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TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Terra Firma's latest EMI debt proposals knocked back
JLS respond to Birmingham gig rampage
In The Pop Courts
DJ AM family blame plane crash for his death
Reunions & Splits
Robbie lets slip about Take That studio reunion
Release News
Mastodon announce Regal re-release
Free Carbon/Silicon album
Sony release Elvis best of for his 75th birthday
Gigs N Tours News
The Who might be playing the Superbowl
Muse announce 2010 gigs
Mos Def announces London show
Talks, Debates N Trade Fairs
Artist registration opens for The Great Escape
Reviews
Single review: Brakes - Why Tell The Truth (When It's Easier To Lie)/Worry About It Later (FatCat)
Brands N Stuff
More on IMU
The Music Business
Ulster music body closes due to board disagreements
229 put hundred grand into enhanced sound
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Jarvis collects honorary degree
Beyonce branded stupid by Egyptologist
Cowell v Calvin
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Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts
 
MONDAY 16TH NOVEMBER


A 2009 SELECTION
It's that time of year again, where we ask you to vote for you favourite track of the year. Because we like to hear what you think. Really, we do. But we realise that a lot of tracks get released in any twelve month period, which can make the choice a tricky one. That's why we've collected together a short playlist of some of those very tracks that were released in 2009 to help things along a little. Hopefully they'll inspire some love (or rage, I'm not that fussed) and shake that one track you prize above all others out of your brain. Once that's happened click here to register your vote.
 
01: The Big Pink - Dominos
I know this track is popular, because when The Big Pink play it live now, most of the audience chants along with the chorus, football terrace-style. I'm not sure I approve of such things, but as a measure of musical acceptance, you can't really argue with it.

02: Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone
Calvin's first solo number one single and something of a corker, I think everyone in the entire world has now agreed. Or have they? Regardless, 2009 has been quite a year for Calvin Harris, what with all the record selling and working with other big names, like Dizzee Rascall and Kylie Minogue. Not to mention being presented with a Best Remixer gong at the Music Producers Guild Awards by two blokes from CMU.

03: Tinchy Stryder - Never Leave You (feat. Amelle)
Good old Tinchy Stryder, only seven years old and almost invisible to the human eye, he still managed to rope in a Sugababe (and one of the ones who's still a Sugababe, too) to help him get to number one, his second time at the top of the chart.

04: The Prodigy - Omen
The Prodigy returned this year. I'm sure you noticed - they don't exactly come quietly. Maybe the lead single off their latest album will be your choice for track of the year. I managed to score 100% on 'Omen' on Tap Tap Revenge on the iPhone. Just sayin.

05: Jay-Z - Empire State Of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)
They don't come bigger than Jay-Z, though, do they? And Alicia Keys is with him, too. Surely that makes this track of the year without you even having to listen to it? Yeah? Oh, unless you're Noel Gallagher, obviously.

06: Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
This is the track that will get Jay-Z's vote, I'm pretty certain. You know, cos he went to a Grizzly Bear gig with that wife of his. I'll give him a call later to check. It is a great song. But better than any other this year?

07: La Roux - Bulletproof
Of course, the track you choose to vote for is completely up to you, and I wouldn't want to sway your decision in any way. So you can vote for this song, if you want. You know, if you like that sort of thing. And by "that sort of thing" I mean songs that are utter shite.

08: The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea
The Horrors returned this year and surprised everyone by releasing an album that was really good. But was it as good as we all thought, or where we just so surprised that it wasn't utterly terrible that we all got a little more excited about it than we should have?

09: Florence And The Machine - Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)
Good old FloMac - that's what we call her in the CMU office. Or, at least, that's what I sometimes call her in my head. Anyway, she's been awfully popular this year. But she didn't win the Mercury, did she? No, and if the results of album-focused competitions are how we judge great tracks, what does that say?

10: The xx - Basic Space
I have no doubt that The xx's debut album will feature heavily in all manner of end of year polls over the next six weeks, thanks to the band's distinct sound. Does their laidback approach to pop float your boat, or do you need something a bit more upbeat to really get you excited?

