CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 19th December
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Warner buy majority stake in Roadrunner
- Legendary artists sue over vintage memorabilia site
- 50 Cent's insurers deny liability for The Game lawsuit
- Hallyday sparks political row in France
- Denis Payton dies
- Cale producing Ambulance album
- Rock icons take part in music camp
- Monkeys announce second date
- Minogue won't do Glasto 2007
- South Bank newcomer nominations out
- Garland recordings fail to sell
- Concord revives Stax
- Are watermarked MP3s the solution to the interoperability problem?
- eMusic pass 100 million download mark
- V2 enter into digital deal with Quibus
- MySpace users to fill a special edition of Marmalade
- GMG acquire Saga Radio
- MPs express concern at Radio 3 plans
- Heart goes live on Freeview
- Cowell re-signs to ITV for £20 million
- Williams never to have children
- Arctic Monkeys helped The Kooks, damn them
- Doherty on Dirty Pretty Things
- Girls Aloud hate Pete Doherty



OK, just to summarise, we've counted up your first set of votes and identified the best ten tracks of the year according to the CMU Daily readership (who are a very knowledgeable bunch, you know). We're now asking you to vote for which of these ten you liked the best. A few hundred votes are already in, and based on them here's the current running order, with most popular first.

Simian v Justice - We Are Your Friends
Arctic Monkeys - When The Sun Goes Down
Nelly Furtado - Maneater
Jarvis Cocker - Running The World
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Amy Winehouse - Rehab
Misty's Big Adventure - Fashion Parade
Hafdis Huld - Tomoko
The Rapture - Get Myself Into It
Jim Noir - Eanie Meanie

But as they always say on these things - it could all change as yet - and actually, it is quite close, especially at the top. So, if you haven't voted already, then do so now, just put the artist you'd like to vote for in a subject line and email it to [email protected] You can vote until Thursday at 3pm. We'll then add up everyone's votes and publish the overall winners in our Review Of The Year edition on Friday.

FAVOURITE ALBUM OF 2006 #8: The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes (Memphis Industries)
I can't quite remember when I first came across Brighton's The Pipettes, but I first properly tuned into their music just ahead of the first Insomniacs Ball in the early Spring when I was sent a couple of their tracks to play during the Insomniacs bit of an edition of the CMU radio show. I was immediately hooked to their wonderful reinvention of the fifties and sixties girl group sound, that always infectious simple brand of pop music that is too often ignored these days. Despite making a very clear mental note to catch the girls when they took to the Insomniacs Ball stage, somehow I managed to miss them, which is why six months later I ran so fast from the Scissor Sisters' headline set at Bestival to make sure I caught them play their late night end-of-festival set there. It was worth the run - The Pipettes put on a brilliant live show with between-song banter that is as fun and entertaining as the songs they sing. All of which meant that when I got back to the office, post-Bestival, The Pipettes debut album went straight on the CD player - it having been on my desk for a few weeks by that point but, with me being in Scotland throughout August, I hadn't had chance to give it a proper play. And the great news is, the record is as good as the live show. 'We Are The Pipettes' is a wonderful, charming and incredibly infectious album - and while it, and pretty much every song on it, does owe a great deal to the girl groups of old that inspired the project (something the band themselves will freely admit to), the fact that the band's founder and head musician, Bobby Barry, had the idea to resurrect that sound at this very time, and the fact that he and his six collaborators (or seven if you count former and founding member Julia Clark-Lowes) have been able to create some great tunes that simultaneously sound like they belong to that era and this one, is why this is such a good album, and definitely one of CMU's favourite albums of 2006.

Read our interview with The Pipettes later today at:



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If you told me to go and check out an act calling itself by the MySpace categories of Experimental/Folk/Lounge I'm not sure I'd be that keen. That said, who am I kidding? I'll check out anything if someone tells me it's good. But the point is, I wouldn't necessarily expect to be immediately taken by it, but in this case I was. But then, it doesn't necessarily sound exactly what I would expect from ExperiFolkLounge (may or may not be a genre). Anyway, back to the point, the point being that I liked it, because it's gentle, massively understated, but it gets right inside your head and stays there, and when it stays there, it's a good thing, not like when you've got the Crazy Frog, or whatever, invading your grey matter. Or white matter, for that matter. In any case, I like DCLC and so will you, so check them out. I'm going to ask them to be my friend. Right now.


