CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 12th October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Indie label call for all digital sales to count in singles chart
- Razorlight achieve double win at UK Live Awards
- Madonna leads Billboard Touring Award nominations
- ASCAP celebrate UK songwriters
- Ronnie Scott's launch jazz awards
- Sony Connect reach settlement with MCPS-PRS
- Rough Trade launch download store
- Mark Chapman refused parole again
- Phil Spector trial delayed again
- Truck driver who hit Cassidy summonsed
- Justin Hawkins quits The Darkness
- Madonna adopts a child
- Jay-Z not allowed to play in China
- Album review: Squarepusher - Hello Everything
- My Chemical Romance stuff
- The Blood Arm dates
- CSS change some venues
- Keane do that live CD thingy
- New Nas album stuff
- Babyshambles announce EP
- Dionne Warwick to release duets album
- ICA launch unsigned podcast
- Burger King partner with Diddy
- Big studios ready to do the iTunes thing
- NME launch Irish edition
- Live review: Man Man at Opolis, Norman, Oklahoma on Oct 10
- Skinner not happy with Streets lyrics
- Ringo chess set on show
- The Automatic on The Horrors
- Eagle Of Death Metal loves Britney


Actually, two bits of top bit today. Firstly, Happy John Peel Day. Yes, as much previously reported, today is the second John Peel Day, which means you'll find lots of gigs and club nights happening all over the UK, and beyond, under the John Peel Day banner. There's info at Whether you are planning on taking in one of those events or not, perhaps it would be a fitting tribute to the late great DJ if we all made the effort to listen to an artist we'd never normally listen to at some point today - maybe one of the unsigned demos that have been sitting on your desk for weeks waiting for you to have a few spare minutes to give it a play (or is that just me?). Whether you choose to listen to it at the right speed or not, is up to you.

Second, don't forget the CMU Recommended Kill All Hippies returns after its summer break tomorrow, and at a brand new venue - the Carling Islington Academy. Full details just below - though I'll tell you now that The Others, Humanzi and Action Plan will all play live. Not only is this going to be a blinder of a night, but we have five pairs of tickets to give away to CMU Daily readers. So, if you're London bound tomorrow night, and you fancy doing the Kill All Hippies thing on us, email [email protected] Tickets go first come first served - we'll email you back to let you know if you're on the list.



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Ladies and gentleman - Kill All Hippies returns after its Summer break this Friday at a brand new venue - the Carling Islington Academy. And the line up is looking both big and wonderful. Live wise you'll get The Others, performing tracks off their new album, Dublin's finest rock 'n' roll export Humanzi, plus Action Plan, shining lights from the Young And Lost stable. DJ action comes from the indie mash up master himself, The Freelance Hellraiser, with support from Anu Pillai from Freeform Five and resident Gavin Nugent (Fully Comprehensive). Room 2 (Bar Academy) will be hosted by the Moshi Moshi guys featuring their finest DJ talent playing filthy electro, bootlegs, remixed classics and new wave. It's going to be a good night. It takes place on Friday, 13 Oct, from 8.30pm to 4am. Entry is just a fiver before 11pm and £7 after. Not only that, but the first 100 people with a flyer, or the answer to the question 'Which band released the single Kill All Hippies?' will get themselves in for free. All good.

Full info>>

Check our interview with Humanzi>>


Now, you possibly think this is a cheat, but I've checked with the MySpace Of The Day (Incorporating CMU-Tube Of The Day) Artist Assignment Committee, and they say it is within the rules. So, I know that the wonderful Misty's Big Adventure were MySpace Of The Day just a few weeks back, but back then I had to admit that the band's great new single coming out on Sunday Best - 'Fashion Parade' - was not streaming via their MySpace page, which was a shame, because it's brilliant and really should be previewed by one and all. Well, here's the good news, the pop promo for 'Fashion Parade' has been You Tubed and can be watched at your leisure. Which means you can both hear the song and watch the video which is pretty damn good in its own right. So go check it out, and then check them out when they play London's 100 Club on 24 Oct. Press info from Making Waves.


