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Top Stories
PRS rebrands - sidelines MCPS initials
Winehouse sets up label, signs goddaughter
Biggie's mum says he wasn't good to Kim
Boxer Rebellion storm iTunes chart
In The Pop Courts
Boy George locked up for 15 months
Gary Glitter abandons sex offenders appeal
In The Pop Hospital
Allen got psychiatric help after miscarriage
More fears over Jackson's state of health
Pop Politics
Bono gushes at inauguration gig
John Mortimer dies
Awards & Contests
Donovan honoured by French government
Katy Perry gets Rihanna's award
BRIT presenters announced
Reunions & Splits
Mott The Hoople reunite for anniversary
Beautiful South reunite, kind of
Artist Deals
Placebo sign deal with [PIAS]
In The Studio
Phoenix to work with Diddy on album
Release News
Monks albums to be reissued
Union Square acquire Nazareth catalogue - reissues planned
Gigs N Tours News
Rogues tour
Album review: Wavves - Wavves (De Stijl Records)
The Music Business
EMI make more senior appointments
Summers no longer part of PowerAmp venture
One Little Indian sign distribution deal with [PIAS]
Dutch society to offer Warner's pan-European publishing licence
The Digital Business
ISPs important in digital music future, or something
We7 sign up Beggars
MIDEM digital stuff
The Media Business
OfCom to propose handing GMTV slot to ITVplc
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Sugababe quits CBB
Doherty inspired by Winehouse
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
Josh Weller has been a firm favourite at CMU ever since we stumbled across him by mistake at The Secret Garden Party a few years ago. His catchy tunes, great lyrics, eclectic tastes and amiable personality make him instantly likeable. Comparisons have been drawn to Elvis Costello and Randy Newman, which should give you some idea of the songwriting pedigree we're dealing with here.

He plays Twisted Licks at The Macbeth in Shoreditch on 24 Jan, alongside James Yuill. You can find more information on that here.

Josh took some time out to answer our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
My dad's car broke down when I was six, and I passed the 12 hours waiting for a breakdown service by hitting two chopsticks on the dashboard and Coke can.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Panic, sweat, desperation and luck.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Randy Newman, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and The Noisettes.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I'm so so so so sorry.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
Hopefully, to make more songs and make my first album after the single. Then I have absolutely no idea. Maybe the Olympics?


Boasting a snazzy new art rock (with synth!) single 'Ulysses', appropriately classified art rock band Franz Ferdinand make an assured return to the public eye this month, with a gig at London's Rough Trade East tonight (19 Jan), Heaven tomorrow and a performance on the much discussed returning Jonathan Ross show on Friday. Luckily for them, they're also doing the rounds on the blogs with another new song, 'No You Girls', pleasing plenty of authors and continuing Alex Kapranos' penchant for sultry and seductive lyrics about, erm, girls. A welcome come back by any means then, here's hoping the entire album, 'Tonight: Franz Ferdinand", fulfils the promise that it will be "a bit more assured and a bit friendlier on the dancefloor".


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I'm never sure on the need for name changes. I mean, did Norwich Union really have to shell out £10 million on a superstar ad campaign to tell us to stop calling them by their long-established generally-quite-respected certainly-quite-sensible traditional name - ie the Norwich Union - and instead use the stupid name adopted by their FTSE parent company, Aviva. I mean, in these difficult economic times and all that, isn't that just a bit irresponsible? I know the credit crunch is hitting us all, but I'm not sure Ringo Starr and Bruce Willis needed any financial assistance.

Anyway, I digress. And I suppose if anyone did need a new identity, it was an organisation whose abbreviated name was The MCPS-PRS Alliance - such a complicated name that most people have generally chosen to pick one bit of it when referring to the UK's publishing rights collecting society, though different people chose different bits, so sometimes MCPS, sometimes PRS, or sometimes The Alliance. I've always like the more simple The.

Anyway, the boss of The Alliance, Steve Porter, announced at music business convention MIDEM in Cannes yesterday that from this moment onwards his organisation shall be known as PRS For Music. The aim, it seems, is to have a more consumer friendly name, to boost public recognition for what they do, and also to encourage the increasing number of bedroom songwriters who may be getting an audience for their music directly via digital services like YouTube or MySpace to sign up and claim any royalties they are due. In another bid to sign up those bedroom songwriters, the collecting society also announced it was reducing its new writer joining membership fee from £100 to £10, which seems like a good thing to me.

Speaking on the importance of these songwriters to the collecting society, Porter told Billboard: "They may not have heard of PRS or PRS for Music. That can't be a good thing. Twenty years from now, this will be the catalogue. We needed to ask: what do the these people want and are the services we are providing relevant?"

