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Pirate Bay banned in Italy again
In The Pop Courts
Pirate Bay banned in Italy again
Doherty drink driving trial set for December
Pop Politics
Liam Gallagher pleas for bees
Hallam FM DJ dies
Awards & Contests
Perry to return as MTV awards host
In The Studio
Norman Cook and David Byrne collaborate
Magic Numbers complete third album
Films N Shows News
Fox Searchlight in talks for Ramones biopic
Gigs N Tours News
Kanye and Gaga cancel tour
Jamie T postpones tour dates
Festival News
Glasto registration deadline today
Album review: King Cannibal - Let The Night Roar (Ninja Tune)
The Music Business
More Warner job cuts
The Digital Business
MySpace music launches down under
Spotify goes offline for premium subscribers
Dell computers come with Napster
The Media Business
Absolute Dabbl with new formats
UKRD boss on Star rebrands
Hillcock goes to NME Radio
London Standard to go free
And finally...
Madge hates being called Madge
Biohazard man splits from wife
Mariah quibbles when she should blame
Snoop has bad taste in comedy
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Mixing soul-influenced vocals into classic metal, Invasion are hotly-tipped by many as the most exciting band on the UK metal scene at the moment. Guitarist Marek Steven, vocalist Chan Brown and drummer Zel Kaute spent four days in the studio earlier this year with Simian Mobile Disco's Jas Shaw. The result was the band's debut album, 'The Master Alchemist', which is released on Monday by indie label This Is Music. Currently on tour, you can catch the band tonight at Cargo in London. We spoke to Marek to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I guess I was at the crucial ages of fifteen and sixteen, hearing heavy metal coming through my brother's bedroom wall, and I never really grew out of liking Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath. There were a few good heavy metal bands that were around in the 90s, so I just picked up a guitar and tried to do something that was half as good, and never stopped.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
All our stuff is fantasy-orientated, because I'm genuinely interested in fantasy literature and I think there's a good connection with that type of thing and heavy metal. We're quite a purist wizard-metal band. The album's not a concept album, but its a loose mythology that we, for want of a better word, created. In the long tradition of heavy metal and wizards.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We don't really rehearse that much, so it tends to be either myself with a riff or the drummer with a drum pattern, and we'll literally write something in twenty minutes. The order seems to come together very quickly. You do tweak it during the recording process, but that's it really. Maybe we should take more time creating tracks...

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
There's not that much good rock and metal music post-1993. So, I always tend to go back to the classics. Early Black Sabbath, early Metallica. There are bands in our style at the moment, but the good ones are mostly American. There's quite a thriving scene of bands influenced by early heavy metal over there, so we look at those guys and aspire to that kind of scene. But generally, you can't really beat the masters, so that's the only place you need to look for inspiration really.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Thanks for listening to our music, I hope it's not too horrible. I guess what we're trying to do is write heavy music that has something new going for it. Basically it's pretty standard riffs put together in a tasteful way, but our vocals are quite exceptional and different to what's been done in extreme metal before, because they're retro soul influenced. Maybe I'd hope that the person experiencing our music for the first time like the fact that we had soul vocals and heavy metal riffs combined.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I'd like the metal scene to pick up on us, because we don't fall into any scene that easily. My ambition would be for us to be embraced whole-heartedly, and for there to be a non-shit heavy-metal scene in the UK, because quite honestly, there arent that many good bands that arent total rip offs. Hopefully there'll be more bands around that we can relate to and play shows with that aren't from America.


VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Boys Own at Cable
Following my review of their compilation last week, the rather good Junior Boys Own crew celebrate 20 years in the game with the album's launch party at Cable, that newish club near London Bridge, which reportedly has a pretty impressive sound rig. Fo those of you who don't know, JBO practically started the acid house party scene in the late 80s, and they've pulled in some big hitters to help them celebrate their anniversary. Norman Jay, Rocky from X-Press 2, Clive Henry, Spencer Parker, Giles Smith, and Severino, and the legendary GLR radio DJ Ross Allen will be spread over the two rooms to try to recreate what it was like back in the day. Tickets are going fast.

Saturday 3 Oct, 10pm - 6am, Cable, 33A Bermonsey St, London, SE1 3TW, £15 on the door, more info


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Michael Jackson was a "fairly healthy" 50 year old, according to his autopsy report, which is good news for This Is It promoters AEG, who have been insisting the singer was physically up to the fifty night residency he was booked to play in London prior to his untimely death.

