CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 4th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Hip hop world responds to Yayo/Czar teen incident
- Digital sector respond to EMI announcement
- Spector prosecution hope to bring past incidents as evidence
- Nickelback man handcuffed during police strip club inspection
- 3 First Cut reaches final stages
- Cure man collaborates with Ashlee?
- New Fridge album
- Springsteen live album and DVD
- They Might Be Giants album
- Alanis's lady lumps
- Mortiis vinyl remixes get bonus
- Single review: The Shakes - I Want A Better Life
- Vote for Switches B side
- Bright Eyes' special artwork
- Lennon's piano to promote peace
- Jazz Institute relocates to New Orleans
- Costello and Holland to play O2 Indigo
- More additions to Diana tribute concert
- The View cancel more US appearances
- Lady Sov cancels shows
- End Of The Road festival line up announced
- New city wide music festival for Stoke-on-Trent
- McFly add London date to Up Close tour
- Gilles Peterson launches new A&R agency
- Napster upbeat
- Digital radio bidder bought
- Student radio winner gets 6Music show
- Vodafone announce new TBA programme
- Single review: Muse - Invincible
- Mel B gives birth
- Heather Mills not a gold digger
- Richards claims to have snorted father
- Cocker on Sheffield scene


Another Insomniacs Ball Top Bit, yes, because it is all getting very very close and therefore very very exciting. We've told you before who is playing, but here's how they all slot in to the four areas that will be built in the vaults beneath London Bridge station this Thursday night.

In the main room you'll get headliners The Twang plus Brakes, Fear Of Flying, The Officers and Blood Red Shoes, plus on the decks NME's Mark Beaumont, Xfm's Marsha and the Artrocker DJs.

Room 2 is the Crossover Arena with Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Bolt Action Five, Headland, Black Daniel and Dandi Wind plus Remix chief Eddy Temple Morris, Kill All Hippies regular Gavin Nugent and No Pain In Pop on the decks.

Room 3 is where Wall Of Sound are taking over, and where you'll get Shy Child, Shakes, Reverend & The Makers and AHuman all doing the live thing, will Mekon, Riotous Rockers, Infadels and Alvin C all DJing.

Room 4 is the VIP room for those with VIP tickets, and in there you'll find Adventures Closer To Home, The Heavenly Jukebox, Lois And Pearl and the Scruffy Bird DJs.

All of this takes place this Thursday overnight into Good Friday at the seOne Club in London. For everything you need to know about the third Insomniacs Ball, go check the official website at For press info get in touch with



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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 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



People have apparently been raving about Jyrojets in the last few months, and I missed it. I didn't hear about them until the last few days, when I was alerted to their existence because I heard about their upcoming single, 'Favourite Thing About Jane', out 30 Apr. Though now that I see who it is that's been raving about them, I kind of understand more why I didn't hear, as it was the San Francisco Chronicle who declared their set "one of the most promising" of the recent SXSW festival, and it was the Scottish Sun (I don't much read the English one, let alone the Caledonian version) who declared them one of the seven hottest bands of 2007. I also wasn't there to see them headline the BBC Radio Scotland stage at the Belladrum festival, so it all adds up. I suppose I could have noticed that they opened for Richard Ashcroft at Glasgow's SEC in November but I didn't. I also seem to have missed their debut EP. Their new single sounds good, though. If pushed I'd say it sounds like a slowed down Fratellis number covered by Stereophonics, but the rest of the songs on the MySpace don't sound anything like that. The only frustrating thing about this site is a) there's not much on it, and b) there are four tracks but they're all only samples. Ah well. If you haven't checked them out yet, do so now, as you never know, they could be the next big thing, despite the fact that they're from Inverness.


Attention in the hip hop world is focusing more and more on that previously reported incident when G-Unit rapper Tony Yayo allegedly confronted and hit the fourteen year old son of Jimmy 'Henchmen' Rosemond, founder of hip hop management firm Czar Entertainment and a long term feuder with the G-unit posse.

Yayo allegedly confronted the teenager as he made his way to work as an intern at his father's New York based company, with the rapper seemingly offended by the Czar Entertainment t-shirt the teen was wearing. Yayo, real name Marvin Bernard, was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a minor in relation to the altercation, and he will face those charges in court on 25 Apr.

Yayo's fellow G-uniter 50 Cent is also tangled up in the incident, because Rosemond junior claims the hip hop star was present at the time of the attack and even ordered Yayo to hit him. Fiddy's people strongly deny he had any involvement, even denying he was in New York at the time of the incident. Nevertheless, protestors picketed the New York offices of 50 Cent and G-unit's record label, Universal Music, on Monday with banners bearing lines like "save your children" and "ban 50 Cent".

