CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 4th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- You're all rubbish
- Really, you're all rubbish
- As I was saying, you're all rubbish
- Even you mobile music types, you're rubbish too
- Actually, you're not rubbish at all, you're all lovely
- Single review: General Midi - Good To Go
- Reading and Leeds line-up confirmed
- Kaiser Chiefs for Airwaves
- Zutons, Delays for Wakestock
- New Radiohead album is terrifying
- Rapture talk about new album
- Audioslave on new album
- Live review: Brotherly at Jazz Café
- Madonna news, release, tour dates
- Zero 7 single, live dates
- Blackbud announce tour
- Jackie McLean dies
- BMI expect 20% increase in US ringtone sales
- Warner Classics launch download service
- EP review: Hope Of The States - Blood Meridian
- Warner Music International recruit former MTV exec
- Toshiba-EMI chief stands down
- Santuary appointments and departures galore
- Liberation open London office
- Live review: Depeche Mode at Wembley Arena
- Def Jam founder and wife separate
- Webcast girl signs record deal
- Mariah to appear in a musical
- Beatfreakz selling too well - and it's not out yet


As we mentioned right up here in the Top Bit yesterday, the latest edition of the CMU Radio Show includes CMU's Kings Of Mash-Up Part One, a 30 minute mix featuring some of our favourite mash-up makers. For those of you who haven't been following the rise and rise of the modern mash-up phenomenon (ie people who haven't been listening to Eddy TM's Remix show on Xfm - who are these people?) then this is a fine introduction to what you've been missing. First up you'll find Go Home Productions, one of the true kings of the UK mash up scene, and the guy behind that Blondie/Doors mash-up that appeared on Blondie's greatest hits album last year. Then you've got tracks from two of our favourite unofficial mash-up album projects of the last year - the 50 Cent/Queen cut up that is Q-Unit and the much previously reported and frankly genius Dean Gray project (Green Day's American Idiot messed with). Back to the Kings, and Paris' Loo & Placido, who you can actually here mixing things up on French radio station NRG. Then two more of our favourite UK based mash-up makers - IDC and Lionel Vinyl - who provide a little rap into the mix with respective Streets/Outkast and Strokes/Dizzee Rascal mash-ups. Then Australia's Team 9, one of our very favourite mash-up crews (and not just because they put a nice comment on the CMU MySpace page overnight!) and finally DJ Riko with a great track equally commendable for the concept behind it, and the incredible amount of patience that must have gone into making it. Any of this sound of interest? Then get on over to and listen to it all on the CMU radio show.



KILL ALL HIPPIES APRIL... The next edition of London's best rock night is this Friday, 7 Apr at the 333 Club in London and, as always, features a proper good mix of live bands and DJs. Live wise we've got The Maccabees and Jackson Analogue, taking to the basement stage, while Jeff Automatic and guest DJ Frankie D will be keeping things going on the decks down there. The Fully Comprehensive guys will be keeping the ground floor going with resident DJ Gavin Nugent, plus guests Mark Beaumont (NME), Syrinx and Simon Jones (Hope Of The States). Tickets are £5 before 10.30pm, £10 after (or £5 all night if you guest list in advance at

Press info:

THE INSOMNIACS BALL... Kill All Hippies and Stylish Riots present London's first ever all-night indoor festival, kicking off the Easter Weekend on Thursday April 13th, with three live stages and dozens of live bands and DJs underneath the arches at London Bridge in the seOne club. Line up so far includes no less than British Sea Power, White Rose Movement, Mando Diao, Battle, New Rhodes, The Pipettes, Art Brut, Dogs, The Rifles, Komakino, Good Shoes, Cooper Temple Clause (DJ set) and The Rakes (DJ set). How good is this? Doors will open at 8pm, when the live music begins, and the entertainment will continue until 6am the following morning - Good Friday. Full details at - for details of a special student discount check

Press info:



MySpace Of The Day: Big Boss Man
I discovered Big Boss Man via their album 'Winner', which, according to Amazon, was released a year ago today, which figures, because I've had it for about a year, a year in which these guys have become ingrained into my heart with their big, funky, latiny, Hammondy sounds. Have a look at the MySpace page, where you'll find four enormously catchy tracks, all of which suit the season of springtime like a very nice hat, bursting with effervescent energy as they are. And as if all that wasn't enough, band member Bongolian Nass is just in the throes of releasing a new and extremely funky solo album via the band's label Blow Up. It's called 'Blueprint' and I can highly recommend it, although I'd have to say the Hammondyness of Big Boss Man wins in the end...

