CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 18th July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Government urges live sector to act on touting
- Kylie announces Wembley dates
- Karloff leaves Kasabian
- Bobby Gillespie beaten up in Madrid
- Alleged Eminem punch up victim to not press charges
- Mercury shortlist to be announced today
- Is Ward in decline?
- Album review: Various Artists - Feel The Spirit
- Lady Sovereign album
- Bravery working on second album
- Kaiser Chiefs to play new stuff on tour
- Ash on new album
- Ben Kweller on new album
- Timbaland to work with Jay-Z
- The Slits return with EP
- Babyshambles return to Ibiza Rocks
- The Pipettes announce tour dates
- Go! Team to rock Brighton this autumn
- Lamb Of God support Slayer
- Goose tour
- Usher joins Chicago cast
- G8 IP commitments welcomed
- Guardian publish media power list
- BMG Music Publishing sponsor Edinburgh TV fest
- 7Digital open German office
- T-Mobile launch Robbie channel
- Williams delays album release
- Timberlake disses Britney


Ticket touting is back in the news with the government announcing a number of measures designed to stem the growth of online touting. Tessa Jowell's summary of the voluntary measures, which follow consultation with the live and ticketing industries, was a bit strange, because it seemed to throw an ultimatum at the live sector: "sort it all out otherwise we'll introduce new laws to tackle the touts". It seemed an odd threat because, as far as I'm aware, it is the live sector who are most keen to stop the growth of ticket touting, so I'm not sure why they'd object to any new laws designed to help them deal with the problem. Jowell seemed to position herself as the champion of the music fan on this one - presumably she can't sleep at night worrying about the Madonna fan being forced to pay double the ticket price in order to see their idol. But I'm not entirely convinced the punter is the biggest loser here - if a music fan doesn't want to pay double the ticket price to see a band play well, erm, don't. OK, I'm being a bit harsh, if the ticket tout hadn't nabbed the tickets to start with, then the fan could have bought them at face value directly from the promoter's chosen agent. That logic stands for those tours that sell out in minutes, where the fans without tickets are those who were just not lucky enough to get a ringing tone when they dialed the booking line. But often the people who buy off touts are doing so because they didn't get round to booking tickets when they first went on sale and are, therefore, paying the premium for being slack. The real losers are more likely the artists and their promoters - because when a punter has paid double the ticket price to get in to that Madonna gig they are possibly less likely to buy some merchandise, or to go to another gig next week. All of which means the live sector is surely the biggest supporter of any measures that tackle online ticket touting, even new legislation. But what measures should be taken, and will they work? To be fair to everyone involved in this latest review of the live industry - detailed later on in today's Daily - some of the ideas they are proposing are good, especially introducing a better system whereby people who buy tickets to gigs but who can then not attend can return tickets for resale - via their booking agent or a neutral 'no mark ups allowed' ticket resales website. But will that stop people buying tickets to sure-to-sell-out gigs with the intent of selling them for considerable profit via eBay? Probably not. If anything, what will stop that practice is the growth of mobile ticketing. As tickets are increasingly delivered as SMS messages to phones they will surely become harder to resell, and while it wouldn't be infeasible for touts to bundle in a pay as you go phone into their marked up ticket price, the added hassle of doing that would probably put off a sizable portion of the potential resellers. Of course, as we know, technical solutions often don't work in the long term - someone somewhere normally finds a hack - but in this case, of all the solutions on the table, I think that one will, for the short term anyway, probably work best.



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MySpace Of The Day: Fantastic Plastic Bands
Actually, three MySpaces Of The Day all in one today. The super Fantastic Plastic Records are hosting a label night at the Hoxton Bar & Grill tomorrow night. Now, it's going to be hot tomorrow, and the back room at the Hoxton Bar & Grill isn't the best place to be on a hot night in London, but with the Chow Chow Band, Help She Can't Swim and The Victorian English Gentleman's Club all playing, it's definitely worth making the effort (just drink lots of water, and have a freshen up in Hoxton Square between each act). The reason this is relevant to MySpace, is admission is free and tickets are available via each of the band's MySpaces. So, why not go check out each band's page as a little preview, then grab yourself a ticket to the show. Or, if you're a press type person, you could always give Nile On PR a call.

