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CMU Info
Top Stories
Kerrang! Awards take place in London
Dickinson says live sector suffering from over pricing
Nuns threatened over Decca deal
In The Pop Courts
Seven Jackson doctors escape charges
Release News
Kanye West drops Good Ass album title
Aeroplane announce album details
The Hundred In The Hands announce debut album
Gigs & Tours News
Mark Ronson announces UK tour
Mogwai announce February tour
Mount Kimbie confirm October tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Kyte - Designed For Damage (Kids)
The Music Business
Sony profits up
The Digital Business
Spotify reboot licensing talks to get US launch in 2010
Ditto cause debate on iTunes upload times for unsigned bands
Dimensional complete Orchard buy out
The Media Business
Virtual Festivals announce new board
Ellen leaves Idol
And finally...
Gallagher working on world's best album
Ozzy predicted Diana's death

So, I catch a train from Kings Cross station at 6am tomorrow morning and head northwards for the world's biggest cultural freak out, aka the Edinburgh Festival.

As you may already know, CMU's sister media ThreeWeeks is the biggest reviewer at the world's biggest festival, and for the next four weeks we will be reviewing hundreds of comedy, theatre, musical, dance, opera, cabaret and music shows, plus interviewing hundreds of performers and reporting on all the key developments. You will be able to access all this at www.ThreeWeeks.co.uk, or if you're in Edinburgh via our weekly newspaper and daily reviews sheet, both available to pick up across the Scottish capital.

I'll still be sending my music business updates in to CMU HQ back in London on a daily basis, though this here week-in-view thing will take a short summer break and re-appear at the top of the Daily on Friday 3 Sep. But, before all the madness begins, let's do one last end-of-week review of all things music biz, shall we?

01: A US judge commented on the Terra Firma v Citigroup litigation. The equity group are suing the bank in the US over advice it gave them just before they bought EMI in 2007. The music major still owes Citigroup three billion as a result of that deal. In stage one of the legal battle, Citigroup claimed the lawsuit should be fought in the London courts because of a pre-deal agreement. But judge Jed Rakoff this week said that agreement only obligated Citigroup to sue in the UK, not Terra Firma. The equity firm don't want to fight the case here because boss man Guy Hands has to stay out of the country for tax reasons. We already knew Rakoff had blocked Citi in their efforts to move the lawsuit to London, but this week found out why. CMU report | Bloomberg report

02: Univision was fined $1 million for payola. Execs at the record company bit of the US-based Latin American entertainment firm were accused of bribing programmers in the radio station bit of the same company to play their music, contravening American broadcasting rules. Media regulator the FCC conceded Univision management did not know about the payola practices, which were uncovered in 2006, but fined the company a million anyway for not having systems in place to stop them. Univision has actually sold its record company since the scandal broke. CMU report | WSJ report

03: HMV Digital launched. The high street retailer took the 'beta' label off its all new digital music service, which has been created by 7Digital, in which HMV have a 50% stake. It's not HMV's first attempt at a download service, though does look more user friendly than previous efforts and there'll also be some price cutting at launch. However, the new service is separate from HMV's existing mail order website, which does seem like a weakness. Speculation also continued this week regarding Google's plans to launch a download store; the New York Post reported the web firm was now talking to US digital rights society the Harry Fox Agency. CMU report | Telegraph report

04: Hacking iPhones was deemed to not be copyright infringement, in the US at least. The ruling came from the US Copyright Office, who said that 'jail-breaking' your iPhone so that you could use non-Apple approved apps or move to a non-Apple approved phone network did not infringe the IT firm's copyrights. Though Apple said hacking their smart phones still might stop them working, so you shouldn't do it, OK? CMU report | Wired report on UK dimension

05: Culture Select Committee to review arts funding. The parliamentary committee will review everything to do with arts and heritage funding as those parts of the cultural industries which receive subsidy brace themselves for expected cuts. All creative sectors will be invited to participate in the review, including the music business. CMU report

And there you have it. Look out for your artist week in view CMU Weekly in your inbox later today. Hurrah.

