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TODAY'S NEWS

Vote for CMU Daily in the BT Digital Music Awards

Glitter misses flight to UK
Lennon killer’s parole interview released
Oasis sell out Wembley Arena in three minutes
Festival fans left without tickets
Winehouse checks into rehab
Moshi Moshi and The Wave Pictures make eco-EP
Babyshambles banned from festival
'Dragon's Den' band to sign to EMI
Jackson Five reunion cancelled
Britney's custody battle getting expensive
Brown sued by lawyers
Dave Matthews saxophonist dies, aged 46
Single review: Cut Off Your Hands – Expectations (sixsevenine)
Coldplay release another free track
Jourgensen sticks with Revolting Cocks
Macaca Mulatta release debut album
Metallica reveal club show details
Massive Attack to play free gig
Lavigne gig cancelled in Malaysia
De Burgh not playing Iran
The Walkmen announce UK tour
Bar Rumba to relaunch
Festival review: The Green Man at Glanusk Park
Blogs refuse to be Quietus
Def Leppard guitarist applauds file sharing
Teenager quits school to play 'Guitar Hero'
McFadden denies homophobia
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WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST

HEARTBREAK
Heartbreak's music has been described as a combination of the upbeat melodies of Italo and the dark energy of metal. Not an obvious pairing, perhaps, but one that works to great effect. Signed to the always cool Lex Records, their debut single, 'We're Back' is out now, and the album, 'Lies', follows on 22 Sep. We spoke to Argentinean vocalist Sebastian Muravchix and British producer Ali Renault, who make up the duo.

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Sebastian: I started playing guitar to make up for giving up chess, which was a bit of a shock to me and my family. My first song was called 'The Electronic Pacifier'.
Ali: I got a guitar for my thirteenth birthday and started a metal band called Synaptic Explosion.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Ali: Musically, everything from techno to disco and metal.
Sebastian: We wanted to represent the different stages of work Heartbreak's been through for the last two years and we found that 'Lies' have been in various ways, an important theme for us from the very beginning.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Sebastian: We talk, we write a drum loop, we talk, we write a bassline, and then we let the flow take over.
Ali: We try things out in front of the machines until we are decidedly excited about what we're creating, then we let nature take its course.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Ali/Sebastian: Black Sabbath, Drexciya, Juan Atkins, Obituary, Mad Mike, Jeff Mills, Jean Baudrillard, Alden Tyrell, Stefano Pulga, Salvatore Cusato, and countless more.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Sebastian: Remember that music is not meant to fit your lifestyle, it's meant to change your life.
Ali: This isn't music for the faint hearted.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
Ali/Sebastian: Our US tour will be announced shortly and we've got plenty of live dates in the UK. We shall prove that Heartbreak and 'Lies' can be positive forces.

MORE>> www.myspace.com/heartbreak1 and www.facebook.com/pages/Heartbreak/14224761975

 

JAPE
Label troubles mean that many of the songs of Jape's MySpace have been doing the rounds for a few years already, yet that should do nothing to diminish the appeal of new album 'Ritual', which is finally being released through Co-op. A fusing of electro pop on 'Graveyard' and 'Nothing Lasts Forever' with a folktronica tribute to Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott (helpfully entitled, erm, 'Phil Lynott') makes for an alluring mix of a record. Just don't expect it to sound like the 'hit', 'Floating', which has since entered ubiquity after The Raconteurs frequent live cover versions. See one of them below, plus make sure to visit their MySpace link too.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb5_hau3I4s
www.myspace.com/richiejape

 

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Vote here. Thanks.

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GLITTER MISSES FLIGHT TO UK
Well, as we reported yesterday, Gary Glitter should have arrived back in Britain at 7.15 this morning, after being deported from Vietnam, following his release from prison where he served just under three years for child molestation. However, things haven't quite gone to plan, and he's still in Bangkok, where he was due to change planes and fly back to London Heathrow.

Head Of The Immigration Police at Bangkok Airport, Major General Pongdej Chaiprawaj said: "He claimed to have tinnitus in his ears and declined to board the flight to London". However, he added that Glitter had been deemed "undesirable" by Thai authorities and would not be allowed to enter the country. He continued: "He is banned from entering because he was jailed and he could pose a threat to domestic morality. Officials concerned are working through the process of putting him on the plane to take him out of the country, but if he continues to refuse to leave then he will be confined in the [transit] area temporarily before being taken into a detention centre".

