CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 22nd January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Pinnacle goes independent after management buy out
- Warner buy 679
- Skinner gives his label a send off
- Hucknall makes up with Warner over allowing Simply Red re-releases
- Blige says nice things about Amy
- Britney's restraining order reports denied
- Doherty gets caution over photographer fracas
- Patrick Walden on stuff
- Bobby Brown facing drugs charges
- Wyclef says Jacko owes him money
- Andy Palacio dies
- Glitter in hospital
- Warner in advanced talks regarding Stones back catalogue
- Williams works with Blockhead
- Supergrass album stuff
- U2 on their 3D movie
- Portishead tour
- Gay For Johnny Depp tour
- Lovvers tour
- Good Charlotte dates
- ATP vs Pitchfork line up expands
- Together is two
- Album Review: Malcolm Middleton - Sleight Of Heart
- EMI sign up to covermounts galore
- MTV announce new deal with VPL
- Hands on his digital aims
- Warner shareholder resigns from board
- Mama Group post profits
- Big Life announce Trinity Street deal
- Galaxy pulls digital only service
- Virgin Radio sale back on the agenda
- Annie Mac takes over weekend afternoons on R1
- Gallows banned from Disneyland

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TOP BIT RECOMMENDED
OK, so another reminder to get this in your diaries, the next edition of the very fine, very CMU Recommended Twisted Licks.

The February edition of this brilliant night takes place at the 229 venue on Great Portland Street, London on Friday 1 Feb. And this time we have Blood Red Shoes heading the live bill, supported by Lovvers and Davey La plus DJ action from that Slim Jim fella. A brilliant line up.

Tickets are £6 before 10pm, £8 after - or £6 all night for students. For full info check http://www.myspace.com/twistedlicks, unless you're a press type, in which case get directly in touch with Leyline for the lowdown.

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JOBS N STUFF

SPRING PR - SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
An excellent opportunity is now available for a Senior Account Executive with a colourful boutique PR agency in London who specialise in music, art and youth lifestyle. The successful candidate will be dynamic, enthusiastic, creative and dedicated with great organisational skills. They will be able to work to deadlines, be passionate about music, have excellent communication skills and at least 2 years PR experience preferably within music media. This vacancy will be as part of our account team looking after high profile clients in music, festivals and lifestyle brands. The successful candidate would be responsible for reporting to clients, liaising with media, attending gigs/festivals, admin support and assisting with both strategy development and implementation. The position would also involve some international and national travel so a valid passport would also be required. Please email your CV with a covering letter to Liana@spring-pr.com no later than Wednesday 13th February.

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SNAP OF THE DAY: MAGIK MARKERS
In Magik Markers the US provides a wonderful if not entirely necessary answer to UK blues rockers The Duke Spirit, who have unfortunately never taken off despite critical acclaim and blog-love. Whether the same fate awaits these guys remains to be seen, but they do have two major assets on their side in the sultry, feedback fuelled rumbler 'Taste' and, from a different perspective, influential music website Pitchfork, who included their single in its 'Tracks Of The Year 07' list. Fans of PJ Harvey and her ilk will approve.

http://www.myspace.com/theemagikmarquers

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PINNACLE GOES INDEPENDENT AFTER MANAGEMENT BUY OUT
Independent music distributor Pinnacle has itself become independent again after its owners, Bertelsmann's Arvato Services, announced it had agreed to a management buyout. The deal will see the Sidcup based entertainment distributor become its own independent concern again, led by Chairman Sean Sullivan and Finance Director Andy Leonard-Myers. Specifics of the deal have not been revealed.

Pinnacle has a long history in music distribution, but hit the rocks in 1984 when it went into liquidation. Steve Mason, founder of record exporter Windsong Exports, bought the company and transformed it into a leading indie distributor in the UK market, aided by its relationship with Pete Waterman's PWL label just as Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and all that lot were at their peak.

