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TODAY'S NEWS

Former Virgin MD to lead Polydor

Mycokemusic man goes to EMI
Sheikh's Jacko lawsuit reaches court
Prince sued over perfume
Jody Reynolds dies
Weiland on the Velvet Revolver split
Miley Cyrus killed after second hacking
Travis Barker back in the studio after plane crash
Lostprophets drummer joins Nine Inch Nails
Single review: Envy - Friday Night (Stopstart)
Eminem confirmed 2009 Relapse planned
Kiss consider recording new album
Howling Bells give away new single
Matt Finucane free downloads
Vines cancel gigs as Nicholls suffers relapse
No Knebworth gig for Coldplay
Album review: Je Suis Animal - Self-Taught Magic From A Book (Angular Recordings)
UCJ expand sync and brand operations
Amazon.com launch artist pages
Yahoo! boss steps down
Guillemots manager joins Connected Artists
Police suggest event owners should pay for policing
Power responds to Hop Farm capacity decision
TOTP revival not on the BBC agenda
Sugababes' Brit Award tantrum
Hucknall to quit performing
Mariah wrote Hero on the loo
ON THE NETWORK...
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
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TUESDAY 18TH NOVEMBER

FIGHTSTAR
Most people might know their name because one of their members is ex-Busted boy Charlie Simpson, but Fightstar have worked hard to shake off any remnants of a boyband past and are now a successful rock band in their own right.


 

Simpson reportedly tore up his contract with Island after bosses tried to encourage him to lean towards his poppish roots for the band's second album, 'One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours', which was instead released via Institute Recordings in 2006.

Fightstar are currently working on their third album, due for release in early 2009, and in the mean time, single 'The English Way' is available now.

Drummer Omar Abidi answered the Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started making music back at school at around the age of 13. I had the opportunities there to play instruments and also write music using the old Apple Mac they had with a very old version of Logic, think it was version 2.5, and that's where the ball got rolling, I suppose!

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
I think 'The English Way' was inspired by the state of society at the moment, English society that is, a lack of respect and love for our fellow country men and women. Regardless of race or creed, I think anyone who has spent most of their life here will agree that they feel English. There are things that are killing our sense of national pride such as yobbism, knife culture and violence in general and we feel that "national pride" has now been hijacked by extremist organisations such as National Front and BNP. Being English never stood for any of that shit and we are getting lost in it!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
I think making a good album is very much like making a good meal... The ingredients have to be fresh and of good quality, you need to put love and care in the preparation and you definitely have to make sure you don't over cook the whole thing! It's about balance, and trusting your instincts... We spend a lot of time in the studio putting things together, then pulling them apart to make sure things are the best they can be.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I think on every album our influences vary, but we have always had a love of all things epic, whether it be music, film, anime or art. A good film reference would be something like 'Shawshank Redemption', a feeling of hope deep down. Anime: 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'. Music: Deftones, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley... I could go on for ages!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Just close your eyes and listen! I think what is most important is the imagery that people get in their own minds with music - it's better that any music video ever made.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I think the next album will be our best work to date and most extravagant musical outing any of us have ever been on. It's shaping up to be something special, and we are just proud to be a part of this machine we call Fightstar. I hope the future holds many more albums for us and much more touring to take our hard work to the masses. For everyone's sake, lets just hope that our dreams come true!

MORE>> www.fightstarmusic.com and www.myspace.com/fightstarmusic

 

IT'S CMU'S UNSIGNED MONTH
We here at CMU have teamed up with our good friends at MUZU TV to discover and champion some of the best unsigned and self-releasing artists in the UK and Ireland. Each day this month we will be tipping another unsigned band which has truly impressed the CMU team. For more info and to check out all the bands we've tipped so far, go to www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/unsigned

SNAP OF THE DAY: CONIL
Having already featured Conil in the SNAP column back in January it might seem a trifle too much to be including him again during CMU and MUZU's Unsigned Month. But given that he still runs his own label, Great Hare Records, but at the same time managed to score a four star review in Q for his recent album, while also getting featured in the Mirror when one of his songs, the CMU recommended 'Dog Meat Stew', was banned in China, I reckon he deserves a second mention. While we're here, let's mention another excellent Conil track, 'Strange Part of the Country', which makes good use of his smokey, whisky-fuelled voice over a folky, gutter blues backing. Furthermore, the radio session on the front of their page is also well worth a watch.

