CMU Daily - on the inside 25 Oct 2002
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
• CMU polemic: BBC should maintain its commitment to specialist music fans,
• Mean Fiddler battle to keep Astoria’s licence,
• Man charged with Nelly fan murder,
• Review: The Red Egyptians – The Red Egyptians,
• Warners solve HMV dispute,
• REM Glastonbury headline favourites,
• McCulloch back in solo position,
• What to make of the Rajars,
• KLF man silent against war,
• Review: Malente – No Risk No Funk,
• Groove Armada confirm Dirty Vegas as support,
• Manics add London date,
• Governement’s Culture Department should get complete media remit,
• Charlatans confirm they’ll be back in the studio,
• New DJ competition frenzy,
• Blue and Elton go for Christmas number one

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Who’s sampled the music of David Bowie, Public Enemy, Lisa Stansfield and Christopher Cross in their single releases – and which British musician, also sampled by this artist, performed his bit live at an awards show?
Answer tomorrow

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CMU POLEMIC: BBC SHOULD MAINTAIN ITS COMMITMENT TO SPECIALIST MUSIC FANS
With the number outlets for underground creativity already at an upsetting low – especially as the copyright owners clamp down on pirate and internet radio - BBC London Live have decided to axe some of its most important and best loved specialist music shows in favour of a ‘talk radio’ format. The move marks the final nail in the coffin of the much loved GLR, the BBC’s London music station before they went the news and chat route last year. Ross Allen’s leftfield dance show and Ninja Tune’s eclectic Solid Steel show are amongst those to be cut in the latest chop. The last Solid Steel show has already passed – its last airing quietly passing last Monday night.

The move has caused uproar in the independent music community. While the BBC will point towards its Radio 1 specialist shows and digital stations 1Xtra and 6Music as representing a commitment to specialist music fans the former are, with one or two exceptions, well passed their sell by dates and becoming more mainstream each week, the latter are as yet pretty much inaccessible to most, and as such untested.

Talk radio in London is important – but with both Radio 4 and 5 having a heavy London bias – and the legendary LBC due a renaissance now it has a new enthusiastic owner, does the BBC really need to add another late night talk show into a cluttered arena. Surely the BBC would be better spending licence money by supplying the capital with music shows substantial enough to deserve an airing but not mainstream enough to be snapped up by one of the commercial outlets.

London radio, and specialist music radio, is weaker as a result of the latest decisions made at BBC London. If you, like me, would like to register your disappointment drop an email to david.robey@bbc.co.uk (and cc it to solidsteel@ninjatune.net who are leading a campaign against the move).

Polemic by Gill, Editor of CMU The Update

CMU Polemic will feature in the CMU Daily each Friday. If you have strong opinions about an issue affecting the music industry or music media and would like to air those opinions here get in touch – email details to chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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MEAN FIDDLER BATTLE TO KEEP ASTORIA’S LICENCE
Westminster council have refused to renew an entertainment licence for the London Astoria – one of the West End’s main music venues - citing “public safety” as the key issue. In a statement the council says: "The Licensing sub committee refused the renewal of the London Astoria's annual weekday and Sunday music and dancing licence and a restricted films licence. The committee was not satisfied that the licensees had done enough to ensure public safety at the venue, particularly in light of the shooting on the 30th October 2001. The failure of the licensees to implement appropriate measures to prevent the large number of public safety breaches alarmed the committee and was the primary reason that the licensees were seen as unfit to hold their license and therefore the renewal was refused." The shooting in question took place at the legendary private party held by the So Solid Crew at the venue.

The venue’s owners, leading music promoters Mean Fiddler, told reporters: "Mean Fiddler Music Group will make an immediate appeal against the Westminster City Council decision to refuse the renewal of the licence for the Astoria Theatre. The appeal will be lodged immediately to the Magistrates Court. The decision to refuse was clearly a surprise and appears to be based on the activities associated with the firearms incident in the club in October 2001. However, both the council’s own Health and Safety Team and the Metropolitan Police investigated the incident and the changes we have made ensure a similar incident does not reoccur. We are confident a Magistrate would have a more objective view and would approve the renewal. Trading at the venue will be unaffected. Licensing Law allows for continued trading for a fourteen-day period during which an appeal can be lodged and continued trading up to and during the appeal. An identical procedure is in place for appeals to the Crown Court in the event of the Magistrates decision not going our way. The appeal to the Magistrates, though lodged immediately, is not expected to be heard until February and we are extremely positive that this will be overturned."