Not for profit indie label Red91 is calling for a more radical change in chart rules than that currently being considered by the board of the Official UK Chart Company. As previously reported, chart officials are considering altering the rules that govern the inclusion of digital sales into the singles chart. Currently digital sales are only counted the week prior to a single's physical CD release, and for two weeks after that CD is deleted. The proposed changes, backed by the Entertainment Retail Association, who own half the chart, would mean that all digital sales would be counted in the main singles chart, providing a physical CD will be released at some point in the near future.

But bosses at Red91, who only release music via digital, think that last proviso should be removed too, so that all digital sales are counted oblivious of whether or not a physical CD release of a track is planned. In a statement, the label says: "Proposals by the Entertainment Retail Association to have all download sales count towards the sales chart, so long as a physical release eventually follows, are a pointless move. We believe it just overcomplicates what should be a simple process. Although Top of the Pops has now gone, the UK chart still holds major prestige around the world and to have a chart entry could do wonders for a company like Red91. We hope that calling for this change now will spark debate amongst all those involved in making the rules. The charts must move with the times to stay credible."

Red 91 top man Silas Casual told CMU: "We don't have a problem with artists insisting on a physical release and some have become collector's items, but to insist on a physical release to qualify for a chart placing is keeping small operations like Red91 out of the chart. We don't have anything like the budgets of the bigger record companies and being able to do away with all the physical stuff means we have more to invest in our two artists".

Red91 say they have undertaken a survey on digital music consumers, the results of which will be released later this year but which, they say, will show consumer support for the inclusion of all digital sales in the singles chart.

More info on all this from [email protected]


Hey, hey, it was the first ever Vodaphone UK Live Music Awards last night, the latest edition to the UK music industry's not at all cluttered awards calendar. Razorlight were the only double winners of the night, proving their popularity not only amongst record buyers (they're currently number one, remember), but also amongst gig goers - although one of their awards was for Best Live Music DVD, which sits somewhere in the middle I guess. Their second prize was the Live Impact Award.

Other winners at the event, hosted by Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles at the recently reopened Roundhouse venue in Camden, included The Automatic, who took the Xfm Live Breakthrough Act award, New Rhodes, who won the Live Unsigned Act award and Take That, who were named Best Live Return. Muse and U2 respectively won the overall Best Live Act and Best International Live Act awards, while the Carling Weekend was named Festival Of The Year, and the Brixton Academy won Best Music Venue award. And The Who were presented with The Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement In Live Music Award by Brian May and Roger Taylor. But what am I doing wasting your time and mine telling you all this, when I'm about to publish the full list of winners anyway...?

Vodafone Live Act Award: Muse
International Live Act Award: U2
Tour Of The Year Award: Nme Awards Tour
Vodafone Live Impact Award: Razorlight
The Freddie Mercury Lifetime Achievement In Live Music Award: The Who
Best Live Return Award: Take That
Best Show Production Award: Gorillaz
Tour Roadie Award: Fatty, Primal Scream
Live Music Dvd Award: Razorlight
Live Music Venue Award: Brixton Carling Academy In London
Xfm Live Breakthrough Act Award: The Automatic
C4 Festival Of The Year 2006 Award: Reading/Leeds Kerrang!
Live Unsigned Act Award: New Rhodes.


More live music awards - well, nomination lists anyway. Organisers of Billboard Touring Awards, which recognise the most commercially successful live music events of the last twelve months, based on data reported in Billboard Boxscore, published their shortlists yesterday - and Madonna, perhaps unsurprisingly, does rather well.

She is shortlisted for three prizes herself, while her managers, Angela Becker and Guy Oseary, are up for the Top Manager award. Madonna herself is up for top-grossing tour, top ticket selling tour and for the award for top grossing single engagement.

It is Madonna's gigs at London's Wembley Arena that are nominated in the latter category. Other finalists for that prize are Luis Miguel at Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City and Billy Joel's shows at New York's Madison Square Garden.

The Garden also appears in the top arena category, a prize it has won for the last two years. This year it faces competition from TD Banknorth Arena in Boston and Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.

Competing for the top agency prize are Creative Artists Agency, Monterey Peninsula Artists/Paradigm and William Morris Agency, while nominated for top promoter are AEG Live, HOB Concerts and Live Nation.

