CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 24th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Plumps dominate Breakspoll
- Arctic Monkeys win at NME awards
- iTunes sells billionth download
- Test Icicles speak
- High Fidelity author supports calls to end VAT loophole
- Single review: Mighty Six Ninety - Believable
- Songwriters meet with EU man
- Fans clash with police outside Stones gig in Argentina
- Stipe et al sign up for anti-war gig
- Davies implies reunion in throwaway comment
- Gospel star Burger dies
- Brakes instore
- Funeral For A Friend rescheduled tour
- The Streets tour
- Whitesnake announce UK tour
- The Spitz announce blues festival
- Maximo Park added to Albert Hall Show
- Wembley Arena all set for April opening
- Warner/Chappell president steps down
- Single review: Warren G feat. Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube - Get U Down
- Celeb X-Factor will air in May
- Streaker invades Coldcut gig
- Mother's Day gift idea, courtesy SonyBMG
- Tesco manager is long lost Lydon
- Chantelle on Preston, Camille, stuff
- Cannibal wants to eat Robbie, Liam

--------------------------------------------------

TOP BIT>>
Well, it doesn't seem very long ago since we were reporting here in the CMU Daily that Apple boss Steve Jobs was rumoured to be setting up his own download platform. Three years on, iTunes have just sold their billionth track, confirming their status as the world's flagship digital music platform. Of course, Apple's never-ending list of success stories in the digital music space are arguably not always to the benefit of the music business. The dominance of one IT firm in the download market is clearly not a good thing - especially when the 79p/99 cents per track model Apple insist on is arguably not sustainable long term for the music industry. Apple have consistently failed the independent sector in the development of iTunes and, while things are now improving, some indies are still struggling to get their music stocked. And, of course, Apple's main objective in all this is to sell technology not music - and compatibility-unfriendly proprietary technology at that. And as the computer company's priorities turn to the video iPod, it is more likely that it will be the film studios and TV companies who become Apple's best friends. Clearly the dominance of iTunes, and the way Apple have gone about achieving it, does and should raise many concerns for the music business. But that is not to ignore the good things that Apple and their top man Steve Jobs have achieved in this space. One of the reasons Apple set up iTunes was because the major record companies of three years ago still lacked the imagination and consumer-savviness to kick start digital music for themselves. Apple are the kings of innovation and consumer friendliness, and by turning those skills to music they helped excite and enthuse the wider public on the potential of legal downloading - and for that we should all be grateful. What the record industry needs to do now is to come up with its own innovative and consumer friendly digital ventures that don't rely on a conventional pay-per-track system that will put a bit of diversity into the download space - meaning that the concerns that come from Apple's dominance in digital music can be overcome without having to take on the IT giant head on.

--------------------------------------------------

PRESS ROOM>>

BREAKING GROUND - THE OFFICIAL BREAKSPOLL AFTERSHOW
To continue the excitement of last night's Breakspoll Awards celebrations, Leyline presents Breaking Ground, The Official Breakspoll Aftershow @ seOne club tonight, 24th February 2006. The After-Show will be presenting a whole host of fantastic breaks DJs including Freq Nasty, Rennie Pilgrem with MC Chickaboo, JDS, Will Saul, Precision Cuts, The Teamplayers featuring Aquasky, UK Apache, Spyda, The Ragga Twins & Ban Jyang, Spiltloop, Pendulum (breaks set), Breakfastaz, Deekline & Wizard with MC Ivory, and Deep Impact with Screwface. All takes place this Friday from 10 pm - 6am, tickets are £10 in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk or £12 on the door.

Press info from Leyline, full press release at:
http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/breakingground

--------------------------------------------------

CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Hospitality at Heaven
A long term CMU favourite - tonight these guys are celebrating 100 releases, the launch of their latest compo, and ten years in the game - phew. On the decks will be Andy C, London Elektricity (a DJ set - ie just Tony Coleman), LTJ Bukem with Conrad MCing, Hospital's high flier High Contrast and Total Science. Annie Mac, Touche, and R Barton will be in room 2, while in room 3 you'll find L Double, Parallel Forces and Craggz, who's still rising. Room 4 will be the Heatwave soundsystem. Heaven had a few refurbs last year, but the sound system apparently still rocks - so it should be a rather good night - worth booking in advance.

