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Top Stories
Macca says Pirate Bay ruling fair
Majors and ISPs respond to Pirate Bay
Hacktivists attack
PRS For Music revenues on the up
More on Madonna falling of a horse
In The Pop Courts
Pink Floyd sue EMI
In The Pop Hospital
Ronan Keating on cancer scare
Singer Tilahun Gessesse dies
Awards & Contests
Classical Brit nominations announced
Charts, Stats & Polls
Katy Perry is most played MTV artist
Reunions & Splits
Blink 182 begin rehearsals
In The Studio
Williams optimistic about new album
Release News
Franz Ferdinand go Dutch on single
Sonic Youth give away new track
Beatles reissue artwork previewed
Gigs N Tours News
Simple Minds announce arena tour
Massive Attack tour
Festival News
Glasto free ticket line is redrawn
New live stage at Global Gathering
Festival line up update
Single review: Maximo Park - The Kids Are Sick Again (Warp)
The Music Business
EMI to distribute Eleven Seven
Best Buy looking for UK stores
The Digital Business
Spotify working on mood-based adverts
The Media Business
Indy could be sold as INM reviews operations
New Talent star denies false start was planned
Chart Of The Day
Total Rock World Album Chart
And finally...
That Marilyn Manson is just sooo outrageous!

Formed at school by vocalists James Mayer, Adio Marchant and Simeon Mclean, Kid British's sound took proper shape when they hooked up with producer Sean Mbaya. Since then, they've been hard at work on their debut album, 'It Was This Or Football', which is out on 29 Jun. The first taste of what to expect is available on the single, 'Sunny Days', which is out this week. You can also catch the band supporting The Specials, as well as at festivals aplenty and their own headline shows, between now and August. We spoke to Simeon to find out more.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Myself, Adio and James have made music together since school. We would write lyrics to house and garage tracks, and perform DJ sets in local clubs with a few other mates of ours. It wasn't until about three years ago, when we met Sean, that we actually started taking music more seriously and began considering it as a career. Sean was a local producer who somehow got hold of a CD that myself, Adio and James made. He liked it and wanted to work with us. Sean then incorporated the live guitar, keys, bass etc into our music.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Things that we see and go through in everyday life help inspire every track we make. We don't write about stuff that we don't know about.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Well either Sean will play us some music which he's created and we will all put our heads together to write something for it, or we will already have an idea for a track, like the lyrics etc, and Sean will make the music around the idea.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
No one artist influences our work. We're influenced by loads of different artists and genres, we're a product of the 'iPod on shuffle' generation!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
You alright? We are Kid British haha!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We hope people enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it. Hopefully we will be making music for a very long time to come.

MORE>> and

Mazes are responsible for the best two-minute pop song I've heard in ages, the inspiringly named 'Bowie Knives'. Mixing tracks through a TV and recording on just a 4-track, it's what Weezer would sound like if they roughed up their songs a bit. It also - though it is admittedly stated in their influences column - sounds a helluva lot like a fuzzier Pavement, an offshoot of 'Wowee Zowee' that Stephen Malkmus could have recorded at home while J Mascis was passing through. Show dates are up on the link below, while the impressive London-based indie label Sex Is Disgusting have a 7" pencilled for later in the year.
DeSylva PR is the freelance venture of Holly de Sylva who has spent 5 years at leading music and festival agencies across London. A young, hard working and dynamic PR looking after 4 festivals, plus leading, innovative venues and bands and i need an assistant now! Someone who can hit the ground running, loves mucking in, will work across all accounts on admin, press releases and negotiating press plus doing mail outs to journalists. Other tasks include assisting managing interview schedules on site at festivals, assisting managing guest lists and much more besides.

This is an amazing opportunity for a dedicated, ambitious and enthusiastic person to gain hands on and invaluable contacts and experience in music PR. Main requirements are: focus, creative and clever ideas, happy to muck in, enthusiasm, capacity of working and thinking quickly, excellent social skills, excellent organisation skills and time management, keen dedication to learning skills of Music PR, reliability and an interest in Climate and political issues and urge to change the world for the better using events and positive, call-to-action PR. (we look after some green / eco events). Applicant will be expected to work unsupervised sometimes and a sense of responsibility and desire to work with 100% reliability is necessary.

Based in Shoreditch this Full-time freelance contract runs until September. Applicants will be expected to work at the festivals as part of the full time position, expenses will be paid.

Please send CV's and intro email to [email protected]


ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.


with a London based charity, unpaid though travel and lunch expenses paid.

