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CMU Info
Top Stories
Terra Firma v Citigroup: ruling on dismissal application this week
In The Pop Courts
Gaga settles with former producer boyfriend
Former Britney bodyguard speaks in her defence
King Coleman dies
Awards & Contests
Gaga dominates at VMAs
Reunions & Splits
Robbie and Gary reunite for Help For Heroes gig
Portnoy quits Dream Theater
Release News
Martin says no new Coldplay until 2011
Festival review: Green Man
Talks, Debates & Conventions
Line-up out for Radio Festival 2010
Brands & Stuff
Sony to launch fashionable compilations
The Music Business
Imagem appoint new US boss
The Digital Business
CMU-er moves to We7
Bandcamp add fee to free downloads
Posse.com revamps
The Media Business
Billboard launches new service for unsigned bands
And finally...
Corgan happier than ever as a Pumpkin
Noel too busy with nappies to write new songs
Cowell rants about Reed

Morning, people. How are you all? I don't want to moan, but I am not well. I have a feeling I may be about to back down on the bold statement I made in the pub yesterday, where I announced that I had a bit of a cold but "I never bow down to illness". I don't know. It's hot in here, isn't it? Are you hot? I feel very hot. Maybe it's just hot in here. Whatever, let's see if I can make it through this Five Day Forecast thing without having to curl up in a ball on the floor.

01: Later... With Jools Holland's 250th. This week, 'Later... With Jools Holland' returns for its 37th series since hitting our tele screens in 1992. The first show will also be the 250th edition, the makers having crowbarred in a 249th special over the weekend. Performing on the show will be Manic Street Preachers, Mark Ronson, Klaxon, Herb Alpert and 'America's Got Talent' runner-up Queen Emily. The show will be broadcast live on Wednesday at 10pm (not Tuesday, as previously announced by those pesky BBC types), with an extended edition on Friday at 11.50pm.

02: George Michael sentencing. A George Michael court appearance is always a big event. I remember as a child how we'd all crowd around a tiny black and white TV, trying to make out that finely crafted beard, hoping for a glimpse of Andrew Ridgeley in the crowd. Tomorrow George is due back in the dock once more to be sentenced for that previously reported incident when, with a head full of weed, he drove into the Hampstead branch of Snappy Snaps. He pleaded guilty last month, and may now face jail time.

03: Urban Music Awards. With the MOBO nominations announced last week, it's time to limber ourselves up for the Urban Music Awards, which, like the relationship between the BAFTAs and the Oscars, gives a possible hint of who the big winners at the MOBOs could be next month. Like the MOBOs, Tinie Tempah leads the way with four nominations, though the UMAs cast their net further out into the media, with awards for TV and radio, as well as artists.

04: New releases. Oh my, there are a lot of amazing releases out this week, where do I even start? Well, okay, first let's mention 'Penny Sparkle' by Blonde Redhead, because that's one of my favourite albums of the year. Also, our buddies Losers finally release their brilliant debut album, 'Beautiful Losers', and you'd be well advised to wrap your ears around the new albums from Grinderman, The Vaselines, Interpol, Les Savy Fav, Årabrot and Sutekh. Weezer also have a new album, but it's a bit bum. Jakwob's brilliant debut single, 'Here With Me', is out, and the latest singles from Kurran & The Wolfnotes and Maddslinky are worth a look, too.

05: Gigs. Once you've been out and bought all those records and started listening to them, there won't be any time to go to any gigs. Sorry if you had plans for a night out, you'll have to cancel them. Oh, what? You like going out in the evening? You don't want to spend all your time at home listening to records? Okay, suit yourself, you can go and see Tom Jones at the Union Chapel in Islington on Wednesday or Seefeel at the Queen's local, the ICA, on Thursday. But that's all.

That should be enough for you to be getting on with, I reckon. Although I should probably mention that there's a new series of 'The Inbetweeners' on telly tonight. Marsha Shandur's always excellent soundtrack to the show makes this a musical event of note, plus it's dead funny.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
Sufjan Stevens, eh? He's been busy. Well, apparently. He was quite quiet for a while, but then last month out of nowhere he suddenly released a new EP, 'All Delighted People', which saw him attempt something akin of prog rock, though in a Sufjan Stevens style. Then, while everyone was getting over that, a few days later he announced his new album, 'The Age Of Adz', which is due for release through Asthmatic Kitty on 11 Oct, along with a free download from the album, 'I Walked'.

