CMU Daily - on the inside Monday 26th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EU put Sony BMG review on hold
- SonyBMG UK relaunch Epic
- US CD sales down 20%
- Media majors to launch YouTube rival
- Snoop Dogg denied UK visa
- Rodrigo gets his visa
- Yayo arrested after altercation
- Abba duo win musical dispute
- They built this city on complicated trademark litigation
- Elton celebrates birthday with Madison Square gig
- Tim Wheeler worried about Ash's future
- Manson takes stand against fur
- Primal Scream sign to B-Unique
- Supergrass plan super quick album
- White Stripes announce Icky tracklisting
- New Shellac album on the way
- Metro Weekender - headliners announced
- Cambridge Folk Festival announces line up
- Petula Clark tour
- Incubus reschedule cancelled dates
- Lemar reschedules cancelled date
- Annie in Fopp tonight
- Full Justin dates, and Stones O2 date
- Live review: Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers at St. Moritz
- AIM announce next Music Connected
- Borders plan to sell UK stores
- The Orchard renews alliance with PPL
- Popworld launch mag
- Radio 2 rejigs
- American Idol judge being considered for X-Factor panel
- Chart update
- Total Rock world album chart
- This week's Student Radio Chart
- Subshot playlist
- Willis proposes
- Kinks cross over their corner
- Scooch hit back at Church
- Mutya doesn't speak to Heidi
- Lily Allen sorry for calling Americans backwards
- Mika gets death threats


Ah, isn't the weather nice today? Well, it is here, hope it is there. With it being so sunny and light, let's talk about something happening in the dark depths of London Bridge station in the middle of the night, shall we? Yes, it's time for another blatant plug of the CMU Recommended Insomniacs Ball, which is now getting very, very close.

As we mentioned last week, the buzzy buzzy The Twang have now been announced as headliners, joining a line up that also includes 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.

As you all surely know by now, this all takes place in the vaults beneath London Bridge station - ie the seOne Club - on 5 Apr. And the vaults will be dressed to impress for the proceedings this time round, with velvet curtains, candle sticks and dodgy portraits, and Ball attendees are encouraged to dress accordingly - cravats, tweeds and bowlers for the boys and sequins and tiaras for the girls (or vice versa if you prefer, I doubt anyone will complain).

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 type nonsense you need to drop an email to

PS: The longest CMU Daily ever today. I have no idea how that happened. Really, I don't.



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



There was some chatter around these parts last year when MTV announced it was making the longest pop promo video ever, with The Streets. The chatter was as to whether it really was a record breaker, because Michael Jackson's 1997 video project 'Ghosts', which ran to 38 minutes, was longer, but then it was deemed that that was a short film not a pop promo, so MTV's record stood. Well, anyway, we're at the other end of the scale today. Metal label Earache is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and also the 20th anniversary of the label's first major release, Napalm Death's 'Scum'. To that end the label has made two music videos to accompany two tracks off the album - 'The Kill' and 'You Suffer'. Anyone who knows anything about their Napalm Death will now know why we're talking about breaking world records here. 'You Suffer' is a 1.3 second long song, the shortest song ever (if you're willing to call 1.3 seconds of noise a song) and therefore the video that now accompanies it is, you guessed it, the shortest pop promo ever. 'The Kill', at 23 seconds, isn't all that much longer. But it's all kinda fun, and it is celebrating an important anniversary in all things metal, so you should go check out the label's YouTube page and give both videos a watch. It's not like it's going to eat into your day all that much.


Officials over there at that there European Commission, who have been busy investigating the Sony BMG merger, announced on Friday that they had put their investigation on hold while they waited to receive key data from the two companies involved.

In a statement, the Commission told reporters: "Please note that the Commission yesterday sent an Article 11 decision to the parties involved in the Sony/BMG merger for failure to provide requested information. This means that the clock has stopped on this case until such time as the information is received".

That decision means that the Commission's final ruling on the merger will now come up to two weeks later than the original 2 Jul deadline. Officials at the Commission, who, as previously reported, announced earlier this month that they were undertaking an "in depth" investigation into the merger, have reportedly requested unprecedented amounts of information from the merger partners - Sony Corp and Bertelsmann - as well as from other affected parties in a bid to prove beyond doubt that whatever conclusion they reach is backed up by a suitably thorough analysis of the impact of the merger. Obviously officials are keen to be seen to be thorough because it was accusations of insufficient evidence that led to the European Courts overturning the Commission's original decision to allow the Sony BMG merger to go ahead.