Okay, you've read my entirely impartial takes on all of these songs, now watch their videos for further inpiration at www.theCMUwebsite.com/tube.

Found your favourite? Or are you seething that your choice isn't in this list? If it's the latter, don't worry. This list has nothing to do with very much at all. What counts is votes, so votes are what we need. Register yours by clicking right here.

 
FREE JEREMY WARMSLEY EP
Jeremy Warmsley has released a free five track EP for anyone with an email address to download. Entitled '5 Versions', it features five new versions of some old songs. Says Warmsely: "If you like listening to the pop classics but also go for weird records by artists long-lost to obscurity, then you might just like my EP, which it is a little bit of both. I made it in my bedroom on the first warm day of spring, and I'd like you to hear it". How can you resist that?

jeremywarmsley.cashmusic.org
 

 

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TERRA FIRMA'S LATEST EMI DEBT PROPOSALS KNOCKED BACK
Citigroup has reportedly rejected Terra Firma's latest proposals to restructure the finances of EMI.

As much previously reported, private equity firm Terra Firma bought the London-based music major with a big fat loan from the American bank just before the pesky credit crunch. Citigroup intended to share the risk of the big lend by selling on a big chunk of the debt to other money lenders, but as the credit crunch, well, crunched, the market for such risk sharing disappeared.

And even as that market recovers, with EMI still struggling, despite a radical overhaul by its new owners, and with Terra Firma themselves admitting their biggest acquisition gamble to date was, with hindsight, something of a mistake, few are going to want to share Citigroup's burden.

With EMI saddled with loan repayment commitments it can barely afford to meet, and Terra Firma preferring to not have to keep injecting new money into the firm in order to help it meet those loan repayments, the private equity types have been busy negotiating with Citigroup in a bid to restructure the music major's debts.

I'm not 100% certain how such negotiations work, but I think the basic gist is that, on the basis neither Terra Firma nor Citigroup can really afford to let EMI collapse (some argue Citigroup have more to lose) the former is trying to talk the latter into writing off some of the music firm's debts. To sweeten the deal, Terra Firma is proposing to increase its investment commitments to EMI, to convince Citigroup it still thinks EMI is a goer, and will therefore be able to meet those debt commitments that remain.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the latest proposal was that Terra Firma inject another billion pounds into EMI, in return for which Citigroup would write off debts of a similar sum, what would amount to about 40% of EMI's debt commitments to the bank. The bankers though, it seems, were not willing to play ball.

In some ways Terra Firma's position is weakened because, while some say Citigroup have more to lose if EMI folds, others argue otherwise. They argue that EMI's catalogues, and especially EMI Music Publishing's songs catalogue, is much more valuable than the music major is as a going concern. That's not to say Citigroup want EMI to fail, but perhaps it's Terra Firma who would have more to lose if the music company were to collapse.

Whatever, insiders say that Terra Firma have a bit more time to play with in their ongoing Citigroup negotiations, because this Autumn's Beatles reissue programme has buoyed the major's recorded music division, where all the losses are made, and the new Robbie long player could mean another couple of rosy months are ahead. The result of that is that EMI Music can just about survive for the time being without a dramatic cash injection from Terra Firma or loan rearrangement from Citigroup.

But insiders also say that, with EMI Music still reliant on a handful of often reluctant artist partners for much of its income, it will need more than Fab Four and Robbie income to make it through 2010. Therefore Terra Firma really do need Citigroup to give a little if it is to achieve its ambitions to eventually turn a profit on its EMI adventure. If no such deal can be struck in the first half of 2010, perhaps it will be time for Terra Firma to bail - meaning Warner Music may, as yet, acquire its rival at a bargain basement price.

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JLS RESPOND TO BIRMINGHAM GIG RAMPAGE
Personally, I'm blaming JLS themselves, though everyone else seems to be blaming Birmingham City Council. Sixty four people were injured this weekend, four requiring hospital treatment, after a crowd surged as JLS performed in Birmingham city centre. The event, co-staged by Birmingham radio station BRMB, was part of the celebrations around the turning on of the city's Christmas lights.