The Warner Music Group yesterday announced it is acquiring a 73.5% stake in leading rock and metal label Roadrunner. The deal will mean Roadrunner will now operate as a division of the major - in the US within Warner's Atlantic Records Group and elsewhere as a freestanding unit within Warner Music International. Specifics of the $73.5 million deal aren't known, but both Warner and Roadrunner bosses say there will be no staff changes as part of the acquisition suggesting Roadrunner will continue to run pretty autonomously from the rest of Warner Music, for the time being at least. Roadrunner founder Cees Wessels will continue to run the operation.

The deal will see Wessels working closely with Warner's US boss Lyor Cohen again. The rock label previously had a relationship with Universal's Island Def Jam division when Cohen was in charge there. Confirming the new deal yesterday, Cohen told CMU: "Very rarely do you find a record company with such a longstanding reputation and distinct viewpoint that its very name rises to the level of true brand. Roadrunner, from its strong artist roster to its deep catalogue and first-rate creative team, embodies the hard rock aesthetic to its core. Cees and I shared great success when we brought Roadrunner into the IDJ family in 2001, so naturally I'm thrilled today to welcome Cees and his team to Warner Music Group. We look forward to building upon Roadrunner's 25 years of success together."

Wessels added: "It was predestined that Lyor Cohen and I would work together again. Five years ago, before Nickelback broke massively worldwide, Lyor recognized the power of the Roadrunner brand, its artists and the creative talent of the staff. Today, after continuous strong growth of the label, I feel proud that we are partners again. Roadrunner has become part of a forward-thinking group of companies that not only looks with confidence to the future, but also still retains the creative spirit of the founder of Atlantic, Ahmet Ertegun."

The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Germany, but is expected to be given the green light in late January.


Carlos Santana, Grateful Dead, and surviving members of Led Zeppelin and The Doors are among the artists backing a lawsuit in San Francisco against a website selling vintage rock memorabilia. The website - - is owned by one William Sagan who acquired the assets of late concert promoter Bill Graham, which included his archives which in turn included millions of promotional items and tour imagery relating to bands Graham was involved in promoting. Sagan is now reproducing items and imagery from the archives, and selling the products via his website.

Lawyers representing some of the artists whose old memorabilia is now being sold on the site argue that by acquiring Graham's archive Sagan did not acquire the right to reproduce goods and imagery for sale. Legal man Jeff Reeves told reporters this week: "Sagan simply doesn't have the legal rights to exploit and profit from the extraordinary success of these musicians. This memorabilia was created in the first place for the purposes of promoting concerts and as gifts for fans and concert crew".

Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Bob Weir went even further, accusing Sagan of theft, and adding: "We have never given permission for our images and material to be used in this way. What Sagan is doing is stealing."

Sagan has yet to respond to the lawsuit.


An insurance company has said it is not liable in regards to a $10 million lawsuit being pursued against 50 Cent's G:Unit record label because the rapper and his people took over a year to report the incident to which the legal action relates.

The action in question is the civil lawsuit that followed a run in between the then G:Unit signed The Game and a DJ on a radio station in a Maryland town near Washington DC back in January 2005. Tensions grew between Richard 'DJ Xzulu The Big Lipped Bandit' Dunkerson and The Game's entourage after the former made a disparaging remark about the mobile phone ear piece worn by the latter's manager Jimmy 'Henchmen' Rosemond during a radio interview. Shortly after the interview, it is alleged, The Game's posse attacked Dunkerson and another man called Kwasi Jones, the former suffering "serious internal injuries" as a result of the clash. In the criminal investigation that followed The Game himself was charged, but those charges were later dropped. Rosemond, however, was found guilty of a misdemeanor assault in February this year, and was fined $2500 and sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation.

In addition to the criminal investigation, Jones launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against The Game and all the labels involved with the rapper at the time, including 50 Cent's G:Unit, Eminem's Shady Records and Dr Dre's Aftermath. In addition to the actual assault, Jones also claims the record labels were negligent for releasing several remixes of The Game's Grammy nominated track 'Hate It Or Love It', released as a single in July 2005, in which the rapper seems to boast about the incident. The offending line is "I'm rap's MVP/Don't make me remind y'all what happened in DC".

