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Top Stories
ISPA lash out at new DEB provision, BPI welcome it
BBC Radio chief defends cuts, CMU does not concur
More MAMA movements, might private equity buy HMV?
Exclusive: we:LIVE to curate day three of The Great Escape 2010
In The Pop Courts
Sugababes say their name is not available
Snoop Dogg UK ban lifted
Pop Politics
Geldof denies Live Aid money was used to buy arms
Reunions & Splits
My Chemical drummer quits
Artist Deals
Don Henley extends Warner/Chappell deal
Release News
Recoil announce best of
Gigs & Tours News
Why? announce UK dates
Festival News
Cream get three year licence
Festival line-up update
Album review: New Young Pony Club - The Optimist (PIAS)
The Music Business
BBC Worldwide confirm 2Entertain purchase
Is EMI Warner merger more likely post LiveMaster?
The Digital Business
Rock Band Store opens
And finally...
Quadrophenia could have been Rotten
Jason Derulo listens to his own music during sex
Keith Richards clarifies relationship with booze

So, in the few moments this week when we weren't raging about the BBC's proposals to close 6music we reported on all the many developments happening in the music business, digital domain and music media. But for those of you just too busy to keep up with all those stories, here's the five things that happened in our industry this week that you should probably know about.

01: The industry rallied to save 6music and the Asian Network. On Tuesday morning BBC boss Mark Thompson confirmed rumours that he was proposing radical cuts, which would include closing digital radio stations 6music and the Asian Network. The proposals need approval from the BBC Trust, which has opened a consultation. The BPI, the Association Of Independent Music, the Musician's Union and countless artists, including David Bowie, Lily Allen and Radiohead's Ed O'Brien, all called for 6 (in particular) to be saved. While some politicians welcomed the BBC cuts in general, most spoke out in support of the two digital services, with over 40 MPs signing an early day motion calling for them to be saved. BBC Trust boss Michael Lyons admitted that high profile protests might force a rethink, though BBC radio chief Tim Davie insisted yesterday that the stations had to go. CMU coverage | Save 6 on Facebook

02: Adam Driscoll left the MAMA Group. Last weekend the MAMA Group announced its co-CEO Adam Driscoll was standing down, following the acquisition of the live music and management group by HMV. Driscoll played a key role in creating the Channelfly group, which merged with MAMA in 2005, and subsequently oversaw the company's expansion alongside co-CEO Dean James, who will stay with the firm. HMV's takeover was confirmed on Wednesday when it was revealed the retailer had over 90% of MAMA's shares and HMV top man Simon Fox was subsequently confirmed as the company's new Chairman. It's not clear what impact the takeover will have on MAMA's various businesses, though its main artist management division Supervision has already announced a restructure which will see some of its managers depart. CMU coverage

03: Clause 17 was replaced in the Digital Economy Bill, which had its final reading in the House Of Lords this week; the copyright section of this Bill introduces three-strikes. One of the most controversial sections - Clause 17 - which would allow future ministers to introduce new anti-piracy systems without having to go through the full parliamentary process, was dropped, replaced by a Lib Dems proposed provision that gives the High Court the right to issue injunctions to close down websites which infringe copyrights. The BPI welcomed this as assurance that the amended copyright laws will now be able to deal with online infringement other than P2P file-sharing (which three-strikes tackles). Opponents to the Bill said the new clause was as offensive as the original Clause 17, and could be used to target services like YouTube. CMU coverage | ISPA's response

04: Labels might be forced to pay for false takedown notices. In an interesting development in the US, a woman who was sent a cease-and-desist letter by Universal Music Publishing accusing her of infringing their copyrights by posting a video of her child dancing to Prince on YouTube, has won the right to sue the major for legal costs. She successfully fought the infringement claim in court - a judge deemed the video as 'fair use' of the Prince track - and is looking to recoup her legal fees. Assuming she does, it will mean US labels and publishers risk having to pay a defendant's legal costs if they deliberately or negligently issue a false take-down notice. CMU coverage | AM Law's coverage