Organisers didn't seem to expect that 20,000 people might want to see the 'X-Factor' runners-up, leading to overcrowding in the corner of the city hosting the free gig. It was when a metal barrier holding some of the crowd back collapsed that it got scary. As the crowd started to get angry, and people started to be injured, organisers of the event decided to call everything to a halt, meaning the other pop acts booked, including Calvin Harris, didn't get to perform.

As media focus fell on the organisation of the event and the specifics as to how crowd management had failed, Birmingham City Council confirmed it had launched an investigation into the incident. Meanwhile the local authority's Assistant Director For Sport & Events, Steve Hollingworth, said his department had done everything it could to plan for the event, that they had anticipated crowds of the size that showed up, and that problems only began because the security fence failed to hold up. He also defended the decision to cancel the show once said security fence had collapsed.

But a local MP, Khalid Mahmood, hit out at council officials. He told reporters: "This could have been far far worse than it was, we are very very lucky. There was no real assessment of what the dangers were and how many people there could be. Of course the young people are going to be excited by the whole thing, it was a good thing to do, but again the council did not organise it properly. I am going to be writing to the chief executive asking who was responsible for doing the safety assessments, and what measures will be taken against those who failed to deliver in ensuring the safety of people there".

Phil Riley, the boss of Orion Media, who acquired BRMB earlier this year, also issued a statement. He said: "We are all as disappointed as everyone else that we had to cancel the event, as you can imagine we've worked hard across the last three months to ensure that today's line up was bigger and better than ever before. However the safety of our listeners is our utmost importance and once this was compromised there was no other option than to cancel the event".

Meanwhile a statement from JLS said that the teen group were "devastated" that over 60 people had been hurt while they performed. The group's Marvin Humes wrote on the JLS website: "We are devastated to see what happened at the BRMB event in Birmingham yesterday. We are so, so sad to see that people got injured at the gig. It was meant to be a great event with some other amazing acts on the bill and we're just gutted that everyone's day was spoilt. We are very sorry for the people who were injured".

He added: "After we opened the show the police took the decision to cancel the gig for public safety. The safety of our fans is so important to us. I have personally spoken to some of the other acts who were meant to perform and everyone was so upset that people got injured and that they didn't get to see the rest of the show. We just hope that everyone who was injured has a speedy recovery".

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DJ AM FAMILY BLAME PLANE CRASH FOR HIS DEATH
The family of Adam 'DJ AM' Goldstein have taken over the late DJ's legal claim against the companies involved in the chartering of the plane which crashed with him and friend Travis Barker on board, and have added wrongful death to the list of complaints.

As much previously reported, Goldstein and Barker were the only survivors when the private jet they were in crashed in South Carolina in September 2008. Two of their friends and the plane's two-man crew were killed. Although Goldstein survived and recovered from his injuries he died of an overdose of prescription drugs and cocaine this August.

According to People magazine, Goldstein's mother Andrea Goss reckons the mental trauma of the crash caused her son to be depressed which led to his untimely death. This despite the fact the official line on the overdose that killed the DJ is that it was accidental and not suicide. And despite the fact Goldstein had a long history of drug addiction before the crash.

There are several defendants listed on the new lawsuit, most notably Clay Lacy Aviation and Learjet Inc. Neither have as yet responded to the new legal action.

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ROBBIE LETS SLIP ABOUT TAKE THAT STUDIO REUNION
Hey, it turns out Robbie Williams was lying when he said that he and his former Take That bandmates were practising as a bobsleigh team when caught outside a studio in New York earlier this year. He fooled us all.

Now, in an interview with Radio 2, the Robster has revealed all. Speaking in a programme due to be broadcast on Christmas Day, he was asked about the possibility of a full Take That reunion, and he replied: "We'd have to have written some incredibly great songs together for me to be very, very excited about the project. I might be 'very, very excited' about a project that's currently happening. Gaz is an amazing, amazing singer-songwriter, I'm honoured to be in the same studio as him... erm... when we do, in the future. Oh sod it, we've been in and the songs are absolutely amazing".

