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Top Stories
Not much joy: The tricky issue of major label royalty reporting
Pure Mint boss resigns BPI committee over Digital Economy Bill
In The Pop Courts
Ronnie Wood arrested for assault
Pumpkins settle
Awards & Contests
Folk award noms published
Charts, Stats & Polls
Robbie doing well in Europe, Boyle still big in America launch 2009 countdown
Artist Deals
Walsh to manage Jedward
Marilyn Manson dropped by Interscope
In The Studio
Arcade Fire six months into work on third album
Films N Shows News
Kinks film in the pipeline
Gigs N Tours News
Wild Beasts announce tour dates
Esben And The Witch announce tour
Festival News
Kasabian to headline T In The Park
First Camp Bestival acts announced
Fatboy Slim added to Snowbombing
Exit Festival 2010 dates and Xmas ticket offer
Album review: Britney Spears - The Singles Collection (Jive)
The Music Business
Vivendi sells its 20% stake in NBC Universal
The Digital Business
Vevo to launch next week
New download price comparison site launches
And finally...
More Lambert
Liam professes love for Noel
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

CMU favourites Comanechi are a duo from London featuring singer and drummer Akiko Matsuura (also known for her work with The Big Pink and Pre) and guitarist Simon Petrovitch. With bags of energy, Akiko belts out train crash drumming whilst Simon provides brutally heavy guitar riffs. Their grungy sound has picked them up plenty of fans, including bands like The Gossip and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who have both taken the duo out on tour. Gossip drummer Hannah Blilie also features on a track on Comanechi's debut album, 'Crime Of Love', which is out on Monday through Merok Records. We spoke to Akiko to ask our Same Six Questions.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I can't really remember. I have always been making music. So, just like that, Comanechi started.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Love life - love of boys, love of parties, love of my life...

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Play killer riffs with killer drumming, get killer melodies on top, then add killer lyrics.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Bruce Lee, John Walters, Kusama Yayoi.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Our music will break your heart because the music and lyrics coming from total honesty.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Our ambition for our latest album is making the music scene not suck. For the future? The same. Making the music scene not suck is our forever mission.

MORE>> and
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Groove Odyssey at The Scala
I haven't tipped the Scala for a while, so it's about time I pointed you towards this pretty good club, deep in the heart of Kings Cross, once again. Saturday sees the Groove Odyssey crew taking over with one of my faves on the line up - the Garage City dynamic duo and new GO residents Bobby and Steve. Also on the bill are the excellent Mr V and DJ Disciple, who are flying in from the States, and Ms Shelley Nelson doing a live PA. She can belt em out, that's for sure - check out 'Believe' by Nathan Haines for proof.

Expect quality house and garage all night from those guys in the main room, plus other movers and groovers in the venue's other three spaces. Room Two is uplifting house grooves from Craze, Vinyl Vixens and Tim Lovelace, Room Three has 80s grooves, soul, disco, funk and boogie from Frostie, Sharpie and Mischievious, while the I Wanna DJ Allstars take over Room Four with DJ Roozy and The Governor with Dapps Da Dredd. It's over 21's only, so bring some ID if you look a bit on the young side, and it's no sportswear either, you scruffy types.

Saturday 5 Dec, The Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, London. N1 9NL, 10pm-5am, £15 adv, more info from and
So, for the last few weeks we've been collecting your votes for Track Of The Year 2009. They've been coming in thick and fast, so throughout December, we'll be hearing what some people have had to say about their favourites, starting this week with Team CMU.

Dirty Projectors - Stillness Is The Move
Prior to 'SITM' the closest Dirty Projectors had come to pop was 'Knotty Pine', a collaboration with David Byrne, himself a master in off kilter pop masterpieces. So the shuddering R&B groove of this 2009 release - with its African-sounding blues lick twisted around, and the octave shifting vocals of guitarist Amber and bassist Angel - caused impulsive tongue wagging on its release. And that only increased with the arrival of the equally impressive album, 'Bitte Orca'. Hell, even Solange Knowles doffed her cap to this track with a smoothed out cover version towards the end of the year.
Owen Smith, Band Tipper, CMU

Vote for your favourite track of 2009 here


Domino requires a capable person to assist in the Business Affairs department of Domino Recording and Domino Publishing Companies, based in London.

