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CMU Info
Top Stories
Mercury Prize nominations announced
In The Pop Courts
Photographer disputes claims of Contra model
Ozzy settles with Iommi over Black Sabbath trademark
Warrant frontman jailed for DUI
Ice-T denies driving on a suspended licence
Robert Sandall dies
Awards & Contests
Popjustice Twenty Quid Music Prize nominations announced
Ross to front BRITs?
Reunions & Splits
Slipknot will record again, says drummer
Artist Deals
Relaunched Blue Horizon signs first band
In The Studio
Radiohead album recording stalls
Release News
Taylor Swift announces new album
Gigs & Tours News
Les Savy Fav announce album launch show
Tortoise announce London shows
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Propaganda - A Secret Wish (Salvo/Union Square)
The Music Business
IP quango shut down
And finally...
Walsh: "Geri who?"
Enrique takes cheeky shot of himself for fan

So, where to start? Collectively known as Jedward, twins John and Edward Grimes are an Irish pop duo who rose to fame after finishing fifth in last year's 'X-Factor'. Also known for their distinctive gravity defying blonde quiffs, the twins have split public opinion with their pop tunes and hyperactive performances. Their debut single 'Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)', a collaboration with Vanilla Ice, was released back in January, reaching number two in the UK charts. Since then, the duo have been working on their debut album 'Planet Jedward' with producer Nigel Wright (Take That, Boyzone), which is due for release on 26 Jul, along with the first single to be taken from the LP, a cover of Blink 182's 'All The Small Things'. We caught up with John and Edward to find out more.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Ever since we were little kids we kinda had no choice. It seemed normal to be performing and having little shows for our friends and family. We loved Disney and cartoons when we were younger - we think that influenced our attitude towards life! Us being twins always made us different! One Christmas we got violins and the next one we got guitars, we always did the normal things - singing in the mirror, thinking you were performing for millions with a hairbrush! We used to carry a note book and right down things that we thought were cool and write little songs but now we are really focusing on doing that and in the future writing all our own songs.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
'Planet Jedward' is the concept of the album and brought the whole album together and we got really excited because when we have the ideas for the videos and tour and we can see that in our heads! We get really excited! 'Planet Jedward' is all about fun, fans, tricks, new world, spontaneity, eccentric, animals, fire, love! We needed freedom to really express ourselves and our crazy ideas to our fans. That's really what 'Planet Jedward' is about!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
We go into the studio and we never know what's going to happen, it's like an experiment. We hear a beat, and we get on a vibe for a song, and start writing and sharing ideas! You know, it's really a great feeling to be in the studio, we are loving the music right now and working with all different producers is really exciting, and that adds loads of different flavours to an album, like sweets, and each track is unique! We have to be in the zone. When we are in the studio we have to think like we are performing to thousands of people to get the energy and life in our vocals! We have a huge input and are always looking for something different, and they are the types of songs we as artists get excited about! We always want every track on the album to be a potential single and Jepic and Jeadly, just like Jedward (John and Edward together! Name given by our fans!)

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
You know, all the early music from Elvis. And he inspired our hair! Justin Timberlake just put the level of male entertainment all the way up there. He does acting, he has a great voice and that's really the person we look up to... that type of entertainer and dancer! Triple threat! We love Britney Spears, she does what she wants to do, and that's why she is Britney Spears!

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
90s pop! As time goes by, people will see who we are for who we are and every time we do a project we learn something new! We know what it takes to put on a good show for the fans and that's what we are about. We love entertaining! The most boring thing in the world is silence! So we intend on making music for ever because we are twin brothers and it's kinda hard to split! But we want to learn loads of musical instruments because there is no such thing as the top for us. We always have to work harder and harder because someone in life is always trying to take your place! Oh yeah, you need to have an open space because you will wanna get up and dance!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We always dreamed of having a number one album and number one single! When we buy an album, we like when you don't have to skip any songs. That's the kind of album we are making. There's something on there for everyone, R&B, pop, punk, rock. We are twins and only eighteen years old and we think people are always looking for something that's new, something exciting, something different! We intend on making good music and music that our fans want to hear and once a good song always a good song and young people nowadays have an ear for pop music because it puts you in a good mood and makes you happy! We are really excited about going on the road and taking it to the next level because we are all about performing and we love our shows!