Check www.muzu.tv/conil or in the Unsigned Month playlist on the CMU-Tube at www.cmumusicnetwork.co.uk/tube

 

 



Don't forget you can now check out CMU favourites old and new on CMU-Tube, our online music video service powered by MUZU.

Set up your own MUZU channel, select tracks from the MUZU catalogue, and embed your own MUZU Player on your own website or blog - simple. Sign up here.

 

 

Don't forget to vote for your track of the year. Just email us your favourite track released this year and a couple of sentences saying why you love it to 2008@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk.

 

 

FORMER VIRGIN MD TO LEAD POLYDOR
Universal Music UK yesterday announced the recruitment of former Virgin UK boss Ferdy Unger-Hamilton to the job of President at its Polydor division.

The appointment marks a return for Unger-Hamilton to the Universal family, which he left in 2006 in order to become MD of EMI's Virgin Records. After Terra Firma's takeover of EMI and the executive cull that followed it was initially thought Ferdy would be one of the few senior execs to stay with the London-based major, but then he announced he was resigning in April.

Unger-Hamilton's appointment follows the promotion earlier this year of former Polydor boss David Joseph to the role of CEO for the whole of Universal Music UK. Joseph's co-President at Polydor, Colin Barlow, recently took on a new job launching a new division within Universal UK, utilising the major's US-based Geffen brand.

Joseph had remained involved in the day to day running of Polydor, alongside Barlow, since becoming Universal UK CEO, but with Unger-Hamilton's appointment will now step back from such tasks. Though Unger-Hamilton will report to him, so he'll not be completed divorced from all things Polydor.

Confirming Unger-Hamilton's appointment, Joseph told reporters yesterday: "Ferdy's artist development record speaks for itself, but above all he is an exceptional leader, someone who gets the best out of the people around him whether they are artists or executives".

In his previous roles at Universal Unger-Hamilton worked with the likes of Gabrielle and Portishead, and signed the rather successful Keane. At EMI he worked with The Kooks, Jamie T and Laura Marling among others.

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MYCOKEMUSIC MAN GOES TO EMI
Back to EMI, and they've appointed another non-music man to a senior role, though this one is in brand partnerships, licensing and synchronisation, so someone with primarily consumer marketing experience probably makes sense.

Rafael McDonnell, EMI's new VP Brand Partnerships, Licensing and Sync for the UK and Ireland, previously worked in senior marketing roles for Pepsi and Coke, and while at the latter was involved in Mycokemusic, the Coke branded digital music store, one of the UK's first legit download platforms, albeit quite a short-lived one. McDonnell, more than most, will know that while brand partnerships can be valuable for music, like Mycokemusic, most brand-led music programmes are relatively short-lived, so as chief brands man for EMI UK he'll need to look for quick-win brand partnerships for his labels and artists.

McDonnell will report to EMI's LA-based VP of Global Brand Partnerships etc, Cynthia Sexton, who said yesterday: "At EMI Music we are focused on delivering the most compelling products to consumers and business partners and the most powerful services to our artists. Rafael's background, experience and love of music make him the ideal person to lead our UK team managing brand partnerships, licensing and synchronisation business and I'm very pleased he's joining us".

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SHEIKH'S JACKO LAWSUIT REACHES COURT
The short-lived business partnership between Michael Jackson and Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the son of the King Of Bahrain, is being analysed by the High Court in London, because the Sheikh is using the UK courts to sue the singer over allegations he reneged on a business contract and failed to repay loans.