Chris Cooke

Business Editor, CMU Daily
This weekend WANG are racking up two events. First off, these top rate party promoters enter uncharted territory by taking over Room 2 at Fabric for the night. To help them they have legends of the techno scene Abe Duque and Blake Baxter playing live, which is bound to tear the roof off Fabric in a way that only a WANG party can. Alongside them will be Posthuman, also performing live to launch their new album 'Syn Emergence' on Balkan Vinyl, as well as DJ support from electro uber-producer The Bass Junkie and WANG founder Electro Elvis. Room 1 has Marco Carola and Hearthrob live, whilst Room 3 plays host to big player Terry Francis, with Gamel Kabar, The Pushmann and Vian.

WANG are back on familiar stomping ground on Sunday 1 Aug, hosting a party at the intimate and ever trendy Dalston Superstore. They have managed to convince Abe Duque and Blake Baxter to play an ultra rare back-to-back DJ set, and as if that wasn't enough, long time WANG supporter Andrew Weatherall steps up for DJ duties alongside The Rocketeer, Simon Busby and Ben Lyford and, of course, WANG's very own Electro Elvis. This event will get mobbed by those in the know.

Saturday 31 Jul, 11pm-8am, Fabric, 77a Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 3HN, £18 on door, or £8 from 4am and £5 from 5am for the diehards amongst you...

Sunday 1 Aug, 8pm-2am, Dalston Superstore, 117 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 2PB, £5 all night, more info on both nights from www.wanging.com

Demon Music Group, one of the UK's largest independent record companies, is looking to recruit a Digital Administrator. Demon controls a vast catalogue of digital rights and key artists include Al Green, Ian Dury, T.Rex, Steve Miller Band and Average White Band. Key catalogues controlled include Philadelphia International, Ace of Mississippi and Trax Records.

This entry-level role involves managing and co-ordinating the delivery and digital distribution of a high volume of new releases to digital stores and third party distributors, including overseeing meta-data, artwork and audio and video encoding and upload, as well as liaising with product, legal, production and royalty teams. The Digital Administrator will also be involved in monitoring illegal distribution of Demon content; driving traffic to Demon's websites, online stores and social media sites; overseeing the creation of artist YouTube channels, Facebook and MySpace pages; regularly maintaining and updating the main DMG website; assisting the digital sales team with sales newsletters and presenters; raising purchase orders and managing budgets related to this activity.

The successful candidate will be of graduate calibre with previous experience in a digital music environment, and have superb organisational, time management, administrative, writing and communication skills and a high attention to detail. They will have a good level of expertise in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, an understanding of web-based applications, social media platforms, managing mailing lists and basic HTML, and a wide musical knowledge. An interest and awareness of digital music and new music technology is preferable.

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity, please send your detailed up to date CV and covering letter explaining why you feel you are right for this position to 2erecruitment@2entertain.co.uk. The closing date for applications is Sunday, 8 Aug 2010.
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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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The seventeenth annual Kerrang! Awards took place at The Old Truman Brewery in east London last night, handing out awards to stars of rock, punk and metal, old and new. Hosted for the second year running by Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, the big winners of the night were Bullet For My Valentine, who took two awards for Best Live Band and, for the third year running, Best British Band.

Best British Newcomer went to Rise To Remain, who are fronted by Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson's son Austin, while Best International Newcomer went to Trash Talk, who released their third album, 'Eyes & Nines', earlier this year. Lostprophets got the Classic Songwriter award. That's 'classic songwriter', yes. And Mötley Crüe were inducted into the Kerrang! Hall Of Fame.

Two awards were given posthumously; the Icon Award to Ronnie James Dio, and the Services To Metal Award to Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, both of whom died in May.

Kerrang! Magazine editor Nichola Browne said afterwards: "Despite the very tough competition, once again, Kerrang! readers have proved themselves to have the finest taste when it comes to honouring the bands that are shaking up the rock world, and it's brilliant to see that our British rock and metal scene is so highly regarded and supported. As well as celebrating the very best of British and international talent, we are really pleased that we could pay our respects to Ronnie James Dio and Paul Gray tonight with two very special awards".

