CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 28th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Axl spends day in Swedish jail
- French rapper avoids prosecution
- Jackson reveals future plans
- West wins at BET awards
- LL Cool J honoured at ASCAP awards
- ZTT Records co-founder still very ill following freak accident
- Single review: Players - No Deal / Find Your Way
- Tori Amos box set in the works
- Arcade Fire on new album
- Pulp albums get re-issued
- Futureheads confirm new single
- CUD best of this summer
- New Buzzcocks single, festival dates
- Razorlight play midnight Megastore
- New Found Glory album, tour
- Spinto band tour
- Zutons add second night at Roundhouse
- Gnarls Barkley move tour date because of World Cup
- The Cribs, Eberg, Fields, for Airwaves
- New award for global music entrepreneurs
- Songwriters Academy deadline looming
- Could Bertelsmann still bow out of SonyBMG?
- Slow ticket sales heighten fears live sector has over priced itself
- Angelic appointments
- Kirsty Young for Desert Island
- Parfitt on Moyles
- Core looking for new talent
- GCap reveal size of former senior exec payoffs
- Single review: Jackson Analogue - Stop
- Take That hint at Robbie involvement
- The Automatic get behind the Kooks

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TOP BIT>>
Reports suggest that tickets for the upcoming Barbra Streisand US tour aren't selling well, which probably isn't surprising given that the top priced tickets are $750. Those stories follow albeit unsubstantiated reports that tickets for upcoming Madonna and Mariah Carey tours aren't going as fast as promoters hoped. The live sector has, of course, been booming for some time, with live music seemingly more popular than ever, and the live industry possessing a product which can't really be shared via P2P. However, there has been some concern for a while now that the slow rise of ticket prices, especially for premiere league artists, are in danger of bringing an end to the sector's buoyancy. The question is, just how high can ticket prices go before they cross that line when all but obsessive fans will say "that's just too much"? While certain promoters and ticket agencies are no doubt doing well from the price rises, one of the reasons ticket prices keep going up is that certain A-list artists keep putting up their fees - and that, coupled with the fact that promoters let them, is possibly a problem in the long term. With the kinds of figures most A-list concerts now operate at, it would only take a handful of disastrous tours to radically change the fortunes of some of the big live music players. And the fear is that, if that should happen, those companies will be less willing or able to invest in promoting smaller, newer or alternative artists - meaning a collapse in the premier league concert market would impact on the wider live sector. And the thing is that the artists who do demand exorbitant fees don't actually need them, let alone deserve them - once you get to a certain level artists set fees more out of ego than anything else - ie "if rival artist x gets paid y, then I should get paid y and then some". The problem is some promoters are too willing to accept those high demands - passing on the extra costs to the punter by hiking ticket prices. But punters cannot afford such inflation forever, and both promoters and artists have to accept that profit margins cannot keep increasing. Then again, it's not all necessarily doom and gloom. You could argue that if the a-list end of the market starts to collapse, that provides the more cost efficient grass roots end of the live sector with a great opportunity - to compete for an audience disenfranchised by overly priced big artist concerts. If we could be sure that that's what would happen - then a few half empty Madonna and Streisand concerts might be a good thing.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

Up-Comms - PR Account Manager
Up-Comms, the PR division of content/research agency Ramp Industry (http://www.rampindustry.com), is looking for an account manager to join our team. Around half of the projects will be music-related; around half covering fields elsewhere in lifestyle/entertainment. We need someone who's massively organised, has at least two years experience in offline or online music PR; who's confident, creative and, as importantly, who's capable of implementing the PR/awareness themselves. Salary circa: £22k. Location: London. Preferred start date: early July. Please send your CV to andy@rampindustry.com

Outpost PR - Online & Press Office
Outpost PR is seeking a new online and press officer to join our fast expanding team. This is a unique, joint role covering all aspects of online promotion and traditional PR. Some online experience is a pre-requisite for this role, either in the form of HTML, web design, or other online knowledge. No direct press experience is required, though would be advantageous. Creative, motivated and enthusiastic, you will also be able to demonstrate exceptional writing and communication skills as well as an eye for detail. Please send your application, including CV, via e-mail to david@outpostmedia.co.uk stating 'Outpost Vacancy' in the subject line. No calls please!