Explaining the surprisingly large amount of data being requested this time, the Commission stressed on Friday that: "Following the [court] ruling, the Commission has engaged in an extremely complex data collection exercise to be able to satisfy the demanding requirements of [their] judgment".

Although in theory the Commission's latest investigation into the impact of the Sony BMG merger should be easier, given that it is being conducted after the merger has taken place, insiders say investigators are struggling to decide what the impact has been because the record industry has been in a period of such radical change in the years immediately before and after the Sony BMG alliance, mainly because of the growth of digital, that it is hard to draw comparative conclusions on statistics from before and after the merger.


More SonyBMG stuff now - and this is epic news. In that... yeah, you got it. SonyBMG UK has announced the relaunch of Epic UK. The former Sony Music division will return with immediate effect, led by Nick Raphael, and bringing together Raphael's current White Rabbit label (which has Lemar, Mylo and Imogen Heap on its roster), with SonyBMG's Red Ink UK labels (the major's indie partners) plus two brand new signings, Scouting For Girls and Go Audio. Once up and running the new division, which will sit alongside SonyBMG UK's existing primary label divisions, Columbia and RCA, will operate a new A&R team who will look to expand the new label's roster with new signings.

Announcing the launch, SonyBMG UK chief Ged Doherty told CMU: "This is an important move for the company. It gives us another significant destination for artists who want to sign to us by giving them the opportunity to sign to a label with huge history and resonance within the industry. I've been very happy with the progress of the Columbia and RCA labels since we brought them back last year, and we need to expand our A&R capability still further to help us grow the company in line with our overall plans. I'm delighted that Nick Raphael will be leading Epic, he is a hugely talented and capable executive with a track record of making successful albums with a wide variety of artists and this is the perfect role for him".

Raphael added: "This is a great opportunity. It's an honour to be leading a label that has such a rich history of great artists and music. I love the fact that even recently Epic boasted artists as diverse as Michael Jackson to the Lightning Seeds, Manic Street Preachers to Bewitched, and I hope to build up a roster every bit as diverse and successful".

Artists signed to Epic US who have been distributed in the UK to date by either Columbia or RCA, will continue to be handled by those divisions in this country.


More doom and gloom, which is just what you want on a Monday morning. Still, sun's out. Well, it is on the Isle Of Dogs, I hope it is where you are too. Anyway, back to the doom and gloom. US CD sales so far this year are down 20% on sales for the equivalent period last year according to figures from research firm Nielsen Soundscan - sales are down from 112 million in the first quarter of 2006 to 89 million this year. And while digital sales do continue to rise, researchers say that digital no where near compensates for the slump in CD sales.

It can be hard to directly compare digital sales to physical sales when dealing with albums, because digital music buyers tend to buy more single tracks than whole albums. For their purposes, Nielsen take every ten digital tracks sold as equaling one album. By that system, even if you take digital sales into account, overall album sales are still down 10% on 2006.

Commenting on the latest stats, US artist manager Jeff Rabhan told the Wall Street Journal that it was further proof that the recorded music sector was an increasingly less important part of the overall music business: "Sales are so down and so off that, as a manager, I look at a CD as part of the marketing of an artist, more than as an income stream. It's the vehicle that drives the tour, the merchandise, building the brand, and that's it. There's no money".


Well, the good news is, I think I've pretty much worked my way through every episode of Malcolm In The Middle that has been illegally uploaded to YouTube, which is 'good news' because I have a feeling Fox might be getting hardline in ordering the Google owned video sharing site to take down its copyrighted content, given that its parent company, News Corp, last week announced it planned to launch a YouTube rival through a new joint venture with fellow US media conglom NBC Universal.

The new ad funded venture - which as yet has no name or even a management team - will make available complete programmes from the two media firms' libraries as well as allowing users to upload their own content in a YouTube style fashion. The media giants presumably hope their service will stand out by providing legitimate access to numerous hit TV shows as well as offering all the user generated content facilities. And the new service will hope to reach a mass audience quickly via partnerships with Google's online rivals MSN, AOL and Yahoo, plus via News Corp's own web phenomenon, MySpace.

Whether the new venture can take on market leader YouTube remains to be seen - though if and when the Google service is forced to take off line the multitude of copyrighted content it currently hosts and, as the previously reported lawsuit recently launched against YouTube by Viacom demands, to introduce measures to ensure such content never gets online in the future, rivals with their own libraries of popular content may be able to take the lead, given that the genuine user-generators seem willing to upload their content to every service going. So YouTube's dominance may well be threatened unless, as major media firms often do in the online space, News Corp and NBC Universal really fuck it up.