The ideal candidate will have a couple of years experience working in a busy office, be highly organised and in possession of first rate administrational skills. Your daily tasks will include tracking all agreements, issuing broadcast releases, licensing our repertoire out for compilations and looking after the label copy.

The role offers an excellent introduction into the business aspect of the music industry.

Applications: [email protected]


Leading independent music PR company looking for a Press Officer with experience in both online and traditional PR. Must be passionate, enthusiastic, intelligent, and a creative thinker. Knowledge of communications: PR, marketing, and blogging would be ideal, but not essential. If you are looking for a challenge within a dynamic company, please forward a copy of your CV to: [email protected]


Advertise your jobs here: £100 for five editions - [email protected]



26 or younger and have never attended MIDEM? Grab your reduction now!
Either studying or working in the music industry and never attended MIDEM, benefit from a special discount rate at 280 euros, more than 50% off October rate.

Networking: Seek out key contacts and extend your professional network; make deals with your partners and identify new business opportunities.

Educational content: access to the renowned MidemNet digital business conference at no extra cost; get concrete, practical knowledge and training from experts through workshops.

Live concerts: hook up with partners and new contacts at the Opening and Closing Night Parties; discover new international artists with Talent showcases.

MIDEM: the one stop destination for the world’s music community, 23-27 January 2010. Register now! Click here


MIDEM 2010, Cannes: Intimate club venue available for hire in the Palais du Festival - to showcase your artists and bands.

4am license. UK bar prices. 400 Capacity. Private entrance. Staff and DJ supplied.

Leyline has teamed up with Splash Promotions in Cannes to offer production, event management and PR services.

Contact 020 7575 3285 [email protected] / [email protected] -


Self-contained office space available in the centre of Shoreditch, on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Great Eastern Street, next to the CMU HQ. 5-8 minutes walk from Liverpool Street and Old Street tube stations. A top floor workspace with plenty of natural light in an exciting neighbourhood that is home to numerous music, media, PR and creative companies. 764 square feet, with room for 15-20 desks plus its own kitchen area and adjacent toilets. £1000 per month plus service charge and business rates (£275 per month and £600 per month respectively). Includes heating. Available now. For more information contact [email protected].


Advertise your stuff here: £120 for five editions - [email protected]


The way I see it, there are at least six main reasons everyone hates the (major) record companies.

First, the Recording Industry Association Of America are idiots, and many people equate the voice of the RIAA with the thinking of every record label boss in the world. Second, labels generally drive a very hard bargain when it comes to any artist's first record deal and most artists resent that fact for the rest of their careers. Third, most business partnerships come to an end, and many end acrimoniously, and when this happens to label/artist partnerships, the public only normally hear the artist's side. Fourth, record label execs sometimes screw up crucial albums - artistically or commercially - and destroy that artist's career. Fifth, record company execs don't get the internet. And sixth, despite nearly a century's worth of practice, and the invention of accountancy software, major record companies are notoriously bad at accounting for record sales to their artists.

Given I was accused on a Times message board of sounding like I was being paid by the major record companies to do their PR last month (ha, I wish, cheques to the usual address major label people), let's defend the majors on each of those points, shall we?

First, even the RIAA have stopped their self-harming 'sue-the-fans' strategy of coping with the internet, and the trade body never spoke for everyone in the industry anyway, not even everyone in the US majors. Second, of course labels drive a hard bargain when signing, and funding, an unknown band, they are taking quite a risk with quite a lot of money; in this context the accountants at the major labels are the bankers of the record industry, and all bankers are cunts, they just happen to be essential cunts. Third, some artists are dropped because, despite everyone's best efforts, the public just can't be persuaded to buy their music, which possibly wasn't as good as everyone initially thought anyway - and some artists are cunts too. Fourth, yes record label execs screw up albums, but there's many an album out there that has only succeeded because of the interference - creative or otherwise - of A&R or marketing execs at a label. Fifth, yes, we know, the major labels screwed up the internet monumentally at the start of the decade, but they're getting there, people. Slower than you'd all like, admittedly, but they will make it work, eventually. Probably by shunting most digital licensing over to the collecting societies.