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MAN CHARGED WITH NELLY FAN MURDER
Hank Banegas, a prominent member of a San Diego County Indian tribe was charged on Wednesday with the murder by stabbing of a man outside a Nelly concert last Friday. Bail was set at $750,000. Charges were not filed against Steven TeSam, the chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians who had also been arrested. Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek said. "We're not in a position to file a case against Mr TeSam at this point. We may never, but we will continue to investigate.”

The two were arrested following the assault on two music fans, in which Faitamai Tauanuu was killed and Sean Bowers wounded. Dusek said Banegas' party and the victims' group became involved in a verbal argument that escalated into violence as fans left the venue. Tauanuu, 30, was slain as he attempted to break up the fight and persuade the two sides to disperse. He was the "peacemaker," Dusek said. "He was trying to solve the disturbance."

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REVIEW: The Red Egyptians – The Red Egyptians (Red Egyptian)
At last the long awaited Red Egyptian compilation. Over the past few years Earl Zinger and his RE imprint have been releasing some fantastic but all too hard to find 7”, under monikers that include Aquinas Tunebelly and
Angelo Hectic. The real treats are the painfully rare ‘Girls On coke’ by Earl Zinger (to the tune of ‘Girls On film’ by Duran Duran) and ‘Can’t Get You Outa My Bed’ by Lenny Kostanza (to Kylie’s recent classic). The album showcases Zinger’s incredible songwriting and production talents: beautiful songs cut with the rough edge that keeps them so fresh. Secret guests include Gilles Peterson and Valerie Etienne (Two Banks Of Four). This is forward looking song style leftfield dub beatism – available in a wide range of tempos and moods. Utterly unmissable. Simply fantastic. JG
Release date: 4 Nov
Press contact: Head On Management @ 020 7704 8080 [all]

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WARNERS SOLVE HMV DISPUTE
Warners has finally resolved a four month dispute with HMV in Canada which meant releases by artists on the major’s labels weren’t available in the retail chain’s 100 Canadian stores. The dispute was over wholesale prices and return policies – HMV Canada boss Chris Walker says the dispute has now been solved, though he gave no indication of the terms of the deal. But as a result of the deal Warners albums are now back on sale in HMV stores.

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REM GLASTONBURY HEADLINE FAVOURITES
NME has heard that REM, back in the studio recording album number thirteen, are favourites to headline Glastonbury next year. A source closed the Glastonbury bosses told the paper: "REM are planning on playing shows next summer, and the festival is right in the middle of the proposed tour."

As reported yesterday the band are busy working on their new album which should be released sometime next year supported by a full scale world tour.

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MCCULLOCH BACK IN SOLO POSITION
Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch is all set to release his third solo album next March, complete with guest spots from Coldplay singer Chris Martin and guitarist Jonny Buckland. Word is the album is "dark, but with great pop songs."

Martin has told Rolling Stone magazine that he became friends with McCulloch during the recording sessions for ‘A Rush of Blood to the Head’ in a Liverpool studio. "We played him a few things and he was just fun to have around. We took loads and loads from the Bunnymen certainly in terms of being inspired, so, you know, we'd already stolen all his ideas."

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WHAT TO MAKE OF THE RAJARS
Much nail biting is over in the radio world as the latest RAJAR figures hit the streets yesterday. Now PR departments are busy spinning any good news they can find for their respective stations.

Virgin Radio’s PR may have their work cut out. Virgin’s national listening figures drop by almost 20% over the last year. They say the fall in listeners – from an average of 3.7 million to 3 million a week – was a return to the norm after a temporary increase in listeners caused by the media hype of Chris Evan’s departure from the station. "We were on every national newspaper and every TV station nearly every day, which obviously drove an extra amount of listeners to Virgin Radio," a spokesman told BBC news. They claim a percentage of those extra listeners were inevitably not going to stick with the station (Steve Penk might argue they would have done had his breakfast show not been axed). They also stress that a wide range of programming changes have been made since Evan’s departure and that those changes are only just taking shape one year on.

Virgin can take heart, however, in the news that their listening figures in London, where they have an FM licence, are up 10%, while both Capital and Radio 1 face disappointments over their breakfast show figures.

At Capital Chris Tarrant has lost 300,000 listeners in the last three months. Although his show is still by far the most popular breakfast show in London it could be argued his popularity is waning and his eventual departure (now put off a year) might be a good thing for the station in the long term. Talking about Tarrants figures, and a decline in listening figures for the station overall, a Captial spokesperson said the company was "very, very confused and disappointed. We are perplexed because our tracking is generally spot-on and it shows a different story to the Rajar figures. And we don't have any data to show us where the listeners have gone.” Capital Radio shares fell 5.5% on the Rajar news, the first serious blow to the stock since Tarrant boosted the group last month by committing himself to the broadcaster for another year.