This national employment charity is looking for a bright, enthusiastic graduate to intern with them for 3-6 months. You will be responsible for a research assignment for its regional operations. You will spend some time conducting desk research in London and the rest of the the time you will be making site visits to locations which include Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool, Plymouth, Bristol, Hastings and Brighton. Travel, lunch and accommodation expenses will be paid for those trips.

You will conduct one-to-one interviews with key senior management and local operations staff and then prepare a first stage feedback paper per operational region to be used as the basis for the development of a business strategy.

You will need plenty of common sense, confidence and the ability to deliver to deadlines. You should be prepared to work autonomously and have lots of get up and go. Reporting to the Marketing Director, you will be expected to have strong writing and research skills.

This is a fabulous opportunity to gain experience at a national level in the charitable sector.

To apply, send your CV and covering letter to [email protected] quoting reference SS64


UnLimited Media is seeking an intern to begin working with us this Spring/Summer. The successful candidate will work primarily on CMU projects, helping process and manage review CDs, update databases, expand the CMU Directory and assist on upcoming marketing programmes. These are unpaid positions, but interns will get an unrivalled introduction to the music and media businesses, editorial, administration and marketing experience, and the opportunity to make great contacts.

To apply send a CV and a short note telling us what you'd like to get out of an internship to [email protected].

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Leyline Promotions - better known as one of the capital’s leading independent promoters (The Remix, Kill All Hippies, Insomniacs Ball, Twisted Licks, Breaking Ground) - have created a new publicity department headed up by Nick Bateson and Adrian Leigh. The pair have worked on major campaigns including a-ha, Glade Festival, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Standon Calling Festival and Hervé amongst others.

In addition to their wealth of experience in the live arena, Leyline Publicity now specialise in bespoke PR services including online and offline music and lifestyle press, radio plugging, brand development, digital marketing and blogging. For further information please contact: [email protected] or [email protected]om t: 020 7575 3285


Leyline Promotions has two desk suites available in a well-appointed courtyard studio in Westbourne Studios, W10. Ideal for a small creative agency in a very friendly and professional environment. Rent includes: storage, broadband connections, business rates, insurance, 24 hr access, restaurant and bar, conference facilities, natural sunlight. 4 mins walk from Westbourne Park tube station. Call Adrian for more info on 07971 555 020 / [email protected]

ADVERTISE WITH CMU - classifieds £120 per week, job ads £100 per week, banner ads £150 per week, leader box £200 per week - call 020 7099 9050 or email [email protected] for information or to book.

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Copyright-owning Stephen Fry last week tweeted that he felt a lot of sympathy for The Pirate Bay Four as they were sentenced to a year in jail for their part in enabling illegal file-sharing online via their infamous BitTorrent tracker. Paul McCartney was less sympathetic. Then again, Fry doesn't have a whole catalogue of music being rampantly shared online while he tries to reach a deal with his former record label and legit download providers to make those songs available online in a way that'll earn him some cash. Then again, that's more the fault of Macca, Apple Corps and EMI than The Pirate Bay, so what you gonna do?

Anyway, Macca spoke about the big file-sharing story of the moment ahead of his headline performance at last weekend's Coachella festival and told the BBC that he thought the Swedish courts were right to find the four men behind the rogue BitTorrent tracker guilty of copyright crimes, though it's the little bands he's worried about obviously, not the impact everyone file-sharing Beatles tunes will have on the legit release of the Fab Four's digital catalogue, if and when that ever takes place.

McCartney said (giving away that he doesn't get on bendy busses very often): "If you get on a bus you've got to pay. And I think it's fair, you should pay your ticket. Anyone who does something good, particularly if you get really lucky and do a great artistic thing and have a mega hit, I think you should get rewarded for that. I'm in favour of that sort of thing. The problem is you get a lot of young bands coming up and some of them aren't going to last forever so if they have a massive hit that's going to pay their mortgage. They're going to feed the children on that and if they don't get that money, if they don't see that money, I think it's a bit of a pity. Particularly for young bands if they've got a young family, I don't want to see them destitute after a couple of years when they were mega. So I think it [the Bay ruling] is fair". He added: "I've been very lucky because my main era with the Beatles was at a time when everyone did get paid".

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Speaking shortly after the aforementioned Pirate Bay ruling, the boss of Universal Music International told a conference in London that the Swedish courts had done the right thing, adding that the music and movie industries would continue their fight against the illegal sharing of music online.

According to The Register, Universal chief Lucian Grainge, somewhat unsurprisingly, disagreed with those delegates at Friday's Digital Britain seminar who argued that P2P file sharing was actually a boon to the creative industries, even if it meant their work was distributed without compensation. Grainge maintained that the financial risk that companies like record labels take in launching and developing new creative talent needed to be rewarded, otherwise they wouldn't take the risk any more.