Here's the full run-down of all the winners:

Best British Newcomer - Rise To Remain

Best International Newcomer - Trash Talk

Best Single - You Me At Six - Liquid Conference

Best Video - Biffy Clyro - The Captain

Best Album - Paramore - Brand New Eyes

Best Live Band - Bullet For My Valentine

Best International Band - 30 Seconds To Mars

Best British Band - Bullet For My Valentine

The No Half Measures Award - Frank Turner

The Kerrang! Icon - Ronnie James Dio

Classic Songwriter - Lostprophets

The Kerrang! Inspiration Award - Rammstein

The Kerrang! Services To Metal Award - Paul Gray

The Kerrang! Hall Of Fame Award - Mötley Crüe

Now let's all spend the rest of the day listening to this playlist put together for CMU Weekly by Bullet For My Valentine guitarist Padge: www.thecmuwebsite.com/playlists/bulletformyvalentine.html

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Iron Maiden man Bruce Dickinson has said he believes years of ticket price hikes are to blame for the spate of major gig cancellations that have taken place this year, especially in the US live music market.

The metal man said his band had resisted pressure from promoters and venue owners to push up the prices charged for admission to their live shows, and that those artists who had failed to act likewise had only themselves to blame if they were now struggling to sell tickets.

There has been speculation for years that ever increasing ticket prices for big name artists would eventually backfire on the live sector, though for years those predictions failed to come true. However, it seems like the US live industry is suddenly struggling this year as a result of ever increasing ticket prices combining with the continued impact of the recession.

Speaking to Sky, Dickinson said: "It's a massive commitment to come to see a band. They [the fans] deserve not just a great show but they deserve a reasonable ticket price. Other people have inflated ticket prices to obscene levels and it's just not right. It's a rock n roll show, it's not a cash cow".

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There were reports in the French media yesterday that the nuns who signed a deal with Universal Music's Decca Records earlier this week had received "death threats" as a result of them going into business with the music giant, though on closer inspection the threats did come via comments left on a YouTube page, so possibly aren't too serious.

Nevertheless, according to Le Provence the convent where the Benedictine nuns live has reported the threats to local police. A short video of the nuns singing Gregorian chants had been posted on YouTube and it was there that the threats, written in English, were posted.

As previously reported, because the nuns must shun all contact with the outside world, Decca's record contract had to be handed to them through a wooden grille. Meanwhile record producers will never be in the same room as the nuns while the album is recorded.

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Seven doctors have escaped charges of negligence in relation to drugs made available to Michael Jackson in the years leading up to his death.

The medics were being investigated by the Bureau Of Narcotic Enforcement, their spokeswoman Christine Gasparac confirmed yesterday. Although the case has been closed, one of the doctors has been referred to the California Medical Board for further scrutiny after he was found to have prescribed drugs under an alias. An investigation of the doctors' actions by the Drug Enforcement Agency has also been dropped, a spokeswoman for that government agency, Sarah Pullen, said.

The lawyer of Michael's father Joe Jackson, Brian Oxamna said that he was "very disappointed" that the investigations had been closed without any charges brought, telling reporters: "The misuse of medications by Michael Jackson in the last years of his life was excessive and to fail to bring that to the public eye is ignoring reality".

Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray (not one of the seven who had been under investigation) still faces charges of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly providing the singer with a lethal dose of the anaesthetic propofol as a cure for insomnia, which caused his death. Joe Jackson is also pursuing a civil lawsuit for wrongful death against Murray.

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Kanye West joined Twitter on Wednesday and was already growing quite tedious on the micro-blogging platform by Thursday. However, one of his early revelations on the site was that he has decided not to call his new album 'Good Ass Job' after all.

He tweeted: "The album is no longer called 'Good Ass Job'. I'm bouncing a couple of [other] titles around now".

He'd better hurry up, the album is expected to be released next month.

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Cosmic disco duo (or solo act, whatever) Aeroplane have announced that their debut album, 'We Can't Fly', will be released through Wall Of Sound on 27 Sep (pushed back from 6 Sep).