As previously reported, Jackson set up shop in Bahrain at the Shiekh's invitation after he had been cleared of those child abuse charges back in 2005. He spent six months there, and during that time there was much talk of Jackson working on new material that would be released by a new record company set up by Abdulla, but no releases ever materialized and the venture was eventually wound up having produced nothing. It was during this time Jackson said he was working on an all-star charity record to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina back home in the US. Said charity record never materialised either.

Abdulla claims that Jackson was in breach of contract when he abandoned their business ventures, which reportedly included plans for an autobiography and stage play in addition to a new album. Jackson argues there was no valid agreement between the two men, and that financial advances made by Abdulla during their short friendship were gifts.

Speaking for Abdulla in court yesterday, lawyer Bankim Thanki outlined some of the expenditure met by the Sheikh on Jacko's behalf, including the building of a recording studio in Bahrain, and covering living, travel and legal costs for the singer and his children. Abdulla, his lawyer says, considered Jackson a friend, and hoped to enjoy creative and business success with him, by collaborating on songwriting projects and releasing the singer's future recordings.

Jackson reportedly claims that, while he did sign a contract, he didn't read it, and thought it dealt simply with his shareholding in Abdulla's record company, 2 Seas, and not his business obligations to the Sheikh in return for the facilities he was using. Abdulla's people argue that Jackson is "an experienced businessman" and would therefore not sign a contract without first reading it, but Jacko disputes claims he has business acumen. He also says that none of the Shiekh's people recommended he seek independent legal advice, which he would have done had he understood the implications of the agreement.

An application has been made to force Jackson to testify in the case, albeit by video link from the US. It remains to be seen if that happens. The case continues in the High Court today.

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PRINCE SUED OVER PERFUME
More from the pop courts, and a perfume company is suing Prince and his publishers, Universal Music Publishing, claiming the singer and company failed to fulfill promotional commitments to help them sell a fragrance released using the '3121' name of Prince's 2006 album.

New York-based Revelations Perfume And Cosmetics Inc say they licensed the rights to use the name, and Prince's likeness, on a perfume product. In a deal seemingly brokered by Universal, they agreed to pay the music firm and singer half the net profits from the sale of the fragrance.

In their lawsuit, Revelations claim they invested $2.5 million in the project, but Prince failed to participate in various promotional campaigns for it, and as a result the project failed.

Neither Prince nor Universal have commented on the lawsuit.

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JODY REYNOLDS DIES
Rockabilly singer and songwriter Ralph Joseph 'Jody' Reynolds, best known for his fifties hit 'Endless Sleep', has died aged 75.

Although 'Endless Sleep', often seen as one of the first melodramatic teen pop songs, was Reynolds biggest commercial success, he wrote and recorded a number of other songs in the fifties and early sixties, and continued to occasionally record and perform throughout his life, being inducted into Nashville's Rockabilly Hall Of Fame in 1999. He also ran a music store in Palm Springs, and later moved into real estate.

Musician Alan Clark, a friend of Reynolds who toured with him in the 80s, confirmed the Rockabilly man had died on 7 Nov.

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WEILAND ON THE VELVET REVOLVER SPLIT
Scott Weiland has spoken about why he quit Velvet Revolver. As previously reported, Weiland left the band, somewhat acrimoniously, earlier this year. He says that his decision to reunite with former band Stone Temple Pilots kicked off the tensions between him and the rest of Velvet Revolver, while "piddly financial things" and "bickering" led to the final split.

Speaking to Playboy, Weiland says: "When I told Slash I was gonna do some festivals with STP, he said, 'Thank you for being straight up with me'. It wasn't until later that another member of the band had some issues with it. It's a shame certain people have a hard time letting go of past resentments and try to throw them onto other people. When you start bickering about little piddly financial things, it takes the fun out of it for me... We're all doing pretty good, so if you're going to fuck the relationship up over this, I don't want to be involved".

Slash et al are still looking for a new frontman for the Revolver.

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MILEY CYRUS KILLED AFTER SECOND HACKING
Miley Cyrus really should think about making her passwords more secure.

As previously reported, a hacker who gained access to her Gmail account and stole private information and photos was last month arrested by the FBI. Now she has fallen fowl of another hacker, who this time gained access to her 'Miley And Mandy Show' YouTube page and posted a video, allegedly from co-star Mandy Jiroux, announcing Cyrus had died.

