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Top Stories
'Digital Britain' and the music business - a rather long report
Irish ISP introduces three-strike rule for illegal file-sharing
Absolute see audience drop by a fifth since rebrand
Will U2 buy the Olympic Studios?
In The Pop Courts
Lil Wayne settles over Stones borrowing
Brown estate saga may close today
In The Pop Hospital
Skinner has his body and heart broken
Pop Politics
Pearl Jam man seeks toilet law
John Martyn dies
Telefon Tel Aviv man dies
Reunions & Splits
No Faith No More reunion
Release News
New Depeche Mode on its way
Films N Shows News
Lee says James Brown biopic will happen
Gigs N Tours News
Soho Revue Bar closes
Kasabian back bid to save Leicester venue
White Lies venues upgraded
Lennon brothers not to unite at nations event
Festival News
M83, Yann Tiersen and Marnie Stern added to ATP line-up
Supergrass to headline Wychwood
Single review: Justice - Tthhee Ppaarrttyy (feat. Uffie) (Ed Banger)
Brands N Stuff
Kickers team up with Chromeo and CSS
The Music Business
Sony doing very well. No, not really
The Digital Business
Nicoli's new online venture goes live
MUZU does deal with Cooking Vinyl
And finally...
Swindon unconvinced by Robbie's terrorist disguise
Ronson is destroying Lohan, says father
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU
These days all the excitement in cutting-edge dance music is assumed to come from Berlin or Paris, but one UK duo, Spektre, is turning that rule around. Bonding over a shared love of minimal techno, Rich Wakley and Paul Maddox began making music together in 2006, releasing the first of many EPs that same year. Tipped by DJ Mag and IDJ for big things in 2009, the duo are set to release 'Live At Glade', an album featuring a recording of the duo performing live at Glade festival (which you may have guessed from the title). Rich and Paul both answered our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Rich: It was actually a mutual friend of ours that first introduced us. I had decided that I wanted to start experimenting a bit more with the music I was making and found that Paul was also interested in trying out some new ideas. We found that we worked really well together in the studio and so Spektre was born. Our first few tracks were snapped up by Oliver Huntemann's Dance Electric label and it was then that we knew we were onto something good.

Paul: I first started out in my teens making harder dance music, but having always had quite broad tastes I jumped at the chance to start making some techno! I find with the Spektre stuff we do, there's a lot more scope for experimentation and trying new ideas than there was with the other styles I was working on.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
Rich: Our latest single is the 'Wetwired' EP on Veryverywrongrongindeed and was actually inspired by human mouth noises. We wanted to make a minimal track that was made up largely of human noises and 'Wetwired' was the result. Sometimes we go into the studio with a clear idea of how we want the track to sound and other times we just go in and experiment to see how the track turns out.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Paul: Where we start totally depends on what ideas we both have for the track, but the first step is usually to gather a few sounds and write down a list of things we'd like to get into the track. From there we'll usually spend a day or two writing and arranging, then a week or so later come back to it with fresh ears to make some final alterations and complete the mixdown.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Rich: There are many producers that we listen to and rate highly. Some we use for inspiration, others we play in our sets and some we just love to listen to. Here are just a few of them: Dubfire, Gabe, D Nox & Beckers, Plasmik, Martin Landsky, Stephan Bodzin, Martin Buttrich and Audiofly.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Rich: I would say to keep an open mind, as with listening to any music. Because of our musical backgrounds, our tracks are focused heavily on the dancefloor. We always like to keep things interesting and keep peoples feet moving. That is essentially what our music is for.

Paul: If you are listening to one of our live sets then expect to hear all of our tracks but with plenty of special re-edits and Ableton loops thrown over to add the live element as well as bags of effects to complete the Spektre live experience.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Paul: A live CD we recorded at the Glade festival is out next week, which is a good compilation of our best tracks so far, with a couple of future releases thrown in for good measure.

Rich: We have also had a debut album in the pipeline for some time now and we have been throwing ideas around in the studio, however we have been so busy with remixes and other projects that it's still a long way from being finished. An album is not something that we want to rush and we need to make sure everything fits together as a good home-listening record, rather than just being like a live set. The album is going to contain a few surprises and we are looking forward to cracking on with it over the next few months.


VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Soul Heaven Birthday at matter
Soul Heaven is nine and celebrates at Fabric's natty big sister venue, matter, over there in the big dome near Greenwich. In Room 1 - the massive three levelled main stage room with a 1600 capacity and a sky bridge, and where you're somehow never more than 20 metres from the stage - the mighty Master At Work and recent SSQ interviewee Louie Vega will be DJing for five straight hours, with his rather excellent collaborator India doing a live PA. DJ's Andy Ward and the multitalented Phil 'Phlasher' Asher will also take to the decks. In Room 2 you can enjoy the usual suspects of Craig Smith, Aaron Ross and Neil Pierce. Should be a goodun, and as a birthday bonus the first 150 students through the door get in for free if they email [email protected] first.

Saturday 31 Jan, matter, The O2, London SE10, 10pm-7am, £15 adv £20 on door, more at, press info from Jo at Phuture Trax or Danna at Fabric.




So, it's Friday, which must mean it's time for one of you lot to reminisce about the time you were told to fuck off by a musician. Yes, it is. And this week we have a 60s easy listening legend - singer, songwriter and occasional actor PJ Proby - who had a string of UK hits in the early sixties, was once backed by an early incarnation of Led Zeppelin, and who is behind what may be the most justified punter-performer swearing interface we've yet to feature.

A reader writes: "In my youth I got a Christmas job working on the singles desk at HMV Oxford Street (the old one at top of South Molton Street). On one particular afternoon an older gentleman came in and walked up to the desk. I was standing there with my manager standing behind me. The old bloke said, 'Have you got the new PJ Proby single called 'Love Will Tear Us Apart'?', to which I replied (with the cockiness of youth) 'I think you'll find he died years ago'. He glared at me for an instant, turned and as he walked off said, 'Fuck off'. I then felt my manager walk up close behind me and whispered, 'You have just told PJ Proby he's dead'".

PJ Proby continues to not be dead and is still performing to audiences around the world. Just last year EMI released a retrospective of his sixties hits to mark his 70th birthday. It's not known how well HMV briefed their staff about this release.

Have you been told to fuck off by a pop star? Perhaps you told them they were dead. Perhaps not. It doesn't matter. Just send us your stories to [email protected].



So, the government's Communications Minister Lord Carter published his previously reported 'Digital Britain' report yesterday, which reviews the relationship between media and content owners and the internet, and the continued roll out of digital content delivery systems.

While its ramblings on ensuring everyone has broadband access to the net by 2012, on accelerating the move from 2G to 3G mobile connections, on the solidifying of non-internet based digital broadcasting networks (telly and the faltering DAB radio network), and on a review of media ownership rules in the digital age, should interest many involved in digital music, it is the report's provision on combating online piracy that will have got most attention amongst music business types yesterday.

And for those who are looking for government support in forcing the internet service providers to take a more proactive role in policing piracy, and for new laws that provide deterrents to online infringers other than the provisions of civil copyright lawsuits, the report didn't make great reading.

As previously reported, this time last year the government said it would introduce legislation to force the ISPs to act against online pirates if a voluntary agreement between the record companies and net firms regarding the policing of illegal file sharing couldn't be reached. That threat of legislation persuaded the ISPs to start sending out warning letters to suspected file sharers, and to enter into more formal talks with record companies. Said talks are ongoing, though haven't been hugely productive so far from what we can ascertain.

There was, of course, much talk when the government first indicated it might pass anti-filesharing laws that that might include the three strike policy being developed in France whereby file sharers who ignore two warning letters and continue to illegally share content could lose their interest connection. The French government has established a new copyright body to oversee such disconnections. 'Digital Britain', though, makes no provisions for such a deterrent system.

In fact all Carter's report does is suggest making the current voluntary letter sending system, whereby file sharers get a letter from their ISP telling them how naughty they are, into a compulsory programme, while proposing the net providers be forced to hand over the contact information of any suspected infringers.

The latter point isn't without significance because it would simplify the process for record companies to sue suspected file sharers. Currently a record company has to sue file sharers twice - once to force an ISP to reveal the infringer's identity (the label will only have an IP address for the defendant), and then to actually sue the file sharer directly.