Capitalising on that protest, Czar staged a press conference on this issue denouncing 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and their associates, and calling on music industry execs like Universal chief Doug Morris and Interscope founder Jimmy Iovine to likewise condemn their artists' actions. Alongside the teenager's mother, Cynthia Reed, and Czar exec Bryce Wilson were New York Councilman Charles Barron and civil rights activist Al Sharpton. According to, the latter told the press event: "I'm not here to take sides, I'm here to say that all sides are letting us down and need to come down to the table again and create a level of decency and respect for the communities that has been the basis of your wealth. We put the 'ING.' in your bling bling [and] have no choice but then to try and [take] 'the' 'ING' out your bling bling by withdrawing our support commercially of your records and your use of airwaves".

Barron, meanwhile, said: "It is out of control. We gotta deal with the police who are out of control. Then we gotta deal with some of our own people who are out of control. I'm on the side of black youth who should be able to walk this community without being abused because of some foolishness that adults who are making bling, money, whatever you're making, you shouldn't even be involved in dealing with beefs that will lead to more death and destruction of our people. Let's use hip hop for liberation and revolution, and not foolishness".

Stephane Hires, mother of the child of Israel Ramirez, the bodyguard killed outside a Busta Rhymes video shoot early last year, was also at the press conference - investigators of that shooting reckon Ramirez may have been shot after an argument involving Yayo, who was at the video shoot, got out of control, and it has been alleged that it was a Yayo associate who fired the fatal shot. However the G-unit man has always denied knowing who fired the gun that killed Ramirez.

Hires told the press event: "We shouldn't have to be here today, but unfortunately due to an act of senseless violence we are. This young man [her son] Stiles Ramirez is why I am here. You may have forgotten, but I can't and he won't, that his father was senselessly murdered at a video shoot on Feb. 6, 2006. Young men today face many obstacles already. As a community we have to take responsibility and protect them from harm".

Despite the general call for cooperation on both sides at the Czar press conference, long term 50 Cent / G-unit feuder The Game, who is managed by Czar, has released a track via his MySpace dealing with the attack against Rosemond Junior, and the call for reconciliation is notable by its absence there. The rap includes the lines: "Potato on the muzzle, black tape on the grip/We in the A-Team van with black tape on your bitch/She gonna tell us where you at, we gonna twist that dro/And just wait until the rat climbs out that hole/Know the streets aint safe, when we see him we gonna eat that face/No body we gonna beat that case/It's on again, two shots of patron, I'm in..."

G-unit have, so far, avoided getting into any rap dissing with regard this altercation - possibly because if Yayo is guilty of what is alleged it is pretty indefensible, even through rap, though it is still unclear whether Yayo recognised Henchman's son before he attacked him - not that that would make what he did excusable, though attacking your arch-rival's son is slightly different than attacking a random teenager because of his choice of t-shirt.

G-unit have issued a statement telling reporters they are undertaking their own investigation into what happened when Yayo met Henchman junior, and again distancing 50 Cent from the incident. Lawyer Benjamin Brafman said this week: "We are conducting our own investigation to determine exactly what happened in Manhattan on Tuesday, March 20. 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".

Fiddy himself is quoted as saying: "I have authorised an independent investigation of the incident to determine whether anyone associated with G-Unit Records was involved in the confrontation. I must state for the record, that I was at my home in Farmington, Connecticut the entire day completing songs for my new album".

It will be interesting to see where all this goes from here, though it's good to know that while former feuders Snoop Dogg and P Diddy can now tour the world together as friends, the next generation of hip hop stars keep the always petty and at times deadly tradition of hip hop feuding alive.


More on EMI and DRM? Why not? And while opinion is divided in the music industry regarding EMI's decision this week to make its entire digital catalogue available in non-DRM protected file formats from next month (rumour has it Apple paid EMI $5 million to have first access to the non-DRMed catalogue, and some of its rivals reckon that's just not enough), the move has been generally welcomed across the digital music sector, even though market leader Apple will get the exclusive rights to the new file formats at launch.

Some of that welcoming is because of the fact that as soon as iTunes starts selling music in non-DRM protected versions of the codec it uses - AAC - for the first time users should be able to play that music on players other than Apple's own iPod, because a string of rival devices play unprotected AACs, including Microsoft's Zune, SanDisk's Sansa, and a number of Sony devices, including the PlayStation 3 and Walkmen S series. All of which provides a real opportunity for the makers of those players, while opening up a new source of music to those who have bought one.