In the video, posted on Sunday evening, Cyrus' song 'Goodbye' plays over a note seemingly written by Jiroux which says: "Miley died this morning after being hit by a drunk driver. She always told us if anything ever happened to her then tell her loyal fans first before the public. RIP Miley, we'll never forget you!"

Clarifying the situation, Jiroux subsequently changed her status on MySpace to "MILEY IS OK!! Some1 hacked our youtube account!"

So, just to reiterate, whatever the headline on this story might imply, Miley Cyrus is not dead. She is fine. Nothing is wrong. Unless Mandy Jiroux's MySpace account has been hacked, too, I suppose. No, I'm sure she's fine. Nothing is wrong. Probably.

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TRAVIS BARKER BACK IN THE STUDIO AFTER PLANE CRASH
Former Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker who was, as you must remember, one of two survivors in a plane crash that killed four others back in September, has revealed that he is already playing drums and recording again, despite receiving very severe burns in the crash.

Barker told MTV: "I'm already playing my drums again, and I'm already back in the studio. It was like riding a bike. It was really exciting to know I still have my chops. It still felt good. I still can make it around the kit. Everything felt right, so I'm thankful to be able to play".

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LOSTPROPHETS DRUMMER JOINS NINE INCH NAILS
Lostprophets drummer Ilan Rubin has been announced as the replacement for former Nine Inch Nails drummer Josh Freese. Rubin will officially become a permanent member of the band in January.

In a post on the official NIN website, Trent Reznor said: "With great pride and excitement I announce the addition of Ilan Rubin to the line-up beginning next year. I had the chance to see Ilan playing his ass off at Reading and Leeds a couple summers ago and he blew me away. We recently invited him out to rehearse with us and he blew us away - the perfect guy to pick up the sticks after Josh leaves us at the end of the year".

Wow, I bet that increases the value of my Lozt Prophetz demo tape. Nice.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Envy - Friday Night (Stopstart)
I'm sure it's happened to you before. While working your way through a bottle of Tesco's finest value vodka before hitting a night club (in a gallant bid to get that Friday feeling without paying a club's drink prices) you suddenly lose the ability to aesthetically assess everyone around you. Something similar seems to be happening to Envy who here painstakingly tells us of her troubles finding Mr Right after "Malibu, Sambuca and JD". All you can do is sympathise. A very funny song, backed with a cavernous and dirty bassline, this is a bit like Wiley meets Lily Allen. And while that sounds like a horrendous proposition, it actually makes for entertaining, danceable music that doesn't even offend in the chorus when the cheesy synths swell in. As we thankfully reach a Brit-school lull, watch out for Envy, because now's her chance. GB
Release Date: 24 Nov
Press Contact: Darling Dept [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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EMINEM CONFIRMED 2009 RELAPSE PLANNED
Eminem has confirmed that his new long player, 'Relapse', which was originally penciled in for a late December release, will now not surface until next year. Eminem told reporters he was "real close" to completing his new long player, but not quite close enough to allow a 2008 release. He said: "We're looking at first quarter next year, which is probably, you know, January, February".

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KISS CONSIDER RECORDING NEW ALBUM
You can never have too many Kiss albums, can you? That's what I always say. Well, if you take "always" to mean "never". However, I don't think I'm in the band's target market. So, there are bound to be some people out there who are ecstatic to learn that Kiss frontman Paul Stanley has changed his previously resistant stance on the idea of a new album from the band.

Speaking to Classic Rock magazine on the subject of Kiss' future, Stanley said: "It looks like we'll be touring Europe as well as the States next year. ... There might even be a new Kiss album at some point. I have been ambivalent to the idea in the past but I'm much more open to it now. ... I thought that I'd be content for Kiss to remain a heritage act, just playing our greatest hits - 'Detroit Rock City' and all that. But the new Kiss line-up with Tommy Thayer [guitar] and Eric Singer [drums] is proving to be so good, so strong in spirit, it would interesting to see how we perform in the studio. I must stress that no recording time has been booked at this point. But it if we were to go into the studio, the intention would be to make a Kiss album in the style of our 1970s recordings. A classic Kiss album, unmistakably".