More on our MySpace Of The Day, plus acts appearing at next week's Insomniac's Ball answer the same six questions - today it's Good Shoes - all online at


What's going on here then, is it 'knock the music industry day' among the research community or something? Apparently your music is overpriced, your content is boring and your strategies flawed. Ah well, there's a secret Keane album showcase on Wednesday night - that's cheered you all up, I'm sure.

Anyway, first bit of music research of the day, and new stats from XTN Data reckon P2P usage in the UK is still on the up because music fans don't like the limitations placed on tracks bought from even the more consumer friendly legit download outfits.

XTN's survey of an albeit relatively small sample group (1000 consumers) found that 28% of people admitted to downloading music without paying, up from 25% when the firm conducted similar research back in September. This despite the continuing growth of legit download platforms, and a number of high profile wins in court for the BPI against individual illegal filesharers. In fact only 12% of those surveyed said the risk of litigation from using file sharing networks would tempt them to use legitimate download platforms, with cheaper pricing and ease of use cited as the main factors that would persuade music fans to the legal sources of music.

XTN Data boss Greig Harper observed: "Clunky software, difficulty in finding tracks and over-zealous protection limiting where customers can play music they've bought are continuing to fuel filesharing. The industry is ignoring simple solutions which could see filesharers head to a legitimate service."

Perhaps more interesting, and possibly worrying for the music industry, were XTN's findings regarding the download platforms music fans were choosing. While 44% of those interviewed said they used iTunes to access their digital music, 14% said they used Russian download site, making it the second biggest download platform in the UK. This is problematic for the music industry because the Moscow based service, which provides digital music without DRM at incredibly cheap prices, claims to be a legal operation with legitimate licences to trade from Russian content owners, but the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry has questioned that legitimacy calling, albeit unsuccessfully, on Russian authorities to investigate the operation.

Commenting on the popularity of, Harper continued: "This is the first time we've monitored and we were surprised when it took second place. But it offers cheap downloads, is easy to use and has no restrictions on where people can play the tracks. This is what music fans are asking for so perhaps AllOfMP3's popularity isn't that surprising."


Meanwhile Justin De Santis of Mintel International Group - they're the "market research and consumer intelligence" people - has said that the decline in record industry revenues reported by the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry yesterday is as much down to bad strategy as the threat of illegal file-sharing.

De Santis: "The growing distance between the music industry and its consumer is due to a number of factors. These include lawsuits against individual consumers, payola practices, and, most recently, restrictive digital rights management".

Predicting that US retail music sales will shrink by $2 billion in the next five years, Mintel's report on the state of the music industry continued: "While illegal downloading has hurt the industry, big labels have relied on obsolete strategies for over a decade, and have been late in exploiting emerging technologies. The bond between independent artists and their fans has become stronger. The current renaissance of underground media has further driven the consumer away from major labels".


Which is news that will be welcomed by Kevin Drew of Canadian indie group Broken Social Scene, who was basically saying pretty much everything Mintel were saying backstage at the Juno awards on Sunday night.

Having won Alternative Album Of The Year, Drew took the opportunity to criticise the Canadian music industry, and especially the Canadian Idol franchise which, he claimed, put young singers under the spotlight too quickly.