Hands up who's surprised by this news? No, me neither. Snoop Dogg has been denied a visa to enter the UK because of that incident in which he was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and affray at Heathrow last year. When I first heard he was planning a UK tour, I thought they must have worked pretty hard to get him a visa, but as it turns out, they hadn't yet. Snoop, by comparison, doesn't seem to have been expecting it - his spokeswoman describes him as "mystified" by the decision.

The spokeswoman went on to say that the shows - joint headline gigs, you'll remember, with (P) Diddy - will go ahead as planned, sans Snoop, in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff and Nottingham, but that the hip hop star hopes to resolve the issue before all the dates have been played by Diddy alone. She's quoted as saying: "Snoop and his team are hoping the British government will reconsider this decision, especially as he has toured here before and sees the UK as being the highlight of the tour. He has asked how he can help rectify the situation and would happily talk to and give assurances to officials".


More visa news, this time with a slightly happier ending for the individual concerned. Rodrigo Sanchez of Rodrigo Y Gabriela has been granted a working visa at the US Embassy in Mexico City after initially being refused entry to America for the duo's ongoing tour. Sanchez had previously entered the US without any problems at all, but his P-1 entertainer visa was suspended due to the fact that an individual with a similar name has been barred from entering the country.

Sanchez was detained in Mexico recently, and was forced to cancel 6 US shows, including an appearance at SXSW. But he will now be free to enter the US for the band's upcoming dates, starting 14 Apr.


US rap star Tony Yayo has been arrested and charged with misdemeanour assault and endangering the welfare of a minor, after he was apparently involved in an altercation with the fourteen year-old son of Czar Entertainment CEO Jimmy 'Henchmen' Rosemond.

The teenager claims that he ran into Yayo, who was allegedly accompanied by fellow rapper 50 Cent at the time, as they were leaving the offices of Violator Management in New York last Tuesday. Seeing young Rosemond garbed in a Czar Entertainment T-shirt, it's alleged that Yayo, real name Marvin Bernard, asked him why he was wearing the T shirt, badmouthed the company, pushed him up against a wall and slapped him.

Yayo, released on $5,000 bail, denies the charge - his lawyer Scott E Leemon telling "We adamantly deny the allegations as put forth by the District Attorney's office today". The hip hopper will appear in court on 25 Apr.

Meanwhile, 50 Cent has distanced himself from any involvement in the case, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman saying in a statement: "We are conducting our own investigation to determine exactly what happened in Manhattan on Tuesday, Mar. 20th. One thing I can say with absolute certainty, however, is that at the time of the alleged incident, 50 Cent was not in New York State".

Mother of the fourteen year old, Cynthia Reed, has spoken out angrily about the fact that her son was allegedly attacked in this way. She released a statement which read: "As a mother I am concerned that my son, who is a fan of Hip-Hop, would be attacked by the same artist whose music he listens to. It's a shame that 50 Cent and Tony Yayo could feel comfortable slapping and physically attacking an innocent 14-year-old minor that they market and promote their records to. This is a cowardly act on my son, who has done nothing to warrant the verbal and physical abuse he received. This issue should not be taken lightly and these men should be looked upon as a serious threat to society, having taken their relentless public rants towards their rivalries to a level of extreme. This should be looked as a step away from child molestation. I seek justice in the form of restoring my son's dignity and making sure any child can wear whatever they want without fear of bodily injury".

G-Unit has a history of conflict with the boy's father, of course, which may explain why the conflict might have arisen - especially if Yayo recognised the teenager as Rosemond's son.


Former Abba members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have won a court dispute over a musical they wrote called Kristina From Duvemala. The duo were sued by Carl-Johan Seth, who wrote the first draft of the show, which tells the story of Swedish immigrants to the US in the 19th Century, and who claimed he should, as a result, be credited as the main writer of the show. But Ulvaeus and Andersson argued that Seth was not credited as such because, in reality, the script he had created was unusable, and an alternative written by the show's director Lars Rudolfsson and dramatist Jan Mark had been used instead, and a court in Sweden last week found in the Abba duo's favour. The dispute has seemingly come to a head now (the musical was written in the mid-nineties) because Bjorn and Benny are hoping to take the show to Broadway - those plans had been on hold pending the lawsuit, but should now proceed as planned. Though Seth's lawyer, who said his client was "very disappointed" with the court ruling, has confirmed Seth plans to appeal.


More pop litigation for you. One of founders of Jefferson Airplane (later Jefferson Starship, of course) is being sued by a former bandmate and manager over allegations he is in breach of a previous agreement regarding the use of the former band's various trademarks.