The overall winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on 9 Nov.


Even more awards for you now, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers held its annual UK awards yesterday, celebrating the UK songwriting talent (or, to be more precise, PRS members who licence their music in the US via ASCAP) who performed best in the US last year.

Among the winners were Coldplay, who won the Song Of The Year prize for 'Speed Of Sound'. The Cribs took the College Award to recognise the popularity of their music on US college radio, while Bodyrockers took the Dance Award to recognise the success in the US of global hit 'I Like The Way'. On the more corporate side, BMG Music Publishing was named Publisher Of The Year.

Meanwhile Yusuf Islam was named Songwriter Of The Year for the second consecutive year demonstrating that the Americans still love the artist formally know as Cat Stevens' music, even if they don't always let him into their country. Islam, who, as previously reported, has just finished work on a new album, scored another hit as a songwriter last year thanks to Sheryl Crow's Grammy nominated cover of his track 'First Cut Is The Deepest'.


And yet another new awards event, though this one is dedicated to all things jazz, which is quite exciting, so we'll not get all "do we really need yet more awards?" on you. Especially as they are being staged by that most credible of jazz brands, Ronnie Scott's.

Yep, the legendary jazz club will launch its own awards event next year aiming to celebrate both global jazz stars as well as newer talent in the jazz world. Details of the actual awards that will be presented are tbc, but jazz record buyers, listeners to jazz radio stations and members of the Ronnie Scott's Club will all get to vote. A Ronnie Scott's Bursary will also be awarded to the most promising up and coming UK Saxophonist.

For more info on the awards contact [email protected]


Sony's Connect service yesterday confirmed it too has reached a settlement with the lovely MCPS-PRS regarding digital royalties. Sony Connect was one of that consortium of companies who were taking the collection society to a copyright tribunal over digital royalty rates, however, like most of the other organisations in that consortium, they yesterday reached an out of court settlement.

MCPS-PRS said in a statement yesterday: "As with the settlement between the MCPS-PRS Alliance and the British Phonographic Industry, iTunes, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, and the further announcement on Monday 9 October with MusicNet and Napster, composers, songwriters and music publishers will receive 8% of Gross Revenue less VAT when their music is offered in Sony Connect's current music service. These rates are subject to minimum royalties. As a result, Sony will withdraw its reference to the Copyright Tribunal. Again, both parties to the settlement welcome the agreement and are committed to working together to drive the on-going growth of the legitimate digital music market".

Three companies from the original consortium are still in dispute with the collecting society, while there is still one unresolved issue between them and the mobile companies and iTunes. Unless an out of court settlement is reached regarding those issues, a smaller copyright tribunal will take place in mid-November.


More digital related news, and the Rough Trade record shops have announced that their new download service will officially launch on 14 Nov, which is all very exciting. The new platform will offer a stack of both back catalogue and new releases and, like the two Rough Trade shops, will have an independent label slant meaning that the music will be sold as MP3 without any of that DRM shenanigans. Rough Trade also hope that they will be able to stand out from the crowds by offering the kind of tips, advice and insider knowledge you'd get from their shop staff in the real world via the virtual world too. Eight staff members will be available via the online service to offer such advice. Rough Trade are also encouraging unsigned bands to sell their music via the platform - bands will just need to take their music on CDR into one of the London stores, and they'll do the rest.

For press info on all this I'd be giving Nile On a call if I were you.


Mark Chapman has been refused his fourth parole bid, and will stay at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York for at least another two years of his sentence for killing John Lennon back in December 1980.

Chapman appeared at a sixteen minute hearing on Tuesday, where the three person panel noted the prisoners "satisfactory institutional adjustment" but decided against his release. They concluded: "The panel remains concerned about the bizarre nature of this premeditated and violent crime. While the panel notes your satisfactory institutional adjustment, due to the extremely violent nature of the offence your release would not be in the best interest of the community."


Phil Spector's murder trial has been delayed for a third time, after a Los Angeles judge decided to give the defence, who are awaiting the completion of forensic tests, more time to prepare its case. The trial, which was scheduled to begin on 16 Jan next year will now start on 5 March.