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CMU SUPPORTS >>

LONDON CALLING 2006 29th Thursday - 30th Friday, June: At London Calling you can meet with the people who are steering the new music industry to its future, crack open a beer and enjoy the vibe from the two live stages hosting great new bands. Plus there are a whole range of off-site gigs and parties where the hottest acts on the circuit are turning up the volume to 11. Courtesy of CMU (an official media partner of London Calling) you can register now to visit the Exhibition strand for only £25 (instead of the current ticket price of £45 + VAT) - just click here www.londoncalling2006.com/register.htm, select the 'exhibition only' option and enter E48672C in the promotional code box. This pass allows you entry to the trade show floor, workshops, showcases and some of the evening events at London Calling.

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PRESS ROOM>>

PAY DAY JUNE
Eddy TM and Barry Ashworth's PayDay returns to Neighbourhood this Friday, 30 Jun. Live on stage will be buzz bands Vatican DC and Devils Gun, plus the guys from Cooper Temple Clause will be on the decks, alongside Eddy TM and Barry Ashworth. It kicks off a 9pm and runs till 2am, tickets are £10 on the door, or £8 in advance from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk. Press information from Get Involved.

Full press release at: http://www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/pressroom/payday

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ON AIR>>

TODAY ON TOTALROCK
Malcolm Dome, standing in for Damian & Chloe, talks to Coldseed ('Metal Lunchbox', noon to 3pm). Who the hell are Coldseed? A new project featuring members of Soilwork and Blind Guardian. Listen live at http://www.totalrock.com.

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RIGHT NOW IN THE CMU BEATS BAR>>

MySpace Of The Day: Hafdis Huld
As in the case of many of my MySpace nominations, I came into contact with former GusGus member Hafdis Huld's solo oeuvre via the medium of the CMU Radio show - that is to say, I found a copy of recent single release 'Tomoko' in the CMU box of boxes, picked it up, had a quick listen, thought 'that'll do' and took it with me to record the show. Of course, as I heard the song for the second time I decided that I liked it a lot more than just thinking it would 'do'. Well, I was in a blind panicky rush when I was listening to it the first time, to be fair, so wasn't altogether concentrating. Anyway, 'Tomoko' was, and is, deliciously quirky and sweetly melodic. But don't just take it from me, go have a listen, it's streaming on the MySpace page. It's taken from a forthcoming album, 'Dirty Paper Cup', which I am now very much looking forward to. Clearly, she's from Iceland and is a bit quirky, so the best thing to do is not mention Bjork, as people probably do. Oops. Well, what I can tell you is that she seems a whole lot less irritating than the former Sugarcube (sorry, Bjork fans). And what's more, she's got a track called 'Fucked Up Mind' and you know me (or not), I just love pop practitioners who swear in their song titles. Yes. I do.

http://www.myspace.com/hafdishuld

This and more at http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk

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AXL SPENDS DAY IN SWEDISH JAIL
Axl Rose spent most of yesterday in a Stockholm jail after allegedly biting a security guard in the leg at the hotel where he was staying. Rose was in the Swedish capital to play a gig on Monday evening, and reportedly partied through the night after the show, before arriving back to the Berns Hotel yesterday morning. It was then that he had the run in with the security guard, who reportedly stepped in after the rocker started arguing with a woman in the hotel lobby.

Exact details of the altercation are a bit hazy, and the band are travelling without a publicist so no official announcement has been made from them. However, Axl's run in led to him being arrested and being held by the Stockholm police for much of the day - they were reportedly keen to let the rocker sober up before questioning him. According to a police spokesman, Rose was later released after he admitted to the charges and agreed to pay a $5500 fine and $1360 in damages to the security guard. With the matter settled Rose is expected to make his next gig in Oslo tonight.

The best quote from this story came from police officer Fredrik Nylen, who was there when Rose was actually arrested. Reporting that the singer acted aggressively towards the police and that he had to be handcuffed and restrained, Nylen concluded that during the arrest: "He kept a high profile, so to speak".

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FRENCH RAPPER AVOIDS PROSECUTION
An attempt by a French MP to have native rapper Monsieur R prosecuted for making content with a violent or pornographic message available to children under the age of 18 has failed after judges threw his case out of court.