On Friday, Stevens made a second new track available as a free download, which, like 'I Walked', features a heavily electronic sound. Entitled 'Too Much', its opening drums give the impression that Trent Reznor might have been tinkering with it, before some more recognisable elements kick in, a small group of classical instruments and Stevens' unmistakable voice. Both tracks are available to download for free from Steven's Bandcamp page now.


We should all know by end of play Wednesday - New York time - whether the much previously reported legal squabble between EMI owners Terra Firma and their bankers Citigroup over the latter's role in the former's acquisition of the flagging music major will go to court. I do hope so, it has the potential to be a whole load more entertaining than most of the London-based music firm's other output so far this year.

As previously reported, Terra Firma say that Citigroup misadvised them back in 2007 as they planned their audacious takeover of EMI. Had the Citi-boys done their job, Terra Firma top groover Gary 'The Guy' Hands argues, he would not have bought the music company, or certainly not at the price he paid for it.

Although both EMI's publishing and recordings divisions have seen some growth since 2007, both are majorly hindered by the multi-billion pound debt to Citibank the Terra Firma takeover landed the music firm with. Covenants relating to that debt have also required Terra Firma to make repeated cash injections into EMI, a fact that has not been met with complete glee by some of their financial backers.

Hands tried to restructure EMI's bank loan with Citigroup last year, but the US bank refused to play ball. The Terra Firma lawsuit quickly followed. As also previously reported, as lacklustre efforts to get an out of court settlement collapsed last week, Citigroup called on the New York judge hearing the case to dismiss it before a full hearing could even take place.

We will now know whether that application for dismissal by the bankers has been successful within the week. Judge Jed Rakoff, overseeing the case, heard two hours of oral arguments on the application on Friday, after which he said: "I will give you a bottom line ruling by next Wednesday".

Assuming Rakoff does not dismiss the case this week, the whole thing is due in court proper on 18 Oct. I'm thinking of buying a special hat.

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The most Lady of Gaga has reached an out of court settlement with Rob Fusari, the producer who claimed to have helped the popstress create her image and sound, and to have co-written her early songs, only to be cut out of the equation once she became a global superstar. Fusari, who had also been Gaga's boyfriend when they collaborated, sued for a neat $35 million.

Gaga's people disputed Fusari's allegations, and sought a court ruling that would dismiss the contract on which Fusari was basing much of his financial claim. The pop star's legal people said that the producer had really been acting as an agent for Gaga, and therefore the contract he had drawn up with her was inappropriate and should be declared void.

While they didn't totally dispute that Fusari might be due more money than the $600,000 he had already received for his producer credit on Gaga's debut album, they strongly disputed he was owed anything like $35 million.

It's not known exactly what deal has been reached between Gaga and Fusari or whether any money will change hands, but both sides filed papers with the US courts last week asking that their respective lawsuits be dismissed.

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Another person has come to the defence of Britney Spears following last week's lawsuit by former bodyguard Fernando Flores, who is suing her for sexual harassment and has accused her of abusing her two sons.

Last week, a legal rep for Spears's ex-husband, and the father of her two children, Kevin Federline, said Flores's child abuse claims were without foundation. And now another former bodyguard of the pop star has come to her defence too.

Mark Chinapen worked for Spears between 2007 and 2008, and told E! Online last week that "in our time with Britney, we've never seen anything in a negative sense. If there was an issue, we would have said something to her or authorities when it came to the kids. But we never saw anything negative".

On working for Britney, he said: "It was very normal. Starbucks runs, going for lunch, driving, shopping, buying clothes, and going out to events. That's it. Britney is one of those people that likes to conduct her own business and go around and do her thing around town. She's not looking for someone to be in her face 24/7, just someone to assist when they're needed".

