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INFORMATION
Jobs
Classifieds
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Digital Economy Act becomes law
Music industry welcomes Digital Economy Act
Net sector says "fuck the Digital Economy Act" (well, Talk Talk do)
Anti-DEB brigade label the act a "disgrace"
Radio sector responds to Digital Economy Act
Malcolm McLaren dies
In The Pop Courts
Suge Knight sues Kanye West over nightclub shooting
Jill Scott fires lawsuit back at former label
In The Pop Hospital
Whitney feels terrific
Awards & Contests
Phil Ramone to get Songwriters Hall Of Fame gong
Charts, Stats & Polls
6 fans trying to get Half Man Half Biscuit into the charts
Reunions & Splits
Aerosmith bassist on how the band stayed together
Release News
Refused Shape Of Punk re-issue details announced
Fact announce new album
Gigs & Tours News
Gary Numan, on Xfm, at the Scala, in The Playground
Jamie Cullum live dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Live review: Soil & "Pimp" Sessions at The Garage, London on 6 Apr
The Music Business
AEG promote Indigo2 chief to Arena role
And finally...
Liam Gallagher vitriol round-up


 
FRIDAY 9TH APRIL
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
It may have only lasted four days, but plenty has happened in the music business this week. It was all a bit dominated by the rush to get the Digital Economy Bill through parliament, of course, but other things happened too. So, in case you OD'ed on chocolate cream eggs last weekend and have only just risen from a sugar-induced coma, here's the five most important stories you should be aware of.

 
01: The Digital Economy Act became law, after Tory support enabled the Labour government to squeeze weeks worth of parliamentary process into just three days. The Act introduces a basic framework for a three-strikes system for combating illegal file-sharing. Some clauses were cut from the Act to ensure its passage, including the one that would enable courts to block access to copyright infringing websites, though a tweak of another clause in the copyright section gave similar if lesser powers to relevant ministers. CMU coverage | Paid Content review the Act

02: Post-merger job cuts began. In America, Live Nation began cutting jobs in its back office operations. Although the live music giant said the job cuts were not necessarily linked to its merger with Ticketmaster earlier this year, most commentators reckoned this was really the start of the inevitable post-merger downsize. Trade mag Pollstar reckons 500 jobs could go across Live Nation and Ticketmaster in the US alone. Meanwhile, in London, chatter increased of restructuring and downsizing at the MAMA Group following its acquisition last month by HMV. CMU coverage | West Hollywood News report

03: Terra Firma considered selling a stake in EMI, following the news last week that plans to raise millions by licensing the London-based major's entire recordings catalogue to another label in the US had failed. EMI management still hope Terra Firma's financial backers might be persuaded to stump up the £120 million the music firm has to pay its bank Citigroup in May, but contingency plan insiders say the option of selling a minority stake in the music company, probably to another private equity outfit, is also now being considered. Many still reckon Citigroup will gain control of the major in June. CMU coverage | Telegraph report

04: The NME relaunched, in a fresh bid to turn around the fortunes of the iconic music media brand's flagship print product, which continues to lose readers. Looking slightly more serious in design, and including a few new regular features, it saw newish editor Krissi Murison properly put her stamp on the title. A random Twitter-based poll conducted by CMU yesterday found a relatively positive response to the revamp, with over 80% of respondents giving it the thumbs up. Though one less positive Tweeter did say that, while they likef the new cover design, it "doesn't hide the shit inside". CMU coverage | Relaunch issue covers

05: The iPad launched, albeit only in the US so far. This isn't really a music business story given the new device doesn't offer any new music functionality or services from other Apple products. But, even though so called 'tablet computers' are far from new, Apple has a habit of changing the way we consume digital media and entertainment whenever they enter a new part of the gadget market. The iPad could revolutionise digital media, and may as yet prove to be an important development for the music community too. CMU coverage | Guardian Editor's review

And that is it. Look out for our handy round up of all this week's artist news in the CMU Weekly, plus a pretty amazing playlist from Yoni Wolf of CMU favourites Why?, in your inbox this afternoon if you sign up here: www.theCMUwebsite.com/weekly

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU

 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: AMP FIDDLER AT EAST VILLAGE
Yet another great DJ line-up at East Village tonight, with Amp Fiddler returning to the UK for the first time in about two years, if my memory serves me correctly. He'll be playing a live PA, which is something well worth stepping out for.

Also on the bill is Lower Detroit house DJ Alton Miller, who's proper old school and a nice guy to boot (I harassed him on my birthday while blind drunk a few years back; I say harassed, it was probably a bit more like stalking... he was very nice about it, though).


 
Upstairs there'll be soul, funk and disco from Toni Blackbeard and Jimbo, aka Raw Deal, the latter a resident at two other great club nights, Groove Sanctuary and Walking In Rhythm. Basically, across two rooms, you could want for little else on a Friday night.