As previously reported, Monsieur R, real name Richard Makela, has courted controversy in France with anti-establishment lyrics and videos, one referring to France as a "bitch" and "slut", another comparing the French government to Germany's Third Reich. The lyrics and video of one song in particular, 'FranSSe', outraged several of the country's politicians, so much that they called for new laws to censor the country's hip hop artists. Meanwhile Makela was one of the rap artists blamed by some in French political circles for inciting the riots that hit several of the country's major cities at the end of last year.

One MP in particular, Daniel Mach, unwilling to wait for any anti-hip hop legislation proposals to work their way through the French parliament, decided to launch legal proceedings against Makela himself, citing the 'broadcasting violent or pornographic messages to minors' as the rapper's alleged crime. Had he been found guilty of the charges Makela could have fined 75,000 euro or even faced a three year prison term.

However judges in the French courts this week ruled that the case had no basis because Mach himself had not suffered any harm because of the song, nor had he evidence of any tangible victims of Makela's alleged offence. Welcoming that ruling, Makela's lawyer Dominique Tricaud told reporters: "The judges have been courageous. The judges have been courageous in their judgment because there was very strong political pressure. Two hundred deputies from the parliament asked for a special law from the parliament against the rappers. They wanted to kill the rap in France."

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JACKSON REVEALS FUTURE PLANS
Michael Jackson has released a statement via spokeswoman Raymone Bain, explaining that he is addressing his financial affairs, as well as detailing his plans for a new album and tour, plus a relocation to Europe.

The pop star has split with his business managers - Bernstein, Fox, Whitman, Goldman and Sloan - plus his Bahrain-based attorneys Qays Zu'bi and Grahame Nelson in what Bain calls "the first of a sweeping restructuring of his personal and business affairs." Jackson has, she says, set up a new concern, The Michael Jackson Company, Inc, and is to close MJJ productions, which previously dealt with most of his public affairs. Raymone Bain herself is set to general manage the new company, and says that New York business restructuring firm, L. Londell McMillan and The McMillan Firm, will be handling the singer's legal business matters.

The statement goes on to say that Jackson is studying proposals for a concert tour, and confirms the singer's future career plans, saying: "Mr Jackson has previously announced plans to record an album which he predicts will be released in 2007."

On his previously denied plans to move to Europe, Bain added: "Mr Jackson, who is currently in Ireland on personal business, plans on relocating to Europe in the near future." Where exactly in Europe Jackson plans to settle is not yet clear, although you may remember that he told the Daily Mirror some weeks back that he was looking for properties in the UK and Ireland.

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WEST WINS AT BET AWARDS
It's been a while since we had any awards news, so here's a double helping. Mary J Blige, Kanye West and Jamie Foxx were all double winners in the music categories at the US's BET Awards on Tuesday night, the awards event that recognises cultural and sporting achievements in the country's black community.

Blige won Best Female R&B artist, while she was co-winner of the Video Of The Year for the promo that accompanied 'Be Without You'. She was 'co-winner' because there was a tie in that category - West and Foxx were also awarded the title for the video to their track 'Gold Digger', which also won both men a prize for Best Collaboration.

Accepting his prizes Foxx told the awards audience "love to all black people", while West remarked: "Y'all are stepping up black music. This is the best music right here, and we've got to keep on giving it to them like that".

Other music winners included TI who won the Male Hip Hop Artist award, Prince, who won Best Male R&B Artist, and Chaka Khan, who was given a Lifetime Achievement award. Accepting her award, Khan said: "I am so honoured to be honoured by my people. This means everything to me".

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LL COOL J HONOURED AT ASCAP AWARDS
Elsewhere, LL Cool J has been presented with a Golden Note Award at the ASCAP Rhythm And Soul Music Awards - an awards event designed to recognise success on the songwriting and publishing side of R&B, hip hop, reggae and gospel genres. Former Def Jam president and current Warner VP, Kevin Liles, co-presented LL Cool J with his 'contribution to music' award alongside ASCAP chairman Marilyn Bergman.