He argued that the content industries needed to maintain the momentum of The Pirate Bay trial and continue to act to restrict illegal content distribution online, in order to ensure those legit digital music services in development had the best chance of succeeding. To that end he urged Communications Minister Stephen Carter, present at the event, to give serious consideration to the "graduated response" enforcement regime being proposed by the record companies. In case you wondered - that's what record label chiefs seem to be calling 'the three-strikes system' these days. The graduated response would see ISPs sending increasingly stern letters to persistent file-sharers, ultimately cutting off those who continued to access or upload unlicensed content.

As previously reported, Carter and his colleague IP Minister David Lammy don't seem so keen to follow through on Culture Minister Andy Burnham's previous promises of forcing internet service providers to take a more proactive role in policing online piracy. Carter is advocating a Digital Rights Agency, which would look to further cooperation between content owners and ISPs, though major label bosses see those proposals as a distraction to put off the difficult decision of cutting off persistent illegal file-sharers.

Somewhat ironically, one organisation that represents internet service providers also welcomed The Pirate Bay ruling and the momentum it created in the fight against online piracy, though because, as far as they are concerned, it proved there was no need for a "graduated response" enforcement scheme at all. What the ruling in the Swedish courts proved, internet body LINX said yesterday, was that the courts are fully able to deal with the online piracy problem, and that there is no need for ISPs to get involved.

According to Techwatch, LINX spokesman Malcolm Hutty told reporters: "This is vindication for our view that justice prevails when both sides have a fair trial. Copyright law enforcement should be handled in courts, where both party's rights are protected. Justice is undermined when innocent intermediaries such as ISPs are asked to bypass the court system for the sole benefit of the record labels. We hope that this verdict will give political leaders more confidence in the courts, and show they need not give in to music industry demands for preferential treatment".

Of course, aside from the cost of monitoring illegal file sharing and administrating the aforementioned warning letters, not to mention the irritation and tricky PR of cutting off otherwise paid-up customers, those who oppose the three-strike system - ISPs especially - point out that the scheme gives content owners and/or net firms something nearing a judicial role with regards deciding whether or not a consumer deserves internet access - what happens, they say, when someone is falsely accused of file-sharing?

Those concerns were high up the agenda in New Zealand where the three-strike system became law without any obvious consideration being given by political types to that question. As a result the new laws are currently on hold. In France, where three-strikes is also seriously being considered, a government agency will be established to deal with appeals. If three-strikes were to become law here (which seems unlikely at the moment), Carter's Digital Rights Agency might take that role.

Of course, the record companies, while not wishing to diminish the glow of satisfaction they are feeling regarding last week's Pirate Bay ruling, might take the role of the realist when responding to Hutty's remarks. While the content owners did win the case against the Bay, it took an incredibly long time to get to court, the site is still live despite the rulings, an appeal is now almost guaranteed, and at least three of the defendants are unwilling to pay even a portion of the damages they were ordered to hand over. There is nothing especially efficient about fighting file-sharing through the courts and the three-strike system, while by no means perfect (and little deterrent to offline file sharing, or sharing via the so called dark internet), is a damn site quicker than going through the motions of suing the owners of file-sharing software and BitTorrent trackers.

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Responding to The Pirate Bay ruling by using their preferred method of protest, hackers, or 'hacktivists' if you prefer, have being trying to bring down the websites of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry and the lawyers who represented them in The Pirate Bay trial.

According to The Register, 250 hackers took part in an online discussion at the weekend and agreed to attack the IFPI's global and Swedish websites. The IT website reports that as a result the trade body's website was down or running slowly yesterday, though it seems OK at the moment.

The attack was given the name Operation Baylout, and the admin of one of the discussion forums where the plans were hatched told The Register: "They want to get the message across that the IFPI can not mess with the internet and that the internet is serious business".

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Google's profits were up yesterday, PRS For Music announced record revenues today - weren't both sides pleading poverty in their recent YouTube squabble? Or perhaps they were focusing on what they think they owe/deserve, rather than what they could afford. Whatever, songwriter collecting society PRS For Music yesterday announced that it would be distributing £117 million to its members from first quarter earnings for 2009, which is something of a record apparently.

Confirming the record pay out, PRS For Music boss Steve Porter told CMU: "PRS For Music exists to ensure the songwriters and composers get paid when their works are played, performed or reproduced and I'm delighted we've been so successful in both promoting music use and paying those who created it. These royalties sustain this vital UK industry; nurture new talent as well as enabling our members to earn while they continue to create the music we love".