In an official statement on the name change, the society says this: "The industry is changing Technology is transforming the music industry, new channels and formats are emerging and boundaries are blurring. Licensees deserve efficient solutions while music creators have a right to be paid. So we're changing too. Now we have a new identity, we have the opportunity to reintroduce ourselves to our members and customers and reiterate who we are and what we do. We think the new identity represents us more effectively. It's bold, clear and effective. Ultimately, it will help us to raise more revenue and distribute more royalties to our members".

Although the MCPS initials will disappear from the body's name, the mechanical rights division of the Society will still be known by that moniker and will, I think, continue to be technically speaking a separate entity (PRS and MCPS having kept a certain autonomy from each other despite their merger a decade ago). That said, MCPS will only deal with licensing songs for physical releases by record companies on CDs and the like. Licensing for digital services, both downloading and streaming, something which has sat between PRS and MCPS up until now, will not now be part of the MCPS division at all, and will be handled exclusively by the PRS part of PRS For Music.

Given that part of the rebrand is designed to encourage bedroom songwriters who self-distribute their songs via MySpace and YouTube, PRS For Music probably need to reach some kind of licensing deal with the former. While YouTube is licensed by PRS, the Rupert Murdoch-owned social networking website is not. On that point, Porter told Billboard: "We are in extensive negotiations with MySpace".

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I'm not sure how desirable it would be to sign to a record company run by Amy Winehouse who is, I think it's fair to say, a bit erratic at best. But Amy is setting up her own label - Lioness - and plans to use it to release a debut album from her thirteen year old goddaughter Dionne Bromfield.

According to reports, Winehouse has put aside a million pounds to launch her label, and has already spent £15,000 to put Bromfield through a month-long singing course in LA. Amy herself may appear on some of Bromfield's tracks - which will please Island Records I'm sure, given they are still desperately waiting for Winehouse to appear on some of her own new tracks - while it's rumoured Lady Gaga, Lemar and 'X Factor' finalist Eoghan Quigg may also guest, the latter possibly because Winehouse has apparently consulted Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh on how best to launch her goddaughter's pop career.

I don't know how much of this is really true, though the News of The World quote Bromfield thus: "I had a lot of record companies wanting to sign me but I didn't know where to go. So for Amy to set up this record company and make me her first signing means so much".

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Voletta Wallace, mother of the late Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious BIG says she thinks her son didn't treat former girlfriend Lil Kim very well when they were involved with each other, and that she'd really like to meet her.

Despite being reportedly unsympathetic to Kim's previously reported complaints over how she is portrayed in the new Biggie biopic 'Notorious', Wallace told a US radio station: "I felt bad for Kim. Bad because Christopher did not treat her well. Christopher didn't love her the way she deserved to be loved. I honestly felt Christopher cheated on her, Christopher lied to her".

She also said that she thought Kim had a right to be upset about Biggie's sudden marriage to Faith Evans following a nine day whirlwind romance in 1994. Wallace continued: "If you're gonna get married and you're dating somebody and seeing somebody, at least sit down and talk to this person. Don't just go get married and walk away from somebody that really cared for you. I really felt bad for her".

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With a little bit of help from the Apple download store, currently unsigned UK-band The Boxer Rebellion have entered the iTunes UK Album Chart at number four with their long-awaited second album, 'Union'. The album is also sitting at number two in iTunes UK Alternative Chart (beaten only by Kings Of Leon) and number eight in the iTunes US Album Chart.

As previously reported, the band were tipped for big things following the release of their debut album, 'Exits', in 2005, but during a tour with The Killers frontman Nathan Nicholson became seriously ill and had to be put on a life support machine, leaving the band on hiatus.

With Nicholson and the band now back on fighting form, iTunes made a track from the album, 'Evacuate', its first ever global single of the week, simultaneously releasing it as a free download via every iTunes store worldwide last week. Given the subsequent digital sales of the album via the Apple store, that was an honour worth having. Such was the buzz around the band last week, numerous label and industry types were in touch with their management about one possible deal or another.

Of course it also helps that they've got a rather good second album on their hands. The band's manager, Sumit Bothra, told CMU: "This achievement really is a testament to the band's tenacity. What they've dealt with at the hands of this business would have crushed most others. But four years later they and their fans emerge victorious, with no label backing, no publisher, no UK radio or press support, but armed with a killer self-produced album and a fearsome live reputation. Good things, as they say, come to those who wait".

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So, all you people out there who moan about the fact that pop stars always get away with a light slap on the wrist will be pleased to hear that Boy George has been sent to the slammer for 15 months, after being found guilty of falsely imprisoning and beating a male escort at his London flat in April 2007. On top of the prison sentence, he has been ordered to pay £5000 in legal costs to his victim.

As previously reported, Boy George, real name George O'Dowd, met escort Audun Carlsen on a social networking website and met up for a pornographic photoshoot at the star's Shoreditch flat. George later contacted Carlsen and accused him of stealing files from his laptop during the shoot. Despite this angry exchange, Carlsen later agreed to go back to the flat again, where George and another man handcuffed him to a bed and beat him.