The case, which relates, of course, to the alleged murder of actress Lana Clarkson at the producer's home in February 2003, was originally intended to start on 24 Apr this year, but was postponed due to one of Spector's lawyers scheduling conflicts until September. It was delayed for the second time by the judge, Larry Fidler, who decided to try another case scheduled for the same period.

Spector, as previously reported, is currently free on $1m bail. He has, in the meantime, been in court fighting a lawsuit he brought against his former personal assistant claiming that she had embezzled money from his accounts, and her countersuit based on claims of sexual harassment.


The truck driver who crashed into US rapper Cassidy's SUV last week has been summonsed for making an improper turn. As previously reported, the hip hop star, real name Barry Reese, was on his way to a recording studio in Yonkers, New York on Thursday when the truck, driven by Javier Gonzalez, ran a red light and crashed into his vehicle. Reese was subsequently admitted to hospital with serious injuries, suffering from a fractured skull and broken bones in his face. He has now regained consciousness and is expected to recover.

Cassidy's attorney, Simon Rosen, told "We know from the other witnesses, that the guy made an illegal move that caused the accident. It was unfortunate, but thank God he's recovering and that he didn't die. He's getting better and stronger everyday. I always joked with Cassidy that he was a hard headed guy and thank God for that - literally."

He continued: "He went through a large trauma that would have taken the life of less healthy people. He was in good health before the accident. Everybody has supported him from all over the world. The fraternalism of the Hip-Hop community isn't going to make headlines, but there are a lot of people that have banded together from the Hip-Hop community to support Cassidy. It's not all about negativity."


Justin Hawkins has let it be known that he is quitting The Darkness, due to his previously reported drink and drug addictions. Following a recent stay at The Priory, Hawkins told The Sun: "I feel bad for the others. It will be an upheaval. But it's time for me to move on. It would be damaging to my recovery to stay on. I'm not blaming the band for my problem - I am an addict. There are people who can be in bands and stay clean, but I'm not one of them."

Speaking of his addiction to cocaine, he continued: "I feel like I've lost three years of my life. I'm only just coming to terms with what has happened because I was always off my face. I became secretive, volatile and verbally abusive, a really unpleasant person to be around."

The Darkness will continue without their former frontman, and bassist Richie Edwards, who, you'll remember, replaced Frankie Poullain following his ejection from the band, will take over the role of vocalist. Hawkins says he is going to concentrate on solo work and music for films. I bet that Frankie Poullain is sniggering into his sleeve.


That Madonna's been telling porky pies, if that recent statement from her people claiming she had no plans to adopt a Malawian child is anything to go by. Because she has, it seems, adopted a Malawian child. The one year old boy is not a complete orphan - his father is still alive, but his mother died from childbirth complications a month after the child was born. He was, however, being cared for at the Home of Hope Orphan Care Centre in the Malawian village of Mchinji. Yohane Banda, the baby's father, told reporters: "I am the father of David, who has been adopted. I am very very happy because as you can see there is poverty in this village and I know he will be very well looked after in America."

A spokeswoman for Madonna has said that a statement will be forthcoming. Hopefully they'll be telling Mr Banda that Madonna lives in London sometime soon too.


Jay-Z has been told by Chinese officials that he may not perform a gig in Shanghai, scheduled to take place on 23 Oct, because of his "vulgar language". It's not the first time the Chinese Ministry Of Culture has taken such steps in recent months - you may remember that the Rolling Stones were forced to censor their set list in order to be allowed to perform in the country.

Jay-Z seems confident that he'll perform there eventually, however. The rapper released a statement which said: "I look forward to rescheduling my concert date in Shanghai. This world tour has been a life changing experience and it has only been made better by touching the fans that I am seeing for the first time."