But what about point six? Even if we assume half the artists and managers who moan about royalty statements are in fact just depressed no one is buying their music, it does really seem that there are some major failings in the way some record companies inform their artist partners how much money their music has generated, especially in an era when surely a big chunk of that work could be automated, taking spreadsheets of stats straight from digital music sellers.

All of which brings us to the blog of the week. Tim Quirk was the frontman of early nineties American alternative rockers Too Much Joy. This week he posted his latest Warner Music royalty statement on the internet, and then explained in a blog entry why what was written on it was so ridiculous.

You should read the blog for yourself, but the basic gist is that until now Quirk has never seen any digital revenues on his royalty statement, because it's taken this long for Warner to start reporting such things. As the band's physical albums have been out of print for years, that means there have been few positive figures on his royalty statements for some time. The band weren't overly successful when working with Warner and never recouped (that is to say record sales never repaid the money Warner spent releasing their albums - in fact they have another $395,277.18 to go before recouping), so Quirk isn't pining after an actual royalty cheque, just accuracy for accuracy's sake.

Which brings us to the latest royalty statement, which, after much badgering on Quirk's part, actually includes digital. And the document provided reckons that Quirk and his band have, until now, generated $62.47 in digital royalties. Meaning they are now a mere $395,214.71 from recouping!

However, Quirk begs to differ with the digital figure. Firstly because, after parting company with Warner, the band self-released four albums, which are now distributed by indie distributor IODA. In the time covered by the Warner royalty statement those albums generated $12,000 in digital royalties. Given the earlier albums were actually more popular, you'd expect them to have generated at least similar digital revenues.

Second, Quirk works for Real Network's Rhapsody - one of the big digital music players in the US - and so has access to stats for how many times his music has been streamed via that service and knowledge of what that would translate to in terms of royalty payments. Basically, this isn't the guy to send a made up royalty statement to.

You can read the blog - which also offers some interesting insights into the efficiencies of Warner's reporting systems, and some equally interesting allegations about their priorities in this regard - at this URL:

Asked about why he decided to post his royalty statement, Quirk told Billboard: "The first [reason] was, I'm tired and frustrated from having to ask for something that's contractually obligated - accurate accounting. It was silly to me that I had to push so hard for something that should come naturally. And then when I got it, I was so underwhelmed and depressed. So, partly I'm trying to prod them into giving me what they're obligated to, which is a statement, not money. Just accurate accounting. Secondly, this is complicated stuff that most people don't have a lot of insight into and I figured being as transparent as possible would do some good".

Warner declined to comment on the specifics of Quirk's allegations, but told Billboard: "Accurate accounting to our artists is a high priority for WMG. We take these issues seriously and Mr Quirk's implications to the contrary are flat-out wrong".

Quirk subsequently revealed to the trade mag that a Warner exec had been in touch that told him "folks are running a special report [on your sales, and] I think some additional sales activity was located; trust you'll get something soon".

Of course major record companies are sitting on vast catalogues of music, much of which was more or less dormant until the arrival of iTunes meant that, in theory, every record ever made could be on sale all the time. Reporting to the artists behind all those recordings on a regular basis is a big task. As with the way they licence their music to digital services, the majors are several years behind where they should be, but, they'd say, possibly correctly, they're getting there.

But, if the majors are trying to reposition themselves as artist-services companies as well as creative investors and content owners, then surely this is an issue that really needs some serious thought and speedy resolution. Shouldn't some of those up-front payments paid to labels by the big digital operators - most of which will never be shared with artists - be used to step-up each label's accounting systems so to cope with the way music is bought in the digital era?