PRS collect money on behalf of songwriters and their publishers every time a song gets played in public, whether that be on the radio or TV, via an online music service, at a gig, or in a shop or café. For fans of stats, we can tell you that 19.7 million performances were tracked by PRS in the last quarter, with 743,000 individual songs earning royalties. 65% of the cash comes from UK royalties, while the rest comes from international use of UK songwriters' music, especially in the US, Germany and France.

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More on Madonna falling off that horse. As previously reported, Madge's official spokeswoman says the singer fell off a horse at the weekend, suffering minor injuries, after a paparazzo leapt out of a hedge and startled the horse she was riding. However, a photographer who was snapping the singer from afar says there was no pap around. It's unclear whether the photographer who has made those claims - Thomas Hinton - is the man the singer is actually accusing of frightening her horse, though he claims he was no where near enough for the horse to see him. The update to this story is that media reports claim that the accident was reported to local police, but with no mention of the startling pap allegation, throwing further doubt on Madonna's official version of events. Her spokeswoman, though, says the singer stands by her original claims.

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Following on from Paul McCartney's comments that it was much nicer in the olden days when everyone paid everyone else their fair share in the music industry, Pink Floyd are suing EMI in a dispute over royalty payments, according to The Observer. We don't know much more than that I'm afraid, though apparently the band claim the major has been miscalculated the royalties they are owed from back catalogue sales. EMI are yet to comment on the lawsuit.

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Ronan Keating doesn't have cancer, but he recently thought he might have it, and has told the Daily Mail how frightened he was, especially in the light of the fact that his mother died from breast cancer eleven years ago.

The Boyzone singer, who was on holiday in South Africa when he found a lump on his testicle, told the paper: "It was really scary. I thought I definitely had cancer. The lump felt very different and I knew straight away there was something there. I had written myself off. I had the songs picked for my funeral and everything. I called my GP straight away. He told me it was probably fine but to come and see him when I got back. Being a hypochondriac I feared the worst. We went to the beach, the wine region and on safari, but I worried the whole time. It ruined the holiday".

The lump turned out to be harmless, but the experience has made Keating keen to raise awareness about the disease he feared he might have. "Men are too proud", he said. "They don't want to get their testicles checked by some doctor and they won't see one if they do find something. Because I'm always preaching about checking yourself regularly, I'd be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn't do it myself".

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Ethiopian singing star Tilahun Gessesse has died at the age of 68 after suffering from poor health for many years as a result of diabetes.

Gessesse was born in Addis Ababa but was taken by his grandfather to Waliso when he was fourteen years old, where he attended the Ras Gobena Elementary School. It was here that his interest in music was encouraged by the school's Sudanese principal. He ran away from his grandfather, who was keen for him to pursue more academic disciplines, back to Addis Ababa, after being advised that it was the best place to be if he wanted to embark on a career in music. He initially sang with the Hagar Fikir Association, before joining the Imperial Bodyguard Band. He later fell foul of the government and ended up in prison, moving on, following his release, to the country's national theatre. He went on to perform on several occasions for emperor Haile Selassie, and over the years received many prizes and honours.

A dominant figure in Ethiopian culture for more than half a century, his death prompted TV and radio stations in the country to break into programmes in order to broadcast tributes.

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The nominations for the Classical Brit Awards have been announced. Amongst this year's nominees are Katharine Jenkins, Hayley Westenra and Andrea Bocelli, who are amongst those in the running for the public voted Album Of The Year award.

James Newton Howard is nominated for his work on two soundtracks, for 'I Am Legend', and for latest Batman movie 'The Dark Night', a nod he shares with co-composer Hans Zimmer. Elsewhere on the list, conductor Charles Mackerras is up for Male Artist Of The Year and the Critics' Award. Jose Carreras, as previously reported, will receive a lifetime achievement award.

The ceremony will be hosted by Myleene Klass, and takes place on 14 May at the Royal Albert Hall, featuring performances from the aforementioned Carreras and fellow Three Tenors tenor Placido Domingo. The award show is scheduled to be broadcast on ITV1 at 10.35pm on 19 May.

Dickon Stainer, chairman of the Classical Brit Awards Committee and vice chairman Barry McCann said in a joint statement: "During the past ten years, the show has celebrated all areas of the recorded classical music business and not only honours those who have succeeded but provides an all-important stepping stone to those in the early stages of their career both locally and from abroad. The list of contributing artists over the years pays tribute to the standing in which the awards are held and in this, the tenth anniversary, we are confident that the penetration of classical music in the home will continue".

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MTV have announced their 'most-played music video honours' for the second half of 2008, and it's that Katy Perry who has dominated global MTV channels. MTV Networks International give out Platinum And Gold Video Play Awards to the most watched videos across their networks twice a year, and the latest results just released apparently show a substantial year on year increase in music video plays around the world. And you thought MTV didn't play music videos anymore.

