CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 29th June
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Spice Girls confirm reunion
- Terra Firma extend EMI group takeover offer
- Retailers hit back at Prince covermount
- Chow Chow singer dies
- Brakes man searching for lost guitar
- Dimaio's still sure: Spector trial update
- Streisand gets medal in France
- Bloom festival announces return
- Muddy kisses news
- Snow Patrol man set for Xfm residency
- Majors back venture to develop Russian digital music market
- HMV confirm profits halved last year
- Purnell becomes culture minister
- Lily Allen questioned over alleged assault
- Reverend chap not keen on Killers

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TOP BIT: JOIN THE TEAM>>
Another reminder, me thinks, that we are currently recruiting new CMU correspondents for the next academic year. But what, I hear you say, is a CMU college correspondent? Well, let me explain. CMU has long utilised the college music community as a way of keeping in touch with what is happening in the grass roots music world in towns and cities all over the country. Our correspondents are our primary contacts in each college town.

The positions are voluntary, but offer media students, or anyone involved in their student media, a great chance to pick up new media skills, to make new contacts in the music world, and to get a bigger platform for their work. Every correspondent is also a member of the CMU review team - providing reviews for this here CMU Daily - so being a correspondent also gives you access to a whole load of great new music.

If you are interested in becoming a college correspondent for the next academic year, September 2007 to May 2008, then go to the URL below, fill out an application form, email it back, and we'll be in touch.

http://www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk/cmu

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JOBS N STUFF>>

PRESS OFFICER/ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - MATERIAL
Material is seeking a Press Officer/Account Executive to work on a leading Northern Irish contemporary music event. The successful candidate will be highly efficient and organised with strong writing skills, good knowledge of music, ability to work to short deadlines and a proven ability of working on live music and/or brand projects. Knowledge of Northern Irish media also beneficial. Computer literacy, including confidence with Microsoft Office is essential. The role is temporary, from July to September, and is based in Belfast. Please send a CV with covering letter to lauras@materialmc.co.uk by Tuesday 3rd July.

SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
London based boutique PR agency specialising in music, events and youth lifestyle is looking for an experienced PR to work on exciting branded music campaigns. You will need to have: excellent contacts in music, consumer and national newspapers; strong presentation skills and the ability to create stunning PowerPoint presentations/excel documents; great organisational skills and time keeping; and the confidence to deal with corporate clients. We are a small team so it is important that you're motivated and enthusiastic. Travel is also part of the job - you will need to be attend evening gigs and festivals. Competitive salary. Please send CVs and examples of written work and PowerPoint to Rhiannon@spring-pr.com

Advertise your vacancies in the CMU Daily for just £80 for five days. To book your space email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Soil And Pimp then Jazzanova at Jazz Cafe
The squeeze on the guest list at the cafe is still unfortunately like a boa, but they still keep on programming really good acts, and I may have to stump up the readies to get into this one. S and P are a highly energetic Japanese jazz band, comprised of six musicians - Shacho (agitator, spirit), Tabu zombie (trumpet), Motoharu (sax), Josei (piano), Akita Goldman (bass) and Midoryn (drums). It's manic, and full in-your-face freestyle jazz, well performed and without many constraints. Then after that the amazing collective that is Jazzanova - who are probably some of the most exciting electronic artists of recent times. These Germans know how to rock it electronic soul style, with beats to match. Another stonking night.

Fri 29th June, Jazz Cafe, 5 The Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7PG, doors 7pm for S and P, then 11pm till 2am for Jazzanova, £17.50 live acts, then £12 for Jazzanova, in advance, more info at
http://www.jazzcafe.co.uk

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Milk N 2 Sugars at The End
Following their 12th Birthday, and the launch of their 2nd Ibiza season at El Divino, the crew return to the The End for another road blocked residency. Stepping up to the decks will be Big Love front man and UK chart sensation Seamus Haji, with budding electro-house superstar Outwork, producer of 2006's underground crossover hit 'Yeah Yeah' by Bodyrox. Joining these special guests will be all three MN2S residents: the wicked, wicked Joey Negro, CJ Mackintosh and The Jinks duo will all be on hand in the lounge, ensuring MN2S's latest London party will be quality.

Friday 29 June, The End, 18 West Central Street, London, WC1A 1JJ, 10pm -6am, £12 before 11:00pm / £12 in advance / £15 at the door. Info from Jo at Phuture Trax or http://www.mn2s.com

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SPICE GIRLS CONFIRM REUNION
Following much speculation, the Spice Girls yesterday confirmed that they will reform to undertake a world tour in December and January of next year, marking their first live performances as a five piece since Geri Halliwell quit the band back in May 1998. They've announced eleven dates, but no venues as yet. There's only one UK gig, set to take place in London.