As previously reported, although the album was recorded as a duo, Vito De Luca last month announced the departure of his production partner Stephen Fasano, telling fans: "Stephen and I have been working together for more than seven years now ... Today, we are more excited and passionate than ever about creating new music. Except that, [in] the last [few] months, Stephen's vision and mine [have been] going different ways. That is the reason why we decided that one of us should leave Aeroplane. Not to destroy it, but to make it last".

The tracklist for the album is this:

Mountains of Moscow
We Can't Fly
London Bridge
I Don't Feel
Without Lies
The Point Of No Return
Good Riddance
Fish In The Sky
My Enemy
We Fall Over

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New York duo The Hundred In The Hands have announced that they will release their eponymous debut album on 20 Sep via Warp. A week before the album, they will also release a new single, 'Pigeons', the video for which can be watched right here: youtu.be/zAfEvvnzlwQ

We like The Hundred In The Hands, they are good. We recently asked one half of the band, Justin Friedman, to put together a playlist for CMU Weekly. As we've already agreed you'll spend the whole of today listening to the Bullet For My Valentine playlist, you can enjoy this one tomorrow. Here it is: www.theCMUwebsite.com/playlists/jasonfriedman.html

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Mark Ronson and his band The Business Intl have announced a six date UK tour to take place in September and October to promote new album 'Record Collection', which is due out on 27 Sep.

Tour dates:

27 Sep: Bristol, Academy
28 Sep: Birmingham, Academy
29 Sep: London, Hackney Empire
1 Oct: Glasgow, ABC
2 Oct: Manchester, Academy
3 Oct: Leeds, Academy

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Ahead of the release of their new live album, 'Special Moves', which comes accompanied with live film 'Burning', out via their own Rock Action label on 23 Aug, Mogwai have announced a UK tour for February.

Tickets go on general sale tomorrow, with pre-sale available now at mogwaitickets.sandbag.uk.com

Tour dates:

17 Feb: Bournemouth, Academy
18 Feb: Cardiff, University
19 Feb: Bristol, Academy
20 Feb: Leeds, Academy
21 Feb: Edinburgh, Picture House
23 Feb: Oxford, Regal
24 Feb: Birmingham, Institute
25 Feb: London, Brixton Academy
26 Feb: Manchester, Academy
27 Feb: Gateshead, The Sage

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With their debut album, 'Crooks & Lovers', out now, Mount Kimbie have announced UK and Ireland tour dates for October. You can also catch them at this weekend's Field Day, which is good because there are no London dates on this new itinerary.

Tour dates:

5 Oct: Brighton, Jam
6 Oct: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
7 Oct: Leeds, Cockpit
8 Oct: Sheffield, Bungalows & Bears
9 Oct: Nottingham, Stealth
12 Oct: Galway, Róisín Dubh
13 Oct: Dublin, Academy 2
14 Oct: Manchester, Blood On The Wall (In The City)
28 Oct: Liverpool, The Shipping Forecast
29 Oct: Newcastle, Heavyweight
30 Oct: Bristol, Arnolfini Gallery

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READING AND LEEDS FESTIVALS, Little Johns Farm, Richfield Avenue, Reading and Branham Park, Leeds, 27-29 Aug: Stagecoach, Motion Picture Soundtrack and Gallops are amongst the acts confirmed to play the BBC Introducing Stage at this summer's Reading and Leeds festivals, along with the likes of Mr Fogg, The Shockparade, LeFaro and Our Fold. www.readingfestival.com, www.leedsfestival.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: Kyte - Designed For Damage (KIDS)
Effectively nu-gaze with stadium ambitions, Kyte purvey a dreamy, melancholic yet anthemic brand of indie redolent of Coldplay mixed by Ulrich Schnauss. Hardly original then, but the Leicestershire four-piece meld their soundscapes to impeccable songwriting and intelligent lyrics that have helped the group garner praise from a wide range of sources and even seen them soundtrack an ad for The Sopranos in the US. There are faint vapour trails of M83 here, or even Maps, and an overall feeling of Doves flying above the (Northern) gloom towards the sun, which can only be a good thing.