Perry's 'I Kissed A Girl' topped the list of platinum winners, with 21,863 plays, smashing the previous most player record of 16,095 plays held by Leona Lewis. The top three artists - Madonna was second with 'Give It 2 Me' and Pink was third with 'So What' - were all awarded double platinum status, and all beat Lewis's aforementioned record. Other artists receiving platinum awards included Rihanna, Coldplay, and Ne-Yo. The network's list of their 43 top playing artists also featured the likes of Lady GaGa, Gabriella Cilmi, Madcon, Jason Mraz, The Script, The Ting Tings, MGMT, Duffy and Amy Macdonald.

Katy Perry responded like this: "I can't believe you watched me kiss a girl 21,863 times. I'm glad I got this plaque instead of chapped lips! Thanks MTV".

Bruce Gillmer, Senior Vice President Music, Talent & Music, bigged up his Network thus: "MTV is the original home of music videos, and these Awards demonstrate the continuing importance of artists' videos for our audience. The year on year increase in the number of total plays also underlines that MTV is not only committed to increasing our music output across our network of channels but that with over a third of the Awards being presented to new acts, is also committed to championing both new music as well as established artists".

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Blink 182 have started rehearsals for their upcoming reunion tour. Mark Hoppus revealed via his blog that he managed to fit in four hours of practice, after also getting to work on the new Motion City Soundtrack album, which he is producing.

Hoppus wrote: "Good day today. Started tracking the new Motion City Soundtrack record, and then four hours of Blink 182 rehearsal. It was the first time the three of us have played our instruments together in the same room in a long time. We still have sooo many songs to rehearse. Barely even scratched the surface today, and it was so much fun. Can't wait to get this tour all put together!"

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According to reports, Robbie Williams is very optimistic about his new album, which he is, as previously reported, recording with the legend that is Trevor Horn. It's said he's written fifty tracks for the 'Rudebox' follow up, but presumably he won't be using them all. The singing star, who has moved back to the UK and is presently dodging rumours of a return to Take That, is quoted as saying: "It sounds 'Big', very. I'm buzzing".

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Alex Kapranos says that Franz Ferdinand have recorded a split covers single with Dutch act De Kift. He explains via the band's blog: "We have covered 'Heisa Ho', by the Dutch punk band De Kift, who are covering 'Love And Destroy' themselves for a split-single. Both versions are very different from the originals".

He also revealed that he has remixed the new Little Boots' single 'New In Town', in a similar fashion to the remixes of his band's own songs which will appear on a special Franz Ferdinand remix album called 'Blood' set for release in June (a track from which appeared on Domino's special Record Store Day release last weekend). Kapranos: "When we were at the NME Awards I met Victoria Little Boots. I've remixed her great new single 'New In Town' as a version called 'No One Is Safe'. I made it in a similar way to the 'Blood' LP of alternative versions of our last LP. It's still my favourite way to listen to the record".

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Sonic Youth have given away a track from their upcoming new album 'The Eternal'. Fans can download the song 'Sacred Trickster' from the blog section of ahead of the release of the LP, which is out on 9 Jun, though it will soon be heard by fans who order the album via, because they get to listen to a stream of it from 28 Apr.

The band play a gig at Scala on Monday, and appear at ATP: Nightmare Before Christmas at the end of the year.

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The kids don't care about album packaging, but you're not a kid right? You're as excited about the box and the sleeve and the little booklet as anything on the actual CD you buy, right? Well, this flash movie is for you then. The artwork for the previously reported Beatles album re-releases has been posted on the band's website. The covers are the same as the originals, but you get a glimpse of the insides of the special edition artwork too. So that's exciting, yes? Interestingly the Apple Corps logo seems quite prominent on these - even though the logo of the Beatles' company didn't appear on the originals. The Beatles reissues will be out on 9 Sep. The artwork flash what not is at

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Simple Minds have announced an arena tour, and it's definitely one for anyone with one foot still in the eighties (no, I don't really know what that phrase means, either) because OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, those of you with two feet in the present and no sense of musical history) are the support band. Here are the dates:

Simple Minds UK tour dates are:

30 Nov: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
2 Dec: Birmingham, LG Arena
3 Dec: Manchester, Evening News Arena
5 Dec: Sheffield, Arena
6 Dec: Cardiff, International Arena
7 Dec: London, Wembley Arena
11 Dec: Glasgow, SECC

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Massive Attack have announced a UK tour, dates as follows:

17 & 18 Sep: London, Brixton Academy
21 Sep: Sheffield, Academy
22 Sep: Birmingham, Academy
24 Sep: Leeds, Academy
26 Sep: Manchester, Apollo
28 Sep: Glasgow, Academy
30 Sep: Newcastle, Academy
2 Oct: Leicester, De Monfort Hall
3 Oct: Swindon, Oasis

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Some residents who live near the Glastonbury Festival site have criticised a decision to redraw the area within which organisers offer free tickets so that the offer applies to fewer households. Glasto offer free tickets to those residents most affected by the mega-fest as part of a very clever community relations initiative. The tickets go to residents in a specified area, and, for reasons I'm not sure of, that area has been rejigged this year, meaning some people who were previously eligible for free tix will now only be offered free tickets for the Sunday.