Then independent record company Zomba bought a majority stake in Windsong International, the company that in turn owned Windsong Exports and Pinnacle Distribution, in 1996. When Zomba was bought by BMG it came into the ownership of Bertelsmann who, rather than keeping it within the BMG division (the recorded music part of which is now, of course, half of SonyBMG), moved it into their media services business Arvato. Mason retired from the company in 2004.

Among the 400 indie labels currently distributed by Pinnacle are Anti/Epitath, Fierce Panda, Cooking Vinyl, One Little Indian, New West, Putumayo and Rykodisk.

Confirming the management buy out, Sullivan said in a statement yesterday: "The team at Windsong/Pinnacle has worked hard to build and retain its unique position in the marketplace handling an enormous range of music, DVD and games. We are excited at the prospect of returning to independence and operating a business that is nimble enough to respond to increasingly complex market conditions and client needs".

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WARNER BUY 679
It gets confusing when majors have ongoing distribution and marketing relationships with independent labels, because it's not always clear whether the major has an actual stake in the indie (or, in deed, total ownership of it), or whether it is one of those 'first dibs on the bankable signings' relationships.

Either way, I can confirm that 679 Recordings - home to The Streets, The Futureheads, Plan B and Kano - despite its long-standing relationship with Warner Music, still had independent ownership. I know this because yesterday Warner confirmed it had just taken complete ownership of the label after buying out the indie's other shareholders.

The deal will see 679 become a wholly owned imprint of Warner's Atlantic Records division. The indie's founder, Nick Worthington, will retain his position of MD, and will report to Warner Music Europe chief John Reid and Atlantic UK President Max Lousada. The label will move into Atlantic's offices in Kensington.

The move will also see the label sort of change its name, from 679 Recordings to the slightly incomprehensible 'sixsevenine'. The 'Recordings' bit has been dropped to show that the imprint, like every other record label, is looking to forge artist relationships beyond traditional record releases (and, in deed, already has done with Cut Off Your Hands and The Rifles). The numbers will now be written out in words so that the imprint's employees get the thrill of saying "just one n" forty-three times a day.

Confirming the deal, Worthington told reporters: "I am very excited about sixsevenine joining the Atlantic UK family. Atlantic UK places the artist at the heart of everything it does, taking a highly innovative approach to the development of its acts' careers as well as the marketing and distribution of its content. As such, our goals are very much aligned. We felt the time was right to build on our existing successes and take our alliance with Warner Music UK to a new level".

Reid added: "This is an important investment for Warner Music UK. sixsevenine's track record in finding and nurturing up-and-coming talent is extremely impressive. Nick and the team are experienced, passionate advocates for the expansion of our artist services, making them highly valuable additions to Atlantic UK and Warner Music UK".

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SKINNER GIVES HIS LABEL A SEND OFF
Talking of record labels with associations with Mike Skinner, you know how we reported that The Streets man had closed down his own record label venture, The Beats, after declaring "the traditional record label is dead"? Well, he has formally killed off the label by setting light to it. And you can see the label's final send off on YouTube:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=U7k558HjUyU

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HUCKNALL MAKES UP WITH WARNER OVER ALLOWING SIMPLY RED RE-RELEASES
And talking of Warner Music, that Mick Hucknall fella has declared a truce with the major after reaching a deal over the Simply Red back catalogue.

As we've surely previously reported, Hucknall fell out with Warner big time in 2000 when they released a Simply Red retrospective album very much against his wishes. In response he set up his own indie label, simplyred.com, and released his own new material, while refusing to work with the major on any further back catalogue projects.

But eight years on a deal has been reached between Hucknall's manager Ian Grenfell and the major which will see the entire Simply Red catalogue re-released via Warner's Rhino division. The deal will also see Hucknall's band's music be officially available in digital for the first time.

Commenting on the new deal, Music Week quote Grenfell thus: "We realised how ridiculous it was that Mick wasn't connected to his catalogue. I think he was slightly in denial about his catalogue. He still played the songs live because he knows what his audience want, but when I talked to him about this deal it was a real easy conversation."

The first re-release will be a Collector's Edition of 'Stars', which will released on 25 Feb as a 3 disc box set and a digital bundle. A special iTunes bundle with extra exclusive content will also be available.