Observing that all four of the Canadian Idol contestants nominated at the awards event had gone home empty handed, the group's Kevin Drew told reporters: "I feel really sorry for those kids in Canadian Idol because they're going absolutely nowhere. It's a trick ... it's a Canadian music industry downfall because in three years no one is going to remember them". He said that the major labels, unlike the independent labels, were unwilling to invest in their artists long term, adding: "I think things should have gotten a lot smaller years ago. It has to change ... people are still going for the 'instant."'

Drew's bandmate Leslie Feist agreed that things happen too quickly for Idol's pop stars, adding: "Collectively we probably have 200 years worth of gig experience. I feel only empathy . . . for the kids that are put in that position before they have those road scars".

But Susanne Boyce, the President Of Programming of CTV, the TV network which screens both the Junos and Canadian Idol, said she thought the Canadian music world was big enough for both Idol and indie stars. She told reporters: "Whether you have 200 years [of experience] or a day of it - the audiences will connect with you or not. What's lovely is when you see that the world has embraced Canadian music ... so it's all fine. I'm very proud of the whole Canadian music scene and I feel strongly about celebrating all the successes".


Anyway, back to researchers dissing the music industry, and a new report on mobile downloading says that your content is over priced and boring. Well, I'm paraphrasing slightly, but that was the basic gist.

Research commissioned by Adamind, who make mobile content (so are probably not entirely unbiased here), says that much of the content being made available for mobile consumption, a lot of which is music based, isn't exciting consumers, and that a lot of it is too expensive. While 25% of the 1000 people surveyed said they regularly downloaded mobile content, 14% said they thought mobile content was "boring".

Commenting on the research, Adamind boss Shailendra Jain observed (while possibly stating the obvious): "While people clearly are willing to download a wide range of different types of content this content has got to be compelling and affordable".

The research also warned mobile content types to not just concentrate on the kids. While mobile downloading was highest among the 16-24 demographic (39%), some 23% of the 35-55 age group also said they were buying mobile downloads.

Jain: "The fact that a significantly wider age range than generally assumed is using mobile content also demonstrates that the market has been blinkered to date. While teenagers are an easy hit in terms of selling content the more mature marketplace offers a tantalising opportunity of increased spending power."


All this dissing, will no one come to the defence of the good old music business? Ah, here comes EMI chief Eric Nicoli. Go for it Eric: "I think too many people are too quick to criticise music companies as resistant to change and desperate to cling to old business models. What they fail to grasp is the fundamental self-transformation EMI and other companies have undertaken to ensure they meet changing consumer and artist demand in the digital revolution. The music business was probably the first content industry to harness the power of the internet and turn it into both a viable new business model and a medium in which creators can prosper." Actually, he wrote that in the Evening Standard last week, but I think his basic point probably still stands. Whether you buy it or not - well that's for you to decide. We'd never try to influence your opinions on this kind of thing. Not like those rotten research firms.


SINGLE REVIEW: General Midi - Good To Go (Distinctive Breaks)
The second single to be taken from the recent 'Midi Style' long player, 'Good To Go' is another hard n heavy breaks beast from Bristol-based DJ/producer General Midi. Featuring the lilting dance-hall tones of MC Jakes, 'Good To Go' exemplifies the album's distinctive, bass-heavy dub style. The sound is full-on sweaty breaks. With an acerbic hook howling all the way from Underworld's 'Rez', and an ever-increasing Josh Wink acid line, the energy is boiled up to an overwhelming break down. It's memorable climactic action that will certainly be winning fans on the dance floor. Accompanying the triumphant original is a rather bland remix from America's breakbeat bigwig, DJ Icey. The sound stripped down, Icey's stark booming drums feel more than a little average, with the original vocal and hook essentially cut and pasted in. The hard, sparse sound comes across as less welcoming than its parent, but it definitely packs a punch. While a little disappointing overall, this more aggressive, austere reworking, will no doubt win favour with some DJ's. Next in the package, Italian duo Ajello fashion an understated electro-house version. Teasing the listener with subtle peaks and troughs, Ajello layer their potent riffs before snatching them away again, keeping the music engaging and interesting. It's a distinctive, inventive take on such an intense original production. And finally, straight out of leftfield, Scuola Furano add their low-fi, Hoxton-electro rendition. It's a little naff and the production is far from pioneering, but with lovable Mike Skinner looped strings, a funky-assed bass line and a retro, carefree attitude, this happy little slice of summer fun almost makes it my favourite of the lot! OG
Release date: 10 Apr
Press contact: Trailer [all]