Glasto boss Michael Eavis confirmed to reporters: "Our relationship with the villagers has always been extremely good, but this year there was a slight change to the boundary for free tickets, which is now slightly smaller. As a result, a small percentage of people who have in the past got free tickets are now being offered the option of Sunday tickets".

The Independent found one affected resident who wasn't very happy with the change. She told the broadsheet: "For most of us who live within the boundary, the festival impacts on us in one way or another - in my case it's the traffic. If you get a free ticket, you turn a blind eye to it, because you've got a week or so of having a good time. Normally you feel quite benign about it all. But if you don't get a free ticket, you don't feel quite so benign. My particular road is used as a rat run. From Wednesday night, there is a constant stream of caravans and campervans going through. Normally it's OK because you think 'That's great, they're all part of what I'm part of'. But that changes if you're suddenly having to pay a lot of money. It's tricky because we're all locals and we don't want to fall out. But on the other hand, we feel quite strongly about it".

Defending the move, Eavis points out: "I don't know any other festival or major event that looks after people who live locally as well as we do, and the majority of people will remain unaffected".

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There will be a brand new live stage at this year's Global Gathering dance fest to be sponsored by Tuborg and featuring some top electro acts, including Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Sneaky Sound System, The Whip, Tommy Sparks, Frankmusik, Dan Black and The Subs. The new stage's line up complements the live electro/dance acts that will appear on the main stage, which include The Prodigy, Orbital and Pendulum.

Confirming the new stage, Global Gathering's James Algate told CMU: "We're happy to be supporting even more emerging live talent this year coupled with the already established bands on the bill. Global Gathering will not only see the likes of hotly tipped Sneaky Sound System on one stage but festival heavyweights The Prodigy on another. With our line-up and our untouchable production, this year's festival is set to be a real crowd pleaser".

Global Gathering takes place on 24 and 25 Jul near Stratford Upon Avon.

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WYCHWOOD MUSIC FESTIVAL, Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, 29-31 May: Little Boots is the latest act confirmed to play Wychwood. Previously confirmed, Supergrass, Super Furry Animals and Dub Colossus are set to headline the festival.

BEACH BREAK LIVE, Cornwall, 16-19 Jun: Hadouken, Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Will And The People, The Nextmen, Tayo, Official Secrets Act and Deekline have all been confirmed for this year's Cornish event. Dekker And Johan are also set to perform, alongside Trip, Everything Everything, The Dirty Disco, The Corelier Club, Spires, 8 Fold and The ACM Choir.

GLASTONBURY, Pilton, Somerset, 24-28 Jun: Kasabian have been announced as Bruce Springsteen's special guests for this year's Glastonbury. Neil Young and Blur are also set to headline the event of course, along with performances from Lily Allen, Fleet Foxes, Franz Ferdinand, Doves and The Ting Tings.

A HOP AT THE FARM, Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Kent, 4-5 Jul: British Sea Power are amongst the latest acts announced to perform at this year's Hop Farm festival. They will be joined by Ash, The View, Bell X1, Johnny Foreigner, The Chapman Family and Eight Legs.

WICKERMAN FESTIVAL, East Kirkcarswell Farm, Nr Kirkcudbright, Scotland, 24-25 Jul: Idlewild, O'Death and The Kabdeeies are all set to play the main stage at this year's Wickerman Festival. Bombskare, Root System and The Amphetameanies have also been confirmed to play The Scooter Stage, with Berry Tweed And The Chasers and Torrents.

BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Escot Park, Devon, 21-23 Aug: Richard Thompson, The Blockheads and The Wonder Stuff are among the latest to be added to this year's line up. Kissmet, Banco de Gaia, The Broken Family Band, The Peatbog Faeries, Sub Humans, Babar Luck and Frank Turner have also been confirmed for the Devon Bash.