This and more at


The government has announced a number of proposals which it hopes will help overcome the growing trade of ticket touting. After that previously reported consultation with the live and ticket agency sectors, it says it hopes the measures will protect consumers eager to see live entertainments from having too great a dependency on over-priced tickets resold by third parties.

The measures aim to encourage the live and ticketing sectors to work together, on a voluntary basis, to combat touting - and especially the sale of tickets at hiked up prices on internet auction sites, often by individuals who bought the tickets specifically to sell on in that way. Among the measures is an industry wide ticket returns policy, a neutral website that allows fans to sell on unwanted tickets at face value, a kite mark system for ticket sales websites, and a code of practice for primary and secondary ticket sellers.

Commenting on the need to take action in this domain, the government's top culture bod Tessa Jowell told reporters: "The innocent victim of ticket touting is the fan who has to pay through the nose for a vastly overpriced ticket to see their sporting, stage or musical hero. These are the people we must protect."

No new laws will be introduced at this stage regarding ticket touts, although Jowell did not rule out the need to legislate at some point in the future to protect consumer interests. Assuming that the live sector would rather solve the touts problem itself without new government regulations being introduced, Jowell said: "The industry should consider itself on notice. If it hasn't come up with a workable solution to stamping out the most unscrupulous touts by next summer, where there is clear evidence it's needed, we may consider targeted action and changes in legislation to ensure genuine fans are protected from exploitation."

Given that no one really has a problem with traditional ticket touts, ie, the ones shouting "buying and selling" outside the venue on the night of a gig, and given that the recent closure of demonstrates that existing consumer protection laws will combat fully fledged online ticket operations that make false promises to punters, the biggest problem in the world of touting is presumably the ever growing number of people selling tickets via auction sites like eBay, and especially those people who buy tickets specifically to auction online. Whether the new measures will do anything to overcome that problem remains to be seen - but there remains some disagreement as to who is to blame for the emergence of that ticket auction marketplace.

Many in the live sector reckon the problem lies with eBay et al for allowing such auctions to be staged. Live Nation MD Stuart Galbraith told reporters yesterday that such eBay auctions were: "actually allowing people to buy tickets that they have no intention of using whatsoever, and making it more difficult for people who want to buy face value tickets in the first place. There are numerous examples of shows on eBay where people are being sold tickets when there are actually legitimate tickets, very available, in the marketplace at face value. And they are actually making people pay more then they should be."

But eBay, who reckon the vast majority of ticket sellers on their site are individuals genuinely looking to resell tickets for events they originally wished to attend, say that the fact there is a demand for tickets via auction sites, even at hiked up prices, shows that the live sector's own ticket sales systems aren't good enough. eBay's Richard Ambrose said that the live industry needs to take "a hard look at the way that they allocate tickets to sponsors and agencies, and at the way they price tickets to fill the house and maximise merchandise sales", adding that the existence of a secondary ticket market was down to "the shambolic way the live sector distributes tickets through jammed phone lines and crashing websites".


Kylie Minogue has announced that she will perform two dates at Wembley Arena as part of her Showgirl Homecoming tour, appearing at the venue on 2 and 3 Jan next year. Tickets for the concerts will go on sale this Friday.

As previously reported, the original Showgirl tour was cancelled back in May 2005 following the singer's diagnosis with breast cancer. The new show has been altered slightly, to reduce the number of fast costume changes, because Minogue is not yet fully fit. Explaining in that previously reported Sky interview that the quick changes were "stressful", Minogue said: "I'm as prepared as I can be, but I'm not sure that I'll be able to do everything that I did before. There's a whole other world backstage that happens, six times throughout the show. So I said, 'You know what, maybe we won't have quick changes, we'll have slow changes. And maybe even a little chair.'"


Kasabian have announced that guitarist/keyboardist Chris Karloff has left the band, and it doesn't sound like a hugely amicable split, to be honest. A statement on the band's official website says: "Lead guitarist/keyboard player Chris Karloff and Kasabian have parted company. Karloff and the band experienced certain creative and artistic differences during the writing and recording of their second album. These irreconcilable and diverging approaches resulted in the band asking Karloff to leave the group. Karloff will pursue a musical career elsewhere."