As previously reported, Spears's people last week briefly commented on Flores's lawsuit, saying the whole affair was "unfortunate" and was mainly about the former bodyguard trying to "make a name for himself". When Flores first made his claims about Spears' alleged child abuse in the media earlier in the year, the Los Angeles Department Of Children And Family Services investigated and ruled that there was "absolutely no truth" in the former bodyguard's allegations.

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Carlton 'King' Coleman, a DJ and singer active in the early years of rhythm and blues, has died aged 78. Coleman was one of the most popular radio DJs in Miami in the late 1950s, and came into contact with a number of the key names of the rock n roll era, performing with both BB King and Jackie Wilson as a result.

He is probably best known, though, for providing the brief shouted vocals to the 1959 hit '(Do The) Mashed Potatoes'. According to rock legend, the owner of the label that released that record - Dade Records - dubbed Coleman onto the track to cover up the voice of James Brown, who was playing piano and could be heard shouting in the background. Dade's owner didn't want a rival label who had knocked back Brown's original proposal to record the track to know he had been working with the godfather of soul.

Coleman continued to record and perform as a singer and work as a radio DJ for most of his life. He died in Miami this weekend after suffering heart failure. His son Tony, who became the drummer in BB King's band, told reporters: "I can say that I'm proud to be his son. I'm proud to be working with one of his colleagues. He was one of the originals. He was one of the roots, and I'm one of his fruits".

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Lady Gaga dominated at MTV's VMAs last night, taking no less than eight of the gongs on offer. And while Kanye West rapped an apology to the tedious Taylor Swift, it was Gaga who stole the show at the awards bash, mainly by wearing another meat outfit.

As previously reported, the singer caused a little controversy last week when a photo of her wearing a meat-based bikini appeared on the cover of the Japanese edition of Vogue Hommes. The meat costume at the VMAs was more of a dress, but looked just as grim. We should add, the meat dress was just one of three worn by Gaga last night - she spent most of the evening in black dress that was so big she needed help getting on and off stage to accept her various awards.

Talking of which, here's the full list of winners. No word on what Kanye made of the list this year, though poor Beyonce had to make do with just sharing a gong with Gaga.

Best Female Video: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
Best Male Video: Eminem - Not Afraid
Best Collaboration: Lady GaGa feat Beyonce Knowles - Telephone
Best New Artist: Justin Bieber feat Ludacris - Baby

Best Hip-Hop Video: Eminem - Not Afraid
Best Pop Video: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
Best Rock Video: 30 Seconds to Mars - Kings And Queens
Best Dance Music Video: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance

Video of the Year: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
Breakthrough Video: The Black Keys - Tighten Up

Best Art Direction: Florence and the Machine - Dog Days Are Over
Best Choreography: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
Best Cinematography: Jay-Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State Of Mind
Best Direction: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
Best Editing: Lady GaGa - Bad Romance
Best SFX: Muse - Uprising

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So, we've waited fifteen years for Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow to perform together on stage again and, in the end, it turned out that all that was needed to make that happen was for 335 British soldiers to die in a pointless unwinnable war.

Yes, the former Take That mates finally got round to singing together again at that Help For Heroes gig that took place at the Twickenham Stadium last night. Given they have a duet coming out on Robbie's upcoming greatest hits album, will be touring together with Take That next year, and have been collaborating again for over a year now, I'm not sure why everybody was quite so excitable about this duet, but it was all for a good cause I suppose, so I won't piss on their parade.

Pixie Lott, The Saturdays, Bruce Forsyth and Michael McIntyre also appeared at the big Help For Heroes bash, which was presumably designed to make living in an unbearable climate, covered in dust, in constant fear for your life not seem so bad after all.

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Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy is leaving the band, which is a big deal because, while sitting behind the drums, he was basically the outfit's frontman. He says he's been thinking about it for a whole year now, and his decision to quit is therefore not hasty. He will continue with his other musical projects, including drumming for Avenged Sevenfold, which he's been doing since their former drummer, Jimmy Sullivan, died last year.

As part of a long statement, Portnoy wrote last week: "After 25 years, I have decided to leave Dream Theater, the band I founded, led and truly loved for a quarter of a century. To many people this will come as a complete shock, and will also likely be misunderstood by some, but please believe me that it is not a hasty decision, it is something I have struggled with for the last year or so. After having had such amazing experiences playing with Hail!, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold this past year, I have sadly come to the conclusion that I have recently had more fun and better personal relations with these other projects than I have for a while now in Dream Theater".

