CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 7th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Consumers enthusiastic about interactive content, less so about paying for it
- Faithfull clear of cancer
- Numan says he might have Asperger's
- Beanie Sigel treated for hernia
- Snoop Dogg charged with weapons possession
- Country Music Awards galore
- Scissor Sisters confirm next single
- The Game leaked own album
- New Noonday Underground
- Bowie releasing back catalogue, again
- LCD Soundsystem tour
- Rod Stewart tour
- Coldcut DVD screening at NFT
- Flaming Lips tour gets off to bad start
- Noisettes apologise for hurting girl at gig
- Hot Club De Paris get guitar stolen
- Michael Bolton album, tour
- Cliff breaks his own record at Wembley
- Oasis exhibit in London
- Oasis premiere in New York
- MySpace Japan in the pipeline
- YouTube purchase gets go ahead
- Von Trapp actor withdraws from Lloyd Webber show
- James says Albarn is really good
- Javine and So Solid Harvey doing it?
- Timberlake a bit pissed off over fake breast
- Elton asks to be dropped

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TOP BIT>>
The changes to rules governing the UK singles chart, announced over the weekend and reported in yesterday's Daily, are possibly the most exciting thing to have happened in the digital music domain so far. If nothing else, it's a development that should put to test the theory that the internet will be the great equaliser in the music world.

The singles chart, of course, is not only a useful way for stat fans to keep track of what music is being bought in the UK's record shops, it is also a rather useful marketing tool. So much so, in fact, that record companies have continued to release, sell and market singles even when doing so often costs more than it delivers in return - because getting a single in the top ten, even for one week, is a great way to capture headlines and consumer attention, and in turn (in theory at least) sell lots of profitable albums (and, for the artist, lots of gig tickets and t-shirts).

But until know the marketing power of the singles chart has, in the main, been limited to those record companies with the budgets and influence that allow the mass pressing of CD singles, ensure the racking of those CDs in a sufficient number of record shops, and fund a big push marketing campaign that maximises sales in week of release.

The news that, from 1 Jan 2007, all sales of singles from download platforms will be counted in the main singles chart, oblivious of whether or not a physical CD will be released, removes two of those criteria for utilising the chart. No longer will you need the budget to press large quantities (or any quantities) of CDs, and no longer will you need the kind of influence to get stocked in record stores (because there are indie download platforms out there that will offer free sales platforms to any band who asks nicely, and those platforms are available to music fans everywhere).

But that does still leave the need for a big push marketing campaign - which is where things will get interesting. Big record companies have been slow to take advantage of the great and cheap marketing opportunities that the internet throws up, and even those that have innovated in that space often invest large proportions of their time and budgets to old school marketing - exercising those budgets and their influence over retailers and media. But then again, is that because the innovative web and viral marketing techniques we read so much about are not, actually, as effective as an expensive but simple print and outdoor media campaign?

Will unsigned or indie artists be able to gain the upper ground in the world of chartdom through clever but cheap organic, grass roots and viral marketing, aided, perhaps, by the fact they are willing to sell their music in iPod friendly MP3 formats? Or will the majors still win the day because, despite everything, old fashioned well funded ad campaigns are supreme?

The singles chart of early 2007 could well start to answer that question.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES NOVEMBER
The next edition of the CMU recommended Kill All Hippies takes place this coming Friday - 10 Nov - at its new home, the Carling Islington Academy, you'll find Archie Bronson Outfit and Kubichek and Broken Dolls all taking live to the KAH stage. DJs wise the Cooper Temple Clause boys will join KAH resident Gavin Nugent in the main room, while in Room 2 you'll find the City Rockers team with Eclectic Aristocracy, GoodBooks, We Hate You, Gaz N Max and the Xerox Teen all taking to the decks. Doors open at 8.30pm, it runs till 4am, and tickets are just £6 if you guest list in advance. Oh yes, and Carling is just £1.80 a pint - bargain.