The line up has been announced for this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, and Franz Ferdinand, Muse and Pearl Jam are set to headline the event, with support from acts such as Kaiser Chiefs, Audio Slave, The Cribs, Placebo and The Streets. The events take place, of course, from 25 - 27 Aug, at Richfield Avenue in Reading and Bramham Park in Leeds, and tickets are now on sale. The full initial line-up follows.

Reading on 25 Aug, Leeds on 26 Aug

Main Stage: Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Audioslave, Feeder, Belle & Sebastian, Fall Out Boy, The, Subways, Panic! At The Disco

NME / Radio 1 Stage: Primal Scream

Reading on 26 Aug, Leeds on 27 Aug:

Main Stage: Muse, Arctic Monkeys, The Streets, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dirty Pretty Things, The Futureheads, The Cribs, Wolfmother

NME / Radio 1 Stage: The Raconteurs

Reading on 27 Aug, Leeds on 25 Aug

Main Stage: Pearl Jam, Placebo, My Chemical Romance

NME / Radio 1 Stage: Maximo Park, The Rakes, The Kooks, Boy Kill Boy


I think I might go to Airwaves this year. I fancy a trip to Iceland. And the festival looks to be shaping up nicely, as Kaiser Chiefs have been announced as headliners alongside Brazilian Girls and Wolf Parade. Other acts on the bill include Mugison, Apparat Organ Quartet and Leaves. The event, now in its eighth year, takes place in Reykjavik from 18-22 Oct - check for more info.


Delays and The Zutons are amongst the acts that have been announced for Wales's Wakestock Festival this summer. Other acts on the bill include Feeder, The Automatic, The Cuban Brothers, Carl Cox, Adam Freeland and The Crimea. All takes place from 14-15 Jul, tickets on sale now.


Whether it's terrifyingly awful, or terrifyingly good remains to be seen. Radiohead's Thom Yorke, comparing his band's new album to seminal long player 'OK Computer', says that the new work is not politically themed, contrary to recent rumour.

Yorke says: "It's about that anonymous fear thing, sitting in traffic, thinking, 'I'm sure I'm supposed to be doing something else'. Interestingly enough it's similar to 'OK Computer' in a way. It's much more terrifying. But 'OK Computer' was terrifying too - some of the lyrics were."

Lord, I know that 'I'm supposed to be doing something else' feeling. I hope that pesky frontman hasn't been cracking open my brain for research purposes again.


The Rapture have been talking to Rolling Stone about the previously reported new album that they're presently working on with current chart topper Danger Mouse. Singer Luke Jenner says: "[Working with] Danger Mouse is definitely the most far-out thing we've done. This is the closest to a collaboration we've done - and it's definitely not a traditional approach. He just treats us like samples. Instead of me going in and playing a guitar part - he'll take a little loop of it and use it to sound like something's exploding. It doesn't even sound like a guitar after he's done with it sometimes. That's new for us."

Drummer Vito Roccoforte said: "The early demos we've played for people, they've said it's a little more 'like sunshine'. You know, a little brighter. Because of the headspace we were in," whilst bassist Matt Safer added: "People thought that the songs were really dark the last time around, but I don't think anyone would walk away thinking that now. We wanted to do more of a fun, upbeat thing - as cheesy as that sounds."

Safer continued: "We've grown together as a band more. We are a lean, muscular funk unit now. If the last [album] was a lonely Saturday night walking around the city, lamenting life and love lost, then this one is where Saturday night's alright for a fight with your buddy."


Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello has spoken to MTV about the band's as yet untitled new album, revealing that the long player has a political edge to it. He said: "It's a record that sounds like Led Zeppelin meets Earth, Wind & Fire. We took the momentum of playing some of the best shows of our lives, as well as working out the kinks of some of these songs in front of a live audience, seeing what worked and didn't work. If you want your ass kicked, you've come to the right place. And you may have the opportunity to shake that ass too."

On planned album track 'Wide Awake' Morello added: "It's the most political song Audioslave's ever written, and it's a scathing condemnation of the Bush administration's failures in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It's a sad, powerful and angry song."


LIVE REVIEW: Brotherly at The Jazz Café on 1 April
This was a rare appearance (their fourth ever in, actual fact) by this West London collective, the project of Zero 7's bassist Robin Mullarkey, also a producer and multi-instrumentalist, and partner Anna Stubbs. There seems to be a little something for everyone in this group. The musicianship on show here was at times frankly awesome. Jazz heads could drool over some nice licks from guitarist Femi Temowo, as well as some blistering keyboard solos. Drummer Martyn Kaine is also a hell of a player, and held down the at times bloody complicated grooves with ease. Make no mistake, the music this nine-piece played was at times dense, involving some pretty complex harmonies and rhythms. On the other hand, songs such as 'Put it Out' and 'Elevate' suggest that they could play a straight ahead club night and still have the punters up and dancing like they did here - the latter even had me take to the floor, a feat which usually requires the application of vast quantities of sambuca coupled with a burst of 'Billie Jean'. A very cool little cover of Milton Nascimento's 'Cravo e Canela' in particular demonstrated the eclectic nature of the band and the vocals, meanwhile, were very strong - Anna Stubbs, who co-writes the material with Mullarkey, taking the lead on some songs, but backed up powerfully by Natalie Williams and Eska Mtungwazi, who are both UK soul stars in their own right. Apparently Brotherly's mission is 'to make music that sounds good. That's all. Anything goes' - judging by Saturday, I'd say mission accomplished. TH


Madonna is set to begin a world tour in May, including three British dates, as follows. Embarrassingly, she seems to have forgotten what a busy time of year August is for us and scheduled those dates as we're en route to Edinburgh for the festival. Doh.

30 Jul: Cardiff Millennium Stadium
1 Aug: London Wembley Arena on August 1 and 3.
3 Aug: London Wembley Arena

Meanwhile, the top poptician is planning the release of a new special edition of 'Confessions On A Dance Floor', which will feature six remixes on three 12" vinyls, out on 1 May.


Talking of Zero 7, which we were in that live review a moment ago, the band have announced that they will release a new single 'Throw It All Away' on 15 May, ahead of the release of the band's third album 'The Garden'. The single will be issued on CD, 7" and 12" vinyl, backed by two other new tracks, 'Thistles' and 'Inaminute'.

The group will head out on tour following the release of the album, dates as follows:

25 May: Nottingham Rock City
26 May: Norwich UEA
27 May: Leicester University
29 May: Southampton Guildhall
30 May: Bristol Colston Hall
31 May: Birmingham Academy
1 Jun: Leeds Metro University
3 Jun: London Shepherds Bush Empire
4 Jun: Brighton Dome
5 Jun: Liverpool Academy
7 Jun: Glasgow ABC
8 Jun: Newcastle Academy
9 Jun: Manchester Academy


Blackbud have announced a rather long series of tour dates across April and May to coincide with the release of new album 'From The Sky' on 29 May. As follows:

24 Apr: Bristol, Fleece
25 Apr: Cardiff, Barfly
27 Apr: Taunton, Club Aura
28 Apr: Plymouth, Cooperage
29 Apr: Exeter, Cavern
2 May: Cambridge, Portland Arms
3 May: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
4 May: Derby, Victoria Inn
7 May: Reading, Fez Club
8 May: Birmingham, Barfly
9 May: Wolverhampton, Little Civic
11 May: Northampton, Soundhaus
13 May: Bath, Moles
14 May: Stoke, Sugarmill
15 May: Newcastle, The Cluny
16 May: Manchester, Roadhouse
17 May: Glasgow, King Tuts
19 May: Leeds, Joseph Wells
20 May: York, Fibbers
21 May: Sheffield, Plug
24 May: Nottingham, Social
26 May: Tunbridge Wells, Forum
27 May: Oxford, Zodiac
29 May: Southend, Chinnerys
30 May: London, 100 Club


Saxophonist Jackie McLean, who played alongside the likes of Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Charley Mingus, has died at the age of 74. According to a spokesman from Hartford University where McLean was a tutor, the musician died at his home in Hartford, Connecticut, on Friday after a long illness.

