CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 14th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Viacom plan to sue YouTube
- HMV announce wide-ranging review
- ITV stops playing
- Gym Class Hero arrested in Mexico
- Arcade Fire to release more tickets for Brixton run
- Franz Ferdinand working on new album
- 1990s album release
- R Kelly reveals album news over the phone
- New CocoRosie
- Hot Chip make some DJ Kicks
- Ash add third Koko show
- Slaang 2 announced
- Nelson announces Pedernales plans
- NME announce first DVD covermount
- Bacon leaves Xfm again
- X-Factor chart battle update
- Gest favourite for X-Factor judging role
- Walsh still threatening Boyzone reunion
- No noses at Fame Academy
- Fall Out Boy hold contest to win bloody pictures
- Joss Stone grew up too quickly shocker
- Beth Ditto criticises fashion retailer
- Ronettes snubbed Spector, say reports


So, now Viacom are suing YouTube for a sweet billion dollars, claiming that unauthorised clips of their programmes have been watched 1.5 billion times by YouTube users, and that the Google owned video platform is earning loads of cash through ad sales sold on the back of traffic generated by the illegal use of their MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon content.

It's a dispute that could be very interesting if it goes to court. Well, interesting for us fans of copyright law - you know, me, you, that guy in legal. Google and YouTube continue to argue that they are not in breach of copyright legislation for various small print reasons, but in particular because they will remove any copyright content uploaded to their system without the content owner's permission if and when the content owner draws their attention to it. But Viacom, Japanese content body JASRAC, and others, have pointed out that traditionally the onus for ensuring content is properly licensed before distribution lies with the distributor not the content owner. That is to say, while YouTube may be willing to remove copyright content quickly at the request of its owner (which they are) and why they might be willing to give content owners a cut of any ad revenue their content generates (which they seem to be), traditional copyright laws arguably say that YouTube still has an obligation to clear the use of content before it makes it available, and by failing to do so they are committing copyright violation, however much the small print of the video sharing site tries to put copyright responsibility on the uploader.

But it's a whole area of copyright type shenanigans that really needs some high profile court cases to test the lay of the land (assuming political types aren't going to introduce legislation that sets out specific copyright rules for this kind of content distribution). Viacom are possibly the company to fight that court case, given they arguably have a lot less to gain than most from YouTube's success. Universal Music also threatened legal action against YouTube, of course, but ultimately it was in their interest to do a deal with the video sharing site because, once the major had been guaranteed a cut of ad revenues generated by its music on the video platform, it secured a new revenue stream which doesn't directly compete with any of its existing revenue models. Viacom, however, arguably have less to gain from YouTube because, while a cut of the Google firm's ad sales would be a new revenue stream, the existence of the video sharing platform is huge competition for their more traditional media channels - MTV in particular - YouTube appealing very much to MTV's target audience, and providing on demand access to the kind of music and quirky comedy content that has been MTV's output for years. Which means they may be less willing to do an out of court deal like Universal, and other broadcasters, and the whole grey area of when user upload services do and don't violate copyright laws might get clarified a little. Albeit at great expense to both Google and Viacom.

As I've said before I'm a big fan of YouTube, and use it so much I've not turned on my TV set for a couple of weeks now. But I'm not sure I completely buy their take on existing copyright law so it will be interesting to see how this one pans out.



'Music With Meaning' is an opportunity to reach other like-minded musicians, fans and media, open the discussion further and bring intelligent music back to the forefront. Music is the most powerful medium the world has ever known. Nothing else can influence the way we feel, think, behave and live like music can. We can no longer endure the empty-headed, emotionally-stunted, soulless, meaningless music being spewed out by the production line. We have had our fill of manufactured muppets and their pointless songs cluttering up popular culture leaving little room for those with something to say to be heard. We are not alone. Real music lovers of the world: it's time to unite and make a stand.

Together we have the power to demand more inspiration from our music and fight for music with a message and the power to move hearts and minds. We have the power to ensure the pop stratosphere is populated by real artists and meaningful music, not chinless talent vacuums striving for fifteen minutes of forgettable fame. What happened to true musical role models? Why should we be forced to seek solace in the achievements of eras gone by? We need inspirational music icons for this generation and generations to come; people who can highlight injustice in the world rather than draw attention to their own mundane pseudo-celebrity antics.