Friday 9 Apr, East Village, 89 Great Eastern Street, London, 9pm-3.30am, £6 before 11pm/£8 after, more info from www.eastvillageclub.com


 
 

KNOW YOUR BEATLES FROM YOUR BATTLES? MUSIC BUYER NEEDED
Experienced music buyer needed to join a new London-based retail company in a part time role with room to grow. Applicant should have a broad knowledge of genres and be an expert at valuing and pricing used vinyl and proficient in new vinyl and CD as well. Working with passion, loyalty and fearlessness within a small up-and-coming company is essential. Hours flexible and pay negotiable.

Please send expression of interest to Danis at danis@redrosemusic.co.uk

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  INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
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
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Bennett play to be broadcast from National
Christopher Cazenove dies
McIntyre to host Royal Variety Performance
 
Digital radio types welcome Digital Economy Act
Radio 1 to celebrate 500th Essential Mix
Record industry delegation to meet BBC Trust over 6 plans
 
Glastonbury renames Jazz World stage
Music festival line-up update - 8 Apr 2010
Mantel and Harris set for Borders Book Fest
 

DIGITAL ECONOMY ACT BECOMES LAW
It remains to be seen if the Digital Economy Act will achieve anything, but it certainly initiated a plethora of official statements yesterday afternoon.

In a flurry of activity, the House Of Lords yesterday voted through the final version of the controversial Digital Economy Bill, accepting the last minute amendments (mainly cuts) that had been made in the Commons the day before. The hypocritical Queen then tore herself away from downloading a bootleg version of 'Kick-Ass' via a BitTorrent site she often frequents to give the legislation a bit fat rubber stamp, making the Bill an Act.

While getting the Bill through parliament on such a tight deadline was quite an achievement for the ministers who spearheaded the legislation, and the lobbying groups who pushed them along, in many ways the difficult work has yet to begin, especially with regards the copyright section of the proposals which are of most interest to the music industry.

The Act puts in place a framework for a three-strikes system that could lead to persistent file-sharers having their net access suspended, but exactly how that system will work is still to be decided. And with opponents in the internet service provider sector, most notably Talk Talk, still so anti three-strikes, they are unlikely to assist in any smooth or rapid introduction of such a system; indeed Talk Talk are still talking about fighting any net suspension orders through the courts.

Even if the ISPs do play ball, there is still much work to be done working out how libraries, universities, community centres, hotels and internet cafes might be affected by three-strikes, and thought, therefore, needs to be given as to what measures those institutions must introduce in order to avoid liability for any file-sharing which might take place over their networks. All in all, it seems unlikely that three-strikes will go live until Spring 2011, and that the net-suspensions part of it is unlikely to begin until early 2012.

Away from three-strikes, as previously reported, the stand-alone clause in the Bill designed to give the courts the power to block access to websites that contain or link to large amounts of infringing content was dropped at the last minute in the Commons. Though a similar power, for the relevant secretary of state, was sort of included anyway through the amendment of an earlier clause. What new options that will give content owners who want to take action against organisations which enable online infringement, rather than the kids who actually file-share, remains to be seen.

Also remaining to be seen is how much pressure the incoming government puts on the record industry to adapt the way it works in return for this legislative help in enforcing copyrights. Ministers and record industry lobbyists have insisted throughout that three-strikes will be accompanied by, and will in part enable, a further expansion of the ways people can legitimately access music online.

Though, given the wide range of cheap and free legit services already available, it's hard to see what further expansions are possible, short of a fully-licensed free-for-all P2P network or all-you-can-eat MP3 download service, neither of which are, to our mind, especially sensible places for the record industry to go.

Of course, the record industry does still have a lot of work to do to ensure the various legit digital services that are already out there can be sustained long-term, which might involve some serious rethinking of licensing models, and may ultimately require blanket licensing for digital. But that won't necessarily result in any radical expansion of the kinds of services available as far as consumers are concerned.

Some reckon that what is really needed is a better marketing programme for the services that already do exist, most of which rely primarily on word of mouth to attract users, so none of whom undertake high profile above-the-line advertising campaigns. The industry has tried such marketing before, of course, most recently with the terrible Music Matters campaign, but it should certainly try quite a bit harder in this regard.

So, in summary, the Digital Economy Act is law, now the hard work starts.

As for the short term? Well, while getting the DEB through parliament before the Election was an achievement for those parts of the music industry that supported the Bill, having to get there via the so called wash-up has further tarnished the reputation of the music industry who, more than ever, have been portrayed as shady cash-grabbing cunts who have strong-armed and tricked weak out-of-touch politicians in order to "protect their outdated business models".