Accompanied by three proper b-sides (all good ones too - when was the last time you could say that?), 'Designed For Damage' soars with ambition yet remains a powerfully poignant, intimate listen. MS

Digital release: 26 Jul
Press contact: Partisan PR

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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Sony Music's revenues were up 1.3% year on year for the quarter ending 30 Jun to a rather lovely 110.3 billion yen, or $1.24 billion if you prefer (or £815 million in "proper money"). The 'Glee' franchise plus big releases from AC/DC, Usher and Kana Nishino all helped bring in the loot. Profits were up 39%, thanks in part to cuts in marketing and overhead costs, to 7.5 billion yen, or $84 million if you like (or £55.5 million in "real money"). So that's all lovely.

It was a good first quarter for the whole of Sony Corp, which has been suffering quite a bit of late. Income for the whole group was up 3.8% to $18.67 billion (an awful lot in British money), with a $296 million profit compared to a loss in the same quarter a year ago. Despite Sony Music actually doing rather well, it was the electronics giant's telly, PC and PlayStation divisions that did especially well, sending Sony's share price up and boosting City confidence in the conglom. So, that's all swell.

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According to Billboard, Spotify has gone back to the drawing board regards its plans for a US launch, in that they have started their major label negotiations from scratch employing a "well, what will you licence this year" approach.

As previously reported, there has been much speculation as to whether the US divisions of the majors would follow their European counterparts' lead and licence both a free and subscription-based Spotify service. Some US label execs fear the free Spotify service is too good, and might damage those subscription-based streaming services already up and running in the States. Warner boss Edgar Bronfman Jr has specifically criticised Spotify's Freemium option.

Spotify top man Daniel Ek remains confident that his service can launch in the US this year, and has indicated his business plan relies on it. But, according to Billboard, that was unlikely to happen under the licensing terms the streaming service was looking for, forcing a rethink. Ek, who is believed to be leading licensing negotiations himself, reportedly rebooted his company's label talks recently in a bid to find a deal that all four majors will agree to.

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So, when we recently reported that digital distribution people Ditto Music were now offering the independent and unsigned artists they represent 24 hour turnaround on iTunes uploading, and the option to take pre-orders via the Apple platform, at least three of the company's competitors emailed in to say that they also offered such services to their artists and that Ditto were therefore wrong to imply that they were the only or first company to do so.

To be fair to Ditto, they didn't specifically say that they had any exclusivity arrangement with Apple to offer independent artists high speed uploading or pre-order facilities, even if their spin did imply they were offering services that perhaps couldn't be found elsewhere. And it is probably fair to say that, while Apple have been offering these services to all indie distributors for a while, Ditto are the first one to actively start making promises regarding upload times to their artists.

Anyway, the debate about Ditto's claims went public over on Hybebot thanks to an interview with the boss of one of the distributor's key competitors, TuneCore. Alluding to Ditto's 24 hour promise to its artists, the often vocal TuneCore chief Jeff Price questioned how his competitors could do any such thing.

He told Hypebot that, whereas it used to take weeks for independent artists to get their content onto iTunes, now TuneCore and most of its competitors could get music live on there within hours, and maybe minutes. However, doing so relied on Apple doing their end of the process speedily and that, Price reckons, isn't something he or any of his competitors can guarantee will happen.

Price said: "The more established entities like TuneCore and CD Baby know better than to make claims like this to the market. Sure, we both run businesses, but misleading artists to take advantage of them is not how we operate. To make claims of guarantees you know you cannot keep preys on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of musicians. It's not right. It needs to stop. Musicians work too hard".

But Ditto Music founder Lee Parsons reacted angrily to the suggestion his company is somehow taking advantage of artists. In reply to Price's interview, he wrote: "TuneCore were the first ones to shout about your new delivery times, the only difference is that you took full credit for it, without giving praise to iTunes like we did. When Ditto Music received massive press momentum by putting our necks on the line and giving a guarantee, you backtracked. I realise the press momentum Ditto Music received was frustrating for you. I did not expect so many TuneCore customers to contact us who were unhappy with your service. [But] artists are savvy".