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HOWLING BELLS GIVE AWAY NEW SINGLE
Howling Bells have announced that their new single, 'Into The Chaos' is available free from their MySpace page. The single, released this week by Independiente, is also available to buy in physical form as a 7", which is limited to 500 copies. The track is taken from the band's second album, which will be released in February.

To download 'Into The Chaos', go to www.myspace.com/howlingbells

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MATT FINUCANE FREE DOWNLOADS
Fresh from his recent CMU Social performance, London-based anti-singer-songwriter Matt Finucane has released his debut solo EP, 'Episodes', which is released this week through Light Crude. You can download two free tracks from the EP, 'Kafka Song' and 'What Comes Next', from here.

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VINES CANCEL GIGS AS NICHOLLS SUFFERS RELAPSE
The Vines have called off upcoming gigs because frontman Craig Nicholls, who famously suffers from Asperger's syndrome, and has had a relapse. A statement on the band's website says his mental health has "deteriorated extremely rapidly over the past month to the point where he requires immediate help over an extended period of time". The decision will affect the band's planned appearances at various Aussie festivals plus a planned Japanese tour.

Bandmate Hamish Rosser adds: "We are all absolutely devastated that we've been forced to cancel all upcoming shows as there's nothing we love more than playing on stage before an enthusiastic audience. We ask for your understanding in this situation".

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NO KNEBWORTH GIG FOR COLDPLAY
Coldplay have denied rumours that they are to play a massive show at Knebworth next year, akin to those Oasis and Robbie Williams shows that proved so successful. Chris Martin has instead hinted that the band will instead play Wembley Stadium next July.

Writing on the band's official website, Chris Martin said: "We tried to get Knebworth but it just wasn't possible. So we're having to think of something else. In fact, I think we have thought of something else. Hopefully we'll be able to announce it soon. And hopefully it's not the same day that Oasis have booked it [Oasis have already announced that they will play three dates at Wembley Stadium in July]. It would be a great double bill. And we wouldn't mind opening. I would also, funnily enough, open for Take That. We were in the dressing room yesterday and, for whatever reason, we started singing 'Back For Good'. We sang the whole thing, word for word, with all the right chords on our piano, without having to learn it or anything. It was great. So I'd like to use this forum, the Coldplay website, to announce that if Take That want us to open for them, we'll do it. The only problem is that we'll have to get down the gym for a bit".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Je Suis Animal - Self-Taught Magic From A Book (Angular Recordings)
Je Suis Animal are a band who have clearly named themselves after the music that they make. Raw, organic and near completely removed from the modern world, they fall somewhere between 'Treasure'-era Cocteau Twins, Stereolab and a watered down Ida Maria. 'Self-Taught Magic From A Book' is the Oslo-based quintet's debut album and is a ghostly mix of vintage dream pop, 60s psychedelia and abstract, haunting vocals. Recorded in the middle of nowhere somewhere in Norway, 'Self-Taught Magic' is a record made from frosted woodlands, old time fairytales and dark magic. The band use a varied pallet of instruments to compliment the standard foundation of muted guitars and drums - recorders, clarinets, omnichords and glockenspiels are added to the mix to create an original, antiqued and esoteric sound that is uniquely their own. Comprised of disconnected, phantasmal songs like the wonderful 'Indifferent Boy' and 'Start The Night' together with decidedly more twee and accessible (though no less awesome) tracks like the band's first single 'The Mystery Of Marie Roget', 'Self-Taught Magic From A Book' is a diverse but nonetheless fluent and inspiring journey through a vast range of magical sounds that Je Suis Animal clearly love creating. An absolutely bewitching debut that deserves every ounce of attention it gets. TW
Release Date: 1 Dec
Press Contact: StoneImmaculate [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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UCJ EXPAND SYNC AND BRAND OPERATIONS
Universal Classics & Jazz yesterday unveiled an expansion of their sync rights and brand partnership operations, which will be headed up by Marketing Manager Buffie Du Pon.