MORE>> www.planetjedward.net
Russell Dean Stone is a London-based singer-songwriter who, after previously going it solo, has been working with a full band over the past year. Fresh out of the studio, the three-piece have been working on tracks 'Leather' and 'Summer Song' with producer and former Test Icicle Rory Bratwell, and not to mention a guest appearance from legendary Damned drummer Rat Scabies.

The band sits effortlessly next to acts like Bat For Lashes and Florence And The Machine, whilst taking inspiration from Bauhaus and Depeche Mode. The Russell Dean Stone sound is heavy in drama and heavily influenced by Kenneth Anger and William Burroughs. But whilst there are knowing references aplenty this is no mess, but a well executed vision. You can catch all of this over at their MySpace.


Fancy seeing the Edinburgh Festival right from the inside, while picking up invaluable experience in how the publishing industry works? As part of the ThreeWeeks media-skills programme we still have opportunities available for students or aspiring media or publishing people to work at ThreeWeeks HQ in Edinburgh as on editorial or admin assistant.

These are voluntary roles, but you get to work alongside leading media professionals, who will provide formal training and on-the-ground advice and guidance. You'll also get to be part of a hugely exciting Edinburgh Fringe project and may have the option to review a show or two.

To apply send a CV, 100 words on why you want to join the team and a 120 word review of something cool to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. Put 'Editorial Team' in the subject line.

Deadline for applications: 5pm Friday 23 July
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We have a creative space suitable for producers/songwriters/musicians available for weekly or monthly let, located within the lovely and leafy Strongroom studios complex in Shoreditch, east London. It is a self-contained, ground floor space of approx. 860 ft square (80m square) comprising control room, 2 booths, machine room, large lounge area and kitchen. Walking distance from Old Street and Liverpool Street stations. For more info contact Phil Sisson on 020 7426 5100 or phil@strongroom.com
The team behind CMU's acclaimed seminars programme are now offering their services to music and media companies, educational bodies and membership organisations looking for bespoke professional training courses. CMU's existing courses on music rights, music business models, music PR, media and social media can be run specifically for an organisation's employees, students or members, or bespoke courses can be developed according to an organisation's specific needs. For more information contact Chris Cooke on 020 7099 9050 or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.
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As I'm sure every single one of you already knows, the Mercury Prize shortlist was announced in London yesterday to the usual round of whoops and sighs from music journalists, fans and commentators.

As always, there was a certain degree of eclecticism to the list of supposed albums of the year. The urban box was ticked with Dizzee Rascal, even if he's more pop than anything else these days, bagging him his second Mercury nod having won the prize with his debut album in 2003. The largely unknown jazz act box was ticked with the Kit Downes Trio, a largely unknown jazz act. And the old guy box was ticked via Paul Weller, nominated for his tenth solo album.

Given that folk is in vogue at the moment, ensuring indie folky nonsense was well represented on this year's list, this made room for some rock in the list. Which was good news for Biffy Clyro. Wild Beasts were also shortlisted. We like Wild Beasts.

On the whole it was an uncontroversial list that missed out some obviously great albums from the last year, but still had some room for mild, if not outlandish, experimentation. And that's probably the best you're ever going to get from the Mercurys.

Here's the full shortlist:

Biffy Clyro - Only Revolutions
Corinne Bailey Rae - The Sea
Dizzee Rascal - Tongue N Cheek
Foals - Total Life Forever
I Am Kloot - Sky At Night
Kit Downes Trio - Golden
Laura Marling - I Speak Because I Can
Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More
Paul Weller - Wake Up the Nation
The xx - xx
Villagers - Becoming a Jackal
Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

Getting in with his Mercurys reaction before anyone else had a chance, the chair of the Awards' judging committee Simon Frith told reporters yesterday: "This year's Mercury list includes musicians from all stages of their careers and from contrasting parts of the British Isles. It features music that is urban and rural, light and dark, joyful and profound. The records have wit, an abundance of musical energy and their own distinct voices. There is music here to make you laugh, cry, dance and sing".