Other winners were 50 Cent and Jermaine Dupri who were named Songwriters Of The Year, the former for the second time, the latter for the fifth time. Sean Paul won the Reggae Artist Of The Year prize, Amerie's '1 Thing', featured in the film 'Hitch', took the Soundtrack Song Of The Year award while on the publishing side EMI Music Publishing added yet another Publisher Of The Year gong to its presumably sagging awards shelf.

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ZTT RECORDS CO-FOUNDER STILL VERY ILL FOLLOWING FREAK ACCIDENT
As you have no doubt seen reported elsewhere, ZTT Records co-founder Jill Sinclair remains seriously ill in hospital after an accident at her Berkshire home over the weekend. Sinclair, who co-founded ZTT with her husband, legendary producer Trevor Horn, was wounded when she was accidentally shot by her son, who was doing target practice with an air rifle in the garden of their family home. Sinclair's condition was said to be "unchanged but stable" last night. A spokesman for ZTT told reporters yesterday: "Everyone's hoping for the best and our thoughts are with the family".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Players - No Deal / Find Your Way (Sanctuary)
The common denominator tying the musicians together in this group seems to be Paul Weller. Steve White, an absolute giant of the UK drumming fraternity, has played with him for years and years, as has Mick Talbot on keys and Damon Minchella on bass. Other bands covered by the musicians here include Dexys Midnight Runners and The Who. In fact this is a bit of a supergroup, as these mighty fine musicians have played on a vast number of absolutely classic tunes, tunes that are part of our musical heritage. The vibe here is very much James Taylor Quartet, particularly on 'Find Your Way', which has a nice riff featured in the chorus and a splash of Hammond organ in it for good measure. Ken Papenfus contributes some solid vocals as well. 'No Big Deal' sounds slightly pedestrian in comparison, with the drums and bass a little more reigned in, but it's still catchy enough. It very much sounds like a bunch of talented guys who are comfortable playing with each other, going into the studio and having a good time. TH
Release Date: 26 Jun
Press Contact: Noble PR [CP, RP, NP] Nurture [CR, RR, NR]

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TORI AMOS BOX SET IN THE WORKS
A five disc box set spanning the career of Tori Amos is set to be released later this year via Rhino Records, and will feature rarities, B-sides and previously unreleased tracks. Out on 25 Sep, the set, 'A Piano: The Collection', will comprise 86 tracks and a track by track commentary written by Amos herself, which discusses the inspiration for the songs, and why they were chosen for inclusion in the collection. The final disc also includes a medley of demos, about which Amos says: "I'm usually pretty reticent to expose the musical development process... The demo medley was a choice I made so that other songwriters can feel an affinity with the idea that songwriters have to push themselves and not just accept the first incarnation that you are presented with. Each of these three songs are presented here in their completed form somewhere within the box set so you can see conception to development."

I could probably do with that box set, actually. I had two Tori Amos albums stolen from me in the late nineties, and thus far, I've never managed to replace them. Yes, stolen. Okay, then, borrowed and never brought back.

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ARCADE FIRE ON NEW ALBUM
Arcade Fire's Win Butler has posted a message on his band's official website telling fans how the new album is coming on. The group are recording the new LP in a converted church in their home city of Montreal.

Butler wrote: "Just letting you know that things are going very well here in the studio. We have maybe 15 songs with little bits left to record and a few more we want to get to tape. We are going to try and record a couple of songs in me and Regine's [Chassagne, wife and band member] living room, because the drums sound so great in there...Feeling excited and inspired, learning to play all these new instruments...well mostly Regine to be honest! It's gonna be really interesting how we're going to fit all of these new sounds in a tour bus. This week we are recording a huge fucking pipe organ on 2 songs...what an incredible sound!"

He added that violinist Owen Pallet, aka Final Fantasy, who contributed to their debut, will be helping out on the new long player, saying: "Owen is coming here to record with us in early July. There is talk of recording a few songs with a full orchestra in Budapest...The next couple of weeks we will be pulling our hair out."

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PULP ALBUMS GET RE-ISSUED
Is it that time already? Three Pulp albums are to get a re-issue, each with a bonus disc of B sides, rarities and demos. 1994's 'His 'n' Hers' , 1995's 'Different Class' and 1998's 'This Is Hardcore' will be out, again, on 21 Aug.