But more importantly EMI has said it intends to make its non-DRM protected catalogue available to all other download platforms after iTunes' exclusivity period, and all the major players are reportedly now considering how they can capitalise on the major's change in policy regarding DRM. Real Networks boss Rob Glaser told reporters yesterday: "We look forward to working with EMI and the rest of the music industry to bring DRM-free, interoperable music to consumers in the months ahead", while the boss of eMusic, David Pakman, said: "We think this is great news for the music industry and a big win for customers. Digital retailers will now have a product customers truly want to buy because it offers high quality and flexibility. Universal compatibility and experimentation with various business models and different price points will help the music industry to grow again".

A possible opportunity for iTunes' rivals stems from Apple's decision to continue using the AAC format, albeit without DRM protection, rather than selling unprotected music as MP3, by far the most adaptable file format. On that fact Pakman, who in eMusic heads up the biggest seller of MP3s, added: "I think this leaves another great opening in the market for all the other retailers, ourselves included, to offer MP3, which is still the only universally compatible file in the world".


More on the Phil Spector case for you. Prosecutors preparing their case against the legendary producer in his upcoming murder trial are reportedly hoping to be able to use evidence given by an ex-girlfriend and a retired New York City police officer, the former claiming Spector once pulled a gun on her, and the latter claiming he once witnessed Spector participating in a misogynistic rant in which he said all women deserved to die.

Ex-cop Vince Tannazzo reportedly says he witnessed Spector's ranting at a party at the home of Joan Rivers back in 1995 where he was working as a security guard. He says he was asked to escort Spector off the premises after some kind of disagreement, and that Spector told him: "They [women] all deserve to die. They all deserve a bullet in their (expletive) head. That's why I got permits for all over. Wherever I go, I always keep a gun, because these (expletive), they're all no (expletive) good".

Devra Robitaille, who dated Spector while working for his company Warner Spector Records in the mid-seventies, claims that on one occasion the producer placed a shotgun against her forehead as she tried to leave his house after a party and that he said "Just so you know, I'll blow your (expletive) head off'". Robitaille says she defused the situation by pushing the gun away and telling Spector "knock that off and put that away", and that eventually he let her leave. But she adds that a similar incident happened after a night of drinking ten years later.

Spector's defence lawyers are sure to question the relevance of these past incidents to the current case - in which he is accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverly Hills home back in 2003. However, the prosecution are keen to show that the producer has a long history of threatening behaviour against women and that, therefore, it is believable he would have shot Clarkson that night at his home. A court hearing on 10 Apr should decide whether the prosecution will be able to present Tannazzo and Robitaille as witnesses at the murder trial.

PS: By the way, the expletives were removed in the court papers that those quotes come from - nothing to do with us, fuck no.


According to Canada's Global TV, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger had a brief run in with the law recently when police were doing routine inspections of a strip club where the singer and a friend were spending the evening. The altercation seems to have begun when Kroeger refused to get out of the way for the police officers. In no mood for arguing, the cops reportedly handcuffed Kroeger and his friend to get them out of the way, although neither man was charged. So there you go. Kroeger, by the way, is still awaiting trial for a careless driving charge from last year.


With all these unsigned bands competitions out there, I need to draw some kind of diagram so I can keep tracks of which one is which. 3 First Cut Awards - which one was that? Oh yes, the one my friend Marsha was judging on, now it's all coming back to me. Anyway, the final three have been selected from the 1900 bands who entered (no wonder Marsha's been so busy, that's a lot of demos) and they will now all play at three dates supporting Rumblestrips before playing at a big final type thing at ULU in London on 17 May, then supporting those wonderful Fratellis. The overall winner will be selected that night, and they will win a single release via Fallout Recordings, a video recording, a festival slot and lots of support on 3, obviously. The three finalist bands are - Buffalo 77, Mendicant and Finka - and there's info on them (actually, on just two of them, strangely, but that might be a blip on the site) from, press info on it all is available from


This has got to be a late April Fool surely? The news that Cure man Robert Smith is collaborating with Ashlee Simpson on a track for her new album?

According to Entertainment Weekly, it's true. They speculate that it's Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz that brought the collaboration about, because he's friends with both Smith and Simpson. He apparently denies it, though, saying: "I doubt I had anything to do with it, 'cause they were friends since she was performing in Chicago. But I definitely only have good things to say about Ash - I think the collaboration could be great".

