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Top Stories
MySpace buy iLike
Leona leak investigation
Spector fears for safety
Plans for giant Jacko robot hotel revealed
Les Paul funeral announced
In The Pop Hospital
Cradle Of Filth discuss Bloodstock attack
Reunions & Splits
Jam reunion rumoured
Release News
Jay-Z tracklist revealed
Mew preview new album, announce exhibition
Films N Shows News
Bono and The Edge discuss Spiderman musical
Gigs N Tours News
Them Crooked Vultures announce first UK show
Snow Patrol to rework songs
The Digital Business
Apple investigating exploding iPhones
iTunes controls a quarter of the market, research claims
Amie Street do RED deal
MySpace disable auto-play to cut costs
The Media Business
Equity hit out at X-Factor
TLRC sell Isle Of Wight Radio
And finally...
Patrick Wolf apologises for on-stage anger
Noel and Liam no longer speak
Amy Macdonald not making money
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Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

Signed to the legendary, if sometimes controversial, Some Bizarre Records label, which released early material by Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, The The and Psychic TV, Risqué consists of French vocalist Nathalie Williams and her producer husband Huw. They release their debut album, 'Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down' this week. We spoke to Huw and Nathalie to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
Huw: I started really early, using Atari computers. I was brought up in a musical family, my parents both taught music in schools. There was always music played in the house, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie... I played percussion in orchestra in North Wales. One day, a friend sold me a bass guitar, a Rickenbacker copy, and showed me the bassline of 'Barbarism Begins At Home' by The Smiths. There was no turning back after that. I formed a band immediately.

Nathalie: Huw was playing with the bass from John Carpenter's 'Precinct 13' and asked lots of singers to write something for it, but it didn't work out. The day he asked me to write on it, it was instant chemistry. This was actually the start of Risqué. It turned out to be our first single 'Do You Believe In Heaven?', which was released by Substream in Sweden, and it's also on our debut album.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Huw: MySpace was a huge inspiration with all the massive talent on it. It's a fantastic tool for collaborations.

Nathalie: 'Tie Me Up Tie Me Down' was inspired by the Pedro Almodovar film of the same name. 'Atame' [it's Spanish title] is one of my favourite films ever - Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas are unforgettable in it - and of course, Huw's sound. It always creates a feeling which makes me think of something, a memory or just something I feel like talking about.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Huw: I have many ways of working, but my true passion is drums. I love drums and bass. I generally start with these elements using my Music Man bass guitar or my Roland System 100 modular synth. I'm a big fan of analogue synths for bass - I've been obsessed with bass from an early age.

Nathalie: I work alone on the first melody lines and suggest them to Huw. After that, it's a joint effort, a series of exchanges and shared reflections. We're so lucky we've got this connection and creativity to share together.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Huw: I love Sinatra, Giorgio Moroder, Serge Gainsbourg, Link Wray, Suicide, Death In Vegas, The Cramps, early New Order. Current artists include Sexy Sushi, Kap Bambino and The Ravonettes. And I'm also still a huge fan of The Smiths. 'Screamadelica' by Primal Scream changed my world too. And of course Depeche Mode - Martin Gore's songwriting rocks ('Personal Jesus' is true genius!).

Nathalie: We've got more or less the same taste in music. I'd add dark singers like Johnny Cash and Trent Reznor. I also love poets like Baudelaire, writers like Kundera, and of course directors like Pedro Almodovar, and many many more... I love artists who are provocative, imaginative and unconventional.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Huw: Keep an open mind! There's a lot of influences in there from Kraftwerk, John Carpenter to Talking Heads. There's something for everyone on our debut album, it's a culmination of years of personal experience. I'm proud of the record, proud of what Nathalie and I have achieved so far with Risqué.

Nathalie: Don't believe anything you see or hear. These songs are about love, etiquette, pain, sex ...or about what you want them to be about. 'Tie Me Up Tie Me Down' is a romantic story in my mind.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Huw: We hope Some Bizarre will arrange a label tour in the UK to help launch our record and promote the return of the legendary label. It's time for a Some Bizarre Records comeback for sure! We are also playing some great venues around Europe this winter, including Wasteland Party (Amsterdam), Recession Festival (Arhus, Denmark) and one of our favourite clubs, The Saturator (Warsaw, Poland). We have also started on ideas for our second album and would love to collaborate with more artists and also bring new producers to the table. We're very excited about our new ideas.