Geri Halliwell says of the reunion: "I think for us it was about celebrating the past, enjoying each other and it's about our fans. It was the right time".

The famously anti-reunion Mel C, asked why she had agreed to the venture, told reporters: "A girl is allowed to change her mind and also this is something that we have only seriously started this year really. I think really all of us have had our fears and doubts but we feel that the time is right." The singer also said that the band would have liked to have played at the Diana memorial gig this weekend but that the timing was impossible - presumably because Emma Bunton is presently somewhat heavily pregnant.

The tour has been put together, of course, by the band's former manager Simon Fuller. Dates and locations are as follows:

7 Dec: Los Angeles
8 Dec: Las Vegas
11 Dec: New York
15 Dec: London
20 Dec: Cologne
23 Dec: Madrid
10 Jan: Beijing
12 Jan: Hong Kong
17 Jan: Sydney
20 Jan: Cape Town
24 Jan: Buenos Aires

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TERRA FIRMA EXTEND EMI GROUP TAKEOVER OFFER
Private equity outfit Terra Firma yesterday said it was extending the deadline it set for the owners of the EMI Group to accept its £2.4 billion takeover offer. The prospective buyer had originally said it wanted to have secured ownership of the UK based major by yesterday, but has now extended its offer until 4 Jul.

By 1pm yesterday Terra Firma had gained acceptances from the owners of about 3.5% of the Group's overall shares. Although this sounds like a small amount, it is more than the minimum 2% that the private equity firm had said they would need to have in place in order to continue pursuing their takeover bid, and is not surprisingly low given that the large institutional shareholders will withhold their support to any takeover offer until the very last minute in a hope one or more rival offers will push up the share price.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Terra Firma said yesterday: "EMI shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer are urged to do so as soon as possible and in any event by July 4".

As previously reported, there had been speculation that a rival offer from Warner Music would be made just as Terra Firma's deadline closed. No offer came yesterday. Whether the deadline extension means Warner will now make their offer next week remains to be seen. Some commentators continue to suggest Warner will not bid at this time, instead looking to buy out Terra Firma in a one deal takeover at a later date.

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RETAILERS HIT BACK AT PRINCE COVERMOUNT
Ah, more covermount rage for you. Actually, quite a lot of rage this time. And the raging is against the Mail On Sunday again who, as previously reported, recently came under some criticism from music retailers and the artist community after Mike Oldfield criticised EMI for letting the paper give away full copies of his classic album 'Tubular Bells'.

The latest outrage follows an announcement that the new Prince album will be launched in the UK as a free covermount via the Sunday newspaper. This will mean that readers of the paper will be able to get a version of the album for free with the paper ahead of the long player's official retail release on 24 Jul.

The Mail On Sunday promotion has been arranged directly with Prince's management, and the paper's Managing Director, Stephen Miron, told reporters yesterday that the covermount deal had come about because Prince "believes in spreading the music he produces to as many people as possible", adding that "This is the biggest innovation in newspaper promotions in recent times".

However, UK music retailers, already suffering from a decline in CD sales, have hit out at a move which will take a large portion of the distribution of one of the year's biggest album releases away from the traditional retail sector. Such is the opposition of the retailers that SonyBMG have pulled out of a deal with Prince to distribute the CD in the UK, seemingly to appease the angry retailers.

Commenting on the promotion, the co-chairman of the UK's Entertainment Retailer Association, Paul Quirk, said: "It would be an insult to all those record stores who have supported Prince throughout his career. It would be yet another example of the damaging covermount culture which is destroying any perception of value around recorded music. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince should know that with behaviour like this he will soon be the Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores. And I say that to all the other artists who may be tempted to dally with the Mail on Sunday".

HMV chief Simon Fox meanwhile said he thought the Prince proposals were "absolutely nuts", adding: "I can't believe the music industry would do it to itself. I simply can't believe it would happen, it would be absolute madness".

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CHOW CHOW SINGER DIES
Thomas Iain Smith, singer with the band Chow Chow has died from a suspected heart attack following a party on Sunday. Born in Wales in 1980, Smith - known to those close to him as Iain - subsequently relocated to Canada with his family, before moving to London in 2002 to pursue a career in music. His band had achieved a degree of success in the last year, signing a record deal and appearing at Wireless recently. A mini-album, 'Colours And Lines' was due on 30 Jul.

Tributes to the singer can be read at http://www.chowchowband.com/condolences.php.