In reality, the Bill would have almost certainly got through the House Of Commons with minimum opposition even if there had been time for full debates and scrutiny - the current government always had a sufficient majority vote in the lower house of parliament to get its own way if it wanted to. The Lords was always likely to provide tougher scrutiny, and, while rushed towards the end, the debates did take place in that chamber.

A lot of the anger outside parliament to the way the DEB became law was caused by the fact the various weaknesses of British democracy became much more obvious when the parliamentary process is played at high speed. But, nevertheless, that anger has been aimed as much at "the bloody music industry" as it has at "the bloody politicians". Therefore, it wouldn't surprise me if the short term impact of the Digital Economy Act is a notable increase in file-sharing, as the file-sharing community becomes more motivated than ever to "kick it to the man".

But whatever now happens with the Digital Economy Act, file-sharing will not stop, and the music industry isn't saved. More on that on Monday, I reckon.

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MUSIC INDUSTRY WELCOMES DIGITAL ECOMOMY ACT
Anyway, back to the plethora of official statements. And, needless to say, the key trade bodies of the music industry, who have all been lobbying heavily in favour of three-strikes for years, welcomed the news that the Commons, Lords and Queen Liz herself had all passed the DEB.

UK Music chief Feargal Sharkey said: "UK Music welcomes the creation of the Digital Economy Act. Firm foundations are now in place on which to develop the UK's digital economy. The UK's music industry has no urge to look backwards and, as we have consistently stressed, legislation is not a means to an end. It is a spur to action. We acknowledge that the real work begins now - both in terms of developing a code of practice with industry partners and Ofcom, cooperating with internet service providers, and by opening up even more legitimate ways for fans to enjoy the music and creativity that they love. As outlined in Liberating Creativity, UK Music's manifesto for the commercial music sector, we have ambitions to be a world leader by 2020. To realise this goal it is clear that we must meet these challenges and proactively embrace our digital future in the weeks, months and years ahead".

BPI chief Geoff Taylor added: "The Act's measures to reduce illegal downloading will spur on investment in new music and innovation in legal business models. An internet that rewards taking creative risks will mean more British bands enjoying global success, more choice in how to access music online, and more jobs in our fast-growing creative sector. These measures will not eliminate all piracy, but they will go a long way towards reducing illegal freeloading and will help to build a more sustainable ecosystem for content on the internet"

He continued: "We are acutely aware that music fans are at the heart of our business as it embraces the digital age. Hand-in-hand with the new measures, we will continue to expand the exciting range of legal services that offer vast catalogues of music to stream or download and which reward artists for their work. We will underpin this with industry initiatives, such as the recently launched Music Matters campaign, to raise awareness of these offerings with UK consumers. We will now work diligently with other stakeholders, including ISPs and OfCom, to develop the code of practice that will bring the Act into effect".

Meanwhile, John Kennedy of the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, mused: "The passing of the Digital Economy Act in the UK recognises that if a country is to have world-class creative industries, then it also needs laws that will effectively protect their rights from the crippling problem of digital piracy. The new UK legislation is a decisive step towards dealing with P2P and other forms of illegal distribution in a way that can substantially reduce the problem. Most importantly, it recognises that internet service providers have an essential role to play in curbing online piracy and reducing infringements on their networks".

And finally Christine Payne, who heads up the Creative Coalition Campaign, which brings together various trade bodies and trade unions that represent the wider creative industries, including the Musicians' Union, told reporters: "Today marks a groundbreaking day for the UK's creative industries. On behalf of the businesses and trade unions represented by the Creative Coalition Campaign, we want to thank members of both Houses for voting to support our sector against the damaging effects of online piracy. For too long, this illegal activity has been threatening the livelihoods of thousands of workers throughout our sector".

She continued: "Looking to the future, we now face the challenge of ensuring that the system outlined in the Bill functions properly in order to allow industry to focus on developing new business models that can flourish without having to compete with illegal file-sharing, downloading and streaming. Only with this protection will the UK's creative industries be able to continue to invest in the TV programmes, films, books, sporting events and music which are loved by millions across the UK and throughout the world".

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NET SECTOR SAYS "FUCK THE DIGITAL ECONOMY ACT" (WELL, TALK TALK DO)
Equally needless to say, the internet service provider community did not welcome the passing of the Digital Economy Act.

Their main trade body, the ISP Association, said in a statement: "ISPA is extremely disappointed by the agreement between the Labour and Conservative front benches to push through the Digital Economy Bill despite serious concerns remaining about some clauses of the Bill, which have been recognised by MPs on all sides of the house. The decision to accept the government amendment to Clause 18, which enables the Secretary of State to make provisions about the granting of blocking injunctions by a court, is unacceptable given the lack of consultation on the impact of the clause".