Also helping Simpson out with her new record are John Legend, Neptune Chad Hugo, Timbaland and Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley.


Fridge - the trio including Four Tet man Kieran Hebden and nu-folker Adem - are to release their first album since 2001's 'Happiness' this summer. 'The Sun' is out on 26 Jun in the US, no European release schedule has been confirmed, however. The tracklisting is as follows:

The Sun
Our Place in This
Drums of Life
Lost Time
Years And Years And Years


Bruce Springsteen is set to release a new live album and DVD which uses material recorded during his three night residency at Dublin's The Point venue last year. The tour was promoting Springsteen's 'We Shall Overcome' album, a tribute to folk singer and political activist Pete Seeger.

Here is the DVD tracklisting:

Atlantic City
Old Dan Tucker
Eyes on the Prize
Jesse James
Further on Up the Road
O Mary Don't You Weep
Erie Canal
If I Should Fall Behind
My Oklahoma Home
Highway Patrolman
Mrs. McGrath
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live
Jacob's Ladder
Long Time Comin
Open All Night
Pay Me My Money Down
Growin' Up
When the Saints Go Marching In
This Little Light of Mine
American Land
Blinded By the Light (Credits)

Bonus Songs:
Love of the Common People
We Shall Overcome


They Might Be Giants have confirmed details of their new album. Entitled 'The Else', the long player is due out on 13 Jul.

Talking about the record, and about working with veteran producers the Dust Brothers, the duo's John Flansburgh told Billboard: "We came up with a couple of ways of working. We got loops from them early in the process, a huge collection of their delightful drum loops. That's how we started a bunch of the tracks. Then they came to New York and helped us re-assess stuff we'd written and demoed on our own. There's a third of the songs which they were not involved with, but we wanted to be of a piece with the rest of the record".


People have been telling me about the existence of Alanis Morissette's slow version of Black Eyed Peas single 'My Humps' for days now, and how I ought to go and have a look at the video on YouTube. I haven't, yet. That's because I'm very, very busy. It was apparently released on 1 Apr, so presumably it was done for April Fools fun, but the video is pretty elaborate thing to have done for a gag. Everyone says it's dead funny, anyway, so if you haven't seen it yet, and are less busy than I, see it here:


Scary black metal troll type Mortiis has announced that an upcoming limited edition double vinyl release of remix album 'Some Kind Of Heroin', out 16 Apr, will feature bonus tracks which will not appear on the CD version. Mortiis says: "I grew up on vinyl records, when CD came along and vinyl was dying away I was gutted - CD still can't stand up to the pure artistic space that is open to you on an LP."

Here's what's on the album, * next to the on-vinyl-only tracks:

Underdog (Zombie Girl Remix)
The Grudge (Gothminister Mix)
Twist The Knife (The Gibbering Mix By Implant)
Broken Skin Feat. Stephan Groth (Septic Wound Mix By Xp8)
The Grudge (Mental Siege Mix)
Gibber (Pig Remix)
Way Too Wicked (Psycoholic Comatose Mix) By The Kovenant
Gibber (Lysergic Club Mix By Velvet Acid Christ)
The Worst In Me (Girls Under Glass Mix)
The Grudge (David Wallace Mix)
The Grudge (The Forgotten Dream By Kubrick Mix)
Broken Skin Feat. Stephan Groth (Funker Vogt Mix)
The Grudge (Emotional Heresy By Kubrick Mix)
Way Too Wicked (Fleshfield Mix)
Decadent & Desperate (Therafuck Remix By Dope Stars)
The Worst In Me (Extraction Mix By In The Nursery)
Decadent & Desperate (Flickin The Bitch Switch Mix)*
The Grudge (Despectus)*
Gibber (Gibbering Idiot)
Way Too Wicked (Absinthium Mix)

Oh, and here are the band's upcoming UK dates with Deathstars:

4 Apr: Islington Academy London
5 Apr: Rock City Nottingham
6 Apr: The Intake Club Mansfield
7 Apr: Rios Bradford
8 Apr: Cathouse Glasgow
9 Apr: Academy 2 Newcastle Upon Tyne
10 Apr: Corporation Sheffield
11 Apr: Voodoo Lounge Dublin
12 Apr: Zodiac Oxford
13 Apr: Academy 2 Liverpool
14 Apr: The Sugarmill Stoke On Trent
15 Apr: Teesside University Middlesbrough