The report adds that the singer's weight was reasonable for his height, though revealed that he had some lung damage and was suffering from mild arthritis. Chronically inflamed lungs were listed as the late king of pop's most serious health problem, but the coroner adds this did not contribute to his death. No mention was made of whether this, or any other health problems, would have inhibited his ability to perform on stage.

As expected, the document lists propofol and the sedative lorazepam as the "primary drugs responsible for Mr Jackson's death".

On the cosmetic front, it was noted that the singer was bald across the front of his head, and had a dark tattoo across the top of his head, as well as tattooed eyebrows and lips, and had numerous scars most likely created by cosmetic surgery. His remaining hair was short and tightly curled.

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A court in Italy has reinstated a ban on The Pirate Bay.

The ruling, from the Court Of Cassation, relates to an earlier court case against the rogue BitTorrent tracker back in August 2008, where a judge ruled that Italian internet service providers should block access to the website on the basis it enabled mass copyright infringement. Supporters of da Bay successfully appealed that ruling, but the Court Of Cassation ruling overturns the appeal and reinstates the original judgment. If you follow.

Welcoming the new ruling, the boss of Italian music industry trade body FIMI, Enzo Mazza, said this: "Since the previous appeal, Pirate Bay has been able to operate and go unpunished for almost a year, causing great damage to Italian music. This latest decision means that access to the site can now be blocked again, as was the case in August 2008".

This court case against da Bay is unrelated to pending Italian litigation against the people behind the BitTorrent tracker being persued by FIMI and Italy's anti-piracy body FPM, who are suing the Bay's founders and backers for a sweet million euros. That case is ongoing.

In related news, an little update on attempts by the so called Pirate Bay Four to appeal the big ruling against them in the Swedish courts earlier this year. The Bay's three founders and principle backer are appealing the ruling that ordered them to pay massive damages to the content industries and serve a year in jail each for their involvement in enabling mass copyright infringement.

The development relates to the judge who will hear the appeal, who was set to be Fredrick Niemela. But a panel of other Swedish judges have ruled that Niemela should not be allowed to oversee the appeal because he has shares in Sweden-based legit digital music service Spotify, which could, they fear, lead to allegations of bias. As previously reported, the judge in the original case, Thomas Norstrom, was accused of bias because of his membership of two pro-copyright trade organisations.

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Pete Doherty's trial for drink driving has been set to begin on 21 Dec at Gloucester Crown Court.

As previously reported, on 11 Jun Doherty was arrested in Gloucester and charged with drink driving and possession of class A drugs when police spotted him driving erratically after leaving the city's Guildhall venue, where he had been playing a solo gig. At a hearing the next morning he was freed on £50,000 bail, which was paid by his manager.

The singer pleaded not guilty to a charge of dangerous driving, but admitted two counts of drug possession and driving without a licence or insurance at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on 11 Aug. He entered no plea on the charge of drink driving.

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Liam Gallagher has announced his support for a campaign to save honey bees from dying out. I don't say this very often, but I'm in complete agreement with Liam. Bees are good and also very important for our survival. I like bees.

He told The Sun: "The bees are vanishing. We've got to save them before they all buzz off. It's important. It's a really worthwhile cause. Without them we're in proper bother".

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Artists have been paying tribute to Dave Kilner, a presenter with Bauer-owned Sheffield-based radio station Hallam FM, and its sister stations, for quite some years, and something of a mover and shaker in the Sheffield music scene. Kilner died earlier this week, aged 48, after a short illness.

Paying tribute to the late DJ, singer Tony Christie, a close friend of Kilner, told reporters: "He helped a great number of bands get started, and championed many that became very big - like Def Leppard, Human League and Heaven 17. He loved to talk about music - it was his life - and when you talked to him about the music business, he could just reel off these names - his knowledge of the business was staggering. He had time for everyone and was such a genuinely nice man".

The lead singer of one of the groups mentioned there, Def Leppard, so that's Rick Savage, also paid tribute, telling reporters: "He was always very close to the band and helped us tremendously in the early days. It's hard to put into words what a loss he will be because he was a great man - a great man who did so many things for so many people. I never for one second got the idea that he was doing something for himself - it was always for someone else".