Sentencing the singer at London's fashionable Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge Radford said: "Whilst I accept that Mr Carlsen's physical injuries were not serious or permanent, in my view there can be no doubt that your premeditated callous and humiliating handcuffing and detention of Mr Carlsen shocked, degraded and traumatised him. He was deprived of his liberty and human dignity without warning or proper explanation to him of its purpose, length or purported justification".

Following the sentencing, Boy George's lawyer Steven Barker put the episode down to the star's poor state of mind while battling with drug problems. He told the BBC: "George is on the road to recovery, I sincerely hope this sentence does not knock him back".

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Gary Glitter has abandoned a planned appeal against an order to sign the sex offenders register. The former rocker, who was, of course, jailed for nearly three years in Vietnam after being found guilty of sex crimes against two young girls, was released in August last year, as previously reported, and finally returned to the UK after being turned away from a number of other countries.

The singer, real name Paul Gadd, had been due to appear at the Harrow Crown Court next month, but his solicitor withdrew the appeal in a letter which claimed that his client would not get a fair trial because of the media attention attracted by the case. This withdrawal means that Gadd's name will now remain on the register for life, along with his address, date of birth and NI number, and it also means he's bound by a number of conditions. He must notify the police when he moves house, stays anywhere else for seven days, or goes abroad for three days or more. Failing to do so can incur a prison sentence of five years.

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Lily Allen has apparently told The Mirror that she was in psychiatric care for several weeks after suffering that previously reported miscarriage in January last year. The tabloid quote the singer as saying that she was in the "nuthouse", and adding: "I was really depressed and I'd kind of lost the plot a bit. It was quite a nasty time. But it was quite nice being in there. No-one could get to me. No-one knew I was there".

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New speculation about Michael Jackson's state of health has arisen after he was seen visiting a doctor in LA, apparently looking very frail. According to the Daily Star, the pop star was spotted by fans as he left the clinic with his face covered with a surgical mask. He apparently stopped to chat and eat a packet of crisps whilst waiting for his car. Which sounds very un-Jacko-like.

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That previously reported official concert to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as new US president has taken place, and Bono has been gushing about it all.

The event, which featured performances by the likes of Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen culminated in a two song set from U2. As the band took to the stage, Bono said: "Let freedom ring. On this spot where we're standing 46 years ago Dr King had a dream. On Tuesday, that dream comes to pass". He added that the election of Obama is: "not just an American dream but also an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream, an Israeli dream and also a Palestinian dream".

Not having yet gushed quite enough, he continued, addressing Obama, sitting in the front row: "What a thrill for four Irish boys from the north side of Dublin to honour you sir, Barack Obama, to be the next president of the United States". To be fair to Bono, all that talk was punctuated by the two songs, so he's perhaps not quite the windbag I'm making him out to be.

Obama himself made a brief speech at the end of the concert, but he didn't specifically mention Bono. He told the audience: "I want to thank today's speakers and performers for reminding us through song and word what it is we love about America. Americans of every race, creed and station came here because you believe in what America can be and you can help us get there. If we can recognise ourselves in one obstacle can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change".

Obama gets inaugurated tomorrow.

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Dramatist and author John Mortimer, as you may have seen, as it was all over the weekend news, has died at the age of 85 following a long illness. Which may not sound music related, but the news of his demise is relevant because the former QC overturned the famous indecency case bought against a Nottingham record outlet for selling Sex Pistols album 'Never Mind The Bollocks' in 1977. He famously brought expert witnesses who testified that 'bollocks' was an old English word for a priest.

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Folk-type Donovan has been given a prestigious honour by the French government. Receiving the 'cultural medal' at MIDEM from French culture minister Christine Albanel, the singer said he was "very pleased", and added: "I take it for all the work I've done over the years to bring poetry back to popular culture. To get an honour like this confirmed to me that it was successful, that my work was accepted on my terms, rather than becoming an entertainer. I wanted to be entertaining, but to bring to the world a sense of meaning again".

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More awards being presented alongside MIDEM now, and this year's NRJ Awards, France's big music awards bash. The big story this year was that Katy Perry was announced winner of Best International Song for 'I Kissed A Girl', but, according to reports, there was a mistake in the vote count and the actual winner was Rihanna. Must have been gutting for Perry. Real winners at the event included The Jonas Brothers, Coldplay and Britney Spears. Oh, and Perry, for International Album Of The Year, so that's nice. It would have all been a lot worse if she'd gone home empty handed, eh? Here's a full list, for your information.