However, that proposed provision is about five years too late, because UK record label trade body the BPI - somewhat sensibly - long ago rejected the strategy employed by some of their counterparts elsewhere in the world, Germany and the US in particular, of suing hundreds and thousands of individual file sharers, because doing so just pisses everyone off, and the damages usually negotiated from guilty defendants rarely cover much more than the costs of pursuing the litigation programme in the first place.

Given that the music business has felt that it had the government behind it for the last year with regards to their fight against online piracy, not least because of the verbal support of Culture Minister Andy Burnham, a fact which the ISPs themselves have recognised and admitted was behind their decision to enter into the aforementioned talks with the BPI, the 'Digital Britain' report will be a bit of blow for the record companies and music publishers. While talking the talk, Burnham has previously used the fact the 'Digital Britain' report was in development as a way of putting off firm commitments, with the implication that the report would provide some of the framework for helping the music industry in its fight against online piracy. But in reality Carter's report only really provides a framework to simplify yesterday's strategy, and formalise today's existing strategy. The music companies had hoped for more.

BPI boss Geoff Taylor welcomed aspects of the report, but said that it lacked the "bold" move required to secure the future of the UK's content industries. He told reporters: "Everyone agrees that action is needed to tackle unlawful file-sharing. Requiring ISPs by law to inform their customers about illegal activity is a welcome acknowledgement by government that ISPs should play an active role in ensuring creators are rewarded for their work on the internet".

But continued: "However, it is hard to see how letter-sending alone will achieve the aim of significantly reducing illegal file-sharing which the government has set itself. Consumer research shows that file-sharers are only likely to change their behaviour if they know that letters are the first step in a process and further action will be taken by service providers. The interim report proposes targeted legal action against the most significant infringers but few people believe that the answer lies in suing consumers. We believe that proportionate measures taken by ISPs would be more effective".

The boss of cross-music-business trade body UK Music, Feargal Sharkey, also rejected the idea that a move back to civil lawsuits against suspected file sharers was sensible. He told the press he thought the report demonstrated that the government appreciates "the scale of the challenges faced by the music and other creative industries in regards to unlawful file-sharing", but added: "we do not believe that the form of intervention proposed by today's report - suing consumers - is the best way forward. Obviously there is a need for greater dialogue over coming months. UK Music looks forward to working with Lord Carter and government to ensure that our collective goals and shared ambitions are met, and that any answers meet the needs of an industry eager to embrace its future".

As expected, Carter's report also proposes a Rights Agency which would bring together representatives from the content and internet industries to discuss measures to combat online piracy - whether they be legislative, education-based or involve employing technology (oh dear, that will be bad old DRM then). Some had hoped this agency might take on some kind of actual policing role, perhaps similar to the agency being set up by the French to coordinate disconnections of the worst file-sharers. However it looks like the UK agency will be much more of a talking shop, a more formal place where the discussions like those ongoing between the labels and net firms could be held.

Certainly Carter sees part of the agency's remit to discuss how business models can be adapted to cope with consumer behaviour in the digital domain instead of or, at least, in addition to looking at ways to enforce existing copyrights. The report notes: "There is a clear and unambiguous distinction between the legal and illegal sharing of content which we must urgently address. But, we need to do so in a way that recognises that when there is very widespread behaviour and social acceptability of such behaviour that is at odds with the rules, then the rules, the business models that the rules have underpinned and the behaviour itself may all need to change".

He's right, of course, though short of a blanket music levy charged on ISP fees and distributed to content owners based on how much their content is accessed by any digital means (a model some still advocate as the future, but a model that needs more efficient tracking and royalty distribution systems in place to ever actually work), all business models rely on some kind of enforcement of copyright, and, the labels would say, preferably something more effective that the rather ineffective civil lawsuit approach rejected by more or less everyone, even by the litigious Recording Industry Association Of America, but seemingly preferred by Carter.

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As the UK music industry was pondering over the implications of 'Digital Britain', an Irish internet service provider, Eircom, announced it was introducing the three strikes system.

The announcement comes as part of a deal between the record companies and the ISP relating to a previous legal dispute, and will mean that if record companies provide evidence that one of their customers is illegally file sharing Eircom will send them two warning letters. If the warnings are not heeded the customer will lose their internet connection.