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FUTUREHEADS CONFIRM NEW SINGLE
The Futureheads have revealed that their next single will be out at the end of next month. 'Worry About It Later', the second single from last month's album release 'News & Tributes,' is out on 31 Jul.

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CUD BEST OF THIS SUMMER
Collections (Tori), re-issues (Pulp), and now a hits album. This summer Universal are releasing a 2 CD collection featuring the best of CUD, entitled 'Rich and Strange: The Anthology'. You may have heard already that due to popular demand (that's what the press release says, anyway) the band have agreed to reform for a one off tour, to follow the album's release on 7 Aug. In fairness, regardless of what the press release says, I do seem to remember that CUD always did have a reasonably obsessive fan-base. Anyway, the tour dates happen in Newcastle, Liverpool, Brum, London and Leeds on 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 Aug respectively. I am not entirely sure about which venues they are appearing in, however. I will let you know if I find out.

Info on the tour, john@virtualfestivals.com, info on the CD, Universal IH.

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NEW BUZZCOCKS SINGLE, FESTIVAL DATES
Buzzcocks release their new single, 'Sell You Everything', taken from recent album release 'Flat-Pack Philosophy', on 14 Aug. They've also confirmed a number of festival dates, as follows, press info from Cooking Vinyl.

8 Jul: Rise Festival Finsbury Park, London
4 Aug: Bath Halls Scunthorpe
5 Aug: Gosforth Gathering Gosforth Park, Newcastle
13 Aug: Summer Sundae DeMontfort Hall, Leicester
20 Aug: Beautiful Days Escot Park near Fairmile, Devon
27 Aug: Get Loaded In The Park, Clapham Common, London

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RAZORLIGHT PLAY MIDNIGHT MEGASTORE
That's not a terribly logical headline, to be frank, but I enjoyed the alliteration, so it's staying. Razorlight are to perform an in-store at the Virgin Megastore in London, at midnight on Monday, to coincide with the release of their new single 'In The Morning'. They will debut tracks from their previously reported new album, 'Razorlight'. And have we given you their autumn tour dates? Well, here they are, it can't hurt, can it?

20 Oct: Aberdeen AECC
21 Oct: Hull Arena
22 Oct: Sheffield Arena
24 Oct: Nottingham Arena
25 Oct: Swindon Oasis Centre
26 Oct: Plymouth Pavillion
28 Oct: Cardiff Arena
31 Oct: Brighton Centre
1 Nov: Wembley Arena

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NEW FOUND GLORY ALBUM, TOUR
I can't help thinking that people are a bit easy with the term 'punk' these days, especially when it has pop attached to it. As in pop-punk. Perhaps I don't know what is actually meant by the term pop-punk. Well, whatever, what the press release tells me is that New Found Glory are a punk-pop band (I should have known this, clearly, I own a copy of their 2004 release 'Catalyst') and that they are releasing a new album 'Coming Home' on 18 Sep, and will follow that with seven UK tour dates, as follows, tickets go on sale Friday at 9am:

27 Nov: Bristol Academy
28 Nov: Southampton Guildhall
29 Nov: Norwich UEA
1 Dec: London Astoria
3 Dec: Birmingham Academy
5 Dec: Glasgow Academy
6 Dec: Manchester Academy

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SPINTO BAND TOUR
The buzzy buzzy Spinto Band are set to tour the UK to coincide with the release of new single 'Mandy', on 14 Aug. Dates are as follows.

9 Jul: T In The Park Pet Sounds Arena
10 Jul: Liverpool University
11 Jul: Nottingham Stealth
12 Jul: London Lock 17
20 Aug: Bristol Academy
21 Aug: York Fibbers
22 Aug: Birmingham Bar Academy
23 Aug: Nottingham Social
24 Aug: Norwich Arts Centre
26 Aug: Carling Weekend: Reading Festival
27 Aug: Carling Weekend: Leeds Festival

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ZUTONS ADD SECOND NIGHT AT ROUNDHOUSE
The Zutons, who recently announced they will play at London's newly refurbished Roundhouse on 2 Dec, will now play a second date, on the following night, due to popular demand. Quick, get your ticket before this date sells out. If you're a Zutons fan, that is.