Kasabian's new album, 'Empire', is out on 4 Sep, preceded by a single of the same name on 24 Jul.


Primal Scream man Bobby Gillespie was beaten up in a hotel bar in Madrid on Friday - though details of the events that led up to the incident are unclear. Manager Rab Andrew told reporters that didn't know the full extent of the frontman's injuries, but said that Gillespie had performed in Barcelona the night after the attack. Andrew went on to say: "He's fine, back home, and sporting a couple of black eyes" but added that the band had been late for a Top Of The Pops recording, because Gillespie was advised by doctors not to travel until Sunday.


More on that Eminem altercation story from yesterday. Latest reports suggest that the man who claimed he was assaulted by the rapper has said he will not press charges. As previously reported, Miad J claimed that he had a run in with Slim Shady's entourage after trying to talk to the rapper in the bathroom at a Detroit strip club. During said run in Eminem himself is alleged to have thrown some punches. However, police say that Miad J, for reasons they are not sure of, has decided not to take any action against Slim Shady or his people in relation to the punch up.


Ah, the always slightly random Mercury Music Prize returns today, as organisers of the award announce their short list of 12 albums for 2006 - that's the 12 'best' British albums of the last 12 months. Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen and Sandi Thom are favourites to appear on the shortlist - especially for those tippers with short memories. Being notoriously bad at guessing Mercury nominees and winners, I'm going to stick with the 'surely it'll be urban this year' philosophy that made me incorrectly tip Mia last year, and predict that Plan B will be this year's winner. Which probably means he won't even make the shortlist. By the time you read this, the list will be most likely in the public domain (it's due to be announced at 11.30am), needless to say, we'll have it for you in tomorrow's Daily. The award itself will be presented on 5 Sep.


According to reports in the Evening Standard, Shayne Ward's brief stay in the business of music could soon be over, after label chiefs expressed their disappointment in only scoring a number 14 chart entry with new single 'Stand By Me', which was released last week.

One of those sources told the paper: "Given that reality TV winners stand or fall by their chart success, this is worrying for Shayne. It is a relatively quiet week for new releases and the top 10 is full of artists like Sandi Thom who have been there for ages. He should have gone into the top five at the very least. When you first come off the back of a reality show like X Factor you can't go wrong. No matter how good or bad your first single is, it will get to number one. But a few months on the momentum is gone and it all comes down to how good your song is. I think Shayne might have come down to earth with a bump."

Of course Ward still scored the highest new entry in the singles chart this week, and a hot week in July is never going to be the busiest in terms of record sales, and I get the impression the singles chart is slowly starting to show bias towards those artists that appeal to a download-savvy demographic (which Shayne does not). But then again, first week sales of the new single were 11,098, which is pretty poor when you consider that 742,180 copies of debut 'That's My Goal' were shifted in just four days, and the latest single release seems to have had little impact on all important album sales - so perhaps the doom mongerers are on to something.

Still, Shayne seemed upbeat when interviewed by ITV this week, saying: "Who knows what may actually happen in the future, but I'm doing great at the moment. I'm starting international now. I'm going to Australia, South Africa, the whole of Asia and I'm going to be performing. So at the moment, things are on their way up, so hopefully it lasts".

And if it doesn't, presumably there's some club that failed reality TV popstars get to join, where Gareth and Michelle and Steve and Noel and Danny and Suzanne and whatever the blokes in One True Voice were called all meet to throw darts at pictures of Simon Cowell and Girls Aloud whilst waiting for ITV to commission Return Of The Flop Idols which, after all, can only be a matter of time.