Francophone Revelation of the Year: Zaho
International Revelation of the Year: Jonas Brothers
Francophone Female Artist of the Year: Jenifer Bartoli
International Female Artist of the Year: Britney Spears
Francophone Male Artist of the Year: Christophe Mae
International Male Artist of the Year: Enrique Iglesias
Francophone Group/Duo of the Year: Cleopatre
International Group/Duo of the Year: The Pussycat Dolls
International Song of the Year: Rihanna's - 'Disturbia'
Francophone Album of the Year: Mylene Farmer - 'Point de Suture'
International Album of the Year: Katy Perry - 'One of the Boys'
Francophone Song of the Year: Christophe Mae - 'Belle Demoiselle'
Music Video of the Year: Britney Spears 'Womanizer'
NRJ Award of Honor: Coldplay

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Kylie Minogue, James Corden and Mathew Horne will present this year's BRITS. Don't got saying we didn't tell you. Nominations for this year's awards will be announced at the Roundhouse in Camden tomorrow. Oh yes. Very exciting. I think.

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Mott The Hoople are set to reunite in October to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. The band's original line up of Ian Hunter, Mick Ralphs, Verden Allen, Dale Griffin and Overend Watts will perform together for the first time in thirty five years. Hunter says, "I can't speak for the others, but I'm doing it just to see what it's like".

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Some of The Beautiful South are reuniting, but three of the band's original members won't be joining in. David Hemingway, Alison Wheeler and David Stead are to relaunch as The New Beautiful South without Paul Heaton, David Rotheray and Sean Welch.

Commenting on the band's 2007 break up, Stead says: "We never really split up - all that happened was Paul made the decision to leave. But Dave, Alison and I wanted to continue. We've been twiddling our thumbs for a while, but this is what we do best. There are still an awful lot of people out there who want to hear our music and we still want to play it. We're going to be playing all our greatest hits and the old favourites along with a few new songs".

The group plan to play their first gig on 29 Mar in Hull.

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More MIDEM announcements for you now, and [PIAS] have used the Cannes junket to announce they have signed the rather fabulous Placebo to a deal with their Integral division, the bit of the pan-European indie music firm that offers independent artists and labels major-label-style sales and marketing support for their releases. The deal is part of Placebo's plans to self-release their next long player having fulfilled their commitments to EMI. The as-yet-unnamed new album is the first to feature the band's new drummer Steve Forrest, and has been produced by David Bottrill - it's set for a June release.

Confirming the deal, the band's Brian Molko told CMU: "We are delighted to be signing with [PIAS], one of the world's most respected and successful independent music companies. We were very lucky to have so many great labels interested in signing us, it means a lot, especially after 12 years of releasing records!! But we now feel we have the right partner for Europe in these ever-changing times to continue this crazy adventure and to scale even dizzier heights with our new record".

[PIAS] co-founder Kenny Gates added: "I'm proud and delighted that Placebo have chosen [PIAS] as partner for the next stage of their extraordinary career. It looks like the band have delivered their best album ever, and one which we believe may prove to be the most important in their career and indeed the history of [PIAS]. I believe that Placebo's choice is based on a clear like-minded empathy and shared vision and ethos about the music business. This proves again the value of [PIAS] offering a broad range of services tailored to the specific needs of artists and labels rather than signing a traditional artist contract".

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Actor Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly planning on launching a music career for himself via a collaboration with P Diddy, and also plans to film his musical endeavours for a documentary. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Casey Affleck, brother of Ben and husband of Joaquin's sister Summer, will film Phoenix while he works on a debut album.

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Light In The Attic Records has announced that it will reissue two albums by garage-psych pioneers The Monks later this year. The band's sole album, and possibly the best album to come out of the 60s (he said, opening a can of worms), 'Black Monk Time', and a compilation of early recordings, 'The Early Years: 1964-1965', will be released - in the US at least - in remastered form on CD, vinyl and download with bonus material on 14 Apr.

Formed in 1964, the band was comprised of five American GIs stationed in Germany. Initially calling themselves The Five Torquays, they were influenced by British bands of the time, but quickly became more experimental, with rhythm guitarist Dave Day switching to banjo, and all five members shaving their heads like monks, donning cassocks and hanging nooses around their necks. The band claim to have invented the use of guitar feedback for intentional effect, and to have influenced Jimi Hendrix to do the same. Although not widely known, many artists, including The Fall, Beastie Boys and Chicks On Speed, have cited them as an influence.

The band reformed in 1999 and have continued to play shows, although drummer Roger Johnson died in 2004 and Dave Day died last year.

Watch the band confusing the kids on German TV in 1966 here.

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Expect re-releases aplenty from the Scottish rockers Nazareth because independent catalogue label Union Square have snapped up both the band's master recordings and publishing copyrights in a deal covering 24 albums and 180 compositions. The label told CMU: "Union Square Music will begin a detailed re-issue campaign featuring enhanced studio albums including 'Razamanaz' and 'Loud 'n' Proud', themed compilations and anthologies, as well as exploiting the masters via sub-licensing. Our publishing division will be soliciting covers and synchronisation for the published copyrights".