Hallam FM have been paying tribute to Kilner since his death - both on air and via their website - and have announced they will launch a new award in his honour at the station's Night Of Honour Awards event. Dee Ford of parent company Bauer Media told reporters: "Having known and worked with Dave for many years at Hallam FM, I will always remember him as a real character in the office! Full of enthusiasm for the station, and with a real undeterred passion for the city of Sheffield as a whole. He will be sadly missed by many".

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When MTV announced they were re-hiring Russell Brand to host the MTV Video Music Awards, I thought it was some attempt to be edgy, or just to stand by the decision to hire a slightly controversial host the year before. Now I'm starting to think it's just because they're lazy and unimaginative, as they're also re-hiring Katy Perry to host the European Music Awards for the second year running.

Perry will oversee proceedings in Berlin on 5 Nov.

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Norman Cook and David Byrne have recorded a new album together, which features vocals from a number of singers, including Martha Wainwright and Cyndi Lauper. The album, 'Here Lies Love', is apparently a concept album based on the life of Imelda Marcos.

Cook told BBC 6music: "Each track is sung by a different singer and there's some very interesting guests on there. DB's been trying to get the stage show together, because the idea was that it would be the antithesis of 'Evita', but then we couldn't find our lead, so we didn't know who was going to sing it. I was trying to persuade David to sing it".

He continued: "It's a story-telling thing, like 'Evita', but coming at it from a different angle in that it tells the untold story that people didn't know about Imelda Marcos. It's not just about the shoes. Musically, because it's David Byrne, it's not going to be straight up, 'Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I'll Love Ya Tomorrow'. The story is more about what was going on in Studio 54 rather than what went on in the Philippines. We wanted to reflect that, so it's kind of dance music based".

The finishing touches are now being put on the album and it's expected to be released some time in the next six months.

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The Magic Numbers have apparently completed work on their third album. Which is good going, because I don't remember them releasing their second. It did come out in 2006, though. I don't really remember anything prior to 2007. Who are you? Have we met before?

Anyway, the band's Romeo Stodart told BBC 6music: "It's probably the most confident of the records we've made. I think we've moved on a lot. It's less like a 'band in a room' record, which is what the first two were. It was like, 'Let's play these songs as best we can and then let's capture it'. Whereas this time it was more about making a record and thinking of the different instruments we could use to tell a story within the whole thing".

The album is expected to be released in February.

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According to Reuters, film studio Fox Searchlight are in negotiations to secure the movie rights to the upcoming book about the Ramones, 'I Slept With Joey Ramone'. Written by Joey's brother, Mickey Leigh, and long-time punk writer Legs McNeil, the book is due to be published in December and centres on the life of the band's frontman.

The movie rights to the book were reportedly originally optioned by producer Rory Rosegarten several years ago, while the book was still being written, but he has struggled to secure financial backing for the film version, mainly because of the multiple rights involved in making it. If Fox Searchlight take on the project, it would be a major boost.

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Kanye West and Lady Gaga have cancelled their co-headline tour of the US. Which is pretty good going, because we hadn't actually got around to reporting on it yet.

The 'Fame Kills' tour was announced last month, and was due to begin on 10 Nov and run until January. It had apparently been in the works for a number of months, but yesterday promoters Live Nation announced that it would not be going ahead. No reason has been given for the cancellation, though there is a rumour that ticket sales were much lower than expected.

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Jamie T has been forced to postpone the first six dates of his UK tour, as he is suffering from laryngitis. Last night's show in Bristol did not go ahead, and shows in Southampton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Nottingham and Norwich will also be rescheduled. The tour is due to restart in Glasgow on 9 Oct.

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If you want to go to Glastonbury next year, you have until 11.59pm tonight to register yourself to be able to purchase tickets, which will go on sale on Sunday. As we've said before, you only need to pay a £50 deposit on the ticket initially. Oh, and if you're dithering on whether or not to go, just remember that 2012 will almost certainly be the festival's usual year off.