ALBUM REVIEW: Various Artists - Feel The Spirit (Optimum Sounds)
There has been a glut of folk compilations recently, inspired by the success of new folk artists and the re-emergence of the likes of Vashti Bunyan. This album, compiled by Mark Pritchard (Global Communication), mostly ignores mainstream artists in favour of underground folk. The best known artist here is Donovan who contributes 'Get Thy Bearings', while 'Magician In the Mountain' by Sunforest may be familiar to film buffs as it was included on the 'Clockwork Orange' soundtrack. The Air featured here is not the French electronic duo but an American avant-garde jazz outfit who are represented with 'Mr Man'. On the whole the songs here are undiscovered gems, such as the psychedelic title track by Heaven And Earth which has an abundance of flutes and powerful icy vocals referring to "Snowflakes that sing". There's more variety than you night expect musically, with Country Living Hawaii's 'Country Living' providing a bossa nova vibe and Daddy Longlegs contributing a jazz funk number 'Wheeling and Dealing'. Most of all it is several of the individual vocalists who impress the most; Bonnie Dobson's harsh tale 'Winter's Going' is positively chilling, while the sharp distinctive voice of Karen Beth on 'Something To Believe In' is reminiscent of Grace Slick. Perhaps the album's highlight is Linda Perhacs' gentle, ethereal harmonies on 'Chimacum Rain'. For those interested in twisted or acid folk this is a good place to start. JW
Release date: 17 Jul
Press contact Hermana [all]


Lady Sovereign's debut album, 'Public Warning', will be out via Def Jam on 2 Oct, preceded by the release of a single some time next month. That's it really. Apart from the fact that we've got a tracklisting for you. Yes, a tracklisting.

9 to 5
Public Warning
Love Me or Hate Me
My England
A Little Bit of Shhh
Those Were the Days
Blah Blah
Fiddle With the Volume


The Bravery have been speaking to about their upcoming second album. Speaking about producer Brendan O'Brien, who the band are currently working with in Atlanta, frontman Sam Endicott said: "He's the champion of rock producers. He's a personal hero of ours. Initially, I was going to do it myself but he's done Rage Against The Machine and Bruce Springsteen, and you can't fuck with that."

He went on to say that a lot of material for the new long player has already been written, saying: "I wrote a lot on the Depeche Mode tour. At first it was really hard, but I got used to it. You're just crammed into a corner of the bus with a coat over the amp between two people who are trying to sleep."

He added that the new record will be something of a departure from their eponymous debut: "It's pretty different across the board, more eclectic. There are dance, rock and slow songs. It's more organic, less synthetic, with more acoustic instruments. We're all better musicians now and we play better together."


Kaiser Chiefs have revealed via their official newsletter that they plan to air their new material whilst on tour this summer, saying: "We're dead excited for [fans] to hear stuff. We're road testing new ones this summer. Chances are you've already heard a few... 'Everything Is Average Nowadays', 'Highroyds', 'Learnt My Lesson Well' and 'Heat Dies Down' have been played a few times and there'll be more to come before the summer is out."

The newsletter also addressed recent tabloid claims that Chief Kaiser had called Kasabian "shit", calling the claims "creative journalism" and adding: "We consider Kasabian as friends and have enjoyed their company whenever we've met ... It's quite the opposite from what's reported, we have respect for Kasabian and wish them the best of luck with their new record."


Ash have been talking about their new album, the follow-up to 2004's 'Meltdown'. The band's drummer Rick McMurray has posted a message on the band's official website saying that two tracks are finished - 'Shattered Glass' and 'Suicide Girls'.

On 'Suicide Girls' McMurray said: "It's very much straight ahead pop with a blazing Thin Lizzy-esque guitar solo in the middle."

On 'Shattered Glass' he added that it is: "a really weird song that Tim [Wheeler, singer] had written on an acoustic guitar which he thought was just gonna be a B-side. But me and Mark [Hamilton, bassist] heard it and decided it was pretty damn cool, so we started playing around with it and turned into a bit of a monster. It's like a five-minute epic."


So much people talking about their new albums news. This time it's Ben Kweller and his upcoming self titled long player due out in September. Kweller told Billboard: "These are very personal songs. I really feel like I'm getting good at expressing exactly what's on my mind. Recording is documentation of a time and a place so - and I'm not one to diss on my other records - what I released a year ago or five years ago only reflected what and where I was at those times. I'm really proud of what I've made this time around."

The album, produced by Gil Norton, is Kweller's fourth solo release. Here, for those of you anticipating the names of his songs with bated breath, is the tracklisting:

Nothing Happening
I Gotta Move
Penny on the Train Track
I Don't Know Why
Red Eye
Until I Die
This Is War


Timbaland has said in an interview with 1Xtra that he is working with Jay-Z on the 'retired' hip-hopper's upcoming album. The producer, who recently launched Mosley Music Group with Interscope/Geffen/A&M, said: "Hip-Hop is too easy for me. I've got to do something that's challenging. The only thing I got coming out is Jay-Z. I'm not trying to do anything new. I'm trying to do pop. I'm trying to bring Top 40 into the hood."