It continued: "Despite the inclusion of some safeguards that have improved the clauses on unlawful P2P file-sharing, the case for the technical obligations contained in clauses 11-17 is yet to be made. It is with much regret that the majority of parliamentarians, with some notable exceptions, have been persuaded by copyright owners to forego the necessary parliamentary scrutiny in order to rush through legislation that in many ways is disproportionate, unworkable and will serve only to preserve failing business models and prevent new innovative lawful models of distributing content online".

In a more impassioned statement, the ISP most vocally against the Digital Economy Bill, Talk Talk, wrote on its blog: "After the election we will resume highlighting the substantial dangers inherent in the proposals and that the hoped for benefits in legitimate sales will not materialise as file-sharers will simply switch to other undetectable methods to get content for free. In the meantime we stand by our pledges to our customers. Unless we are served with a court order we will never surrender a customer's details to rightsholders. We are the only major ISP to have taken this stance and we will maintain it. Meanwhile, if we are instructed to disconnect an account due to alleged copyright infringement we will refuse to do so and tell the rightsholders we'll see them in court".

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ANTI-DEB BRIGADE LABEL THE ACT A "DISGRACE"
Also not needing to be said is that the two lobbying groups most vocal in their anti-DEB campaigning, the Open Rights Groups and The Pirate Party, issued statements condemning political types for allowing such important legislation to be rushed through in the wash-up.

The ORG's Jim Killock told reporters: "This is an utter disgrace. This is an attack on everyone's right to communicate, work and gain an education. Politicians have shown themselves to be incompetent and completely out of touch with an entire generation's values. There now thousands of activists working with ORG planning to show up at hustings, demanding answers from [parliamentary] candidates, and who are willing to punish those who voted for this at the ballot box".

Meanwhile The Pirate Party posted on their blog: "Numerous campaigning groups opposed this bill - The Open Rights Group, Don't Disconnect Us, 38 Degrees. Unfortunately they failed, because politicians don't listen to reasoned argument, and care more about corporate interests than the rights of the British people".

Elsewhere, as the Act was passed, the file-sharing community made much of a leaked letter from one of the ministers specifically involved in pushing the legislation through parliament - Stephen Timms - in which he said the term "IP Address" was short for "intellectual property address"; a rather embarrassing faux pas for a man so keenly involved in one of the most important pieces if internet legislation to date. Though if different industries will insist on using the same abbreviations for different things, this kind of thing will happen. In case Stephen is reading, for future reference, in the context of the internet "IP" stands for "igloo portaloo". You can read the leaked letter here:

meeb.org/post/505849844/i-wrote-to-my-mp-two-weeks-ago-regarding-my-shock

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RADIO SECTOR RESPONDS TO DIGITAL ECONOMY ACT
Let us not forget, the Digital Economy Act also says some pretty important stuff about digital radio. So we ought to run some quotes from the digital radio industry, too. So, here we go.

The boss of the body charged with the task of turning us all on to Digital Audio Broadcasting, Digital Radio UK's Ford Ennals, told reporters: "We welcome the clear policy direction and legislative framework that is now in place giving us a foundation upon which to build a secure and prosperous future for radio and significant benefits for listeners. The switch to digital radio will also deliver opportunities for growth and greater competition within the industry as more commercial stations gain the ability to transmit nationally, and community and small local radio stations gain greater access to FM".

Meanwhile, The Guardian had a quote from one of the BBC execs spearheading the growth of digital radio at their end, Mark Friend, who said: "Passing the Digital Economy Act into law is an important milestone in securing radio's place in a multi-platform digital world. It sets the stage for broadcasters and manufacturers to deliver the benefits of digital to UK radio listeners, including increased choice, quality and functionality".

I probably should have made more of an effort to find some radio people who oppose the Digital Economy Act as well, to ensure some balance in this section. But you know, it's been a busy morning in CMU's Digital Economy Bill Unit, not least because we've got to get new signs printed that say Digital Economy Act Unit. I might just cobble something together out of images downloaded from the internet.

But I do know that the Telegraph this morning reported about a consortium of fourteen smaller radio stations who say the Digital Economy Act's ambitious aim to shut down much of the FM network by 2015 will have a detrimental affect on them, and that their "ability to operate in the future is directly challenged by the digital radio switchover proposals". So, there you have it, balance.

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MALCOLM MCLAREN DIES
Former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren died yesterday in Switzerland aged 64, it has been announced. He had been diagnosed with cancer last October.

Born in 1946, McLaren was raised by his grandmother in Stoke Newington, north east London from the age of two. After stints at various art colleges, he began designing clothes and opened a boutique on London's Kings Road, called Let It Rock, with partner Vivienne Westwood in 1971. The following year they changed the name of the shop to Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, and began supplying stagewear to The New York Dolls, who McLaren later briefly managed.