The Campaign For Music With Meaning is here to support artists who have something to say; who say it because they mean it; and who mean it because they care. Join us, and together we can crush the pretenders and make music with meaning the sovereign soundtrack of our lives.

If You Stand for Nothing, You'll Fall for Anything

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The third Insomniacs Ball will take over London's seOne Club on 5 Apr, with another storming line up of bands and DJs and, this time, ballroom decor and fancy dress. Already on the bill are Brakes, Blood Red Shoes, Pull TigerTail, Fear of Flying, The Officers, Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Bolt Action 5, Headland and Black Daniel, plus DJ sets from Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), Jack Knife Lee, Marsha (Xfm), Mark Beaumont (NME) and the Artrocker DJs. Plus Wall Of Sound presents the Shock Rock arena featuring live sets from A Human, Shakes, Shy Child and Reverend and the Makers and DJ sets from Riotous Rockers, Mekon, Alvin C and Infadels. Tickets are a mere £21.50, with a limited number of student tickets available for NUS card holders at just £15. VIP golden tickets which offer access to an exclusive VIP area are also available for sixty quid. Ticket type stuff can be found at, line up info will appear over the coming weeks at, and for press info you need to drop an email to



We've been hearing about Mancini here at CMU for some time, but it took us until fairly recently to get around to checking them out. Now is a good time to check them out, however, because if you like them they've got lots of live appearances planned for the next couple of months for your delectation. So who are they? Well, like most people we recommend in the MySpace Of The Day slot, they're a band, and they make music. It's loungey, electronic pop that's caught the attention of the likes of Eddy Temple-Morris, not to mention me. Their new single, out on 2 Apr, I believe, is called 'Up Country' and it's streaming on the MySpace page for you to hear. Three other tracks, of course, and a nice busy page. Many reasons for you to visit. So do.


MTV owner Viacom has said it will sue video sharing website YouTube to the tune of $1 billion for enabling the unofficial distribution of its programmes. The media giant claims that YouTube currently hosts some 160,000 unauthorised clips of programmes from its TV networks, which include all the MTV and VH1 channels and kids channel Nickelodeon, and that those clips have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. Viacom's legal action will also seek an injunction to stop YouTube from continuing what the TV company calls "massive intentional copyright infringement".

In a statement confirming the litigation, Viacom said: "YouTube's strategy has been to avoid taking proactive steps to curtail the infringement on its site. Their business model, which is based on building traffic and selling advertising off of unlicensed content, is clearly illegal and is in obvious conflict with copyright laws. There is no question that YouTube and Google are continuing to take the fruit of our efforts without permission and destroying enormous value in the process. This is value that rightfully belongs to the writers, directors and talent who create it and companies like Viacom that have invested to make possible this innovation and creativity".

But a spokesman for YouTube owners Google said yesterday they were confident that they could defeat any copyright infringement lawsuit launched against the service: "We have not received the lawsuit but are confident that YouTube has respected the legal rights of copyright holders and believe the courts will agree. YouTube is great for users and offers real opportunities to rights holders: the opportunity to interact with users; to promote their content to a young and growing audience; and to tap into the online advertising market. We will certainly not let this suit become a distraction to the continuing growth and strong performance of YouTube and its ability to attract more users, more traffic and build a stronger community".


Shares in London based HMV fell 16% yesterday after the music and books retailer issued a profit warning, confirming sales had deteriorated further this year and that annual profits would now be even lower than expected.

The announcement came at the same time as the launch of a "radical" review of the whole HMV business, which includes the HMV music stores and UK books retailer Waterstone's. Admitting that both HMV and Waterstone's had not responded quick enough to changes in the retail domain, and that that had hit the group's financial performance, HMV CEO Simon Fox said: "Waterstone's and HMV are great brands but have not adapted quickly enough to the way customers are now buying and consuming media. Our performance has suffered as a consequence".