Full info>> http://www.leylinepromotions.com/killallhippies

BREAKING GROUND
Another storming night for your diaries - the second edition of breaks fest Breaking Ground. All the big names are going to be on the bill - Pendulum (Live), Stanton Warriors, Rennie Pilgrem with MC Chickaboo, Splitloop (Live), Precision Cuts, Janette Slack, Breakfastaz, Deekline & Wizard with MC Ivory, Cltr-Z, Freshold, Si Begg, General Midi, Soto, Merka, Symmetrik, Dirtpop, Mr Sushi and Fyoog. Phew. It will all take place at London's seOne Club on Saturday 2 Dec, from 9.30pm to 6am. Tickets are £18.50 in advance - from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk - press info from Leyline.

Full info>> http://www.leylinepromotions.com/breakingground

PRODUCTION MAGIC
Music Tank and the Music Producers' Guild's Production Magic conference is the one stop all day event for anyone working in music production, with a stack of top names offering their insights into this exciting sector of the music biz. Dance music pioneer Nile Rodgers will provide the opening address, multi-Grammy winning Phil Ramone will be interviewed, plus Guy Chambers, John Leckie, Magnus Fiennes and Hugh Padgham are among the other producers who will speak at the event. This all takes place at the London offices of the Magic Circle a week on Saturday - 11 Nov. For full details you need to get on over to http://www.musictank.co.uk. Admission to the conference is £155, but CMU readers can get a £40 discount (ie the trade association rate) - for details of how to book with that discount email productionmagic@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

Full info>> http://www.musictank.co.uk

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: GRINDERMAN
Nick Cave's new venture, Grinderman, will release their debut album on 5 Mar next year. If you want an idea of what they sound like, here's what the press release says: "Born of babbling lyrics hatched from Bosch eggshells in the Hyde-bound apocalyptic margins of the Cave brain, the Grinderman sound is an instinctual yawlp that also resurrects the demons of each musician's past: the trashcan proselytising of Birthday Party-era Nick; Sclavunos' late 70s New York no-wave noise wisdom; Martyn Casey's ominous Triffids bass reverb; plus Ellis' avant-garde soundtrack work and his teenage love of Black Sabbath. Destination: Out!" Any the wiser? Here's what Nick himself says. "We're just searching for a bit of freedom". Clear now? Perhaps bandmate Warren Ellis can help: "It was meant to be a really open liberating thing, push those elements where we'd normally say 'I don't know about that' and push on, relentless". Still confused? Well, may I suggest a visit to these guys' MySpace, where you'll find a preview of single track 'No Pussy Blues'? I mean, that's got to be easier, right?

http://www.myspace.com/grinderman

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CONSUMERS ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT INTERACTIVE CONTENT, LESS SO ABOUT PAYING FOR IT
Good news for suppliers of on demand digital content services. The UK public are eager for what you have to offer. Bad news for suppliers of on demand digital content services. They don't want to pay for it. Or at least that is the conclusion of a survey of 1500 13-55 year olds conducted by London law firm Olswang.

The survey found that video-on-demand services, especially those delivered to TV sets, were popular with consumers, with 38% expressing an interest in them, on top of the 12% who said they already used them. The interactive Sky+ TV system, meanwhile, was rated the second favourite 'device' after the mobile phone. In the internet domain, 40% of those surveyed said they already downloaded or streamed audio visual content, like TV shows or films, and there was a generally positive reaction to these services, especially where full length programes were on offer.

The only bad news is that many surveyed were currently using free to access services, and 50% said they would not be willing to pay for them. A further 40% said they would pay, but not more than £5 per month. Which means this survey provides a mixed blessing for those companies developing interactive content services - there is a hunger for their content, but they will have to offer competitive pricing to succeed.

Although those surveyed cited the mobile phone as their favourite device, few wanted to receive TV services through their phones, despite the growth in mobile TV services. Only 10% said they had streamed or downloaded video content to their mobiles, and 70% said they had no interest in doing so in the future. This trend may be affected by another finding that suggested consumers would prefer to access full length films or TV programmes rather than clips or trailers whatever content services they are using - and some mobile TV services have tended to provide clip based content.

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FAITHFULL CLEAR OF CANCER
A spokesman for Marianne Faithfull has said that she is now recovering from breast cancer and will soon resume touring. As previously reported, the singer was forced to cancel her concert schedule when she was diagnosed with the disease. Now, however, she's been given the go ahead with her world tour next year.

Faithfull said in a statement that her illness "has been an extraordinary experience and, in many ways, extremely positive", and continued "I didn't realise how many true friends I had. I feel so lucky and loved and thank everybody for all their good thoughts".