By 1975, the shop had again changed its name, to SEX, and McLaren began managing a band called The Strand, whose name he changed to The Sex Pistols after installing John Lydon as their frontman. The band, of course, went on to be the most notorious of punk bands and, much to McLaren's delight, courted controversy wherever they went.

When The Sex Pistols split in 1978, the members, particularly Lydon, accused McLaren of mismanagement and withholding funds. McLaren's version of events was laid out in the 1980 film 'The Great Rock N Roll Swindle', which painted the band as puppets manipulated to serve his own agenda. Although the film was just one example of McLaren writing his own mythology, the effect that he had on music, fashion and culture in England and across the world is undeniable.

McLaren also had a career as a musician in his own right, releasing sixteen studio albums in all, though most notable was his 1983 debut, 'Duck Rock', produced by Trevor Horn, which blended musical styles from around the world, including the then relatively new hip hop sound. As a result, the album is widely credited as being instrumental in bringing hip hop to a wider audience, particularly through the singles 'Buffalo Gals' and 'Double Dutch'.

Although less ubiquitous in recent years, McLaren continued to work in various areas of entertainment, including as a film producer, writer, presenter and artist. He also briefly dabbled in politics.

In a statement last night, John Lydon paid tribute to McLaren, despite their rocky relationship, saying: "For me Malc was always entertaining and I hope you remember that. Above all else he was an entertainer. I will miss him and so should you".

Vivienne Westwood told reporters: "When we were young and I fell in love with Malcolm, I thought he was beautiful and I still do. I thought he is a very charismatic, special and talented person. The thought of him dead is really something very sad".

Joseph Corré, McLaren's son from his relationship with Westwood and the founder of the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, said of his father: "[He was] the original punk rocker [who] revolutionised the world. He's somebody I'm incredibly proud of. He's a real beacon of a man for people to look up to".

New York Dolls guitarist Sylvian Sylvian said: "Malcolm opened up the doors for punk music around the world. He was a visionary and took what was going on in New York City and made it global. He was a massive influence on everyone who ever had a punk shop or a punk band. His passing represents the final chapter in an era when music was exciting".

Funeral arrangements have not yet been made, but it is planned that McLaren will be buried at Highgate Cemetery in north London.

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SUGE KNIGHT SUES KANYE WEST OVER NIGHTCLUB SHOOTING
Death Row Records founder and all round nice guy Suge Knight has launched a new lawsuit against Kanye West seeking $1 million in damages in relation to an incident at a Miami nightclub in 2005 in which Knight was shot in the leg.

The party was hosted by West at the Shore Club in Miami Beach ahead of that year's MTV Video Music Awards. Although there were plenty of people in attendance, presumably everyone was staring at celebrities like Jessica Alba, Eddie Murphy, The Black Eyed Peas and Paris Hilton, who were in turn nonchalantly staring into the distance, because few witnesses could be found by police investigating the shooting. As a result, no one was ever arrested in relation to the incident.

With no sign of justice being served, Knight now claims that West and the Shore Club's owners failed to provide proper security at the event and are therefore responsible for him having a hole in his leg.

Knight's lawyer, Marc Brumer, said on Tuesday: "He's an icon in the music industry. He walks in a room and he lights it up. He had an expectation of security there. How someone came with a gun into a very VIP party, that just doesn't meet the smell test in life".

As well as having to shell out $200,000 in medical bills to treat his shattered femur, Knight also claims that he lost a fifteen carat diamond earring worth $135,000 during the incident, which, although found by an employee of the club, has never been returned to him.

US District Judge Patricia Seitz yesterday scheduled a court hearing for December. It's not clear if Kanye West will appear in court.

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JILL SCOTT FIRES LAWSUIT BACK AT FORMER LABEL
Actress and R&B singer Jill Scott is hitting back at her former record label Hidden Beach Records, who sued her back in February.

As previously reported, Hidden Beach owner Steve McKeever says that when Scott quit his label last October she owed him three more albums. Although Scott was allowed to quit anyway because of Californian laws that allow artists to get out of exclusivity deals after seven years, McKeever argued that he was still due compensation for her sudden premature departure from his roster.

At the time Scott's people denied she was liable to pay her former label any compensation. Now she's gone one step further by accusing Hidden Beach of mismanaging her career and causing her to lose millions of dollars in the process. She has filed her own lawsuit with the LA Supreme Court accusing the label of breach of contract, tortuous interference with contract, dodgy accounting, misappropriation of likeness and false advertising.

Needless to say, the label has hit out at Scott's litigation. According to Billboard, their legal rep said in a statement yesterday: "The allegations contained in Jill's cross-complaint are without merit and apparently meant to distract from what this lawsuit is really all about - Hidden Beach's right to recover damages based on her failure to fulfil her contractual obligations".