And it's not as if any of this is rocket science. As Quirk concludes in his interview with Billboard: "One of the important things to me is that IODA can do this easily. IODA tells me exactly to the penny each month how much I've earned from multiple services. Whether its Rhapsody, Ecast, Verizon, Nokia - there's dozens. And if IODA can do it - clearly the problem isn't that Apple isn't reporting, because Apple is reporting to IODA, and IODA is reporting to me on Apple activity. Services, such as the one I work for, are reporting to thousands of labels. If the services are reporting to the labels, and other labels are reporting to their artists, there's no reason why a major can't report to all of their artists".

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The boss of indie label Pure Mint Recordings has resigned from the BPI Rights Committee and will step down from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry's International Legal Committee because of objections to the much previously reported Digital Economy Bill, which both the BPI and IFPI are supporting.

Anthony Hall, who is also a lawyer, says he has a number of concerns with the new legislation being proposed by Peter Mandelson's government department, which is currently working its way through the House Of Lords. This is the legislation that would introduce a sort of three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing, which could lead to persistent file-sharers having their net connections suspended. It is also the Bill that, as previously reported, would give the Secretary Of State with responsibility for intellectual property powers to alter copyright legislation to cope with new piracy threats without consulting parliament.

Hall believes the proposed legislation has been rushed in a bid to get it through parliament before the next General Election, that it is in danger of disregarding some sacred legal principles (regarding process, presumption of innocence and burden of proof) and that it won't solve the record industry's piracy problems anywhere.

In his resignation letter to the BPI, Hall writes: "I have enjoyed contributing to both [the BPI's] Rights [Committee] and the [IFPI's] ILC, but increasingly feel that my contributions are falling on deaf ears as an agenda has already been reached that I now consider is unmovable. As you know, I do not think the Digital Economy Bill is a sensible or well thought out piece of legislation. In my view it is being rushed through the last months of a parliament of an unpopular government and it is not legislation that I support".

Referencing clause 17 - the one that gives senior ministers the right to change copyright laws on whim - he continued: "I am particularly surprised that the record industry has chosen to endorse s.17 of the DEB, which I consider is wholly undemocratic and contrary to centuries of good practice regarding the forming of our copyright legislation. I also believe it may set a dangerous precedent going forwards (and could come back to haunt the industry)".

In a short document picking holes in the Bill, and the record industry's support of it, Hall raises two of the most common concerns with three-strikes-based anti-piracy systems - that tracking all file-sharing activity contravenes European-level privacy rights, and that those accused of file-sharing will not have a fair opportunity to appeal piracy allegations levelled against them.

He also expresses concerns regarding the reliability of the record industry's data on file-sharing activity, and questions whether the major record companies have been as quick to embrace new digital services as they claim, noting that as of last summer EMI was yet to provide its content to Beatport, despite it being an established market leader in dance music downloads.

Finally he expresses the concern put forward by some in the artist and management community that three-strikes legislation and file-sharer net suspensions will simply make more file-sharers employ clever technologies that mask their online activity, utilising the so called "hidden web". If you want to know more about that, and have some time to spare, there's a lengthy put interesting Guardian article on the subject at this URL:

Also like some in the artist and management community, Hall advocates the record industry looking into an 'inclusive' licensing model for the internet, basically treating the net like radio and licensing music to all through collecting societies. He reckons the record industry should spend more time investigating that sort of system, rather than lobbying Mandelson to rush through more draconian copyright rules.

In his resignation letter, Hall notes: "At the turn of the 20th Century, when music publishers were faced with technological improvements impinging on their business models (eg pianolas and gramophones eating substantially into sheet music sales), they came up with mechanical licensing. They didn't seek to penalise those who had bought or used these 'new machines'. Perhaps we need to take a lesson from their book?"

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Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has been arrested on suspicion of assault in what police have referred to as a "domestic incident".

According to The Sun, Wood was arrested after he was seen pinning his girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova to the pavement on the High Street in Claygate, Surrey. Celine Dixon, who lives nearby, told the paper: "We heard a woman screaming, then saw a man pinning her to the ground. He was shouting at her. Then we heard choking sounds, so my boyfriend rushed out to help. When he got outside he saw it was Ronnie and Ekaterina".