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NUMAN SAYS HE MIGHT HAVE ASPERGER'S
Gary Numan has told Metro that he might have Asperger's Syndrome. You may remember what Asperger's is because we probably explained it when we reported that The Vines' Craig Nicholls was diagnosed with it. If you don't remember... well, basically, it's a kind of high functioning autism. In fact, some would argue that it is in fact just autism, of a kind. Anyway, people who suffer from the syndrome generally have difficulties with communication and social interaction, display peculiarities in their use of language, can be clumsy and uncoordinated, and can be overly sensitive to smells, sounds and tastes.

Numan says: "I've read a lot about it and I fulfil some of the diagnostic criteria but not others. I probably only have a mild form. It means you're unable to interact socially in a way that is generally acceptable. For example, if people came over for dinner and I saw a magazine I hadn't read, I'd pick it up, sit in the corner and read it - which I now know is wrong. You also don't readily understand facial expressions. You don't communicate in the same way."

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BEANIE SIGEL TREATED FOR HERNIA
US rapper Beanie Sigel was admitted to hospital in Philadelphia last week to receive treatment for a double hernia. Ouch. The hip hop star, real name Dwight Grant, woke up in pain on Wednesday morning before seeking medical attention and isn't sure how he got the injury, though it's been suggested that it could be due to a vigorous exercise regime.

Sigel is currently working on his new album, 'The Bad Guy', which is scheduled for release in March next year and features guest appearances from the likes of Cee Lo and Scarface.

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SNOOP DOGG CHARGED WITH WEAPONS POSSESSION
Snoop Dogg was charged yesterday with possessing a deadly weapon after turning himself in over that previously reported incident at the John Wayne International Airport in Calfornia on 27 Sep in which a 21 inch collapsible police baton was found in the rap star's laptop bag as he attempted to board a flight to San Francisco.

At the time of the incident, Snoop, real name Calvin Broadus, told authorities that the baton was a prop for a video, and claimed not to know that the weapon was illegal. The charge carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. As you'll remember, the hip-hopper isn't having much luck around airports at the moment, especially ones named after deceased celebrities - he was arrested at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on 26 Oct for weapons and drug possession - and is due in court on 12 Dec to answer those charges.

Elsewhere in Snoop news, apparently the rapper recently avoided a contretemps with European royalty. According to The Mirror, he and Prince Frederik of Denmark were both in the same bar following the MTV Europe Awards, and the rapper sent members of his entourage to eject a group of men from the VIP area so more women could get in, not realising the prince was amongst the group. Though I must say, I think that's pretty unacceptable, whether he's a prince or not.

Anyway, here's what The Mirror's source said: "It was all about to kick off with both camps squaring up to each other and Prince Frederik looking on in horror. But then a member of staff had a word to Snoop's people and they realised the gravity of the situation. Snoop went over to apologise and things were eventually smoothed over."

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COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS GALORE
Music awards with a country flavour for you now.

First up, it was the annual US Country Music Association Awards in Nashville last night, and Brooks & Dunn are the duo about which the phrase "they done well" might be used. Like Justin Timberlake at the MTV Europe awards last week, not only did the duo host and perform at the awards show, they took three of the prizes themselves, Single Of The Year and Music Video Of The Year for their track 'Believe' and, for the 75th year running (more or less), the title of Vocal Duo Of The Year. 'Believe' was also named Song Of The Year, although that technically goes to the song's writers rather than its performers, though Ronnie Dunn co-wrote it, so he got half of that award too.

Elsewhere, awards went to former American Idol Carrie Underwood - Best Female Vocalist and Horizon Award; Brad Paisley - Album Of The Year; Rascal Flatts - Best Vocal Group; and Kenny Chesney - Entertainer Of The Year.

The latter made a vague reference to his previously reported short lived marriage to actress Renee Zellweger in his acceptance speech, telling the awards audience: "This year has in ways been the most emotionally satisfying year and also the most emotionally draining year of my life. There have been so many ups and downs, it's been like a huge emotional roller coaster ride".