Confirming that release, Rhino VP Dan Chalmers told CMU: "We're delighted to have reached this agreement with Simply Red, who are one of our most successful and prolific recording artists. We look forward to working closely with Mick Hucknall to reintroduce Simply Red's incredible body of work to both new and existing fans. We have a wealth of content with which to create beautifully-packaged box sets and new digital experiences, beginning with the much anticipated Collector's Edition of 'Stars'".

Hucknall himself added: "Having reached a positive solution, it's great to be back within the Warner creative engine and to be working as a team on the Simply Red catalogue".

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BLIGE SAYS NICE THINGS ABOUT AMY
Amy Winehouse is back in the news this morning because the Sun has recently filmed footage of her on a big drugs binge, mixing some crack with garden variety cocaine, ecstasy and valium. Quite a party.

But let's go with a positive Amy story shall we? Mary J Blige has said some really nice things about her in a new interview in, er, Interview magazine. Talking to Stevie Nicks, Blige said: "Someone like Amy Winehouse is so important to the music business right now. It's very painful [to watch her struggle with drug addiction]. I hope she makes it".

On a more general note, she continued: "I think [the music industry] kind of got lost and we ended up in a drought for a while, but I see it making a turn, so instead of music being just synthetic, we'll see it going back to actual instruments. That's what I'm hoping for anyway, because that's the kind of music I'm making".

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BRITNEY'S RESTRAINING ORDER REPORTS DENIED
Okay, so, there were these reports that Britney Spears had filed a restraining order against her short lived paparazzi boyfriend Adnan Ghalib, after she allegedly ditched him at the weekend, accusing him of using her to sell photos to his agency, Finalpixx. When questioned, however, the LA Sheriff's department say that no such restraining order has been issued

Ghalib himself also says there's been no restraining order, and, he adds, no ditching either. In a statement he said: "All I can say is that I have not been in contact with Britney since early Friday morning. The reason being, that I have has to attend a family funeral in Santa Barbara. My phone has been off during this time out of respect for my family. I am only now becoming aware of what is being said. I hope to be back home in Los Angeles soon and to be in contact with Miss Spears".

So this is effectively a story about the fact that there's no story. Not sure why I bothered.

In fact, let's do this Britney story instead. It's quite big news. Spears actually showed up for a legal meeting relating to her custody battle with Kevin Federline. Yes, she showed up. Told you it was big. According to TMZ.com and People.com, Spears drove herself to the offices of Federline's lawyer Mark Vincent Kaplan to make a deposition - testimony under oath - in relation to the ongoing custody battle. As previously reported, Spears lost all her visitation rights to see her two children after that stand off with police when she refused to hand the boys back after one such visit. The singer's visitation rights are due to be reconsidered in court on 19 Feb.

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DOHERTY GETS CAUTION OVER PHOTOGRAPHER FRACAS
To the pop police station, and Pete Doherty has received a caution for criminal damage in relation to that previously reported incident in Somerset last August when the Babyshambler allegedly chased photographer Cath Mead into a shop and assaulted her camera after she had taken photos of him and his then girlfriend Irina Lazareanu. Mead was not seriously injured from the tussle, but her camera was a bit worse for wear. Having been given the caution no further action will now be taken in relation to the incident. A spokesman for Avon And Somerset Police told reporters: "He did report to Yeovil police station. A decision was taken that no further action would be taken after the assault. He was given a caution for the criminal damage to the camera".

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PATRICK WALDEN ON STUFF
Talking of Babyshambles, former Babyshambler Patrick Walden has been talking to the NME about his time in the band, and his reason for quitting shortly after the release of the band's debut long player 'Down In Albion' in 2005.

Walden recalls: "The band had become a circus. There were so many snakes - we'd be in the studio and there'd be people taking pictures of Kate Moss doing coke".