Tarrant himself is likely to more disappointed that his main competitor in the world of pop breakfast shows – Jono Coleman at Heart 106.2 – saw a huge 26% rise in his listening figures – now up to 862,000. Rumour has it the main motivation for Tarrant staying on at the Capital breakfast show was the thought that his departure would let Jono become number one! Jim Hicks, group programming director at Heart’s parent company Chrysalis said: "Within London we have spent a lot of time making sure our strategy positions us as a serious player and competitor to Capital. The combination of Jono and Emma is working very well on air.”

Over at the BBC, Radio 1 had mixed Rajars. They were up 350,000 listeners on the last quarter, but down 300,000 on last year. While the station’s bosses stressed the overall rise since a slump in listening figures in the Spring, pointing out none of their daytime shows had lost listeners and that Mark and Lard were up 750,000, some media commentators were more interested in the station’s decline year on year. Radio 1 is up on last quarter while Radio 2 is down, but Radio 1 is down on last year and Radio 2 is up – and Radio 2 maintains its position of most popular radio station in the UK. That Radio 2 continually beats Radio 1 these days is leading some to suggest that the pop station needs to go through a similar renaissance to the one that transformed Radio 2 from its image as an old person’s station to a credible listening choice for twenty-somethings.

Elsewhere in the BBC, Radio 4 was up 600,000 listeners from this time last year, while Radio 5 saw a slump of 900,000 from last quarter – returning to normal after its World Cup peak in the early summer.

Elsewhere in the commercial radio world Capital did get some good news as alternative station Xfm achieved an all time high increasing audience share in London from 2.4% to 3.8% - the acquisition of former Radio 1 talents Kevin Greening and Zoe Ball seemingly paying off. Classic FM continued its unstoppable rise building its audience for a 14th consecutive quarter, now attracting 6.7 million per week.

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KLF MAN SILENT AGAINST WAR
Former KLF man Bill Drummond is staging a ‘silent anti-war campaign’. The original plan was for Drummond to not speak for a year. Realising this was a tad ambitious Drummond has now produced a pack of playing cards – each bearing statements about the world. The cards are being sold in London book shops, and 1000 will be sent into the air attached to helium filled balloons. Drummond hopes the cards will encourage other to undertake a day of silence as a stand against military action in the Gulf. “The world seems to want to go to war. I don't want it to. I might not be able to manage more than a day of silence but if I got these Silent Protest cards printed up and distributed to bookshops, maybe other people would do days of Silent Protest which would soon mount up way past the 365 days that I originally envisaged.” As part of the campaign Drummond is doing a special presentation to an invited audience at the Marx Memorial Library in London next Tuesday. Anyone interested in attending should email their name and address to silentprotest@penkiln-burn.com - 50 randomly selected people will receive an invitation.

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REVIEW: Malente – No Risk no Funk (Unique)
It seems that Unique have found a niche in making something that is so near house, but holds all that’s missing in house today: funky rhythms, instruments, soul and variations of tempo and mood. This 12 tracker would be the result of George Clinton and Norman Cook working together – everything from deeper 4/4 to mid-tempo funk with James Brown-esque vocals. Not only are there tracks here: there are songs. This a fantastically funky dance album – breakbeat bores should take note.
Release date: 11 Nov
Press contact: Zzonked [all]

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GROOVE ARMADA CONFIRM DIRTY VEGAS AS SUPPORT
Groove Armada have announced Dirty Vegas will be supporting them on their forthcoming UK tour. The DJ plan to perform with a full band and a carnival atmosphere as they promote their forthcoming album ‘Lovebox’. The dates are as follows:
30 Nov: Manchester Academy, Manchester
2 Dec: Rock City, Nottingham
3 Dec: Birmingham Academy, Birmingham
4 Dec: Bristol Academy, Bristol
6 Dec: Barrowlands, Glasgow
7 Dec: Corn Exchange, Cambridge
10 Dec: Guildhall, Southampton
12-14 Dec: Brixton Academy, London

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MANICS ADD LONDON DATE
The Manic Street Preachers have added a London date to their Greatest Hits Tour in December. They will now play the Brixton Academy on 8 Dec. Fans can still vote for what songs should be played at the best of dates at www.manics.co.uk.
The dates in full:

