CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 19th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- MySpace may block Snocap rivals
- Walkmen singer arrested
- Jury selection to begin in Spector case
- Blunt heading back into the studio
- Eurovision update
- Starsailor working on new album
- Paul Smith would like to strangle someone
- The Big Chill announce line-up
- The Who cancel again
- Gabriel to appear at Womad
- Babyshambler says band is getting stronger
- Pop Levi live dates
- SXSW: Friday roundup
- Mama acquire London forum
- Sina announces label deal
- Warner Music UK chairman stands down
- EMI appoint new chief for Virgin France
- USB sticks to count in UK singles chart
- Chart update
- Total Rock world album chart
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- Subshot playlist
- TPT wins Fame Academy
- Mel C: It's not just me
- Osbourne: Cowell is a coward
- Cowell gets finger in talent show drama pie
- Tobago church men scared of Elton's influence
- Austin says Joss Stone uses sex to get on
- Lily Allen is bored of her songs
- Britney Spears asks fans for thoughts


OK, a Top Bit for all those aspiring journalists living in Brighton among the CMU Daily faithful, which I accept is quite a small sub-set, but bear with me, because this is sort of relevant for media student types nationwide also. This week we will be officially announcing our ThreeWeeks activity at the Brighton and Edinburgh festivals this year (which is all mind-blowingly exciting, really, and if you're working for a media, digital media or arts based publication or section you should drop me an email and I'll send you more info). But in the meantime we are already recruiting students interested in participating in the ThreeWeeks media development programme this year.

As we've mentioned before, CMU's sister magazine ThreeWeeks provides simply the most comprehensive coverage of the Brighton Festival in May and the Edinburgh Festival in August. As part of ThreeWeeks we run a brilliant media development programme aimed at media students, students involved in college media or anyone looking to build skills and connections in the media. Participants join the ThreeWeeks team of volunteer reviewers, helping us provide extensive festival coverage that reaches all the grass roots, alternative and new shows and artists the mainstream media doesn't get to. In return reviewers receive free media training and ongoing coaching, and get free access to the 100s of shows taking place at the festivals. Plus they have their work showcased in one of the most credible media at these two huge cultural events.

We are currently recruiting people interested in joining both our Brighton and Edinburgh teams this year. Brighton is more important because the deadline for joining that team is looming - given the time of year this tends to be more focused on students already based in the Brighton area, though anyone is welcome to apply to join providing they can base themselves in the city during May. Applicants for the Edinburgh Festival tend to come from all over the country, and sometimes even further afield. Anyway, you'll find all the info you need about applying to join our teams at the URLs below, and look out for more ThreeWeeks type info later this week.



Music Gain is acquiring catalogue and merging with record labels. If you are thinking of selling, or are interested in a merger with a long term capital partner, please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us -

We are a young, fun creative agency based slap bang in the middle of Soho with 4 spare desks in a spacious, dedicated office. Fabulous location, £75 per week per desk all in, including insurance, rates, 24/7 access, superfast internet, and the added bonus of working alongside other lovely and stimulating people. Email Giles on for more info.



Unlimited Media/CMU is looking for a summer computer science intern, preferably London based, to concentrate on the functionality of new projects. Working closely with our Product Manager, you will be taking ownership of the initial development and spec an exciting new "web 2.0" channel. Alongside real coding and some design, there'll be the opportunity to develop new editorial ideas, and demonstrate your understanding of web technologies to communicate ideas effectively. You'll have good knowledge of Python - or the ability to pick it up fast - will be extremely confident with HTML and CSS, and will be thoroughly at home with databases, including postgreSQL, and server admin. The projects you work on during your internship will both develop your project management and problem solving skills and form the basis of several live sites, giving you some great CV material. Contact with a one page CV outlining your skills, and contact details, including email and mobile.



Is the pressure of fame finally getting to Fall Out Boy? This month's cover stars open up to Rock Sound and reveal their innermost demons in their most candid interview to date. Also, this month we bring you exclusive features on Gallows, Enter Shikari, Trivium, Explosions In The Sky, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Yourcodenameis:milo, Machine Head, Incubus and much, much more. Check out the latest and greatest new bands in our Exposure sections and tune in to the FREE Sound Check CD for 15 new and exclusive tracks from this month's featured artists. Also, FREE with this month's issue - two giant posters - Within Temptation and 30 Seconds to Mars. All this and more in Rock Sound - on sale now in the UK from all good stockists priced £3.60.