Paul Kantner is being sued by singer Grace Slick and former manager Bill Thompson, the former being the majority shareholder in Jefferson Starship Inc, which controls many of the trademarks associated with the band. In a 1985 agreement, Kantner agreed to not use the names 'Jefferson', 'Airplane' or 'Jefferson Starship' in any of his future projects.

As a result Kantner used the word 'Starship' in isolation, touring through the nineties as Paul Kantner's Starship (while another former Jefferson Starship vocalist Mickey Thomas toured as Mickey Thomas' Starship). Kantner's use of the 'Starship' name in isolation, while seemingly technically in compliance with the 1985 agreement, was arguably not in the spirit of that contract, though no legal action was taken against him until 2000, and then because he used the 'Airplane' name for a tour with the other co-founder of the original band, Marty Balin.

But now it seems that Slick and Thompson do object to Kantner's use of the 'Starship' name, even in isolation. The action seems to have been taken because Kantner recently entered into a deal with Microsoft which saw the IT firm sponsor four free Kantner dates under the Starship banner. Slick and Thompson, it seems, were willing to tolerate Kantner's use of 'Starship' for small scale touring purposes, but not for major brand funded initiatives. The fact Microsoft used an image of the original band that included Slick for their publicity probably also pissed the plaintiffs off a bit.

Now Slick and Thompson, via Jefferson Starship Inc, are suing for $750,000, even though Kantner insists his new band only received $100,000 from Microsoft. Whether the courts will find in favour of Slick and Thompson given how long Kantner has used the 'Starship' name without action being taken remains to be seen.


Elton John has staged a concert at New York's Madison Square Garden to celebrate his 60th birthday. The singer was introduced to the sold out 20,000 capacity venue by former US president Bill Clinton.
Clinton said: "Thank you for coming tonight to help celebrate Elton joining my favourite club, the 60-year-olds' club. I love it every time he plays. He reminds me we still have some youth left".

It was a double celebration, because it's apparently the sixtieth time he's appeared at the venue also. In recent years Elton had expressed a desire to be in New York for the special anniversary, saying: "I knew I had done 59 shows at Madison Square Garden and I said the only place I want to be is New York City on my 60th birthday".


Ash frontman Tim Wheeler has said that he's worried about his band's future, because he apparently thinks that their aging fans (probably in their what, mid twenties by now?) can't stay the course. He says: "I think we're totally underrated. That's really annoying. I think it's because we've been around so long. People get jaded".

I sometimes think Ash are underrated. But to be fair, they were utterly ubiquitous in the late nineties. Their new album is expected to be out in July.


Garbage lass Shirley Manson has explained her reasons for fronting a new anti-fur campaign for Peta. The singer appears in a new ad dressed in a Stella McCartney evening gown holding a skinned fox, captioned 'Here's the Rest of Your Fur Coat'.

Manson says: "I believe very strongly in the ethical treatment of animals. A lot of my fans are very pro-animal rights and have often, when I have been wearing fake fur, said, 'Is that real' and really got upset, and I have had to reassure them, 'it's fake, don't worry'".


As you probably all already know (yep, I forgot to report on this last week when the story broke, oops), Primal Scream have confirmed they have signed to B-unique, ending their relationship with SonyBMG which stemmed from the days that the major had a stake in Alan McGee's Creation Records. Confirming the signing, B-Unique co-director Martin Toher told reporters: "Signing a band as legendary as Primal Scream is a massive honour, they are one of the best British bands of all time".


Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes has told 6Music that his band are ready to record a new album and are planning to do it in just a few weeks. Coombes says of the follow-up to 2005's 'Road To Rouen': "It's really exciting at the moment, just running through stuff, and kind of getting a vibe as to where its going to go. We're off to Berlin in a couple of weeks to do the recording and its going to be a quick session, 2 or 3 week session, and just knock it out as fast as we can".


The White Stripes have announced the tracklisting for previously reported new album 'Icky Thump', expected to be released in June. The band plan to preview the tracks at a number of upcoming but as yet unconfirmed tour dates, and are also scheduled to appear at the Primavera Sound Festival in Spain in May and Wireless in June, so will presumably play them there too.