1 Dec: Dublin The Point
3 Dec: Birmingham NEC
4 Dec: Glasgow SECC
6 Dec: Manchester Evening News Arena
7 Dec: London Wembley Arena
8 Dec: Brixton Academy, London
10 Dec: Newcastle Telewest Arena
11 Dec: Nottingham Arena
12 Dec: Brighton Centre
14 Dec: Plymouth Pavilions
15 Dec: Cardiff Arena

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GOVERNEMENT’S CULTURE DEPARTMENT SHOULD GET COMPLETE MEDIA REMIT
Labour peer Lord Puttnam, who chaired the committee that investigated the communications bill, says the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should get sole responsibility for the UK media and the new communications regulator OfCom, claiming the current arrangement of sharing responsibility with the Department of Trade and Industry would be ultimately "catastrophic" for the sector and for the DCMS.

"My experience of joint departmental working has been catastrophic,” he said. “If you are a clever company you can work the system to your advantage but a normal punter becomes baffled and inhibited by the system.”

"I don't want it to be both departments. It will not work. In that kind of battleground, over a number of years, the DTI will set up a situation in which it will end up controlling the sector. I want to see the DCMS emerging as the lead department once the bill gets royal assent. If not, what you get is a crippled department and the prime minister will say sooner or later 'do we need this?'" Rumours have been rife for some time that the department may be closed down and its responsibilities distributed to other parts of government.

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CHARLATANS CONFIRM THEY’LL BE BACK IN THE STUDIO
The Charlatans have denied split rumours that began after frontman Tim Burgess began work on a solo album. The band have said they intend to record a new album and single in the New Year, and will tour shortly afterwards. Via their website they told fans: "The Charlatans are not about to split. Tim has been working on his solo project in LA - all the band members do various other things in their time away from The Charlatans. Tony has recently completed some production work for Moco and Jon was also involved in the Preacher Man cover of 'Peaches' and has worked with Heidi Berry in the past. All this has no bearing whatsoever on the next Charlatans record, for which demoing will begin in January. We are also looking at limited live dates, scheduled for next year, and there will be a new single and an album.”

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NEW DJ COMPETITION FRENZY
A national DJ competition run by bar chain Bar Med has reached is conclusion naming one Tom Harwood from Croydon as overall winner. He entered the competition at his local Bar Med in May, and impressed judges at a final in Shrewsbury on Wednesday night. As well as winning £3,500 worth of DJ equipment he will now play a warm up set for top UK DJ Tall Paul at The Gallery later this year.

Danny Newman, Musical Director of London club Turnmills and one of the judges at the final told us: "All the finalists rose to the occasion under extremely different conditions. The programming on the night provided an excellent showcase of all that's good in dance music just now."

Winner Tom Harwood told us: "I am ecstatic to have been given the opportunity via Bar Med's competition to showcase my set and I can't believe I am going to be playing alongside Tall Paul. All that plus the fantastic equipment is a dream come true."
Over 960 entries were received for the competition nationwide and following a series of bar heat finals, 28 aspiring DJ's went forward to regional finals in Guildford, Leicester, Harrogate, Oxford and Sutton in July, the winners of each going forward to the final this week. Press info on the event from Bronwen Mellor on 01423 565533.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the world of DJ competitions Motorola’s MixitMoto student DJ competition is reaching the climax of its regional heats. The competition, being held in students’ unions across the UK and Ireland, puts competing student DJs in as support for headline DJs like Yousef and Lottie. The best of those student DJs from each night will go forward to a final at the Ministry of Sound next month. Winners to date:

Cork University: Ciaran Wilkinson
University of Limerick: Brian Phelan
NUI Galway: Noel Lowry
Keele University: Paul Carrol
Stirling University: Sheridan Demyers
Cardiff University: Pete Kirk and Steve Wright
University of Central Lancashire, Preston: Paul Main

More info at www.motorola.co.uk (click on the MixitMoto button).

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BLUE AND ELTON GO FOR CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE
Boyband Blue are putting in their bid for the Christmas number one by teaming up with Elton John to record a new version of Elton's 1976 hit ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’. It will feature on the boy band’s next album ‘One Love’ out on 4 Nov, and will enter the Christmas number one race when it is released as a single in December. Tapping in to Blue and Elton’s collective fanbases might be enough to rival the two bands to come out of Popstars The Rivals – both highly tipped for the festival top spot.

Blue member Lee claims the track is one of his all time favourite songs. "We are all massive Elton fans, personally he has always been one of my musical heroes. It's an honour to have had the chance to record with him. I have always loved the song, it's classic Elton". There seems to be mutual admiration between the collaborators - Elton said of Blue's ‘All Rise’ album "it’s the best pop album of the year".

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