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 The Twang, Brakes, Blood Red Shoes, Fear of Flying, The Officers, Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Dandy Wind, Bolt Action Five, Headland, Black Daniel, AHuman, Shakes, Shy Child and Reverend And The Makers all live, plus on the old decks the Artrocker DJs, Marsha (Xfm), Mark Beaumont (NME), Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), No Pain In Pop, Gavin Nugent, Mekon, Riotous Rockers, Alvin C and the wonderful wonderful 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



I had a lovely weekend in the countryside near York. Why is this relevant to MySpace Of The Day, you might ask? Well, it seemed like a good idea to nominate a band who come from that area. Also, they're on my MySpace friends list, and by golly, they work hard at it. There's a message from them in my bulletin section about forty times a day. They've got an interesting sound. I can't quite work out if they've got more in common with emo, or indie, and sometimes they sound like good old-fashioned stadium rock with their twiddling guitars and stuff. Single out on 9 Apr, lots of upcoming tour dates. Here's where to go:


Talking of MySpace, rumours are circulating that the social networking monolith may put systems in place that stop competitors to its download partners Snocap from selling music via artists MySpace pages. Which would be interesting (or irritating, perhaps, if you're an artist, or especially if you're a Snocap competitor), because to date one of the attractions of MySpace to artists is that they can embed digital features powered by other online services - like YouTube, Flickr or various download platforms - onto their own MySpace. As a result a number of download suppliers have made digital tools available that enable artists to easily include their own players or sell through platforms on a MySpace page.

But, as previously reported, MySpace is now gearing up to provide registered artists with their own MP3 download service, powered by Snocap, the company run by Shawn Fanning, the original founder of Napster, and that has led to speculation that as that service goes live MySpace will move to disable competing download facilities. Said speculation has probably increased after Digital Music News reported that MySpace had taken action to stop users from using digital tools like those made by a company called Revver which pump rival advertising onto MySpace pages.

That said, Revver directly competes with MySpace's own core revenue stream and therefore it is not a foregone conclusion that MySpace's policy toward such ad carrying 'widgets' would automatically apply to music services which compete with their partner Snocap, and insiders say that while the Murdoch owned social networking service is considering such moves against other download tools, no decisions have as yet been made.

In related news, the latest survey by US research firm Ipsos Insight into awareness of and attitude towards American digital music services, while topped by Napster and iTunes as usual, saw awareness of MySpace rise from just 15% last year to 54% this year, which is interesting. Though not as interesting as the fact that awareness of Napster and iTunes was 68% and 66% respectively - which is probably lower than you'd expect and a reminder that the whole digital music thing is not quite as big as those of us in the industry sometimes think. Awareness of Napster actually went down this year, from 79% last year.


The Walkmen vocalist Hamilton Leithhauser was arrested in Austin last week and spent twelve hours in prison after an incident at the city's Crowne Plaza hotel . The singer - in town, of course, for SXSW - told "I got arrested and spent 12 hours in a jail cell. It was a real treat!"

Leithhauser doesn't appear to have elaborated much on exactly why he was arrested, but says that it was a "misunderstanding" by the hotel that led to his arrest. He did, however, admit that he'd been drinking a fair amount before the incident. Luckily, the singer was released in time to play a number of gigs with his band.


The search for jurors for the long awaited Phil Spector murder trial is set to begin today. As much reported, Spector is accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home on 3 Feb 2003. He claims she shot herself.

Although the trial is set to be televised, the jury selection process will not be. A group of up to 300 is expected to be interviewed from which it is hoped a jury acceptable to the prosecution, defence and Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler can be acquired. The fear in high profile cases like this of course is that many potential jurors will be overly influenced one way or another before the trial commences. The fact the case may run for over three months also rules out many candidates who simply cannot afford to take that long out of their normal lives - some potential jurors are already believed to have been excused on those grounds, and some of the 300 who remain are expected to claim they cannot afford to serve as a juror on this case.

Juror interviews will take place today and tomorrow after which lawyers for both sides will have a month to consider whether any potential jurors are, in their opinion, inappropriate. With the exception of a pre-trial hearing on 9 Apr, that means there will be no further developments in the case until 16 Apr when final jury selection will commence. The current schedule hopes to have a jury in place to hear opening remarks from both sides on 30 Apr.