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GNARLS BARKLEY MOVE TOUR DATE BECAUSE OF WORLD CUP
Gnarls Barkley have moved one of their tour dates, apparently because Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo are football fans, and want their fans and themselves to watch England play if they manage to get to the semi final in Munich on 5 Jul. The pair were originally set to play Hammersmith Apollo on that date, but have moved it to the following day, 6 Jul. Tickets for the original date are valid for the new date, refunds available for those of you busy on the 6 Jul, who very probably don't give a crap about the World Cup.

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THE CRIBS, EBERG, FIELDS, FOR AIRWAVES
The Iceland Airwaves festival has announced a clutch of new additions to its 2006 line-up, including The Cribs, Eberg and Fields. They join previously announced acts such as Kaiser Chiefs, Wolf Parade and Mugison on the bill for the event, which takes place in Reykjavik city centre from 18 - 22 Oct. For more information see http://www.icelandairwaves.com.

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NEW AWARD FOR GLOBAL MUSIC ENTREPRENEURS
More awards. A new award will be launched this Friday at the London Calling convention which will recognise an International Young Music Entrepreneur Of The Year. This has been organised by the British Council, and aims to recognise an individual from somewhere outside the UK who has used a "pioneering approach to champion new music trends, discover artists and bring music from their country to the international stage".

Ten finalists from all over the world have be shortlisted - including individuals behind DJing in Estonia, a festival in Morocco and a music campaign for social justice in Kenya. Those finalists have been in the UK since last week meeting key music industry types. An overall winner will be selected at an event within London Calling on Friday. The winner will get £7500 to stage a project that builds a relationship between the music world of their home country and the UK music industry.

Commenting on the award, one of its judges, Songlines' Doug D'Arcy, told CMU: "Encouraging the work of young entrepreneurs worldwide will help cement cultural diversity in music. The independents are brilliantly positioned to create and take advantage of new trends in music, and the British Council award is therefore perfectly timed to acknowledge the unique role that young entrepreneurs bring to the music scene from wherever they operate in the world."

Press info on this from ellen.miller@britishcouncil.org

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SONGWRITERS ACADEMY DEADLINE LOOMING
The deadline is looming for the Songwriters Academy competition - the songwriting competition being run by the British Academy Of Composers & Songwriters. This is giving aspiring songwriters from all genres the chance to gain recognition of their work and a range of career development support. Any songwriter can enter, and finalists in each category (individuals, groups, under 18s) will get to attend a masterclass from a leading practitioner, while the overall winners will get one of their songs commercially released plus a stack of home recording equipment.

The deadline for over 18s is Sunday 16 Jul, so if you're planning on entering you should get over to http://www.songwritersacademy.com. If you're looking for inspiration, the Academy has a MySpace which includes audio interviews on all things songwriting with Sacha Skarbek, co-writer of James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful', and Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgeson - http://www.myspace.com/songwritersacademy

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COULD BERTELSMANN STILL BOW OUT OF SONYBMG?
Now, the official line is that Bertelsmann are not interested in selling their stake in SonyBMG. You'll remember that while the German conglom was preparing to buy out minority shareholder GBL there was much speculation (well, here anyway) that they would sell their half of the major record company to finance the buy out. In the end they announced they would sell their music publishing company and take out a stack of loans instead. But those loans will have to be paid back (apparently that's how it works), and speculation has now begun (well, here anyway) as to exactly how they will do that.

Despite the fact Bertelsmann chief Gunter Thielen last week told Reuters a sale of their SonyBMG stake was not on the cards, we're speculating that actually it is, albeit, perhaps, not on the top card of the pack. That rash assumption is based on comments made by Sony Corp boss Howard Stringer who was talking about the possibility of his company taking complete ownership of the major record company at some point in the future. He was quite vague about the whole thing, but implied that should Bertelsmann decide they need to repay some of their loans by selling some or all their SonyBMG stake, then Sony Corp would be interested in buying.

Stringer is quoted as saying: "I don't have all the cards. At the moment, the decision by Bertelsmann as to how they pay back that debt is up to them. And while we are in close negotiations and obviously there are some opportunities for us, in the end, they have to decide how they want to go forward".