Although he had managed to avoid the flanks of British journalists awaiting him at the airport, at least twelve reporters had been on his flight from Vietnam to Thailand, with the prospect of more on his five-hour flight to London. Glitter later collapsed, complaining of heart problems and demanding hospital treatment, by which time the reporters had checked in their luggage, requiring them to take the onward flight.

When Glitter does return to the UK, which will be Thursday at the earliest, he may not be able to travel abroad again, as it had originally been suggested he would. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith revealed this morning that the government is to tighten rules of travel for sex offenders, potentially blocking them from leaving the country for up to five years and even revoking their passports. Current rules only block international travel for six months. In a statement, she said: "The UK has a rigorous system in place for managing child sex offenders which is among the toughest in the world. The changes I'm announcing today will strengthen that even further".

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LENNON KILLER'S PAROLE INTERVIEW RELEASED
A transcript of Mark Chapman's failed bid to be released on parole from New York's Attica Correctional Facility, where he is serving a life sentence for the murder of John Lennon, has been released.

In the interview, Chapman said: "I recognised that that 25-year-old man, I don't think he really appreciated the life that he was taking, that this was a human being. I feel now at 53 I have grown into a deeper understanding of what a human life is. I have changed a lot. I would be something other than a nobody, and that was my reasoning at the time".

Chapman, who has now served 28 years in prison, will remain incarcerated until at least August 2010, when his next parole hearing is due to take place.

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OASIS SELL OUT WEMBLEY ARENA IN THREE MINUTES
Tickets for Oasis' two shows at Wembley Arena sold out in just three minutes, when they went on sale at 9am this morning, with around 200 going to fans who had queued up from 6am. The shows will take place on 16 and 17 Oct.

A spokesperson for Wembley Arena said: "All the standing tickets, for both nights were sold out by 9.02am, with the seating tickets going shortly afterwards. It's great to see Oasis coming back to Wembley Arena, they are going to be two great shows – and there'll be no nachos in sight!"

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FESTIVAL FANS LEFT WITHOUT TICKETS
A number of music fans who thought they had bought tickets for last weekend's V Festival and this weekend's Reading and Leeds festivals have been left without tickets after being duped by unofficial ticketing sites, such as readingfestivaltickets.co.uk and SOS Master Tickets.

Melvyn Benn, organiser of the Reading Festival, told the BBC that this is a problem they have to deal with every year. He said: ''We alert the government and trading standards all the time to get them to close these websites down and they say they can't. They say the websites are registered in Cyprus or Turkey, somewhere they have no jurisdiction over and they can do nothing about it".

V Festival's director, Bob Angus said: "We're aware that unofficial outlets claim to have had V Festival tickets for sale. As concert promoters, we urge the public not to get tickets from these secondary ticket outlets, whether that be unofficial ticket outlets or through auction sites, as it could well lead to disappointment. We're sorry for those who may have been let down from certain sites and recommend checking if it's an official site on www.vfestival.com in future".

One of the dodgy sites in question have themselves responded, claiming most of their customers will get their Reading tickets, and those who don't will get a refund. The site in question is readingfestivaltickets.co.uk, who said yesterday: "Most of our clients should have received their tickets by now or are in the process of receiving them. Anyone who has not received their tickets can apply for a full refund".

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WINEHOUSE CHECKS INTO REHAB
Amy Winehouse has checked into the Focus 12 rehab clinic in Bury St Edmonds, just a short drive away from Highpoint prison, where her husband Blake Fielder-Civil is serving a 27 month sentence for ABH and perverting the course of justice.

Her father, Mitch Winehouse told The Sun: "This is a very good idea. If she can get clean and still see Blake it can only be good".

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MOSHI MOSHI AND THE WAVE PICTURES MAKE ECO-EP
The next release from Moshi Moshi will be a new EP from The Wave Pictures, but this will be an EP with a difference, as it will be recorded and released in a way that produces as little carbon as possible. And eco-EP if you like. The band and their engineer will walk to the solar-powered studio, they will upload the finished tracks to their digital distributor for release via download stores only, and PR info and music will be sent via email only.

Moshi Moshi co-founder Michael McClatchey told CMU: "We thought it would be a useful experiment to see what we could do to reduce the carbon emissions associated with releasing a record. The initial aim was to make it carbon-neutral but it soon became apparent this would be impossible given the power needed to run the servers for delivering the tracks ito iTunes. Nevertheless I believe this should still be the 'greenest' record release yet. When I mentioned the idea to The Wave Pictures they asked if they could be the ones to do it, and suggested they could walk to the studio from their house".