Of course what you're all really saying to us this morning is "tell us CMU, what news on that very fine and not at all irritating songman Mr James Blunt?" Well, we hear the Blunt boy is due to go into a studio in LA anytime soon to start work on the follow up to his 'Back To Bedlam' debut, with plans to release the new long player before the year is out (which will be good news to Warner Music - should Linkin Park not do their bit to balance the books with their upcoming long player). The plan seems to be not to go back to 'Back To Bedlam', but rather to make an album with "a bit of grit and edge" and, apparently, with a "good '70s feel to it". Make of that what you will. But don't be falling off the edge of your seats in anticipation of Blunt II's arrival in record shops now, will you?


Now, needless to say, I didn't watch the Making Your Mind Up pre-Eurovision show on Saturday, because the vomit-inducing Fearne Cotton was co-presenting and, as wonderful as Terry Wogan may be, he's not wonderful enough to compensate for that horror. The same phenomenon meant I had to keep a wide berth of the Comic Relief show (no, not even Jonathan Ross can compensate for the Cotton effect), though to my delight I discovered on Saturday morning that in this YouTube age of ours it is possible to check out all the funny bits from the Comic Relief telethon without having to put up with all those embarrassing segments featuring minor BBC celebs and all the tediously worthy bits trying to guilt cash out of you. And, of course, the talent vacuum that is Fearne Cotton (am I taking the Cotton bashing too far? Possibly).

Do check out the latest Peter Kay Comic Relief music video (featuring Matt Lucas and The Proclaimers), which you really ought to buy from iTunes or 7Digital it being in aid of the charity, but which is on YouTube for free at As is the Catherine Tait/Tony Blair sketch which, its hurts me to the bone to say, is actually very funny. I take heart that it demonstrates what a good actor Blair is, which proves once and for all that everything he's ever said or done is exactly that, an act (is the CMU Daily the right place for Blair bashing? Hmmm, I ought to check, though the 'Brackets Consideration Committee' have just got back to me and said it is impossible to take Cotton bashing too far, so that's good to know). Anyway, this was going to be a Eurovision story, but somehow I've got a bit sidetracked, but not to worry, I'll get back to the point right now (except to say the BCC have just confirmed the CMU Daily is a damn good place for Blair bashing, so that's that sorted also).

Anyway, Eurovision. Well, the band who will be representing this United Kingdom of ours in this year's big Song Contest bash in Helsinki will be pop band Scooch, the originally Stock/Aiken created combo that were originally meant to be competitors to Steps, the group created by Mike Stock and Matt Aiken's former partner-in-crime Pete Waterman, who were at their height at the time. Despite some early success Scooch never got anywhere near matching their rivals and quickly disappeared into rumours and obscurity. They've been playing occasional gigs together since 2004 though, especially at gay club nights, before being picked by the Beeb as hopefuls for this year's Eurovision.

There was some confusion regarding Scooch's victory after the viewer phone vote had been completed on Saturday night because presenters Wogan and Cotton announced different winners at the show's finale. To be fair to Cotton (because we are capable of being fair to Cotton, when we really have to) she read out the right winning artist - Scooch - while El Tel pronounced solo singer Cyndi Almouzni as the winner. Cyndi, it turned out, was in second place. A spokesman for the BBC later apologised for the error, saying: "This is live TV and unfortunately sometimes these things do happen". All of which means Scooch will be singing 'Flying The Flag (For You)' at the Helsinki contest on 12 May. I wouldn't be getting your hopes up too high for a win, though.


Well, this ought to please some people. Starsailor have begun work on a new album, the follow up to their 2005 long player 'On The Outside'.

Frontman James Walsh wrote in their MySpace blog: "We have completed another set of demos in Henley which produced 3 new songs. The one which everyone is raving about is called 'Lights Out' or 'Tell Me It's Not Over' (we haven't decided yet!). It's got a massive drum beat, reminiscent of Doves and U2. Another couple of these and we will have a truly great album".


Maximo Park's Paul Smith has said that he'd like to inflict grievous bodily harm on whoever it was that leaked his band's new album on the internet. To be fair, I don't think he really meant that he would actually want to physically hurt anyone. You know, it was just one of those things people say.

Talking to 6Music about the leak, Smith said: "I'd like to strangle the person who did it, and part of me says this is the way it happens these days. People are online and searching it out and seeking it, and you can't do much about it. I'm philosophical about it".

The album, 'Our Earthly Pleasures', due out 2 Apr, is apparently already available via a number of different file sharing sites, not that I'd know much about it, because I've never shared a file in my life. Here's the LP's tracklisting, if you're interested...