05: The debate on 'freemium' continued. US-based music blogging and streaming service MOG confirmed it would use new investment to launch in the UK later this year. The company don't plan a free-to-use option, and MOG boss David Hyman called the sort of ad-funded free streaming services currently offered by Spotify and We7 untenable long term. He also predicted US record labels won't let Spotify launch a free service across the Atlantic. But, with rising criticism of his company's free service within the record industry, and cynicism regards his chances of turning free users into paying subscribers, Spotify chief Daniel Ek told an FT conference in London: "We are taking pirates and moving them into a legal service", and that planned social networking tools would further distinguish the premium version from the free option. CMU coverage | FT's coverage with Ek video

And there you have it, the music business week in five. Don't forget, for a handy digest of all this week's artist news, subscribed to the CMU Weekly, which will be delivered to your email this afternoon, complete with a brand new Spotify playlist compiled by Alphabeat.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: On and On and On at Fabric
Fabric was open for 30 hours non-stop for its tenth birthday bash last year, and it was such a success that the folks behind it have decided to go off on one again. Kicking off this weekend, they're beginning a series of 30 hour parties that they say will be "a celebration of dance, music, sleep deprivation and our 24 hour license", aptly called 'On & On & On'.

The widely varied line-up covers many bases in electronic music - from techno icon Dave Clarke, the regular stalwarts Francis and Richards, with Ellen Allien, Radioslave and Konrad Black, to house legend Chez Damier, to disco from Trus'me, to the sound of Detroit from Patrice Scott and Keith Worthy. Not for the faint-hearted, you're going to need a midweek weekend to recover!

Saturday 6 Mar and Sunday 7 Mar (11pm Saturday to 5am Monday - 30 hours non-stop). Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M, ticket prices vary, press info from the delightful Danna at Fabric PR, more info from www.fabriclondon.com

Anorak London, one of the UK’s leading independent music PR companies is looking for someone to head up a new Brand PR department. The ideal applicant will have at least 4 years experience as Senior Account Manager working in a PR role with brands, and an obsession with music. Experience working with youth brands would be an advantage. This is a hugely exciting opportunity for someone who is a fountain of knowledge of all things PR, is extremely creative and innovative and is ready to take the next step in their career - heading their own department. Proof of winning new business in the past is a must, as is proof of successful, creative campaigns. Agency experience will be beneficial.

Salary dependent on experience. Please apply in writing with covering letter and CV to: laura@anoraklondon.com

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Music Gain is acquiring record labels and catalogue. If you are thinking of selling, or have a large catalog you want managed on your behalf, then please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - www.musicgain.com
UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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GMTV's Smith resigns
Corden says sketch show was a mistake
Michael Parkinson accepts damages from Daily Mail
Pocket TV looking for runner
Creative Student publisher corresponds with Tory culture man over 6music
mflow announce media partnerships
Forest Fringe to stage mini fest at BAC
Extended London Burlesque Festival returns
Music festival line-up update - 4 Mar 2010

The Internet Service Providers Association yesterday called the latest amendment to the Digital Economy Bill a "fucking disgrace". Well, they actually said they were outraged and that "the many associated legal, technical and practical issues [of this provision] have simply not been debated in nearly enough depth; for a policy of such gravity, this is negligent".

As previously reported, the controversial Clause 17 that would give future ministers the power to introduce new anti-piracy systems without going through the full parliamentary process was dropped this week, to be replaced by a Lib Dems proposal that the High Court be able to issue injunctions to close down websites that primarily exist to infringe copyright. Such injunctions would basically force the ISPs to block access to offending websites. In theory, such injunctions can be applied for under existing UK copyright laws, though the new provision would formalise the process, and, the ISPA says, tip the balance of power too far in the content owner's favour.

The outraged net firms' trade body continued: "This amendment is misjudged and disproportionate and this Bill is a wholly inappropriate place to introduce this debate. ISPA is particularly disappointed that the Lords supporting this amendment drew parallels with the model of network-level blocking administered by the Internet Watch Foundation. The suggestion that a framework developed to fight against the distribution of criminal images of child sexual abuse is appropriate to tackle allegations of civil copyright infringement is incomprehensible".