Talking of emotional ups and downs, Aussie country star Keith Urban, who also got hitched to an actress recently, of course, won Male Vocalist Of The Year. As expected, he was not in attendance to pick up the gong, given that recent admission into rehab. But he sent a message read out by Ronnie Dunn which thanked his friends and family, concluding: "To my wife, Nicole [Kidman, of course], I love you. I'm looking forward to coming home and seeing you all soon".

Like London buses, country awards tend to come along in threes, mainly because US royalty bodies SESAC and BMI both stage their country awards in the run up to the CMA event. At the former husband and wife songwriting team Sam and Annie Tate were named Country Songwriters Of The Year for their song 'If You're Going Through Hell'. The track was also named Country Song Of The Year, and its publisher, Carnival Music, was Country Publisher Of The Year. At BMI's country awards Toby Keith's 'As Good As I Once Was' was named Song Of The Year, while Keith himself was named co-Songwriter Of The Year, alongside Ed Hill and Vicky McGehee.

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SCISSOR SISTERS CONFIRM NEXT SINGLE
Scissor Sisters have let it be known that their next single release will be 'Land Of A Thousand Words', and it'll be out on 4 Dec on CD and 10" picture disc.

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THE GAME LEAKED OWN ALBUM
You know how I always say "so-and-so's album leaked - well, it's hardly news, that, anymore, is it?" No? Well, I do. And it's partly because I suspect that these so-called 'leaks' are actually deliberate. Well, The Game has actually admitted to it. The rapper, real name Jayceon Taylor, has leaked a clean version of his new album 'Doctor's Advocate' as a marketing ploy.

Taylor told AllHipHop.com: "I already leaked my album. I already leaked my shit so niggas know what it is now. All they got to wait for is the dirty version."

He continued: "You gotta do that. You gotta give people a sample. It's like selling crack in the 'hood, man. Anybody that ever sold drugs in the hood knows you gotta give a nigga a taste before they buy. I leaked 'The Documentary' the same time last year that I did this album. I got a formula. I know what to do. They know what it is, people hear the joints is classic and you ain't gonna hear shit that you don't like."

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NEW NOONDAY UNDERGROUND
Noonday Underground will release a brand new album of songs, yes, songs, on 27 Nov. 'On The Freedom Flotilla' is Noonday Underground's third long player, and their first since 2002's 'The Surface Noise'. Once again Daisy Martey (who you might also know as the vocalist on last year's Morcheeba album 'The Antidote') provides the soulful vocals and, in fact, more so than on past albums.

Main Noonday Underground man Simon Dine told CMU: "The idea for this album was for Daisy to sing it all - like a proper 'band' album. Her voice has proved so popular it seemed only fair that people get a whole album's worth! We wanted to have all the material written before going into the studio, which made it easier for me to set Daisy's voice against different musical styles. I wanted this album to have more of an 80's vibe than the others; you can hear that in the sleeve. I like the 'C86' era when the indie scene was making low-budget records harking back to the 60's while the mainstream were spending 30 grand on a sampler to play an orchestra stab for 3 seconds. It's not an obsession - really - but I wanted to reflect both the flavours of the 60's and of those 80's records too. The time machine may be confused - but you will enjoy the ride!"

Press info from Sarah Lowe at fifthavenuepr@googlemail.com

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BOWIE RELEASING BACK CATALOGUE, AGAIN
David Bowie is to re-release his entire back catalogue again next year. He last released it eight years ago. One could say that someone's being a bit greedy. But I'd say it's a testament to the enduring power of Bowie that he can reach out to new generations of fans... or something like that.

The albums will be released in three lots. On 16 Jan 'Aladdin Sane', 'Hunky Dory', 'The Man Who Sold The World', 'Pin-Ups', 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust' and 'Space Oddity'. On 20 Feb: 'Diamond Dogs', 'Heroes', 'Lodger', 'Low', 'Station to Station' and 'Young Americans'. On 12 Mar, 'Let's Dance', 'Never Let Me Down', 'Scary Monsters', 'Tin Machine' and 'Tonight'.

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LCD SOUNDSYSTEM TOUR
LCD Soundsystem have announced a series of UK live dates for 2007. Actually, they've announced some European dates too, so I'll let you know about those, in case any of you are looking for an excuse for a trip to Milan or Paris, or somewhere, in the early Spring.