Girls Who Play Guitars
Our Velocity
Books From Boxes
Russian Literature
Karaoke Plays
Your Urge
By The Monument
Fortnight's Time
Sandblasted And Set Free
Parisian Skies


The organisers of The Big Chill have made their first announcement regarding the line up for this year's event, which takes place at the Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire from 3-5 Aug. As usual, I'd be going if August weren't an infernally busy month for me. And this year August might be even busier than usual.

Anyway, for those of you not in the know, The Big Chill, now in its twelfth year, is a huge cultural festival which seeks to promote emerging talent from the worlds of music, art, digital media, comedy and theatre. And when it comes to the music, there's all sorts of stuff - genres as diverse as Norwegian disco, funk, Bazumbo trance, Balkan beats, drum'n'bass and beatboxing - and set from the likes of VJ Fritz Fitzke, Orbital man Paul Hartnoll, The Skatalites, Cymande, Konono No1, Ojos De Brujo, Seasick Steve, Sheila Chandra, Jose Padilla, Tunng, The Blockheads, and London Community Gospel Choir. Oh, and the press release promises that Shlomo will perform a full show featuring the world's first beatbox choir. A beabox choir? Cool.

Info and tickets from, general PR from, music press info from Gerry Lyseight.


The Who cancelled a gig in Mexico at the weekend because singer Roger Daltrey is still unwell. As previously reported, the band were forced to pull a recent show in Florida after just one song because Daltrey was ill with bronchitis, but organisers originally said that the Saturday date in Mexico City would go ahead. The Florida show was rearranged for 25 Mar, but no replacement date for the other gig has yet been announced.


Peter Gabriel is set to appear at this year's Womad festival, to mark the 25th anniversary of the event, co-founded by the former Genesis man back in 1982. The festival is set to return to its original site at Charlton Park in Wiltshire this year, and will take place from 27-29 Jul.

Gabriel, who'll appear on the opening night of the event, says: "It has been wonderful to see what has happened with Womad over the last 25 years. It is different from any other festival I've even been to. Although I usually get to enjoy it from the audience rather than the stage, I'm delighted to come back for this 25th anniversary".


Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek has said that his band are getting better at being a band, despite the presence of Pete Doherty. Ficek says: "Everybody is maturing in the band and we're getting stronger as a unit. Musically, we're stronger than we've ever been".

He does, however, feel that the pressure's on for the band to make a good fist of their upcoming November tour and new deal with Parlophone. He adds: "We're lucky enough to have another stab and if we don't get it right this time, there are so many great bands out there that'll just overtake us".


Pop Levi has announced a series of UK tour dates set to coincide with the release of his new single 'Pick-Me-Up Uppercut', out 16 Apr. Here are the dates, press info from Freeman PR:

17 Apr: Cardiff Clwb Iforbach
18 Apr: Brighton Audio
19 Apr: London 100 Club
20 Apr: Liverpool Korova
22 Apr: Nottingham The Social
23 Apr: Glasgow King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
25 Apr: Manchester Academy 3


With weekly US CD sales down 20% on last year's totals, the whole mood of the 'conference' part of SXSW this year seems to be one of 'Ahh, What's happening?!' but, alas, with no big answers seeming to be forthcoming. This morning's first panel - 'What do you want from life?' - featured a number of artists talking about how to succeed in an industry that's increasingly less able to make money by selling records. The session was very artist-focused (and therefore possibly a bit artist biased), with Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave), Matt Hales (Aqualung), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dave Faulkner (Hoodoo Guru) and Taylor Hanson (Hanson) all sharing bad experiences of major labels, talking about record contracts becoming increasingly egregious, and accusing labels of using new technology (from CD to MP3) as an excuse to simply pay artists less money. Aside from the
oddity of seeing Hanson on the same stage as Rage Against The Machine, in the end the panel didn't really deliver a great deal - certainly there was little advice as to how artists should be changing their strategies to cope with changes in the wider music business. One panel member suggested that new artists should perhaps try to find a mentor - another artist who has accomplished what they want to do - and use their mentor for advice, though how you'd find such a mentor I'm not sure. The one thing everyone did seem to agree on is that, as was said at a session yesterday, bands shouldn't think of getting signed as 'the end' of the work, because it's actually just the beginning of most bands' careers.