Here are the tracks:

Icky Thump
You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told)
300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues
Bone Broke
Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn
St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)
Little Cream Soda
Rag And Bone
I'm Slowly Turning Into You
A Martyr For My Love For You
Catch Hell Blues
Effect And Cause


Steve Albini's band Shellac are to release their first album since the release of '1000 Hurts' back in July 2000. The long player, 'Excellent Italian Greyhound', will be out on 5 Jun via Touch and Go Records. Here's the tracklisting:

The End of Radio
Steady As She Goes
Be Prepared
Genuine Lullabelle


More festivals news, though city based this time. Details have been announced of the Metro Weekender, which will return to both London and Cardiff on the August Bank Holiday Weekend. The London Weekender takes place on Clapham Common and incorporates the South West Four and Get Loaded In The Park festivals (the former on the Saturday, the latter on the Sunday), while the Cardiff Weekender takes place on Coopers Field in Bute Park and incorporates Cardiff's equivalent of the Get Loaded event, Cardiff Calling, and a Welsh outing of the South West Four event (again the former on the Saturday, the latter on the Sunday).

Line up wise, full details are yet to be announced, but we do know The Streets will headline the Get Loaded and Cardiff Calling days, while Paul Van Dyk will headline the South West Four days.

For press info I'd be talking to Alchemy PR or Cypher Press.


The Cambridge Folk Festival has announced its line-up, and acts scheduled to perform this year include Joan Baez, Nanci Griffith, The Waterboys, Steve Earle, Kate Rusby, Toots And The Maytals, Shooglenifty, Seasick Steve, Kris Drever, Alabama 3 Unplugged and the Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain. Wow. I want to go. And I'll definitely be in Cambridge just then. It's possible that I could be in labour, but what the heck? It's a great line up. I'm going.

The event, now in its 43rd year, takes place from 26 - 29 Jul at Cherry Hinton Hall Grounds, booking an info, Press info from


Petula Clark's announced a series of spring tour dates, as follows:

15 Apr: Perth Concert Hall
16 Apr: Aberdeen Music Hall
17 Apr: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
19 Apr: Newcastle City Hall
20 Apr: High Wycombe Swan Theatre
21 Apr: Brentwood Brentwood Centre
22 Apr: Northampton Derngate
23 Apr: Buxton Opera House
25 Apr: Lowestoft Marina Theatre
26 Apr: Croydon Fairfield Halls
27 Apr: Bradford St George's Hall
29 Apr: Skegness Embassy Theatre
30 Apr: King's Lynn Corn Exchange


Incubus have announced their rescheduled dates after having to postpone their current UK tour because guitarist Mike Einziger injured his hand. The new dates are as follows:

20 Sep: Manchester Evening News Arena
21 Sep: Nottingham Arena
23 Sep: Glasgow SECC
24 Sep: Birmingham NEC
25 Sep: Cardiff International Arena
1 Oct: London Brixton Academy
3 Oct: Bournemouth International Centre


Also needing to reschedule is Lemar, who was forced to postpone his Friday night show at the Nottingham Royal Centre because he was suffering from flu. The show has been rescheduled for 12 Apr. Here's what he said from his sick bed: "I'm very unhappy to have to postpone today's show. I've been doing all that I can to get myself better but I have been advised that it would be foolish to go ahead and perform tonight. Of course I am looking forward to seeing all my fans at the rescheduled show on April 12th".


The legend that is Annie Nightingale will play a set at in the cafe bar in the basement of Fopp on Tottenham Court Road, London tonight from 7pm, as something of a pre-promote for her Y4K compilation, which will come out on Distinctive Records next month. On that album, Annie tells CMU: "This album should hold your attention and take you on a journey where each artist has something different to say. That makes this a unique and very special album, which I'm really proud of".


God, there have been so many additions to the previously reported Justin Timberlake tour that I've lost track - which is possibly why we didn't list all of them in our story on him on Friday. Obviously Timberlake relies on us to get word out on all his ventures, so here's the full list, just so he can't say we've let him down...

27 + 28 Apr: Sheffield Hallam FM Arena
30 Apr + 1 May: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
3, 4 +5 May: Glasgow SECC
8, 9 + 11 May: Birmingham NIA
19 May: Nottingham Arena
14-15 May: Manchester MEN
4, 5, 7 + 8 Jul: London The O2

The Justin gigs at The O2 may well be the first ever at the revamped Millennium Dome of course (that is to say, they are the earliest gigs to have been confirmed so far), which means that the more observant among you probably realised that when, on Friday, we said The Stones would play The O2 on 10 Jun we meant 21 Aug. I would have thought that would be obvious.