He added: "We are truly saddened that Jill has taken this course of action, especially since Hidden Beach's extraordinary support of her has been unwavering over the years in helping her achieve her dream of getting to where she is now in her career. Jill's allegations also run to counter to her own previous public and private acknowledgments concerning Hidden Beach and its effectiveness in supporting and advancing her career. Hidden Beach continues to hope that this dispute is resolved soon but until then, it will defend itself vigorously in court".

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WHITNEY FEELS TERRIFIC
Whitney Houston has said that she is in "terrific health" and dismissed rumours that she has begun taking drugs again as "ridiculous" after being hospitalised in Paris earlier this week.

As previously reported, a respiratory problem led to the postponement of the start of her European tour, affectin shows in Manchester and Glasgow, as well as the opening night in Paris. The tour will now kick off in Birmingham on 13 Apr if all goes to plan.

In a statement, Houston said: "I'm feeling great. I'm just ready to move on and continue my world tour. My health is terrific, but this is a time when I get a lot of allergies".

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PHIL RAMONE TO GET SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME GONG
Bosses at the US's Songwriters Hall Of Fame have announced they will present record producer Phil Ramone with their Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award later this year. Ramone has worked as a producer and songwriter with numerous artists over the years, including Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, BB King, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and, perhaps most notably, Billy Joel.

Confirming the award, the boss of the US Songwriters Hall Of Fame, Hal David, said: "Phil Ramone represents the perfect choice as a recipient of our Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award. We are looking forward to applauding his many varied accomplishments that have, both past and presently, influenced the craft and careers of music history's finest artists".

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6 FANS TRYING TO GET HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT INTO THE CHARTS
I've been meaning to mention this all week, but there is still time. Members of the Save 6music Facebook group are trying to get a song by indie curiosities Half Man Half Biscuit to number six in this week's singles chart.

Which is pretty ambitious - [a] getting a top ten single these days requires rather a lot of sales and [b] aiming for a specific chart position other than number one is almost an impossible feat to achieve. Still, that's obviously not the point; rather it's an effort to keep the Save 6 campaign in the news while championing a band who are very much in the spirit of the only British radio station who genuinely supports the more quirky artists and bands of planet indie.

The aim is to get the band's 'Joy Division Oven Gloves' into the chart this Sunday, which means that if you want to join in the fun you need to go and download that track from a chart-returning download store by midnight tomorrow.

According to The Guardian, the owner of Half Man Half Biscuit's record label Probe Plus said the band's frontman Nigel Blackwell was "flattered" by the attention, and that while 'Joy Division Oven Gloves' is by no means the band's best song, he understood why it was a fun choice for a Save 6 publicity stunt.

While admitting he didn't think 6music was quite as good now as it was a few years back, he said it was still a "smashing station", adding that it was the first national station to play Half Man Half Biscuit since John Peel and Andy Kershaw's shows disappeared from the Radio 1 schedules.

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AEROSMITH BASSIST ON HOW THE BAND STAYED TOGETHER
Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton has given us a little insight into what was going on behind the scenes with the band earlier this year when it looked like Steven Tyler had quit and the search for a new frontman had begun.

As previously reported, there seemed to be much confusion in the Aerosmith camp with Tyler insisting he was still in, but his bandmates saying he was taking a sabbatical and they were actively looking for a temporary replacement. Then Tyler's manager Skip Miller threatened to go legal if the rest of the band tried to carry on without him. And then all seemed to be OK again, and a new European tour was subsequently announced.

Speaking to the Boston Herald, Hamilton revealed it all came together at a make or break meeting shortly after Miller's legal threats. He said: "There was management there. [We were] all lawyered up. There was a lot of sort of reconciling and processing feelings and stuff. Everyone said how they wanted things to be in the future and it became clear that, for everybody, the coolest thing to do would be to resolve things with the band. The phone was ringing. People wanted to see the band. We finally realised, even with all the BS flying around, that there was a beautiful thing right there if we had enough sense to grab it".

In the same interview Hamilton praised bandmate Tyler for his recent rehab stint to try and kick an addiction to painkillers, a period of treatment which may have aided the band staying together. Hamilton: "[It was an] intensive sobriety treatment [programme]. He took a really big step and it was really great".

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REFUSED SHAPE OF PUNK RE-ISSUE DETAILS ANNOUNCED
Swedish hardcore band Refused's influential and generally fucking awesome album, 'The Shape Of Punk To Come' will be re-released in the UK via Epitaph on 7 Jun, it has been announced. The 'Deluxe Edition' will come in various formats, including a three disc CD/DVD set, standard black vinyl and limited edition white vinyl, the latter of which will be limited to just 300 copies.