Needless to say, record label trade body the BPI thought the new amendment was groovy, groovy, uber-cool. In fact, everyone who works there had a jam tart to celebrate. Their original support for Clause 17 (support which was controversial and, in part, motivated Pure Mint Recordings chief Anthony Hall to quit the body's Rights Committee) was based on the fear that while the DEB's three-strikes proposals potentially deal with the P2P file-sharing problem, they don't help with other forms of online piracy, which are arguably on the rise. The BPI feel that the strengthened injunctions proposition will overcome that issue, without the need for the rather vague Clause 17.

Between bites of his jam tart, a BPI spokesman told Music Week: "We are pleased that parliament have recognised that legislation to tackle non-peer-to-peer piracy needs to be as robust as that planned to limit peer-to-peer. Rights holders will continue the dialogue with government and opposition to ensure that the final Bill allows new digital markets to flourish".

You know what all this makes me think about? That a jam tart would be nice with my post-Daily coffee. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

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The BBC's chief Pepsi expert and radio boss Tim Davie has defended the Beeb's controversial decision to axe the Asian Network and 6music.

Davie, who became head of BBC Audio & Music in 2008 bringing, erm, zero seconds of experience in radio and music to the table, has blogged about the cutback plans amid mounting opposition to the proposals, especially in relation to music service 6. Davie argues that, while he loves the two services that are facing closure, it is right for the Beeb to focus its radio resources into making a smaller number of stations more brilliant, rather than spreading it out to nine national stations, two of which have only small audiences.

He blogged yesterday: "I do not believe that offering the current range of nine stand-alone digital networks is the right way to serve audiences and ensure radio remains strong in a digital world. And, while digital radio has seen growth, my concern is that current development remains slow. So we are proposing to reduce the number of stations and re-invest in our five core networks - Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Live - and extensions of these services, while maintaining our overall investment in digital radio to use in a range of innovative ways to provide listeners with great digital content".

He continues: "But this strategy of focusing efforts on doing fewer things better also means difficult decisions. Clearly we didn't arrive lightly at the decision to recommend the closure of 6music: it is distinctive, much loved and I too am passionate about its output. But I believe the best way for us to provide that kind of programming is by looking at other ways to find it a bigger audience. While we are re-focussing on fewer networks, we will consider how the range of music played on Radio 1, Radio 2 and Radio 3 should adjust to ensure we continue to offer a diverse spectrum of new and UK music as part of our stronger focus on originality and distinctiveness".

Of course, as someone or other I was reading about the other day said, the BBC is in a very tricky position, because while key players in the political community are constantly calling on the Corporation to make cuts, there will be vocal groups who speak out in support of any service or programmes that are axed in order to streamline the Corporation. And even those of us in the 'save 6' camp must recognise that the high volume of the support being heard for that particular station this week is in part aided by the fact some of its most passionate supporters work in the media, or are active Twitter users.

But then again, my two main problems with the BBC cuts proposals remain, and nothing Davie or his boss Mark 'Tommo' Thompson has said have addressed these two points.

First, both Davie and Tommo justify cutting services like 6 so that they can improve "quality" elsewhere in the Corporation's output. This is a clever rouse, because it's a justification that sounds good but means nothing. It also assumes that you get better quality TV and radio programmes when you spend more money.

While it's true that there is a minimum amount of money you need to spend to get good content (a minimum many commercial radio stations don't provide their programmes any more), the vast majority of BBC Radio's national shows are over-funded and over-staffed, with Radio 1 and Radio 2 the most guilty in this regard. Pumping more money into these stations will just mean they become even more over-funded, not that the quality of programming will improve.

Second, the aim of these cuts is primarily to placate critics in the commercial sector. Those commercial critics complain because Radios 1 and 2 - which compete with their stations - have an unfair competitive advantage because of the vast over-spending and over-staffing that goes on. The proposals of Davie, Tommo and John Tate, who wrote the cuts document, will actually make this imbalance worse and piss off the commercial radio sector even more.

While it can be a good thing to bring in expertise from outside the media into broadcasting companies, to ensure alternative thinking at the top, you get the impression here that the fact Davie, a former fizzy drink seller, and Tate, a former Tory Party twonk, know little about making good radio is in part behind such a misguided strategy being employed. Tommo is a former programme maker, but has his heart in TV not radio, and certainly not music.