Wood, of course, left his wife of 24 years, Jo, in 2008, following a high profile affair with 20 year old Ivanova. They officially divorced last month.

According to reports, Ivanova has said that she does not what to press charges, but as other witnesses have alleged that the attack appeared to be a serious assault, Wood may still have to stand trial. He is due to appear in court again next month.

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A lawyer representing two of the original Smashing Pumpkins - that's James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky-Brown - says his clients have settled two outstanding lawsuits they had filed against EMI's Virgin Records.

The first lawsuit related to Virgin licensing Pumpkins tracks to a Pepsi promotion, something the band said the label was contractually obliged to first clear with them. The second lawsuit alleged Virgin and chief Pumpkin Billy Corgan had renegotiated a deal relating to the band's digital royalties, again something that should not have happened without Iha and Wretzky-Brown's approval.

Legal man Josh Glotzer told reporters that a confidential out-of-court settlement had been reached regarding the Pepsi dispute, and that the royalties issue was close to being settled also.

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The noms have been published for this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. And look, here they are, in a colourful* list format. The awards will be presented in a secret location** on 1 Feb.

Folk Singer Of The Year: Cara Dillon, Jackie Oates, Jon Boden, Martin Simpson.

Best Duo: Belshazzar's Feast, Damien Barber & Mike Wilson, Megson, Show Of Hands.

Best Group: Bellowhead, Lau, Mawkin:Causley, The Unthanks.

Best Album: Here's The Tender Coming - The Unthanks, Hill Of Thieves - Cara Dillon, Hyperboreans - Jackie Oates, True Stories - Martin Simpson.

Best Original Song: Arrogance Ignorance And Greed - Steve Knightley (Performed By Show Of Hands), Home Again - Martin Simpson, One Day - Martin Simpson/Martin Taylor (Performed By Martin Simpson), The Testimony Of Patience Kershaw - Frank Higgins (Performed By The Unthanks).

Best Traditional Track: Cutty Wren - Mawkin:Causley, Sir Patrick Spens - Martin Simpson, Spencer The Rover - Cara Dillon, The Isle Of France - Jackie Oates.

Horizon Award: Hannah James & Sam Sweeney, Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts, Nancy Wallace, Sam Carter.

Musician Of The Year: John Kirkpatrick, John Mccusker, Martin Simpson, Saul Rose.

Best Live Act: Bellowhead, Edward Ii, Lau, The Bad Shepherds.

*Colourful in the uncolourful sense of the word.
** Secret in that no one's told me where it will happen.

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For those of you who like to say things like "God, Robbie Williams couldn't even beat JLS to number one, he's waaaaaaaaaaay past it", a quick reminder that the Robster is still big news across continental Europe, territories where the Williams fanbase stayed loyal throughout the 'Rudebox' era.

Robbie's new long player, 'Reality Killed The Video Star' is still at the top of Billboard's Europe-wide charts, despite tough competition from the Michael Jackson 'This Is It' compilation and the arrival of that Susan Boyle character with 'I Dreamed A Dream' (no mention here for JLS, note). So, good news for Robbie and the spreadsheet minders at EMI.

Though if Ms Boyle is wondering if that news means she should postpone her next haircut, I think its fair to say the pop world is still her oyster. Having broken all sorts of British chart records, the showtune warbler sold over 700,000 units to top the US albums chart this week. 'I Dreamed A Dream' is the fastest selling album of 2009 in the US, a title previously help by Eminem's 'The Relapse'. Some reckon that, with Christmas looming, Boyle could as yet take the 'best selling album of the year' title off Slim Shady, with 1.6 million units the target for that achievement.

Who would have believed you if this time last year you'd said Eminem's much anticipated come back album would be outperformed by a previously unknown cat-loving 48 year old spinster from Scotland? Actually, in the era of Cowell, everyone would.

