CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 18th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Lib Dems want conditions put on copyright extensions
- APIG set date for review publication
- RIAA sues XM over track capture service
- Classical challenges
- Beta man is back, we think
- Razorlight better than Monkeys say, er, Razorlight
- Single review: Ed Harcourt - Visit From The Dead Dog
- Somerset House gigs - line up announced
- Green Man boat party in June
- Beachbombing is back
- Simple Minds announce dates
- Crazy record
- Napster, revenues up, but losses up too
- Mobile Entertainment nominees announced
- Mercury dates
- Single review: Veldt - Walking In Silence
- Islam to release first new album for 30 years
- Tapes N Tapes are OnesToWatch
- Wooo, Eurovision
- Ronan has second thoughts about Boyzone reunion
- Robbie Williams could educate your child
- Macca divorce

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TOP BIT >>
So, welcome to the first ever Great Escape. Not that this is the Great Escape. This is the CMU Daily. And it's not really my job to welcome you to the Great Escape either - I mean, I'm not even going to be there until tomorrow afternoon. But what I am trying to say here is that the first ever Great Escape kicks off in Brighton today with EMI boss man Tony Wadsworth taking part in a Q&A type thing with Music Week man Ajax Scott in the quite wonderful Spiegeltent (one of the venues for this year's Brighton Festival Fringe that we've been talking about quite so much in recent days). Meanwhile round the corner at the Queens Hotel another Music Week man, Martin Talbot, will be talking about the current state of the music industry (as of 4pm today, presumably). Those sessions precede the first round of sell out showcase events that will take place all over Brighton over the next three days. If you are heading down to the seaside today make sure you check the CMU team's Great Escape tips which you will find at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk or inside the latest edition of ThreeWeeks in Brighton which you will find inside Latest 7 which you will find distributed pretty much everywhere in Brighton itself. If you are going to be there tomorrow, look out for two not-quite-as-tired-by-then-hopefully CMU/ThreeWeeks publishers soaking in the sun (we hope) in the Spiegel Garden. And if you're not going at all (it is a busy weekend after all, All Tomorrows Parties over at Camber Sands, British Music Week over there in Berlin), then check out our round up next week in the CMU Daily. Meantime, all the official info you need is at http://www.escapegreat.com.

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SERVICES N STUFF>>

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ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
Karol talks to Still Remains live on the 'Metal Lunchbox' (noon to 3pm). Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

Beats in Brighton
The Brighton Festival is under way, and you can check out CMU's preview of the Great Escape, plus reviews of other music events taking place at the Festival this year courtesy of our sister title ThreeWeeks in Brighton, all online later on today at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

My Space Of The Day: Jim Noir
Certain members of the CMU team have been bigging up Mr Noir for as long as I can remember (though presumably not much before December 2004, when his first EP was released), but we're flagging up his MySpace today because I have just interviewed him for the next edition of the aforementioned ThreeWeeks in Brighton (because he's playing The Carousel Festival down there next Wednesday) and it was only whilst checking out his MySpace page in preparation for said interview that I realised we hadn't previously tipped it, which was a bit of an oversight given that longterm love for his music, and the recent release of single 'My Patch', Noir and My Dad Recording's first alliance with Warner's Atlantic Records. That track is a great introduction to what some like to term as Noir's brand of 'psychedelic pop', which is another reason for mentioning his MySpace, where the track is available for preview. If you like what you hear you should really check out his live show because, despite being one of those multi-instrumentalists who single handedly wrote, played, sang and produced his own debut album, he and his band have come up with an impressive live re-interpretation. If you can't make the Brighton Festival date, then there are loads listed here.

http://www.myspace.com/jimnoir

Read more about our MySpace of the Day right now at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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LIB DEMS WANT CONDITIONS PUT ON COPYRIGHT EXTENSIONS
The culture spokesman for those most Liberal of Democrats has put forward proposals for a "conditional extension" to recording copyrights which would allow rights owners to extend the length of their copyrights from 50 to 95 years but subject to certain conditions.