So yes, us 6 fans are emotionally attached to a minority interest station, and we are using our media connections to kick up a bigger fuss than our number should probably allow. But CMU's problems with the plans to axe 6 remain unemotional - Davie, Tommo and Tate are just employing bad strategy.

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So, lots of movements over at the MAMA Group since the departure of one of its top men, Adam Driscoll, last weekend.

First, and perhaps most importantly, HMV basically confirmed its takeover of the live music and management group when it announced on Wednesday it had a commitment to sell from over 90% of the company's existing shareholders. Under UK company law it can now force the sale of the remaining shares.

With HMV properly in place as MAMA's owners, the retailer's top man Simon Fox was formally installed as Chairman of MAMA. Confirming that development to CMU, the remaining MAMA CEO Dean James said: "I am delighted to welcome Simon to the board. His acumen, experience and position within the industry will be fantastic assets to the company as we look to the exciting future which lies ahead for MAMA".

It remains unclear what impact the takeover will have on MAMA's operations, though. As previously reported, its main artist management division Supervision will downsize a little, leading to some of its managers (and therefore some of its artists) to depart.

In related news, while the HMV deal stopped MAMA from being snapped up by a private equity outfit, there is now speculation that HMV itself could be bought up by one of those shady equity firms. Because of general pessimism towards the retail sector, and caution regarding Fox's diversification strategy, HMV's share price remains relatively low. And, with things not looking entirely doom ridden at the combined HMV/MAMA, some reckon that makes the company ripe picking for the private equity men. Certainly it would be less risky than a private equity firm lining up a deal to, say, buy EMI.

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CMU can exclusively reveal that day three of this year's Great Escape festival and convention on 15 May will be curated by we:LIVE, the previously reported association for independent venue owners and promoters, which was launched last year.

Aiming to bring together indie venue owners and gig promoters we:LIVE aims to "promote and facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise through direct resources as well as implementing best business practices and promoting the standing and interests of [indie players] in the music industry at large". we:LIVE's day at The Great Escape will provide resources and information for those operating in the grass roots live sector, as well as opportunities for promoters, bookers and agents to network.

we:LIVE's chair and founder Dominique Czopor told CMU: "we:LIVE is excited to be curating the Live day at TGE this year. As well as the benefits of sharing knowledge and expertise, working with TGE offers independent promoters and venue owners the opportunity to put names to faces, and to also discuss new business opportunities with colleagues. As well as being a social event, we:LIVE recognises the need for discussion and debate on the current issues facing our industry today".

She continued: "We are very excited to be able to offer training modules from the new qualification we have been helping the BIIAB to develop, the Award for Music Promoters (Level 2) and hope that as many promoters and venue owners will take up this opportunity to test their knowledge, and hopefully learn something new about their industry. We will also be having a formal launch of the qualification at Cargo, on the 27 Apr between 5-8pm with guest speakers from candidates who sat the pilot course last year including people from Radio 1, Global and Inc Group".

Elsewhere in The Great Escape's conference programme, once again the music business fest will be teaming up with the Brighton Festival - the programmed arts festival that takes place in the seaside city throughout May. Those joint events will include some chatter with and from music writers Nick Kent, John Niven and John Harris, led by The Observer's Garry Mulholland.

Earlybird delegate tickets are now on sale for £150 and there are also discounted three-day hotel and ticket packages available at www.escapegreat.com. But if you want to stay in the festival's main hotel Queens Hotel - where much of the convention takes place - you'll have to be quick as rooms are almost all sold out.

The Great Escape will also be issuing a discounted Saturday-only pass for independent promoters, for more info on that, check the we:LIVE website at: www.we-live.co.uk

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The current line-up of the Sugababes have said that the trademark in their name is owned by their record label, Universal Music, so an attempt launched by former member Mutya Buena to claim it this week will fail. That said, we can't find any record of a Sugababes trademark having been registered at either the UK or European trademark offices, so I'm not sure in what way Universal 'own' the mark.

As previously reported, Buena's lawyers, Kilburn & Strode, told the BBC on Wednesday that they were "hopeful" that the application would be approved. If it is, Buena's claim for ownership of the name in relation to sound, video and data recordings, paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials, and entertainment generally will put the group in an awkward situation, forcing them to either do a deal with her (which it seems unlikely she would be willing to do) or change their name to something else. May I suggest The Glucose Chicks?