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LAST.FM LAUNCH 2009 COUNTDOWN's end of year countdowns are always interesting, mainly because they're based on what people actually listened to, rather than the revisionist selections that appear in all music publications at this time of year (look out for CMU's, starting next week). In this first section, they count down from 40-21, showing how listening figures for each artists increased (and decreased in some cases) across the year. But best of all, if you're a user, you can see how your stats compare to the site at large. God, I love stats.

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Louis Walsh has announced he has signed up 'X-Factor' comedy turn John & Edward and that he is now in talks regarding a recording contract and TV work.

Unlike Simon Cowell, Walsh doesn't have any automatic rights to sign up finalists on the telly talent show. While Cowell's SyCo record company has first refusal on record deals, when it comes to post-show management, competitors are obligated to work with Modest Management.

However, Walsh, who championed Jedward during their time on 'X-Factor', has persuaded Modest to let him guide the careers of the twins. He'll co-manage them with Ashley Tabor, who presumably has lots of time to spare time when he's not running the UK's biggest radio firm Global. Place you bets, how long till Jedward get the evening show on Capital FM?

Confirming he would be managing the 'X-Factor' muppets (with apologies to any real Muppets reading the CMU Daily), Walsh told reporters: "Despite all the doubters, John & Edward proved themselves on 'X-Factor' and I've always been convinced that they have a great career ahead of them. I'm delighted that I'll be able to continue to work with the pair. We're looking into music as well as TV deals but at this stage it is too early to give any exact details".

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Marilyn Manson has reportedly been dropped by Universal's Interscope division, after his last album, 'The High End Of The Low', failed to shift many copies. Oh well.

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Last month we revealed that Arcade Fire would definitely be releasing a new album next year. Now it transpires that they've been in the studio with producer Markus Dravs, who engineered 2007's 'Neon Bible', for the last six months.

Dravs also produced Mumford & Sons' debut album, 'Sigh No More', and it was they who let the news slip during an interview with BBC 6music. Frontman Marcus Mumford told the station: "I don't know if I'm allowed to say this but yeah, [Dravs is] working on the next Arcade Fire record at the moment. There it is, dropped, 6music exclusive. I'm sure that's public knowledge, because he's been there for about six months".

He added: "I keep asking Markus how it's going and he's like, 'Yeah, it's okay', and I'm like, 'What are the songs like?' And he goes, 'Better'".

It's also rumoured that the album is set for a May release. And if you want the full set of rumours, Billboard are reporting that there'll be a single before the album is released, followed by a tour and some festival performances. But I would have thought that was obvious.

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The new film telling the story of The Kinks, and in particular the rocky relationship between the band's Ray and Dave Davies, has gone into production. Tentatively titled 'You Really Got Me', it will be directed by Julien Temple, who has previously worked on films such as 'The Great Rock N Roll Swindle', Sex Pistols documentary 'The Filth And The Fury' and 2006's 'Glastonbury'.

Temple told Screen Daily: "At the heart of it is the extraordinary love-hate relationship between these two brothers: love/hate, sibling rivalry is at the core. I think it's a very rich social, cultural nexus around The Kinks. Their story is the untold story of all those big bands of the 1960s".

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Wild Beasts have announced UK tour dates for next March, plus a special Christmas show in their home town of Kendal on 22 Dec.

Tour dates:

22 Dec: Kendal, Brewery Arts Centre
3 Mar: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
4 Mar: London, Koko
11 Mar: Warwick, University
12 Mar: Bournemouth, 60 Million Postcards
13 Mar: Leicester, Queens Hall
15 Mar: Norwich, Waterfront
16 Mar: Exeter, Phoenix
18 Mar: Liverpool, Academy 2
19 Mar: Newcastle, Cluny
20 Mar: Manchester, Academy 2

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Esben And The Witch have announced their first headline tour, to coincide with their debut single, 'Lucia, At The Precipice', which will come out as part of the Too Pure Singles Club on 8 Feb.