The world's biggest festival is taking place in Edinburgh right now. The Edinburgh Festival offers an unrivalled programme of theatre, comedy, dance, musicals, art, debate and music, music, music, all the way through to the 31 Aug. You should come! CMU's sister media ThreeWeeks is the biggest reviewer at it, and you can read some of the reviews from their music team each day for the next fortnight here at the top of the CMU Daily. For ThreeWeeks' full coverage check out


Ricardo Garcia's Flamenco Flow at New Town Theatre - daily until 30 Aug
What's on offer here is a healthy amount of flamenco-based fusion from a skilled quartet, with plenty of lightning runs from the fingers of Ricardo Garcia, and a subdued rhythm section of expertly played kit, in an atmospheric, evocative set. Light on the dancing I thought; until a fiery tap battle broke out with the guest appearance of the the gilt-toed Movin' Melvin Brown, and a glimpse of a moonwalk. They're not afraid of experimentation; there are flashes of funk and rockier undertones alongside well-realised rumbas, and Garcia's Scottish-inspired creations. Maybe I had a handful of reservations about spending time in a Freemasonic hall, but Flamenco Flow is quite the artistic spectacle, very assured and at times particularly dramatic.
tw rating: 4/5
reviewer: Alistair Baguley


Hot Chocolate At 10 at Old Sat Paul's Church - most days until 29 Aug
Old Saint Paul's Church must be one of the closest things to a Tardis I have ever come across; unremarkable on the outside, the stunning and impossibly spacious candlelit interior was the perfect atmospheric setting that sent shivers down my spine when filled with the haunting notes of talented clarinettist Calum Robertson in one of many varied late night concerts. Robertson breathed new life into Elgar, Stanford and Carnicer, and I really was captivated, relaxed and enthralled once the sugar-rush from my (legendary) Chocolate Soup hot chocolate had subsided. Given the varied programme coming up, anyone who is looking for an introduction to classical music with an Edinburgh touch, or to find an oasis of calm, need look no further. Beautiful.
tw rating 4/5
reviewer: Kate Davis


Tom Tom Crew at Udderbelly's pasture - daily until 31 Aug
The Tom Tom Crew are often described as a hip-hop circus; their show combines acrobatics with breakdancing, with music provided by sampling, drumming and beatboxing. The acrobats have some clever tricks, but it's nothing groundbreaking, although their see-saw routine is good fun and the female performer is excellent during her rope trick. As for the beatboxing, it is impressive at first but soon becomes irritating, while the sampling and drumming are consistently dull. The audience's enthusiasm created a great atmosphere and the rapport between the members of the Tom Tom Crew gave the show a friendly feel, but if you want to see some really amazing acrobatics in Edinburgh, you'd be better off saving up for the Moscow State Circus.
tw rating 3/5
reviewer: Jessica Pinkett



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So, as expected, MySpace has bought music sharing service iLike, a sure sign that the slightly shoddy social networking website sees shared music and entertainment interests - rather than random Facebook-style friend-to-friend chatter - as its core future. Specifics of the deal have not been disclosed, but gossipers seem to be sticking with the $20 million figure touted earlier in the week.

Of course iLike's strength is partly the fact it integrates with lots of other websites - and therefore has a presence on other MySpace competing social network type platforms, most notably Facebook. It will be interesting to see how Facebook respond, given that iLike is the most popular music tool used on their network.

Some reckon Facebook might quickly form relationships with providers of other iLike-like services, though they probably won't want to stop their users from utilising the music sharing widget overnight, such a move not really fitting in with the Facebook open and friendly approach.

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The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry and police around the world have launched an investigation into how an unreleased collaboration by Leona Lewis and Justin Timberlake was leaked onto the internet.

Jeremy Banks, the head of the IFPI's internet piracy unit, told the BBC that they are working with Simon Cowell's Syco label to "minimise the damage [by] actively monitoring and removing illegal copies of this track from the internet to minimise the disruption caused by the leak".