Friday 24 Feb, Heaven, Arches off Villiers St, Charing Cross, WC2 6NG, 10pm-6am. £12 advance £15 door, http://www.hospitalrecords.com

VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Recloose at Jazz Cafe
I am not on the Cafe's payroll, honest! I know I seem to tip them more or less weekly but there are no back handers going on here - in fact it's more or less impossible to get on these guys' guest lists these days, and I seem to have even fallen off their email list! But it's quality music that counts round here, not perks and freebies (not that we'd ever turn down a perk or freebie - now that would just be rude), which is why I find myself back at the Café for the Live Tip. Yank turned Kiwi Recloose is in the house this week, showcasing tracks from his rather good 2005 album - 'Hiatus On The Horizon' (out on Peacefrog Records). After the release of his exquisite 'Cardiology' LP back in 2002, Recloose, aka Detroit DJ Matt Chicoine, signed to Carl Craig's seminal Planet E label, and toured with Craig in his Innerzone Orchestra as the scratchmaster. On his own should you can expect him to join the dots from jazz to hip hop to broken beat and ska.

Tuesday 28 Feb, Jazz Cafe, 5 The Parkway, Camden, NW5, doors 7pm, £10 in advance, more info at http://www.jazzcafe.co.uk.

Put your night up for the tip - vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

--------------------------------------------------

PLUMPS DOMINATE BREAKSPOLL
So it was the Plump DJs who dominated at last night's Breakspoll, the annual awards event for the breaks community. They won Best Compilation for 'Saturday Night Lotion' and Best Club Event for their Eargasm bash as well as the prestigious Best Producers award. So well done them.

Fingerlickin won Best Label in the public voted awards, while Mr Meat Katie took the Outstanding Contribution To Breakbeat Award and Krafty Kuts won the Best DJ gong. 50,000 votes from all over the world were counted this year, proving once again the growing popularity of the breaks scene.

The full list of winners runs thus:
Best Album: Atomic Hooligan - You Are Here
Best Compilation: Plump DJs : Saturday Night Lotion
Best Label: Fingerlickin'
Breakthrough Label: Broke
Best Club / Event: Eargasm
Best Radio Show: Annie Nightingale (Radio 1)
Best Radio Station: Breaks FM
Best Magazine: MOFO
Best Breaks Retailer: Know How Records
Best Breaks Website: Nuskoolbreaks.co.uk
Best Single: Dopamine - Hold You
Best Remix: Drummatic Twins - Feelin Kinda Strange (Bass Kleph & Nick Thayer Remix)
Best DJ: Krafty Kuts
Breakthrough DJ: Napt
Best Producer: Plump DJs
Breakthrough Producer: Rogue Element
Outstanding Contribution To Breakbeat: Mark Pember (Meat Katie)

The Breakspoll shenanigans now continue into the small hours of tomorrow morning. Firstly there's the Breakspoll five-a-side football tournament at the Finsbury Park leisure centre this afternoon, and then there's the Breaking Ground after show party taking place tonight at the seOne club under London Bridge, where you will find a truly storming breaks line up featuring Freq Nasty, Rennie Pilgrem with MC Chickaboo, JDS, Will Saul, Precision Cuts, The Teamplayers featuring Aquasky, UK Apache, Spyda, The Ragga Twins & Ban Jyang, Spiltloop, Pendulum (breaks set), Breakfastaz, Deekline & Wizard with MC Ivory and Deep Impact with Screwface. It all takes place from 10pm to 6am - tickets are £10 in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk or £12 on the door.