However, the group's longest serving member Heidi Range doesn't reckon it's likely to come to that. (How about Sucrose Ladies?) She told BBC Newsbeat yesterday: "Our record company own the name Sugababes, so there's no conversations about who owns the name.I signed to Universal Records eight and a half years ago with Mutya and Keisha [Buchanan] as the Sugababes, so we've still got the name".

New girl Jade Ewen added: "It would be nice for [negative reactions to the group's new line-up] to be a bit more positive but it's to be expected. We can't even blame anybody for feeling the way they do".

Fructose Girls?

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Good news, UK Snoop Dogg fans, the rapper is allowed to enter the country again, having finally had the ban enacted by immigration officials in 2007 lifted.

As previously reported, Snoop was arrested in April 2006 following a fracas involving him and a number of members of his entourage in the first class lounge at Heathrow Airport in which seven policemen were injured. He spent a night in the cells before being released with a warning for using threatening behaviour. When he attempted to enter the country again for a tour a year later, he was blocked, with officials citing previous convictions for drugs and firearms offences as reasons for the indefinite ban.

The rapper successfully had it lifted in 2008, but that decision was later reversed by the Court Of Appeal, where it was decided that the ruling judge may have "misinterpreted the test of exclusion" and it was decided that Snoop still posed "a risk to the public".

However, it was revealed yesterday that the case was taken to the UK Asylum & Immigration Tribunal last Friday, who again lifted the ban, granting Snoop the right to come over here and do that rapping thing he seems to enjoy so much.

His UK lawyer, Philip Trott, told The Sun: "The ruling is very good news for Snoop. But it's a shame it took five hearings for us to get to this stage".

The UK Border Agency has issued a statement saying that it is "disappointed by the tribunal's decision in this case", adding: "We are studying the determination carefully and will take a decision whether to appeal [again]".

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Bob Geldof and the Ethiopian government have denied claims that money raised by the original Live Aid concert in 1985 was used by rebel groups in the province of Tigray to purchase weapons.

Former leaders of a number of militant organisations recently told the BBC that they had posed as merchants in meetings with a number of British charities, including Live Aid, in order to divert aid money into their own funds during the Ethiopian famine in 1984 and 1985. One estimated that around $95 million had been raised in this way and used to buy arms.

However, Vice President of the Tigray region Abadi Zemo told the BBC that the Ethiopian government's own "investigations do not correspond to the BBC's version of events".

Geldof added: "The essence of the [BBC] report is not just about Live Aid. It's that all monies going into Tigray - that would be Oxfam, Save The Children, UNICEF and Christian Aid - somehow, we were all duped and gulled. And that's simply not the case. It just didn't happen".

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My Chemical Romance have announced that drummer Bob Bryar has quit the band, who are currently recording their fourth album. Actually, the official statement makes it sound more like he was sacked, though they don't go into details.

Writing on the band's website, guitarist Frank Iero said: "We wanted this news to come from us and not some bullshit gossip site. As of four weeks ago, My Chemical Romance and Bob Bryar parted ways. This was a painful decision for all of us to make and was not taken lightly. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours".

On the subject of the new record, he said: "We have been writing some very powerful new songs so this week the four of us entered the studio once again, and what has been ending up on tape each night is some of the most exciting and honest work we have ever created".

The album had been scheduled for a spring release, but with line-up changes and the band still writing new songs, that's looking pretty unlikely.

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Warner/Chappell has extended its relationship with Eagles man Don Henley, with a new deal which will see the Warner Music owned music publisher represent Henley's share of the Eagles catalogue in the US for the first time.

Look, here's and CEO Scott Francis saying things: "Don is one of the pre-eminent artists of our time, whose songs and performances have connected with millions of fans around the world and across multiple genres. Don has been a leading musical voice, as well as an advocate for a number of educational, environmental and civic causes. We are honoured to continue our relationship with him and the Eagles, and with such a renowned catalogue of work".

Henley adds: "Warner/Chappell has been administering my solo songs for seventeen years in the US and it made good sense to expand our relationship to include my Eagles songs".

