 Jan: Leeds Cockpit
28 Jan: Nottingham Social
29 Jan: Glasgow ABC 2
1 Feb: London Bush Hall
2 Feb: London Barfly
4 Feb: Oxford Zodiac
5 Feb: Bristol Fleece


The Young Knives have got a new single coming out on 20 Feb. It's called 'Here Comes The Rumour Mill'. The band are currently finishing off their debut album. And they're about to go on a great big long tour:

4 Feb: London, Frog
9 Feb: Galway, Roisin Dubh
10 Feb: Feb: Belfast, Laverys
11 Feb: Dublin, Doran's
15 Feb: Cambridge, Soul Tree
16 Feb: Bristol, Manhattan
17 Feb: London, Fabric
18 Feb: Oxford Zodiac
19 Feb: Tunbridge Wells, Forum
20 Feb: Coventry, Colliseum
22 Feb: Brighton, Ocean Rooms
23 Feb: Sheffield, Fuzz Club
25 Feb: Middlesborough, Empire
27 Feb: Northampton, Soundhaus
28 Feb: Colchester, Essex University
1 Mar: Newcastle, Cluny
2 Mar: Glasgow, Barfly
3 Mar: Liverpool, Barfly
4 Mar: Leeds, Faversham
6 Mar: Birmingham, Barfly
7 Mar: London. Barfly
8 Mar: York, Barfly
9 Mar: Preston, 53 Degrees
11 Mar: Stoke, Underground
13 Mar: Cardiff, Barfly
14 Mar: Nottingham, Social


The lovely White Rose Movement have announced a series of headlining tour dates, following their support dates with The Rakes. I have this sense of déjà vu. Of course, you know why that is. It's because yesterday we reported on Duels beginning a headline tour in March, also following support dates with The Rakes.

WRM release their debut album 'Kick' on 6 Mar, preceded by a single release 'Girls In The Back' on 27 Feb. Here are the tour dates:

1 Mar: Liverpool, Barfly
2 Mar: Loughborough University
4 Mar: Cambridge, APU
5 Mar: Southampton, Joiners
6 Mar: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
8 Mar: Glasgow, Barfly
9 Mar: Sheffield, Leadmill
10 Mar: Birmingham, Barfly
12 Mar: Manchester, Night and Day
13 Mar: London, Kings College


ALBUM REVIEW: Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (Rough Trade)
After three albums fronting the critically acclaimed Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis temporarily goes it alone for her debut solo record, which combines country and soul to fine effect. Lewis has been able to call upon numerous talented collaborators; not just guitar virtuoso M Ward who oversees production, but also Ben Gibbard (The Postal Service), Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) and the Watson Twins who provide backing vocals throughout. 'Rabbit Fur Coat' starts with two of the finest tracks, 'Big Guns' and 'Rise Up With Fists'; the former a country-tinged lament, whilst the latter has more of a blues influence, and demonstrates how the Watson Twins' vocals complement Lewis's on the simple chorus "There but for the grace of God go I". The album continues in the same atmospheric and intimate vein, incorporating the wistful 'Happy' and the fragile 'Melt Your Heart'. Then the whole mood is switched by the cover of the Travelling Wilbury's 'Handle With Care', which features Lewis as George Harrison, Ben Gibbard as Roy Orbison, M Ward as Tom Petty, and Conor Oberst as Jeff Lynne. It's a light-hearted and enjoyable diversion from the sparseness of the rest of the record, and compares favourably with the Wilbury's original. Yet, more generally. the album focuses on Lewis's strengths; her sensual voice and her more than capable song writing; the likes of 'Born Secular' and 'You Are What You Love' reinforce and echo what we learned from the first half of the album. Whether this solo project is just a one-off or not, Lewis clearly has the potential to strike out on her own. Successfully combining her traditional Americana sound with something more spiritual and soulful, 'Rabbit Fur Coat' is one of the first interesting records of the year. KW
Release date: 23 Jan
Press contact: Rough Trade IH [CP, RP, NP] Anglo Plugging [CR, RR, NR]


It seems that that the almighty Depeche Mode are to be one of the headline acts at this year's Wireless Festival. Organisers have, of course, announced that the event will return in 2006 after the success of last year, but have yet to announce any confirmed acts. It's the list of tour dates on Depeche Mode's official website that gives it away, stating that the band will appear at Wireless on 25 Jun.