He added: "Please don't misinterpret me, I love the Dream Theater guys dearly and have a long history, friendship and bond that runs incredibly deep with them... it's just that I think we are in serious need of a little break".

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Chris Martin has said there won't be a new Coldplay album this year, so there's some good news for your Monday lunchtime. Well, unless you're Gary 'The Guy' Hands', Roger Faxmachine or any one else with a tangible interest in the future of EMI - they could really do with their most bankable indie outfit being back on the release schedule.

But, according to coldplaying.com: "There ain't gonna be a release for Christmas, now that is for sure. Chris said that, although they are close to finishing lots of songs, they have not actually finished anything at all yet... (even 'Wedding Bells!' [which he performed at that Apple thing earlier this month]) and he said there'd be no chance of the album coming out for Christmas. Phil [Harvey] said the same, and that even if they were finished by now, there would not be enough time for EMI to sort all of the 'fiddly bits' [ahead of an actual release]".

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My third year running at the Green Man and this time around I was suffering from a debilitating cold. I've heard all the man-flu jibes but this wasn't the weekend to be feeling ill as heavy rain fell for much of the festival.

However, in my experience, rain is partly to be expected of any trip to Wales, and I wasn't going to let it spoil things, even if it did mean favouring "things in tents". It was this thinking that led us to the cinema tent early on Friday afternoon for some short films organised by 7" cinema. Drying off and watching some classic cartoons was a good start to the proceedings.

Via the Green Man pub - taking in the hunting pictures and clocks that make this more than another beer tent - we found ourselves Far Out watching The Hundred In The Hands' electro-pop, which was pretty good. Fionn Regan on the main stage during a dry spell, sounded inoffensive enough, but it really was all about the Far Out tent for us on Friday night.

Sleepy Sun struggled with a poor sound balance meaning the lead singer wasn't really heard, which was a real shame as their last song hinted at great possibilities. Next, though, was the highlight of the entire festival, and I know we've banged on about Steve Mason almost as much as Justin Bieber in CMU recently but I thought he would be the best thing of the weekend and I wasn't disproved.

Starting with a stripped down version of The Beta Band's 'Dr Baker' and then playing the highlights of his 'Boys Outside' album, and a King Biscuit Time number, he finished on a song he doesn't play very often but which was wholly appropriate given the conditions, another Beta Band song, 'Dry The Rain'. In fact, it was so impromptu, it seemed, that Mason had to advise his drummer on a bongo beat, while the keyboard player was given the simple job of knocking a couple of sticks together, but when it all came together it was a pretty phenomenal way to finish the set.

On in the tent after Steve Mason were Fuck Buttons, who I have now seen live three times, and I never want to see them again. Not that they are bad, in fact, the first time I saw them at Green Man three years ago I was very impressed with the show and the relentless build up, but after watching them from the balcony at Hammersmith Apollo, where the dramatic lights were replaced by a view of two guys twiddling knobs, I didn't expect much from this return appearance. They were good, to be fair, but it really is like an aural rape standing through their full set, so powerful and unrelenting are the noises they squeal out of their machines.

So then to another band I'd been disappointed with before, but on this occasion Doves impressed me. Maybe it was low expectations but when they soar, they do it pretty impressively. Lead singer Jimi Goodwin was entranced by the gossamer nature of the bubbles that were blowing across the arena throughout and it was quite a beautiful scene, man.

My cold was kicking in at this point but I couldn't go to bed without having a bit of a gander at DJ Yoda's VJ antics and a fine collection of amusing videos he mixed and matched for our entertainment.

In the morning, we headed into the arena around midday to check out the California vibes of El Goodo, just in time for the most dramatic rainstorm of the weekend, which left us bedraggled and searching for shelter, which was a shame because they sounded pretty good. Still, the cinema tent was the venue for possibly the second most entertaining thing all weekend from the half cut members of Sweet Baboo. With songs about how good a dancer he is, how he is in the best band in the world and other similar grand claims, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah and wit to pull off, but luckily they have both in spades.