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Former Depeche Mode man Alan Wilder has announced that his solo project, Recoil, will release a compilation of tracks from across its five albums, as well as an extra disc of remixes. 'Selected' will be released on 19 Apr via Mute, and to coincide with the release Wilder will be performing with Paul Kendall and a selection of special guests for Recoil's first ever live show on 25 Apr at the Islington Academy in London.

Wilder explains: "The collection is made up of my personal favourites, remastered and edited together into what I consider a cohesive and total listening experience".

You can get further details, listen to audio and watch video interviews at selected.recoil.co.uk

Here's the full tracklist:

CD 1:
Strange Hours
Faith Healer
Red River Cargo
Luscious Apparatus
The Killing Ground (excerpt)
Edge To Life
Last Breath

CD 2:
Supreme (True Romance)
Prey (Shotgun mix)
Drifting (Poison Dub)
Jezebel (Filthy Dog mix)
Allelujah (Noisy Church mix)
Stalker (Punished mix)
The Killing Ground (Solid State mix)
Black Box (excerpt)
5000 Years (A Romanian Elegy for Strings)
Strange Hours 2010 (feat The Black Ships)
Missing Piece (Night Dissolves)
Shunt (Pan Sonic mix)

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Pysch-folk-hoppers Why? will be back in the UK later this month for their first shows on this side of the Atlantic since the release of their latest album, 'Eskimo Snow'. I suggest that you go to one or all of them.

Tour dates:

16 Mar: London, Heaven
17 Mar: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
18 Mar: Glasgow, Stereo
19 Mar: Manchester, The Deaf Institute
20 Mar: Bristol, Thekla
21 Mar: Brighton, Komedia

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The organisers of Creamfields UK have announced that they have secured a three-year licence for the event, which is the first time the festival has managed to get itself a multi-year licence. It means that the promoters won't have to go through the whole licensing rigmarole again until 2013.

Commenting on the new licence, the event's Jim King, told CMU: "This decision to grant the festival a three year license is a very important decision in that it clearly shows the confidence that the authorities have in Creamfields and it's management team. The festival has now established itself at its new location in Cheshire as one of the largest, most popular and well operated electronic festivals in the world".

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EDEN SESSIONS, Cornwall, 2 Jul: Doves have been confirmed to play Cornwall's Eden Sessions this July, with support coming from Mumford & Sons. Headline artists already confirmed for the Eden Sessions include Jack Johnson and Mika. www.edenproject.com/sessions

ESCAPE INTO THE PARK, Swansea's Singleton park, Wales, 12 Jun: Above & Beyond, Steve Angello and Judge Jules have all been announced to play at this year's Welsh fest. Also confirmed are Scratch Perverts, Darren Styles, Andy C, Friction and many more. www.escapefestival.com

LARMER TREE FESTIVAL, Larmer Tree Gardens, nr Tollard Roal, Dorset, 14-18 Jul: Newton Faulkner has been confirmed to play at this summer's Larmer Tree Festival, along with Ian King, Will Pound & Dan Walsh, Tankus The Henge, Ruth Theodore and Chavo. www.larmertreefestival.co.uk

LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, various venues, Liverpool, 19-22 May: British Sea Power, Los Campesinos!, Is Tropical and Field Music are amongst the latest additions for Liverpool Sound City. Also on the bill are Ed Sheeran, Archie Bronson Outfit, Oh No Ono, White Hinterland and Django Django. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

V FESTIVAL, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex and Weston park, Staffordshire, 21-22 Aug: Doves and Calvin Harris have been added to the line up for this year's V Festival, joining the likes of Kasabian, Kings Of Leon, Stereophonics, Faithless, The Prodigy and The Kooks. www.vfestival.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: New Young Pony Club - The Optimist (PIAS)
New Young Pony Club always had a certain something that made them a more exciting proposition than perhaps they should have been. Their second album is no radical deviation from 2007's debut 'Fantastic Playroom', although its tone is occasionally darker, black and white if you like, whereas 'FP' was more a riot of bold primary colours.

The template is still a post punky disco one (with nods to Talking Heads and all the other usual suspects), full of scratchy guitars, jittery percussion, icy electronics and big choruses housing vocals delivered by Tahitah Bulmer seemingly with a sneer, a smile and a knowing wink (sometimes all at the same time).