To organise the process, Moshi Moshi consulted environment charity Julie's Bicycle, which aims to identify and champion new ways to make the music industry more environmentally friendly.

Alison Tickell, Director of Julie's Bicycle said: "We are really pleased that Moshi Moshi is taking these positive steps towards reducing the carbon impact of their latest release. Their studio of choice is solar-powered, they are reducing the impact of their travel and have taken account of the recommendations of our First Step report into the UK Music Industry Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, 2008). It's this kind of intelligent response to the issue that is going to ultimately catalyze the changes to a low carbon music business that we all need so badly".

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BABYSHAMBLES BANNED FROM FESTIVAL
Strange one this. Wiltshire police have banned Babyshambles from headlining this year's Moonfest, which will take place on 29-31 Aug, as they believe the band's appearance would encourage violence at the event. Police presented a report to North Wiltshire Magistrates Court on Sunday, who then ordered the festival's organisers to cancel any and all appearances by the band.

Chief Superintendent Julian Kirby told the court (apparently with a straight face): "We carried out an analysis of what Pete Doherty and his band does. What he does as part of his routine is to gee up the crowd. They speed up and then slow down the music and create a whirlpool effect in the crowd. They all get geed up and then they start fighting".

The band's Adam Ficek told the NME: "The whole thing is a farce, it's almost comical. The organiser of the festival is now on the verge of bankruptcy. Why? Because we intentionally speed up and slow down the tempo of our songs. We're now in the process of trying to make it happen in a different venue. Watch this space".

Doherty's manager added that the ban was outrageous, and that the "different venue" mentioned by Ficek could be Doherty's house. He said: "We might even do it at Pete's house in a big barn. We're definitely going to honour those tickets somehow, but as far as the festival goes our hands are tied. Babyshambles have played about 25 festivals this year. They've been playing festivals all summer, what's the difference with this one?"

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'DRAGON'S DEN' BAND TO SIGN TO EMI
Hamfatter, the band who earlier this year went onto BBC TV show 'Dragon's Den', in order to avoid signing their music away to a record label and instead gave 30% of everything they ever earn to a private investor, may now be signing a deal with, erm, record label EMI. Or at least that's what's being reported.

According to The Sun, the band recently performed in front of Guy Hands himself, who was impressed with their music (which is a first). A source said: "Guy believes the new-look EMI could be a good fit for Hamfatter".

The band are also reportedly due to star in their own TV show, 'Hamfatter's Music Den'. Meanwhile their last single, 'The Girl I Love', despite a huge amount of publicity surrounding their unusual means of receiving investment, peaked at number 71 in the charts.

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JACKSON FIVE REUNION CANCELLED
The Jackson Five were due to reunite next month at the BMI Urban Awards in LA, where they are due to receive a lifetime achievement award. However, Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie have reportedly refused to share the stage with their brother Michael because he owes them $840,000 in unpaid royalties. It's rumoured that this row has been ongoing for some time now, and that the brothers haven't had any direct contact since 2005.

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BRITNEY'S CUSTODY BATTLE GETTING EXPENSIVE
Britney Spears' ongoing custody battle with former husband Kevin Federline over their two sons Jayden James and Sean Preston is costing the singer dear, it have been revealed. And K-Fed still has full custody of the children.

The couple's divorce settlement already requires Spears to pay Federline $20,000 a month, as well as his legal fees, which came in at $250,000. Since then, she has wracked up $407,000 in fees to attorney Stacy D Phillips, who worked for her for just four months and has apparently reduced the original fee by $125,000. The lawyer who took over from him in June, Laura Wasser has only charged $60,000 so far, and has managed to get Spears more access to her sons. Wasser is also expected to contest the fees charged by Phillips.

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BROWN SUED BY LAWYERS
As if things weren't already bad enough for Bobby Brown, it has now emerged that he is being sued by his own divorce lawyers for unpaid fees. Court papers filed last Friday in Los Angeles state that Brown owes them $90,000 in unpaid fees and late payment penalties relating to his divorce from Whitney Houston in 2007.

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DAVE MATTHEWS SAXOPHONIST DIES, AGED 46
Dave Matthews Band saxophonist Leroi Moore died suddenly in LA yesterday, after complications arose from an earlier farming accident. He was 46.