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, 29 Aug: David Guetta and Eric Prydz are amongst the latest acts to be confirmed for this year's SW4, as well as Sander Kleinenberg, Mark Knight and Scarlett Etienne. Dubfire, Timo Mass, Layo & Bushwacka! and Steve Lawler have also been confirmed to play The End stage.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Maximo Park - The Kids Are Sick Again (Warp)
There was once a time when the indie dancefloors of Britain shook with the bombastic force of 'Graffiti' and 'Apply Some Pressure'. A few years later, the same dancefloors still trembled a little when DJs dropped 'Girls Who Play Guitars' and 'Our Velocity'. But this... this isn't even going to get the kids looking up from ordering their one pound fifty vodka-mixers from the bar. That's not to say it's not a good song - frontman Paul Smith has always been an expert at setting a scene, and here the lyrics speak beautifully but tragically of summer holidays, boredom, despair and teenage suicide. There's an outside chance it'll become an anthem of a summer of discontent, and it could well become a Maximo Park fan's favourite song, but this isn't the stomping pop joy that we're used to from the band. It just doesn't quite hit the spot. DG

Release Date: 4 May
Press Contact: Warp IH, Charm Factory

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EMI has announced yet another distribution deal, this time with Eleven Seven Music Group, the US indie founded by Allen Kovac and which boasts Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx as its President. The deal will see EMI handle the physical and digital distribution, sales and marketing of Eleven Seven releases in the UK and the rest of Europe. Artists on the Eleven Seven roster include Sixx's bands Mötley Crüe and Sixx:AM plus Buckcherry, Drowning Pool, The Last Vegas and Charm City Devils.

Confirming the deal, EMI Music Services man Ronn Werre said this: "Allen Kovac has always been an innovative music executive and marketer, and he and his team have built a fantastic label with some of the hottest new rock artists and some of the world's most legendary bands, and we are thrilled to offer EMI's global capabilities to them. We look forward to working with The Eleven Seven Music Group and taking their artists to new levels of success in the UK and Europe".

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The US's largest consumer electronics retailer Best Buy has been looking at possible sites for new stores in South England and Wales, according to Reuters. The US retailer has been expected to launch in the UK ever since it bought half of Carphone Warehouse's retail business last May, though the impact of the credit crunch back home has seemingly slowed a UK launch down.

According to the newswire the Best Buy/Carphone Warehouse joint venture is considering possible retail units in Southampton, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Ipswich, Crawley and at the Lakeside shopping centre.

It's thought the new stores would carry the Best Buy name and, while they may have Carphone Warehouse mobile phone departments in them, would sell all kinds of consumer electronics. It's not clear if the new stores would, like their US counterparts, sell CDs and DVDs. Best Buy also own Napster, though it's not clear either whether they would try to flog the subscription based digital music services in-store.

Although Best Buy tend to prefer out of town stores, there were rumours they were looking for a central London shop, with some speculating they may take one of the former Virgin Megastore/Zavvi units, maybe the iconic Piccadilly Circus unit occupied by Tower Records back in the day.

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Spotify will be able to play you adverts based on your mood before the end of this year, the company's UK Sales Director Jon Mitchell has said. Adverts are apparently already served based on gender and age, but soon the software will also track your 'mood' based on what music you are listening to. So the system will now that you're not in the mood to hear adverts for The Script. Or any Spotify house ads not voiced by Robertafromspotify. Maybe.

Speaking to marketing agency Iris Digital, Mitchell said: "If you're a brand that needs to reach people in a relaxed mindset - perhaps they're listening to Ibiza chill-out - we know that 15-24 is in that mindset and therefore you can serve the right brand to them".

Yeah, but getting the right adverts for people listening to relaxing music is easy. I'll be more interested to see what I get served on my thrash metal and hardcore marathons.

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The share price of Independent News & Media, who own the struggling Independent newspaper, was up yesterday as investment types await a report on the company's future, which could see the Indy, or the firm's share in the India-based title Dainik Jagran, or both, sold off. The media firm's business is being reviewed after its boss and majority shareholder, Tony O'Reilly, agreed to take a back seat role last month after mounting pressure from other shareholders, most notably Irish businessman Denis O'Brien, who owns nearly as big a stake as the O'Reilly family.

Some shareholders, though not O'Reilly, are pro selling off their loss-making UK broadsheet, though in the current climate it's unlikely such a sale would bring in much cash. It could, however, take some liabilities off the company's hands.

Some have previously speculated that the Daily Mail's owners are considering buying the broadsheet. Talks between the two companies last year led to the Indy moving its operations into the Mail's London HQ, though both sides have previously insisted the rental arrangement, and the sharing of some back-office operations, are as far as the two companies' relationship will go - ie the Mail isn't going to buy the Indy.

Another possible buyer was thought to be Russian mogul Alexander Lebedev whose recent UK media purchase, the Evening Standard, is also based in the Mail HQ. However, commentators say that problems elsewhere in Lebedev's business empire will prevent him from acquiring the broadsheet at this time.