Unsurprisingly, much discussion has taken place on the subject of digital music here in Texas. A number of panels, with titles like 'reinventing payment models' and 'predicting the future' have dealt with the issue, and some had some very interesting suggestions. Perhaps the best suggestion came from former artist manager and Cambridge educated economist Peter Jenner (who, as you may remember from the report here in the CMU Daily, recently penned a report for MusicTank on the future of the music biz) who suggested that if every music fan was to pay the record industry an annual fee in order to access its entire collected catalogue of music then each person would only have to pay $50 for all the record companies to be earning at least what they make now through direct to consumer music sales - that's around £26. Neat, hey? Unfortunately, he reckons we're never likely to see such a system put into place - mainly due to flaws in the business models built by labels over the years. A lovely idea though - I'd be happy to pay thirty quid a year to own as much music as I could ever want.

The good news is that today I managed to catch a least one of the artists I was planning to see. That's one more than yesterday. Pete & The Pirates are from Reading - my hometown - so I thought it'd
probably be rude not to see them. Unfortunately they were lacking Pete, due to passport difficulties, but they soldiered on nonetheless, storming through an impressive indie-rock set. Although they were
first on the bill for the night, the Pete-less Pirates won a lot of new fans - they were very warmly received. Or perhaps it was just fans without a badge or wristband feeling like they really should be
enjoying themselves after paying forty dollars to get in. Later that evening, the venue would be hosting Perry Farrell, Badly Drawn Boy and Damon Albarn's new project The Good, The Bad And The Queen, but I was off across town to catch a different show.

Simian Mobile Disco are quietly revolutionizing British dance music. After their monster hit with Justice - the French producers' remix of their song 'Never Be Alone' finally released last year as 'We Are Your Friends' (actually originally from SMD's days as four piece band Simian, but helping promote the new slimmed down outfit also) - they've been the darlings of many a music blog and rock columnist. But they didn't play that song, nor did they play their other big track 'Hustler'. Instead, the audience was treated to a number of remixes - most only very loosely connected to the originals, featuring just a snatch of heavily distorted vocals or the slightest hint of the original melody. SMD really tore the place up, putting on an awesome show. Listed on the bill last for the night was 'SPCLGST' - which most people had worked out was electro vowel-haters MSTRKRFT. Coming on straight after Simian without dropping a beat, MSTRKRFT continued exactly where Simian left off, and the kids danced happily into the wee small hours.

As I'm sort-of cheating by writing this on Sunday, I won't list any bands that I was intending to see on Saturday - mainly because, once again, I didn't end up seeing anyone I was intending to. That's the thing about SXSW - you end up going to a lot of shows that you didn't even know existed. Wandering past bars, you'll think 'that sounds interesting...', drop in, and will stagger out again at around 3am. SXSW is a crazy experience, and not for the faint-hearted. Saturday's round up will be in tomorrow's Daily. DG


London based music and media firm Mama Group, owners of the Channelfly companies and Barfly venues, has said it has agreed to buy London's Forum venue off Mean Fiddler in a £1 million deal. The company says it expects the deal to show in its cash flow and earnings straight away, while adding that although the final purchase price may as yet alter according to an analysis of the venue's up to date accounts, it does not anticipate there being a major change to the million pound price tag.

As previously reported, Mean Fiddler co-owners Live Nation were told by the UK's Competition Commission back in January that it would have to sell either the London Forum or Shepherds Bush Empire in order to get the green light for its proposed acquisition of a majority stake in the UK venues company the Academy Group, to alleviate concerns the Live Nation / Academy deal would give the live music conglom too great a dominance in the London venue sector. Live Nation initially said it was disputing the Commission's conditions, but the sale of the profitable Forum venue to Mama suggests they are now planning on fulfilling them in order to complete their Academy deal. The Commission also said Live Nation must sell either their own Hammersmith Apollo or the Academy Group's flagship London venue the Brixton Academy. It remains to be seen if one or the other of those sales now occurs.

It is also unclear if Mama plan to incorporate the Forum into its Barfly group, or to leave it as a stand alone operation. Confirming the purchase, the group's co-CEOs Adam Driscoll and Dean James told CMU: "The Forum has a long historical association with live music, which is at the heart of our business. We are delighted to be adding such an iconic venue to our existing live music division and we look forward to working with the staff and customers of the Forum to ensure its long term prosperity".

By the way, I don't think we ever mentioned that Mama recently announced they'd bought a 25% stake of Lovebox - the people behind the Lovebox Weekender - and whose existing shareholders include those Groove Armada types. As part of the deal Mama also have an option to buy another 25% of the venture come 2009.


Chinese web portal says it has reached agreements with five record companies, including all four majors, with regards its plans to launch streaming, download and wireless based music services. Signed up labels will gain a share of revenues from advertising, download and subscription fees. So, there you go.