In a statement on their website, the band said: "We are deeply saddened that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of Dave Matthews Band, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, 19 Aug 2008, at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles from sudden complications stemming from his June ATV [all-terrain vehicle] accident on his farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. LeRoi had recently returned to his Los Angeles home to begin an intensive physical rehabilitation program".

A founding member of the band, he was key to developing the jazzier side of their music.

The band decided not to cancel their planned concert at the Los Angeles Staples Center last night, instead using the event to pay tribute to their former bandmate. Dave Matthews said from the stage: "We all had some bad news today. Our good friend LeRoi Moore passed on and gave his ghost up today and we will miss him forever".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Cut Off Your Hands – Expectations (Sixsevenine)
'Oh Girl', the previous single from Cut Off Your Hands convinced me that they were the best thing to come out of New Zealand since kiwi fruit. 'Expectations' is the first single to be taken from their upcoming album produced by Suede's renowned former axeman Bernard Butler. The Auckland quartet have recently been covering songs by Split Enz and Buzzcocks which is as good enough indication as any of their effervescent and bouncy sound. At the heart of this single is a terrific tune, with punchy post-punk guitars given plenty of room to shine. The band's album 'You & I' is out soon and you can catch them live when they embark on a University tour in September. So yeah, great expectations then. JW
Release Date: 18 Aug
Press contact: Scruffy Bird [all]

Buy from TuneTribe
Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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COLDPLAY RELEASE ANOTHER FREE TRACK
Coldplay just can't keep their songs to themselves, can they? They've gone and released another free track for you to download. 'Death Will Never Conquer' was apparently recorded during the 'Viva La Vida' sessions but wasn't even good enough to make it onto that bag of rubbish. It does feature drummer Will Champion singing, though. So, maybe that explains it.

Anyway, you can download it now from www.coldplay.com.

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JOURGENSEN STICKS WITH REVOLTING COCKS
When he split up Ministry earlier this year, Al Jourgensen had planned to do the same with The Revolting Cocks and concentrate solely on running his 13th Planet record label. However, on listening back to the new album, 'Sex-O Olympics-O', he's changed his mind. He said in a statement: "This is the best RevCo album I've ever done. As a matter of fact, I think this is the best album - including Ministry, Pailhead, Lard - anything I've ever done, period".

The release date for the album has now been pushed back from October to February next year. Meanwhile, the band will begin work on the follow-up. They also announced that the band will head out on a world tour next April. And, although Jourgensen will not tour full time with the band, he will appear at a number of shows.

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MACACA MULATTA RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM
The debut album from Macaca Mulatta, fronted by former Art Brut guitarist Chris Chinchilla, has been a long time coming. Since it was first hinted at in hushed tones around London, the band has been through some line-up changes and moved wholesale to Melbourne. Which is where the album, 'AAA' was finally recorded and where the band finally split up. This posthumous release documents the ups and downs that made the band what it was, and ultimately left it on very positive footing.

Stream 'AAA' in full on Last.fm here

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METALLICA REVEAL CLUB SHOW DETAILS
Metallica have revealed details of that previously announced club show in London next month. They will be playing the, er, O2 Arena on 15 Sep. Well, the ticket price is club-sized at least, coming in at just £5. However, to get your hands on one of those tickets, you'll have to be a registered member of the Metallica Fan Club or Mission: Metallica. Tickets will be limited to two per person, will only be available from the venue's box office on the day of the show and all proceeds will go to local charities.

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MASSIVE ATTACK TO PLAY FREE GIG
Massive Attack have announced that they will play a free show in Manchester on 6 Sep, as part of the Beck's Fusion festival. The show at Castlefield Arena will feature live visuals from United Visual Artists and will be filmed for MTV Two. Support will come from Santogold, Midnight Juggernauts and Das Pop.

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LAVIGNE GIG CANCELLED IN MALAYSIA
The Malaysian government has cancelled a planned Avril Lavigne concert in Kuala Lumpar on 29 Aug because she's just too damn sexy for them. The country's Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry says it decided to cancel the show after it received complaints by the youth wing of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party that the show would promote the wrong values ahead of Malaysia's independence day on 31 Aug. However, promoters Galaxy Group will be allowed to request a new date for the show, which was due to kick of Lavigne's world tour.

A spokesman for the Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry said: "It is not timely. It's not in the good spirit of our National Day. If we go ahead with the concert, it is contrary to what we are preparing for".