From there we checked out Besnard Lakes on the main stage, their proggy sounds kinda getting lost in the arena in the afternoon and failing to grab the attention. Johnny Flynn was less poppy and more folky than I imagined him and was quite-good-if-you-like-that-sort-of-thing.

Our choice of These New Puritans didn't quite pay off, we left after two songs of overblown melodramatic posturing and went to see Trevor Lock get heckled by children in the comedy tent. From there Billy Bragg was excellent on the main stage, holding the crowd with a guitar and some banter as the seasoned pro he is.

Apparently the Flaming Lips were great, playing a psychedelic set with some new tricks, but unfortunately I was tucked up in my tent by that point feeling sorry for myself.

We weren't able to stay until the end on Sunday either, which was a shame because the sun had come out by that point. Before we left, Darwin Deez played a bizarre show as we were reclining on the bank, part choreographed dance and part pretty average pop, all I took from the performance was that they knew how to make the most of what they had, and you can't say fairer than that.

I've written about my bafflement when it comes to the praise that is levelled at Animal Collective before but, glutton for punishment, I was talked into going to see their movie 'ODDSAC' in the cinema tent. Not what I would call a pleasant experience, the bizarre representations at the beginning were strange enough but when the scene with the family eating marshmallows around a fire turned into a horror show with vampires it was too much for my addled state of mind to take.

Field Music on the other hand were a nice way to finish, with some well crafted tunes and a cheerful stage presence, just the thing for a Sunday afternoon. IM

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The Radio Academy has announced the line up for its annual Radio Festival convention which this year, for the first time, will take place in Manchester (well, technically Salford, nearly the BBC's big new base there).

On the bill are big name radio execs like Tim Davie (BBC), Ashley Tabor (Global) and Clive Dickens (Absolute), plus celebrity on-air types like Chris Evans, Jeremy Kyle, Colin Murray, Graham Norton and Richard Bacon. As far as I can see, PRS stats man Will Page will be single-handedly representing the music industry.

This year's Radio Festival runs from 18-20 Oct.

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Sony Music has teamed up with the British Fashion Council to release a series of compilation albums curated by different fashion types built around the London Fashion Week brand.

The first one will be put together by Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer of Burberry. Artists on his album include Midge Ure, Carter USM and Status Quo. It will be released on 20 Sep with some flash Burberry-designed packaging.

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The ever expanding music publishing outfit Imagem has appointed former Cherry Lane Music exec Richard Stumpf to head up its US division. The company's CEO Andre De Raaff confirmed the appointment last week.

Says De Raaff: "I have been following Rich's career for many years and am impressed with his numerous achievements. He was on the very top of my list to fill in the last major position in our US company".

In his new role, Stumpf will work alongside Ted Chapin, President of the Imagem-owned Rodgers & Hammerstein company, and Zizi Mueller, SVP of the company's Boosey & Hawkes operations in the US.

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CMU sadly parted company with its Editorial Assistant, Georgina Stone, on Friday afternoon, as she moves on to a new role at digital music service We7.

Georgina had been with CMU publishers UnLimited Media for exactly two years, providing editorial support for both the CMU Daily and UnLimited's other flagship media, ThreeWeeks. She also worked on some of UnLimited's marketing and communication projects, and handled the administration on the CMU Seminars training programme.

CMU publisher Chris Cooke says: "We're really sad to lose George, but after two years in our Editorial Assistant role now is definitely the right time for her to move onwards and upwards to the next stage of her music business career. We wish her well at We7, and have made her promise to call by CMU HQ to say hello whenever she is back in Shoreditch".

We7's SVP of Digital Music, Clive Gardiner, added: "We7 is very pleased to welcome Georgina aboard. These are very exciting times for We7 as we continue to develop our range of music services which now include on-demand streaming, customised radio, paid subscriptions and MP3 sales and are used by three million people each month in the UK. Georgina's proven experience at CMU, MTV, Polydor and Island and her drive and enthusiasm made her the outstanding candidate and she will add immediate value to our music team".