Don Foster MP has put forward the proposals as part of the previously reported government review on intellectual property, which has seen the record industry call for an extension on the current 50 year copyright for recordings - to bring it in line with the longer copyrights enjoyed in other countries, and in the publishing sector. The UK's National Consumer Council recently criticised those proposals, accusing the major record companies of being greedy in their desire to extend their copyrights.

Foster opposes a blanket increase that automatically extends every recording copyright because, he argues, many record companies fail to utilise large portions of their back catalogues and the current system means that after fifty years new independent players can access and rerelease those 'lost recordings' which, he reckons, are good for society at a large as well as the independents who profit from them. Nevertheless, Foster agrees that the content owners who invested in original recordings should be allowed to continue to profit from that investment, should they wish to.

Therefore under Foster's system rights holders would only be allowed to extend the copyrights on music they genuinely intend to keep in circulation - a "use it or lose it" system. Record labels would have to pay a fee to get an extension on any one recording, commit to keep that recording available in whatever formats the latest music technology trends require, and to allow third parties to distribute the music if they are unable to.

Announcing his proposals, Foster told reporters: "Britain has a fantastic musical history that we should be proud of. But the industry's calls for a blanket extension of copyright threatens that very legacy. We want to ensure musicians and the music industry continue to thrive while ensuring the public benefits from greater availability and better protection of our musical heritage. No-body benefits from historical recordings sitting in a basement gathering dust. Government should not give the music industry a free ticket to ride. A 'use it or lose it' clause will ensure much more of our rich musical history sees the light of day."

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APIG SET DATE FOR REVIEW PUBLICATION
Talking of government reviews of things relating to copyright and the music industry, the All Party Internet Group will publish its previously reported review on all things Digital Rights Management at the British Library on 5 Jun. You should be emailing k.withers@ippr.org if you want to attend.

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RIAA SUES XM OVER TRACK CAPTURE SERVICE
The Recording Industry Association of America is suing US satellite radio company XM over its Inno device which allows listeners to their radio channels to capture and store individual tracks. The system, the record labels argue, is not covered by the traditional blanket licences used by radio stations and, therefore, by offering the service XM are guilty of copyright violation.

As previously reported, XM's rival satellite radio network Sirius, whose S50 device offers a similar track capture facility, have reached separate licence agreements with a number of major record companies regarding the new service, and remain in negotiation with other labels and the main music publishers. XM have also been in talks with rights holders regarding the service, but those have seemingly broken down, hence the lawsuit.

The negotiations between the labels and the radio companies regarding these kind of services centre on the debate as to when an interactive radio service actually becomes a download platform, and therefore when radio companies can no longer rely on existing radio licences to distribute music. The record labels argue that the Inno device has crossed the line and XM are now in the same territory as iTunes et al. XM argue that, because the tracks captured on an Inno device cannot be transferred to another player, and because they can only be accessed while a consumer is subscribing to XM, they are merely operating an interactive extension of their existing radio services.

Should it go to court the record companies' lawsuit is seeking $150,000 in damages for every song copied by XM customers to an Inno device, which seems pretty ambitious.

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CLASSICAL CHALLENGES
Well, the classical sector has one thing in common, they dress smartly when they attend early evening seminars dissecting their industry - I felt even more shabby than is usual sitting in the corner at last night's Music Tank Think Tank event in London. The other thing the classical sector has in common is the overall perception that "things aren't as bad as they say, but they aren't as good as they could (should?) be either".

But dress code and topline perceptions aside, the classical sector seemed pretty fragmented to me as its key players discussed the challenges and opportunities out there in the digital age. Cuts in classical at the major labels, ever declining shelf space in high street record stores and an overall decline in CD sales might not really matter so much given the growth in independent labels, the rising number of orchestras and venues self-releasing recordings and the seeming popularity of classical music in the digital domain (more on that in our Think Tank interview with LSO Live's Chaz Jenkins on the CMU website - http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/interviews).