Eircom didn't go as far as to commit to track its customers online activity themselves - something the labels proposed - because it said introducing monitoring software onto its servers could affect broadband performance and breach privacy laws.

Eircom says the labels have said they will push for a similar commitment from other ISPs in Ireland. Of course the whole disconnection system only works if it is applied across the net industry.

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The latest RAJAR figures were announced yesterday, though with all the hoo and haa around 'Digital Britain' the quarterly listening figures didn't get as much attention as usual.

Even radio types were a bit distracted by Lord Carter's report given its ramblings on the future of digital audio broadcasting, the digital radio system that has taken several knocks recently after Global Radio (then GCap) closed down their digital -only services and Channel 4 dumped its ambitions to launch its own digital radio channels and a second national DAB network. Carter says DAB is still important for the future of radio, though doesn't offer much advice on how the recent hiccups in the roll out of the medium can be overcome, other than to put pressure on the BBC to further expand their DAB offering.

Anyway, I digress, back to the RAJARs, and the most interesting figures came from Absolute Radio, who were presumably quite glad most people were distracted from the ratings release given that they have lost about 20% of their listeners since rebranding from Virgin Radio to Absolute. It seems the Virgin brand really is worth something. Or perhaps it's the on air changes the old Virgin Radio faithful don't like.

The rock service's national audience was down from 1.53 million to 1.18 million, while in London, where it has an FM licence, listening figures were down from 958,000 to 836,000. The station's new owners were ambivalent about the decline, insisting they weren't surprised and that it's early days, that the new identity is still to gain momentum. Some old listeners may also have been confused by the name change they said (that was forced upon them, of course, because their new owners compete with the Virgin Group in India), though given the frequencies remained the same I'm not sure I buy that claim.

Still, Absolute COO Clive Dikens remains optimistic, telling reporters: "Our independent research has shown that our marketing campaign is working and awareness has doubled and a quarter of the population are already aware of the brand. This multi-million investment in marketing will continue, building on this foundation".

He added: "Absolute Radio has had just 15 weeks to sink into the nation's ears, Virgin Radio had had 15 years. When Oasis were 15 weeks old they told everyone they were going to be one of the biggest bands in the world. 15 years on, now look at them. We have the same aspirations". I'm not sure the analogy works - is he saying that if Oasis changed their name they'd lose a fifth of their fans overnight?

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U2 are reportedly interested in buy London's Olympic Studios, the EMI-owned studio facility which, as previously reported, the major is looking to sell. Bono et al reportedly used the studios for the final stages of recording their new album, and gossipers say they've now decided to bid to buy the place, giving them a permanent facility in London and saving a studio that has seen the likes of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones record hits there over the years.

A source tells The Sun: "They knuckled down and really responded well to the place's atmosphere. They already have their own studios in Dublin but feel that Olympic could be a very wise investment. They're totting up some figures at the moment. If the maths works out there's every chance they'll put an offer in".

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New York independent Abkco says it has reached a settlement with Lil Wayne and all his associated companies over the hip hopper's use of the Rolling Stone's song 'Play With Fire' for his track 'Playing With Fire', which appeared on the 'Tha Carter III' album. The song borrowed heavily from the Stones track, and Abkco said Wayne and his labels should have got their permission, as owners of the song, before releasing the new track. The song was removed from digital versions of the album after the lawsuit was filed. It's not clear what the out of court settlement means for the song or royalties generated from it, but a joint statement said: "All parties expressed themselves satisfied with the amicable settlement".

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A judge in the US is expected to finally close the long running James Brown estate case today by approving the latest proposed settlement for how the late great soul legend's assets should be distributed to his many children and grand children, his sort of widow, and various charitable initiatives.

As previously reported, the case has dragged on for over two years since Brown's death in December 2006 because of various claims to his estate by alleged illegitimate children, the dispute over the legitimacy of his marriage to widow Tomi Rae Hynie, questions over the paternity of her son, allegations of misconduct by one of the singer's estate's trustees, the removal of two other trustees for not spotting their colleague's misconduct and the appeal of those trustees against their removal. I seem to remember the replacement trustees were then themselves replaced.

Anyway, it's been a very long saga, but if all goes to plan a judge will today approve a proposal to put half Brown's wealth into a charitable trust to educate his grandchildren and needy students in Georgia and South Carolina, and to distribute the other half between Hynie and some of Brown's adult children. We'll let you know next week if that's approved.