The revamp of the company will set out to save £40 million by 2010 by reviewing all aspects of the business, including its stores, supply chain and administrative operations. Poor performing stores are expected to be closed, though the specifics and timescales of those closures have not been revealed as yet. Certainly stores in the group's books business that are deemed "surplus to requirements" following the Waterstone's acquisition of rival book seller Ottakars will be among the first to go. The group will refurbish some of its stores, and revamp its online operations to enhance its e-tail experience, as well as including some social networking components to its website, aimed at music and film enthusiasts, cos if there's one thing music and film enthusiasts need, it's another social networking platform.

Although city types were cautious of what the big revamp will achieve in light of the group's recent performance, HMV say it is confident its proposals will help improve performance, with Fox concluding: "The three-year transformation plan is exciting, radical and far-reaching".


ITV have announced they are axing their conning-money-out-of-stupid-people channel ITV Play for good. As previously reported, ITV Play went off the air after the commercial broadcaster put all of its rip off premium phone line promotions on hold following those industry wide allegations of slackness in the way such promotions were managed (and given that ITV Play was just one long rip off premium phone line promotion).

Although independent auditors from Deloitte have now given most of ITV's premium phone line promotions the all clear (in that viewers aren't being over-charged or encouraged to phone in for promotions that are no longer recruiting), including many of the programmes that aired on ITV Play, the broadcaster has decided to not bring the digital channel back - though some of its shows will air on late night ITV1 and ITV2. Bosses there say the decision to axe the channel, while prompted by the current review of premium phone promotions, was commercial and not related to concerns about the way such phone line based programmes operate. The broadcaster plans to use the Sky and Freeview channel previously occupied by ITV Play with a time shift ITV2 plus one type thing.

ITV digital channels boss guy Jonathan Lewis told reporters yesterday: "ITV2 is a hugely valuable asset in our digital portfolio. We have taken a commercial decision to increase its impact and reach with a plus one channel".

ITV Play boss William van Rest, added, possibly through gritted teeth: "ITV Play programming has proved most popular on ITV1 and ITV2. I am delighted that we have been able to return these services following the Deloitte review and that viewers are able to continue to enjoy our shows".


Gym Class Heroes drummer Matt McGinley has been arrested in Mexico, but no-one seems to know what exactly he's been arrested for at present. The band's PR has released a statement which reads: "Gym Class Heroes drummer Matt McGinley was arrested early Monday morning in Mexico. McGinley was last seen out at a club with the rest of his band Sunday evening".

The statement continued: "Details are still forthcoming, but it is known that the band was in Mexico to perform for a television taping. Local counsel has been hired to try to get Matt out".


Arcade Fire are set to release a limited number of extra tickets for their four night residency at Brixton academy, which starts tonight. Fifty tickets for each performance are to be sold on the door on a first come first serve basis at a cost of £18.50, payable in cash only. The tickets, limited to one per person, will go on sale from 7pm on the night of each gig. Once the ticket has been handed over, holders must then enter the venue, with no re-admissions allowed in order to prevent the resale of the tickets.

It's the band's latest attempt to combat ticket touting (they did similar last minute ticket things for other recent London gigs). Speaking about the growing resentment towards both traditional and online ticket touts, the band's Jeremy Gara told "We've talked about it and met some people who say 'Why can't you fix this?'. It's the hope that stuff like this can help curb it. There's little things we can do and holding some of the tickets back will help a little bit. We don't a huge point of being really vocal about it but every time somebody asks we're like 'Don't buy it on eBay!'"


Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos says his band are working on a new album, and that's the reason why they won't be making any UK festival appearances this year. Kapranos told Xfm: "Nick [McCarthy] and I are writing some more tunes. We've got a wee place in Glasgow where we're doing some new songs. It's a wee bit different from last stuff but still very danceable, that's the main thing. It's always pop. Franz Ferdinand has always been pop".

Explaining their no-festival decision, Kapranos added: "We're gonna play Bonnaroo but not any British festivals. We don't really want to play any British festivals until we've written a bunch of new songs for people to hear. I don't really see the point of keeping on going out and playing the same old stuff again and again you wanna come back with something exciting".