ALBUM REVIEW: Squarepusher - Hello Everything (Warp)
For Squarepusher's tenth album, Tom Jenkinson has decided to simply bring on the tunes (well, they always help, don't they?) and "have a laugh". It's a strategy that has paid handsome dividends - whilst some electronica (and indeed some Squarepusher) can be a bit po-faced, being too conscious of being serious art rather than enjoyable listening, 'HE' is a veritable melody banquet, with tunes you will hum, and sing along to and everything. Sprightly tracks like 'Hello Meow', 'Bubble Life' and 'Welcome To Europe' feature simple, almost childlike riffs (the xylophone on the former being redolent of Mike Paradinas), tight beats and even some Level 42-tastic 80s slap bass from the man himself now and then. Elsewhere we get futuristic alien jazz ('Theme From Sprite' and 'Circlewave 2'), isolationist ambience ('Vacuum Garden') but more generally a feeling of an album imbued with warmth and melodicism from its sugar rush synths and equally fizzy drum n bass rhythms. Only the slightly grating venture into drill n bass territory on 'The Modern Bass Guitar' seems a little ill-advised and out of context, but for the most part this is an album that ranks highly in the pantheon of Warp's electronic greatness, and you can't get much higher praise than that, frankly. MS
Release date: 16 Oct
Press contact: Warp IH


My Chemical Romance are to do a surprise instore at Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street tonight at 7.30pm. Except that it's now no longer a surprise. It would have been, if you'd dropped in to the shop to pick up a McFly CD or something, and suddenly they'd appeared. Of course, it doesn't work that way, really, because in order to be at it, you need a special wristband, which you had to get by going to HMV from 9am this morning and buying their current single, 'Welcome To The Black Parade' or preordering upcoming album 'The Black Parade'. By this time there might not be any left. But there might.

Anyway, the band announced a new series of tour dates a day or two ago (they are, of course, also playing five UK dates next month), and here's where you can catch them without needing a wristband. Although you will of course need a ticket, or your name on a guestlist. Here are the dates:

20 Mar: Plymouth Pavillions
21 Mar: Brighton Centre
22 Mar: Birmingham NIA Academy
24 Mar: Manchester MEN
25 Mar: Cardiff CIA
26 Mar: Nottingham Arena
27 Mar: Glasgow SECC
29 Mar: London Wembley Arena


The Blood Arm have announced a series of live appearances in support of their debut album 'Lie, Lover, Lie', out 16 Oct. They've also announced a bunch of other slots, with The Sunshine Underground and supporting We Are Scientists.

Their full schedule of upcoming tour dates is as follows:

20 Oct: Norwich UEA (Supporting We Are Scientists)
21 Oct: Sheffield Octagon (Supporting We Are Scientists)
22 Oct: Manchester Apollo (Supporting We Are Scientists)
23 Oct: LeedsUniversity (Supporting We Are Scientists)
24 Oct: Newcastle Academy (Supporting We Are Scientists)
25 Oct: Aberdeen Music Hall (Supporting We Are Scientists)
26 Oct: Glasgow Academy (Supporting We Are Scientists)
28 Oct: Belfast Mandela Hall (Supporting We Are Scientists)
29 Oct: Galway Roisin Dub (Supporting We Are Scientists)
30 Oct: Dublin Ambassador (Supporting We Are Scientists)
1 Nov: Leeds University (with The Sunshine Underground)
2 Nov: Newcastle Academy (with The Sunshine Underground)
4 Nov: Llanfyllin The Workhouse (with The Sunshine Underground)
6 Nov: Edinburgh Cabaret Voltaire
7 Nov: Huddersfield Tokyo
23 Nov: Leeds Cockpit
24 Nov: Cardiff Barfly
25 Nov: London SeOne
26 Nov: Bristol Louisiana
27 Nov: Liverpool Academy
28 Nov: Glasgow King Tuts
29 Nov: Manchester Night & Day
30 Nov: Sheffield The Plug
1 Dec: Swindon Brunel Rooms
3 Dec: Belfast Speakeasy
5 Dec: Nottingham The Social
6 Dec: London Kings College
7 Dec: Oxford Zodiac
8 Dec: Southampton Joiners


A band that I don't seem to be terribly familiar with (finger on the pulse, as always) who are called Cansei de Ser Sexy, or CSS as they seem to be known in certain quarters, have announced that they've had to switch venues on some of the dates of their upcoming UK tour, seemingly because of popular demand. Their Glasgow show will take place in the main ABC venue instead of ABC 2, and their Southampton show has been moved from Joiners to the Nexus. They've also added an extra London date, and a second in Birmingham. Clearly, I should know who they are, then.