Either way, O'Brien's advisors have been going through the books and are expected to provide their recommendations for the business on Friday. It may be bad news for Indy hacks, but City types reckon whatever sales come about as a result of O'Reilly's sidelining will be good news for the parent company's sharholders. So, buy buy buy. (It's a shame more people don't have that attitude to the Indy itself, otherwise it's sale might not be seen as necessary to ensure the long term success of INM).

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Yes, even more 'Britain's Got Talent' news for you now. And the big story this week relates to claims that Simon Cowell set up a false start for the latest big contender on the TV talent show, twelve year old Shaheen Jafargoli.

Jafargoli initially told the judges on the show he'd do them a rendition of The Zuton's 'Valerie' in an Amy Winehouse stylee. But when the performance got off to a bad start, rather than bringing out the crosses and kicking the young wannabe off stage, Cowell asked if he had anything else he could sing instead. Conveniently, Jafargoli had prepared a rendition of Michael Jackson's 'Who's Loving You' and had left a copy of its backing track with the technician back stage. His homage to Jacko then subsequently wowed the crowds.

Some viewers accused Cowell and 'Britain's Got Talent' producers of setting up the false start so to win over public sympathy for the wannabe pre-teen pop star. Cowell, of course, is keen that the public fall in love with more entrants than just Susan Boyle, who stole the show at the Scottish auditions, so that the whole series doesn't become a one horse race.

But producers have denied those claims, as has Jafargoli himself, who told WalesOnline: "I thought to myself that this was my one chance and I'd blown it. I stood there and thought: 'What's gone wrong?' But I couldn't believe Simon Cowell had given me a second chance. He's basically God in the music industry". He explained to the Mirror: "I was told to bring a second choice with me so I had practised both songs really hard. I don't suffer from nerves too much so that helped me and I was delighted with the judges' comments. They already make me feel like a winner".

Of course cynics might say it's in Jafargoli's interests for people to believe his false start was genuine, so to win more public support, though that would mean those cynics were accusing a twelve year old of being involved in Cowell's manipulative plans. And shame on you for thinking so.

Doing her bit to ensure Cowell's big show isn't just one big Boyle-fest, Demi Moore, whose Tweets in support of the Scottish spinster last week helped make the Elaine Paige wannabe big news in the US, got onto Twitter to comment on Jafargoli too. "Wow, this kid is something else", she wrote. Do you reckon Demi and hubby Ashton Kutcher on commission to get the world talking about Cowell's ITV show? Ah, there goes that cynicism again.

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It's this week's Total Rock World Album Chart, as counted down on Total Rock last weekend - New entries and re-entries marked with a *.

1. Nickelback - Dark Horse (Warner/Roadrunner)
2. Papa Roach - Metamorphisis (Universal/Interscope)
3. Mastodon - Crack The Skye (Warner Bros)
4. Bruce Springsteen - Working On A Dream (Sony/Columbia)
5. Pearl Jam - Ten (Sony Music)
6. AC/DC - Black Ice (Sony/Columbia)
7. Metallica - Death Magnetic (Universal/Mercury)
8. Lamb Of God - Wrath (Warner/Roadrunner)
9. Theory Of A Deadman - Scars & Souvenirs (Warner/Roadrunner)
10. Kid Rock - Rock - N Roll Jesus (Warner/Atlantic)
11. Queensryche - American Soldier (Warner/Rhino)*
12. Static-X - Cult Of Static (Warner Bros)
13. Nickelback - All The Right Reasons (Warner/Roadrunner)
14. Blue October - Approaching Normal (Universal/Island)
15. Linkin Park - Minutes To Midnight (Warner Bros)
16. Rise Against - Appeal To Reason (Universal/Geffen)
17. Guns n Roses - Greatest Hits (Universal/Geffen)*
18. Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner/Reprise)
19. Shinedown - The Sound Of Madness (Warner/Atlantic)
20. Supertramp - Retrospectable (Universal)*

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I'm all for a bit on controversy, and Marilyn Manson is a seasoned professional when it comes to irking people, but on his new album, 'The High End Of Low', he's honed the art down to something that surely even the most hardened conservatives are just going to laugh at. Maybe I'm underestimating hardened conservatives, but track titles like 'Pretty Like A Swastika', 'Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon', and 'I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies' do seem almost like parody.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe Manson can say something to show there's some sort of intellectual reasoning behind all of this. Here's what he told Kerrang!: "This is not a record that we would leave black and self-titled and mature. This is the experienced record. This album is the twelfth-grade guy that has VD and did cocaine in high school, who has been arrested once and the ninth-grade girl wants to fuck him". That'll be a no then.

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