Tour dates:

16 Dec: London, Cargo
5 Jan: London, Madame Jojo's
5 Feb: London, Hobby Horse
7 Feb: Brighton, The Prince Albert
10 Feb: Sheffield, The Harley
11 Feb: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
12 Feb: Lancaster, Library
13 Feb: Oxford, The Jericho

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Festival line-ups seem to be getting announced earlier and earlier every year. Look at this, we're barely out of this year's festival season, and T In The Park have already announced Kasabian as one of the headliners for next year's event, which will take place in Kinross from 9-11 Jul.

Says the band's frontman, Tom Meighan: "T In The Park holds a special place in our hearts. We've always said how much we'd love to headline it and now we are. We can't wait, we're going to play a blinder and it's going to be massive for us and for the crowd".

Top T type Geoff Ellis added: "I'm chuffed to bits that we can announce one of our headliners this early on. Kasabian blow me away every time I see them and they're going to be amazing headliners. We've had lots of fans tell us they want to see Kasabian headline T In The Park so it's great to be able to give them an early Christmas present!"

A limited number of early bird tickets for T In The Park 2010 went on sale this morning. If I was the sort of person who wanted more information on that, I would probably go to

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The folks over at Camp Bestival have announced the first batch of acts for next year's line-up, and as opening gambits go, it's not too bad. On the bill so far are Madness, The Human League, George Clinton, Calvin Harris, Chipmunk, The English National Ballet, Lee 'Scratch' Perry, The Fall, DJ Yoda, The Ragga Twins, L-Vis 1990 and more.

Commenting on their inclusion on the line-up, Madness frontman Suggs said: "We love nothing more then a good old family knees up and if we get anywhere near the reception we got at Bestival in 2007 we'll feel like kings of Lulworth Castle".

Camp Bestival will take place at Lulworth Castle in Dorset between 30 Jul and 1 Aug. More info at

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This is more like it, a line-up announcement from a winter festival. Fatboy Slim has been added to the bill of next year's Snowbombing festival in Austria, after cancelling his headline performance at this year's event while recovering from alcoholism in rehab.

In a statement, he said: "After a little false start, here I come! I love a new experience and I'm eager for some high altitude raving! I only have one question - is there such a thing as non-alcoholic gluwein? Can we get some in for the igloo especially?"

Also on the line-up are Editors, The Enemy, Doves, Friendly Fires Crookers, Skream and Cagedbaby. And it all takes place between 5-10 Apr in the Mayrhofen region of Austria. More info from

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South east Europe's biggest music and cultural event, EXIT Festival will be back in Serbia again next year, this time taking place between 8-11 Jul.

As the festival's size and reputation grow, the organisers have announced a slight price increase for the 2010 event. However, the first 1000 folks who get in quick and buy their tickets before 31 Dec will be able to get theirs for last year's price. That's £72 plus another £14 if you want to camp, compared to £85 plus £20. Slow coaches who don't get around to it until June will have to pay £99 plus £20.

More info at

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ALBUM REVIEW: Britney Spears - The Singles Collection (Sony/Jive)
Ah, young Britters. The contemporary queen of pop, the darling of every gossip rag on the shelves, the original good girl gone batshit insane. Nothing can compare to that nasally, robotic voice, and no one will ever forget the grown-up kiss you shared with pop's favourite attention whore Madonna, or the red PVC all-in-one you once wore so demurely. We do love you.

After a decade in the biz, she's the releasing 'The Singles Collection', which boasts, well, exactly that: eighteen classic Britney tracks, thoughtfully compiled on compact disc for your listening pleasure. Some excellent, fine-tuned pop ('Stronger', 'Boys', 'Toxic', 'Piece of Me' and 'Circus') nestles amongst the dodgy mush we'd rather forget ('Born To Make You Happy', 'I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet a Woman' and 'Everytime'), but all-in-all, the singles compilation is a journey through a blossoming career in pop, and is the musical equivalent to a wine and cheese party. Cheers! TW

Physical release: 23 Nov
Press contact: Digital Rebel [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The corporate link between the Universal Music Group and the other Universal entertainment businesses will soon be completely broken as French conglom Vivendi prepares to sell its 20% stake in NBC Universal, which owns the Universal telly, film and theme park companies.