The two singles 'Lost A Girl' and 'Chaos' remain simply effortlessly brilliant pop songs, whilst the title track, with its New Order-esque synths, motorik drumming and playful aloofness would've fitted right in on the Mancunians' seminal 'Power, Corruption And Lies'.

Whilst the bulk of the album can't quite keep up the giddy momentum established by the rush of the opening three tracks, there are enough diverting moments (and occasional thrilling ones) to still make this worth of your attention. MS

Physical release: 8 Mar
Press contact: PIAS IH [NP], Sonic PR [RP], Bang On [O]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The BBC's commercial bit, BBC Worldwide, announced yesterday it had agreed to pay £17 million to take complete ownership of 2Entertain, it's former JV business with the now long defunct Woolworths.

Although the Beeb let it be known that it planned to buy Woolies' share in 2Entertain as soon as the former retailer went under, and, indeed, Worldwide's Paul Dempsey took over as CEO there last September, the actual takeover was delayed because of a legal squabble between the BBC and Woolworths administrators Deloitte. But an appeal court judgement last November ended that squabble, in the BBC's favour.

Which is why it is only now the takeover is being completed. A BBC Worldwide statement said that it taking complete control of 2Entertain "ensures that consumers can continue to enjoy their favourite BBC titles on DVD and Blu-ray as well as protecting the investment made by BBC Worldwide in 2Entertain over the past six years".

Although 2Entertain's principle business is DVDs, it also owns the Demon Music company, which is why this counts as music business news. In case you wondered.

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Panellists at a Billboard conference in New York this week said they thought the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster might, in a way, aid any move by Warner to acquire EMI, if it were to, you know, come up for sale later this year. Past efforts for Warner and EMI to merge have failed because competition regulators - especially in Europe - blocked the deal.

But many now reckon that any EMI Warner merger in 2010 would have to be viewed in the context of the wider music industry rather than just the record industry, meaning a new major player like LiveMaster - which says it is in the business of "fan engagement" - would most likely be considered a competitor of Universal, Sony and a combined EMI Warner, reducing the case for blocking an EMI Warner merger on the grounds that it would be anti-competitive.

According to Billboard, Tuna Amobil of US financial information firm Standard & Poor told the conference: "A year ago I would have said it is extremely remote for WMG to acquire EMI. But the Live Nation/Ticketmaster deal changes the landscape".

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EA and MTV Games' Rock Band Network Music Store has opened. This is the store that lets any artist or label sell pretend-to-play versions of their songs to 'Rock Band' gamers (providing they have the know-how to concert their songs into Rock Band-compliant downloads).

As previously reported, the store "launched" in January. I've no idea why it's therefore only just opening. A very nice guy at EA is trying to find out for me, after everyone at MTV (press, marketing, digital) denied any knowledge of their company having a gaming division. Fools, as the MTV channels become increasingly redundant, I'd be looking for a job in Games myself.

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Phil Daniels has been discussing his audition for the 1979 film 'Quadrophenia', in which he starred as the lead character, Jimmy. Also up for the part was Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon, and Daniels seems to think that it was he who was the first choice.

Daniels told Xfm: "I did a film called 'Zulu Dawn' and in Bob Hoskins' mud hut there was a telephone. I got a call for an audition and came back to London from Africa. There were three of us that did a screen test and I got the part in the end.I know Johnny Rotten was one of them. He could have been Jimmy in 'Quadrophenia'. I think they maybe couldn't insure him. That was one of the stories. It would have been a bit of a different film [if he'd got the part]".

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Years ago, I heard a rumour that when Mick Hucknall takes a lady home of an evening, he often plays his own music and insists they be quiet for the good bits. That, of course, has never been substantiated, but R&B singer Jason Derulo has just come straight out and admitted it.

Speaking to The Daily Star he said: "If you want to have a one night stand, play 'Love Hangover'. And if I want something sexual I listen to 'Encore'. I make my moves on a lady while playing my music. Why not? I like the music that I make".

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As you may remember, there were reports recently that Keith Richards had quit drinking, after seeing the sorry state bandmate Ronnie Wood was in. It seems that may not have been the case.

Asked about the stories, Richards told Rolling Stone: "The rumours of my sobriety are greatly exaggerated".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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