He added that police in Europe and the US were involved in the hunt for the people who stole the track, which was, as previously reported, taken when hackers got into computers in Syco's officers earlier this year.

A spokesman for the record label said that their computers had come under a "sustained attack". He added: "We will certainly look to bring charges against those who are responsible".

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Phil Spector's publicist Hal Lifson has released letters written by the producer from prison in which he says that he fears for his safety amongst "all these lowlife scumbags, gangsters and Manson types", which I'm sure will make them all warm to him all the more.

However, making friends may not be so important, as he adds that he is trying to get himself transferred to "a better prison with people more like myself in it". To be honest, I'm not sure there are that many people like Phil Spector out there. Although it is possible that's because they're all filling up one US prison.

One of the "Manson types" Spector refers to is actually Charles Manson. As previously reported, Manson recently contacted Spector about making some sweet prison music together (not a euphemism, I mean he actually wanted to make some music). Spector told Lifson at the time that he was worried about the effect being associated with Manson might have on the appeal against his 19 year sentence for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

Despite all this, he said that his spirits were kept up visits from his wife, Rachelle, who makes the round trip of 800 miles to the prison from their Alabama home twice a week. He said: "She's a real trouper - all in all, it's like a dream come true having her by my side again".

Spector also added that food parcels she brings him help him to feel safer, as it means he doesn't have to go to the dining hall with the other inmates: "I know it is a chance to get out of my cell going to the dining room but the less I see of the inmates, the better and safer I feel".

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We've written approximately 6834 Michael Jackson-related stories since the singer died almost two months ago, but this is without doubt my favourite. If only for the opportunity to write that headline.

Back in 2007, New York Daily News reported that Jackson was working on designs for a 50 foot robot that would roam the Nevada desert outside Las Vegas as a moving advertisement for a live residency he was considering doing in the city. It turns out this wasn't actually that far from the truth.

Jackson reportedly began work on costume designs for the much discussed residency with fashion designer Andre Van Pier in October 2005. In 2007, Van Pier, his partner Michael Luckman and artist Timothy Patterson began work on conceptual drawings for the giant Jackson robot, though these were apparently made more as a method of attracting financial backing for the show than as a project that would ever be realised.

However, Jackson apparently liked the designs so much that he decided he would like to do something with them in the future, and the team (minus Van Tier, who died in August 2008) continued to work on them, coming up with a design for a hotel and casino guarded by the giant Jacko robot. Whether anyone ever believed this would become a reality, we know not.

But enough of this talk, what would this hotel look like? Well, something like this. Here is one of Patterson's drawings:

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Legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul, who died last week aged 94, will be buried this Friday at a private ceremony in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Members of the public are invited to attend a public memorial service at the Discovery World museum at Lake Michigan in Milkaukee, which will take place the same day as the funeral between 10am and 2pm. Museum president Joel Brennan said: "We are honoured to have been asked by the family to be a part of a celebration of his life".

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Cradle Of Filth have hit out at the audience member at the Bloodstock Open Air festival on Saturday who forced them to cut their set short when guitarist Paul Allender was knocked unconscious by an object thrown from the crowd. As previously reported, Allender required medical attention after being hit what has now been confirmed to be a large gobstopper sweet the size of a cricket ball.

In a statement, the band said: "This person threw what were being sold at the site as 'gobstoppers', but which were actually heavy, solid, pieces of candy, approximately the size of a cricket ball and weighing close to a pound, at the band. Approximately six of these were thrown, one narrowly missed hitting [keyboard player] Ashley [Ellyllon] in the face and also a terminally ill young fan in a wheelchair sitting side of the stage, a couple just missed [singer] Dani [Filth] and then one hit Paul in the spine, causing him to collapse".

They continued:"The paramedics called an ambulance and Paul was taken to hospital with suspected spinal damage. He was subjected to numerous tests before the doctors said they didn't think Paul had sustained any lasting damage. This act of stupidity caused the show to finish prior to the encore, caused Paul serious pain and everyone else a lot of anxiety. This person is lucky that no one was seriously injured or worse, which could easily have been the case and a serious police matter".