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SLOW TICKET SALES HEIGHTEN FEARS LIVE SECTOR HAS OVER PRICED ITSELF
Take note you greedy superstar singers - US industry website Hits Daily Double cites sources that say that tickets sales for the upcoming Barbra Streisand US tour are not anywhere near as high as expected. They quote one insider who says "some dates are being called disasters", and who adds that the incredibly high ticket prices for the tour, which include previously unheard of $750 best seat tickets, are definitely a big factor in the slow ticket sales. The site asks whether cancellations may be required to reduce the potential losses that could be made for promoter Michael Kohl.

Those reports follow claims that tickets for certain upcoming Madonna live dates in the UK have also been selling slowly, and albeit denied rumours that some upcoming Mariah Carey dates are not selling as well as hoped. Such stories will heighten fears that the escalating ticket prices charged for premiere league artists' live shows are in danger of reversing the fortunes of the recently buoyant live sector, as costs rise above the prices that average gig goers are willing to pay.

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ANGELIC APPOINTMENTS
Angel Music Group which, I must admit, I'd forgotten existed but which is one of the main divisions of EMI UK (alongside the Capitol Label Group, Virgin Label Group and the compilations bit, if I remember rightly), has announced a number of new appointments.

First, Mark Poston, formerly of EMI Australia, will take on the new job of Director, Angel Music Group, and will be responsible for developing consumer focus and marketing strategy.

Second, Elias Christidis will become A&R Director, Innocent - joining the company from Mercury Records

Third, Elin Falk will join Angel in August to take up the new role of Head Of Marketing Strategy (not to be confused with the role of Marketing Director - David Quirk remains in that post). She comes from media buying company Carat, where she has worked on both the EMI account and for the likes of Adidas, Coca Cola, Disney, Samsung and Vodafone.

Finally, Sara Freeman, currently General Manager, will become Director Of Artist Development.

Confirming the new appointments, Mark Collen, SVP EMI Music UK told CMU: "Since the formation of Angel Music Group in August 2005, the focus has been to build upon and develop our roster of artists in the pop, MOR and crossover classical genres. In 12 months we have enjoyed double platinum success with Simon Webbe's first solo album, signed new artists including Laura Michelle Kelly, 19 year old pop artist Molly McQueen and cutting edge boy band 365, plus rising classical star, soprano Natasha Marsh. The artist development story continues with rock band Grace and the US-based mainstream rock superstar Keith Urban. With this excellent team of people in place, I'm confident that Angel Music Group can go from strength to strength."

For fans of major record company structure - Angel Music Group was formed last August and incorporates the Angel, Innocent and EMI Classics labels.

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KIRSTY YOUNG FOR DESERT ISLAND
News-lady Kirsty Young has been announced as the new host of Desert Island Discs. As previously reported, Sue Lawley, who has presented the Radio 4 show for eighteen years, announced her intention to step down back in April. Young, who currently presents bulletins on Five, says she's "completely thrilled" to have the job, and adds: "I've loved Desert Island Discs for as long as I've been listening to radio. Its enduring success is testament both to the brilliant format and consistently fascinating guests."

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PARFITT ON MOYLES
Well, it looks like Chris Moyles will be safe in the rumoured upcoming Radio 1 schedule rejig. Station boss Andy Parfitt has been defending his flagship presenter after those various OfCom criticisms which led to the introduction of an internal fining and discipline system for future violations of broadcasting rules.

Parfitt says that Moyles should be judged on two and a half years' work - more than 500 shows - rather than on the specific incidents recently considered by OfCom. On that basis, he says: "if you look at the overall view, he is not overstepping the mark".

Nevertheless, Parfitt says, he backs OfCom's viewpoint on swearing and inappropriate content, and pledges to come down fucking hard on the cunts that swear on air. He says: "There is no space between Ofcom and myself over those incidents. I can fine DJs or discipline them in a number of ways, I just hope I don't have to."

But, he adds, the rules need to accommodate changes in youth culture: "Language, expressions and attitudes are different among a young audience and change very quickly. Radio 1 or teen content has to be authentically in touch with that, but also has to take a lead, and it is. Chris [Moyles] is in keeping with the under-20s and is leading with the right sense of energy and entertainment. There are a clear set of limits - the Ofcom code and BBC guidelines ... and it is important not to pursue street-cred for the sake of it. But an adult tone of voice does not resonate with under-20s. Radio 1 does, and 99% of its content is not in breach of the codes".