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ALBUM REVIEW: King Cannibal - Let The Night Roar (Ninja Tune)
"You've got about one hour to think about what you've done to me", a voice announces at the start of King Cannibal's debut album. I'm not exactly sure what it is I'm supposed to have done, but from the sound of the next hour of music, I'm not a very nice person. Merging influences from drum n bass, dancehall and dubstep, King Cannibal, aka Dylan Richards, operates in similar territory to follow Ninja Tune-signee The Bug. But where The Bug brings in MCs to lament the ills of modern society, Richards goes straight for samples taken from obscure films and video games, and pulls things down to a much darker place. There are a few collaborations, though. Berlin electronic outfit Jahcoozi, French hip hop duo Face à Face and MC Daddy Freddy all appear, adding further to the album's varied textures. Daddy Freddy's shouts over bass that slices and throbs like a failing heartbeat making a last ditch, fear-fuelled attempt at survival are a particular highlight on 'Dirt'. Elsewhere, 'Aragami Style' sets the tone for the album nicely, while recent single 'Embrace The Minimum' acts as a moment of lighter, more ambient tones, converse to 'Colder Still', a reworking of early single 'Call Me Mr Cold Blooded', which furthest explores the torture themes often hinted at in other tracks. All of which makes the album sound like an unpleasant experience, but that's really not the case. It's eleven impressively well-crafted tracks that stretch Richards' influences to their limits in order to that take you on a journey that is both cathartic and exciting. It's nothing as unseemly as a dubstep concept album, but 'Let The Night Roar' certainly features one of the most complete sets of tracks you'll hear on an electronic album this year. AHM

Physical release: 12 Oct
Press contact: Ninja Tune IH [All]

Buy from iTunes
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Following the news earlier in the week that Warner Music would lay off 20% of the staff in its Rhino US catalogue division, news today that up to thirteen staff are about to be cut from its Warner Bros Records label in the US. Further cuts are expected in Warner US's distribution departments. It's not clear if any senior execs will go as part of the latest Warner cuts - as previously reported, Digital Music News last week reported rumours that some senior US record company execs faced the chop in the next couple of months as the majors try to cut their overheads.

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Amid speculation that MySpace Music will soon arrive here in the UK, the social network's expanded music service went live in New Zealand and Australia yesterday.

As previously reported, MySpace Music - which expands the existing artist profiles section of MySpace, adding in more extensive track streaming and playlisting functionality - launched in the US last year. Global roll out was delayed amid executive restructuring at the social networking firm.

As in the US, the Australian/New Zealand service has music from all four majors and indie aggregators Orchard and IODA, but lacks some key indie labels as a result of the company's failure to do a deal with indie label digital rights body Merlin. Toyota and KFC are the launch sponsors.

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One of the main selling points of Spotify's mobile application, of course, is the ability to cache playlists for offline listening - so that users can listen to Spotify tunes even when their mobile isn't online. And, from yesterday, premium users are now able to listen to music while offline via the company's desktop PC application too.

Said users are able to sync up to 3333 tracks for offline listening on up to three devices (so mobile phone, desktop PC and laptop, for most people, presumably), allowing them to listen to music without an internet connection. Which is good news for all those Spotify users with limited broadband access to their PC. Anyone?

Well, I guess if I was using my laptop on the train it would be a useful service. Though, given my laptop's battery only lasts 15 minutes I'm not sure I'd get through many of those 3333 songs. Well, unless I had a Northern Soul playlist.

Interestingly, Spotify are positioning this as an added-value service even though, while there are definite benefits to users (well, those with decent laptop batteries or dodgy broadband), there are also presumably real benefits to the digital music service also. If a user's most played music is cached locally presumably that reduces Spotify's bandwidth costs. Perhaps they should pay us to use the service.

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Following the news HP were pre-loading their laptops (in Asian territories) with membership to a Universal Music free download club, Dell have announced they are now pre-loading computers bought in the US with a Napster subscription. The musical laptops will come with a year's subscription to Napster, allowing unlimited streaming for twelve months plus 60 free permanent downloads.

The Napster-enabled laptops will initially be exclusively sold in Best Buy, the US retailer who now owns Napster, though will be sold via Dell's website from November.

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More details have been announced about this new fangled digital radio service being launched by Absolute Radio. Called Dabbl, the new service will be interesting on two levels. First, it will air live music sitting in the Absolute Radio archives (so from sessions and, festivals where Absolute has recorded). Second the playlist will be based on listener voting. The service will run from 7pm-7am on DAB and t'internet during its beta stage.

The new service is being developed by One Golden Square Labs, a department set up by Absolute to develop new digital services.

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The boss of local radio company UKRD has said that while the company is rebranding three of the stations owned by The Local Radio Company under the Star Radio banner, a brand UKRD already uses on two of its local stations, there will not be a massive rebranding programme across either the UKRD or TLRC networks.