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Rumours that The Jam are planning to fully reform have hit the streets following reports that frontman Paul Weller and bassist Bruce Foxton are friends again. According to The Telegraph, the pair have grown close again, after years of not speaking, following the death of Paul's father John, who was also The Jam's manager, and the death of Foxton's wife Pat. Weller has reportedly asked Foxton to join him in the studio to "work on some ideas".

Of course, that doesn't mean The Jam are reforming, and let's hope they don't. Weller has always been scathing of the idea of getting the band back together, telling the BBC in 2006: "Let me just nip that in the bud right now. That will never, ever happen. Me and my children would have to be destitute and starving in the gutter before I'd even consider that, and I don't think that'll happen anyway. I think it's a great thing that The Jam's music has endured over the years and people still love it and still play it. It still means something to people and a lot of that's because we stopped at the right time, it didn't go on and become embarrassing".

Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler did, or course, reunite back in 2007, calling themselves From The Jam.

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The tracklist for Jay-Z's new album, 'The Blueprint 3', has been released. This means the full list of collaborators on the record is also now official, so it's not quite as pointless as most of the tracklists we publish. Contrary to rumours, MGMT aren't on the album.

Have a look here:

What We Talkin' About (feat. Luke Steele from Empire Of The Sun)
Thank You
DOA (Death Of Auto-Tune)
Run This Town (feat. Rihanna and Kanye West)
Empire State Of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)
Real As It Gets (feat. Young Jeezy)
On To The Next One (feat. Swizz Beatz)
Off That (feat. Drake)
A Star Is Born (feat. J Cole)
Venus Vs. Mars
Already Home (feat. Kid Cudi)
Hate (feat. Kanye West)
So Ambitious (feat. Pharrell)
Young Forever (feat. Mr Hudson)

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Mew's new album is amazing and features some of their best songs to date. It's a mix of smart songwriting, intricate playing and clever production. But don't take my word for it, you can hear it for yourself right now.

The band have made the album available on iTunes ahead of next week's official release date and are streaming it in full on their MySpace page, which you can find here:

But don't go yet, there's more Mew news. The band have announced that they are to present a six day exhibition of art, photography music and video made by or relating to them in LA from 25 Aug at the Zune LA Space gallery. Admission to the Mewseum (see what they did there?) will be free and the band will perform live in the gallery on 31 Aug. If you live in LA, or near LA, or can afford to get to LA, or are a living breathing human being, then you should go.

Oh wait, there's yet more Mew news. The band are teaming up with Buzznet to create a limited edition coffee table book. They're asking fans to colour in their angel logo for it. Forty of these images will be included in the book and two people will win some stuff. I'm a bit confused, because it sounds like they're only going to print enough copies of the book for the band and two winners to have them. I guess that would make it pretty limited edition. Anyway, you can find out more about all that here:

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Bono and The Edge have been chatting about their forthcoming Spiderman musical, 'Turn Off The Dark', which is due to premiere in New York next February, provided enough money can be found to stage it.

Bono told Radio 1 that the story is "not a straight take on the myth", adding: "We've got a new villain, it's a girl. It's a very extraordinary role. We've taken it to a much more dizzy place than you'd expect. We've got big tunes. We're very proud of it".

Okay, let's just ignore the fact that Bono called it a myth, rather than a story born out of a comic book, and just let him describe the story's main character Peter Parker: "Our Peter Parker is much more... not Kurt Cobain, but a kind of slacker, a more kind of shy sort of guy".

Oh God, this whole thing is making me want to pull my face off. Quick, The Edge, say something to rescue this from sounding completely awful: "It touches on opera, it touches on rock 'n' roll. There are some real character driven songs as well, very unusual song types for us. It is a new challenge. The thing is we don't really like musicals. Most musicals are really pants. They're really not very cool. It is much more like opera than a straight musical. We're actually not calling it a musical for that reason because we don't want to put people off. We just thought, 'Well if we're going to do this we should do something that knocks it out of the park and hits on every level with great tunes'".

Okay, so it's an opera based on the 'myth' of Spiderman with a lead character who is a bit like Kurt Cobain? If one of you tries to tell me this would have been performed anywhere but a room above a pub to atrocious reviews without the involvement of Bono and The Edge, I will slap you.