SINGLE REVIEW: The Shakes - I Want A Better Life (Tough Cookie)
Kids, eh? They're just never satisfied. And with the release of new single 'I Want A Better Life' grubby London upstarts The Shakes prove themselves to be yet another spawn of the modern-era's hissy-fitting 'get me the moon on a stick' culture. This foot-stomping, toys-out-of the pram, blast of brazen electro-tinged indie-pop recalls the preening melodies of the long-forgotten Santa Cruz whilst clinging to the jerking pseudo-skank blueprint of Larrikin Love or any other drainpipe adorning next big thing. While it never quite dazzles the heart with originality, it's catchy enough to have you whistling along to its gargantuan booze infused chorus. They might be struggling to achieve personal satisfaction, but with more efforts like this The Shakes could one day find the fulfilment they crave. BHa
Release Date: 2 Apr
Press Contact: Momentum [CP, RP], Incubator [NP], Tough Cookie IH [CR, RR, NR] Gilotti [O]


Switches are inviting fans to vote to decide what goes on the B side to their new single 'Lay Down The Law', out 16 Apr. They're planning to record a cover version of one of the following tracks:

David Bowie - Boys Keep Swinging
Beck - Sexx Laws
Weezer - Buddy Holly
Blur - Boys And Girls
The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes

To vote for the track you'd like to hear them cover, you need to send an email with the title of the song as the subject line to before 10 Apr. Think I'll go for Weezer, myself.

The band have also announced a series of tour dates, presumably to promote their album 'Heart Tuned To DEAD', which is out on 23 Apr. Here is the line up of gigs.

12 Apr: Korova, Liverpool
14 Apr: Underground, Southport
15 Apr: Night & Day, Manchester
16 Apr: Barfly, Birmingham
17 Apr: 100 Club, London
19 Apr: Moles, Bath
20 Apr: Guildhall, Gloucester
21 Apr: Phoenix, Exeter
23 Apr: Charlotte, Leicester
24 Apr: Thekla Social, Bristol
26 Apr: University, Warwick
27 Apr: Priory, Doncaster
28 Apr: Esquires, Bedford
29 Apr: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
30 Apr: University, Newcastle
01 May: G2, Glasgow
02 May: Tunnels, Aberdeen
04 May: Jax Bar, Hartlepool (club night)
05 May: Plug, Sheffield


Well, just when you thought the digital music revolution had stopped people from caring about artwork, here comes Bright Eyes with something crazy. New album 'Cassadaga', out 9 Apr, comes with a 3d sleeve that can only be viewed correctly with some kind of decoder thing that comes with the record, and reveals a variety of images and hidden text written in a variety of languages - meaning that you'll need more than just the decoder to translate it.

Zack Nipper from label Saddle Creek explained to how the cover came about : "The original concept as Conor Oberst and I discussed it was to use a 3D stereogram, a 'magic eye' illusion, for the artwork, so if you stared at it the right way, images of pyramids would appear in 3D. The problem with this was that, especially with CD packaging, the stereogram would have to be very small. Also, there are some people who are not able to view magic eye images - myself included - and they would be losing out".

He continued: "I did some hunting around for other options and found a company based in London who offer a patented process they developed called Focal Decoder that we ended up using. What we liked about this option was that it was very difficult to see anything of the hidden images without the decoder, it allowed a high level of detail in the hidden images and text, and it was a technique that we hadn't seen anywhere before".

So there you go. Nipper adds that the vinyl version is the best, by the way, so if you're into this sort of thing, try and get yourself one of those.


The piano on which John Lennon wrote 'Imagine' is to tour sites where violent events have occurred in an attempt to promote peace. Don't know how the piano feels about this, but George Michael, who owns the instrument, sounds pretty keen. The piano already made an appearance at the infamous grassy knoll in Dallas near to where John F Kennedy was shot, and is next set to be photographed at the site of Martin Luther King's assassination in Memphis back in 1968.

George Michael says: "The selection of the site evokes a deep sense of emotion for everyone. Capturing the image of this special piano on which a song of peace was composed is part of the heartbeat of this project".


The Thelonious Monk Institute Of Jazz is to move its performance classes from their current location in Los Angeles to New Orleans' Loyola University, in an attempt to help regenerate the city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Institute Chairman Herbie Hancock announced the decision, and explained the logic behind it, saying: "New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, and jazz is what made this city the place we know and love".

President Tom Carter added: "We strongly believe that jazz will help the city's re-emergence in the wake of America's worst natural disaster".