The band have also recently been working on music for a new film, 'Hallam Foe'. The aforementioned Nick McCarthy explained: "The song's called 'Hallem Foe, Dandelion Blow' and it's about the film's main character. It's supposed to be a 'person ballad' like 'Rocky Racoon' or 'The Ballad Of The Thin Man' or something like that. Its about this guy, he's a peeping Tom but a very likeable one funnily enough. He's played by Jamie Bell, the guy that did 'Billy Elliot'. He's fantastic, an amazing guy so it was a pleasure doing it".


1990s have announced that they'll release their debut album 'Cookies' on 7 May, and what's more, you lucky buggers, they've released a tracklisting for the long player, which was, incidentally, produced by former Suede-head Bernard Butler.

Here's the tracklisting you've been anticipating for the duration of the later half of the previous sentence.

You Made Me Like It
See You At The Lights
Cult Status
Arcade Precinct
Enjoying Myself
You're Supposed To Be My Friend
Risque Pictures
Thinking Of Not Going


R Kelly has revealed details of his new album - to fans willing to call up a special US phone number (312 278 3965) and listen to a six minute message. The singer explains that a number of guests will appear on the album, 'Double Up', including Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Ludacris. Referring to the long player's title, Kelly comments: "Two hands holding on to each other: that's how I look at R&B and hip hop".

This album is also expected to be out in May.


The Touch & Go people have confirmed the brand new album from the wonderful CocoRosie - 'The Adventures Of Ghosthorse & Stillborn' - will be released on 9 Apr. They will also play the Shepherd's Bush Empire on 15 Apr. So now we know, and now you know. Why not tell a friend, then they'll know. More at or


Oh, oh, this is good, the next edition of !K7's always good 'DJ Kicks' series is being put together by those Hot Chip boys and will be available via record stores on 21 May. The press release includes a quote from the band, though I'm not sure what it really has to do with the compo, see what you think.

Hot Chip: "We started making music because we were bored with a lot of other music. We loved the idea of 'pop' music but not the people who make 'pop' music now. We loved Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, Kraftwerk and Robert Wyatt, Timbaland and Madlib, Brian Eno and Devo, Anti-Pop Consortium and Aphex Twin, Will Oldham and Royal Trux. We loved dancing to 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown' by Flatt and Scruggs, and 'Cut The Midrange, Drop The Bass' by Cylob. We thought pop music should be more imaginative than it is at the moment, that it should affect you and inspire you".

Hmm, none the wiser, but not to worry, the tracklisting's all you really need to know with things like this, and look, here it is.

Grovesnor - Nitemoves
Positive K - I Got A Man
Gramme - Like You
Subway - Persuasion
Soundhack - B1
Tom Zé - Cademar
Hot Chip - My Piano (DJ-Kicks)
Wax Stag - Short Road
New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle (Shep Pettibone Extended Remix)
Young Leek - Jiggle It
Etta James & Sugar Pie DeSanto - In The Basement, Part One
Black Devil Disco Club - On Just Foot
Dominik Eulberg - Der Buchdrucker
Grauzone - Film 2
This Heat - Radio Prague
Wookie - Far East
Gabriel Ananda - Doppelwhipper (Live)
Marek Bois - You Got Good Ash
Lanark - The Stone That The Builder Rejected
Pete Um - The Man's Got Me Beat
Nôze - Love Affair
Audion - Just Fucking (Roman Flügel's 23 Positions In A One-Night Stand Remix)
Joe Jackson - Steppin' Out
Ray Charles - Mess Around


Ash have added a third show to their schedule of appearances at Koko this summer, the two original dates having sold out in the space of a day. As well as playing 3 and 4 Jul, they will now also play 6 Jul. Tickets are on sale now.


The people behind the Slaang warehouse party that took place in East London earlier this month and which we managed to forget to report on - ooops - have announced the date and initial line up for their second night, which will happen on 5 May - ie the May Day bank holiday weekend. A different London venue will be used, and on the bill are the likes of Jesse Ros, Para One, Padded Cell, Kissy Sell Out, Punks Jump Up and Mock & Toof. Tickets are on sale now via and are priced £15/£17, though with some early bird tix available for eight quid. The location will be announced a week ahead of the event via the Slaang website and MySpace - and - meantime you can get press info from The May Day weekend bash will be the second of four planned Slaang parties.