The litigation is ongoing, but according to the New York Post G:Unit's insurance company, National Fire, has said it will not be liable for any payments 50 Cent or his record label have to make in relation to the suit, because the record company failed to inform them about the incident for more than a year. Fiddy's people are yet to comment on those reports.


French pop star Johnny Hallyday has sparked a political row in France after announcing his intention to move to Switzerland to escape paying tax in his home country.

The singer is known to be a supporter of centre right minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the favoured candidate to stand on behalf of his party, the UMP, in next year's presidential election, provoking rival socialist leader Francois Hollande to joke that Hallyday's decision to leave the country was "a really nice way to support his chosen candidate". Speaking to a French radio station Mr Hollande continued: "If he really thought Nicolas Sarkozy could win, and was so convinced by his policies, he only had to wait four months."

Left-wing candidate Segolene Royal, meanwhile, claims to have deliberately avoided "having as a friend someone who escapes to Switzerland to pay their taxes".

Hallyday, who has sold more than 100 million albums over the course of his forty year career, will spend six months and a day each year in Switzerland in order to avoid French taxes. In September, the singer posed for photographs with Sarkozy in support of his campaign, but said he would leave France if his candidate Sarkozy failed to keep his campaign promises.


Denis Payton of The Dave Clark Five has died following a long illness at the age of 63.

Payton, known as 'Denny' whilst in the group, was a member of The Dave Clark Five from its inception in the early sixties until its break-up in 1970. The band, who sold over 100 million records, were the first British group to tour the US, spearheading what became known as the British invasion. During the course of their career they recorded 23 albums and chalked up 30 worldwide hit singles, and were recently nominated for 2007 induction to the American Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame.

Band leader Dave Clark says of his late colleague: "Denis was a very dear friend who I've known since we were teenagers. He had an amazing talent. He played Sax, Guitars, Harmonica and sung backing vocals on all The DC5 records. Denis and his partner Lindsay recently came to stay with me in London for a few days. He was thrilled about our American Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame nomination and said 'I know I won't be around but it was an amazing part of my life that I am very proud of'. Denis was extremely brave and not afraid of death. He had an amazing philosophy on life and will be greatly missed by me and all who knew him".

Payton is survived by Lindsay, his partner of sixteen years, and two sons from his first marriage.


Velvet Underground guitarist John Cale is producing Ambulance Ltd's next album. This is all a bit interesting because all the remaining original members of Ambulance Ltd left the band earlier this year and only latecomer Marcus Congleton is left using the Ambulance Ltd name. According to reports, Cale and Congleton have been working together in the studio for three months and have thus far come up with eighteen tracks. The new album is expected to see a release in the summer of 2007.


According to NME, rock stars Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Mickey Hart of The Grateful Dead and Paul Stanley of Kiss are to give aspiring rock stars the benefit of their experience at a Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp in Hollywood next year. During the course of the five day camp, taking place from 15 - 19 Feb, they and other celebrity musicians will instruct participants, share meals and offer tips and advice. The camp will finish with a battle of the bands event set to take place at the House Of Blues on LA's Sunset Strip.


Arctic Monkeys have announced a second date at Lancashire County Cricket Ground in Manchester, after the first date, 28 Jul, sold out in about ten seconds. Okay, it was fifteen minutes. Anyway, the second date will take place on 29 Jul and tickets for that show are available now. Well, I say that. It might have sold out as well by now.


Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis says that Kylie Minogue will not appear at next year's festival, as speculated. As previously reported, Emily's dad Michael Eavis expressed hopes earlier this year that the singer would perform at the festival in 2007 after she was forced to pull out in 2005 due to her breast cancer diagnosis.

Eavis Junior now says that Kylie, who resumed her postponed Showgirl tour last month and recently announced a series of New Year dates for the UK, will be too busy with her touring schedule to appear at the festival. Emily told BBC 6Music: "It's not going to happen," saying that Minogue has "a lot of touring up her sleeve". She added: "I think if she was going to do Glastonbury, she'd rework her show and I don't think it's going to be possible in that time frame".

Eavis also denied that Muse or The Killers would be headlining. "We've got really good stuff coming in," she said, "but there's not going to be dominating headliners".