The institute was formed in 1986 honouring the legendary Monk, who believed that the best way to learn jazz was from a master of the genre - and it is this belief the organisation attempts to honour, by providing study opportunities to a small number of students each year. Selected over several months, the candidates compete in national and regional auditions for a place on the course. This year's class of seven will live and study in New Orleans for between two and four years, and will also go on tour to classrooms throughout the US.

Monk's son, Thelonious Monk Jr, speaking at the announcement, said: "In the 1940s and 1950s, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and others would gather at our apartment to learn from each other. That's the mission of the institute - to foster the next generation of musicians and help jazz music thrive for years to come".


Elvis Costello and Jools Holland have been confirmed to play at The Indigo Club, which is the mini-venue at the all new look Millennium Dome - or The O2 as us on-brand types like to call it. It's called a 'club' and I describe it as a 'mini-venue', but this place is only really small in comparison to the giant dome in which it is housed, actually it's quite big, holding up to 2350 people. And it's all set to be quite a plush punter friendly space with comfy seats, super-fast bars and a posh bit at the front of the upstairs where VIPs like me (I'm a VIP, right? Surely all this bigging up of the space helps up my VIP status a little?) get to eat and drink in comfort while enjoying the best view in the house. The whole place was a bit of a building site when I went for a look the other week, but it did all sound very exciting, in the way venues can be exciting. Jools Holland is due to open the new venue on 2 Jul, with Costello booked in for 8 Jul. The neighbouring giant arena in the centre of the Dome, sorry, O2, will also open in July - and as far as I'm aware those previously reported Justin Timberlake gigs will still be the first events in there.


More artists are being lined up for that previously reported Ten Years Dead concert being staged in the memory of the late Princess Diana on 1 Jul, though I'm a bit confused because this time yesterday it was being reported Take That and James Blunt had been added to the bill, but now they're saying neither of them have been booked, so whether that means any of the following are being falsely linked to the show also I don't know, but they have all been reported as being involved: Keane, Kanye West, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, James Morrison, Meatloaf and Orson.

Pharrell Williams, Bryan Ferry, Joss Stone, Duran Duran, and Elton John have all been previously announced as being set to appear. The Spice Girls and Dire Straits have also both been reportedly asked to reform for the show, while an invite is reportedly out there for Robbie Williams to appear. Oh, and Simon Le Bon has reportedly invited one of Duran Duran's recent collaborators, Justin Timberlake, to duet with him at the charity concert. All tickets for the event are sold out, of course, and given the sensitivities that surround anything involving Diana, I doubt you'll find any for sale on eBay. Though there's surely some dodgy North London ticket agency touting some somewhere.


The View have cancelled a new round of US tour dates due to continuing problems getting a visa, presumably due to frontman Kyle Falconer's recent drugs conviction. Concerts in locations such as New York, Chicago, West Hollywood, Portland and Seattle have all been axed. Which is a shame for the band, as they were all set to promote debut album 'Hats Off To The Buskers'.

If you'll remember, Falconer's solicitor said at the time that his conviction would make it "next to impossible" for the band to tour the US. It looks like he wasn't wrong.


Lady Sovereign has been forced to cancel some of her upcoming UK dates due to exhaustion. Shows in London, Bristol, Norwich, and Manchester are not affected, but upcoming gigs in Glasgow and Birmingham have been postponed.

Her management say: "Unfortunately Sovereign has to postpone her forthcoming shows at Glasgow King Tuts [April 10] and Birmingham's Academy 2 [April 11]. She is bitterly disappointed as both shows meant a lot to her, but she is suffering from intense exhaustion following 18 months of non-stop touring and promotion. I urge all ticket holders to be patient and understanding and wait for further news on the postponement".


Details are in of the second End Of The Road festival, which takes place at the latter end of the festival calendar, 14-16 Sep, at the Larmer Tree Gardens between Dorset and Wiltshire. And on the bill are the wonderful Super Furry Animals who will be headlining one of the days. Other headliners are tbc, but also on the bill will be all the following: Herman Dune, Howe Gelb (of Giant Sand), The Young Republic, Euros Childs, Broken Family Band, Charlie Parr, Seasick Steve, Viking Moses, Sons of Noel & Adrian, Monkey Swallows the Universe, Darren Hayman, Hush The Many, Sunny Day Sets Fire and David Thomas Broughton. There'll also be song writing workshops, an open mic stage, lots of family aimed events and all sorts of other stuff. Weekend tickets are £95 - more at - press info from


Now, I don't want to you think that because we've been bigging up Nantwich's Acoustic Festival Of Great Britain and now we're covering this new event in Stoke On Trent that I'll cover anything that's happening within a thirty minute drive from my home town, though clearly I will. The Axis Festival is taking place around Stoke On Trent over the May Day weekend, 4-6 May, and features loads of great music, including Guillemots, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and even the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. And for those who like the idea of making music there'll be a load of workshops too. You'll find full info at, or for more info you might want to get in touch with And if anyone is planning a music festival in Congleton, make sure you let me know, right?