And innovative programming by the likes of the London Sinfonietta, often involving key players from non-classical genres like Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood or the Warp DJs and video makers, have shown that the classical world need not be isolated from the wider musical spectrum, nor need it rely solely on its dedicated but declining traditional audience. And, as London Sinfonietta MD Cathy Graham pointed out last night, there is a lot of respect between performers in the classical and non-classical worlds, and a genuine desire to collaborate.

And then there are the recent successes of the classical world superstars. Just two months ago Vittorio Grigolo, Russell Watson and Andrea Bocelli all appeared in the overall albums top ten in the same week. And of course there is the global success of the Il Divo franchise, even if most of those there last night weren't too eager to take any credit or indeed associate themselves with Simon Cowell's pop opera creations.

But do any of these creative and commercial success stories expand the audience for the classical genre in the long term? Can an Il Divo fan be persuaded to try a bit of Bizet? Will the Radiohead fan who is excited about Greenwood's classical dabblings then go and buy Beethoven's Fifth? Will the casual Classic FM listener, conditioned to those four minute snippets interspersed by friendly chat, ever be persuaded to experience Elgar's Second in its entirety? And if they were, would the classical community at large welcome them with open arms, or assume they are 'lesser people' because of their lesser knowledge of the genre?

And that, I think, is possibly the classical sector's main problem. Certain independent labels, orchestras and media are satisfying the appetite of classical aficionados on a day to day basis (aficionados of both traditional and contemporary classic music), while the other (often major) labels, orchestras and media succeed in creating classical initiatives which win mainstream attention and support, but on something of an ad hoc basis. But the sector doesn't seem too sure how one side can feed the other.

So it seems to me, based on last night's Think Tank at least, that the challenge isn't so much recruiting new audiences, as it is keeping them, and then exposing them to the wider classical world. How to meet that challenge I'm not sure, and I don't think anyone in the classical industry knows either.

That said, I don't agree with the always contentious consultant Merlin Stone who told the Music Tank last night that the challenge wasn't being met because of the classical sector's complete incompetence. Nor would I agree with Chandos Records' Paul Westcott or This Isn't For You's Matt Frenton who seemed to say it was a challenge that could never be met. But if any of the classical industry experts at the MusicTank last night had way of meeting it in mind, they kept very quiet about it.

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BETA MAN IS BACK, WE THINK
Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason, aka King Biscuit Time, who recently left a message on his MySpace implying that he was quitting the music business, has left a new message on his MySpace indicating that he isn't.

The message that sparked fears that Mason was planning to put his music behind him appeared back in April, reading: "Peace to you all. I'm out of here. It's been amazing but I've had enough. The mountain beat me and sadly you too. That don't mean you should give up. It just wasn't me. Over and out, Steve." He also cancelled a national tour and subsequently has remained incommunicado.

His debut King Biscuit Time album was released, as planned, on Monday, however, and now Mason has added a new post to his MySpace page in which he promises to tour at some point, as originally planned.

The message reads: "I want to say thank you all so much for the messages of support and love. It has been a whacked out time for me and the messages meant so much, really. I'm very lucky to have such people who are into the moosic I make. Thank you. I do feel a lot better now and will return. Want to apologize for cancelling the tour but it was not possible to do it at the time. But that will be happening at some point. Working with a friend on her music right now which is helping me get back into it. Album came out Monday, very happy with it and hope you get on it. Peace and general warm vibrations to you all, Steve."

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RAZORLIGHT BETTER THAN MONKEYS SAY, ER, RAZORLIGHT
Razorlight's Johnny Borrell has said that his band are way better than Arctic Monkeys, and what's more, lots of other bands are too. In a new interview with NME, the singer was asked if he thought Arctic Monkeys were better than his own band, to which he retorted: "What? Of course I fucking don't. I wouldn't say they're better than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, either. Or The Strokes, or even like The Libertines were for those five minutes when they were brilliant. But they deserve it because the door was open for them and they blew the hinges off."