LIVE REVIEW: Tom Mansi & The Icebreakers at St. Moritz on 21 Mar
I stumbled across Tom Mansi last year when reviewing the wonderful single 'Can't Take It Where You Go'. Since then things have been fairly quiet from the Kartel-signed quartet, until last week, which produced two items of Mansi-related goodness. Monday saw the release of the mini-album 'Holly', and Wednesday night saw Mansi and his cohorts The Icebreakers playing in the extremely snug confines of the St Moritz. The first thing to make an impression is Mansi's low, rumbling growl of a voice. Admittedly, you don't really need lungs like Shirley Bassey to make yourself heard in the St Moritz, a venue the size of a hobbit's downstairs toilet, but Mansi has more than enough character, and oomph when needs be, to fill the largest venues around. At its quietest, it conjures up images of whispered confessionals, over tumblers of whisky in smoky jazz clubs. If that's all too flowery for you, then I'll just say it's simply one of the most distinctive voices you'll hear in a while. What's more, Mansi had bundles of charisma and charm onstage, coming across like he was born in one of those smoky jazz clubs and has been performing there ever since. The music was a real mix of blues, jazz and country, with some funk and even rock thrown in. It's a testament to the musicians that this never sounded forced or out of place. They're all well grounded in each of these musical traditions, so when the music went from the country/skiffle rhythms of 'Love On The Rails', to the funky drumming-led 'Big Bad Wolf' to the jazzy 'Heartbreak Hooligan', it never jolted you out of the set. If it all sounds like it could be too much for you, then nothing could be further from the reality. This was one of the most involving gigs I've seen in a while and Mansi, along with his incredibly accomplished band, is a definite talent. Now please, not so long till the next release please fellas. TH


The Association Of Independent Music have announced details of its Music Connected 07 event, which aims to bring together everyone who is anyone in the world of digital music. Taking place at the Camden Centre on 17 Apr, the key note presentation will come from Charles Caldas, the boss of that previously reported, and slightly controversial in the context of the IMPALA/Warner fallout, new indie labels digital rights agency Merlin, while there'll be other seminars on all things online marketing. But the main aim of the event is to enable indie label types to meet and chat to pretty much every key digital music company, including eMusic, Vital:PIAS Digital, Kodime, Music Choice, 7 Digital, Zebralution and Beatport. Entry to the event is £20 for AIM members and friends, or £80 for others. You'll find info here...


Ah, this is a shame, I hope whoever buys them doesn't alter things too much. US books and entertainment retailer Borders has said it is looking to sell its UK and Ireland business of 72 stores (the Borders and Books etc stores), which is a shame, I like Borders. The book chain, which also sells music in about 35 of its UK stores, has been doing OK given competitors like HMV/Waterstones have been really struggling, but the retail giant says it wants to concentrate on its US business. No word yet on who might be interested in buying the UK chain, or what that would mean for the stores or their 2000 staff, though the CEO of the UK division, David Roche, said on Friday: "Until such time as a buyer is found it is very much business as usual". If anyone out there in CMU land fancies buying a book and music retail company (anyone?), I'd give Merrill Lynch a call, they're assisting on the sale.


Independent digital music aggregator The Orchard announced on Friday it was renewing its alliance with the UK's Phonographic Performance Limited, which collects sound recording airplay and performance royalties, of course. The renewal means PPL will continue to collect UK performance royalties for the hundreds of independent labels signed up to The Orchard's 'one stop royalty collection service', whereby the aggregator represents a number of its partner labels' royalty interests in markets across the world.

Confirming the renewal of the PPL relationship, The Orchard's CEO Greg Scholl told reporters: "The Orchard has transcended traditional notions of 'distribution' and emerged as a leading solutions provider helping its labels and artists make money in new and creative ways. In the US, the concept of neighbouring rights is in its infancy and there is little understanding that labels control these rights globally. The Orchard is committed to maximizing its labels and artists revenues from all sources and our alliance with market leader PPL is an integral part of that vision".


Channel 4 is launching a new pop mag based around its Popworld show, because that worked out really well last time they tried it. The new mag will be called Popworld Pulp and will be published in association with Brooklands Group. It will launch on 11 Apr with a circulation of 130,000 and a cover price of £1.49.

Rumours of a new Popworld magazine - the last incarnation launched in 2002 but didn't last very long - have been circulating ever since EMAP closed down Smash Hits last year. Given that EMAP said the pop market could no longer support a print publication it will be interesting to see if the Popworld mag - which will arguably have a wider musical remit than the latter day Smash Hits - can find a market.

The Beeb's Top Of The Pop magazine still publishes, of course, despite the demise of its TV show parent, so perhaps there is still room for print in the pop demographic. Whether there's room for two remains to be seen.