Wanting to see McFly play on their Up Close And Personal Tour but completely anchored in London and rarely willing to leave the capital? Well, fear not, because the CMU favourites have added a London date to the tour - hurrah - they'll be playing the Astoria on 14 Apr. You probably think I'm only mentioning this, and the fact the band release new single 'Transylvania'/'Baby's Coming Back' on 7 May, in the hope that it will persuade someone to send me tickets for the Astoria gig, but that would mean I'd have seen McFly play four times in eighteen months, and that would be just too embarrassing, so that's not the reason at all. Tickets can be sent to the usual address.


Gilles Peterson and Simon Goffe have announced the launch of a new "independent A&R-led music supervision company" called Yes Music. If you want to know what an "independent A&R-led music supervision company" does, well, they will help agencies, brands and production companies looking for music to compliment a project or product find said music. See, obvious when you think about it. Needless to say, given its founders' credentials, the company will specialise in world, dance, jazz and urban music, and will also tap into the knowledge and contacts of partners in LA, New York and Tokyo. For more info on the new company contact


Possibly keen to not get too overshadowed by the EMI/Apple DRM announcement earlier this week Napster, whose core business model, the subscription model, relies very much on DRM to exist, delivered an upbeat assessment of their subscriber base and financial performance yesterday, previewing what they plan to formally release during their next quarterly financial review in May. The company say revenues for the quarter should be up on what was originally expected, by about $1.5 million to $28 million, while their subscriber tally is up to 830,000, Napster having incorporated the membership of the now defunct AOL Music Now. Napster are now keen to stress they are much bigger than their main subscription service rivals in the US - Real's Rhapsody - although the Real service hasn't divulged its subscription figures much of late.

On the subscriber boost, Napster boss Chris Gorog is quoted thus: "In mid-March, we successfully integrated over 225,000 AOL Music Now paid subscribers onto the Napster service. We also enjoyed healthy organic growth adding another 40,000 net paid subscribers during the quarter".


National Grid Wireless, one of the two bidders for the second UK-wide digital radio multiplex, has been bought by Australia's Macquarie Bank for a neat £2.5bn. The company say the takeover will not affect the multiplex bid, though it will be interesting to see whether the required Competition Commission enquiry will raise any concerns.

The Competition Commission will be involved because Macquarie already own a company called Arqiva who operate the broadcast transmitters used by ITV and, crucially, the existing national digital radio multiplex, Digital One, a joint venture with GCap Media. NGW operates the transmitters used by the BBC, is a shareholder in Freeview and, of course, hopes to own the other national digital radio multiplex.

Macquarie will look to merge NGW with Arqiva, which might, arguably, put too many digital radio interests in one basket. It will be interesting to see what UK competition officials say about the deal, and whether it will have any impact on the OfCom review of the two bids for the new national digital radio network.

As previously reported, Channel 4 are the other bidders for that network.


A winner of last year's Student Radio Awards has landed a job on BBC 6Music, despite still being a student. Nottingham University student Philippa TJ won the best specialist DJ at last year's BBC supported Student Radio Awards, and she will now take over from Andrew Collins on 6Music's weekly chart show.

Commenting on her new job, Philippa told reporters: "Jumping from University Radio Nottingham to 6 Music whilst still at university is pretty crazy. Being called up to be offered the show was like the Spice Girls reforming; completely unbelievable but bloody exciting".

The BBC's Lesley Douglas, who oversees 6 Music, added: "6 Music has worked closely with the Student Radio Association for the past five years to support the development of new talent and so I'm delighted that one of its rising stars is taking over the Chart Show".


Phone types Vodafone have confirmed that their TBA secret gigs programme will return this summer, complete with full track downloads and music video thingimies on an accompanying website. Or something like that. The first secret gig will take place on 19 Apr in Bristol and feature Amy Winehouse (I think it's the venue that is a secret), with five other secret gigs due to follow over the summer months. Vodafone will also stage another Live Music Awards event in London in September.