Asked about those previously reported unfulfilled expectations that Patrick would rejoin the band for some songs at a recent Manchester gig, Walden - who has kicked the drug addiction he shared with Doherty in the early days of Babyshambles - continued: "I had gone to Windsor to rehearse the night before. There were drugs about, and it was supposed to be a drug-free tour. I wasn't happy".

Walden appears in this week's NME mainly to promote his new band Big Dave, which he has formed with Acoustic Ladyland's Seb Rochford and Ruth Goller. On the new venture he says: "The Big Dave sound is melodic and hard - there's elements of Sonic Youth and Nirvana. We've got songs better than 'Fuck Forever' and 'Pipedown'. We're going to record an EP by mid-February".

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BOBBY BROWN FACING DRUGS CHARGES
Bobby Brown is reportedly to face drug possession charges following an incident which took place in Massachusetts last month. The R&B singer was arrested when police attended a disturbance at the Holiday Inn in Brockton, and discovered Brown to be in possession of cocaine. He attempted to convince the state troopers to use discretion and not charge him, but to no avail; the singer is due to appear at Brockton District Court on 19 Feb to determine whether or not he will be prosecuted.

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WYCLEF SAYS JACKO OWES HIM MONEY
Wyclef Jean claims that Michael Jackson owes him quite a bit of cash, according to The Sun. The tabloid says that the pop star still owes him for production work he did on recording sessions ten years ago. The former Fugee says: "After Mike did 'Blood On The Dancefloor' I went into the studio with him. We did a couple of sessions. When I'm in the studio I'm very specific. I'm very tough in the studio. It was a long time ago now, but I still haven't been paid. Mike knows the money he owes me. I just wish he'd get in touch".

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ANDY PALACIO DIES
Punta musician Andy Palacio has died at the age of 47 after suffering a stroke, heart attack and respiratory failure.

Born and raised in a coastal village in Belize, Palacio became something of a champion for his home country's culture, so much so he was appointed as a head of Belize's National Institute Of Culture And History. He was particularly known for writing songs in Garífuna, the language of the Garínagu people, who live in Belize and other Caribbean countries. However, he wrote in other languages too, including English, which helped him pick up a worldwide fanbase.

The first musician from Belize to have a video played on international TV networks, Palacio was a recipient of numerous nominations, and the award for Best New Artist at the Caribbean Music Awards in 1991. He released five albums, his final one, 'Watina', was released in March last year to critical acclaim, and was featured as one of The Guardian's 'Top 1000 Albums to Listen to Before You Die'.

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GLITTER IN HOSPITAL
According to a Vietnamese doctor, disgraced former glam-rocker Gary Glitter was hospitalised at the start of this month after suffering from diarrhoea and an irregular heartbeat, but is apparently now well again. Glitter is, of course, imprisoned in Vietnam where he was convicted of molesting two young girls back in March 2006 and handed a three year gaol sentence. As previously reported, his stint was reduced by three months last year, due to an annual prisoner amnesty, and the singer, real name Paul Gadd, will be released in August 2008.

The man who treated Glitter, Doctor Nguyen Thai Hoa, confirmed that he'd seen Glitter at a prisoner's clinic on 4 Jan, and kept him in because of a slow heartbeat, but says that his patient is now fully recovered. "He is fine now", he said, "every morning he smiles and says good morning to me when I see him".

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WARNER IN ADVANCED TALKS REGARDING STONES BACK CATALOGUE
Back to Warner, and there were reports in this weekend's Observer that the major is in "advanced talks" to acquire the Rolling Stones catalogue. As previously reported, EMI currently manage the Stones catalogue post-1971, but that deal runs out later this year and the band are at liberty to take their music elsewhere. It was thought that they may opt for Universal, who are about to release the soundtrack to the new Stones documentary movie 'Shine A Light', and who own the Stones pre-1971 catalogue. But the Observer article suggests Warner is the band's preferred partner, although it admits both Universal and SonyBMG are interested. It is unclear if the Stones are considering renewing their agreement with EMI at all and, if not, whether that has anything to do with new boss Guy Hands' cost cutting plans.