And talking of festival rumours, reports suggest that Franz Ferdinand are set to headline the Reading and Leeds weekends. They are, it's speculated, along with Muse, two of three big names to have been approached to take a place at the top of the bill.

Kaiser Chiefs are also rumoured to be appearing, although it's said that they have rejected a headline slot at the event, whilst Arctic Monkeys are expected to headline the second stage.

Other acts expected to make the effort are The Flaming Lips, Alice Cooper and buzzy buzz buzzsters Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.


Motley Crue have received their own star on Hollywood's Walk Of Fame in Los Angeles. It's the 2,391st star to be awarded, and an estimated 600 fans turned up to see the presentation. So well done them, I guess. Now they'll get walked over. Hurrah.


Now, some of you might have been a bit confused when you picked up your Arctic Monkeys album and perhaps noted that the cover star was not, in fact, a band member. Well, those of you who don't remember any of The Smiths' album covers might. Anyway, the young man who appears on the cover of 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' has been identified, and what's more, he's said some stuff.

Chris McClure is a Manchester University student who was asked by his friends Arctic Monkeys to help with publicity shots. He told 6music: "Basically, me and my mate, they gave us like, 70 quid and said, 'go and get a bit intoxicated, come back and we'll take pictures' and we were like, alright then. It's a privilege [to be on the cover] but I'm not looking for Bez-style superstardom or owt. I can't actually grasp how many they've sold so far. It's just numbers, but it's pretty surreal at the moment to be honest."


More Monkeys. If reports are to be believed, Alex Turner et al have turned down an invitation to perform at the Brit awards. It wouldn't be altogether surprising, given that they have quite famously refused to play on most TV shows, including Top Of The Pops, making just one pretty rare appearance on Jools Holland at the end of last year.


And speaking of performing at awards ceremonies, it's been confirmed that U2 are to perform a duet with Mary J Blige at the Grammy Awards, which take place, as you all surely know, on 8 Feb in Los Angeles. It's not been confirmed, however, which track they'll be playing, although the gossips are saying it'll be U2's 'One', which Blige did a cover of on her latest album. Can't be anywhere near as good as the Johnny Cash version.


You are not. Going. To. Believe. This. Which is why I must spell. It. Out.

Pete Doherty has been arrested, yet again, on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs. The singer was pulled over by police at 5.40am on Thursday morning whilst driving in East London. A spokesperson for the Met told "Officers stopped a vehicle in Laburnum Street, E2, due to the erratic manner in which in was being driven. Substances were recovered from the driver, a 26 year-old male, who was arrested for alleged possession of Class A drugs. He was taken to an east London police station where he remains in custody."

Doherty had failed to turn up to a gig at the Leeds Cockpit the previous evening. He has been released from custody now, and the Babyshambles tour was set to continue last night at Newcastle; no news forthcoming as to whether he showed up or not. Is it just me who thinks that the boy needs to be sectioned for his own safety?


Is it April Fool's Day? No? Then pinch me, because I've got to be dreaming. According to the Guardian, and the MEN website manchesteronline, the BBC is planning a bizarre sounding Easter procession featuring members of The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays, as well as songs by Joy Division, New Order and The Smiths. Bez is said to be involved, as is Ian Brown, plus Black Grape saxophonist Martin Slattery.

Media Guardian says that the character of Jesus in the parade is all set to sing Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' before performing a nice duet with Judas of New Order's 'Blue Monday'. A little later Christ will burst into a chorus of The Smiths' 'Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now' as he is flailed by Roman soldiers. He'll also have a duet with Pontius Pilate, of Oasis' 'Wonderwall'.

Canon Robin Gamble of Manchester Cathedral, commented: "I wouldn't know a Buzzcock from a ballcock so I couldn't really comment on the music. It is going to be challenging and shocking and is going to get things rumbling - it's going to be brilliant."

Frankly, men of the cloth talking about buzzcocks and ballcocks is disturbing, and hardly likely to convince me that this story is actually true.

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