The CD version will come with the original album, plus a previously unreleased live album and a DVD of the film, 'Refused Are Fucking Dead', which unwittingly documented the band's demise. Purchasers of the vinyl version will also receive a code to access a downloadable version of the live album.

You can watch a trailer for the release at www.officialrefused.com and pre-order it in its many variants here: www.kingsroadmerch.eu/bands/refused.html.

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FACT ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Japanese metallers Fact will next month release their third album, 'In The Blink Of An Eye'. The follow-up to last year's 'Fact', which was the band's first worldwide release, the album will be released through Hassle Records on 3 May in the UK.

Check out the action-packed video for the first single from the album, 'Slip Of The Lip', here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr23RWMRnpM

The band will be on tour in the UK with Breath Carolina in May and June, with the odd festival appearance also scheduled. Right now, though, why not amuse yourself with the album's tracklist. Wooooooooo!

In The Blink Of An Eye
This Is The End
Slip Of The Lip
Silent Night
Dec 2
Part Of It All
1-3
Behind A Smile
Fade
Risk Of Disorder
Goodbye To Good Morning
Sunset

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GARY NUMAN, ON XFM, AT THE SCALA, IN THE PLAYGROUND
Hey, Gary Numan fans, take note of this. The man himself is co-presenting The Remix on Xfm tonight, which is very exciting. The show has already been recorded and main host EddyTM tells us it's something pretty special. So tune in tonight at 10pm, or check it out on-demand via www.xfm.co.uk at some point during the next seven days.

Meanwhile, Numan will play a live show at the Scala in London next week (13 Apr), and be DJing at 93 Feet East next month (8 May). Both appearances are at The Playground nights, so you should go here for more information: www.theplayground.co.uk

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JAMIE CULLUM LIVE DATES
That Jamie Cullum will be on tour next month. He'll also be releasing a new single, 'Wheels', on 24 May.

If you need a little bit more Cullum, then you could also tune into his new Radio 2 show, which goes out on Tuesdays at 7pm. The first featured an interview with legendary jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis and a live session from Polar Bear.

Tour dates:

2 May: Cheltenham Jazz Festival
7 May: Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
8 May: Edinburgh, Usher Hall
9 May: Dublin, Olympia
11 May: Newcastle, City Hall
12 May: Ipswich, Regent
13 May: Birmingham, Symphony Hall
14 May: Liverpool, Philharmonic
16 May: London, Palladium
17 May: Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
18 May: Sheffield, City Hall
20 May: Portsmouth, Guildhall
21 May: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
22 May: Bristol, Colston Hall
23 May: London, Palladium

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 16-18 Jul: The Unthanks, Race Horses and Jonathan Jeremiah have all been added to the Latitude line-up, joining previously announced Florence And The Machine, Belle & Sebastian and Vampire Weekend. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

LONDON ELECTRONIC DANCE FESTIVAL, Victoria Park, London, 27-28 Aug: David Guetta, Soulwax, Calvin Harris and Audio Bullys have all been announced for this new dance festival, along with Leftfield, Tiga, Friendly Fires, Goldfrapp, Aphex Twin and Annie Mac.

LOVE MUSIC HATE RACISM, Barnsley, 1 May: UB40, Reverend And The Makers and Chipmunk have all been confirmed to play at the LMHR Northern Carnival, along with Mumzy Stranger and Devlin. www.lovemusichateracism.com

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LIVE REVIEW: Soil & "Pimp" Sessions at The Garage in London on 6 Apr
The rather hospitable Garage venue was at near bursting point as Tokyo-based jazz sextet Soil & "Pimp" Sessions took to the stage amid considerable fanfare as part of their album launch tour.

Looking rather dapper in his shades and black suit with thick white stripes, frontman Shacho took centre stage with his trademark white megaphone and kicked off the affair with the Latin-tinged 'Pariso' from the band's new album. A frantic sax solo from Motoharu rang out, followed by some mad chatting in Japanese through the megaphone and into the mic.

Next up was their version of 'Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag', with Shacho turning his attention to an effects rack behind him and a trumpet solo from Tabu Zombie that was duly lapped up by the crowd. Josei made his mark on keyboards too, with his afro hair bobbing to the beat. With the bar raised incredibly high so early in the set, it was clear there would be no let up as they progressed through the show.

After making their way through various styles, all pulled off expertly, there was brief respite from the energetic show half way through, as the three more mobile members of the band left the stage, leaving just double bass, drums and piano, who took things downtempo with 'Mint'. But that calm was quickly broken with some audacious piano playing towards the end of the song.

With all six musicians back on stage, they stormed through 'Quartz And Chronometer', my favourite track on the new album '6'. The brilliant 'Fantastic Planet' from the previous album then rang out, with hands now in the air across much of the crowd. There was a heated battle of trumpet vs sax, and Shacho invited us to sing along with him, which completely connected band and audience making for a truly great live moment.