Union Square MD Peter Stack added: "The Nazareth acquisition fits perfectly with USM's strategy of acquiring quality copyrights across both masters and publishing to exploit through our own physical and digital releases and via licenses to film, TV, games and third party record labels".

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One of the bands we championed during good old CMU Unsigned Month - Rogues - play Kilburn's Luminaire tonight, and if you haven't seen them live yet, this is a gig well worth making the effort to see.

The band have lots of other gigs in the diary, some supporting Iglu And Hartley on the NME Awards Tour next month, others headline shows in March to promote the 16 Mar release of debut single 'Not So Pretty'. Dates as follows...

17 Feb: NME Shockwaves Tour w/Iglu and Hartly @ Islington Academy
18 Feb: NME Shockwaves Tour w/Iglu and Hartly @Academy 3, Manchester
19 Feb: NME Shockwaves Tour w/Iglu and Hartly @ QMU, Glasgow
27 Feb: Club NME @ Remix, Hitchin
12 Mar: 50 Bones Party, Macbeth
15 Mar: Loft, Castleford
16 Mar: Kasbah, Coventry
17 Mar: Wheatsheaf, Oxford
18 Mar: Jailhouse, Hereford
19 Mar: Thekla, Bristol
20 Mar: Barfly, Cardiff
21 Mar: Unit 22, Southampton
22 Mar: Moho, Manchester
23 Mar: The Lamp, Hull
24 Mar: King Tuts, Glasgow
26 Mar: Rockhouse, Derby
27 Mar: Koko, London

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ALBUM REVIEW: Wavves - Wavves (De Stijl Records)
Noise. With a swarm of influences including Nirvana, My Bloody Valentine, Black Flag, Pavement and The Beach Boys (to name a few), California-based Wavves are persuaded by, and create, noise. Not just any old noise either - melodic, orgasmic, painful, beautiful, crippling, sickening, haunting, invigorating, nosebleed-inducing noise. Nathan Daniel William is the man behind the sound, and when he's not posting a mixture of old school rap and punk videos on his blog or mucking about in his local park, he's creating the music borne of a generation raised on skateboards and dead rock stars. You could point to other noise-rock outfits like The Death Set, Liars and Battles for likeness, but nothing really compares to the sheer weight and breadth of Wavves' sound. The eponymous LP is a swirling mindfuck of fuzzy, scuzzy and slack - 'Surf Goth' and 'So Bored' are particular highlights, the latter a distorted surf rock anthem resurrecting generation X sounds of old. Gripping from start to end, this debut is a brilliant start to what is sure to be an exciting year of new music. TW
Release Date: 2 Feb
Press Contact: Gold Star [all]

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EMI have announced two senior appointments, one at recordings division EMI Music, the other at EMI Music Publishing.

First up, Charles Allen, the former ITV boss, who is currently chairman of Global Radio, among other things, will become Non-Executive Chairman of EMI Music. Although a non-exec role, Allen might bring some media expertise to the record company as it tries to expand its horizons, and engage consumers direct with its content through the recently launched service. And, of course, Allen knows his internet - he was the one who, erm, spent millions of ITV's money buying Friends Reunited approximately two years after everyone had stopped using it.

Next up, Stephen Alexander, a former MD for the music firm's parent company Terra Firma, who has been most recently overseeing EMI's catalogue division on behalf of Guy Hands' private equity firm, will become both Non-Exec Director for EMI Music Publishing and Deputy Chairman of Maltby Capital, the company through which Terra Firma owns EMI.

This, in case you wondered, is what the aforementioned Hands had to say: "I am delighted that we have been able to attract Charles Allen to this important role. Charles has vast experience of managing change in creative industries. His enthusiasm for music coupled with his business skills ad experience makes him an ideal non-executive Chairman. He has been advising us in recent months and has an in-depth understanding of what is required to drive the business forward. He has already worked closely with Elio Leoni-Sceti, Chief Executive of EMI Music, whose team is turning the business around. They are an ideal combination".

He continued: "Stephen Alexander has been an Operational Managing Director at Terra Firma for the past six years and has been directly involved in overseeing the management of many of our investments. Stephen advised me last year of his intention to go plural in 2009, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take up this non-executive leadership role with EMI Music Publishing. He has proven management skills which will be of great benefit to the company".

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Artist managers Jazz Summers and Tim Parry of Big Life Management have announced they are no longer involved in music investment outfit PowerAmp Music. The two music business veterans brought some industry know-how to the PowerAmp venture when it launched just under a year ago, put have said they are no longer involved because it seems the money firm are more interested in doing deals with heritage rather than new artists, as was originally indicated. PowerAmp, which invest in artist projects for a cut of revenues rather than ownership of master recordings, recently announced their first artist deal was with Madness.