In a statement, the Universal division, which looks after recordings from the likes of Jamie Cullum, Katherine Jenkins, Luciano Pavarotti, Louis Armstrong, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Nina Simone and Russell Watson, said: "There are so many opportunities available to our artists and with our extensive back catalogue - the largest classical and jazz music catalogue in the world - we are in a position to offer mainstream services to branding teams, advertising agencies, directors and producers across the country".

As part of that expansion of activity, UCJ will stage regular showcase nights where representatives from the brand and marketing sectors can experience the label's newer artists. The first such showcase was last night.

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AMAZON.COM LAUNCH ARTIST PAGES
With MySpace looking to now sell MP3s off artist profile pages, and Live Nation-owned Musictoday, who run official onlines stores for hundreds of artists in the US, announcing last week that they would start selling MP3s from their artists' pages, Amazon US have announced a move in the opposite direction. Already selling CDs and MP3s via their e-tail website, they are launching a new website of artist profiles which will include both editorial and commercial content for each featured singer or band.

Commercially, the new service will basically aggregate all the CDs, MP3s and DVDs Amazon already stocks for any one artist, so that fans can browse all available content on an editorially-driven page, rather than having to work their way through album or artist searches. Amazon US VP of Music & Movies, Peter Faricy, told reporters: "These [artist pages] allow our customers to easily find and discover the music they love in any format along with a variety of artist content, like exclusive music videos and behind-the-scenes footage, all in a single place".

Amazon are launching their own artist page service despite being one of the sell-through partners on MySpace's expanded music offer.

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YAHOO! BOSS STEPS DOWN
Yahoo! yesterday announced that their CEO, Jerry Yang, was stepping down from the top job at the web firm.

Investment types have become increasingly critical of Yahoo! co-founder Yang this year after he knocked back a takeover approach from Microsoft that some shareholders supported, and then failed to complete an advertising partnership deal with Google, who pulled out of the deal after US competition regulators expressed concerns that a Yahoo!/Google alliance would be anti-competitive.

Yahoo! chairman Roy Bostock announced last night that Yang would step down as soon as a successor could be found. He told reporters: "Jerry and the board have had an ongoing dialogue about succession timing, and we all agree that now is the right time to make the transition to a new CEO. We are pleased that he plans to stay actively involved at Yahoo as a key executive and member of the board".

One of the early internet success stories, Yahoo! has struggled in recent years amid rising competition from new web platforms like MySpace and the increasing dominance of Google. Some reckon Yahoo!'s future would be best safeguarded by a merger, with Microsoft or AOL, but that's something Yang seemed unwilling to consider. His removal may now mean some kind of merger will be more proactively considered at Yahoo! - a Yahoo!/AOL merger is currently favourite among many of those who think about these things.

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GUILLEMOTS MANAGER JOINS CONNECTED ARTISTS
London-based artist management firm Connected Artists has announced the recruitment of Ed Millett, who currently manages Guillemots and Laura Groves.

Connect Artists chief Paul McDonald confirmed Millett was now part of his team yesterday, telling reporters: "With Guillemots and [Connected-managed] James Morrison sharing the same label in Polydor, I have always heard good things about Ed. With Ed and [former Virgin Records MD] David Boyd now in our team I feel we offer artists a varied, credible and skilled management team".

Millett himself added: "I am excited by Connected's vision of creating a variety of different models in which artists can thrive artistically and commercially. The key for me really is about flexible thinking and Connected certainly has that approach".

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POLICE SUGGEST EVENT OWNERS SHOULD PAY FOR POLICING
Festival promoters have expressed concerns that proposals by the Association Of Chief Police Officers regarding the policing of large-scale events could dramatically add to their costs.