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BRAKES MAN SEARCHING FOR LOST GUITAR
Brakes frontman Eamon Hamilton has put out a call to anyone who was at Glastonbury for information about the whereabouts of his Gewa Tennessee Bluesbird guitar, which he lost on the Sunday morning of the festival somewhere outside the Leftfield tent. The instrument, which was in a black case and had a 'Bronze Ace' wooden mic pick up with the 'Bronze' wording rubbed off, is only worth £120 but is of great sentimental value.

Hamilton is threatening to collect it himself and play a gig in your front room, if you give up its whereabouts. Yes, I know one of you miscreants has it. Contact Rough Trade on 020 8960 9888 or send an email to brakes@brakesbrakesbrakes.com.

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DIMAIO'S STILL SURE: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
So, that Dr Vincent DiMaio, a forensics expert type for the defence, was still in the witness stand yesterday as the ongoing Phil Spector murder trial continued. As previously reported, DiMaio claims that, going by the evidence, and general forensic statistics, it is "99%" likely that Lana Clarkson shot herself at Spector's home back in 2003, which is what the producer himself has always claimed, of course. However, the prosecution, keen to prove that Spector shot Clarkson, are trying to show that DiMaio has relied too heavily on general statistics and not enough on the specific forensic evidence of this case. Prosecutor Alan Jackson continued in that vein yesterday, accusing DiMaio of "cherrypicking" and "manipulating" the facts to suit the needs of the defence.

In response to accusatory questioning from Jackson, DiMaio stood his ground, and threw further reasons into the mix as to why the prosecution's claims of homicide are unlikely - in particular questioning whether Spector would be physically capable of attacking Clarkson. "She was 25 years younger, seven to nine inches taller [than him]", the forensic guy told the court, referring to the former actress. "She outweighed him by 25 pounds and was in better health than he was. ... Her reflexes would have been greater. Her strength greater. It would be more likely for her to have shot him than for him to have shot her". To that Jackson pointed out that DiMaio himself had referenced that Clarkson had "residual limitations" from having broken both her wrists more than a year before her death, adding: "So you're manipulating the facts". But DiMaio was having none of it, responding: "No sir, you're manipulating what I said. I said when you consider all of these things together it's more likely for her to have killed him because of the physical disparity".

All that said, DiMaio added that it was less the physical facts, or the previously reported claims Clarkson was depressed prior to her death, that made him conclude the actress' death was suicide. That conclusion, he said, was reached because of the forensic evidence - the blood splatter, the gunshot residue and the nature of Clarkson's wound in her mouth. He summed up: "In my opinion, the physical evidence is she had the weapon. She's the one who fired the gun. He didn't have the gun. She fired it and probably didn't think of the consequences. It was a spontaneous reaction of some sort. Stupid. Based on alcohol. If she'd thought about it, she would have probably put it down".

DiMaio is, of course, just one of a number of forensic experts expected to be called by the defence. It remains to be seen what Jackson makes of the other experts - and especially upcoming witness Dr Henry Lee, who is accused of removing a bit of evidence from the crime scene.

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STREISAND GETS MEDAL IN FRANCE
Barbra Streisand performed her first concert in France this week, and was awarded with an honorary medal of the Legion Of Honour by new president Nicolas Sarkozy. He told the singer "You are the America that we love. Women like you ... do a lot to bring our two peoples together."

It's the first time he's bestowed the honour, ordinarily reserved for French citizens but sometimes awarded in an honorary capacity to foreigners. Streisand told Sarkozy that he reminded her of former US presidents Bill Clinton and John F Kennedy, because of the way that they "appreciated art, and recognised the importance of the arts in the world".

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BLOOM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES RETURN
Best New UK festival nominee Bloom has announced that it'll be back this year, taking place at Dyrham Park in Gloucestershire from 10 - 12 Aug. Confirmed live acts for the boutique event include Dub Pistols, The Earlies, Mr Hudson and The Library, Border Crossing and Coldcut, whilst DJs on the line-up include Justin Robertson, Radioslave, Nathan Detroit & Sam Watts, Bugz in the Attic, The Nextmen, Chew the Fat! featuring Paul Arnold, Merka, Evil 9 and Tayo.

Organiser Olivia Chapman says this: "We wanted to offer a sophisticated alternative to the overly commercial, over-crowded summer festivals. Bloom offers an intimate, higher-end, family friendly experience".

More info and line-up details at http://www.bloomfestival.com and at http://www.myspace.com/bloomfestivaluk

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MUDDY KISSES NEWS
Perhaps you were there, when Suggs invited thousands of people to help attempt to break a kissing world record at Glastonbury last week? According to reports, it's thought that more than 13,000 people took part in the group snog, organised by Match.com, that took place in the Lost Vagueness field between performances from Madness and Fat Boy Slim. Match.com's Hannah Scott says this: "It was a fantastic and surreal experience. Across the field, couples were in fancy dress, up to their knees in mud and embracing the person next to them."