Willie Nelson has announced he will work with his long time manager Mark Rothbaum and veteran producer and label exec James Stroud on what will amount to a relaunch of his own record label, Pedernales Records.

The label is based in Austin, Texas so, as you might expect, the revamp will be formally announced this week at an event at the city's SXSW convention. The first act to be released via the revamped label will be 40 Points, which counts Nelson's sons Lukas and Micah as members. Stroud will produce their album, which is planned for a summer release, and which will feature a guest appearance from Nelson Senior.

Nelson's own future releases will also come out via Pedernales, with his new album 'Last Of The Breed' the final under his existing recording contract with Universal's Lost Highway Records.


The NME will have its first cover mounted DVD next week - an original product produced and edited by the mag's editorial team and providing footage and coverage of that NME Awards activity that took place last month - including the awards tours and London live shows. Among the content that will appear is a forty minute "road movie" from the UK wide awards tours, interviews with Pete Doherty and Primal Scream, plus behind the scenes coverage of an NME cover shoot that included Oasis, Kasabian, Jarvis Cocker, Arctic Monkeys, Girls Aloud and The Gossip.

Commenting on the DVD, IPC Ignite Senior Marketing Manager Nick New told CMU his view which is presented here for you: "This DVD has allowed us to integrate platforms and bring readers closer to the action than ever before. With fantastic co-operation from record labels, we're thrilled to be able to give NME readers the ultimate treat with the very best of the awards".

The DVD will be free with next week's NME, out on 17 Mar.


To lose Richard Bacon as a presenter once is unfortunate, to lose him twice is, erm, I don't know. Anyway, Richard Bacon is leaving Xfm again to take up a new job at BBC Radio Five Live. He, of course, previously left both Xfm and Five Live to take up drive time at Capital Radio, before switching back to drive time at Capital's sister station Xfm in a presenter swap that saw Lucio go to GCap's flagship station. This time he is leaving Xfm to go and present a current affairs thing for the BBC station.

Here's what he has to say for himself: "I want to do different types of presenting and take on different jobs. It was a difficult decision to leave Xfm because I love working there, it is the best job I have ever had. They have always given me the freedom to muck around and indulge my sense of humour. I very much like the idea of speech radio. I have done it before and it does appeal to me". Referring back to his stint at Capital, and his subsequent move back to Xfm, he added: "Capital wasn't quite right for me and I wasn't quite right for it. I managed to persuade Xfm to let me do drivetime there. They have been great at accommodating me".

Confirming Bacon's latest departure, Xfm Programme Director Adam Uytman said this: "Richard has decided to pursue other projects. We're sad to see him go but in the four years that he's been here, he's made some great radio and we wish him all the luck in the future".


X-Factor chart update anyone? What, you're not interested? You couldn't give a fuck whether it is X-Factor finalist Ray Quinn or X-Factor finalist Ben Mills who charts higher this Sunday, and frankly you wish both would just go straight to the call centre jobs for which you think they are ultimately destined, and stop bothering us with their mediocre pop nonsense? Wow, you're a bit tetchy this morning, aren't you?

Anyway, looks like Ray Quinn will chart the highest on Sunday, he having one of those swing tune cover albums that it's always clever to release in the run up to Mothers' Day. Midweeks suggest he's outselling rival X-Factor type Ben Mills, but Woolies music buyer Keith Black (hey, hang on there, where's HMV's chart meister Gennaro Castaldo?) says both talent show stars are selling well: "Ray has raced ahead and looks a cert to be number one on Sunday. Judging by our sales figures he can expect to sell over 150,000 albums this week - a big success for the young star. Ben's album is also selling really well, just not as fast as Ray's. His individual style has captured the public's imagination and he can expect a really high chart debut on Sunday. The rate of sales for both albums further proves the power of the X Factor to sell a significant number of records".

Which is all well and good, but can we trust Mr Black? I mean, he might buy music for one of the UK's biggest music sellers, but he's no Castaldo. Oh, wait, here's a quote from him too. Phew, that was close. Go for it Gennaro: "This is shaping up to be a close chart battle between the cute lad that women would like to mother and the sensitive hunk they would like to seduce. Ray has to start as favourite given that he went further on X Factor, and we're certainly finding that our stores and website are picking up a lot of interest for him".