Radio 2 has announced a schedule rejig which will see Mark Radcliffe get a new slot, an extra half hour and a new co-presenter. Radcliffe, currently presenting a late night show for the network, will get the 8-10pm slot, which he will co-present with Stuart Maconie. The revamp means that the specialist shows that have traditionally aired in the evening will move to late night - a move which the BBC station say is not a sign of them marginalizing specialist programming, because the late night slot tends to get bigger audiences for specialist music shows. Among the other changes is launch of a new show for Steve Lamacq, who will present a weekly show for the station, meaning he now has programmes on BBC Radios 1, 2 and 6Music.


So many rumours as to who the new judges will be on the X-Factor, following the announcement that Louis Walsh had been dropped, and that the judging panel would be expanded to four. Following reports that Dannii Minogue is in talks to take one of the slots, current chatter says that Cowell's fellow judge on American Idol, Randy Jackson, may also be joining the UK pop talent show. Other names being touted as possible judges on the show include Jessica Simpson, Chris Moyles and former Spice Girl Mel B, all of whom sound like awful choices.


So, the two Comic Relief singles have swapped places on the singles chart this week so that the Peter Kay / Matt Lucas / The Proclaimers new version of '(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles' is top, with the Girls Aloud / Sugababes cover of 'Walk This Way' at number two. New entries go like this: Avril Lavigne with 'Girlfriend' at 3, Ghosts with 'Stay The Night' at 25, Hilary Duff with 'With Love' at 29, Ciara with 'Like A Boy' at 35, Tiny Dancers with 'I Will Wait For You' at 36 and Seamus Haji ft Kay Jay with 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life' at 38.

Albums wise, and Take That regain the top spot, pushing X Factor bloke Ray Quinn into second place (though his X Factor rival Ben Mills has slipped from three down to 14, so the fact Quinn is still top three is quite an achievement). But the big news albums chart wise is surely that the still incredibly buzzy Enter Shikari go straight in at number four with their debut 'Take To The Skies', released on their own label Ambush Reality with support from Vital distribution. Well done them.

Other new entries this week in the albums chart go like this: Good Charlotte with 'Good Morning Revival' at 13, Neil Young with 'Live At Massey Hall 1971' at 30, a David Bowie hits album at 34 and The Rakes with 'Ten New Messages' at 38.


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. 30 Seconds To Mars - A Beautiful Life (EMI/Virgin)
5. Korn - MTV Unplugged (EMI/Virgin)*
6. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
7. My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (Warner Bros)
8. Muse - Black Holes & Revelations (Warner Bros)
9. Hinder - Extreme Behavior (Republic)
10. Billy Talent - Billy Talent II (Warner/Atlantic)
11. Saliva - Blood Stained Love Song (Universal/Island)
12. Queen - Greatest Hits 1,2,3 (EMI)
13. Chimaira - Resurrection (Nuclear Blast)*
14. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)
15. Razorlight - Razorlight (Universal/Vertigo)
16. Incubus - Light Grenades (SonyBMG)
17. Stone Sour - Come What(ever) May (Warner/Roadrunner)
18. Electric Light Orchestra - Out Of The Blue (SonyBMG/Epic) - new entry
19. Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (Giant)
20. Audioslave - Revelations (SonyBMG/Epic)


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. [1] Maximo Park - Our Velocity
2. [4] Little Fray - How to Save a Life
3. [2] Fratellis - Baby Fratelli
4. [3] Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
5. [6] The Twang - Wide Awake
6. [5] Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control
7. [10] Ghosts - Stay the Night
8. [11] Razorlight - Can't Stop This Feeling I've Got
9. [9] Joss Stone - Tell Me Bout It
10. [17] Kings Of Leon - On Call
11. [12] Biffy Clyro - Saturday Superhouse
12. [15] Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape
13. [18] Mark Ronson - Stop Me
14. [16] The Bees - Who Cares What the Question Is
15. [19] Idlewild - No Emotion
16. [22] The Shins - Australia
17. [8] Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
18. [NE] Paul Steel - April
19. [23] Nelly Furtado - Say It Right
20. [NE] Norah Jones - Sinkin' Soon
21. [24] Tiny Dancers - Henworth Hallway
22. [NE] The Hours - Love You More
23. [14] The Killers - Read My Mind
24. [NE] Harrisons - Monday's Arms
25. [RE] Brakes - Ceast and Desist
26. [NE] Jack Penate - Spit at the Stars
27. [28] The Needles - Girls I Used to Know
28. [25] Good Shoes - Never Meant to Hurt You
29. [26] Mika - Grace Kelly
30. [27] Lily Allen - Alfie


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 *.

Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm (Domino)*
Ash - You Can't Have It All (Warner/Infectious)
Bloc Party - I Still Remember (Wichita)
The Enemy - Away From Here (Warner)*
The Good, The Bad and The Queen - Green Fields (Live at Wilton Hall) (EMI/Parlophone)*
Idlewild - No Emotion (SUBsession Exclusive) (Sanctuary/Sequel)
Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow (Universal/Polydor)
My Chemical Romance - I Don't Love You (Warner/Reprise)
Muse - Invincible (Warner) *
Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position (Loog)
The Proclaimers feat Brian Potter & Andy Pipkin - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) (EMI)*
Seamus Haji feat KayJay - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (Apollo/Big Love)
Simian Mobile Disco - It's The Beat (Wichita)
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)
Ghosts - Stay The Night (Warner/Atlantic)
J Dilla - Nothing Like This (Stones Throw)
The Draytones - Keep Loving Me (1965 Records)*
Little Man Tate - This Must Be Love (V2)
Lady Sovereign - Those Were The Days (Universal/Def Jam)
Loney, Dear - I Am John (EMI/Regal)*
Pepe Deluxe - Pussy Cat Rock (Catskills)*
Pull Tiger Tail - Let's Lightning (B-Unique)
Thirteen Senses - All The Love In Your Hands (Universal/Vertigo)
Viva Voce - Wrecking Ball (Full Time Hobby)*
yourcodenameis:milo - Understand (V2)


According to The Sun, the lovely Matt Willis has proposed to his girlfriend, MTV presenter Emma Griffiths. The reports suggest that Willis did it the old fashioned way and asked her dad for permission. Hang on, though, isn't he a bit young for all this? I mean, I realise they've been together two years and everything, but according to my calculations, he's only 24 or something. It seems young to me. Ah well, Griffiths is a bit older - 31-ish, I believe. So she can be old for both of them.


The Kinks are a bit cross because a wee shrine to the band at The Clissold Arms in Muswell Hill - the London venue they first performed in - is to be sold off as the building becomes a gastropub. 'Kinks Corner' will be put up for auction once redevelopment of the property begins. The band's Ray Davies has sent an open letter to the pub's boss Caroline Jones urging her to rethink the move, plus fans, many of whom have visited the bar in pilgrimage, have also sent letters of complaint.

Ray Davies said he was "genuinely disappointed" about the decision, whilst brother Dave asked "Have they lost their dignity, sense of local history and English heritage?". Ray told the Hornsey And Crouch End Journal: "Whatever the outcome, one thing is certain; The Kinks and their music will always be inextricably linked with north London and the Fortis Green area in particular. Long after gastronomic styles have come and gone".


The UK's Eurovision reps Scooch have responded to comments Charlotte Church made about them in video blog on her website. I haven't seen it, but apparently the singer launched a sweary tirade about the outcome of 'Making Your Mind Up', concluding: "It was down to Cyndi and Scooch and Cyndi had a really nice voice and it was a reasonable song so I thought they should have got through. It [Scooch's win] made every pore in my body itch with embarrassment".

Scooch's Russ Spencer responded "what a pity that 'the voice of an angel' has acquired the mouth of a sewer", bandmate David Ducasse adding: "Charlotte's outburst seems to be a cheap, and attention seeking, reaction of a young lady who should know better".

The group's Natalie Powers continued: "As a mother of a young child myself I find her behaviour and language quite unacceptable. What kind of role model is this for a mum-to-be?"


Quelle surprise. Former Sugababe Mutya Buena doesn't speak to former bandmate Heidi Range, possibly because she quit the band to "look after her new daughter" but then launched a solo career. The singer says: "Me and Heidi haven't spoken since I left [the group]. I did try to make peace with her but I didn't get a good response".


Lily Allen has apparently aroused the ire of some Americans by saying that they are backwards. Clearly, they're not. Look at Al Gore. Anyway, she's sort of apologised via her MySpace blog, and blamed it on the drink.

Here's what she says: "Apparantly [sic] I said that all Americans are backwards in some interview. While some Americans probably ARE (every country has a backwards contingent), that would be a sweeping generalisation and also not true. I think there are some very clever Americans. I don't actually remember saying these things, but they were said in Texas which is where the SXSW festival was, therefore I must have been very drunk and showing off. Soz".


Mika says he gets death threats about his sexuality, despite the fact that he refuses to comment on it himself.

He says: "I get hate messages all the time, even a death threat. It was over whether I am gay or not. [The fan] wasn't happy that I won't talk about my personal life like that. Sometimes I think that I have made it, other times it is a bit worrying".

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