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WILLIAMS WORKS WITH BLOCKHEAD
Robbie Williams is working on new material with The Blockheads' Chaz Jankel. The musician says that he's been into Robbie's home studio in LA to write material for the follow up to 2005's 'Rudebox', which, as you all know, was not, repeat, not, a flop.

Jankel says: "Working with Robbie is great - it's extraordinary being part of this songwriting team. Kelvin and Danny of Sound 5 are bringing a very sharp yet witty contribution to the affair. Robbie is on top form and the atmosphere is totally conducive to writing great music".

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SUPERGRASS ALBUM STUFF
Supergrass have announced that their sixth album, 'Diamond Hoo Ha', will be released on 24 Mar. Here's the tracklisting:

Diamond Hoo Ha Man
Bad Blood
Rebel In You
When I Needed You
345
Return Of Inspiration
Rough Knuckles
Ghost Of A Friend
Whisky & Green Tea
Outside
Butterfly

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U2 ON THEIR 3D MOVIE
U2 have viewed their new concert film 'U2 3D' at the Sundance Festival, a couple of days ahead of its US cinema release and they think it's great. The movie uses extra special new clever technology, apparently, to show 3D close-ups of the band, but they still had to don those 3D glasses you have to wear to see stuff in 3D.

Speaking about their performance in the film, which was recorded three years ago on the South American leg of the band's Vertigo tour, The Edge said: "I was really hoping we weren't crap after all these years. Luckily we weren't".

Bono was a bit more critical, saying "It's kind of horrific. It's bad enough on a small screen. Now you get to see the lard-arse 40-foot tall".

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PORTISHEAD TOUR
Following their recent return to the stage, Portishead have announced four UK tour dates for later in the year, and are expected to play tracks from their yet-to-be-named new album. Tickets on sale this week, dates as follows:

9 Apr: Manchester Apollo
10 Apr: London Hammersmith Apollo
12 Apr: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
13 Apr: Wolverhampton Civic Hall

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GAY FOR JOHNNY DEPP TOUR
Gay For Johnny Depp are on tour in the UK as of Friday! Woo, I might go, and take my baby daughter. Hmmm. Perhaps not. You could go though. Or babysit, whilst I go. Here are the dates:

25 Jan: Northampton The Racehorse
26 Jan: Leeds Royal Park Cellars
27 Jan: Nottingham Rock City
28 Jan: Luton University
29 Jan: Bournemouth iBar
30 Jan: Bristol The Louisiana
31 Jan: Exeter The Cavern
1 Feb: Brighton Barfly
2 Feb: London Barfly

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LOVVERS TOUR
Lovvers are heading out on a very long tour as of the last day of January (the second date of which is the aforementioned Twisted Licks appearance). Plus, current single 'Laughing Man' is out now on limited edition 7" via Jonson Family Recordings. Press info from Darling, here are the dates:

31 Jan: Sheffield Leadmill (supporting Blood Red Shoes)
1 Feb: London 229/Twisted Licks (supporting Blood Red Shoes)
2 Feb: Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach (supporting Blood Red Shoes)
3 Feb: Worcester Firefly
4 Feb: Wolverhampton Little Civic (supporting Blood Red Shoes)
11 Feb: London Rough Trade East Instore
13 Feb: London Camden Barfly
14 Feb: Cambridge Barfly
15 Feb: Peterborough Met Lounge
16 Feb: Southampton The Joiners
18 Feb: Cardiff Barfly Club (supporting I Was A Cub Scout)
19 Feb: Exeter Cavern (supporting I Was A Cub Scout)
20 Feb: Bristol Croft (supporting I Was A Cub Scout)
21 Feb: Brighton The Freebutt (supporting I Was A Cub Scout)
22 Feb: Bedford Esquires (supporting I Was A Cub Scout)
23 Feb: Birmingham Jug Of Ale
24 Feb: Newcastle The Cumberland Arms
25 Feb: Glasgow King Tut's Wah Wah Hut
26 Feb: York Fibbers
27 Feb: Liverpool Barfly
29 Feb: Nottingham Bodega Social Club
1 March: Leeds Baby Cockpit
3 March: Coventry Taylor John's House

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GOOD CHARLOTTE DATES
Good Charlotte have announced a clutch of tour dates. Here they are. Well, I've run out of things to say about touring bands, sorry.