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Poor Mike Skinner needed medical treatment earlier this week after doing a spot of crowdsurfing at a gig in Cambridge. I don't think it was one of those 'crowd move to the side, artist lands on concrete' situations, but rather the crowd on which he surfed were a bit brutal, leaving him punched and scratched by the experience. A St John Ambulance rep needed to administer first aid, and such was The Streets man's pain a proper ambulance was called.

Writing on his MySpace, Skinner said: "Seriously never known pain like it and I broke both my arms when I was younger, hardly noticing it. Some kind of tendonitis, cramping and general bodily bashing".

It's not been a great week for Skinner. After the physical pain of the crowd surfing in Cambridge, emotional pain after his gig at the Brixton Academy last night had to be cancelled at the last minute because of a power cut. Back on his MySpace, Skinner said he was "heartbroken" by the gig cancellation.

He wrote: "Tonight's Brixton show has been cancelled due to a power cut. Gutted. Not sure what to say really. I was really excited, turned up and no lights in the whole building. They [venue staff] phoned the power company, who weren't very helpful unfortunately. I'll keep you all posted but the sight of you all outside queuing is heartbreaking".

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Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready stood before Washington state legislators yesterday to back a proposal for a new law to help people who suffer from inflammatory bowel disorders. McCready himself suffers from Crohn's disease, a painful gastrointestinal disorder that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, and can often lead to sudden and painful diarrhoea.

McCready's proposal asked legislators to give access for bowel disorder sufferers to staff toilets mandatory for businesses which do no provide public conveniences. He told the Associated Press: "Imagine the worst diarrhoea you've ever had and then times it by 10, with a knife in it. You have maybe a half a second to find out where a bathroom is. I'm 42 years old. I'm doing fine. But when you're 13 or 14 and you're going through those years with the shame and indignation - it's embarrassing".

Despite opposition from the bank and restaurant associations, legislative committee chairman Jamie Pedersen said the bill was likely to be passed. Similar laws already operate in Illinois, Michigan and Texas.

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CMU favourite John Martyn died yesterday, aged 60, it has been announced. No details of the cause of his death have yet been given, but the BBC report that he passed away in hospital in Ireland and a message posted on his official website yesterday simply reads: "With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning".

Born Iain David McGeachy in Surrey in 1948, Martyn moved to Scotland in 1953 after his parents divorced. His professional career began at the age of 17 in London, with his blend of folk and blues making him an instant star on the city's mid-60s folk scene, and securing him a record deal with Island Records in 1967.

In 1970, he released his third album, 'Stormbringer!'. For this album Martyn had developed an even more idiosyncratic sound through the use of guitar effects, including an Echoplex (an early delay pedal), which he used in such a way that meant he had to play his guitar out of time with his vocals (and any other instrumentation) in order for it all to be heard correctly. The album was also the first of two released that year which featured collaborations with his then wife, Beverley Martyn.

He is best known for his 1973 album 'Solid Air', the title track of which was written about his close friend Nick Drake, who was suffering from depression at the time and died after overdosing on anti-depressants 18 months after the album's release. The album is widely considered to not only be Martyn's best work, but also one of the defining albums of the 70s. It continues to find new fans of all ages today, thanks in part to Martyn's live performances of the album, which began after the success of a performance as part of All Tomorrow's Parties' Don't Look Back concert series in 2006. These shows saw Martyn perform in a wheelchair, as his right leg was partially amputated in 2003, after a cyst below his knee burst.

In his forty year career Martyn released 20 studio albums and worked with artists including Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Phil Collins and Sister Bliss. Earlier this month, he was awarded an OBE for being ace. And if you're still wondering why we're so sad that he has died, just watch this performance of 'I'd Rather Be The Devil' from The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973:

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One half of Chicago-based electronic duo Telefon Tel Aviv, Charlie Cooper, has been found dead, aged just 31, after going missing earlier this month. According to reports, Cooper disappeared last Wednesday (21 Jan) after an argument with his girlfriend and his body was found on Sunday (25 Jan). Although the cause of death has not yet been announced, it has apparently been established that he died on 22 Jan.