Final stats, statements and film and photographic evidence has been submitted to Guinness this week and Scott is hopeful that the attempt was successful, despite the mud. "We're hoping that final counts will give us the couples required to break the record but the conditions were extreme," she says. "People were getting stuck in mud everywhere with participants reporting that it took them an hour or more to walk the half mile from the Pyramid stage to the Lost Vagueness field."

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SNOW PATROL MAN SET FOR XFM RESIDENCY
Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody is the latest music c'leb to take on a guest residency at Xfm, following the likes of Damon Albarn and Kaiser Chiefs in presenting the Sunday night show on the station for a set period. Lightbody, who will be on air for five weeks in July, says: "This Sunday I begin a weekly residency on Xfm during the month of July. To be honest I feel like the first Russian cosmonaut. Nope, not Yuri Gagarin, I mean the wee dog, Laika. So many controls, buttons, levers and flashing lights and next to no idea what any of them do or indeed why I'm here. I'll bring along my favourite records of the last while and some new stuff I've just been given by folk at the bus stop and endeavour to steer this thing safely back to earth. No promises though."

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MAJORS BACK VENTURE TO DEVELOP RUSSIAN DIGITAL MUSIC MARKET
Warner Music and SonyBMG are both involved in a new venture called Digital Access which is aiming to develop the online and mobile music markets in the former Soviet Union. The Moscow based venture, which also involves groups like Access Industries, Soyuz and Nikitin Records, hopes to build a number of legitimate web and mobile based music and download services in Russia and the eleven former Soviet Union countries that make up the Commonwealth of Independent States. Presumably they hope to provide an alternative to the main illegal sources of music that have emerged in those countries, including services like the infamous allofmp3.com, which claims to be legal but which have been widely criticised by the music industry for operating without proper licences.

Commenting on the new venture, Lincoln Benet of Access Industries told reporters this week: "We look forward to accelerating the digital revolution in Russia and CIS with our music partners, providing the wholesale platform of choice for mobile and digital providers".

Explaining their support for the venture, Warner Music International chairman Patrick Vein added: "This is a strategic investment that we believe will play a pivotal role in unlocking the potential of the dynamic Russian music market. By bringing together first-class global and local content, we are creating a one-stop shop for those DSPs and mobile operators who value excellence, and ease of interface".

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HMV CONFIRM PROFITS HALVED LAST YEAR
Profits at music and book retailer HMV have more than halved as the firm continues to fight its much reported fight against the ever competitive supermarkets and online retailers. The retail group confirmed yesterday that it made pre-tax profits in the year up to 28 Apr of £48.1 million, down from £98.2 million a year ago, and this despite a rise in overall sales. Of course HMV have made no secret about their financial struggles - they announced a new strategy to meet the new challenges in March - but the year end figures do confirm just how big a challenge they are facing. No wonder they got a little pissed when Prince decided to give his new album away.

Commenting on the figures, HMV CEO Simon Fox said: "Our markets are changing profoundly. Entertainment is being generated and consumed in entirely different ways putting pressure on traditional retail space and traffic". Looking forward, he stressed the group was looking into ways to "reduce our dependence" on physical CD sales.

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PURNELL BECOMES CULTURE MINISTER
As you may have seen, in among all his new Cabinet appointments, new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has made James Purnell the Secretary of State for Culture, Media And Sport - the minister type who has responsibility for all things music biz. On the off chance you didn't see, we thought you might want to know.

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LILY ALLEN QUESTIONED OVER ALLEGED ASSAULT
According to reports, Lily Allen attended a police station in central London yesterday to be questioned in relation to that previously reported alleged assault on a male photographer earlier this year. The singer was bailed to return in July over the incident, which took place in Soho in March.

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REVEREND CHAP NOT KEEN ON KILLERS
Clearly wishing to be the latest in Brandon Flowers' long history of sparring partners, Reverend And The Makers chap Jon McLure expressed some disdain for The Killers during the course of a Gigwise webchat this week. Asked what he'd enjoyed at the recent Glastonbury festival, he responded: "It's all about the smaller bands. You're not going to change your life stuck in front of the pyramid stage watching the bleeding Killers are you?"

Referring to the band as "intrinsically evil", he continued: "The Killers are corporate whores playing a marketing game with the unsuspecting masses. The ruthlessly efficient mainstream shall prevail with The Killers as soundtrack."

So that's them told.

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