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US-based Bandcamp, one of the websites which provides digital tools for bands to promote, distribute and sell their music, has changed its pricing structure, so that artists will have to pay an albeit nominal fee each time they give away their songs.

Originally a free-to-use service, Bandcamp started charging earlier this summer. The new additional fee will mean that bands who use the digital platform to give away MP3s will have to pay a 1.5-3 cent fee for each download. That said, free giveaway units will be bundled in to basic subscriptions, and bands who also use Bandcamp to sell music will get an extra set of free giveaway units every time they pass $500 in sales.

Says Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond: "The idea is that if you're selling through Bandcamp, you'll probably never run out of free promo downloads, and if you're using the site to distribute your music for free, there's still a cheap and easy way to keep doing that".

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Posse.com, an Australia-based website that aims to turn music fans into promoters, earning commissions on CD, download and ticket sales, has relaunched after scoring a load of new investment and a commercial partnership with EMI.

Confirming their tie up with the revamped Posse.com platform, and their plans to use it to plug their artists, EMI's Global Senior VP Of Product, Simon Miller told reporters: "Fans' word-of-mouth is the future of music marketing and Posse is the world's first platform to develop an effective system to encourage this process".

Posse.com has similarities with the UK-based People's Music Store platform, which went offline last week, though has tie-ups with other online ticket, download and CD sellers rather than trying to score digital licences directly with the record companies.

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US music industry trade magazine Billboard is launching a new service for unsigned and self-releasing talent which will apparently enable them to upload music to a new platform and then track plays and chat across various blogs, music sites and social media.

The trade mag will then also compile all that data into a weekly Dreamseekers chart which will be made available to its traditional readership, so there's an element of "we'll put your band in front of industry types" to this new promotion. All for a hundred dollars a year.

MySpace Music is a partner in the new service at launch, presumably providing Billboard with a database of thousands of wannabe bands (which might as well be tapped now before MySpace inevitably collapses into the void).

The new initiative follows the purchase of the trade mag by E5 Global Media late last year, and is possibly a sign that the title's new publishers recognise the magazine needs to expand beyond its traditional record industry readership to survive. Whether the unsigned band community is really one worth expanding into remains to be seen.

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Billy Corgan has defended his continued use of the Smashing Pumpkins name. As previously reported, Corgan has been performing under the Pumpkins name without any of the other original members of the group since spring 2009. Some have criticised him for doing so, suggesting he should just perform as himself or set up a new band.

But, when asked about his continued use of the name by the Seattle Times recently, Corgan rambled thus: "I'm as happy as I've been in the Smashing Pumpkins since 1996. Why isn't that important? Why doesn't U2 retire? Haven't they made enough money? Why are the Rolling Stones still on tour? There's only Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards. Why don't they retire? I don't understand. What's the difference? If people wanna play and people wanna go, what does it fucking matter?"

So that's that sorted. He also referenced Courtney Love's continued use of the Hole name, though given that's proved to be even more controversial than his use of the Pumpkins moniker, he's probably best advised not to.

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While brother Liam is busy setting up Oasis v2, Noel Gallagher says he'll not be making any new music until next year at the earliest, on account of his girlfriend Sara Macdonald being very very pregnant as we speak.

He told the BBC: "I'm moving house and my missus is nine months pregnant, so I'm not doing anything until well into next year. I'll be doing nappies and all that malarkey".

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Simon Cowell has lashed out at Lou Reed who may, or may not, have stopped Susan Boyle from singing his song 'Perfect Day' on 'America's Got Talent'.

I'm a bit confused about this story to be honest. Word had it on Friday that Reed - or someone working for him - insisted Boyle shouldn't sing his song on the American telly show, leaving the Scottish warbler in tears. Since then, though, Reed's people have denied any involvement in the fracas, blaming a licensing glitch.

But not before Cowell had had a little rant about it. Asked about the whole thing by Radio 2, he said this weekend: "This is so petty, so pathetic. Loads of people have covered this song. This is a fantastic version. He's now saying, 'If I'd have known, I'd have given permission'. Well Lou, if you're listening, do we have permission to put the song on next week?"

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Lady Gaga
Costumes & Catering
George Michael

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