--------------------------------------------------

ARCTIC MONKEYS WIN AT NME AWARDS
So, no surprise here then really. Readers of the NME have named Arctic Monkeys not only Best Newcomers of the year, but also Best Band, despite the fact they had only released two singles when a bulk of the voting took place. The Sheffield band won three gongs at the annual reader voted NME Awards held in London last night - they also took Best Track for 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'.

The Arctic Monkeys' success came at the expense of fellow Yorkshire men Kaiser Chiefs who, despite being nominated in a record six categories, only took home one award - 'Employment' took Best Album - though frontman Ricky Wilson was named Best Dressed rocker, which I'm sure made up for everything.

In similar categories to that one, Madonna was named Sexiest Woman while Pete Doherty, despite all his woes in the last twelve months, was named Sexiest Man. Former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown was presented a Godlike Genius award by footballer Teddy Sheringham, apparently because the singer had said he would only accept the award from a member of Manchester United's 1999 treble-winning squad.

The full list of winners ran thus:

Best New Band: Arctic Monkeys
Best Video: Oasis - The Importance of Being Idle
Best International Band: The Strokes
Best TV Show: Gonzo
Best Solo Artist: Kanye West
Philip Hall Radar Award: Long Blondes
Best Radio Show: Zane Lowe
Best Event: Carling Weekend
Best Live Band: Franz Ferdinand
Best Music DVD: Live 8
Best Film: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
John Peel Music Innovation Award: Gorillaz
Best Track: Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
Best Album: Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
Best British Band: Arctic Monkeys
Godlike Genius Award: Ian Brown
Best Website: NME.com
Best Venue: Brixton Academy
Hero of the Year: Bob Geldof
Villain of the Year: George Bush
Best Dressed: Ricky Wilson
Worst Dressed: Justin Hawkins
Worst Album: James Blunt - Back To Bedlam
Worst Band: Son of Dork
Sexiest Man: Pete Doherty
Sexiest Woman: Madonna

Commenting on the awards, and on Arctic Monkeys particular success, NME editor Conor McNicholas told reporters: "This time last year no-one had ever heard of them. To go from that to the biggest band in Britain and win three awards is pretty special. Everyone talks about them making it big because of the internet but there's a lot of fine music on the internet. The great thing about the Arctic Monkeys is they are doing something nobody else has done. They have a depth to their lyrics that no-one else has. If it wasn't for the Arctic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs would have done a lot better. Yes, Kaiser Chiefs did well at the Brits, but the NME Awards are always a year ahead of the Brits."

--------------------------------------------------

ITUNES SELLS BILLIONTH DOWNLOAD
Imagine this, you're buying a sneaky Coldplay track off iTunes because that way you won't have to go into a record shop and admit you like Chris Martin's bland of mediocrity, you click 'buy' and then all these lights start flashing telling you you've just bought the 1 billionth track off iTunes and your name, and the track you were buying, is flashed across the world. Every music fan's nightmare, surely - "damn, if only I'd been buying 'Chico Time' or one of Atomic Kitten's cover versions".

But that's just what happened to one Alex Ostrovsky from West Bloomfield, Michigan yesterday when he became the buyer of iTunes' one billionth download with his purchase of Coldplay's 'Speed Of Sound'. Still, he'll now receive a 20-inch iMac, ten iPods and $10,000 worth of iTunes music, which might make up for the Coldplay fan outing. Just. And, of course, Apple are also going to establish a scholarship fund at the Juilliard School Of Music in his name, which means he'll be going down in history. As a Coldplay fan.

Anyway, enough of that, let's not lose sight of the landmark being achieved by Apple this week, less than three years since they set up their download platform. I present you, Mr Steve Jobs: "I hope that every customer, artist and music company executive takes a moment today to reflect on what we've achieved together during the past three years. Over one billion songs have now been legally purchased and downloaded around the globe, representing a major force against music piracy and the future of music distribution as we move from CDs to the internet."