Oh, and to all you cynics suggesting that poor old Ray and Ben are ultimately headed for careers in call centres, can I just point out that Ben Mills can always return to his stable career in marquee management, and surely former Brookside actor Ray can be assured a bit part in Hollyoaks if he falls on hard times? They could bring him in to bump someone off again.


Talking of X-Factor, the only slightly strange David Gest is reportedly being lined up to join the judging panel for the next series of the ITV talent show. As previously reported, Louis Walsh has been dropped from the judging team, which will be expanded to four people, meaning two new judges are being recruited. On the back of his popularity with the ITV audience post-jungle, the impresario and former Mr Liza Minelli is a favourite to join Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne in judging and coaching the next generation of pop hopefuls. The Mirror quote a source thus: "Talks are well under way and ITV chiefs think David is just what the show needs to give it a new kick. It's just a case of sorting out money and scheduling. Simon Cowell wants someone who would bring some fresh humour to the show and David is such a character. He knows David will be someone who knows what he's talking about. He also wants someone with strong views and who isn't afraid to speak their mind and David's that man".

In related news, David Gest is involved in the latest 'they buggered up the phone-in voting' story, with allegations that 30,000 votes to keep him in the jungle on the last series of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here were lost in the system, meaning that he was evicted from the show when actually Mylene Klass, who he was up against at that stage, should have lost the vote. Which throws all the voting that followed on the show into turmoil, because who's to say that Gest wouldn't have got the most votes through to the final had he still been on the show? (Though don't tell poor old Matt Willis that - you can't take his jungle win away from him, given how badly the solo career seems to be going).

The lost vote allegations follow the publishing of emails in The Sun allegedly from employees of Eckoh, who operate the phone lines for the TV show, which seem to admit that SMS votes from another of the show's suppliers, Mig, came in too late to be included in the final count. One email outlines how the text votes didn't make it into the final vote, while a response says: "I can't believe that there's been a cock-up with the system like that, so near the end as well. Migs' system obviously couldn't handle all the txt messages, but it's their problem not ours so sod it".

But ITV are denying the claims, and say that the aforementioned independent review of all of the network's phone/text in promotions (which, as previously reported, was launched last week, before the latest allegations surfaced) will show that the I'm A Celeb vote that evicted Gest from the show was all above board. They said in a statement: "This accusation is completely wrong. On the night of David Gest's eviction, all votes were counted and verified. No SMS votes for David Gest were lost at any time and all his votes across all platforms were counted in the final vote". Eckoh back the network in denying the allegations, and also allege the emails printed in The Sun are fake.

However, premium line regulator Icstis has said they are still investigating the allegations and that there were "still questions that need to be answered".


More X-Factor related news? Oh yes. Kind of. Louis Walsh, now dangerously with more time on his hands since being chucked off the X-Factor judging panel, has said he plans to spend some of that time on the much talked about but as yet thankfully unconfirmed Boyzone reunion.

Speaking to Al Murray on that Happy Hour show, Walsh said of the reunion "We're talking. It could happen", but added that it would only happen if all five members were up for the reunion, adding "With Take That they only had the four [but] we'd have to have the five" - presumably because the only former Boyzoner likely to not want to participate is Ronan Keating and, let's face it, without him you're left with Stephen Gately's harmonies and three guys wobbling around in the background. Though now I come to think about it, that might be an improvement.

In the Happy Hour interview Walsh also recalls how he came to form Boyzone in the first place: "I saw Take That and I basically copied them. I was walking in Soho and I was looking in a very dodgy sex shop and I saw a video with the name 'Boyzone' on it".


More talent show nonsense, and we've kind of been ignoring the latest Comic Relief supporting Celeb Fame Academy show, Patrick Kielty's slightly homophobic remarks aside, but in case you want to know TV presenters Zoe Salmon and Angellica Bell, comedians Fred MacAulay, Mel Giedroyc and Tim Vine, actress Linda Robson and comedy types Rowland Rivron and Miranda Hart have all been voted off the show, leaving Radio 1 type Colin Murray, sports presenter Ray Stubbs, Extras star Shaun Williamson, actress Tricia Penrose and whatever-she-is Tara Palmer-Tomkinson in the running. The celebrity warbling continues until the horror that is Red Nose Day this Friday.