According to current rules, promoters of festivals or large scale music events have to pay for any police officers who work within the venues used by their events, but they don't have to pay for any increased policing that is necessary off site. But the ACPO is suggesting that the promoters of large scale commercial events should contribute to the cost of off-site policing. Their proposals specifically target football clubs, but they also vaguely reference "other money-making events".

If applied to music events, Music Week reckon the move could add thousands to the costs of staging major concerts or festivals. Needless to say, the live sector aren't too pleased by that prospect, arguing they already contribute to general policing through business rates and other taxes.

Festival Republic chief Melvin Benn, who previously won a dispute with Leeds police over the cost of policing a road outside the Leeds Festival, told Music Week: "I can't see why any Home Secretary would back this proposal as it would fundamentally change the face of the police in the UK. The Government already gets millions of pounds from us in corporation tax and VAT from ticket sales, but if they want to get rid of that, then paying for a private police force might be an option. However, if they target football and live music, then they'd also have to do it across society - and who would pick up the bill for protests and demonstrations? It would be a very dangerous precedent".

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POWER RESPONDS TO HOP FARM CAPACITY DECISION
Vince Power has commented on a decision by Tonbridge And Malling Council regarding plans to increase the capacity of his Hop Farm Festival, which launched earlier this year and which will re-appear next July. The council have refused to increase the capacity of the event, saying that they didn't feel there was enough information provided regarding traffic plans and camp security to OK the proposals. Power's people plan to appeal the decision in January. Either way, the festival itself will go ahead, with or without an increased capacity.

Power told CMU: "This seems to be the normality these days when applying for a licence. We had some complaints from the local village, which seem to be unfounded. I have been organising events and festivals for 25 years, from events at the Mean Fiddler such as The Reading and Leeds Festival to my involvement with Glastonbury and many others. I have a good track record in this sector, as do the team I use. I am confident of obtaining the licence for increased capacity at the appeal in January".

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TOTP REVIVAL NOT ON THE BBC AGENDA
The BBC has rubbished those reports in The Times that Top Of The Pops is to be revived next year. Actually, I think The Times simply quoted a BBC executive as saying he thought TOTP would be revived "eventually", like 'Top Gear' and 'Doctor Who' - I don't think anyone thought it would reappear as soon as next year. A BBC spokesman said yesterday: "Despite continuing speculation, there are currently no plans to bring back a weekly Top of the Pops programme on BBC television".

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SUGABABES' BRIT AWARD TANTRUM
Sugababes have said they will boycott next year's Brit awards unless they get given something, which I'm not sure is how it's supposed to work, but hey. They have been nominated six times and won once (for Best Dance Act in 2003), which is better than I've ever done. So, they should just be content with that, I say.

Keisha Buchanan told The Mirror: "We're British for God's sake and we've done well. Surely we've deserve an award after all the hard work we've done?"

Bandmate Amelle Berrabah Added: "I'm telling you, if they don't nominate us this year, that's it, I'm done. I'm not going. They should sack all those old men on the board and leave it up to the fans to decide. They don't know what they are talking about".

Yeah! Ban all the old men from voting. Especially any who work for CMU, they're the worst. Bloody old men.

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HUCKNALL TO QUIT PERFORMING
Now, don't get too excited, it might not happen, but Mick Hucknall has said that he might retire from performing after Simply Red disbands after one final tour next year. I know, it's hard to contain yourself, isn't it?

Confirming to GMTV yesterday that he had "fully explored" everything he could do with the band and that he wants to move on, the breakfast telly show asked him about his post-Simply Red plans. He said: "It's going to be with music, but it's going to possibly be in other areas. I can't really specify now - but what do they say on the telly - 'Watch this space'".

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MARIAH WROTE HERO ON THE LOO
Is it just coincidence that The X Factor Finalists have ended up covering a song that was written on the toilet? Mariah Carey has been telling ITV's 'This Morning' about the strange places she finds inspiration. She said: "Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and have an idea and have to get up and record it straight away before I forget it. Or with 'Hero', I was in the studio and someone was telling me about this film 'Hero' with Dustin Hoffman in it. I took a walk to the loo and when I came back I had this idea for a song, and that was what then became 'Hero'".

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