6 Apr: Edinburgh Corn Exchange
7 Apr: Liverpool Carling Academy
8 Apr: Southampton Guildhall
9 Apr: Bristol Carling Academy
11 Apr: Norwich UEA
12 Apr: London Brixton Academy
13 Apr: Sheffield Carling Academy

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ATP VS PITCHFORK LINE UP EXPANDS
The line up for the ATP vs Pitchfork edition of All Tomorrow's Parties has grown some more. This takes place from 9-11 May at Pontins in Camber Sands, and tickets are available from http://www.seetickets.com

Bands chosen by the ATP bods: Even, Black Mountain, Harmonia, Car Sick Cars, Howlin Rain, Born Ruffians, Ween, Sebadoh, Fuck Buttons, Pissed Jeans, Apse, The Black Angels, Shit And Shine, Meat Puppets, Deerhunter, Wooden Shjips, Marissa Nadler and Redd Kross.

Chosen by Pitchfork bods: The Clientele, Dirty Projectors, Of Montreal, Caribou, Man Man, Glass Candy, Los Campesinos!, No Age, Les Savy Fav, Hot Chip, Black Lips, The Hold Steady, Yeasayer, A Place To Bury Strangers and Jens Lekman.

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TOGETHER IS TWO
London's Together night is two years old this weekend and they are celebrating with one hell of an all-nighter. The line up speaks for itself, so I won't mention the movie room, the free haircuts, the free jelly and ice cream and the free goody bags for the first 500 people through the door. All takes place this Saturday, 26 Jan, from 10pm to 7am at Turnmills.

Line up as follows: Fischerspooner (DJ Set), Hot Chip (DJ Set), Evil Nine, Justin Robertson, Anil Chawla, Rex The Dog, Trevor Loveys, Duke Dumont, Ben Gomori, Xfm's John Kennedy, The Metros (live), The Maccabees (DJ Set), Foals (DJ Set) and Uncle Buck.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Malcolm Middleton - Sleight of Heart (Full Time Hobby)
So, 'We're All Going To Die' didn't quite manage to get the Christmas Number one slot, eventually finishing up at 31 in the charts, but Malcolm Middleton doesn't seem too distraught about that as he releases this collection of tracks which were written during the recording of 'A Brighter Beat'. Not resting on those laurels this semi acoustic mini album from the former Arab Strap man takes on the themes of depression and "unworthiness" but with a nod and a wink. 'Blue Plastic Bags' is about the drinking culture in Britain, the guilty purchase of a few cans to keep in the fridge, while the 7 minute 'Love Comes In Waves' is an epic describing love as "the songs played on slow guitars" among other things. There are three cover versions alongside the originals, 'Stay' is the Madonna song, sounding fantastic with a Glaswegian accent, while the others come from King Creosote and Jackson C Frank. Overall, the stripped down music suits the songwriting, and despite the dour subject matter this sounds like someone enjoying recording and playing, which can't be a bad thing. IM
Release date: 3 Mar
Press contact: Ian Cheek Press [CP, RP, NP]

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EMI SIGN UP TO COVERMOUNTS GALORE
I'm pretty sure I remember someone at EMI once telling me that "covermounts devalue music". No, wait a minute, that was every single person at EMI. Oh, how times change.

Covermount brokers Upfront Promotions have told Music Week that the major has signed up to four new covermount deals, the first being last weekend's Mail On Sunday giveaway of the live version of Jean Michel Jarre's 'Oxygene', released by the major last year. It's not clear what the other three are, or whether they are also with the Mail On Sunday.

The four covermount deals presumably mean the new leadership at EMI see the value of licensing catalogue material for newspaper giveaways though, of course, the major, previously a very vocal critic of covermounts, had already moved into the domain pre the Terra Firma purchase with the somewhat controversial Mail On Sunday giveaway of Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' (controversial because Oldfield, at the end of his contract with EMI, said he hadn't been consulted about the promotion).