Warner Music UK chairman Nick Phillips is standing down to "pursue new opportunities". Here's what Warner Music International's chairman and CEO Patrick Vien had to say about the news: "Under Nick Phillips' leadership, Warner Music UK achieved significant milestones through a period of growth and transformation. We respect his decision to pursue new opportunities and wish him all best in his future endeavours. Nick leaves in place a strong team of UK label heads that ensures our continued success in an evolving business". Phillips won't be replaced as such, with the major's UK label heads now reporting to WMI's vice-chair John Reid. Some reckon he isn't being replaced because, should a Warner EMI merger take place, a new combined UK management team would be quickly set up above both majors' UK label divisions and that would be headed by EMI Music UK chief Tony Wadsworth, who is likely to survive any post-Warner takeover board level cull at EMI.


Talking of senior level EMI people, the major has announced they have appointed Philippe Ascoli to the role of MD at Virgin Music France, where he will take over from Laurent Chapeau who, as we reported on Friday, has been appointed VP of International Marketing, Continental Europe within the newly founded EMI International unit. Ascoli will also continue to oversee the running of Source etc, the JV label he established with EMI Music France in September 2005.


There is much (well some) speculation going round regarding the possible future of the USB memory stick as a music format. The talk comes as the Universal Music Group releases a new single from those The Fratellis types, with an accompanying video, on one of those memory stick devices - you know, the sticks which fit into the USB port on your PC.

Crucially, chart rules have been changed so that the sale of such USB sticks, piloted through another Universal release, with Keane, last October, can count towards an artist's singles chart position. About 7000 Fratellis sticks will be made available via HMV, and if the venture is successful some expect other labels to make similar releases in the future.

Commenting on the Fratellis release, Universal/Island marketing chief Lee Jenson told reporters: "The success of the Keane single last year convinced us that music fans would welcome more audio releases on this format. If demand really does start to take off, it may well become viable to think about releasing selective albums on USB as well, especially if they were to [also] become eligible for inclusion in the chart".


Hurrah, it's the CMU Chart Report! And it's good news for fans of former Brookside actors, less so for fans of former Marquee hire company owners. If you're a fan of both former Brookside actors and former Marquee hire company owners then it's especially good news. If you hate both former Brookside actors, and former Marquee hire company owners, then you were never in for a good week chart wise. All of this is to say that in the battle of the former X-Factor finalists in this week's album charts, Ray Quinn won with 'Doing It My Way' entering the chart at 1 while rival Ben Mills and his album 'Picture Of You' went in at 3. Take That's 'Beautiful World' stays at number two.

Other album chart new entries include Simply Red with 'Stay' at 4, Joss Stone with 'Introducing' at 12, LCD Soundsystem with 'Sound Of Silver' at 28, Bonnie Tyler's hits album at 31 and Within Temptation with 'The Heart Of Everything' at 38. I'm assuming that the fact Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Doris Day and Take That all have re-entries in the lower bit of the Top 40 is Mothers' Day related.

Singles chart and the previously reported and I must admit I still haven't heard yet Sugababes / Girls Aloud Comic Relief song - the girl groups' cover of 'Walk This Way' - is straight in at number one, while the other Comic Relief fund raising song, the aforementioned Peter Kay / Matt Lucas / Proclaimers version of '(I'm Going To Be) 500 Miles', goes in at three, which is quite an achievement given that if I'm not mistaken it's only available by download and only went online on Friday night. Interestingly, The Proclaimers original also enters the chart at 37, presumably because of a lot of confused Comic Relief viewers going and buying the original!

Other new entries on the singles chart this week come from Alex Gaudino and Crystal Waters with 'Destiantion Calabria' at 18, The Fratellis with 'Baby Fratelli' at 24, Maximo Park with 'Our Velocity' at 30, The Twang with 'Wide Awake' at 32, Good Shoes with 'Never Meant To Hurt You' at 34 and The Rakes with 'We Danced Together' at 38.