McLean began playing soprano sax at the age of fourteen, later graduating to the alto, which he then played throughout his career. Following his work with Davis and Mingus, McLean went through a difficult period when he faced a waning career and drug problems, before he made a comeback in the 1960s, when he explored free jazz alongside saxophonists Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane.


American collecting society BMI is predicting that US ringtone sales this year will surpass $600 million, which would be $100 million up from last year. The forecast is based on the growth of the sector in the last seven quarters.

BMI VP Of Business Development Richard Conlon told reporters: "We see the market maturing in 2006 with growth fuelled by an increase in multimedia handsets and more aggressive marketing by wireless carriers. We believe that the market will grow by 20% for the ringtone sector alone in 2006. We also see 2006 as the make or break year for the ringback tone market, which is still in the novelty phase in the United States. Additional music-based revenues should be realized from mobile subscription music services, which have just begun US roll out."

Ring tones have, of course, always been better business for the publishers and composers that BMI represent than the record labels, given that the latter only earn a royalty when real recordings are used in the ringtone, while the former earn a royalty whatever version of a track is used, providing the collection society can track purchases. BMI has said that it has now tracked and processed 360,000,000 ringtones since it started monitoring the market back in 2001.


Warner Classics have become the first major classical label to launch a download store - or at least they will be, when they launch their new download service next Monday (well, unless EMI Classics or SonyBMG Masterworks get in very quickly I suppose). Hundreds of Warner Classics albums will be available for download via their website,, with another 50 odd or so due to be added each week.

Warner Classics' Matthew Cosgrove told reporters: "Our mission is to make classical music accessible to as many consumers as possible. Our online store will enable classical music fans to access high quality recordings from our music library anytime from anywhere. We are extremely excited about the launch of this new store."


EP REVIEW: Hope Of The States - Blood Meridian EP (SonyBMG)
If the coming apocalypse only lasts 4 minutes, then it'll sound like this. I've always admired Hope Of The States for the way they effortlessly bridge the gap between dark indie and post-rock. They manage to cram in everything that Godspeed! You Black Emperor do in 30 minutes into a 4 minute pop song while retaining every bit of the dark, sinister atmosphere. The title track of this EP exemplifies this talent perfectly - even the opening lyric ("the money's running out / the casino's burning down / the police are getting nervous...") sends a shiver down the spine, and by the time the rushing chorus kicks in, you're already running for the air-raid shelters with a gas mask and a suitcase full of tinned food. Sadly, the rest of the EP doesn't quite live up to these dizzy heights, instead opting for a more subtle approach. Their forthcoming second album, 'Left' will be released in June and if it's anything like as good as this then it'll definitely be worth getting your hands on. DG
Release Date: 3 Apr
Press Contact: Wild [CP, CR] SonyBMG [RP, NP, RR, NR]


Warner Music Group has announced the appointment of former MTV communications VP Mel Fox to the role of VP Corporate Communications at Warner Music International, where she will report to recently appointed WMI top man Patrick Vien and WMG Senior VP Corp Comms Will Tanous. In her new role she will oversee all aspects of communications for the international division, including media relations and internal comms.

Confirming the appointment, Vein told reporters: "With her strong background and communications skills, as well as her deep knowledge of the media industry, Mel is an ideal candidate to head WMI's corporate communications department as we grow our presence in key territories and take full advantage of new and emerging music platforms".