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Dave Grohl, Josh Homme and John Paul Jones have announced that they are bringing their new supergroup, Them Crooked Cultures, to London for a show next week. See, I told you there was no need to fly to Amsterdam for their show on Wednesday.

The band will play the Islington Academy on Monday night. The only catch is that it's already sold out. But I'm sure if you stood outside you'd be able to hear something.

The alternative to straining your ears on the streets of Islington is this 30 second montage of studio footage soundtracked by an equally brief clip of a song called 'Nobody Loves Me And Neither Do I':

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Snow Patrol are bored of all their songs. All of them. And they're bored of all the songs by Gary Lightbody's side-project The Reindeer Section too. So bored of them are they that they can't bear to play them live in their recognised forms until at least next year. As a result, they've announced the 'Reworked Tour', which will see them playing new versions of Snow Patrol and Reindeer Section songs.

Tickets go on sale at 9am on 27 Aug. Here are the dates:

18 Nov: Brighton Centre
20 Nov: Bristol, Colston Hall
21 Nov: Newcastle, City Hall
23 Nov: London, Royal Albert Hall
24 Nov: London, Royal Albert Hall
27 Nov: Manchester, Palace Theatre
30 Nov: Clyde, Auditorium
2 Dec: Dublin, Olympia
4 Dec: Killarney, INEC
6 Dec: Castlebar, Theatre Royal
7 Dec: Belfast, Waterfront
8 Dec: Belfast, Waterfront

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Apple is apparently investigating media reports that iPhones all over Europe are exploding. Occasionally taking out small villages, and on one occasion killing a conference centre full of Windows users.

Well, not really, but the European Commission has told reporters that the computer firm is investigating a handful of incidents in Europe when the popular iPod phone hissed and then shattered, on one occasion slightly injuring its owner. I'm not sure why the EC is involved, though obviously it does concern itself with consumer safety at times, and they may or may not have informed Apple about the reports in the first place.

The EC's Helen Kearns told a news briefing: "Apple have come back to us ... and what they've said to us is that they consider these are isolated incidents. They don't consider that there's a general problem. They're trying to get more information on the specific details of those incidents [reported in the European media] and they will do tests as necessary to investigate the possible cause".

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Sticking with Apple now, and new research by NPD claims that the company's iTunes download store now accounts for 25% of all music sales in the US, and 69% of digital sales. Based on sales trends in the first six months of the year, the study also shows that CDs still account for 65% of sales.

In other iTunes news, there are rumours that the Beatles' music will be made available to buy through the store next month. The band's back catalogue is due to be re-released in remastered form on 9 Sep, and Apple are reportedly holding a product launch the same day. Apple have refused to comment.

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Independent US-based download store Amie Street - which is interesting because it has a variable pricing model whereby the price of a track is determined by how popular it is (the more popular, the more expensive, up to 98 cents) - has done a deal with Sony's independent distribution outfit RED, which means that music from labels like ATO, MRI, Cooking Vinyl and Glassnote will now be available via the service. And hurrah for that.

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We all know that the most annoying thing on the internet is websites that automatically play music when you load them. Which you might think is why the internet's most annoying website, MySpace, has disabled this function. But it's not an attempt to claw back some popularity, it's an attempt to save money.

According to BBC 6 Music, disabling the auto-play feature across all music profiles will save the company $10 million a month, because it won't have to pay royalties or cover the bandwidth requirements of the songs that play without a user wanting them to (and which keep on playing while the user desperately clicks on the stop button, sometimes to no avail).

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Actors union Equity has called on the producers of talent shows like 'X-Factor' to pay contestants who make it through to the latter part of a competition, arguing that by not doing so TV firms are filling their prime time schedules with performers who basically perform for free.

The union said in a statement: "These programmes may be very popular with the public but are based on exploitation and humiliation of vulnerable people, which cannot be acceptable. The public's demand for high-quality entertainment should be met by professional drama and light entertainment which has been replaced by this cheap exploitation".

I'm not sure that's completely fair. Surely 'X-Factor' et al are well-funded sophisticated exploitation. Though I take the point about them not paying the talent.

Responding to the accusations, a spokeswoman for 'Britain's Got Talent' and 'X-Factor' producers Talkback Thames said: "Have you seen the people who perform on our show - I mean, would you pay them a penny? And once we've paid to have Amanda made up, there just isn't any money left in the kitty".