Hurrah, it's the Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock over the weekend - New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)
2. Evanescence - The Open Door (SonyBMG)
3. Fall Out Boy - Infinity On High (Universal/Island)
4. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)
5. 30 Seconds To Mars - A Beautiful Life (EMI/Virgin)
6. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Bros)
8. Queen - Greatest Hits 1,2,3 (EMI)
9. Hinder - Extreme Behavior (Republic)
10. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
11. Saliva - Blood Stained Love Song (Universal/Island)
12. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
13. Razorlight - Razorlight (Universal/Vertigo)
14. Stone Sour - Come What(ever) May (Warner/Roadrunner)
15. Incubus - Light Grenades (SonyBMG)
16. Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies (Waner/Roadrunner)
17. Audioslave - Revelations (SonyBMG/Epic)
18. Blue October - Foiled (Universal/Island)
19. Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (Giant)
20. The Goo Goo Dolls - Let Love In (Warner Bros)*


Hurrah, it's this week's Student Radio Chart, the most played tracks on student radio last week. Info on all things Student Radio Chart from Al-B -

1. [2] Maximo Park - Our Velocity
2. [6] The Fratellis - Baby Fratelli
3. [1] Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
4. [5] Little Fray - How to Save a Life
5. [3] Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control
6. [27] The Twang - Wide Awake
7. [7] The Rakes - We Danced Together
8. [12] Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
9. [10] Joss Stone - Tell Me Bout It
10. [16] Ghosts - Stay the Night
11. [19] Razorlight - Cant Stop This Feeling That I've Got
12. [13] Biffy Clyro - Saturday Superhouse
13. [15] The Rumble Strips - Alarm Clock
14. [4] The Killers - Read My Mind
15. [11] Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape
16. [20] The Bees - Who Cares What the Question Is
17. [NE] Kings Of Leon - On Call
18. [NE] Mark Ronson - Stop Me
19. [8] Idlewild - No Emotion
20. [29] Modest Mouse - Dashboard
21. [28] Get Cape, Wear Cape. Fly - I Spy
22. [30] The Shins - Australia
23. [NE] Nelly Furtado - Say It Right
24. [NE] Tiny Dancers - Henworth Hallway
25. [RE] Good Shoes - Never Meant to Hurt You
26. [14] Mika - Grace Kelly
27. [17] Lily Allen - Alfie
28. [NE] The Needles - Girls I Used to Know
29. [NE] Air Traffic - Charlotte
30. [18] Willy Mason - Save Myself


Hurrah, it's the Subshot playlist, the videos appearing on the SUBtv network of screens in students' union bars this week. New entries marked with a *.

Alex Gaudino ft Crystal Waters - Destination Calabria (Ministry/Data)
Ash - You Can't Have It All (Warner/Infectious)
Bloc Party - I Still Remember (Wichita)
The Fratellis - Baby Fratelli (Universal/Fallout)
Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control (Back Yard)
Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow (Universal/Polydor)
Madina Lake - House of Cards (Warner/Roadrunner)
Maximo Park - Our Velocity (Warp)
My Chemical Romance - I Don't Love You (Warner/Reprise)*
Paolo Nutini - New Shoes (Warner/Atlantic)
Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position (Loog)
The Rumble Strips - Alarm Clock (Universal/Fallout)
Seamus Haji feat KayJay - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (Apollo / Big Love)*
Travis - Closer (Independiente)*
The Twang - Wide Awake (B-Unique)

Air Traffic - Charlotte (EMI/Tiny Consumer)
Alterkicks - Good Luck (B-Unique)*
The Black Ghosts - Any Way You Choose To Give It (Southern Fried)*
De Souza feat Shena - Guilty (HedKandi)*
Fear Of Flying - Three's A Crowd
Ghosts - Stay The Night (Warner/Atlantic)
J Dilla - Nothing Like This (Stones Throw)
The Little Flames - Isobella (Deltasonic)
Little Man Tate - This Must Be Love (V2)*
Lady Sovereign - Those Were The Days (Universal/Def Jam)*
Pull Tiger Tail - Let's Lightning (B-Unique)*
Simian Mobile Disco - It's The Beat (Wichita)*
Tiny Dancers - I Will Wait For You (EMI/Parlophone)
Thirteen Senses - All The Love In Your Hands (Universal/Vertigo)
yourcodenameis:milo - Understand (V2)


Society girl come presenter come whatever Tara Palmer Tomkinson has won Comic Relief's celebrity Fame Academy. Which is a surprise to me. Can she actually sing, or something? Or is it that deep down, Brits still do love a toff? Search me.

Anyway, she was apparently almost as disbelieving as I was when told that she had beaten actress Tricia Penrose to win the contest, and was rendered speechless. Before she found out that she'd won, she said this: "If I could ring everyone who's voted for us to say thank you I would, but I'd be broke!"

The show apparently raised £780,000 for Comic Relief. I'd like to know how much it cost to stage the thing.


Mel C has denied claims that she is the one holding up a Spice Girls reunion. As previously reported, the band's former manager Simon Fuller was recently quoted as saying : "The only person showing any reluctance is Mel C. She thinks her solo career is bigger than the band, which is just not the case."