The nominations have been announced for the big Best Newcomer prize in next year's South Bank Show Awards, which are now in their eleventh year, apparently (at first I thought these were new, but now I come to think about it I do have a very vague recollection of reporting on the last ones). As you'd expect given the TV show these awards stem from, the South Bank Show Awards recognise talent across all cultural genres, which makes the Newcomer prize particularly interesting because organisers basically pick a nominee from each of the ten genre areas that form other award categories, making for a very eclectic mix of contenders - ie Archie Bronson Outfit versus West End reality show winner Connie Fisher versus Simon Amstell. I'm glad I don't have to choose an overall winner. That task falls to readers of The Times, which I did read once, but I don't think that obligates me to vote.

Anyway, here's the full list of Newcomer nominations...

Alison Balsom for Classical Music
(trumpet player who has introduced the instrument into the mainstream)

Andrew Kennedy for Opera
(played the role of 'Ferrando' in Glyndebourne On Tour's production of 'Cosi Fan Tutti')

Connie Fisher for Theatre
(currently in the role of Maria in 'The Sound of Music' at the London Palladium)

Jane Harris for Literature
(debut novel 'The Observations', Faber)

Rafi Gavron for Film
(debut in Anthony Minghella's 'Breaking and Entering')

David Oyelowo for TV Drama
(lead in BBC Two's 'Shoot The Messenger')

Archie Bronson Outfit for Pop
(album 'Derdang Derdang')

Simon Amstell for Comedy
(stand-up debut at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as the new host of 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks', BBC)

Jamie Shovlin for Visual Art
(Solo exhibition 'In Search of Perfect Harmony' at Tate Britain)

Jonathan Goddard for Dance
(dancer with Richard Alston Dance Company and for his performance in Alston's new 'Gypsy Mixture' earlier this year)

The awards take place at London's Savoy Hotel on 23 Jan. Host Melvyn Bragg says these things here: "The South Bank Show Awards/The Times Breakthrough Award has been a terrific success. The awards go to British artists across the spectrum who have achieved great things in the year. This award brings to a wide public the best of new young talent in the country many of whom, young as they are, are already out there making what could well be great and deserved reputations".

Press info from [email protected]


Those previously reported Judy Garland recordings that recently went up for sale at an LA auction have not sold, having failed to reach their reserve. Bidding for the acetates, expected to sell for around $40,000, reached just $22,500. The owner, who has previously failed to sell the recordings to record companies, has not yet indicated whether they will be resubmitted for sale.


Jazz operation the Concord Music Group has announced it is reviving the legendary Memphis Stax label, the rights to which it acquired when it bought Fantasy Records in 2004. The label, which was home to the likes of Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, Booker T and the MGs and Isaac Hayes over the years, is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, and the revival is timed to coincide with that. The first signings to the label will be the aforementioned Hayes plus soul singer Angie Stone. The first release will be a tribute album to Earth, Wind And Fire, with a stack of artists reworking Earth Wind And Fire classics. This will be followed up by a number of 'definitive collections' from Stax's original catalogue, which will include the release of a number of rare live performances and previously unreleased tracks.


A spokesman for the Digital Watermarking Alliance has said that the kind of watermarking technology used by record labels to control the distribution (or, more to the point, stop it) of the music on promo CDs sent to DJs and journalists should be used in the consumer space too, providing a middle ground between the DRM protected file formats that the major labels still insist on in the digital music space, and the more user-friendly DRM free MP3s, which do not have the interoperability issues that hinder DRM protected tracks.

The watermarking technology, which can be applied to CD tracks or MP3s, means a label can trace the source of any content distributed over the net which means owners of the music are generally less willing to share the content through P2P networks or by other online routes. The technology has been mainly used in b2b contexts so far, but the companies who make it reckon it could allow major labels to end its insistence on problematic DRMed formats, but without completely losing control on how their music is distributed.

Reed Stager for the Digital Watermarking Alliance, a trade body that represents technology firms in this area, told reporters this week: "The music industry has had a long and successful track record using digital watermarking for forensic tracking of pre-release and promotional content. It's an opportune time to apply this proven technology to consumer-facing applications as a means to identify and better manage the distribution of digital music files".