Here's what Vodafone Head Of Sponsorship Daragh Persse has to say: "By bringing exclusive Vodafone TBA and Vodafone Live Music Awards content together with full-track downloads, music videos and ringtones, consumers will be able to enjoy the complete Vodafone music experience through one website or on Vodafone Live".


SINGLE REVIEW: Muse - Invincible (Warner/A&E Records)
As someone who's always thought Muse are the best thing to come out of Devon since Cream Teas, no one could be more pleased than me at the continued rise and rise of the trio. They've been playing stadiums for a few years now and it seems as if they've finally been recognised as the phenomenal band they are, recently scooping the NME award for best band. Although Muse excel at being brash and ridiculous, this single showcases their softer side. This isn't as immediate as previous singles from the album 'Black Holes And Revelations', but it follows in their grand tradition of fine ballads such as 'Unintended' and 'Bliss'. Set against a rather slower and restrained sound than usual 'Invincible' is a two lovers against the world type romance ("There's no one like you in the universe") or possibly a call to arms ("Stand up for what you believe"). The song picks up pace midway through for some typically fancy Bellamy guitar work before finishing with a dramatic flourish. In short, this is one of the greatest bands of the moment at the height of their powers. JW
Release date: 2 Apr
Press contact: Warner IH [RP, NP, RR, NR] Upshot Communications [CP, CR]


I can't complain about Mel B copying me, to be fair, because she was quite clearly pregnant long before I was, as she's just given birth to her second baby, a girl, in Los Angeles. Her spokeswoman says: "The baby is completely healthy with a good head of hair. No name has been decided on as yet, and she is purely known as Baby Brown".

It's thought, of course, that the baby is the product of Mel B's former relationship with actor Eddie Murphy, but he, of course, has been a bit ungracious about the whole thing. Asked by a TV interviewer back in December if he was excited about Scary's pregnancy, he replied: "Now you're being presumptuous because we're not together any more, and I don't know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test. You shouldn't jump to conclusions, sir".

Brown subsequently issued a statement saying that she was "upset and distressed" by what he'd said, adding: "I have no idea why anybody would want to conduct themselves in this kind of manner about such a personal matter in such a public way".

Time, and a paternity test, will tell.


Heather Mills says she's not a gold digger. Yawn. I'm bored of her. Can't she just shoosh? The former Mrs Macca told E!: "All I did was to fall in love with someone madly, and I'm constantly being vilified in the press for it. People label me a gold digger and, if I was, I would've been a very wealthy woman when I met Paul, and that wasn't the case at all".

Mills is, of course, appearing on that Dancing With The Stars programme in the US, and she explains that she'll shortly be commuting back to the UK to be with her daughter: "Starting in a few weeks, I will start flying back and forth to England every week to be with my daughter as she goes back to school. My husband and I share 50/50 custody because I've always felt the father is just as important as the mother".


Keith Richards has claimed in an interview with NME that he's snorted cocaine cut with his dead father's ashes. He's quoted as saying: "The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father. He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared. It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive".

Nice. In the same interview, he put his not having died at a young age due to rock n roll excess down to luck, and seems to be warning the current generation not to be like him. "I did it because that was the way I did it. Now people think it's a way of life. I've no pretensions about immortality. I'm the same as everyone ... just kind of lucky. I was No. 1 on the `who's likely to die' list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list".


Jarvis Cocker has been commenting on Sheffield bands. He quite likes Arctic Monkeys, apparently, but not The Long Blondes or Little Man Tate. Which I find somewhat surprising. Cocker's from Sheffield, by the way, just in case you forgot that.

Asked about his hometown's current spate of music success stories, Cocker told Pitchfork: "I'm glad that Sheffield's got some attention. I mean just because somebody's in Sheffield doesn't mean it's good. I think the Arctic Monkeys are pretty good, I heard the new track by them the other day, which I liked".

He continued: "The Long Blondes, I can't listen to more than about three songs. They're nice people, but there's just something about the frequency of their voice. In a way it reminds me of Barbara Streisand. You know how Barbara Streisand obviously has technically got a great voice, but she's a master of the held note, so you've got a note that will last about eight seconds, and it fucking drives me insane. And it makes you feel out of breath as well. And somehow Kate [Jackson, singer] seems a little bit like that. There are some good songs on that record, but I can't listen to the whole album".

And finally, he doesn't mince his words on Little Man Tate: "There's a group called Little Man Tate, who are an absolute pile of shit."


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