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CORE LOOKING FOR NEW TALENT
GCap's digital youth station Core is giving listeners the chance to nominate friends who they think might sound interesting on air. They've asked listeners to tell them about friends "who make them laugh, tell good stories, or who just make them feel good" - the aim is to recruit one of those friends as a new presenter, with the nominator winning a £1000 'finders fee' (and presumably rather a lot of gratitude from their newly employed friend).

Commenting on the promotion, Core's Programme Manager, Bern Leckie, told CMU: "We think there are talented, passionate people amongst our listeners who would sound entertaining on Core, but have never thought of being a radio presenter. We need their best friends to spot their talents, and tell us about them. You probably know someone who would sound great on Core. Maybe it is someone who gets you into new music, someone you work with, or go out with, or someone who excites you about new things, and we want you to tell us about them. From the response we're getting so far, it sounds like listeners have lots of mates who they would rather listen to than tired old, unfunny egos."

If you've got a friend you want to nominate (or you fancy being a radio presenter, and you have a friend whose name you can use) then you need to go to http://www.corefreshhits.com - though the closing date for nominations is Friday, so do it quick.

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GCAP REVEAL SIZE OF FORMER SENIOR EXEC PAYOFFS
Talking of aspiring radio types, if you're planning to work in the radio industry may we suggest you get yourself a senior exec role, and then get yourself the sack - because that's where the real money is at.

Radio group teGCap have revealed details of the severance payments they've been handing out to the (mainly former Capital) execs who have been jumping ship en masse in the last year (several jumps aided by a little push by their board colleagues). Former Chief Exec David Mansfield scored a £1.13 million payoff after he resigned, while former Commercial Director Linda Smith got £596,000 and former Operations Director Paul Davies got £511,000.

Which is all very nice. For them.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Jackson Analogue - Stop (Island)
A good old-fashioned slab of rock and roll is what Jackson Analogue bring to the table, and more power to them for that, I say. There's just not enough of this kind of stuff round at the moment. Their songs are fairly lean and stripped down - no sounds of Guatemalan mountain goats sneezing into mikes 'to add atmosphere', or whatever these new-fangled bands do nowadays (apparently the Mystery Jets had some songs with 128 separate instrumental parts). Brothers Jim and Rob Homes write the songs, which are based around some great riffs and the brilliantly rock and roll voice of brother Rob (Jim sings as well though I think). The track here chugs along nicely, with a bit of Hammond organ backing up the guitar, before bursting into a brilliantly raucous chorus, where that brilliant voice comes to the fore. I haven't really seen these guys on many festival bills, perhaps I've maybe just not noticed them, but they really deserve to be whipping huge crowds into orgiastic frenzies with their passionate, intense rock. TH
Release Date: 27 Jul
Press Contact: Darling Department [all]

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TAKE THAT HINT AT ROBBIE INVOLVEMENT
Take That say that Robbie Williams may contribute to their upcoming comeback album, according to The Mirror. The band's Howard Donald is quoted as saying: "We all hoped Robbie would be able to join us on stage but he had his own tour and things got in the way - it's a real shame. But we speak all the time now and he knows the door's always open if he wants to come and record with us or relive his Take That days in any way. We would love him to be on the album. Obviously he's got his solo stuff to focus on but he hasn't ruled it out. Rob seems happier then he ever has and it's brilliant. For him to come and work with us again would complete what's been the most incredible year."

Bandmate Jason Orange added: "We'd love Rob to do something with us - all of us would."

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THE AUTOMATIC GET BEHIND THE KOOKS
The Automatic have said they'd back The Kooks in a fight with Razorlight in a recent Popworld interview. Keyboardist Pennie said: "If the Kooks had a fight with Razorlight we'd definitely help them out. The Kooks would probably win because there's a big queue of people that wanna hit Johnny Borell anyway. I don't think Razorlight would mind as much 'cos their faces look pretty battered anyway."

In the same interview, vocalist Rob said: "We hate Sandi Thom. I haven't found anyone who's told me they like that song and bought it." And there you were, thinking they were such nice boys.

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