Having counted up and realised that no less than seven of the shortlisted albums were released by independent labels, the boss of the Association Of Independent Music, Alison Wenham, told CMU: "This year's list once again proves the indie sector is the home of great music".

Having counted up and realised three of the shortlisted albums were released by them, EMI Music UK's President Andria Vidler told CMU: "Corinne Bailey Rae, Laura Marling and I Am Kloot have all released remarkable albums in 2010. These Mercury honours are a clear and well deserved recognition of their talent and creativity. Everyone at EMI is very proud to work with these wonderful artists".

Having counted up and realised they distributed the Kit Downes album, Proper Distribution's Commercial Director Drew Hill told CMU: "We're delighted that Kit has made the Mercury Prize shortlist. Kit is the kind of artist who deserves wider recognition and this nomination will draw attention to an amazing British talent at the height of his powers. This is our fourth Mercury nomination in the last five years and we're extremely proud to represent artists of this calibre".

After the shortlist had been announced, Yannis Philippakis of nominated band Foals claimed that, while he and his bandmates were at the Mercury press launch yesterday, they didn't find out they were shortlisted until the last minute, having been told by their people they should attend the event because an unrelated interview had been arranged for after it.

Philippakis told the NME: "We're really shocked. We didn't know about it until five minutes before the announcement. We were tricked by the people who work for us into thinking we were here for some other reason. We were in Spain and we had two days off, but they told us to fly back to do some press. We were kind of angry, so now it's made the trip worthwhile".

Asked what he'd do with the twenty grand prize if his band were to win it, the Foals man joked: "I'd get a nose job and upgrade my girlfriend".

Also speaking to the NME, Oliver Sim of The xx also expressed surprise at being nominated, tell the music mag: "It's absolutely insane considering all the other artists [nominated], like Paul Weller. It's really mindblowing".

He added that should the band win the overall prize former bandmate Baria Quereshi, who appeared on the album but quit the band last November, should also be part of any celebrations. He added: "She has a place here, definitely. She's part of the album".

But enough of all that. Who, you want to know, should you be putting your money on this year? Well, William Hill originally put The xx and Dizzee Rascal forward as joint favourites to win, with odds of 4/1. However, within two hours the bookies had put The xx in front with 5/1, tying Dizzee Rascal and Wild Beasts in second place with 5/2.

The winner will be announced at a big bash on 7 Sep hosted by Jools Holland, which will be broadcast live on BBC2.

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The photographer who snapped the model who appears on the cover of the Vampire Weekend album 'Contra' has called allegations he forged said model's signature on a clearance form "blatantly false".

As previously reported, the now former model Ann Kirsten Kennis says that snapper Tod Brody forged her signature on a document that gave her permission for the photo - actually taken in 1983 - to be used on the artwork and marketing literature on and for the Vampire Weekend album. She is suing the photographer as well as the band and their label. The claim against the band and XL Recordings is based on the argument they should have checked whether the signature on the clearance form was legitimate.

Kennis also alleges that Brody didn't even take the photo. She says the picture was taken by her mother, who may have subsequently sold a load of her photos at a charity bizarre, which is possibly how Brody ended up with it in his possession. That claim is important because it might mean Kennis can sue Brody under copyright law. But the photographer told Entertainment Weekly last week: "Ms Kennis's claim that I didn't take the photo is blatantly false. I took the photo in 1983. The photo was in my possession the entire time, for 26 years, until it was delivered to Vampire Weekend".

XL insist that, whatever dispute there might be between Kennis and Brody, they formally licensed the rights to use the photo, and did so in a responsible way. Saying in a statement: "As is standard practice, Vampire Weekend and XL Recordings licensed the rights to use the photo on the cover of 'Contra' pursuant to a license agreement that contains representations and warranties authorising this use of the photo. Now that a lawsuit has been filed, we look forward to having the matter resolved in court".

Meanwhile, speaking to the NME, Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig said Kennis's lawsuit was "frustrating", adding: "This is the first time any of us has ever been sued, so we're still learning how it works. Given we have no experience of it we're just keeping conversations to a journal for now".

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Ozzy Osbourne has reportedly reached a settlement with Tony Iommi over who owns the name Black Sabbath.