The one billion download landmark comes four days ahead of the latest new product announcement from Apple. The computer firm is holding an invite-only event in California on Tuesday, with speculation that a much more advanced video iPod will be announced with a bigger screen, and touch screen navigation.

--------------------------------------------------

TEST ICICLES SPEAK
Well, it's as we thought (we're always right, you know) - Test Icicles only ever got together to have a bit of a laugh, and never intended to stick around for a long haul in any case.

Following reports that the band plan to call it a day, Test Icicles' Rory Aggwelt has explained: "We started this band in August 2004, our only intention was to have bit of fun, to play a few shows, cause some trouble and to split up shortly afterwards, the fact of the matter is that we played our 5 millionth gig the other day after a year of multiple tours and we're sick, tired and miserable, and to put it simply, it just isn't fun anymore and hasn't been for a very long time, so we've decided it's time to find something that does make us happy because unfortunately this isn't it."

He added: "The original plan was to play a UK tour, European Tour and American Tour all in succession, finishing up with our final 5 shows around the UK in April. I think we always suspected that at some point during this three month period of constant touring that something would go wrong and unfortunately that time came after the final show of our European tour in St. Malo last week. I'm not saying who it was who snapped or in what circumstances but it had been a long time coming and I was almost relieved when it actually happened."

And continued: "We will however play our final shows in April, that'll give us some time to sort our heads out and hopefully we can all have a week long 'fuck the Test Icicles' party together? Should be a good way to kill us off I think, bring your shovels and we'll bury Test Icicles once and for all."

--------------------------------------------------

HIGH FIDELITY AUTHOR SUPPORTS CALLS TO END VAT LOOPHOLE
Author Nick Hornby has given his support to the Federation Of Private Business's campaign against a loophole in tax laws that allow major music sellers to avoid paying VAT by basing themselves in the Channel Islands.

As previously reported, under European Union law retailers that operate outside the EU can sell products valued at under 22 euros to consumers in member states without charging VAT. The Channel Islands are not part of the EU, but are close enough to the UK, geographically and commercially, to make them a viable base for British distribution or mail order businesses. This has enabled the likes of Tesco, Amazon, Asda and Woolworths to sell major music releases at knock down rates - giving them an unfair advantage against specialist music sellers, and especially independent music shops.

Hornby, whose best selling novel High Fidelity is, of course, set in a North London independent record shop, says that the tax loophole is allowing large companies to sell cheap tax-free imports on the internet, squeezing out independent music shops - something which is bad for music and music fans. Describing himself as an "avid music fan", he says the governments of the UK, Jersey and Guernsey should all act to close the loophole sooner rather than later.

As also previously reported, the All-Party Parliamentary Small Shops Group also recently called for action to be taken against the loophole.

--------------------------------------------------

SINGLE REVIEW: Mighty Six Ninety - Believable (Kids)
This is more like it. Take your shambolic yob indie (note to self: see if you can continue the Arctic Monkeys hatred in every review you pen this year) and give me more of this simple yet glorious 'alternative' pop music. With its melodic guitars, quietly lush synths, crisp drums and chiming chorus, this is an effervescent/morose slice of 80s indie, albeit without the tweeness. Variously recalling The Smiths, Aztec Camera, or maybe The Cure if Robert Smith could sing properly and they weren't Goths, 'Believable' could also have easily been one of the guitar-based tracks from New Order's 'Technique' or 'Waiting For The Siren's Call' albums. The vocals strike just the right balance between insouciant confidence (well, it is their second single) and a touching, disarming fragility, which is probably the most endearing thing about the track. The vagaries of fashion mean they may well sink without a trace, but on this evidence the US four piece have got the potential to go the distance. MS
Release date: 13 Mar
Press contact: 14th Floor [all]

--------------------------------------------------

SONGWRITERS MEET WITH EU MAN
Six prominent songwriters and composers have met with EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy to discuss his recent calls for an overhaul of royalty collections in Europe.