Announcing Cooper's death on their MySpace blog, his Telefon Tel Aviv partner Joshua Eustis wrote: "It breaks my heart to inform you all that Charlie Cooper, my better half in Telefon Tel Aviv, passed away on 22 Jan.We have been friends since high school, and began making records together a decade ago. ... Aside from Charlie's singular genius and musical gifts, I can tell you that he was a total sweetheart of a guy, and a loving friend and confidant to people everywhere".

He added: "In the spirit of honorable mention, however, I should mention that he had a shoe collection that was marvelous, knowledge of hip-hop that was profound, and knowledge of wine that was subtle".

Cooper and Eustis formed Telefon Tel Aviv in 1999, their first project being a remix of Nine Inch Nail's 'Even Deeper'. Since then, they have recorded three studio albums, the third of which was released on 20 Jan.

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Contrary to rumours, which, as we previously reported, were firmly denied by bassist Billy Gould last month, Faith No More will not be reforming this year. However, frontman Mike Patton will performing at this year's Coachella festival with beatboxer Rahzel.

The duo have been working on an album together, which is yet to see an official release. They have previously worked together on tracks for Patton's 'Peeping Tom' album and Björk's 'Medulla' album.

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Depeche Mode's new album 'Sounds Of The Universe' will be released on 20 Apr preceded by a single called 'Wrong', which is rather exciting. The release of the band's twelfth studio album will precede a world tour which includes an O2 Arena date on 30 May, which is my birthday. That would make a great birthday present, wouldn't it - some free tickets to see the mighty Mode? Hello there EMI people, you're looking well. Have you done something new with your hair?

Here, in case you need it, is the tracklisting for the new long player...

In Chains
Hole To Feed
Fragile Tension
Little Soul
In Sympathy
Come Back
Miles Away/The Truth Is

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More James Brown, and Spike Lee has insisted his long talked about Brown biopic will happen, and that Wesley Snipes will play the Godfather of soul in it (though he'll mime to Brown originals when it comes to the songs). Of course Snipes is facing three years in jail for tax evasion, which could delay the film somewhat. The actor is appealing the sentence.

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Three London venues have closed their doors this month - The Astoria, Metro and The End - though none of them because of the old credit crunch, the first two to make way for a new Crossrail station, the latter because the people who ran it decided to call it a day. The latest loss to the central London venue scene, though, is seemingly a victim of the recession. The Soho Revue Bar has reportedly closed after the company behind it went into administration and no buyer could be found. The venue's booker, Walt Etz, confirmed the closure to musicOMH, though Music Week say that one of the promoters who regularly stage gigs there, Curious Generation, say they reckon the venue could still be reopened by new owners.

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More venues going under, and Kasabian have leant their support to a venue in their home town of Leicester, The Charlotte, which has also gone into administration and could close any day now. Local music fans have set up a petition calling for the venue to be rescued, though I'm not sure who they are petitioning, the King of Leicester maybe. Anyway, Kasabian singer Tom Meighan says the band will adds it name to any campaign to save the venue, telling a local newspaper: "If we can help, we will. At the end of the day, it's a legendary venue".

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Two of the venues on White Lies upcoming UK tour have been upgraded on account of them being so hot right now. Their previously sold out shows in Leeds and Manchester will now take place in larger venues, with extra tickets now available. Support on all their UK dates will come from the much better School Of Seven Bells.

Tour dates:

3 May: Leeds, Metropolitan University
4 May: Glasgow, QMU
5 May: Manchester, Academy
7 May: London, Heaven (SOLD OUT)
8 May: London, Heaven (SOLD OUT)

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Julian Lennon has said he and his half brother Sean will not perform together at the UN Millennium Goal Awards, which I think take place in New York next month, though their website doesn't seem to want to tell you. I think it's a secret.

Anyway, Julian was responding to a report by Fox News columnist Roger Friedman who said that John Lennon's two sons would perform together for the first time ever at the awards gig.

But posting on his MySpace blog, Julian wrote: "Sorry to say, but the news today about Sean and I playing together at the UN Awards came directly out of Roger Friedman's ass! Do they ever tell the truth at FOX? He/they didn't even attempt to get in touch with either of our reps or the producers of the UN event to find out whether this story was true or not. So you know what they represent".