Again some furious sax blowing from Motoharu, his skinny frame dressed up like a characture of a chav, there was a lot of dancing and prancing from the mobile performers with classic track 'Summer Goddess', before main set closer, 'Satsurika New Wave', with the band pushing themselves to what you might reasonably have thought were their limits.

An inevitable encore was due though, and after what seemed like an eternity of chanting and shouting by the crowd, Shacho returned announcing: "We are very happy" before firing headlong into 'Suffocation', the bowing heads of the blowers blowing in tandem, now joined by Ryan Jacob, the shirtless trumpeter from support act Deathray Trebuchay. The keys from Josei took a solo. Then there was a high octane drum solo. It was chaotic but tantalising.

Soil & "Pimp" Sessions have the kind of telekinetic connection that only truly skilled musicians who know each other's styles inside out can truly master. And they certainly know how to put on a show, too. Clearly their energetic jazz with a twist is music to dance to, but watching them play is almost hypnotic. The gig showcased lots of great new material from the new album, which is top notch as well and out later this month. Highly highly recommended. PV

Press contact: Gerry Lyseight PR

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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AEG PROMOTE INDIGO2 CHIEF TO ARENA ROLE
AEG Europe this week announced it had promoted Sally Davies to the job of Venue Director of The O2 Arena. She previously ran two of the smaller spaces under the dome, indigo2 and The O2 bubble. Elsewhere, The O2's ticketing boss Paul Newman was given an extended remit that will take in all of the complex's music and entertainment sales.

Music Week quote AEG Europe CEO David Campbell as follows: "I am delighted to appoint Sally Davies to the new position of venue director for the arena. She has proved herself constantly during her time at AEG, making successes of both indigO2 and our exhibition space. I am also pleased that Paul Newman is taking on a broader remit. Paul has worked in the industry for years and has always shown a deep knowledge of sales as well as ticketing strategies".

He added: "The year ahead will be another exciting one for The O2 and we are concentrating on bringing in more of the very best content for the arena and retaining our position as the world's number one".

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LIAM GALLAGHER VITRIOL ROUND-UP
Liam Gallagher's said some stuff to Shortlist. Here are the highlights.

Liams on Blur's reunion shows last year: "Them gigs weren't as good as our gigs. No way. But, they're all right... They're in it for the money, aren't they? The fuckers. You won't catch Oasis reforming, y'know. Never".

Liam on Peter Kay calling him a knobhead at the BRITs: "Talking of knob, have you seen yours lately, you fucking fat cunt? Know what I mean? Bet he ain't seen his for years. That is one cunt who'd get decked if I saw him on the street, believe you me".

Liam on Twitter: "I [use] it when people get fucking fresh, then I hit them, big time. It's like a weapon, know what I mean? Just shuts a few people up. But I don't go: 'Hey, I've just had a biscuit', or: 'Just tied my fucking shoe lace', or: 'I've just had my ninth shit of the day'. It's fucking ridiculous".

Liam on drinking: "If we're going out for a drink I'll be the last fucking one standing mate - I know how to put it away. Start off with a lager, then get bored of that and hit the tequilas... then that's it. Not into ales and all that - it's fucking Peter Kay tackle that. Dart-player nonsense".

Liam on Oasis: "Oasis ran its course. We stepped over that fine line. People in the band grew up and went different ways. [Noel] wanted to be a certain way and I wanted to be another. He wanted to chill a bit - our kid's not rock n roll. I am. I'm still going for it 'til the day I die, without a doubt".

Liam on Noel: "I don't wanna see him. But if I see him, who knows what would happen? I'll probably end up fucking leathering him".

Liam on Noel's friendship with Russell Brand: "They're a fucking match. Who do they remind me of? You remember that old politician, the weird little bastard with the wife that were dead tall... NEIL HAMILTON! That's who they look like".

Liam on illegal downloading: "Downloading's the same as what I used to do - I used to tape the charts of the songs I liked [off the radio]. I don't mind it. I hate all these big, silly rock stars who moan - at least they're fucking downloading your music, you cunt, and paying attention, know what I mean? You should fucking appreciate that - what are you moaning about? You've got fucking five big houses, so shut up".

Liam on politics: "Doesn't matter who you fucking vote for - it'll still be shit unless you join a band".

Liam on his religious beliefs: "I'm pretty Zen-like. I believe in fucking feeling good and feeling positive and all that, and letting things go".

Actually, the plan here was to just pick the best quotes, but there were far too many to choose from. Having published half of Shortlist's interview, we feel we ought to encourage you to go and look at it in its original form: magazine.shortlist.com/1V4bbb57b1b9a5e012.cde

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
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Owen Smith
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Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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