Well, I'm sure that's what they meant. This is what they actually said: "Contestants choose to enter to compete for a substantial prize - a cash prize of £100,000 and a performance on the Royal Variety Performance for Britain's Got Talent and a recording contract worth £1 million on 'X Factor'. The shows also give ordinary people an opportunity to showcase their talents and potentially transform their lives".

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The Local Radio Company - now controlled by rivals TLRC of course - has sold off another of its stations, this time Isle Of Wight Radio. That station has been subject to a management buyout, and will be run by former TLRC Area Director Claire Willis and current Programme Controller Paul Topping.

Willis said this: "While much of the industry is being merged, networked and is losing its sense of community, Isle of Wight Radio will be building on its recent success in returning to what matters most. The team has already worked very hard to regain its local standing and the recent RAJAR results show the station is already winning back listeners".

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Patrick Wolf has issued a lengthy apology for his on-stage rant at last week's C/O Pop festival, which saw him shouting, spitting and throwing stuff after the PA was switched off part way through his set. Wolf blamed a long day, the tribal elements of his music and the music industry taking too long to talk about stuff for his aggressive behaviour.

After explaining that he had been up since 4am that day, flying to Cologne for a day of back to back interviews before performing, he said: "One of the many people milling around backstage told me that the 'music industry conference' had gone on too long. Being someone that thinks the audience comes before the industry, in my tired and promo overloaded tour brain, I took this as a demand for justice for the audience. This is why I directed my aggression, which came at the end of a very heated set, not at a man or woman. I was throwing the stool and the microphone at a black hole part of the stage where no one would get hurt but there would be a statement made".

He added: "The spit did not land on anyone but was in general a display of 'I don't respect you'. As I said, my show is very tribal at the moment as there is a lot of good in the world to be fighting for. The words 'bitch' and 'motherfucker' really are not misogynistic words when you live near Soho, London, so let's put that to rest. My tribe will know that I have over the past ten years been a public champion for feminism, against ignorance and always fighting in the name of the good fight".

The full apology is far too long to publish here, but Wolf helpfully gave a summary at the end: "Major miscommunications backstage x lack of sleep due to very busy schedule x singing many songs about battling x an intense education from the extreme parts of London nightlife/wildlife/streetlife as a teenager x Steve Strange going on very late x a full day of cameras flashing and questions x being 26 years old and should have known better = bad wolf".

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Liam Gallagher has revealed that he and his brother Noel haven't spoken since last year and only see each other when they are on stage.

Liam told the NME: "He doesn't like me and I don't like him, that's it. He hasn't told me what he thinks of anything this year. We've got nothing to say to each other at the moment. [We avoid speaking] to save the fucking tour imploding. We don't travel together, so I never really see him. The only time I see him is onstage and we're a little bit busy that time to be fucking scratching each other".

Discussing the last time they spoke, Liam continued: "I think it might have been about some fucking shit support band he wanted to play with us and he didn't ask my permission. So we had a fucking ding-dong in the airport and I think he started crying then - that was it - doesn't travel with me anymore".

Of course, with Noel being the band's main songwriter, this set up does cause some problems. Liam concluded: "For the first time in my life I haven't got a fucking clue what's going on with Oasis, you know what I mean? It's pretty confusing but I'm not going to freak out about it".

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Amy MacDonald has said that she is yet to make any money from her debut album, 'This Is The Life', which topped the album chart when it was release in January last year, or from touring.

She said via Twitter: "I have yet to make one penny from album sales. People don't realise how much it costs to make and release an album". She added: "You don't have a proper idea about gigs. The money is all swallowed up by promoters and agents. I haven't made money from gigs".

Still, that's not what I really called you all here to talk about. I'm more interested in moaning about the fact that while I had little-to-no opinion of Amy MacDonald two weeks ago, I now hate her with a passion thanks to her heavily rotated and all round terrible advert on Spotify. "Spotify think everybody loves music, and I think you will too". Yes, I do in fact include myself in the group known as 'everybody', thanks Amy.

Still, no publicity is bad publicity, right? Okay, good, we agree. Now that I've publicised her, could you stop playing the bloody advert, please?

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