As I don't, it's likely we never reported on their tour dates in the first place. Or maybe we did it whilst I was away. Whatever, here are the dates:

5 Nov: Belfast Rador Club
6 Nov: Dublin Whelans
7 Nov: Glasgow ABC
8 Nov: Aberdeen Mosulu
9 Nov: Newcastle Digital
10 Nov: Leeds Cockpit
11 Nov: Sheffield Leadmill
12 Nov: Stoke Underground
13 Nov: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
14 Nov: London Scala
15 Nov: Liverpool Korova
16 Nov: Southampton Nexus
8 Dec: London Forum
11 Dec: Manchester University
12 Dec: Birmingham Academy 2


Keane are going to do that thing where they sell a recording of each of their upcoming tour dates right after the show has finished. The band will record every gig for fans to purchase on their way out. The CDs, limited to 1000 per night, can be preordered or bought on the night. Unless everyone else preordered and there are none left, presumably.


Nas has announced that his new album 'Hip-Hop Is Dead...The N' will be out on 18 Dec and features collaborations with the likes of Kanye West, Dr Dre The Game and Damien Marley. Don't go saying we didn't tell you.


Babyshambles have announced that they're going to release a mini-album entitled 'The Blinding EP', which will consist of seven tracks. Some would possibly call that a full album, but bassist Drew McConnell says it is 'mini' in status because it was originally going to have eleven songs on it, though he didn't explain why four songs were dropped. He told NME: "We recorded 11 songs but we're only going to put seven on the EP".

Let's hope they don't lose the artwork, eh?


Dionne Warwick is celebrating her 45th year this in the business of show with a new album featuring duets of some of her most famous Burt Bacharach-Hal David hits. She will be joined by a stack of fellow female singers on the album, including Gladys Knight, Olivia Newton-John, Mya, Gloria Estefan, Kelis, Reba McEntire, Cyndi Lauper, Celia Cruz, Wynonna Judd, Cheyenne Elliott, Lisa Tucker, Deborah Cox, Chanté Moore, Angie Stone and Da Brat. The album is being produced by Warwick's son Damon Elliott, and is due for US release in mid-November.


The ICA people are launching a new monthly half hour podcast designed to champion unsigned bands. It will be presented by Xfm's Nick Luscombe and I have a sneaking feeling it's going to be really rather good. Anyone wanting to recommend artists or tracks to be considered to go on the show should send details to [email protected]


Burger King have signed up Sean 'Diddy' Combs as a "brand ambassador" because it turns out that, despite dubious government research to the contrary, young hip hop fans just aren't eating enough junk food. The partnership will kick off with a Burger King branded DiddyTV channel on YouTube which will also promote the hip hop mogul's new album 'Press Play'. The fast food store will also stage other co-promotions to market the album, as well as using Diddy as a 'strategic consultant'.


HitsDailyDouble report that Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has told his clients that at least two major US film studios are planning on making their movies available via iTunes' new movies service. So far the only studios signed up to Apple's movie store are affiliated to Disney, where Apple boss Steve Jobs sits on the board. But Munster says that he has spoken to execs at four of the big Hollywood studios and that two have confirmed they plan to start selling their films via iTunes, probably from early 2007. That said, he indicated Apple's love of the 'one price fits all' model is still a sticking point - saying: "the studios indicated that they expect to have content on iTunes within six months, but it may require some tweaks to Apple's pricing guidelines to get them there".


NME is launching a dedicated Irish edition next week, with a free sampler already working its way around the country.

It is the first time NME has launched a different edition for the international market. NME Ireland will feature "dedicated pages focused on the vibrant Irish live music scene, delivering the latest news, features profiles and live reviews from the hottest new acts in the country. The magazine will also be packed with the usual mix of all the best from the UK and international music scene". The Irish bits of the new mag will be coordinated by NME Ireland correspondent, Steve Cummins, already a regular contributor to NME, as well as The Irish Times, The Irish Independent, The Irish Daily Star and The Irish Sun.