Strict rules for Western performers in Malaysia mean that all performers must be covered from the chest to their knees, and must refrain from jumping, shouting, kissing or hugging on stage. These rules have already forced Christina Aguilera and Beyonce to cancel or move shows, and a performance by the Pussycat Dolls got the organizers hit with a $3000 fine after the group were accused of indecency.

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DE BURGH NOT PLAYING IRAN
Despite talking about his planned gig in Iran for several months now, Chris De Burgh seemingly forgot to tell the Iranian government that they were coming. Authorities in the country deny that the singer has applied for a permit to perform in Tehran, as he had stated he was going to. This news places the statement from the singer's spokesperson, which we reported yesterday, in a slightly new light. They said: "Permission has not yet been granted but we have also not yet been denied". Is that just a roundabout way of saying "we haven't actually asked anyone"?

Still, it does mean De Burgh will no longer have to work out how he's going to get around the little problem of Western pop songs with lyrics being illegal in Iran, which would have required him to perform instrumentals only. Hey, maybe that's the plan – if there are no vocals, he doesn't actually need to go along at all, does he?

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THE WALKMEN ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
The Walkmen have announced UK tour dates to coincide with the release of their new album, 'You & Me', which is out on 29 Sep via Fierce Panda.

Tour dates:

25 Sep: London, Borderline
27 Sep: Norwich, Arts Centre
28 Sep: Oxford, Bullingdon Arms
29 Sep: Glasgow, Oran Mor
30 Sep: Liverpool, Korova
1 Oct: Stoke, Sugarmill
3 Oct: Bristol, Louisiana
4 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
5 Oct: Manchester, Night & Day (In The City)
6 Oct: York, Duchess
7 Oct: London, Koko
8 Oct: Cambridge, Soul Tree
9 Oct: Nottingham, Bodega
10 Oct: Birmingham, 444 Club

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BAR RUMBA TO RELAUNCH
Iconic London club Bar Rumba is to mark its fifteenth anniversary by relaunching with a new music programme, which will see it transplant the east London techno scene straight into the West End.

New musical director James Manero told CMU: "It's about returning to the pioneering spirit of the original Bar Rumba. This city used to be king for music, but right now Brazil, Ibiza and Berlin are all doing it better. It's time for a much needed renaissance in London's club scene. For our relaunch there's no multi-million pound refurb, there's no new cocktail list, none of that rubbish, this is 100% about our musical policy and having the best parties in London. Our philosophy won't change from what it has always been, which is to present music of quality – no matter what night of the week it is".

Nodisko/Codex, Leftroom, Latenightaudio, LT Editions, Tomoki Tamura a new dubstep night and Shane Watcha's Zombies will all appear in the club's autumn/winter listings.

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FESTIVAL REVIEW: The Green Man at Glanusk Park
Every time I've been to Wales it has rained, a cliché, perhaps, but it's true.  This weekend was no exception with almost non-stop rain on Saturday, meaning we couldn't quite enjoy the beautiful site as much as we would have liked. Having said that, I probably enjoyed this "wet" festival more than any other damp event I've been to. 

Friday started brightly though with Cats In Paris on the main stage showing interesting moments, and then Mugstar in the Folkey Dolkey tent with an impressive, driving instrumental set. We wandered in the sun around the shops selling spiritual doorbells, Moroccan lanterns and the promise to make your own spaceship, then, after a couple of ales or ciders we laid in front of the main stage for the poppy loveliness of Alela Diane, who was under the impression the weather could only get better – if only it had stayed as slightly cloudy we would have been alright! 

Fuck Buttons got things lively with a progressive building up of electronica backed by striking visuals but left us just a little bit frustrated by taking us to the brink without a pay off.  Fortunately CMU's good friend Eddy Temple-Morris was on the decks in the Rumpus Room and gave us a DJ set that was all about the pay off and which impressed even the least dancey of our party. After an exhausting boogie we went to lie on the slope and wait for Spiritualized to send us off to a beautiful dozy place. This was slightly spoiled by the temperature dropping and the rain coming in as they began but they put on a good show despite the conditions.

Saturday was wet. I think I already established that. It rained all day so we took shelter in the Folkey Dokey tent and saw a string of bands. Most impressive for me was Brigyn, with a Welsh language version of 'Hallelujah' and interesting sounds throughout. Festival organisers Jo and Danny put on a good show with their new outfit The Yellow Moon Band, while the Drift Collective aimed for most number of people on a stage, and Emmy The Great informed us of the football scores. The rain thankfully stopped for headliners Super Furry Animals and they impressed with a set of hits for their (almost) home crowd.