Upfront have also told Music Week that they have another deal akin to last year's Prince MoS giveaway in the pipeline - ie the giveaway of a brand new album by an established artist via the tabloid. No word on who the artist may be, but the covermount will be out in late March.

While EMI are coming round to the covermount again, the promotions remain controversial in certain parts of the music business, of course, with the most vocal critics being the Entertainment Retailers Association, who see the release of new material through newspaper promotions as having an impact on their own sales and footfall. But Upfront say they are in talks with the trade body about addressing their concerns.

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MTV ANNOUNCE NEW DEAL WITH VPL
MTV has announced that is has reached a new pan-European rights deal with London based Video Performance Ltd, or VPL, the music video equivalent of PPL. The new deal will cover all of MTV's European TV channels, and online and mobile services. The financial specifics of the deal have not been revealed.

MTV UK & International's VP Of Business & Legal Affairs Roger James told reporters: "Not only is this a great multi-platform result for us and for the labels and artists involved, it also represents a really good example of the industry's ability to fulfil large-scale agreements, involving multiple rights owners across multiple territories".

PPL/VPL Director Of Legal & Business Affairs, Peter Leathem, added: "On behalf of the hundreds of independent labels across Europe who have entrusted VPL with their music video rights, I am delighted that VPL has concluded a further agreement with MTV. It serves to demonstrate that where there is goodwill and mutual respect between rights owners, their representatives, and music users, satisfactory licensing agreements can be reached not withstanding today's rapidly changing media environment".

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HANDS ON HIS DIGITAL AIMS
EMI boss Guy Hands has followed up his addresses to his staff and artists last week with an interview with Music Week, and has described his digital vision. All this kind of states the obvious, and it's a testament to how badly the major record companies have adapted to the digital age that Hands can offer these plans as some kind of major innovation. He told the trade mag: "Digital can be used in lots of ways. One of the ways we want to use it is to form a connection with the consumer where the consumer effectively gives us a better insight into the music they would like to buy, how they would like to buy it and how they would like it delivered. So rather than treating digital as the thing you do because you have done a CD, treat digital as the way you determine what you release and how you release it".

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WARNER SHAREHOLDER RESIGNS FROM BOARD
More major label nonsense, and a Russian born billionaire called Len Blavatnik, whose company Access Industries owns two percent of common stock in Warner Music, has resigned from the major music firm's board.

Despite our best endeavours to find some controversy in all this, Blavatnik swears that he is stepping down from the Warner board because of his time consuming commitments to Access Industries, adding that "Access remains a significant WMG shareholder and, given the confidence I have in WMG's management, I look forward to the company's future success". Warner top man Edgar Bronfman Jr said this: "Len's expertise has been extremely valuable to WMG and we will miss his wise counsel".

Warner, of course, are under the most scrutiny in investment circles being the only major that trades directly on the stock exchange, and especially given that the major's share price has slumped since its flotation back in 2005. But Blavatnik has been keen to stress his resignation should not be seen as him being pissed off at the current valuation of his Warner stock holding.

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MAMA GROUP POST PROFITS
Keeping investment types happier are the London based cross-sector music firm the Mama Group who have just posted profits of £1.74 million, compared to a £800,000 loss the previous year. The profit boost, and corresponding 39% increase in turnover, comes after a busy year for the Barfly network owners, who expanded their venue business greatly by acquiring most of Mean Fiddler's venue business.

In a statement to accompany their latest figures, co-chief executives Adam Driscoll and Dean James said: "We are delighted to be reporting material profits for the year and expect to deliver an even stronger set of results for the current financial year. The material growth and development of the business over the last 18 months is now being reflected strongly at the operating profit level".