Borrell also went on to speak of his own "genius" during the course of the interview, which ought to help blow that popular perception that he's an arrogant wanker right out of the water.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Ed Harcourt - Visit From The Dead Dog (EMI/Heavenly)
Ed's latest effort, from his forthcoming album 'The Beautiful Lie', recounts childhood memories of his grandmother sensing the presence of a dead dog in her bed. Coincidentally, as it's playing I sense the presence of the same dead dog of a song that Ed's been flogging since his first album. This time he trots it out at three quarter pace with some pleasant reverberating guitars from Graham Coxon and a trumpet solo in the middle that shouts - 'It's jazz music, honest'. Let's hope the album's more of a step forward. EM
Release Date: 22 May
Press Contact: EMI IH [all]

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SOMERSET HOUSE GIGS - LINE UP ANNOUNCED
The line up is out for the always impressive Summer Series At Somerset House, which will again take over the courtyard of the London home of the Inland Revenue with an impressive range of acts. This shows run as follows, press info from Nile On.

6 Jul: The Divine Comedy & Bell X1
7 Jul: Jose Gonzalez
10 Jul: Robert Plant and The Strange Sensation & Orange Blossom
11 Jul: Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley
12 Jul: Corinne Bailey Rae & James Morrison
13 Jul: Elbow
14/15 Jul: Erykah Badu

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GREEN MAN BOAT PARTY IN JUNE
The Green Man Festival is set to return for a fourth year in August, but it's organisers have also announced a pre-festival party aboard a boat on the Thames. It's all happening on 11 June from 2-7pm and will feature live sets from Simple Kid and Fields, walkabout comedy and on-board entertainers, plus a variety of DJs. Tickets, costing £18, will be available through the Green Man website.

The festival itself has, as previously reported, confirmed acts such as Jose Gonzales, King Creosote, Martha Wainwright, Adem, Bert Jansch and James Yorkston, and it takes place in the lovely Brecon Beacons from 18 - 20 Aug. See http://www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk for info and tickets.

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BEACHBOMBING IS BACK
Beachbombing, sister event to the slightly more famous Snowbombing, is to return this summer following a two year hiatus. The event is set to take place from 8-11 Jun at a caravan park in Newquay. Organisers are promising beach parties, poolside sessions, fun and games and late night club action. Yes, yes they do, and at a relatively reasonable cost, methinks, given that a package including 3 nights accommodation and all entertainment and parties is £69.

No line-up has been officially announced as yet, but the likes of Krafty Kuts, Soul Of Man, Kid Carpet, The Cuban Brothers and The Loose Cannons will be on it, and that's five CMU favourites right there. Info from kate.doyle@snowbombing.com.

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SIMPLE MINDS ANNOUNCE DATES
Simple Minds have announced three outdoor concerts, following the sell-out success of their UK tour dates earlier in the year, as follows, press info from Noble PR:

10 Jul: Liverpool Summer Pops, Liverpool
22 Jul: Audley End House, Saffron Walden
24 Jul: Dock Rock, Excel Centre, London

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CRAZY RECORD
Gnarls Barkley's 'Crazy' looks set to stay at number one in this weekend's singles chart, making it the longest running number one in more than ten years. If the track stays there for an eighth week, that will be the longest running number one since Wet Wet Wet's 'Love Is All Around' in 1994.

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NAPSTER, REVENUES UP, BUT LOSSES UP TOO
Napster posted its earnings for the financial year ending 31 Mar yesterday, showing considerable revenue and subscriber gains but also increased overall losses.

Overall revenue for 2005/6 was double that of the previous financial year - up from $46.7 million to $94.7 million. The number of people subscribing to the online music service also rose to over 606,000. However overall losses were up to $54.9 million, from $29.5 million the previous year.