So, there you go. Robbie, of course, joined the rest of Take That on stage at a concert held in aid of Children In Need last week, but did not sing with the group.

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MASTODON ANNOUNCE REGAL RE-RELEASE
Special editions, collectors editions, platinum editions. Pfft. Mastodon have trumped all of you and opted to release a 'royal edition' of their latest album, 'Crack The Skye'. It will contain the original album, the full-length score, and access to downloads of live tracks, along with gold stamped artwork and lithographs. Lovely. Apparently it'll be available next month.

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FREE CARBON/SILICON ALBUM
Carbon/Silicon, the current project of former Clash man Mick Jones and one time Sigue Sigue Sputniker Tony James, made their new album available for free download this weekend. You can download the tracks and some artwork from the MP3s page at www.carbonsiliconinc.com. The new long player is called 'The Carbon Bubble'.

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SONY RELEASE ELVIS BEST OF FOR HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY
Sony Music will release a special compilation to celebrate what would have been Elvis' 75th birthday in January featuring, you guessed it, 75 Elvis tracks.

The new compilation is released on 4 Jan, but I'm hoping we get a finished copy of the three CD collection before Christmas, because that'll be my Mum's present sorted. With that in mind, you'd have thought Sony would have wanted this one out before Christmas, but perhaps they are hoping to get some extra press in that quiet first week of the year, Elvis' actual birthday was 8 Jan.

Of course Sony need to cash in on their Elvis catalogue as best they can, just in case the European record industry never gets the extension on the sound recording copyright they so dearly want. By my maths, some of the songs on this compilation are already out of copyright.

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THE WHO MIGHT BE PLAYING THE SUPERBOWL
The Who will reportedly play the Super Bowl half time show in February, a booking which is usually a pretty big deal given the size of the Super Bowl TV audience, and the reporting of which requires a compulsory "wardrobe malfunction" gag. Unfortunately I'm a bit busy this morning, so if you could figure out your own joke involving Janet Jackson's left breast, that would be helpful.

A Superbowl appearance would be good timing for Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend, who are reportedly working on a new Who album as we speak.

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MUSE ANNOUNCE 2010 GIGS
Missed Muse on their current tour? Don't worry, they'll be playing again soon. Well, next September, which is soon if you consider it in terms of the entire history of the universe.

Tickets go on sale this Friday for these dates right here:

4 Sep: Manchester, Lancaster County Cricket Ground
11 Sep: London, Wembley Stadium

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MOS DEF ANNOUNCES LONDON SHOW
Mos Def is coming to London, people. And he's bringing some very special guests with him. No word on who they are, but my money is on a reunited Chas & Dave. I guess we'll find out when he plays the Forum in Kentish Town on 29 Nov. Tickets for the show are on sale right at this very second.

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ARTIST REGISTRATION OPENS FOR THE GREAT ESCAPE
Artist registration has opened for The Great Escape 2010, meaning that any artists who would like to be considered to play the big new bands bash by the sea should fill out the application form at this here URL pretty damn quick - www.escapegreat.com/artistregistration.

Unsigned or independent artists keen to play might also want to sign up to digital distributor Zimbalam. There will be three slots available at the music convention for artists who sell the most music via the digital distributor in the next three months. A short list of the best sellers on Zimbalam will be drawn up on 1 Mar, and three artists picked to play The Great Escape by a team of judges from both Zimbalam and TGE.

Next year's Great Escape will happen from 13-15 May across Brighton. Red Stripe will return as headline sponsors once again. Confirming that, Red Stripe Brand Manger Paul Brazier told CMU: "Red Stripe has a natural fit with live music, and with the headline sponsorship of The Great Escape for the third year running, this connection has become much stronger. Our vision is to see Red Stripe available at every live music venue in the UK, and being involved with The Great Escape is one step closer to this goal. It proves the trade is recognising that credible artists and music lovers put Red Stripe before anything else".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Brakes - Why Tell The Truth (When It's Easier To Lie)/Worry About It Later (FatCat)
Brakes have been busy of late, and return again this week with this double-A side single, which features two tracks from the band's third album, 'Touchdown'.