As previously reported, EU officials want royalty collection societies, like our own loveable MCPS-PRS, to adopt a more pan-European approach that makes it easier for companies like iTunes and Napster who need to licence music in multiple European territories. The royalty collection societies have also been accused of operating a virtual monopoly by holding on to all the strings relating to publishing royalties in their respective territories.

But the six songwriting types who met McCreevy yesterday said that the EU was being overly harsh on the collection societies, adding that some of the EU's proposals would, in their opinion, be damaging for the creative community at large.

Commenting on his discussions with the EU commissioner, Danish songwriter, composer, singer and musician Pia Raug told reporters: "For the very first time authors of music were given a chance to address the European Commission with issues that primarily affect them and to present the case for the protection of authors' rights in the online environment. Disrupting the efficient authors' rights system that has cultivated the richness and diversity of European culture for 200 years in the digital environment would have devastating economical, political and cultural consequences".

Dutch composer and Professor of Music History Konrad Boehmer added: "Authors' societies do not infringe European competition law as the European Commission has suggested. The network of authors' societies, based on reciprocal representation agreements, enables all users without discrimination to have equal access to the world repertoire. When producers, publishers, broadcasters, telecom operators, to name just a few, are being integrated and controlled by major multinational groups, one has to wonder who the real monopolies are."

Representing us Brits, David Ferguson, composer and chairman of the Creators' Rights Alliance and the British Academy Of Composers And Songwriters, added: "In these days of an increasingly powerful music industry, authors' societies represent creators' unique collective bargaining power for securing a fair remuneration for the use of their works anywhere in the world. At the bottom of the value chain, creators are even more vulnerable in the digital age. Authors' societies remain the only safeguard for protecting our rights and accessing the marketplace."

Whether a middle ground can be found on all this remains to be seen, though McCreevy recognised the importance of taking on board the opinions of songwriters and composers in this whole debate, and said "the Commission is committed to continuing a democratic dialogue giving equal opportunities to all players".

--------------------------------------------------

FANS CLASH WITH POLICE OUTSIDE STONES GIG IN ARGENTINA
Violence has broken out between police and music fans outside a Rolling Stones concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after people without tickets tried to get into the Monumental soccer stadium which was hosting the gig.

Local authorities had stepped up security around the stadium for last night's concert after minor incidents occurred at the Stones gig at the venue on Tuesday night. Fans and police reportedly clashed at the entrance to the venue as authorities filtered out non-ticket holders. As the incident escalated police fired rubber bullets and water cannons, causing fans to start throwing rocks and bottles.

The city's emergency medical service reported that at least 20 people were injured during last night's incidents, including a TV cameraman filming the fracas. Dozens more were reportedly arrested.

--------------------------------------------------

STIPE ET AL SIGN UP FOR ANTI-WAR GIG
REM's Michael Stipe is to headline an anti-war concert timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The singer will be joined on the bill by Rufus Wainwright, Fischerspooner, Devendra Banhart, Chuck D and Peaches for the event, 'Bring 'Em Home Now!', which will take place on 20 Mar. High profile anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey was killed on active duty in the Middle East back in 2004, will speak at the concert, which will precede a tour of fifteen US cities by Sheehan and a number of authors.

Proceeds from the gig are to be donated to Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against The War. Casey Spooner of Fischerspooner says: "It is impossible not react to the current state of affairs through personal action and artistic production. We are living in volatile times with a constant and vague sense of imminent disaster. We have been at war for 3 years. One desperately feels the need for someone to speak some sort of truth, either poetic or factual."

--------------------------------------------------

DAVIES IMPLIES REUNION IN THROWAWAY COMMENT
Ray Davies has (possibly inadvertently) implied that he's up for a Kinks reunion. The singer was talking to Radio 4 about his solo debut 'Other People's Lives' when he said: "It's finding a voice after spending most of my life in a band called The Kinks, a wonderful band. I love all the work I've done with them, I hope to do more one day, who knows?"