From new recruits to resignations. Masaaki Saito, the boss of Toshiba-EMI, the Japanese record company that is a joint venture between, erm, Toshiba and EMI, has announced he is retiring from the job. Although he's been with the company since 1970, and ran their international marketing division ever since the late eighties, he only took the top job last year.

Confirming Saito's departure from the EMI company, Norman Cheng of EMI Music Asia told reporters: "Saito-san has made a great contribution to EMI and our artists over many years, helping to break and develop some of Japan's most important musicians and to launch many international artists in Japan".


Sanctuary Music staff news now - and there's lots of it. First up, Mike Miller, who has been a senior member of the independent music company's management team since 1986, has announced he is resigning from the board to pursue new opportunities. Miller has been part of the team trying to put things right at Sanctuary following the Group's recent and much documented financial problems, but has now handed over the Group Finance Director role to fellow board member Paul Wallace.

Confirming Miller's departure, Sanctuary co-founder Andy Taylor told CMU: "Mike has been a fantastic member of the Sanctuary family. He has always been a highly committed, professional colleague and loyal friend and it is with real regret that I have accepted his resignation. Mike played a key role in building the strong base of businesses that we can now all benefit from going forward. I understand his desire to move on now having helped restore Sanctuary's finances. I am confident that his experience and skills will ensure he has a bright and successful future."

Next up, Tom Lipsky, the boss of Sanctuary's US recorded music business has announced he will be leaving the company at the end of June, also to pursue new opportunities. Lipsky took on the top job at the Sanctuary division when the Group acquired CMC International Records, which Lipsky co-owned, back in 2000. It is unclear if Lipsky's departure will have any implications for the rest of Sanctuary Records US, although it is known that the division's office in Raleigh, North Carolina will close.

Finally from the HR department at Sanctuary towers - some new board appointments. Firstly former BA chief Bob Ayling has taken on the Chairman role which the aforementioned Andy Taylor stood down from at the end of last year, while one James Wallace has been appointed as a non-Executive Director. One more non-Executive Director is likely to be appointed in due course.

Confirming all that, Taylor continued: "I am delighted that Bob has agreed to become Chairman of Sanctuary and that James has joined the Board. These appointments strengthen the Board significantly and will provide the additional controls, governance and guidance that should allow the Group to deliver improved performance".

Bob Ayling himself added: "I am very pleased to be joining Sanctuary at this important moment in the Group's history. Before its recent troubles, Sanctuary was successful over many years. The new Board is determined that it should be successful again. While costs have been cut and the balance sheet has been repaired, the Group has retained talented people, valuable assets and an impressive roster of artists. Within a strong governance framework established by the new Board, management will work to drive the business to deliver the results of which it is capable. My priorities are to ensure proper standards of corporate governance and financial transparency and ensure the Group delivers appropriate levels of performance. With the new Board in place, I am optimistic that we can achieve these goals, although it may take time to do so."

The new board has been finalised following an EGM announcement on 17 Mar which confirmed the Group had completed a £110m fundraising to restore the company's balance sheet and secure the way for future development.


Actually, one more bit of Sanctuary Music related appointments news. US based Liberation Entertainment, who describe themselves as "a leading independent global distributor of visual content for the broadcast and home entertainment markets", have announced they are opening a new European office based in London to exploit the company's catalogue of films, TV programmes and music concert recordings over here - initially through DVD distribution partnerships.

This has a Sanctuary link, because the man running the London office is Spencer Pollard, formerly VP Commercial Development at Sanctuary Visual Entertainment. Confirming that appointment, Liberation boss Jay Boberg told CMU: "I am very pleased to have someone of Spencer's experience and reputation at the helm of our European operation. I have a long history with IRS Records and MCA Records of enjoying the benefits of an operating company in the UK. Spencer's and my relationships will help us be very aggressive in both acquisitions and DVD marketing and sales in England and across the continent."