As previously reported, UKRD recently became the majority shareholder in its rival TLRC and the former's boss, William Rogers, took over the running of the latter. He has since reviewed the TLRC station portfolio and sold some, closed others, and rebranded three stations in the North East under the Star Radio banner, currently used by UKRD in Cambridge and Weston-Super-Mare.

Rogers recently confirmed there were no more plans to offload or close any more TLRC stations. Asked whether plans to rebrand three Northern stations as Star Radio was the first step in a rebrand of the entire TLRC network, Rogers told RadioToday: "Three of our stations in the north east are to be brought closer together and re-named Star Radio and this is anticipated in a month or two. By creating a larger more commercially viable area under a new brand identity we are looking to provide the areas of Durham, Darlington and Northallerton with a more secure and dynamic future. [But] we don't have any plans to re-brand any of our other stations".

Earlier this week TLRC, a company previously listed on the Alternative Investment Market in the City of London, delisted from the stock exchange. It was Rogers' decision to remove the company from the investment market, telling RadioToday that being listed there simply brought added costs and hassle with little obvious return.

The decision was significant because it now means there are no radio businesses listed on the London Stock Exchange. GCap, once the big radio firm on the LSE, is now, of course, in the private ownership of Global Radio.

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NME Radio has announced it has hired Xfm presenter Jon Hillcock to present a new morning show on the digital/online station. Hillcock, a specialist show and fill in presenter at Xfm (and a very fine one at that), will present a 10am-midday slot on the NME station.

Confirming the appointment, NME Radio MD Sammy Jacob said this: "Jon's knowledge and passion for new music matches the spirit of NME Radio perfectly. We're all delighted to have Jon on board and I'm sure our listeners will be too. He's also a really nice guy which makes working with him an even greater pleasure".

Jon Hillcock adds: "I absolutely cannot wait to provide a genuine musical alternative each morning on NME Radio. Not only that, but I get to continue with my weekend New Noise show and be part of an enormously passionate and dedicated team".

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It seems the Evening Standard in London may become a free newspaper later this month. So that's interesting. The decision, of course, follows the demise of one of London's free evening papers, the Rupert Murdoch-owned thelondonpaper. London commuters can now choose to buy the Standard or pick up the free London Lite.

Until the Standard was bought by Alexander Lebedev earlier this year, the pay-for paper and Lite were sister titles. They are still affiliated - Lite owners Associated still have a stake in the Standard, and they share offices and some content. It's not clear, therefore, what a free Standard will mean for the Lite, a paper whose distribution has become much less proactive since the demise of its free rival.

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Good work people, it was us who forced Madonna to divorce Guy Richie and move back to America. It turns out she didn't actually like the nickname given to her by the British press. If I'd have known that was all it took I would have stood outside her house with a megaphone more often.

She told David Letterman: "That's one of the reasons I left England, so I didn't have to hear that word anymore. Some people say 'Madge' is a colloquialism for kinda like a boring, middle aged housewife and some people say it's short for 'Majesty'. I think it can be quite respectable".

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Biohazard bassist Evan Seinfeld has split from his wife of seven years, pornstar Tera Patrick. He will continue to act as her manager, however.

In a statement, Seinfeld said: "Tera is a huge star [and] I feel fortunate to have shared so much of her life and career. I look forward to continuing to represent the Tera Patrick brand and support all of her endeavours. She is forever in my heart".

Patrick added: "Evan helped me build this company and take my career to new heights, for that I am eternally grateful. I look forward to remaining hands-on with Teravision and working closely with Evan on all of our joint endeavors. He is truly an amazing person".

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Mariah Carey has claimed that the idea for her next single, a cover of Foreigner's 'I Want To Know What Love Is', was not solely her husband's. Have you heard it? If someone wants to claim responsibility for that crime against music, I say let them.

She told MTV News: "Nick says that he suggested it. He says that it was his idea. You know what it is? We're also friends, and so we talk about things. We talk about music, we talk about videos. There's nothing that we don't really have in common in a lot of ways. So yes, we did have a conversation about the Foreigner song, but I will not say that it was completely his idea. Sorry! I love you, Nick, but I'm not saying that!"

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Snoop Dogg has revealed that one of his favourite TV shows is dire 90s BBC sitcom, 'Keeping Up Appearances'.

He told The Sun: "They still run the show on BBC America, so I think Mrs Bucket must have some sort of cult following in the US. I still watch the show to this day and it makes me laugh so hard. She has to be one of the funniest people on TV".

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