However Napster bosses are sure to point to the fact that losses for the final quarter of the financial year were down on the previous quarter, and on the same quarter the previous year, while revenues were up $9 million on the same period in 2005. They will also stress that these figures precede the launch of the new advertising funded Napster destination site, which provided the digital music company, in the US at least, with a new revenue stream and a free-to-access music platform from which to upsell subscription packages.

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MOBILE ENTERTAINMENT NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
The nominations have been announced for the Mobile Entertainment Awards, which will be awarded by Mr Pete Tong at a ceremony on 24 May. Apparently these awards are called the Meffys, which is nice. Announcing the Meffy nominees, the boss of the Mobile Entertainment Forum who run them told reporters: "The high calibre and volume of entries this year reflects the vibrant nature of the mobile entertainment market. Companies reaching the shortlist range from major global brands through to dynamic start-up companies, each significantly contributing in their own way to the growth of mobile entertainment."

The shortlists look like this:

The Mobile Games Award: Digital Chocolate - 'Tower Bloxx', Glu Mobile - 'Zuma', Ideaworks3D - Electronic Arts 'Need for Speed: Most Wanted', iFone - 'Sonic the Hedgehog', InfoSpace & MTV - 'Dirty Sanchez'

The Mobile Music Award: Hungama Mobile - 'Jhalak Dikhla Ja Music Service', 3 UK - '3's Mobile Music Service', Sprint Nextel and Groove Mobile - 'The Sprint Music Store', Vodafone Group Services and Sony NetServices - 'Vodafone Radio DJ', Warner Music - 'WAMO Packs'

The Mobile Content AwardL: Buongiorno - 'Soccer Addicts', Channel 4 New Media - 'Channel 4 Mobile Portal', Chooz Active Content - 'Foreplay', Inventa Productions - 'Jamie's Mobile Kitchen', Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation - 'Winter Olympic Games 2006'

The Mobile Services Award: Bango - 'The Bango Service', 3 UK & Yospace - 'SeeMe TV', mBlox - 'Off Portal Full Track Music Download Service', MTV Networks - 'Mobile TV Channels', QUALCOMM - 'The BREW Solution'

The Mobile Innovation Award: Cascada Mobile - 'TAG', CoreMedia - 'CoreMedia DRM 2005', 3 UK and Yospace - 'SeeMeTV', Liquid Air Lab - 'Spodradio', MX Telecom - 'Video Short Codes'

The Mobile Entertainment Operator Award: 3 UK, Orange, Que Pasa Communications - 'Virgin Mobile BITES 3G', Vodafone Group Services

The Mobile Entertainment Handset Award: LG Electronics - 'U880', Motorola - 'RAZR V3x', Nokia - 'N70'

The Mobile Entertainment Marketing Campaign: Celltick Technologies - 'mLive Thailand', Parlophone - 'Gorillaz: Queen's Speech', Hungama Mobile - 'Apsara Awards', iFone - 'Sonic the Hedgehog', France Telecom/Orange and Warner Music - 'Madonna: Confessions on a Dance Floor'

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MERCURY DATES
Talking of awards, a couple of Mercury Music Prize dates for your diary. The shortlist for this year's slightly random album award will be announced on 18 Jul, with the winner announced on 5 Sep. Press info from Coalition.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Veldt - Walking In Silence (Outstanding Records)
Now, this single has clearly been out for some time, but they are a Brighton band, and we seem to be in Brighton mode at the moment, so it seems apt to talk about it now. The influences here are obvious, but if you're going to have predictable influences they might as well be the very best, and Veldt certainly mine these - the cinematic oeuvre of John Barry, Roy Budd and Ennio Morricone, chief among them. Add in a cerebral beats fixation (you can hear traces of DJ Shadow and 90s trip hop, particularly Portishead) and you're left with something sounding both curiously retro and refreshingly modern at the same time. Bristol's Ilya are a valid reference point, as is Goldfrapp's first album and the luxurious art-pop of No-Man. With its exotic instrumentation and soaring Scott Walker-esque vocals, more resonant is the spirit of the late Billy MacKenzie (and if, like me, you still lament his passing, this single will serve as some small recompense) and The Associates. A beautifully pained exercise in melodramatic sophistication, heartbreak never sounded so affecting. MS
Release date: 27 Mar
Press contact: Rood Media [all]