LIVE REVIEW: Depeche Mode at Wembley Arena on 2 Apr
Trivia time - who were the first band to play the new Wembley Arena? The Bravery. They had the honour of warming up the sound guy for Depeche Mode on Sunday night, and after a half-hearted start, put in a rather average display to a largely ignorant crowd. The venue itself looks pretty spectacular from the outside with a triangular fountain in the floor turning all the colours of the rainbow whilst Kate Bush blares out across the forecourt. We get plenty of time to appreciate this as the unlabelled main entrance turns out to be for upstairs only, and the subsequent directions we receive point us to completely the wrong side of the building. That said, once we are inside, the clinical cleanliness is quite something; reminiscent of any good shopping centre, and the lack of a cloakroom anywhere in the building is perhaps the most astounding thing about it. Depeche Mode are joined onstage by a giant robotic head hanging from the ceiling, going by the name 'John The Revelator v1-5', who displays choice words and phrases throughout the show. The novelty soon wears off, but it's pretty cool, I'm sure you'd agree. They begin with the opening salvo of their latest album, and crowd-pleasers from the past 20 years, in the shape of 'A Question of Time' and 'Policy of Truth', with Dave Gahan belying his 43 years (though he finally looks as though he's in his thirties after being in his twenties for upwards of 20 years) with the most energetic display of electro cock-rock the world will ever see. Five relentless songs later, and Martin Gore is left to warble through two of his ballads whilst Dave leaves the stage for a pick-me-up before five more stadium-stompers including 'Personal Jesus' and 'Enjoy the Silence'. As a Depeche Mode fan of 15 years, I am a relative newcomer compared to most of those present tonight, and The Mode are only too aware of this, and play up to the over 30s market for all their worth, with a five minute outro to 'Enjoy The Silence' taking in flamenco drums and funk guitar riffs. But almost everyone here is middle-aged, so it's okay. Their first encore is set in the early eighties, where Depeche Mode were yet to get gloomy, and pop songs were allowed to be dumb. During 'Just Can't Get Enough' Dave Gahan looks more and more like a cross between Julian Clary and Keith Richards with every passing hip-waggle, and the back-slapping croon of 'Goodnight Lovers' with both Dave and Martin is almost too much to bear, but then again, if they didn't slip up the audience would keep demanding more. MM


So called hip hop 'power couple', Def Jam founder Russell Simmons and his wife Kimora Lee Simmons, have separated. The couple, who've been married for seven years and have two daughters, and are partners in various businesses, including those in fashion and yoga as well as music, said that their business relationship would continue.

A statement explained that that the pair separated some time ago, but that they had continued to live in the same home and will "remain committed parents and caring friends with great love and admiration for each other."


Sandi Thom, the twenty four year old singer whose bedroom concert webcasts have been reaching regular audiences of more than 100,000 people, has got herself a record contract. More than one label approached her, not surprisingly, but she's gone with SonyBMG's RCA.

RCA boss Craig Logan said: "Sandi is a very talented artist with an already unique story. We're very excited that we're now going to be a part of that story as she develops into a major artist."


Mariah Carey is apparently in talks to appear in a Broadway musical. She will also write material for the stage show, which may also be made into a film. The singer told MTV: "I don't want to mention anything definitive until things are signed, but there's a very big company that just signed on to develop the project with me. It's probably going to be a movie first. I don't want to say a television movie, because it's not like a cheesy network movie, but then it's going to be made for the Broadway production."


Now look, will you all stop downloading that Beatfreakz 'Somebody's Watching Me' track please? Yep, what is likely to become the Eric Prydz 'Call On Me' type track of 2006, has got into the iTunes Top 20 without actually being properly released, digitally or otherwise. The track appears on a Ministry mix album and such is the growing popularity of the cheesy club track that people are picking it out of the mix and downloading it, hence the high rating even though the single edit won't be online for a couple of weeks. We hear Ministry are planning on withdrawing their 'Dancenation' album from iTunes so as not to hinder too much sales of the Beatfreakz single once it is officially available, so for the time being you might have to make do with the rather disturbing video instead... Beatfreakz_SomebodysWatchingMe_300k.asx

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