Summers said in a statement this weekend: "I want to make it clear that I no longer have any involvement with PowerAmp Music. The whole point of Big Life's involvement was to source, develop and bring through new artists with PowerAmp's financial backing".

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Indie labels One Little Indian and FatCat Records have announced they have signed a new distribution deal with indie distributor [PIAS]. The deal will see [PIAS] handle all UK-wide distribution for the two indies, including upcoming releases from Official Secrets Act and Kill It Kid, and the return of Brakes via FatCat.

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More MIDEM, and major publishers Warner/Chappell have announced another European collecting society will offer its Pan-European Digital License.

This is part of Warner/Chappell's attempts to offer online music services pan-European licences, so they only have to deal with one European collecting society rather than societies in every territory. The publishers have started offering such deals [a] because it's a sensible thing to do and [b] because of those previously reported concerns expressed by the European Commission regarding the anti-competitive nature of the European collecting societies.

The UK's PRS For Music, Germany's GEMA, Sweden's STIM, France's SACEM and Spain's SGAE already offer the licence, and now Dutch society Buma/Stemra will do so too.

Confirming the deal, Warner/Chappell International Legal And Business Affairs Vice President Jane Dyball said this: "We are pleased to be welcoming Buma/Stemra on board the initiative and delighted that they have agreed terms with us to obtain the rights they need to license our repertoire on a pan-European basis. An additional benefit of PEDL is that it gives us complete transparency into the licences which societies have entered into before joining the initiative, and where necessary the ability to require adjustments to those agreements, something we typically have not been able to do before".

Buma/Stemra's CEO Cees Vervoord added: "We are excited to join PEDL which we support as a pro-right holder, pro-society, and pro-user initiative. This deal extends our partnership with Warner/Chappell and strengthens Buma/Stemra's position with respect to the rollout and implementation of competitive new licensing models in line with the needs of today's market. Buma/Stemra has over the last few years made tremendous efforts towards becoming the most efficient society in Europe with the lowest operating costs and we are pleased that we can deliver the service that Warner/Chappell Music is requesting from its partners".

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A new survey sort of stresses the importance of the internet service providers in the future of digital music. I say 'sort of' because the digital music experts MusicAlly and their research division The Leading Question asked 1300 music fans what their 'favoured digital music provider' would be, offering them options such as ISPs, cable/satellite TV networks, mobile networks and mobile handset manufacturers. I'm not quite sure what I'd say if I was asked that question, and I know quite a lot about digital music services. 46% opted for their ISP, though it's not clear if those fans meant actually their internet service provider, or music services they can access via the internet like and iTunes and Spotify and all that jazz. Anyway, I think the survey wanted to show that music services offered by mobile firms and mobile phone makers like Nokia and Ericsson are yet to capture the imagination of music fans - which is probably a correct conclusion, though it's early days for those services.

The survey of music fans in the UK, the US and France also asked about how they would respond to their ISPs telling them to stop illegal file sharing. As previously reported, six ISPs in the UK have sent letters to suspected file sharers telling them sharing music online is illegal, as part of an arrangement between the net firms and record company trade body the BPI. Meanwhile moves are afoot in France - and it could happen in the UK - whereby ISPs are encouraged or forced to ultimately cut off those customers who continue to file share after warnings. The Recording Industry Association Of America is also understood to be approaching ISPs there about similar measures.

The Leading Question research found that 64% of music fans would stop file sharing if they received a letter informing them they were acting illegally, while another 12% said they would stop once they were actually threatened with termination of their net access. Of those who actually admitted to file sharing, 41% said the warning letter would make them stop, while 63% said the threat of termination would make them change their ways.

MusicAlly and The Leading Question say their survey shows that ISPs have an important role to play in the shaping of digital music services of the future. I'm not sure it shows any such thing, but then I've not actually read the survey results in detail, so what do I know? And ISPs do have some role in the future of digital music, though I think it's easy for them to overplay their importance in the overall mix (have you noticed they always go on about how they "have the good consumer relationships" the record companies lack, when everyone I know is convinced their ISP is ripping them off, and would switch suppliers tomorrow if they thought any of the other net firms were any better).

Anyway, I digress, and we should probably include some quotes from the bosses of The Leading Question and MusicAlly, given they've presumably read their research report. Here goes.

The Leading Question's CEO Tim Walker: "The lesson from this survey is clear. We should listen to the consumer and give them what they want rather than throwing new services at them in the hope that they stick. ISPs need to find new added value offerings as their core service of offering access to internet becomes increasingly commoditised. Music looks like a good bet both for keeping existing customers and getting new ones, particularly if you can bundle in a music service so that it 'feels' free or very cheap".

Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley: "Our survey shows that music fans in the UK, US and France think that ISPs can help to influence how they use both licensed and unlicensed music. But while warning letters from ISPs may be enough to send out an important message to all music fans, they may not be enough to dissuade the real target group of file sharers from downloading music without paying".

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Free music service We7 have signed up the Beggars Group, which means the indie group's music will be available via We7's free on-demand streaming service.

We7 top man Steve Purdham says this: "Discussions with Beggars, and Simon Wheeler in particular, on digital music in the early days of We7, were both illuminating and significant to the development of our business. As such, it is a great honour, to be able to sign a deal with such an influential label group, and to be able to offer our users access to their incredible music catalogue".

Beggars' digital supremo Simon Wheeler adds this: "We're pleased to add We7 to our long list of digital partners across the world. Making our music available to the fast growing We7 audience will enable more fans to discover and enjoy our poll topping, award winning and best selling artists and labels. We're looking forward to working with We7 to help develop their service further and drive more revenues from both the ad supported and retail elements of their business".

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OK, so there's a plethora of other digital stories this morning because it was the digital bit of music business junket MIDEM this weekend and everyone in the digital sector was speedily dishing out their announcement-filled press packs before the amassed throng headed to the bar. Let's quickly run through some of them.

First, PRS For Music (look at me, already 'on brand') announced a licensing deal with legit P2P service QTrax, best known, of course, for their embarrassing launch at last year's MIDEM where they said they had all the record companies on board, only for the labels to line up and say no such deals had been done. For what it's worth, they do now have three of the four major record companies, a stack of indies and a load of music publishers on board. The PRS For Music deal means more of the licensing matrix required to offer a legal P2P file sharing system is now in place. Though it's still not clear how Qtrax will work, and many reckon it won't work in a way that will attract users of illegal P2P services like Limewire.

Next, Sony Ericsson has a deal in place with Universal Music Publishing which will see new artists signed to the publisher get promotion through the mobile phone maker's PlayNow Uncut streaming service. The service, available both online and via Ericsson phones, launched in 2006 (originally as M-BUZZ) and already has a similar deal with the phone firm's sister music publishing company Sony/ATV. As previously reported, Ericsson will be expanding its music services this year, including the launch outside of Sweden of a similar unlimited music service to that currently being offered by their rivals Nokia, ie like Comes With Music (only a bit better from what I can see). Confirming the Universal deal at MIDEM, Ericsson's Gareth Carter told Billboard: "This is valuable exposure that we can bring with a partnership with Universal Music Publishing".

Into the presentation rooms at MIDEM, and things kicked off with representatives from the UK music industry (UK Music's Feargal Sharkey and the BPI's Geoff Taylor) and the boss of the Internet Service Provider Association Nicholas Lansman discussing that still topical topic of what role the ISPs should have in fighting online piracy. Nothing much was said in the session that hadn't been said at MusicTank's recent series of debates on the issue, with both sides saying there was common ground - both labels and ISPs can benefit from more collaboration - but that there was still a lot of work to be done to reach a consensus on what kind of action ISPs should take against file sharers and what kind of licensing deals the labels should offer ISPs so to offer file-sharers compelling legit services.

The most interesting moment came when prominent music manager Peter Jenner hit out at the record companies rather than the common enemy in the room - the ISPs - saying that despite agreements and talks and negotiations between the labels and the ISPs and digital music providers, the record industry was still failing to grasp the potential of the internet, for the good of their artists. Jenner said he "couldn't see anything going on in the record business that will solve what is going on in the market", adding it was still a "nightmare" for those with honourable ambitions in the digital music market to licence music from the labels.

With ongoing licensing squabbles between content owners and content distributors a theme of the day there was much interest in the keynote being delivered by Google's VP Of Content Partnership David Eun, mainly because of the recent collapse of their license renewal talks with Warner Music which led to music owned by the major's record companies and publishing enterprise Warner/Chappell being pulled from Google's YouTube video service. As previously reported, Warner, the first major to sign up to YouTube back in the day, pulled its content just before Christmas saying it wasn't being sufficiently rewarded for the value it brought to the video service (this despite Universal Music saying what a good revenue stream YouTube was now providing).

According to Billboard, Eun said of Warner's decision to pull its content from YouTube: "I think it's unfortunate. If you are YouTube and you're about giving users a sense of infinite choice, you want as much content as possible and effective partnerships with your partners. Unfortunately we don't have that type of relationship with everyone, we don't have that type of relationship with Warner Music right now".

Possibly talking to any Warner execs in the room, Eun stressed that YouTube and Google could offer more than just money to the record companies. He focused on the YouTube Insight tool, which I think allows labels to track who is listening to their music where and when, providing possibly valuable consumer insights. Referring to the Universal release of Weezer's 'Pork And Beans' last year, which got 4 million plays, he said: "Using Insight, they were able to understand the demographic where they [fans] lived regionally".