--------------------------------------------------

GOSPEL STAR BURGER DIES
US gospel star Anthony Burger has died from a suspected heart attack, after he collapsed on stage in Nashville on Wednesday. The twice Dove Awards-nominated pianist, a former member of The Celestials and gospel quartet The Kingsmen, was 44. He is survived by his wife, Luann, and three children.

--------------------------------------------------

BRAKES INSTORE
Brakes have announced that they'll do an instore at Fopp on Glasgow's Union Street on 1 Mar. The band will start their set at 4.30pm before scooting off to support Editors that very same evening.

--------------------------------------------------

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND RESCHEDULED TOUR
Funeral For A Friend have announced new dates for that recently cancelled UK tour. As previously reported, the gigs were postponed when singer Matt Davies was ordered to rest after being taken ill with laryngitis. The new dates are as follows:

15 May: Exeter University
16 May: London Shepherds Bush Empire
24 May: Bristol Carling Academy
25 May: Liverpool University
27 May: Southampton Guildhall
29 May: Reading Hexagon
31 May: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
1 Jun: Newcastle Carling Academy
2 Jun: Birmingham Academy
3 Jun: Manchester Academy
4 Jun: London Hammersmith Palais

--------------------------------------------------

THE STREETS TOUR
Mike Skinner has announced a Streets tour. The live dates will follow the release of new single, 'When You Wasn't Famous', out 27 Mar, and the new album, 'The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living' on 10 Apr. The new dates are as follows:

27 Apr: Manchester Apollo
28 Apr: Glasgow Carling Academy
29 Apr: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
30 Apr: Aberdeen Music Hall
2 May: Newcastle Carling Academy
3 May: Nottingham Rock City
4 May: Bristol Colston Hall
6 May: Liverpool University
7 May: Birmingham Carling Academy
8 May: Southampton Guildhall
10 May: Exeter Great Hall
11 May: London Brixton Academy
12 May: Leeds Metropolitan University

--------------------------------------------------

WHITESNAKE ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Whitesnake are back to tour the UK, and they're on a mission. Well, that's what frontman David Coverdale says. Look: "I'm on a mission. It's an appropriate time to be playing good, uplifting, positive rock 'n' roll," he says. He may not be wrong you know. So here's where you can go get uplifted:

27 May: Manchester Apollo
28 May: Birmingham NIA Arena
30 May: London Hammersmith Apollo
26 Jun: Newcastle City Hall
27 Jun: Newcastle City Hall
29 Jun: Sheffield City Hall
30 Jun: Glasgow Carling Academy
2 Jul: Cardiff International Arena

Press info from Noble PR.

--------------------------------------------------

THE SPITZ ANNOUNCE BLUES FESTIVAL
The Spitz, in-association-with Not The Same Old Blues Crap/Punk Rock Blues Records, have announced a line-up of eleven shows which will make up the second Spitz Festival Of Blues this April. On the bill so far are an eclectic mix of artists, including CMU favourites Little Barrie, with further guests to be confirmed soon. The event will kick off on 4 Apr with a press-only launch featuring a live set by Seasick Steve ("the king of hobo punk blues" according to the press release), the rest of the thus far confirmed line-up is as follows:

5 Apr: Son of Dave, Seasick Steve, Hillstomp, 7pm, £10
6 Apr: Deltahead, Gin Palace, 7pm, £6
7 Apr: Chatham Singers (Billy Childish), The Surgens, 7pm, £10
8 Apr: Little Axe (Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, Keith LeBlanc & Adrian Sherwood), Eric Bling, Dogbreath, 7pm, £17.50
11 Apr: Little Barrie and special guests, 7pm, £8
12 Apr: Urban Voodoo Machine, Mudlow, The Woodsmen, 7pm, £6
13 Apr: Otis Taylor, Reid Paley, 7pm, £10
15 Apr: Wilko Johnson, Volga Boatmen, 7pm, £10
20 Apr: Archie Bronson Outfit, Jawbone, 7pm, £8
25 Apr: Sandy Dillon, Paul The Girl, Abigail Hopkins, 7pm, £10
29 Apr: Black Diamond Heavies, Clambake, Honkey Finger, 7pm, £8

All takes place, of course, at The Spitz, 109 Commercial Street, E1 6BG. Press info from rupert@spitz.co.uk

--------------------------------------------------

MAXIMO PARK ADDED TO ALBERT HALL SHOW
Maximo Park have been added to the line-up set to play at those previously reported Royal Albert Hall concerts in aid of The Teenage Cancer Trust. The band support Razorlight, who are headlining on 30 Mar, at one of the six live dates produced by Who man Roger Daltrey.