More amusing than all that are the reports that Red Noses have been banned from the Fame Academy show because they breach health and safety regulations at the venue where the show is filmed. Apparently the noses are too flammable to be worn at London's Grade II-listed County Hall where the show is made - with a spokeswoman for the show apparently telling reporters: "We have to comply with health and safety rules - it's not a conventional TV studio. It's not just red noses, it's papers, bottles and bags as well". Which I find really hard to believe - there was definitely plenty of paper around the last time I went to the BPI's County Hall offices. And at least one bottle and four bags.


Fall Out Boy are set to hold a competition giving away promotional posters which will be created using the medium of blood. That's right. BLOOD. But they're not doing it to be spooky, or anything - it seems that they're doing it to encourage people to donate blood, and as an homage to Kiss. Well, I think so. At least, they seem to have got the idea from Kiss, who in 1977 gave some of their blood to Marvel Comics, who mixed it with red paint and used it to colour their first Kiss comic.

Bassist Pete Wentz explained: "We're going to be running a series of contests. One is an ode to Kiss. My brother is going to make 45 prints based on images from our record. Each will be hand-numbered and individually made. In addition, all prints will have a mixture of each member of the band's blood in it". He added that the contest would highlight "the much-needed support for blood drives".

A winner will be chosen in each city the band visits on their US tour.


According to reports, sources close to Joss Stone have been expressing their fears that she is not emotionally stable, due to recent criticism in the press, having grown up too quickly, and hanging around with people who haven't always been the best influence on her. The 19 year old singer has been the topic of much media speculation in recent weeks, of course, but her new single only charted at 28 on Sunday.

The 'source' is quoted as saying: "Joss has been stung by all the criticism she has faced of late - especially as her latest single didn't set the charts alight. But her people believe the root of the problem is closer to home. They think she has to take a deep look at those she's surrounding herself with. She's always been friends with an older, more streetwise set, but there's a feeling that they're leading her down the wrong path - especially considering how young she is. There's a concern that she has grown up too fast too young, and there are private fears for her emotional stability. Her people are keeping a closer eye on her at the moment".

The source concludes: "At least she has been keen to heed their advice and has already begun losing people who some may consider to be a bad influence".


The Gossip's frontlady Beth Ditto has had a go at fashion retailer TopShop over its failure to stock large sized clothes for people like her, and turned down an offer from the high street store to perform a series of instore gigs at the chain.

Kate Moss, FYI, has signed a multi-million quid deal to design a range for Topshop, launching 1 May. In response to which Ditto says: "Give me the job. I want to design, I want you to make clothes for big girls, big boys, I want you to make big sizes. I don't want just your money or the cred of hanging out with Kate Moss, which is fine, but it's not want I want in life. I want more. I want what she gets."

She continues: "I don't think it's fair to put my face somewhere where they would never let me in there to wear their clothes. If they want our music they've got to actually do something to earn it. I can get money anywhere, I don't need your money unless you're going to do it my way. They don't want to dress people that look like me, that have a normal body, a bigger body, whatever. I mean I don't really know why they want The Gossip to do things for them, I don't understand because if they saw me in the street they'd never give me the time of day."

I think that Topshop might argue that although they have nothing against larger ladies, stocking large sizes just isn't cost-effective. At least, that's essentially what pretty much every shoe retailer in the land has basically told me when I asked them why they didn't make nice shoes in my size. Bastards.


Reports are suggesting that Phil Spector was snubbed by The Ronettes at their recent Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction a couple of days ago, because they failed to thank Spector for his role in producing the work of the girl group and significantly shaping their sound. I'm not sure why anyone would expect lead singer and ex-wife Ronnie Spector to have a nice word to say about him, however, given her claim to be in possession of a letter in which Phil details exactly why The Ronettes should not be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Actually, I'd have been surprised if they had mentioned him.

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