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They say you should give the people what they want. Unfortunately, the people often don't know what they want, or just want something that is rubbish. Not in the case of the upcoming ATP festival, dubbed 'The Fans Strike Back', though.

Like one of the 2007 ATPs, this edition of the festival, which will take place between 8-10 May, will feature line-up half made up of bands picked by the festival organisers and half selected by votes from ticket-buyers. Those smart ticket-buyers have just added CMU favourites M83 and Marnie Stern to their line-up. They join Beirut, Electric Wizard and Future Of The Left.

Also in ATP news, another CMU favourite, Yann Tiersen, has been added to the bill of a second ATP weekend, which is being curated by The Breeders. That will take place between 15-17 May. Both events will take place at Butlins in Minehead.

More info from

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Supergrass have been confirmed as headliners for this year's Wychwood festival. The band will play on the Saturday night on the Independent stage, which will also host performances by The Wonder Stuff, The Beat, The Oysterband and Danny & The Champions Of The World.

Also at this year's festival, the Wichar stage will be curated by 6music's Tom Robinson. The DJ has picked some of his favourite new bands to perform, including Orphans & Vandals, Hoodlums, Alice Gun, Natalie Ross, Mooli and Dan Whitehouse, under the banner 'Fresh From The Net Sessions'.

Wychwood will take place at Cheltenham Racecourse between 29-31 May.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Justice - Tthhee Ppaarrttyy (feat. Uffie) (Ed Banger)
"Let me tell you what I do when my day is over, after picking the right clothes for about an hour, ooh I'm turning orange from all the carats around my neck, tonight I'm taking out the bling and I'm dressed to impress," chants American-born, Parisian-raised electro rap-tress Uffie (well, her vocal track, anyway), amidst frantic crowd cheering and a heady, hectic bassline. This is the live reworking of Justice's 'Tthhee Ppaarrttyy', taken straight from the French duo's recently released live DVD and album, 'A Cross The Universe'. Harder and more frenzied than its original mix, 'Tthhee Ppaarrttyy' live is floor-to-ceiling shaking, even through iPod headphones, and, as anyone who has been to a Justice gig will know, a distinct show highlight. With a promise to return to the studio in the next couple of months and a new album on the horizon, France's electro-house royalty won't need to do any dusting of their thrones quite yet. There are no worshippers left sitting idle in the Church of Justice, after all. TW
Release Date: 9 Feb
Press Contact: The Darling Department [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Shoe makers Kickers have teamed up with Chromeo and CSS for a new video. The video features the feet of thousands of festival-goers, which were filmed dancing and used to create a stop-motion film, in which said dancing appears to power a machine that spits out Kickers shoes that then come to life. The video is soundtracked by a CSS remix of Chromeo's 'Fancy Footwork', which can be downloaded from the Kickers MySpace page.

Hugh Sweeney, Marketing Manager for Kickers told CMU: "The Kickers 'Fancy Footwork' activity was designed to get festival-goers using their feet in such a way that could be captured and used to create a unique piece of user-generated, branded content. With their feel good dance tunes, Chromeo provided the perfect soundtrack and the CSS remix gives us an exclusive track to go with the new video".

Check out the video and download the track here.

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Not great financial results from Sony Music for the last quarter of 2008, though I think we knew that was coming didn't we? The major record company, now wholly owned, of course, by Sony Corp since they bought out BMG, generated $1.16 billion in the quarter, 22% down on the same quarter in 2007. The decline, of course, was mainly because of the latest slump in physical CD sales and the failure of new digital revenues to fully compensate for that slump.

Operating income was 10% up on paper, though that, for reasons I don't understand, is because of the effect of the major becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp, and in fact operating income was also down.

But compared with other parts of the Sony Corporation the music company wasn't doing so bad. As previously reported, it's been known for a while Sony's electronics business is suffering deeply because of the world recession and its impact on the sales of big tellys and flash cameras. Confirming an operating loss for the third quarter, Sony bosses also confirmed reports the group is likely to make an annual loss for the first time in fourteen years this year.

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A new online music venture headed up by former EMI chief Eric Nicoli and previewed at Midem earlier this month has formally gone live at

Calling itself the "ultimate online music community", R&R World is specifically aimed at artists at the start of their careers interested in promoting themselves and their music to a new audience. Crucially the site also aims to involve people working in the music industry - whether they be from the recording or publishing or management or live or brand partnership domains - and to provide a network through which those who work behind the scenes can connect with new on stage talent.