Sunday started brighter but soon clouded over and, although the rain was less persistent, we still had a couple of quite heavy patches which left the ground muddy, although still solid enough to walk through in wellies. It was a shame because watching Laura Marling really needed the sunshine as she played a lovely set of tracks off her Mercury-nominated debut. The highlight of the weekend came late, however, as The National stormed through a set of their upbeat numbers and looked happy to be ending a long tour as they put on a real show, climaxing with lead singer Matt Berninger stepping into the crowd and retrieving a friend. Finally, Caribou set the Folkey Dolkey rocking once more as drummer Brad Weber, sitting side on to the audience, played an amazing set, driving the band to new heights and leaving the crowd baying for more. The announcer who came on to tell everyone it was all over and to give out lost property information was heckled by the tent who could have gone on all night with the infectious grooves.

All in all the weather didn't spoil a brilliant weekend, the facilities were great, the food scrumptious (the Pie Minister queue was there for a reason...) and the crowd well up for a good time. IM

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BLOGS REFUSE TO BE QUIETUS
Following the announcement of the breakdown of the joint venture between Drowned In Sound and BSky, which brought the sites The Quietus, The Lipster and Thrash Hits into being, the future of those blogs is becoming clearer.

In a statement, The Quietus said: "As some of you may have read, BSkyB and Drowned In Sound are no longer partners. Obviously this has consequences for The Quietus, but we're pleased to be able to say that we're planning to continue the work we began on our humble little blog site back in April".

The Lipster made a similar announcement, although were less vague about the details. The site’s Rebecca Nicholson said: "Initially The Lipster was a funded project and a full-time job. This week we were told that all funding had been pulled and we were being made redundant. But it's not all doom and gloom. The Lipster itself will continue to exist as an independent, not-for-profit site run by me and other volunteers in our spare time. More news to come, but bear with us for the next few days while we get a few things sorted out".

As yet, Thrash Hits have made no announcement about their future.

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DEF LEPPARD GUITARIST APPLAUDS FILE SHARING
Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell says that the band's audiences are becoming younger and younger, and it's all thanks to illegal file sharing, rather than parents introducing older music to their kids.

He told LiveDaily: "That's a by-product of music piracy more than anything else. I'm not saying that as a negative. I think it's very positive. A lot of younger kids get turned on to classic bands because they're trading files. They have 4,000 or 5,000 songs on their iPod, that's $4,000 or $5,000 on their iPod, at iTunes' prices, at least. A 12-year-old can't afford that. When kids trade files, it's actually a good thing for classic bands such as us. It's not such a good thing for up-and-coming artists who need to sell records".

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TEENAGER QUITS SCHOOL TO PLAY 'GUITAR HERO'
An American sixteen year old has dropped out of high school, in order to becoming a professional 'Guitar Hero' player. Blake Peebles has been perfecting his skills on the video game, and has so far won a number of prizes at an amateur level. However, with his time freed up, he hopes to enter the world of professional gaming, which can earn players between $25,000 to $80,000 a year.

His parents have apparently hired him a private tutor to continue his studies, but his mother told Raleigh, North Carolina newspaper The News & Observer: "We couldn't take the complaining anymore. He always told me that he thought school was a waste of time".

Well, when compared to becoming a professional pretend guitar player, clearly it is.

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MCFADDEN DENIES HOMOPHOBIA
Former Westlife bloke Brian McFadden has denied being homophobic, after comments he made on a radio show on New Zealand's More FM got some people's backs up. He insists that his words were taken out of context after he was asked if it is okay for men to wear pink.

He's probably right. I mean, if you think about it in context, none of this seems homophobic at all: "Saying pink is a form of red is the same as saying homosexual is a form of male. In the old days, there was no such thing as gay. It was frowned upon, the church would burn you at the stake. Modern day, if you are not gay, a man should not be wearing pink, unless of course you're in the America's Cup and you're one of these pansies who walk around with Gant T-shirts with your collars up, and you wear pink and you wear white trousers with those dirty brown slip-on shoes. Then you're just an idiot".

Nope, I see nothing there at all that could be thought of as homophobic. I think he got away with it though, because he later used the 'some of my best friends are gay' argument that always wins out in these situations. He said: "To come to the conclusion that I am homophobic from these sentences is far from the truth. Some of my friends and colleagues are gay and if I was truly homophobic then I have picked the wrong industry".

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