As previously reported, Jay-Z has already hinted that he plans to emerge from 'retirement' to release a new long player. He recently told the Associated Press: "I believe the industry as a whole needs certain events to happen to sustain it and keep it alive. You need Dre albums, you need Eminem albums you need 50 Cent albums, you need big artists, you need major events that happen. So when I look at it in those terms, I believe that an album is needed."


The first new music from The Slits in, oh, ages, will be released later this year. Founder members Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt have reformed the group, and they will release 'The Revenge Of The Killer Slits EP' on 17 Oct via SAF Records.


More names have been added to the bill for this year's Ibiza Rocks, the live music club launched on the White Isle last year by the Manumission folks. Babyshambles will return to the club for the second year running on 26 Jul, while The Automatic have also been lined up to play, on 8 Sep.

And hey, here's a quote from Mr Pete Doherty on his band's inclusion in the line up: "We are keen to come back to Ibiza and showcase all our new songs. There's going to be some ska-laced melancholy tracks in there. It's a fucking noble and praiseworthy mission and I can't wait to get back to the Manumission villa."


The lovely Pipettes have announced a series of tour dates, as follows:

20 Sep: Birmingham, Academy
21 Sep: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
22 Sep: Brighton, Corn Exchange
23 Sep: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
25 Sep: Manchester, Academy 3
26 Sep: Glasgow, The Garage
28 Sep: Newcastle University
29 Sep: London, Koko
30 Sep: Sheffield, Leadmill
2 Oct: Belfast, Spring And Airbrake
3 Oct: Dublin, TMBC


Talking of Brighton bands, another Brighton based CMU favourite, The Go! Team, have announced that they'll play a show at The Dome, in Brighton, on 28 Oct, marking their final appearance for 2006. They'll be previewing material from their second album. I am so going to be there.


The post-thrash metalcore sound of Lamb Of God (that's how Wikipedia describe it anyway) will be rocking arenas around the UK later this year when the US band promote new album 'Sacrament' by supporting Slayer on their Unholy Alliance Chapter II tour. The dates are as follows:

30 Oct: Cardiff Arena
1 Nov: Birmingham NEC
2 Nov: Glasgow SECC
3 Nov: Manchester Arena
19 Nov: London Brixton Academy
20 Nov: London Brixton Academy


The really rather good Goose (you'll all remember that they were MySpace Of The Day a couple of weeks back, yeah?) will play the following five (well, six really) dates, following up the limited edition release yesterday of their track 'Black Gloves'.

22 Jul: Nottingham, Liars Club
26 Jul: London Barfly
5 Aug: London, Turnmills
25 Aug: Leeds Carling Festival
27 Aug: Reading Carling Festival & London Cross Central


Usher is to take the lead role in the Broadway production of Chicago, which is strange, because I'm pretty sure all the 'lead roles' in Chicago are played by women, but I guess that means he'll be playing main male role Billy Flynn, the one played by Richard Gere in the movie.

In a statement on the new stage role, Usher said (possibly sang, I don't know, after all we're in musical world here) the following: "This is a very exciting time in my career. I have always admired Broadway actors for their showmanship, dedication and focus that goes into performing live on stage every night. Being on Broadway allows you to connect to audiences in a whole new way that's different from music and movies. When they asked me to play Billy Flynn in 'Chicago' I jumped at the chance to be a part of such an amazing production."


With this making poverty history lark proving really quite tricky, the G8 posse turned its attention to making piracy history this weekend, and has solved the entire problem of IP violations around the world by issuing a statement. That's right, a statement. It's all very exciting. The G8 members have said that they will collectively "give priority to promoting and upholding laws, regulations and/or procedures to strengthen intellectual property enforcement, raising awareness in civil society and in the business community of the legal ways to protect and enforce intellectual property rights and of the threats of piracy and counterfeiting".