As well as the usual social networking and content distribution tools, artists, and indeed newer backstage people, will also be access a range of information and education resources which will appear on the site in the coming months (including some rather fine music business news provided by something called CMU). A selection of bands who participate will also be invited to sign up to the R&R record label, a sister enterprise that will help new talent develop themselves and their early work by putting them in touch with various industry experts.

Commenting on the new venture, Nicoli told CMU: "R&R World is an online destination that provides much more than just entertainment. Participation is free and easy and whether you're an artist, a music fan, a music industry professional, a service provider, a venue owner or a brand owner with an interest in participating in a vibrant community, R&R World has much to offer you. In particular, we're mindful of the vast array of musical talent across the world and we intend to give as many artists as possible the opportunity to shine. And the best talent will be selected to get the full R&R treatment".

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Music video service MUZU TV has just announced another global licensing deal, this time with indie label Cooking Vinyl. It will mean another raft of videos added to the ever-expanding MUZU catalogue, and may just mean the arrival of some of CV's artists, maybe The Prodigy, Blondie, The Charlatans and Hayseed Dixie, on the MUZU-powered CMU-Tube. Hurrah.

Here's what Ciaran Bollard, MUZU's Co-Founder and Director of Business Development, told CMU: "Cooking Vinyl is a fantastic coup for MUZU TV users globally. The support from highly respected labels such as Cooking Vinyl further helps to materialise our goal to become the de facto partner for the music industry and the best place for fans to watch, create and share and music video playlists. We are delighted that MUZU TV users will also get exclusive access to unseen video footage which we are digitising on behalf of Cooking Vinyl".

Chief Vinyl Cook, Martin Goldschmidt, added: "To date, we have resisted doing deals with a lot of online video platforms because we didn't feel their offering fairly compensated our artists and had the right focus. MUZU TV is different from other online video sites - it was purpose-built for the music industry and we believe it holds great revenue potential for our label through a music-focussed service. We see MUZU TV as being a key online video partner going forward".

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You know how it is, you're going out to buy a bike but then you remember you're a world famous pop star. How should one disguise oneself? Surely the best thing to do would be to cover your face with a balaclava. That way, if anyone does spot you, they'll just think you're a terrorist and let you get on with your daily business. Well, sorry Robbie, you're just too recognisable for that.

Yes, seemingly confirming rumours that he has moved back to England, Robbie Williams was photographed by the Swindon Advertiser on Tuesday as he left the Red Planet bicycle shop in the town. The singer is rumoured to have bought mansion for £7 million in the nearby village of Compton Bassett earlier this month.

Apparently Robbie's terrorist disguise was so unconvincing that it attracted not just a photographer but a throng of fans, too. The paper reported that a security guard at the shop told them "not to hassle him so he could have his first day back in peace". However, a local restaurant owner Antonino Coniglio did manage to get an autograph for his wife, Claire. Robbie apparently joked, "Are you Claire?" before signing his name.

Confirming that he is indeed in the country, Williams' spokesman, James Herring, said: "Robbie is over here working on a new album which is due for release in the autumn".

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Michael Lohan, father of Lindsay, has been professing his disapproval of his daughter's relationship with Samantha Ronson again. While he has previously claimed that Ronson is a bad influence on his daughter and condemned the relationship on the grounds that it doesn't fit with his Christian beliefs, he and Lindsay appeared to call a truce last month following the couple's reported split. However, it now seems that they are back together, and Lohan Sr is calling on friends and family to intervene and break up the couple.

He wrote on his blog: "When a mother or father sees their child in turmoil (losing weight, not working, and purportedly cutting herself) are we supposed to stand by, remain silent and pretend it isn't happening? Or are we suppose to step to the plate and not care what people think, and do something about it? Well, as you can see, I'm not going to sit back and let it slide".

He then pleaded: "I am asking everyone out their to intervene in every way possible to help Lindsay, and quite possibly, save her life. Help this wonderful, good hearted and gifted young lady to see what Samantha is doing to her and how she is destroying her life ... Just look! The proof is there! These aren't just words, but fact! Please help!"

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