As previously reported, Iommi, Black Sabbath's only consistent member throughout the band's forty year history, acquired complete ownership of the Black Sabbath name in the eighties. This didn't seem to bother Ozzy or his manager wife Sharon for twenty years, but last summer the Osbourne clan sued, claiming they felt that they had a legitimate claim to co-ownership of the band's trademark, and that out of court negotiations with Iommi had not been productive.

But said negotiations continued, it seems, and according to Entertainment Weekly a settlement has now been reached. They quote a spokesman for the Osbournes who say that Ozzy and Tony have "amicably resolved their problems over the ownership of the Black Sabbath name and court proceedings in New York have been discontinued. Both parties are glad to put this behind them and ... would like it to be known that the issue was never personal, it was always business".

It's not known what deal the two parties have struck. The Osbourne's lawsuit was looking for 50% ownership and a share of previous profits generated by the trademark.

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The former frontman of American glam metal band Warrant, Jani Lane, has reportedly being sentenced to 120 days in jail having been convicted for driving under the influence.

As previously reported, Lane was charged with DUI after his vehicle hit a parked car in LA last month. Lane refused to take a sobriety test after being arrested, but was found to be twice the legal limit after blowing into a breathalyser.

According to TMZ, in the end Lane pleaded no contest to the DUI charges. He was already under probation for another DUI incident last year, which is presumably why he got a prison sentence this time round. He was also told to attend a thirty day alcohol education programme and will lose his drivers licence for three years.

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Rapper turned actor Ice-T has hit out at reports he was caught driving on a suspended license in New York yesterday, aged 54.

Said reports seem to originate with the NYPD, who seemingly booked Ice after pulling him over for driving without a seat belt and decided he was on the road without a licence. Some reports suggested the police had temporarily banned the rapper from driving as a result. But the Ice man insists his New Jersey drivers licence is clean, and the allegations against him are, well, "bullshit".

After the run in with New York offices and subsequent driving ban reports, he tweeted: "For the record ... my licence is not suspended. I don't and never had a NYC licence. I have a valid NJ licence. It was all bullshit".

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Robert Sandall, a much respected music journalist and one time EMI executive, has died after losing a battle with prostate cancer.

The London-born Oxford-educated writer worked as a rock critic for various newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Times, Q and GQ. But he was possibly best known as the co-host of BBC Radio 3's 'Mixing It' show, a programme described by the Beeb as an "eclectic mix of rare, strange and beautiful sounds". As well as his radio work, Sandall also dabbled in further presenting projects with Anglia TV and VH1.

Having spent a long career writing about music, he crossed the fence to take a job in the music industry in 1996 when he joined EMI's Virgin Records - then on a Spice Girls fuelled pop high - as Director Of Communications. However, he continued to write as well, albeit constrained by a contractual commitment to not review EMI artists while working for the major.

Much respected across the industry and especially by his fellow music journalists, a Radio 3 spokesman paid tribute to Sandall yesterday saying: "Robert's musical knowledge was encyclopaedic and he was a fine wordsmith. He will be greatly missed by his colleagues".

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It wasn't just the Mercury Prize nominations being announced yesterday. No. While that particular award looks for the best album of the last year, Popjustice does the same with singles, offering a crisp £20 note to the winner. Leading the pack this year are Mini Viva, who have no less than three singles nominated - those being all the singles they've ever released.

This year's nominations are as follows:

Mini Viva - One Touch
Mini Viva - Left My Heart In Tokyo
Mini Viva - I Wish
Diana Vickers - Once
Alexandra Burke - Bad Boys
Marina & The Diamonds - I Am Not A Robot
Example - Kickstarts
Hurts - Wonderful Life
Nerina Pallot - Real Late Starter
Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Bittersweet
Groove Armada - I Won't Kneel
Tinchy Stryder feat Amelle - Never Leave You

Like the Mercury's, the Twenty Quid Prize winner will be announced on 7 Sep. Jools Holland will have no involvement, though.

For more info, go to twentyquid.popjustice.com

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Word has it ITV are lining up their newest recruit - some chap called Jonathan Ross - to present next year's BRIT Awards. Beehive City also claim that the producer of Ross's now defunct BBC chat show, Suzi Alpin, might be brought it to produce the BRITs TV programme.