7 Mar: Birmingham Academy
8 Mar: Leeds Met Uni
9 Mar: Glasgow Barrowlands
10 Mar: Manchester Academy
11 Mar: Norwich UEA
13 Mar: Bristol Academy
14 Mar: London Astoria
15 Mar: London Astoria
16 Mar: Brussels A/B Main Hall
17 Mar: Amsterdam Melkweg
19 Mar: Cologne Stollwerck
20 Mar: Berlin Postbahnhof
21 Mar: Munich Kleine Elserhalle
23 Mar: Milan Rolling Stone
24 Mar: Toulouse Salle de Tourefeuille
26 Mar: Barcelona Razzamatazz
27 Mar: Paris Bataclan

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ROD STEWART TOUR
Further to sharing the not-that-welcome (as far as I'm concerned - it's not the official CMU position) news that he has no plan to retire, ever, Rod Stewart has announced a UK tour. Dates as follows, at your peril, tickets on sale 10 Nov, 9am:

28 Jun: City of Manchester Stadium
30 Jun: London Twickenham Stadium
3 Jul: Ipswich Town Football Club
5 Jul: Glasgow Hampden Park Stadium
7 Jul: Cardiff Millennium Stadium
10 Jul: Coventry Ricoh Arena

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COLDCUT DVD SCREENING AT NFT
Have we reported on the new Coldcut DVD? I'm sure we have. Actually, I've a sneaking suspicion we might have already reported on the DVD's launch party, though I've a stronger suspicion that was in a dream I had (you'd be surprised how many of my dreams involve writing stories for the CMU Daily). Anyway, the wonderful 'Coldcut: Sound Mirrors' DVD, which is just out, will be formally launched at the National Film Theatre in London a week today, 14 Nov. Staged in association with the Resfest people, there'll be a full screening of the DVD plus a Q&A session about this brilliant project, which took the commissioning of pop promo videos to a whole new level, producing a series of special audio visual treats. Coldcut's Matt Black and Jon More, Resfest's Jeremy Boxer and DVD commissioner Vez Hoper will answer the questions. Details and tickets at http://www.resfest.co.uk - press info from Sainted or Ninja Tune.

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FLAMING LIPS TOUR GETS OFF TO BAD START
The Flaming Lips UK tour got off to a bit of a bad start in Brighton at the weekend. Appearing on stage, frontman Wayne Coyne appealed to his audience for information after a number of personal possessions were stolen from the group's dressing room ahead of the gig. The singer described the culprit - as captured on CCTV - as being about 5'11", wearing a hoodie, and looking "a bit like a whippet", and promised that no further action would be taken if the items were returned.

Later in the evening, a girl in the crowd was taken ill, apparently with an epileptic fit following the extensive use of lighting effects during the course of the track 'The W.A.N.D'. Coyne apparently thanked the audience for "being peaceful" whilst she received medical attention.

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NOISETTES APOLOGISE FOR HURTING GIRL AT GIG
And so to more news of women in trouble at gigs. The Noisettes have apologised to a girl who was injured after one of the band indulged in a little stage diving following their Muse support slot in Belfast at the weekend.

In reference to the incident, guitarist Dan Smith wrote on the band's MySpace site: "A lot happened yesterday - some things which were very fucking crazy. Morgan got a bit carried away at the end of the set and stage dived into the front row and a girl got hurt as a result. Quite rightly, the MUSE crew were fucked off with us but they were also very fair. I'd like to apologise to the girl on our behalf for that happening. It's not cool. I feel like a moron cos I don't even know your name, we're really sorry."

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HOT CLUB DE PARIS GET GUITAR STOLEN
And it's not just the Flaming Lips getting stuff stolen. Hot Club De Paris have appealed for help in recovering a guitar stolen from their gig at the Bastard club (no, that's not a typo) in Berlin on Saturday. Writing on their MySpace page, the band said of the instrument, belonging to the band's Paul Rafferty, "it's a Japanese Fender Baritone Jaguar Custom in sunburst. It was stolen in a black AdLib Audio flightcase that has silver metal round all the edges. We are trying our best to find a way of finding the culprit but if anybody who was at the show knows anything or saw anyone who wasn't us taking a guitar, could you please let us know? We leave Germany on Monday evening... if you could mail us at hotclubdeparis@gmail.com we will be checking it while we are here. Thanks Deutschland, we are counting on you".