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ISLAM TO RELEASE FIRST NEW ALBUM FOR 30 YEARS
The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam, is set to release an album of new material via Polydor this autumn. It's his first release in thirty years (well, his first one without Ronan Keating warbling along) and will coincide with the fortieth anniversary of the release of his first record 'I Love My Dog'.

Islam, who famously got religion in the late seventies, says: "There were one hundred reasons for leaving the music industry back in 1979, not least because I had found what I was looking for spiritually. Today there are perhaps one hundred and one good reasons why I feel right making music and singing about life in this fragile world again."

He continues: "Much has changed, but today I am in a unique position as a looking glass through which Muslims can see the west and the west can see Islam. It is important for me to be able to help bridge the cultural gaps others are sometimes frightened to cross."

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TAPES N TAPES ARE ONESTOWATCH
One for your diaries now - Tapes n Tapes are appearing at the London Barfly on Monday as part of the Levi's OnesToWatch series (they really do showcase some ones to watch, incidentally). There's quite a buzz around the band, actually, since they self-released debut album 'The Loon' at the end of last year.

Anyway, that takes place, as aforementioned, at the Barfly in Camden on Monday at 7:30pm, tickets £6 (adv). For more information on OnesToWatch see www.eu.levi.com/lotw

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WOOO, EUROVISION
The 51st Eurovision Song Contest is this weekend, of course. Ahead of that though, the semi-final in which 23 countries will compete for 10 places in Saturday's main event takes place tonight.

Just fourteen countries already have a place in the final - those that scored the most points last year, and France, Germany, Spain and the UK who get through automatically on the basis that they pay for it. As previously reported, Daz Sampson will represent the UK on Saturday with the track 'Teenage Life'.

Following the semi-final performances tonight, a public vote throughout Europe, Turkey and Israel will be held via phone and text message to decide who gets the spare places in the final. Acts appearing include Finnish hard rock band Lordi, who, as previously reported, have been causing a bit of a stir in their native country, accused of devil worship, and the like.

Also as previously reported (in some depth, actually) Serbia-Montenegro withdrew from the contest after the two states failed to reach an agreement over allegations of cheating in judging of the contest to decide which act would go through to Eurovision.

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RONAN HAS SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT BOYZONE REUNION
According to The Sun, Ronan Keating has said that he is having second thoughts about a Boyzone reunion, which he initially said he would not consider.

The tabloid quotes him as saying: "I saw Take That last Friday. They were completely brilliant. When the lads appeared I hadn't heard a noise like it since Boyzone's last concert. I was feeling 'This would definitely be nice again.' "

He added: "I'm seeing the guys, we're probably going out for dinner on Thursday. We're hanging out and chatting and that's all totally cool. So never say never - but there's nothing planned."

You know, sometimes you should say "never".

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ROBBIE WILLIAMS COULD EDUCATE YOUR CHILD
As you probably know, studies by people with clearly quite a lot of time on their hands have indicated that playing classical music to children whilst they're still in the womb or when they're very young can help increase intelligence and logic skills. Well now some more researchers, this time from Vienna University, have said that it's not just a classical thing; Robbie Williams can have a positive impact too. Project leader Konrad Zimmerman says that some of the pop star's tracks have the power to lower stress and boost learning skills, due to the fact that they have a tempo close to that of the human heart. Other artists mentioned in the study included Norah Jones, Kelly Clarkson, Daniel Powter, and Mel C. What, no Nine Inch Nails?

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MACCA DIVORCE
This just in, Paul McCartney and Heather Mills are getting divorced. What, you knew that already? My, haven't you got your finger on the pulse?

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