The consensus seems to be that last year's host, Peter Kay, wasn't overly popular with BRITs or ITV chiefs, viewers or the wider music industry. ITV bosses seemingly think Ross would be a more professional host, but with enough edge to ensure the BRITs still retains its reputation for being as raucous as a corporate back slapping flim flam can be.

There is also speculation that the BRITS might make the move to The O2 Arena next February. Current home Earls Court is facing closure, so the awards show needs a new base. Some expressed concern that The O2 couldn't offer the mega corporate hospitality facilities of Earls Court, including the big after show party.

However, Beehive City say O2 owners AEG have been wooing the BRITS brigade, and both record industry chiefs and ITV bosses are attracted by the possible cost savings of going the Dome route.

All of this is, so far, idle speculation. Meanwhile, rumours that the flagship live performances at the 2011 show will be a fist fight between Tom Jones and Island Records VP David Sharpe are made up.

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Following speculation that they would split after the death of bassist Paul Gray in May, drummer Joey Jordison has said that Slipknot will "absolutely" record another album.

Last month, guitarist Jim Root told the Sonisphere website: "There's going to be a big healing process that needs to happen before we even think about whether or not Slipknot will continue. And right now that's the furthest thing from our mind".

However, asked if the band would record again in an interview with Fuse TV, as he continues his stint playing drums in Rob Zombie's live band, Jordison said: "Absolutely. I just wanna thank all the fans for their support on my loss. But there will be another record, for sure".

As previously reported, Gray's body was found at the Town Plaza Hotel in Slipknot's hometown of Des Moines, Iowa on 24 May by a member of hotel staff. Toxicology results following a post mortem examination found that he died from an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute.

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The Blue Horizon record label, which operated for just five years between 1966 and 1971 and is credited with discovering Fleetwood Mac, has announced its first new signing since being relaunched at MIDEM earlier this year.

Now led by Sire Records founders Richard Gottehrer and Seymour Stein, the new incarnation of the company, which eschews its blues roots in favour of launching emerging acts across various genres, is a joint venture between the Warner Music Group and Gottehrer's digital music company The Orchard.

This week, Texas-based psychedelic rock band The Black Angels were announced as the first new band to sign to the label. They will release their third album, 'Phosphene Dream', produced and mixed by Dave Sardy (Oasis, Marilyn Manson, Wolfmother), on 13 Sep

The first track from the album, 'Bad Vibrations', is streaming on the band's website here: theblackangels.com/stream/bad-vibrations/

Discussing the new signing, Seymour Stein told CMU: "Great musicianship and performers, mesmerising vocals, and songs that penetrate the subconscious. That's the best way to describe Black Angels, our first signing to Blue Horizon Records. In everyway the band is perfect choice to relaunch to this iconic label".

Richard Gottehrer added: "Everyone was so receptive when we announced we were bringing Blue Horizon back. We hope they share in our excitement for the great things we have in store in modernising this label to serves as a source of music from emerging artists across genres".

The Black Angels will perform a headline show at The Borderline in London on 26 Aug ahead of appearances at the Reading and Leeds festivals.

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Radiohead drummer Philip Selway has said that the new Radiohead album is not quite as close to completion as suggested by guitarist Ed O'Brien last month.

Appearing on BBC 6music show, 'Adam Buxton's Big Mixtape', in June, O'Brien said the band were "a matter of weeks" away from finishing the record, adding: "Ideally, it'd be great if it came out sometime this year. It's got to. I hope so. We're at the studio at the moment. We're in the heart of the record. I'm really excited. I feel like this is the best record we ever made. It really is genuinely exciting. It's very different from what we did last time".

However Selway, who is currently promoting his debut solo album 'Familial', told EW.com this week: "It's not finished yet. It's still ongoing. We like where we are so far ... We keep on hitting those points where you think, 'We're there.' And then you think, 'No, it's not.' We're having a break from it at the moment ... we'll come back to it later in the summer and see where we are".

'Familial' is due for release on 30 Aug.

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Taylor Swift has announced that she will release her third album, entitled 'Speak Now', worldwide on 25 Oct.