That said, not everyone reckons watermarking makes as much sense in the consumer domain, because whereas if music being illegally distributed is traced back to a journalist that person's much needed supply to pre-release content can be cut off, with consumers the label might have to take legal action as a stamp of authority, which could prove messy, especially if the defendant had only shared a handful of tracks (most past anti-filesharing legal action has been targeted at consumers who have shared thousands of tracks, and even then it can be controversial).

Others also say that the size of the task involved in monitoring all digital music sold to consumers would simply make the whole thing unviable. Digital Music News quote one industry source as saying: "The terrain is just so broad that it becomes difficult to track an individual needle in the haystack".

However, those who advocate watermarking as a solution to current interoperability issues reckon that the majority of consumers would refrain from sharing watermarked MP3s reducing the size of any monitoring task. They also reckon that the threat of losing their accounts with MP3 providers would be enough of a deterrent to persuade music fans buying watermarked MP3s that they wouldn't want to be caught sharing their music.


While we are talking about selling MP3s, full marks all round to the readers who spotted that when we reported that eMusic had just sold their millionth download last week, what we meant to say was 100 millionth, which is quite a lot more.


V2 have announced an agreement with a company called Quibus which will see the former's music made available via the latter's digital music platform, which is described as a "peer-to-peer" music promotion service.

To be honest I'm a bit confused about how the Quibus system works - but I think it somehow tempts people in from non-legit P2P networks by offering a range of ad funded promotions and streams, with the aim of encouraging users to then buy the music rather than acquire it illegally. But I might have got that completely wrong - the press release I saw didn't make much sense to me. But the benefit to the label is definitely twofold - a cut of ad revenues plus a promotional opportunity to market new releases.

Here's what V2's Head Of Digital And Business Development Beth Appleton said: "The Quibus service represents an innovative business model and precedent-setting music promotion service. It offers our artists a great way to reach music fans and consumers using the potential of peer-to-peer technology, while increasing the potential of our revenue stream".

Quibus boss Carsten Wegmann added: "V2 is one of the UK's biggest and most forward-thinking independent record label. We are proud to enter a strategic relationship with a leading European content owner of V2's caliber, and look forward to working with them on promoting their repertoire. We can increase their sales while Quibus can leverage the content for advertising and co-branding purposes".


MySpace will make its first move into print through a deal with Marmalade - that trendy magazine that's so trendy I don't think I've ever seen a copy. The March edition of Marmalade, which is out in late January, will consist entirely of so called 'user-generated' content that has been either submitted to the mag's own MySpace ( or which has been found by Marmalade's editorial team on the MySpace site.

Confirming the deal, MySpace Senior VP Of Marketing & Content told reporters: "MySpace is the ultimate democratic medium where anyone with talent can showcase their work. Through our partnership with Marmalade we hope to translate this DIY quality into print, and hand the reins over to undiscovered creatives with fresh ideas."

Marmalade co-editor Kirsty Robinson added: "We are consistently bombarded with reels, portfolios, fanzines, demos and brilliant ideas from Marmalade readers so throwing it open to the whole of MySpace is a complete no-brainer".

The Marmalade partnership follows a tie up between MySpace and US mag Nylon which saw users of the social networking platform contribute to the publication's annual 'online music issue'. It is unclear if the Marmalade partnership is in fact what was being talked about back in the summer when rumour had it MySpace was about to launch its own print magazine.


The Guardian Media Group has confirmed it is to acquire the four licences owned by Saga Radio - which includes stations in the East Midlands, West Midlands, Glasgow and, slightly controversially, an as yet unlaunched station in the North East (controversial because some say that Saga shouldn't be able to sell its recently won North East licence before it has even launched a service there). The move, which follows GMG's acquisition of two Century FM stations off GCap back in October, makes the Guardian Group an increasingly significant player in the UK radio market. The new owners say they will rebrand the Saga stations in due course, leading to speculation they will become part of a Smooth FM network - GMG's London branch of Smooth FM having just received OfCom permission to reposition itself as a Saga style general interest service pitched at the over-50s.


Somewhat controversial plans to reduce the amount of live music on BBC Radio 3 have been attacked by MPs on both sides of the Commons, with accusations that bosses at the Beeb's classical station are looking to dumb down their programming with their latest proposals. The proposed cutback on the number of live concert broadcasts is especially contentious, even though BBC bosses argue that they would actually broadcast more bespoke concerts under the new system, but with an increased reliance on pre-recorded events.