Adding that his company didn't directly compete with TuneCore, because Ditto offer other services for unsigned artists, Parsons concluded: "My brother and I, who started Ditto, have been in bands our whole lives and know the constraints and difficulties artists face. Having their music on iTunes is just one part of a puzzle and not something we should be taking a pat on the back for. I will take a pat on the back when unsigned artists have the same infrastructure given to signed artists. And we at Ditto are working towards that until it is there".

You can read the full exchange at:

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Dimensional Associates have completed their acquisition of digital music company The Orchard. The investment firm - which owned The Orchard outright once before - already had a 42% stake in the company before they offered to buy out the other shareholders at the end of last year. That buy out - which is basically a merger of The Orchard with Dimensional - was finalised this week, according to a statement by the investment types.

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Festivals website Virtual Festivals has expanded its board as part of a plan to, and I quote, "accelerate the global expansion of the business".

There are five new directors joining the company, including Andy Wood and Neil Sullivan from Silver Bullet Entertainment, Julian Topham and Andrew Topham from Sports Vision, and Steve Wild from Unication. The site's founder Steve Jenner will also sit on the new board.

Wild will become COO, and he told CMU: "The new team will build on what has been developed over ten years and escalate the growth of a unique scalable business. This is a great opportunity to lead Virtual Festivals to accentuate it's expertise as the lead festival portal by generating more and better content and enabling the right context for commercial partners".

Jenner added: "I'm delighted to have five new star players on board who have a real vision and passion for Virtual Festivals' future, with the proven ability to deliver it. This is the optimum route for ensuring that this business not only achieves its objectives but does so with its brand integrity fully intact and that's the most important thing".

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Ellen DeGeneres is quitting 'American Idol' after just one season as a judge on the US musical talent show.

DeGeneres, who replaced original lady judge Paula Abdul on the programme, wrote on her website yesterday: "A couple months ago, I let Fox and the 'American Idol' producers know that this didn't feel like the right fit for me. I told them I wouldn't leave them in a bind and that I would hold off on doing anything until they were able to figure out where they wanted to take the panel next. It was a difficult decision to make, but my work schedule became more than I bargained for. I also realised this season that while I love discovering, supporting and nurturing young talent, it was hard for me to judge people and sometimes hurt their feelings".

Various execs linked to the show, including Exec Producer Simon Fuller, issued statements saying just how ruddy wonderful it had been having DeGeneres on the programme, though didn't comment on who might replace her. 'Idol' bosses are already looking for a replacement for Simon Cowell, who will leave the franchise after its current season to concentrate on the US launch of 'X-Factor'.

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Okay, this is likely to get old fairly soon, but right now Liam Gallagher's wide-eyed confidence in the music of his new band, Beady Eye, is still funny. Having up until now simply boasted that the band (basically Oasis without Noel) will be better than Oasis, he's now stepped up a gear and started claiming that his new band's debut album will be a classic passed down the generations.

Speaking to Sky, Gallagher said: "I'm doing the next record you'll hear for the next 50 years. It's not gonna be out until next year. We'll probably get a single out October or November, and there's no point in doing gigs if people haven't heard the music".

Yeah, fair point. Imagine if bands were to start playing gigs before they'd released any records. It would be chaos! But on the subject of gigs, Sky was keen to know when Liam would stop all this and just get his brother back in the band. Only, he said, if they were "fucking skint", though with a classic album like Beady Eye's on his hands, that is clearly not going to happen any time soon.

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Ozzy Osbourne has claimed that he predicted Princess Diana's death shortly before the car in which she was travelling crashed in a Paris tunnel in 1997.

Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine, he said: "I remember when Princess Diana was still alive, I woke up one morning and said to my assistant, 'You know what? Something very bad's gonna happen to her'. And sure enough, days or weeks later, the tragedy in Paris happened".

Although he added: "But the fact is, if someone's living their life at 300mph, you don't have to be a clairvoyant to see what's coming".

Blimey, I hadn't realised they were going that fast.

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Drew Malt
Topher Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Keith Chegwin
Gag Procurement

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