Speaking to fans via Ustream, the singer said of the two year gap between this and her previous album, 'Fearless': "You gotta give yourself time to live a lot of things so you can write about a lot of things. Thankfully, in the past two years I've experienced a lot of things that I've been dying to write about. A lot of things that I've wanted to say in the moment that I didn't... Track by track, each song is a different confession to a different person".

I'm not sure if there'll be a song about Kanye West invading her acceptance speech for the Best Video award at last year's MTV Video Music Awards. I hope so.

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Les Savy Fav will play a one-off London show at Cargo in Shoreditch on 10 Sep to launch their forthcoming new album, 'Root For Ruin'. As previously reported, the album will be released by Wichita on 13 Sep.

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Chicago experimental rock types Tortoise have announced two shows at London's Koko venue in November. The band released their sixth studio album, 'Beacons Of Ancestorship', via Thrill Jockey in June last year.


15 Nov: London, Koko
16 Nov: London, Koko

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OZZFEST, O2 Arena, Greenwich, London, 18 Sep: Steel Panther are the latest act confirmed to play at this year's Ozzfest, joining the previously announced Korn, Murderdolls, Skindred and Ozzy Osbourne. www.ozzfest.com

THE WICKERMAN FESTIVAL, Dundrennan, SW Scotland, 23-24 Jul: The Go! Team and I Blame Coco are the final acts confirmed to play at The Wickerman Festival this weekend in Scotland, joining the previously announced Ocean Colour Scene, 808 State and The Charlatans. www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk

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ALBUM REVIEW: Propaganda - A Secret Wish (Salvo/Union Square)
The debut album by Germany's second best musical export, 'A Secret Wish' has been long overdue a reissue and, 25 years on from its original appearance, this is another fine plundering from the ZTT archives.

"The children of Fritz Lang and Giorgio Moroder" as NME wisely observed at the time, Propaganda, like ABC and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, are a group whose best works were masterminded by Trevor Horn and, like those other two, a group you only need to own one album by. And this is it. It remains a classic of its kind, an album that's variously brutal and dispassionate, cold and warm, lush but unsubtle, epic but intimate.

The singles 'Dr Mabuse' and 'Duel' may only have been minor hits but they're easily the equal - conceptually, melodically, lyrically, sonically - of 'Two Tribes' or 'The Look Of Love'. The second CD contains unreleased mixes and twelve-inch versions which, although lacking the invention and charm of the Frankie ones from the same era, are still enjoyable in their own right.

A heady fusion of avant-pop, created by the collision between ZTT's futurist playfulness and the Düsseldorf quartet's Teutonic cool, this is a timely reminder of the best the 80s had to offer. MS

Physical release: 19 Jul
Press contact: Let it Beep

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The Department For Business, Innovation And Skills has shut down its Strategic Advisory Board For Intellectual Property Policy, a quango set up in 2008 to advise government on, well, IP issues, obviously. The Board tried to equally represent the interests of IP owners and IP users, which usually meant their recommendations failed to satisfy either side.

SABIP's ongoing research projects will be taken on by the government's Intellectual Property Office.

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While Louis Walsh has enjoyed sharing the 'X-Factor' judging desk with Nicole Scherzinger, Natalie Imbruglia and Katy Perry, he wasn't so impressed with having Geri Halliwell by his side.

Perhaps it caused flashbacks of his time on 'Popstars: The Rivals'. Though that show did deliver one of Walsh's most successful acts to date, so one would imagine he has some good memories of that show, even if it did involve fifteen weeks of exchanging tedious jibes with Ginger Spice and Pete Waterman.

Anyway, asked about the female pop stars who have filled in for the absent Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue at recent 'X-Factor' auditions, Walsh told Star magazine: "All I can say is, Geri who? I mean, what does she know about the music business? She got the most boos from the crowd, too".

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Anyone still recovering from the mental image of Enrique Iglesias water skiing naked should turn away now.

According to TMZ, the pop crooner stunned his audience at a recent concert in Las Vegas when he grabbed a fan's camera, pointing the lens down his trousers and took a special shot for said fan to enjoy - a totally black photo, possibly with a little bit of flesh coloured blur at the top.

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