The pledge is accompanied by a number of more specific commitments regarding global anti-piracy activity. Each G8 nation will set up a website clarifying their laws on intellectual property and IP enforcement. In addition the Organisation For Economic Co-operation And Development will compile a report outlining the costs and damage caused by piracy and counterfeiting, while the G8 nations will examine how to strengthen the international legal framework on intellectual property law enforcement.

While the commitments fall short of the music industry's main aim - of having a death sentence issued against anyone and everyone involved in Russia's - the record industry welcomed the inclusion of IP theft on the G8 agenda, and said that it hoped the pledges made by the conference would assist the content industries' ongoing efforts against piracy.

BPI boss Peter Jamieson told CMU: "In an increasingly global market place and with the phenomenal rise of the internet, intellectual property law enforcement increasingly needs to take place at an international level. That's why we welcome the priority given to piracy and counterfeiting by the G8 countries. Digital technology and globalisation pose real challenges to IP industries like music and we will continue to work very closely with our international federation, the IFPI, to highlight these issues."


The Media Guardian yesterday published its annual '100 most important people in the media' thing, and despite the terrible exclusion of the CMU team from the list (though, obviously, we're too important to be included on something as tedious as a list), here is a link to the full 100, should you be interested.


Obviously BMG Music Publishing have cottoned on to the fact that the way to grab the attention of the CMU team at this time of year is to issue a press release mentioning the Edinburgh Festival - though to go to the effort of actually sponsoring one of Edinburgh's festivals to justify the PR shows considerable commitment to the cause.

Anyway, the BMG publishing house has been confirmed as a sponsor of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, the industry only event that takes place in Edinburgh at the end of August. It's the second year BMG Music Publishing has been involved in the TV fest, and it shows how important the TV sector is to the publishing firm - they have sub-publishing relationships with numerous TV firms, including Tiger Aspect, Freemantle, Hat Trick and the BBC.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Chris Graves, Film & TV Manager for BMG Music Publishing, told CMU: "This is one of the key events in the TV industry calendar and we are very pleased to be renewing our involvement for the second year running. It is very important for us, as one of the biggest publishers of TV music, to be involved with the Edinburgh International Television Festival and it is a great opportunity to raise awareness of BMG Music Publishing amongst the key decision makers in the industry."


Digital music service provider people 7Digital are launching an office in Cologne, in order to capitalise on digital music opportunities in mainland Europe. The new office will be run by Chris Bornefeld-Ettmann, who has most recently been working on German download portal Musicload, and former Popkomm director Ralf Plaschke.

Announcing the new office, 7Digital MD Ben Drury told CMU: "7 Digital has grown from strength to strength over the past couple of years and I am delighted to be opening a 7 Digital office in Germany. It's an essential next step for the company due to Germany's rapidly increasing download market. I am sure we will make as big an impact in Germany as we have in the UK."


Mobile firm T-Mobile will tomorrow launch a special 'mobile TV' channel dedicated to Robbie Williams' current 29-show European tour. The 'Tour TV' channel will be available via the phone firm's mobile portal, and will include exclusive behind the scenes and on stage footage from the tour, which kicked off last month. There will also be video footage of fans taking part in the 'Supernatural Carnival' promotion that T-Mobile has been staging at the events.

The channel is the latest venture to come from the ongoing relationship between T-Mobile, Robbie Williams and EMI. The special channel will be available in various European countries, with daily and monthly subscriptions available. Subscription rates will vary from country to country.


More Robbie, and according to The Sun, Williams has delayed the release of his new album so that he doesn't have to go up against Justin Timberlake. Originally, Williams was set to release '1974' on 11 Sep, the same day as Timberlake is to release his highly anticipated second solo outing 'FutureSex: LoveSounds'. Williams will apparently now release the album early in October, but will still be taking on another big act - The Killers. One of the tabloid's ever-reliable sources says: "Taking on Timberlake would have been madness but The Killers will still provide some serious competition."


Talking of Justin Timberlake, he's apparently had a go at Britney Spears in his recent interview with GQ magazine, saying that he felt she had been somewhat disloyal following their break-up a few years back. The singer said: "When we initially parted ways, I felt like she had a couple of opportunities to just sort of stick up for me, and she didn't".

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