He concluded that the music industry should "allow innovation to thrive" in order to provide "more choice and different revenue streams".

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Media regulator OfCom's previously reported report on the future of the commercial public service broadcasters (so, ITV, C4 and Five), which is to be published this week, is expected to suggest giving ITV plc complete ownership of the breakfast TV franchise on the terrestrial channel otherwise occupied by the broadcaster's flagship station ITV1.

Breakfast television on the third terrestrial TV channel has always been operated by a separate company - since 1993 that's been GMTV. As one of the channel's most lucrative time slots in terms of advertising revenue, and with ITV boss Michael Grade demanding OfCom act to help his company better compete in the increasingly competitive TV advertising market, it's thought OfCom will propose that the breakfast slot franchise be merged with the franchise for the rest of the channel's air-time and then be awarded to ITV plc.

ITV plc already owns 75% of GMTV, with Disney owned the other 25%. But the merged franchise arrangement would allow ITV to not only take complete ownership of the lucrative breakfast time advertising revenues, but also to reduce operating costs because the breakfast programme producer (and its sales house) would no longer have to be run as a separate company.

It's not clear how the proposals would work, whether Disney would have to be compensated, nor what would happen in Scotland and Northern Ireland, where GMTV currently broadcasts, but ITV plc do not own the main third channel licence (they are owned by STV and UTV respectively). It's also not clear what the arrangement would mean for the programmes currently broadcast in the GMTV slot, though the current female-orientated programming is popular with both audience and advertisers so is unlikely to change, and it's thought ITV would have to continue GMTV's commitments to news programming in the week and children's programming at the weekend.

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So, there'll be more back patting going on amongst the people who vote on that big BBC list of the artists most rated (or most heavily marketed) as the year beings, because not only is Lady GaGa still sitting atop the singles chart, fellow BBC Sound Of 2009 tip-ee Kid Cudi joins her at number two, with a little help from producer Crookers.

Lady GaGa then makes a second appearance with her second single (although it's currently just an album track), 'Poker Face', at number 30, and another of those 2009 tips, White Lies, enter at 25 with their single, 'To Lose My Life'. Meanwhile, Kevin Rudolf continues his ascension, moving from 10 to five, while Girls Aloud leap from 29 to 10 with 'The Loving Kind'.

The only other thing of note to happen in this week's singles chart is the rise of Tinchy Stryder's 'Take Me Back' from 70 to 39. Tinch needs to get his pretty lady back into his zone. The Lipster have been trying to help, so far without any luck. Follow the search, here.

Moving over to the album chart now, and there's a brand new number one. Well, I say brand new, The Script's album has been out for a while now and has been at number one before. In fact, it was the twelfth best selling album in the UK last year. Back off The Script, let someone else have a go. Someone like that Lady GaGa, who, not content with having her first two singles in the singles chart this week, also enters the album chart at number three.

Outside the top ten, the chart is still very much in January dullard mode, so nothing much of interest has happened. The Saturday's album moves from 36 to 14, Roger Whittaker's sentimentally-titled best of 'The Golden Age Of Roger Whittaker' is a new entry at 16, and Animal Collective's new album, 'Merriweather Post Pavillion' goes straight into the chart at 26, which is actually quite exciting. Nothing else here is, though. So, let's just stop talking about the whole sorry affair.

The charts are compiled by The Official Chart Company

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Shameless actress Tina Malone was voted off the ongoing 'Celeb Big Brother' on Friday, but Sugababe Mutya Buena evicted herself shortly after. The Sugababe had been put forward to the public vote for eviction, but the Great British public decided she should stay in. Once realising this was the case Buena ranted: "No way am I staying a day longer, I've already told them I don't care what I lose. If they want to fight me they can, I'm not unpacking my suitcase and that's it. I'm going". The pop star subsequently went to the diary room and said she couldn't spend another day away from her family, and especially her three-year-old daughter Tahlia-Maya. Which seems a good enough reason to leave as any. Leaving the house at 11.28pm she said: "Thank you for the experience and making me realise what is important. I'm after a good night's sleep and want to go home".

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Pete Doherty has said he has been inspired to get his life back on track by, erm, Amy Winehouse. He said that pictures of Winehouse looking a bit healthier than normal while on holiday on St Lucia had inspired him to sort out his own life - though, to be fair, his own life has seemed very tame in recent years when compared to Amy's antics. Commenting on Ms Winehouse, he told the News Of The World: "She had gone deeper and deeper into a black place. She needed a bright light. And that bright light turned out to be the sun". I'm not sure what any of this means for Doherty's music projects, though he did tell the tab he hoped 2009 would bring some love back into his life. Asked about whether he was looking for a new girlfriend, he said yes, though he possibly wasn't being that serious given he then joked: "I don't want her to be famous, just rich. Actually, I'm not that shallow. It's not about money. Just looks".

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