Confirming the new spin off title, which will pitch NME against flagship Irish music mag Hot Press, NME editor Conor McNicholas told CMU: "NME has always been a successful magazine in Ireland, but with such a vibrant live music scene and such passionate music lovers it would be madness not to provide the country with their own magazine. The Irish edition will be tailored to their favourite home-grown artists as well as featuring the very best from the UK and beyond."


LIVE REVIEW: Man Man at Opolis, Norman, Oklahoma on Oct 10
In that twilight zone between support band and headliner, where roadies scuttle about tuning things, I realize that I know little-to-nothing about the band that I'm seeing tonight. Regardless, I've heard of them, which is a plus, as gigs in this town tend to be few. In matching pink t-shirts, the support act, It's Hysterical, don't really impress. It's not through lack of trying, but the abstract guitar work, obscure vocals and overall lack of energy fail to win over the crowd. A couple of drinks later, however, and Man Man are about to go on. There are five members in the band, but the stage is groaning under the weight of a drum kit, three sets of keyboards, two guitars, a bass, a French horn, two saxophones, two trumpets, four other drums, various pots and pans, and a dozen assorted primary-school-music-room style instruments. There's barely room for the band to get on the stage themselves. When they do manage to arrange themselves around the pile of instruments, however, and the audience has had a bit of a giggle at their moustaches, they launch into one of the craziest, most energetic performances I've ever seen. Shrieking, jumping around, swapping instruments, banging tribal drums, falsetto, baritone, bowls of water and screwdrivers - it's absolutely insane, and yet it works. The band seem to know exactly what they're doing at any given moment - at several points stopping dead and launching into something entirely different. The audience love it - loud applause and whooping greet every remotely quiet section of the gig, and by the end of the night I'm absolutely exhausted. They're playing in London on 31 Oct, and I would strongly recommend you go and see them for yourself. You certainly won't be underwhelmed. DG


Mike Skinner has said that he is unhappy with the delivery of some of the lyrics in the track 'Dreams', which appears on the B-side of single release 'Pranging Out', but it's okay - the man has a solution.

Here's what he wrote on his blog: "I just listened back to my b-side on my last single and came to the conclusion that I wasn't clear in my delivery of the words in the chorus. So I phoned my manager and told him I wanted to recall all the singles, remove the download from iTunes and ask if all 38 million people with it in their Limewire directory could delete the file and await the new re-mastered version with clearer words."

He continued: "To this he just laughed which made me angry so I went to bed. While I was asleep I dreamt that I met Carl Jung and he was giving me a classroom lesson about rapping - also in the room was Claire Rayner, Alan Titchmarsh and Wilma Flintstone who was chatting the ragga which really annoyed me. When I woke up, the answer was etched on my mind - write out the words to the chorus on my award winning blog so everyone can understand."

And that's what he did. if you're interested.


A chess set with pieces modelled on the hands of Ringo Starr has gone on show in a department store in Tokyo. No, I'm not sure just how hands work as chess pieces either. Anyway, the set, which is gold and silver-plated, was commissioned back in 1973 by fellow Beatle George Harrison, and is on display to celebrate the opening of a new Asprey outlet. The London-based jeweller is selling replicas for £15,000 each, if you fancy one.


The Automatic have had a dig at The Horrors in an interview in this week's NME, saying they've "only got four songs" and are "all style over content".

Singer Rob Hawkins said: "What the fuck are The Horrors all about? How dare The Horrors do what they do? How dare they?"

Guitarist James Frost continued: "They suck! They've just got big hair! They suck. This hype means nothing because as soon as their songs come out people are going to realise how crap they are."

Safe to assume they're not too keen, then, presumably.


Eagles Of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes loves Britney Spears and would do anything to make her stage her comeback. Speaking to MTV News, Hughes said: "Britney, please let me help you, girl. I will do whatever you need to help you make that comeback. Britney Spears' videos rock, and I don't care how much she's singing, writing or not writing - I just want to see that girl make a comeback and make more videos."

Discussing the track 'Toxic' with bandmate Josh Homme he asked "Isn't it one of the greatest songs you've ever heard?"

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