Many expected Vivendi to sell all of the Universal businesses when the former water company spiralled into financial crisis in 2004. However, bosses held on to the firm's music business, while selling 80% of the rest of the Universal empire to General Electric, creating NBC Universal.

Of course, even when all the Universal companies had common ownership they operated pretty autonomously, and since GE got majority ownership of NBC Universal, Vivendi have only had an equity rather than managerial interest. However, the completion of the corporate split between Universal Music and the other Universal companies is still a worth noting.

Vivendi is selling its 20% in NBC Universal to GE, who are in turn selling 51% of the company to US cable giant Comcast. It means Vivendi's entertainment assets will now be the Universal Music Group, French TV channel Canal Plus and gaming giant Activision Blizzard.

Aside from bringing in some cash, Vivendi have bailed out of NBC Universal in a bid to be in a position where it has majority ownership and therefore control of all its assets.

The company's top man Jean-Bernard Levy said this week: "We are now opening a new chapter in the group's history. Once this agreement is completed, Vivendi will have exclusive control of all its assets. More coherent, and more focused on rapidly growing countries, with a stronger presence in communications and entertainment businesses that it has managed for many years, Vivendi is determined, at the start of the new decade, to pursue its profitable growth strategy".

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Universal and Sony's YouTube-powered music video service Vevo will launch next week. The two majors are still to persuade the other two major labels to sign up, though some say a deal with EMI is close to being done.

Meanwhile a deal has been done with CBS Interactive, which will bring in content from the CBS Radio group in the US and, including live sessions, artist interviews, behind the scenes footage and recordings of future CBS-sponsored events in the US. I assume the CBS content is video rather than just audio, but that's not 100% clear.

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Slightly irritating money saving guru Martin Lewis has launched a new website comparing the prices of music downloads.

The site searches over nine million tracks from the likes of iTunes, Amazon MP3, TuneTribe, Orange,, 7digital, HMV, We7, and Tesco. Most price differences are a few quid (for albums), though on some releases there is a £10+ difference depending on which service you use. From a quick play, the general message seems to be that when it comes to pop releases you are probably onto a winner downloading it from the Tesco website, which we could probably have predicted. However, for more alternative releases it could well be worth checking this site out.

It's at

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While ABC insisted it had cancelled a breakfast show booking with Adam Lambert because of concerns his act wasn't suitable for a family audience, it seems the TV network might be holding a wider grudge against the 'American Idol' loser following his slightly controversial performance on the ABC-screened American Music Awards last month.

Glambert has revealed he has now had bookings cancelled on the network's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' and New Year's Eve show, neither of which are aimed at the kids (the former being the show that gave us 'I'm Fucking Matt Damon', remember).

Confirming the cancellations but assuring fans that he'd find alternative bookings - he's due to play NBC's 'Jay Leno Show' - Lambert tweeted this week: "Don't blame them. It's the FCC heat".

US commentators are wondering whether the controversy around his AMA gig will help Lambert shirk the cheese tag that comes with being a finalist on the 'Idol' show, or whether it will back fire, denying him exposure to the cheese fans that many 'Idol' artists rely on for record sales.

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Although still adamant that he will never speak to his brother Noel again, Liam Gallagher has admitted that there is still a bond between them.

Speaking at the launch of his Pretty Green clothing line at the Manchester branch of Selfridges on Wednesday, he said: "He's doing his thing, we're doing our thing, I wish him all the best. I don't wish him any bad, I'm his brother. I love him to death. Good luck mate - see you in the next world. Don't be late!"

As for the previously reported possibility that Oasis may continue without Noel, rather than changing their name, he explained: "We're sorta going through the mill of getting a new name, nothing's sticking, so we've drawn the line on the names at the moment. People are still gonna go, 'It's still Oasis, but it's not Oasis without Noel' - life's too short to be arsing about with what people think and that. We'll see what happens, we're concentrating on the music at the moment".

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