The first track, 'Why Tell The Truth (When It's Easier To Lie)', shows off their more raucous side, with frontman Eamon Hamilton explaining that he only drinks to help the cigarettes go down, while 'Worry About It Later' is a more languid number with typically political overtones.

Brakes know how to cover the bases and they do it well in two tracks here. Be sure to check out their new live album, 'Rock Is Dodeljik' (which was released earlier this month), too. IM

Physical release: 16 Nov
Press contact: Fat Cat IH [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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MORE ON IMU
A little follow up on our report on Friday on the new brand partnerships agency representing four independent record companies, IMU.

We said IMU would represent Moshi Moshi, Wichita Recordings, Because Music and Bella Union for sync rights deals. However, the agency will not be operating in the traditional sync domain, licensing tracks for TV ads and the like - in fact all four indies will continue to use their existing reps for traditional sync deals.

IMU will work with brands on more strategic projects, especially in the online domain, some of which might involve syncing tracks, but for so called branded content rather than traditional advertising. As an example, IMU's Ruth Clarke told CMU about a recent project with fashion chain Oasis, which saw the retailer form a mini-partnership with one of their labels.

Clarke: "The Oasis hookup was a small deal in which we licensed a track for use in a fashion film previewing their upcoming collection online and at a recent press day. It was licensed by their agency, Yellow Door. A simple deal, but our first opportunity to demonstrate the ease and speed with which these kinds of deals can be done through IMU".

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ULSTER MUSIC BODY CLOSES DUE TO BOARD DISAGREEMENTS
An organisation called the Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission, which was set up to support grass roots music talent in the region, and which worked with artists like The Answer and Duke Special, has shut down, seemingly because the people running it fell out. Which seems like a silly reason, but there you go. Quite what the "irreconcilable issues" between the Commission's board members were we're not sure, but Invest NI, one of the body's funders, has confirmed it will no longer provide funding to the organisation because of internal squabbling.

A spokesman for Invest NI told reporters: "Due to irreconcilable issues within NIMIC's board, Invest NI and other potential partners were unable to consider any further funding. NIMIC has made a significant contribution to the development of the music industry in Northern Ireland since 2001 through the support provided by Invest NI and the Arts Council".

Invest NI do not currently intend to divert their NIMIC funding to any other music-based organisations.

Commenting on the demise of NIMIC, Kieran McCarthy, arts spokesman for Northern Ireland's Alliance political party, told reporters: "This is bad news for music in Northern Ireland. Our music professionals and experts should be able to work together to help new talent develop and gain recording contracts. It's rather ironic that NIMIC has folded due to differences, given that 'musical differences' is the oft-quoted factor behind many bands splitting. Our music scene is vibrant and it's a real pity that this group has ceased to exist. I would however encourage other experts to take the initiative and come together to provide assistance for up-and-coming bands and musicians here. Musicians working together here to help pool their skills and assist each other seems logical and I would like to see a new network emerge if possible".

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229 PUT HUNDRED GRAND INTO ENHANCED SOUND
Central London venue 229 has reportedly invested £100,000 into upgrading its sound system which, given the place already had pretty damn good sound, presumably means it's now among the best venues for sound in the capital. According to Music Week, the new investment has include the addition of d&b speakers, a Digidesign mixing desk and d&b monitoring equipment.

229, underneath the International Students House next to Great Portland Street tube station, has two spaces, and has played host to gigs by the likes of Primal Scream, Keane, Gnarls Barkley, Biffy Clyro and Razorlight in the last two years.

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CHART UPDATE
Oh look, The Black Eyed Peas are number one again. After eight weeks on the chart, 'Meet Me Halfway' has wormed its way to the top, denying Leona Lewis the chance to go straight in at number one with 'Happy'. She'll never get that opportunity again, Peas. Not with that song, anyway. Why do you have to ruin everything?

Urgh, let's just look at the rest of the chart and try to forget what Will.i.am et al have done. If we can. Other new entries in the top ten come from N-Dubz at five, Britney Spears at seven, and Sugababes at eight.