Conservative MP Michael Fallon asked this week: "Isn't this yet another example of cultural dumbing down which will reduce listener choice?", while Labour MP John Robertson urged Culture Minister Shaun Woodward to "have a word" with the BBC about its commitment (or lack of) to regional live music. However, Woodward said that under the station's service licence, issued on Monday, it is required to ensure that 50% of its music output consists of live or specially recorded music, with at least 500 such events to be broadcast each year, an obligation of which the Culture Minister said: "I think that is a very noble objective for the BBC and I think it does safeguard the problems you worry about".


Chrysalis' Heart radio stations go live on Freeview this week via a deal with ITV - with all three of its regional Heart variations available, you lucky people you. Heart MD Barnaby Dawe said this: "An increasing number of people are listening to radio via their TVs and moving onto Freeview meets with our objective to make Heart as available as possible".


Simon Cowell has just signed a new deal with ITV worth a reported £20 million, which puts him ahead of even Jonathan Ross in the 'ridiculously high TV deals' stakes. Cowell, who makes a mint through his US TV projects not to mention his music industry work, all in addition to his ITV commitments, reportedly secured such a highly priced contract with the commercial network by threatening to axe X Factor, one of ITV's few recent real ratings hits. But, needless to say, with the deal done he's now found renewed enthusiasm for the reality show, telling the Sun: "After two and a half years of the X-Factor, I'd pondered whether we were going to carry on. But this series has just been so fantastic. Leona winning means, for once, the best singer in the competition won. I think there is even more we can do with the X Factor".


Robbie Williams says he never wants to have children because he says he won't be able to bear to see them in pain. Which, to be fair, is a consideration that has haunted me from time to time.

Anyway, asked if he would ever have kids by The Big Issue, he replied: "What's the point? I can't guarantee my child won't suffer pain - because that kid's going to be in pain at some point in their life. I don't want to see that. It's too much."

He continued: "I don't know if I want to be in a relationship. I don't believe that to be fulfilled you have to have kids."


So, turns out it's Artic Monkeys' fault that The Kooks have become so bloody popular this year - damn you Arctic Monkeys. Though, to be fair, it wasn't due to any proactive work on their part. Or at least this is what chief Kook Luke Pritchard reckons. He told NME: "God bless the Arctic Monkeys because if it wasn't for them we wouldn't have been so shielded. We were so overshadowed by the success of it [the Arctic Monkey's much hyped debut album] because it was so monster and we crept in behind everybody's back. Arctic Monkeys shielded us from having too much attention."


Given a choice between who I'd like to end up sitting next to on a long haul flight, I'd choose Pete Doherty over Carl Barat any day, but I have to say in my most humble of opinions, in terms of post-Libertines projects, Dirty Pretty Things are churning out much better tunes than those Babyshamblers. But Pete doesn't agree. In his latest rambling about his acrimonious relationship with his former bandmate, Doherty said recently: "I paid the price. I got kicked out of the band. And with nothing, no sweat from anyone, we got it together with Babyshambles. We really got it. All he's got is the fact that he was in the best band and now he's in the worst band. And he needs to sort that out".

Still, Pete did have some nice things to say about his former friend, with whom Doherty is reportedly on slightly better terms these days. Pete reports that whatever he may have said about Carl, he can't deny that when they were friends Barat "used to get me good crack". Which I find is the most important thing in any friendship.


And talking of Pete Doherty (and also Carl Barat, actually) Girls Aloud hate the Babyshambler, it's official. As well as Lily Allen, or whoever it was they were dissing most recently. The band's Cheryl Tweedy (or are we supposed to call her 'Cheryl Cole' now? I don't know) told "That junkie idiot - the problem I have with him is that I've lost friends to heroin and I just don't get the idea of glorifying it. I think it's disgusting. There are enough drug problems going on without him being in the public eye for it and sticking needles in his arm in the press. If he kicks his habit he'll be a lot more respected."

Sarah Harding, meanwhile, admitted she had the hots for his former bandmate Carl Barat, however. "It was a brief encounter at the Vodafone Awards," she said. "He walked past us and I was like, 'Yum! Maaaaaybe!' He had his shades, his scarf, his drainpipe jeans - the whole shebang. I was like, 'Hmmmmm!'"

"He walked past us". Yes, that really was a brief encounter.

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