--------------------------------------------------

WEMBLEY ARENA ALL SET FOR APRIL OPENING
All the shenanigans over there at Wembley Stadium doesn't mean that the all new Wembley Arena won't be ready for their 2 Apr opening. Depeche Mode will be the first band to play the Arena, that has just gone through a £35 million refurbishment, at the start of April.

Confirming everything was on schedule, and boasting about the changes that have taken place during the refurb, Wembley Arena General Manager Peter Tudor told CMU yesterday: "During the refurbishment we wanted to make sure we did everything we could possibly do to improve the Wembley experience for our audiences and artists. Visitors to Wembley will be amazed at the transformation."

Whether that's true remains to be seen - though if anyone at Wembley wants to invite us to the Depeche Mode gig, and the upcoming Take That, McFly and War Of The Worlds shows due to take place at the Arena later this year - I'm pretty sure we could do 'amazed' for you.

--------------------------------------------------

WARNER/CHAPPELL PRESIDENT STEPS DOWN
The US President of the Warner/Chappell publishing empire, Rick Shoemaker, is to leave the company at the end of next month - something that has been on the cards for a while, apparently, ever since Richard Blackstone rather than Shoemaker was picked to replace the company's former chairman/CEO Les Bider. A replacement for Shoemaker is expected to be announced any day now.

--------------------------------------------------

SINGLE REVIEW: Warren G feat. Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube - Get U Down (Unique
Corp Ltd)
If you'd had the chance to make your way down to Selfridges in London earlier this week, you would have seen something pretty amazing. The Chinese artist Song Dong built a city entirely out of biscuits at the department store, a work of art which was then demolished and devoured on Wednesday by a crowd of hungry customers. I went to see Dong speak on Monday, and he explained how this artwork symbolises the transience of all things. It's a Buddhist thing. Warren G has the same basic idea, I guess, when he starts this song saying, "We're here today then gone tomorrow". Another Buddhist thing is recognising that we are conditioned to follow our senses. When you hear a pleasing sound you want to hear more, and when you hear something bad you want to shut it up. I'm guessing Warren G hasn't got this basic idea, as I desperately want to shut this off. Granted, it is Warren G with a conscience, mentioning Hurricane Katrina, criticising Bush, bemoaning guns. But it is also Warren G without The Funk. As a rap song, it sucks. As a political commentary, it's kind of tame. As a meditation on the transience of life, I'll take the biscuitty city any day. SIA
Release Date: 13 Mar
Press Contact: Smash Press [all]

--------------------------------------------------

CELEB X-FACTOR WILL AIR IN MAY
That previously reported celebrity version of X Factor should air in late May - probably in a bid to steal away some of the focus from Channel 4's Big Brother - and also to help build the hype for the third series of the reality pop show, which will kick off in August.

Confirming that a celeb version of the show is in the pipeline, ITV's new Director Of Entertainment And Comedy, Paul Jackson, told reporters: "The X Factor was a runaway success and united the nation in debates over the rights and wrongs of who got voted out each week. We are in discussions with celebrities right now but are keeping some of the elements of the show under wraps."

Cowell, Osbourne and Walsh will all return as judges while Kate Thornton will again present.