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MICHAEL BOLTON ALBUM, TOUR
Now, we don't keep detailed breakdowns of the musical preferences of CMU's 11,119 industry readers, because frankly we're far too egotistical to give a damn about what you like. But sometimes a press release arrives and you think "I wonder". This happened just yesterday. "I wonder", I, erm, wondered, "how many Michael Bolton fans there are in the CMU fraternity?" Assuming there might be one, I suppose we ought to announce that Mr Bolton's new album, a Sinatra covers affair, is out on that busy of busy release dates, 20 Nov. And if that's not enough excitement for one morning, he's touring the UK and Ireland next Spring, dates as follows (alternate dates I see, old Michael obviously doesn't like rushing from one town to the next), press info from Hudson PR.

14 Mar: Dublin Vicar Street,
16 Mar: Brighton Centre,
18 Mar: Sheffield City Hall & Memorial Hall
20 Mar: Glasgow SECC Clyde Auditorium
22 Mar: Newcastle City Hall
24 Mar: Cardiff International Arena
26 Mar: Nottingham Royal Centre
28 Mar: Manchester Apollo, Manchester
30 Mar: Bournemouth International Centre
1 Apr: Birmingham Symphony Hall
3 Apr: London Royal Albert Hall
4 Apr: London Royal Albert Hall

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CLIFF BREAKS HIS OWN RECORD AT WEMBLEY
Now, the high number of Cliff Richard fans among the CMU community is presumably unquestionable, and they, I am absolutely sure, would want to know that when Cliff Richard kicks off his latest arena tour at the Wembley Arena tonight he will break his own record for number of gigs played at the London venue by any one artist.

Cliff first appeared at the Arena (then called the Empire Pool, it having a disused swimming pool underneath it) in 1960 when he played at the NME Pollwinners Concert. Since then he's played at the Arena a record breaking 52 times - and with a five date residency kicking off tonight, by the end of the week he'll have played there an even more record breaking 57 times.

With that in mind, the venue's management will present the singer with a little award this week. Wembley Arena GM Peter Tudor explains: "It's fantastic to have our all time record breaking artist returning to play in our reopening year. We've transformed the Arena with our recent refurbishment, and we're sure Cliff is going to have a great time back here at Wembley."

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OASIS EXHIBIT IN LONDON
A new exhibition featuring pictures of Oasis, the band, is to go on show at Fopp on Tottenham Court road, timed to coincide with the release of the group's greatest hits collection, 'Stop The Clocks', out 20 Nov. The exhibit, comprising images from by photographer Jill Furmanovsky documenting the band from their early days up until 1996, will be on show from 13 Nov until 17 Dec. All images will be on sale as limited edition signed prints.

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OASIS PREMIERE IN NEW YORK
And talking of Oasis, as we were, Noel Gallagher appeared in New York at the weekend to attend the world premiere of Oasis documentary 'Lord Don't Slow Me Down'. The screening, part of the CMJ line up, attracted 400 fans, and was followed by a Q&A with the Oasis frontman.

At the Q&A, asked why he thinks his band are "the greatest band in the world", Gallagher responded: "I only go by what's on the charts. I'm not interested in what's hip to music critics, what I was actually saying when I was saying I was the greatest thing since Elvis Presley was: 'I think I'm the best thing in the Top 40 and I think anybody who's from England would probably agree with that!'."

Erm, I'm from England.

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MYSPACE JAPAN IN THE PIPELINE
We're expecting the announcement of the launch of MySpace Japan sometime this week. Word has it that it will be a joint venture between MySpace's owner News Corp and Tokyo based ISP Softbank. The fact News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch is at a conference in Tokyo this week has heightened speculation that an announcement is imminent.

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YOUTUBE PURCHASE GETS GO AHEAD
Google has received regulatory approval for their much previously reported takeover of video sharing site YouTube. Both the Federal Trade Commission and US Department Of Justice have said they are approving the takeover deal without further investigation.

Confirmation of the deal is good news for Google, though given that the big US media companies are seemingly all getting ready to launch a load of litigation against YouTube for its illegitimate distribution of their content, they might be too busy in legal negotiations to celebrate. Insiders say, however, that Google bosses remain hopeful that licensing deals like those made with the record companies might be reached with the TV firms too, averting full on legal action.

Let's hope so - if only so they do have time to celebrate being named Invention Of The Year by Time magazine. You know, its ironic Time are naming YouTube their Invention Of The Year, because I was thinking of naming them CMU's Invention Of Last Year. Ironic also that Time are choosing to honour YouTube at this time - given that their parent company, Time Warner, are one of the media firms leading that aforementioned threatened legal assault against the video site.

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VON TRAPP ACTOR WITHDRAWS FROM LLOYD WEBBER SHOW
The actor playing Captain Von Trapp in Andrew Lloyd Webber's revival of The Sound Of Music, starring talent show winner Connie Fisher, has withdrawn from the show, just nine days before the show's opening night. Simon Shepherd dropped out of the musical when it was decided after two previews that his performance was "not working".

Shepherd, best known for his role in TV show Peak Practice is to be replaced by Alexander Hanson. A spokesman said in a statement: "Simon wants to wish Alexander Hanson and everyone involved in the production the very best of luck".

The show has, of course, been a bit controversial due to the fact that its star, Connie Fisher, was selected via a reality TV show. It hasn't harmed sales figures however - more than £6million worth of advance tickets have been sold.

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JAMES SAYS ALBARN IS REALLY GOOD
Alex James is being a bit chatty at the moment, isn't he? Most recently, he was saying that he thinks he can get Graham Coxon to rejoin Blur for a final album. Now he's been saying that he thinks Damon Albarn doesn't get the credit he deserves. He told Gigwise: "I still don't think Damon gets the credit he deserves as a songwriter, or for creating amazing work year after year. I've not seen The Good, The Bad & The Queen play yet, but my wife saw them and said they were incredible. Damon always does stuff for the right reasons and you couldn't wish to work with a better songwriter."

I think he's probably right about Albarn's songwriting skills. I just think people are blinded by prejudice because they think he's a wanker. That's they. Not me. They.

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JAVINE AND SO SOLID HARVEY DOING IT?
The Sun claims that So Solid's Harvey and former reality/Eurovision star Javine are having an affair, reporting that the pair were caught in bed together by Javine's boyfriend, former Outlaw Posse man, Karl 'K-Gee' Gordon. Gordon, it's alleged, immediately phoned Harvey's wife, the lovely Alesha Dixon, formerly of Misteeq, with the bad news. Actually, I shouldn't be calling her lovely. She encouraged a generation of school children to spell mystique wrongly. I'll forgive her, though.

Alesha is said to have moved out of the house she shared with Harvey. A source told the tabloid: "Alesha is beside herself with anger, disbelief and pain. She is in pieces. She thought her relationship with Harvey was so strong. She thought she'd be with him forever. She has known Javine for a long time and even raved about her performance in 'Daddy Cool'. Alesha feels totally humiliated by Harvey."

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TIMBERLAKE A BIT PISSED OFF OVER FAKE BREAST
Shit, that headline could mean anything. What it does mean is that Justin Timberlake doesn't have a sense of humour about the Janet Jackson nipple exposure affair. During a press conference backstage at the recent MTV Europe awards, a journalist attempted to present him with a fake plastic breast to commemorate that incident. Timberlake reportedly looked visibly upset and called the man a "numbskull".

To be fair, I don't think I'd have found that especially funny, but he had just been saying that he hoped that "everyone could take a joke" regarding Kanye West's invasion of the stage that night (if you remember, the rapper ran up to protest that he should have won the Best Video award, which went to Justice vs. Simian). Which all rather makes Justin seem something of a spoilsport. Which I'm sure he isn't. At all.

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ELTON ASKS TO BE DROPPED
Now, I'm no expert on these things or anything, but I'm guessing Elton John isn't overly impressed with the marketing strategy employed by Universal's Mercury and Interscope Records with regard to his most recent album 'The Captain And The Kid'. According to the Daily Mail, this is how he introduced one of the songs off the album at a recent gig in New York: "I'm going to play a song but I'm sure you haven't heard it because the fuckers haven't promoted it. My record label isn't doing anything to help. Nobody would know the album has been out since September. Fuck Universal. They're useless. Here's a message to Universal Records: Please drop me. Just let me go somewhere else".

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