Further down, Robbie has a new entry at seventeen, with album track, 'You Know Me' (possibly a hint at what's coming up in the second half of this chart update), Pixie Lott is in at 25 with 'Cry Me Out', and Chartjackers fail to really live up to their name by stopping at 36 with 'I've Got Nothing'.

Now, albums. We heard all last week that Robbie Williams was well on the way to going straight in at number one with his new album, 'Reality Killed The Video Star', so it will come as no surprise to you when I tell you that JLS are this week's number one. That's right, JLS. Come on, I know Robbie's not actually very good at singing, but he doesn't deserve that. He is at number two, though, beating Snow Patrol into third place. Both Robbie and JLS shifted over 200K units to secure their chart positions, making last week a rather big one in terms of album sales.

Also new amongst the top selling LPs are Biffy Clyro at eight and Rod Stewart at ten. Below them, Jamie Cullum is in at sixteen, Miley Cyrus just behind at seventeen, and Shirley Bassey at 20. Below that, everyone has fallen at least one place (except Lady Gaga, who's sticking at 36), making them all failures in my eyes.

The charts are packed full of failure and disappointment by The Official Charts Company.

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JARVIS COLLECTS HONOURARY DEGREE
Jarvis Cocker has picked up his honorary doctorate at a graduation ceremony at his former university, Sheffield Hallam. As previously reported, it was announced Cocker would receive the award last month.

The former Pulp frontman told the BBC: "I'm called a doctor now. Don't worry, I won't open a surgery. But I guess if you are a songwriter maybe I could have some kind of musical surgery. If you had a song with a swollen chorus, or a varicose verse, or if you need a little bit of help I could try and heal your song for you".

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BEYONCE BRANDED STUPID BY EGYPTOLOGIST
According to reports, Egypt's chief Egyptologist has berated Beyonce for her lack of understanding of ancient Egypt. Zahi Hawass, who claims to have been the inspiration for Indiana Jones, reportedly told a journalist from the al-Shorouk newspaper about a recent guided tour he had given the singer of some of the country's key historic sites. It seems neither of them was particularly impressed.

Hawass is quoted as saying: "I showed her the Sphinx and I gave her a book on King Tutankhamen. ... She's a stupid person and she doesn't understand a thing and she doesn't want to understand... She's coming here to take pictures and that's it".

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COWELL V CALVIN
Simon Cowell labelled Calvin Harris an "idiot" this weekend. Whether that means Calvin will now launch a t-shirt diss campaign against the 'X-Factor' chief, as he did during his Twitter feud with then NME editor Conor McNicholas, I don't know. I quite like the idea of a Cowell/Harris feud though - the man who makes the best selling pop music in the country versus the man who makes the best pop music in the country. It would be fun.

Cowell was forced to have an opinion on Harris, of course, after the chart-topping producer decided to run on stage during the latest performance on 'X-Factor' by those increasingly tedious twins. In tribute to the twin's ridiculous hair styles, Harris balanced a pineapple on his head as he hugged which ever of John and Edward was on the left on Saturday night.

Even though you could hardly see the stage invasion thanks to some clever editing by 'X-Factor' bosses, and despite the fact Harris insisted he was a fan of the Jedward phenomenon, the producer was promptly ejected from the building, and his appearance on the talent show's ITV 2 spin off cancelled. You can accuse Simon Cowell and the 'X-Factor' franchise of many things, but never of having a sense of humour.

Harris, who had earlier tweeted a link to a picture of the pineapple, confirmed he had been kicked out of 'X-Factor' central, also via the micro-blogging network. He tweeted: "Was just thrown out of 'X-Factor for jumping onstage during Jedward with a pineapple on my head".

Cowell later accused Harris of staging the stage invasion as a publicity stunt. He seemed a bit pissed off. Though if Calvin's intent was really to publicise his current album 'Ready For The Weekend', perhaps Cowell was faking the anger to ensure more column inches. Harris is, of course, signed to Sony, Cowell's principle business partner in all things Syco.

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