--------------------------------------------------

STREAKER INVADES COLDCUT GIG
Coldcut apparently got a bit of a surprise on Wednesday night when a streaker invaded the stage during their performance at Manchester Academy. The band were part way through a performance of 'Everything Is Under Control', when the naked chap, clearly wishing to challenge the notion that everything might indeed be under control, leapt to the stage. All's well that ends well, however, as the band's collaborator on that single, Mr Mike Ladd, heroically wrestled the intruder to the ground.

--------------------------------------------------

MOTHER'S DAY GIFT IDEA, COURTESY SONYBMG
Wondering what to get the Mum who has everything this Mother's Day? Well, don't worry, those of you who give a crap, because SonyBMG is coming to your rescue with 'World's Best Mum'. Well, if your Mum likes MOR and classic pop they are.

Anyway, this is a double disc collection released on 13 Mar, which features hits from the likes of X-Factor's Shayne Ward, Il Divo, Take That, George Michael, Delta Goodrem, Bette Midler, Elvis Presley, Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow, Roy Orbison, Daniel Powter and G4.

And as if all that wasn't enough, SonyBMG are offering a personalised Mother's Day cover for the album! Purchasers will be able to log on to www.moonpig.com/bestmum and write a personalised message on a specially designed gift sleeve to be sent out free of charge. It's like a prepackaged, no effort mix tape!

No excuses then, it would seem. Press info from Noble PR.

--------------------------------------------------

TESCO MANAGER IS LONG LOST LYDON
Tesco Manager Janet Small of Chepstow in South Wales says that she is the long lost half sister of former Sex Pistol John Lydon. The fifty one year old says that they share a mother, Eileen, who gave her daughter up for adoption before she married Lydon's father John. Small, who has recently taken advantage of changes in adoption laws to trace her family, says that several other members of the Lydon family, including John Lydon senior, have accepted her claim, but thus far the punk/jungle star has declined to comment on the news. Mrs Small said: "It was a shock to find he was famous. I realised straightaway it was going to make things much harder."

Small says that Eileen kept the fact of her eldest child a secret, and died in 1978 without ever revealing the truth to those close to her. On her own childhood, the mother of two explained how she was brought up in the east end of London probably within a few miles of her four younger half-brothers. She also adds that she had no time for the scene her alleged half-brother spearheaded: "I hated punk," she said "I was sent to convent school so I suppose I was a bit of snob. I always thought [punk rockers] were so ill-mannered. Their music never appealed to me. I was a big Queen fan and was into Tamla Motown."

Janet Small says she appreciates that people might be suspicious of her motives, but says "when you are adopted, you want to search out your missing links. It's about the whole of the family. They all have a right to know that I exist."

--------------------------------------------------

CHANTELLE ON PRESTON, CAMILLE, STUFF
Now-a-celeb-non-celeb-Celeb-Big-Brother contestant Chantelle has apologised to the ex-girlfriend of Ordinary Boy Preston. The singer split up with Camille Aznar, of course, after the tabloid media frenzy that followed Preston's flirting with Chantelle on the reality TV show. Speaking to Heat magazine, Chantelle says that while she played a part in the Preston/Camille break up, she wasn't completely to blame.

Chantelle: "I just want her to know that no one went out to hurt anyone - it just sort of happened. She knows that it wasn't completely and utterly my fault. But things happen to people that completely change their lives. I mean, you could be married and go to the baker's because you're feeling hungry, then fall in love with the baker!"

On her fortnight old relationship with the Ordinary Boy, she continued: "It's just really lovely being with him. We're just going to spend some time together and see what happens. We're really happy."

--------------------------------------------------

CANNIBAL WANTS TO EAT ROBBIE, LIAM
Armin Meiwes, that German chap who killed and ate a willing victim he met via the internet, has said that he wouldn't turn down a slice of Robbie Williams or Liam Gallagher. Appearing at his retrial in Frankfurt for the murder of Bernd Brandes, Meiws cited the music stars as examples of the type of person he'd like to add to his fry-up, saying: "I want to eat people who are beautiful."

Gallagher beautiful? Williams beautiful? Is he crazy? Oh.

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily