CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 15th November
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Universal publishing purchase gets US approval
- Hall Of Fame induct inductees
- Whiter Shade case opens in court
- Carey sues over cancelled Hong Kong gig
- Bloc Party cancel US tour
- New Fall album
- Panic's album plans
- Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand on new charity CD
- Axl Rose makes surprise charity appearance
- Independent release takes eco-friendly approach to CD casing
- Dinosaur Jr announce a tour
- Deftones tour
- Jamie T reschedules dates
- Damien Rice tour
- Jet announce 2007 tour
- McCartney in-store signing
- Albarn to DJ for charity
- More Late Night Tales this Sunday
- Cassidy's flares up for auction
- Ticketrush stage mobile ticketed Kasabian gig
- UK benevolent fund stages biggest ever musicians survey
- Control Room sign deal with Universal
- Apple enter into airline partnerships
- Radio helps EMAP hold on to revenues
- OfCom plan to further cut radio ownership rules
- ITV chief search off following NTL approach
- Brand leaves MTV again
- Beyonce stuff
- Louis Walsh says his own act won't win
- Noel Gallagher latest
- Liam Gallagher latest

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VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OF THE YEAR
Email in song title, artist and a sentence on why it's your favourite to 2006@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

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TOP BIT: COUNTDOWN BEGINS TO INSOMNIACS BALL 2>>
There are now just ten days - count them, everybody - ten days, until the second Insomniacs Ball, the much previously reported CMU Recommended all night underground mini-festival. And we've got another band to add to the bill - Island Records' exciting new signing The Rumble Strips. They are joining a line up which, as we've told you oh so many times, also includes The Young Knives, Art Brut, Pink Grease, Friendly Fires, Blood Red Shoes, The Sunshine Underground, Digitalism, Foals, Goose and Lo Fi Fink. They'll all be taking to one of the stages underneath London Bridge station in the seOne complex. Between the bands, on the decks you'll find Silverlink, Matthew WoWoW, Jagz Kooner, The Cooper Temple Clause, Gavin Nugent, Eddy Temple-Morris, The Freelance Hellraiser and Jeff Automatic. Plus the Fish Seeks Bicycle people will be hosting a brilliant chill out area. It all takes place on 24 Nov from 7.30pm all the way through to 6am the next day. This is going to be the big pre-Christmas event, so if you want to go you really ought to be booking your tickets now. You'll find info at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk, you can buy your tickets at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk and you can get press info from Scruffy Bird.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or are interested
in a long term capital partner, please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - http://www.musicgain.com

--

ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICES & PRODUCTS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for details.

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HOT OFF THE PRESS>>

CLASH MAGAZINE
The new issue of Clash, out now, profiles our band of the year The Kooks in an exclusive and revealing interview, plus we remember 2006 with the help of Razorlight, The Subways, Hot Chip, Good Shoes and a host of others. There are further exclusive chats with The Magic Numbers, Smokey Robinson, Larrikin Love, Andrew Weatherall, The Byrds, Albert Hammond Jr, Steve Reich, Vincent Vincent And The Villains and oh so much more. Stuck to the front is a FREE 16-track CD of more of our hand-picked choices set to delight your ears over the coming months, including The Enemy, CSS, Mumm-Ra, Metric among them. Plus, full details of the award winning magazine's monthly events (also see http://www.myspace.com/clubclash) and good honest album reviews.

Available for just £3.80 at WH Smith, HMV, Virgin, Fopp, Borders and all good newsagents. For more information see http://www.clashmagazine.com

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JOBS N STUFF>>

SENIOR PRESS OFFICER
Are you ready for the next stage of your career as a publicist in the music industry? Have you already demonstrated that you can initiate innovative and successful UK press campaigns for artists? Do you have excellent contacts to a senior level within the UK press? Do you have great communication skills? Can you write to a high standard? Are you hungry, confident, self-motivated, able to handle a variety of artists across a number of different genres and willing to go over the barricades for those artists? Can you bring in new business? If you can answer yes to all of the above questions we would like to hear from you. We are a small but successful and established London based PR agency specialising in music industry work and we urgently need an experienced (2 years minimum) person to join our team as a Senior Press Officer. We can offer an above average salary, a great working environment and some interesting projects to work on.

Send your CV and a detailed covering letter telling us about your PR successes to date in complete confidence to: brilliantnewjob@hotmail.co.uk

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

REMIX NIGHT NOVEMBER>>
Ladies and gentlemen, the next edition of Remix Night is this coming Friday. And with Remix chief Eddy TM taking a well deserved break, your host this month will be the mighty Freelance Hellraiser, so expect a good night. On the bill this time are Sugardaddy, the latest project from Groove Armada's Tom Findlay and Tim Hutton, whose recent album 'It's Good To Get High With The Wife', is one of the stand out releases of the year. Joining them will be the wonderful My Luminaries - whose new single 'Jumping The Great White' is just out. Meanwhile, joining the Freelance Hellraiser on the decks will be Mr Tim Deluxe. It all takes place this Friday, 17 Nov, at Cargo in London from 9pm to 3am. Entrance is a tenner. Tickets from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk.

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

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

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: THE LOW MIFFS
I might have done a different MySpace Of The Day today (I did have a vague plan to nominate someone else) had not The Low Miffs requested my MySpace friendship yesterday. I am, of course, very discriminating when it comes to accepting MySpace requests. I'm not like my fellow editor who randomly approves everyone. Oh no. I check every page first. And then let them be my friend whether I like them or not. Unless they're selling something. Anyway, if I were a little more discriminating, these guys would still have got my approval, not least because in their 'about us' bit they write "The Low Miffs are from the year 2004. Having destroyed 'Rock 'n' Roll' in the previous year, they spent a very silent summer wishing they hadn't". This made me smile. Their style is interesting and dramatic. I suggest you check it out.

http://www.myspace.com/thelowmiffs

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UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING PURCHASE GETS US APPROVAL
Universal Music has reportedly received the approval of American anti-trust officials regarding its proposed takeover of Bertelsmann's BMG Music Publishing company. The US Federal Trade Commission have reportedly assessed the 1.63 billion euro takeover deal and have concluded that it can go ahead without any further investigation on their part. As previously reported, Universal will merge the BMG publishing company which its own publishing division creating a new combined company the same size, or slightly bigger, than current market leader EMI Music Publishing.

But, of course, US approval does not mean Universal's takeover proposals are now ready to go. No one expected there to be any problems getting US approval for the takeover anyway, the challenge will be in Europe where European Commission officials are still assessing the proposals. As previously reported, pan-European independent music trade body IMPALA will oppose the merger, and, given their recent success in having EC approval for the 2004 SonyBMG merger overturned, European approval for the deal is by no means assured.

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HALL OF FAME INDUCT INDUCTEES
So, it was the 2006 induction ceremony of the UK Music Hall Of Fame in London last night. Is it just me, or has this event lost much of its excitement very quickly? Oh, that's just me, sorry. I suppose Gordon Brown got booed a little at this year's event, which is always fun. Anyway, brand new inductees Prince, James Brown, Brian Wilson and Bon Jovi all performed at the annual Hall Of Fame ceremony at Alexandra Palace last night, with Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart and Dusty Springfield all also inducted.

The back stage award went, of course, to Beatles producer George Martin, and various artists, including Corinne Bailey Rae, Johnny Borrell and Queen drummer Roger Taylor joined a 31 piece orchestra and the London community gospel choir to perform a number of Beatles songs. The aforementioned Brown (Gordon, not James) was in attendance to present Martin with his award, and he told the audience: "George Martin is the most amazing man and I'm proud to be able to present him this evening. In 1962, even after every major producer rejected The Beatles and one producer said guitar groups had no future, George Martin made The Beatles the most successful group in history".

Martin himself said: "I never realised I was as good as all that. I'm not to be honest, this is hyperbole. I think the reason I am here today is I have been a very lucky man and I have worked with the greatest people in showbusiness, performers and writers. It rubs off working with people like that, it makes all the difference in the world."

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WHITER SHADE CASE OPENS IN COURT
As expected, former Procul Harum keyboardist Matthew Fisher has been asked to play the distinctive organ melody from the band's classic 1967 hit 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' in court. As previously reported, Fisher claims that he wrote the organ bit of the track and that he should therefore be receiving a royalty payment off it, but frontman Gary Brooker and lyricist Keith Reid, who are currently credited for creating the song, disagree.

Officials at the Royal Courts Of Justice in London set up a keyboard in the court room so that Fisher could talk through how, in his eyes, he created the piece of music. He described how he was inspired by Bach when crafting the song, but that he was aware that "this is meant to be a pop record, we didn't want anything too adventurous - too avant garde". He concluded: "I was trying to do something that sounded nice, that people would say 'oh! that is a nice tune'".

Of course, Brooker claims that the only thing going through Fisher's head when he first played the keyboard part of 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' was the tune that had already been created by him and Reid. Writing on a website dedicated to the band ahead of the trial, Brooker said: "I am shocked and dismayed that after Matthew had worked with us quite happily over the course of 40 years without him once alleging that his role on 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' was anything other than as a musician, it is only now that he claims he recalls writing part of the song. People can draw their own conclusions from this".

On the fact that his claim to royalties has come so late in the day, Fisher told the court yesterday that at the time he "was just a young musician who wanted to make music and I didn't really think of contracts". Subsequently he claims to have assumed that a credit he was given on another Procol Harum track, 'Repent Walpurgis', had been a "token gesture" intended as compensation for his lack of credit on 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale'.

Things seemingly came to ahead when Fisher left the band in 2003. Brooker claims that it was when the band had a meeting to discuss Fisher's departure that the keyboardist brought up his writing credit (or lack thereof) on the big hit - a claim which Brooker describes as "a bombshell". But Fisher says that Brooker's reaction at that meeting supports his claim. He alleges that he merely told Brooker that "what he had done to me back in 1967 was very hurtful", but that Brooker immediately knew Fisher was alluding to his lack of credit on 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale'.

The case, as they say, continues.

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CAREY SUES OVER CANCELLED HONG KONG GIG
Mariah Carey is suing the Asia-based promoters who cancelled a show she was due to play in Hong Kong on 28 Oct. Promoter ONE Group cancelled the show just two days before it was due to take place, and Carey's lawsuit says the company "breached its contractual obligations" in doing so, and therefore owes the singer unpaid fees and reimbursements for expenses. The suit adds that Carey was "greatly looking forward" to the show, while her LA lawyer told reporters: "Regretfully, Ms Carey's production company has been forced to bring legal action to vindicate its rights".

While it is Carey herself launching legal proceedings, the dispute here actually seems to be between Carey's management firm Handprint Entertainment and the Hong Kong promoters, with both blaming the other for the gig cancellation. ONE says that while poor ticket sales played a role in its decision, it was ultimately last minute "wholly unreasonable" demands made by Handprint that forced them to axe the concert. But, at the time, Handprint blamed ONE for failing to pay outstanding production and artists' fees.

Responding to the lawsuit, the boss of ONE said he was glad of the opportunity to settle this dispute in court. He told reporters: "We received no reply to get our money back and we would love for the matter to go to court and the facts [to] come out and clearly she had savings by not coming. We would not presume to tell the court an outcome. This is a matter for the court, not arrogant assumptions... ONE Group is confident that we would prevail and they would be ordered to return money paid".

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BLOC PARTY CANCEL US TOUR
Bloc Party confirmed yesterday that they were going to have to cancel the remainder of their US tour with Panic At The Disco after drummer Matt Tong suffered a collapsed lung. The band announced last week that four gigs would not go ahead because of Tong's condition, but following medical advice to not travel or perform while he fully recovers the whole tour, which was due to run until 9 Dec, has now been cancelled.

Confirming and apologizing for the cancellation, the band's Kele Okereke told US fans: "We would like to apologise to all of our fans here who won't be able to see us on this tour. We were looking forward to playing in a number of American cities that we've never been to before, however, Matt's health is our number one priority right now."

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NEW FALL ALBUM
The Fall are to release a twenty sixth studio album at the start of next year. Yes, I know. Twenty sixth. Including live albums and that, there are about seven million.

It'll be out in late January or early February, and is entitled 'Reformation'. By the way, are you all aware just how very many people have been in The Fall? I mean, I knew there were quite a few, but I didn't realise there were several hundred past members. There so are. Look up 'The Fall' on Wikipedia if you don't believe me.

Anyway, moving on, two Fall-ish books will also be published next year. First, on 26 Apr, Mark E's autobiography, entitled 'Renegade: The Gospel According To Mark E. Smith', second, on 28 Jun, 'Perverted by Language: Fiction Inspired by the Fall', which is, er, a collection of fiction inspired by The Fall.

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PANIC'S ALBUM PLANS
Panic! At The Disco have been talking about their second album. They say it will be very different from their first album. Which, to be fair, is what they all say.

Anyway, front-chap Brendan Urie told Billboard: "The next album is going to be stuff that we've never tried before. That's the stuff that interests us in our music - just exploring new instruments we've never tried and new sounds that are appealing to us. You'll find a lot of stuff you'd never expect."

Urie added that the band's guitarist Ryan Ross and drummer Spencer Smith are both learning to play the piano: "We're all trying to improve as musicians. We try to take control of our own destiny, I guess".

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KAISER CHIEFS, FRANZ FERDINAND ON NEW CHARITY CD
Songs by the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and Franz Ferdinand are to appear on a new CD to raise money for the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Other names who've agreed to appear on the album include Thom Yorke, The Rapture, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Cat Power.

The limited edition CD, of which only 10,000 copies will be made, has been created by Filter Magazine and clothing chain Urban Outfitters, with £4.69 from each sale going to the charity.

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AXL ROSE MAKES SURPRISE CHARITY APPEARANCE
Talking of music acts getting involved in charity type things, Axl Rose made a previously unannounced appearance at a Parkinson's disease benefit in New York at the weekend in aid of the Michael J Fox foundation. Rose sang 'Live And Let Die' at the event, held at the Waldorf-Astoria, and called 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's',

Other music acts appearing at the show included Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow. The benefit was attended by Parkinson's sufferers Muhammad Ali and the lovely Michael J Fox himself.

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INDEPENDENT RELEASE TAKES ECO-FRIENDLY APPROACH TO CD CASING
Have I mentioned how much I like those new jewel cases that Universal are using for album releases, they're very swish. Do you like them too? Well if you do, you're an evil planet beater, I mean, how wasteful of the world's resources is the bulky excessive packaging involved in mainstream record releases?

With that in mind, a band called Recoup are releasing a new single with some rather eco-friendly packaging. Their new song, 'Remind You', is all about the impact us careless humans are having on the environment (well, you careless humans, I'm sure my personal impact is minor) and with that in mind the CD will come in a cover made out of recycled cardboard and a recycled crisp bag. Yep, a recycled crisp bag.

The band's Pieter Theron, who has won the support of a number of schools and eco groups on the project (they've been cleaning the reused crisp packets for him), explains: "The reason why we chose crisp packets is that they are hard to recycle, they are the perfect shape for a CD, entirely durable and when turned inside out they are all a uniform silver colour. Apart from actually re-using things that would have gone to land fill sites, and created further waste in a world that is already too full of it, we want people and companies to think 'outside the box' about what they can re-use/recycle. It seemed to me that with all the debate on the environment, it was time to take a stand. And since we finished making the CD's all the talk of global warming and green tax has only gone to convince me we were right to do so. Handing over more money shouldn't always be the sole solution, why shouldn't we exercise a little thought and action instead? We might only be a band, but if all the bands in the world made the same effort, then, undoubtedly, it would make a big difference".

The single, quirky packaging and all, is out on 4 Dec. Press info from Quite Great.

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DINOSAUR JR ANNOUNCE A TOUR
This is possibly only relevant to our multitude of US readers, or those planning a trip to America later this month. Dinosaur Jr have announced five US tour dates. UK readers, they'll be at 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' fest which is from 8 -10 December in Minehead, of course. They've got a new album coming out next year too.

28 Nov: Portland The Big Easy
29 Nov: Boston Paradise Rock Club
30 Nov: Northampton Pearl Street
1 Dec: New York Rebel
2 Dec: New York Rebel

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DEFTONES TOUR
Ah, now this one's possibly a bit more relevant. Deftones have announced a 2007 UK tour. Tickets on sale this Friday, dates as follows.

8 Mar: Liverpool, University
9 Mar: Leeds, University
11 Mar: Manchester, Academy
12 Mar: Glasgow, Academy
13 Mar: Newcastle, Academy
14 Mar: Nottingham, Rock City
15 Mar: Birmingham, Academy
16 Mar: Norwich, UEA
18 Mar: Bristol, Academy
19 Mar: Portsmouth, Guildhall
20 Mar: London, Brixton Academy

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JAMIE T RESCHEDULES DATES
That Jamie T has rescheduled two of the dates on his January tour. The Norwich show, due to take place on 23 Jan is moved to 5 Feb, whilst a Birmingham date set for 26 Jan will now take place on 8 Feb. All original tickets will be honoured for the new dates, refunds available from the point of purchase. Here's the full updated list of dates:

18 Jan: Aberdeen Moshulu
20 Jan: Sheffield Leadmill
21 Jan: Manchester Academy
24 Jan: London Astoria
27 Jan: Newcastle Northumbria University
28 Jan: Leeds Met University
2 Feb: Bristol Anson Rooms
5 Feb: Norwich Waterfront
8 Feb: Birmingham Irish Centre

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DAMIEN RICE TOUR
Damien Rice has announced a clutch of 2007 live dates. It's the singer-songwriter's first UK tour in three years, and will follow the release of his new album, '9', out 27 Nov.

27 Mar: London Hammersmith Apollo
29 Mar: Wolverhampton Civic Hall
30 Mar: Manchester The Apollo
31 Mar: Edinburgh Usher Hall

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JET ANNOUNCE 2007 TOUR
Jet have announced a 2007 European tour, seven of which are UK dates. Some of the gigs replace those cancelled last month because of singer Nic Cester's ill health. The band release a new single, 'Bring It On Back', on Monday. Tickets for the gigs go on sale Friday, here's when and where they are:

3 Mar: Glasgow Academy
4 Mar: Manchester Apollo
7 Mar: London Hammersmith Apollo
9 Mar: Newport Centre
10 Mar: Portsmouth Guildhall
12 Mar: Plymouth Pavilions
13 Mar: Wolverhampton Civic

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MCCARTNEY IN-STORE SIGNING
Paul McCartney is set to appear at Virgin Megastore on London's West End on 22 Nov to sign copies of new classical CD 'Ecce Cor Meum' and his live DVD 'Paul McCartney: The Space Between US'. To be there, fans need to buy a copy of either of those releases during the day on 22 Nov, and they'll be given a wristband for the event.

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ALBARN TO DJ FOR CHARITY
More stars doing things to raise money for worthy causes now. Damon Albarn is to play a DJ set at Fabric tomorrow night at an event in aid of charity Aduna, which supports musical education in Africa. The night will see sets from a host of big names, including Fatboy Slim, Mylo and Zane Lowe. The Ordinary Boys will perform a live set. More info from http://www.aduna.org.uk.

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MORE LATE NIGHT TALES THIS SUNDAY
It's another one of those Late Night Tales afternoons at the Lock Tavern in Chalk Farm this Sunday, 19 Nov, and with special guests Zero 7 and Fila Brazilia on the decks (both of whom produced fine compilations for the Late Night Tales album series), it should be a goodun. It all takes place this Sunday from 3.30pm to 11pm, admission is free, press info from sean@azuli.com.

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CASSIDY'S FLARES UP FOR AUCTION
Hey, wanna buy some flares? No? Not even David Cassidy's flares? See, that's different, isn't it? They're virtually iconic. Plus, I'm sure there are plenty of fortysomething ladies out there who'd love to buy some of the pop memorabilia Mr Cassidy is selling off. Amongst the items up for sale are a white rhinestone studded polyester jumpsuit and some flared dungarees. Mmmmm.

The auction takes place on 16 Dec at Los Angeles' Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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TICKETRUSH STAGE MOBILE TICKETED KASABIAN GIG
Those Nokia Ticketrush people will stage a special Kasabian gig at Leeds University on 10 Dec and, as you'd expect given the involvement of Ticketrush, the event will be completely mobile ticketed - that is to say, tickets will be sent to people's mobile phones.

Commenting on the latest mobile tickets event, Nokia marketing chief Simon Lloyd told CMU: "We are delighted that Nokia ticketrush.co.uk is continuing to offer mobile ticketed gigs. Mobile tickets have a huge impact on everyone who loves live music with faster and easier access to venues".

The Kasabian boys themselves (all of them, in unison, I think) added: "It is really great to be involved in a ticketing service that is innovative like ticketrush.co.uk. If it gives our fans an easier time buying tickets to come and see us, we fully support it".

For press info on Ticketrush, I'd be speaking to Amazing Media.

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UK BENEVOLENT FUND STAGES BIGGEST EVER MUSICIANS SURVEY
The UK's Musicians Benevolent Fund is embarking on what is thought to be the biggest ever survey of musicians in the UK and Eire. The aim of the research project, which will take place between now and 7 Jan, is to gain "a unique insight into the lives and needs of professional musicians in the UK and Eire". All kinds of people working in music will take part in the survey, covering composers, performers and producers from all genres.

In a statement launching the survey, the MBF, which provides financial help and support to musicians, explains: "The survey will be an opportunity for musicians and music students from all backgrounds to have their say as to how the MBF spends its money and what kinds of projects it funds in future. The MBF, which is approaching its 90th birthday in 2011, will in turn share the information with colleagues from across the industry".

MBF CEO Rosanna Preston adds: "The MBF's strapline is 'listening to musicians - responding to their needs'. The MBF is 85 years old this year and in that time the life of a professional musician has changed dramatically. Therefore this is the perfect time to review the help and support we give to musicians of all ages. We think this is the largest national survey of its kind and when we get the results we will understand much better the needs of musicians and how we can support them."

A range of other UK industry bodies are also supporting the research, including the Musicians' Union, Association Of Independent Music, PRS Foundation, Association Of British Orchestras, Jazz Services, British Academy of Composers and Songwriters and all UK and Irish Arts Councils.

If you're a musician and you want to take part in the survey, you can do so at the following website: http://www.musicianshaveyoursay.com

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CONTROL ROOM SIGN DEAL WITH UNIVERSAL
Control Room, the company formerly know as Network Live which, as previously reported, is now providing live music content for MSN, among others, has signed a deal with the Universal Music Group which will see the filming and streaming live performances by the major's artists, starting with Snoop Dogg.

The digital media company hope that its deal with Universal, and possibly similar deals with other record companies, will simplify the process in securing the rights to film live music for online broadcast - the labels previously being rather cautious of such live webcasting arrangements, mainly because they aren't always guaranteed an income from them.

Although details of the Universal deal are not known, Control Room will sell advertising alongside their live broadcasts so it is likely the label will get a cut of those revenues.

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APPLE ENTER INTO AIRLINE PARTNERSHIPS
Apple have announced a partnership with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United that will see the airlines include iPod holders on some of their seats which enable people to power and charge up their iPods while they are on board, and to watch video content stored on their iPod through screens in the back of the seat in front. Which, I have to say, is rather cool.

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RADIO HELPS EMAP HOLD ON TO REVENUES
Thank God for EMAP's radio division, that's all I can say, otherwise the media conglom's financials would be looking gloomy, and if that was to happen I'm not sure how I'd sleep at night.

The group's consumer magazine division did score some successes in the first half of its current financial year, especially with woman's weekly Grazia, but elsewhere things were not so groovy. FHM, for example, is still the biggest selling men's monthly, but its revenues were down. New gossip mag First "got off to a slower start than anticipated" while teen mag Sneak was closed down after it failed to grow readership and profits as quickly as expected. Some of EMAPs titles outside the UK, especially FHM in the US, also achieved lower revenues than hoped.

The radio bit of the company, which includes the Kiss and Magic franchises, saw revenues rise 39%, thanks in part to their acquisition of Scottish Radio Holdings, though revenues would be up 5% even without the newly acquired revenue streams. While profits there were down 1%, given trends elsewhere in the radio sector that was still good news as far as many city types were concerned - the Guardian quoting one (Citygroup) thus: "One of the positive surprises of the pre-close statement was the performance of radio, [especially] given Chrysalis's comments that the radio market had deteriorated in September and October".

The EMAP TV business, which houses those jukebox TV channels, also increased revenues by a million in the six months up to the end of September.

All of which means overall revenues group wide were down for the period, though bosses expect things to improve slightly in the rest of the year, meaning over all revenues will be pretty much the same this year as last year. And despite talk of gloominess, profits were up 4% to £93m.

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OFCOM PLAN TO FURTHER CUT RADIO OWNERSHIP RULES
UK media regulator has said it is considering further deregulation of the radio industry in order to help commercial operators to compete with the BBC. The proposed changes are in the area of radio ownership, which basically means OfCom is planning on allowing radio firms to own more stations in any one local market.

Lisa Kerr of the RadioCentre, which represents the commercial radio industry, welcomed that announcement, telling reporters: "It is an important signal from the regulator that ownership rules for radio are relatively more restrictive and complicated, and probably too complicated for the modern converging multimedia world we live in. Commercial radio is competing with other media that has an enormous amount of freedom in terms of ownership and the way they run their companies, and it is restricted by rules put in place when the world was entirely different. There are so many places you can go now for local news and opinion. The market is no longer media specific."

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ITV CHIEF SEARCH OFF FOLLOWING NTL APPROACH
The search for a new top man at ITV is off, for the time being, because of the previously reported merger proposal by NTL. Those who had been shortlisted for the job of CEO at the commercial broadcaster have reportedly been contacted and told as much. This suggests that ITV are seriously considering the NTL proposal - obviously no one would want to become CEO of ITV when there is a chance the result of any merger would be the axing of their post.

The two companies' financial advisors are said to have started talking following NTL's formal expression of interest in merging with ITV, though those talks do seem to still be at a very early stage. Insiders say a possible early sticking point will be NTL's ownership of Flextech, which is a partner in the UKTV business with the BBC. If the Flextech sales operation was to merge with the ITV sales operation, that would be one sales business with access to the combined ITV and BBC programme catalogue, which would almost definitely contravene competition rules, meaning the merger would not get regulatory approval. It is not clear if NTL will consider selling Flextech in order to enable an ITV merger.

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BRAND LEAVES MTV AGAIN
MTV have confirmed they will not renew Russell Brand's weekly show 1 Leicester Square, which means one less media outlet for Britain's favourite irritant. The last edition of 1LSQ, which Brand started hosting back in April, will air on New Year's Eve. Brand, of course, is about to launch a new show on BBC Radio 2 as well as continuing with TV projects with Channel 4. MTV have said they hope to work with Brand again in the future but that there's nothing in the pipeline just now (ie their parting of company is amicable this time - not like the last time, when the music station fired the then not so well know comedian-come-presenter).

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BEYONCE STUFF
I don't like Beyonce much. I don't resent her because she's beautiful, by the way. It may have something to do with that whole fur issue. Anyway, she's added justification to my sense of righteous dislike by being a wee bit fussy with her rider when she appeared at the BBC Chart Show Live in Brighton at the weekend. Well, according to the Daily Mirror she was fussy. I expect we won't know until the rider appears on The Smoking Gun. Whatever.

Apparently she requested an unlimited supply of Pepsi Cola (fair enough, I might have done the same thing), Honeynut Cheerios (again, not outrageous), and turkey sandwiches (ditto). But here's where it gets a bit nitpicking - she asked that the room be heated to exactly 78 degrees, which she may have a reason for, but it does make her seem a bit diva-ish. A source said: "Beyoncé wants to make sure her vocal chords are in tip-top condition so she needs the temperature to be just right."

Personally, I am most offended by her request for a two man 'love seat'. Why exactly does she need one of those?

Stepping on stage in Brighton, she told the audience "It's great to be back in London!" I'm sure they were thrilled by that.

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LOUIS WALSH SAYS HIS OWN ACT WON'T WIN
Louis Walsh has admitted, on telly, that he doesn't think one of his own acts, The MacDonald Brothers, are in with a chance of winning this year's X-Factor. Following boos from the Graham Norton's Bigger Picture studio audience when the band was mentioned, Walsh asked "Do you not like them? They're really good singers. Some people like them."

Ultimately though, Walsh said resignedly: "Oh I know they're not going to win".

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NOEL GALLAGHER LATEST
Noel Gallagher says that fans who think '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?' is his band's best album are 'squares'. The fact that he used the term squares just tells me how very un-street he is. I'm very down with the kids, of course. Gallagher said: "If you stop the man in the street and ask, 'What's Oasis' best album?' a few might say 'Don't Believe The Truth', which is great, the squares will say 'Morning Glory' and the cool people will say 'Definitely Maybe'."

He also said that no one has ever made an album as good as 'Definitely Maybe', which is yet another indication as to what a deluded idiot he is. Sorry, Noel-fans. He said: "Nobody has ever bettered 'Definitely Maybe', don't pin it on my shoulders. The Arctic Monkeys came close, but that's it. They've got the tunes and the attitude. If only they could front it out."

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LIAM GALLAGHER LATEST
Shit, are those Gallagher boys selling something? Well, yes, they are. Anyway, Liam Gallagher and Tom Atkin from The Paddingtons have had a bit of a row, backstage at a Dirty Pretty Things gig. Atkin says: "Liam was having a go at every opportunity. In the end I told him to grow up. Noel's a great songwriter, but Liam's a toothless twat."

I like that Tom Atkin from The Paddingtons more and more all the time.

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