Mel C has responded to those accusations in an interview with Weekend magazine, saying that she's not the only one who doesn't want to do it: "There is no reunion. I'm painted as the villain who doesn't want us to reunite. But I'm not the only one. We have all been much criticised so why face it all again? Life has moved on for all of us and we are looking to the future."

Yeah, so leave the girl alone, okay? And listen to her solo oeuvre, because it's really not bad at all.


Sharon Osbourne has said she thinks Simon Cowell is a coward for not coming clean to Louis Walsh and Kate Thornton about the fact that they were about to be axed from X-Factor. She also says that Cowell's previously reported claims - that the situation was out of his hands and that ITV execs decided that the pair should be sacked - are false.

Sharon says: "After knowing Louis for over 20 years, Simon should have had the guts to tell him to his face that he was going to get fired. I was completely shocked. It was a harsh and unfair thing to do. The very least he could have done is to have told Louis and Kate rather than pretend it was all down to the producers."

She continued: "Simon makes all the decisions and what he says goes. All he had to say was 'You know what, we want to shake things up and bring in new faces, no hard feelings'. I feel desperately sorry for Kate. Simon hasn't even bothered to call her about it."


In related news, Simon Cowell has gone in with Shed Productions - the makers of Footballers' Wives - on a new drama series set behind the scenes at a fictional TV talent show. The programme, Rock Rivals, will see Cowell's company Syco as associate producer on the project, commissioned by ITV. The drama will apparently focus on two married celebrity judges whose relationship falls apart - cue on and off camera War Of The Roses style feuding.

Shed's Brian Park says: "Rock Rivals has a real buzz to it and promises to be a worthy successor to Footballers' Wives - a blitzy combination of wild characters and pacey plots set against a world of ruthless ambition. We are absolutely thrilled that Simon Cowell is on board as only he can provide that unique insight of what it is like to be at the epicentre of a world-wide phenomenon".

Cowell says: "I am very excited about this show, the idea is brilliant and Shed Productions have a proven track record of making these type of shows very popular - think X Factor meets Dallas".

Sally Haynes, deputy controller of ITV Drama adds: "The ongoing appeal for this type of talent show presents a ripe opportunity for a modern fun drama that transports us backstage into the heady and fabulous extremes of the music business".


Church leaders in Tobago are campaigning against Elton John's scheduled appearance at the Caribbean island's Plymouth Jazz Festival in April. They are apparently afraid that by playing the one headline set at the event, he will encourage islanders to be gay, which seems logical. Or not.

Archdeacon of Trinidad and Tobago Philip Isaac says: "His visit to the island can open the country to be tempted towards pursuing his lifestyle. The artist is one of god's children and while his lifestyle is questionable he needs to be ministered unto."

Festival's organiser Anthony Maharaj responded that Tobago should feel "honoured" by the singer's visit, as he is a "man who was knighted by the Queen and was highly complimented by Desmond Tutu".


No, not the whole of SXSW, but music producer Dallas Austin. He has said some pretty unpleasant things about Joss Stone in an interview with, claiming that the singer has been "fucking for tracks" - ie, sleeping with her collaborators to get as much as possible out of them.

Referring to musician Novel and producer Raphael Saadiq, both of whom worked on her new album, Austin said: "It's not my problem that she fucked Novel and then she fucked Saadiq. You go in the studio and girls like Joss are just trying to get as much attention as they can from producers: "The girls in studios and producers are known to have relationships. Novel rang me every five minutes saying she was the most wonderful girl in the world, I said, 'Don't fall for that shit!' If you want to do that kind of shit then keep it in its place".



Lily Allen is bored of promoting her debut album 'Alright, Still'. She admits as much on her MySpace blog, saying she's bored of her songs. To be fair, I'm a bit bored of her songs too, so I can understand.

She writes: "Life is weird at the moment. Is it really important to break America? If it is I have to write my life off for the next 9 months, playing the same gig answering the same questions to different journalists. As much as I love driving across America and doing the same thing every night, I'm bored slightly."

She continues: "It's the songs, I'm bored. Since January I've toured Japan , New Zealand and Australia, I've done a European tour, gone to Paris fashion week, done a UK tour, spent one night at home, apparently I beat up some paparazzi, and now I'm on a US tour. It goes till May. I dunno what to do."


Britney Spears has changed her website so that fans can send her messages whilst she's still in rehab. The site is apparently being revamped at present but fans can: "Click here to send your thoughts and inspirations to Britney".

Let's hope they don't say anything cruel.

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