In a mini-polemic about the wider music business - and public perceptions of it given the decline in CD sales - the duo continued: "The general - and mistaken - public view seems to be that the music industry is experiencing difficult trading conditions and unresolved strategic challenges. The reality is that it is only the area of physical recordings (ie CD sales) that is suffering and this is an area of the business in which we have very limited exposure. Strategically, our combination of strong live venues married to both a growing artist management roster and significant positions in ticketing, sponsorship and the digital environment is, we believe, the model for the music industry of the future. Our results are demonstrating that to be the case and we see opportunities for further aggressive growth and continued leaps in profitability. The last 18 months have seen us consolidate our position as one of the UK's leading music businesses. We have the largest number of live music venues in the UK and jointly own the largest artist management collective in the world at a time when all major music groups are re-engineering their businesses to get closer to artists".

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BIG LIFE ANNOUNCE TRINITY STREET DEAL
Artist management company Big Life, who manage the likes of The Verve and Klaxons, have announced a deal with marketing firm Trinity Street which will see the agency provide online and mobile services to enable Big Life to better connect directly with their fans, and to drive new content and merchandise revenue streams.

Confirming the deal, Big Life co-founder Jazz Summers told CMU: "Big Life has built a reputation for leading the way. As changes in our industry accelerate, we're ready to respond on behalf of all the acts we manage".

Trinity Street boss Andy Murray added: "The new music economy demands that we must put the fans at the heart of everything we do. Big Life understands this more than anyone, and this is what we do best at Trinity Street - providing comprehensive services to help artists manage their fan relationships alongside their commercial needs. We are delighted to be working with Jazz and his artists".

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GALAXY PULLS DIGITAL ONLY SERVICE
Global Radio owned Galaxy Radio has announced it will stop broadcasting a bespoke digital service, with Galaxy channels on Sky, Virgin Media and DAB digital radio multiplexes simulcasting shows from the regional terrestrial Galaxy stations instead. The change can go ahead after receiving OfCom clearance. The move shouldn't result in many staff changes because the digital service was primarily an automated output with pre-recorded links.

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VIRGIN RADIO SALE BACK ON THE AGENDA
Media firm SMG has said that the sale of Virgin Radio is back on its agenda. As previously reported, SMG's original plan had been to float the national radio station last year, but the so called credit crunch coupled with the departure of station boss Paul Jackson to rival Capital meant those plans were put on hold.

But all that talk of a sale garnered interest from various potential buyers interested in acquiring the radio firm outright. Word has it that SMG didn't initially respond too positively to those offers because they didn't exceed the £80 million asking price, but that they are confident that a recent financial restructure at the firm will help them push those offer prices up. Private equity firm Vitruvian, the Guardian Media Group and the acquisition hungry Global Radio are all reportedly interested.

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ANNIE MAC TAKES OVER WEEKEND AFTERNOONS ON R1
Radio 1's Annie Mac will get her first daytime slot on the nation's favourite when she takes over the weekend afternoon show from Sara Cox, who is off on maternity leave. Mac will continue to present her Friday night specialist music show too, though her Sunday night teen aimed show 'Switch' will be taken over by Radio 1 new recruit Nick Grimshaw, who has already made guest appearances on the show, and who co-hosts music show 'Sound' with Mac on BBC2.

Confirming her new show, Mac told reporters: "I think Sara is an exceptional presenter, and I just hope I do her show justice for her when she's away. I know that 'Switch' is in safe hands with my mate Grimmy looking after it. He's so funny on the radio and is properly passionate about new music. He'll do a super job".

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GALLOWS BANNED FROM DISNEYLAND
Punk types Gallows have been banned from appearing at Disneyland after causing offence with their controversial lyrics. You might be surprised to hear they'd been booked to play Disneyland in the first place, but they were due to play at the House Of Blues venue in the park. But Disney bosses have stepped in after hearing the group's debut album 'Orchestra Of Wolves' and the gig has been cancelled. Confirming the cancellation, Gallows' guitarist Laurent Barnard told reporters: "I think Mickey Mouse got jealous that Minnie Mouse had Gallows posters on her wall. That kind of stuff happens a lot. I recommend Mickey shows Minnie some more attention, you know, take her out and make her feel special. Cartoon mice need love too".

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