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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
As Citigroup takes control, what next for EMI?
OfCom to review DEA's web-blocking provisions
In The Pop Courts
Vince Neil ready for jail
Awards & Contests
Old songwriters seek new songwriter
Aussie Music Prize shortlist out
Release News
Lupe Fiasco back with new single and album
Vivian Girls share the joy with third LP
Films & Shows News
Elton John working on film of his life
Underworld write score for Danny Boyle's Frankenstein
Gigs & Tours News
Gruff Rhys hijacks hotel, releases album
The Quietus and the Stool Pigeon to curate Ja Ja Ja
Anathema announce UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Tipper - Broken Soul Jamboree (Tippermusic)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
UnCovention Factory comes a London Calling
Brands & Stuff
No one wants a Fatburger, Kanye closes restaurant
The Media Business
Jo Whiley leaves Radio 1, kick starts game of radio presenter musical chairs
Bauer Radio to relaunch station websites
And finally...
eBay users stalk Adele's dog
Olly Murs inspired by Lilt advert

Original riot grrrl Viv Albertine joined seminal punk band The Slits in 1977, and the band then went on to release all-time classic album 'Cut' two years later. Since The Slits disbanded in 1982, reuniting only briefly in the mid-noughties, Albertine has taken on various projects, as well as becoming a mother, and undertaking a stint directing oddball 80s sci-fi series, 'The Tomorrow People'.

Her first solo effort was four-track EP 'Flesh', released last year via Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth's Ecstatic Peace! label. This was followed by an alternative Christmas single, entitled 'Home Sweet Home (At Christmas)'. Her debut solo album is currently a work in progress, for which she is raising money via Pledge Music.

As the fan-funding draws nearer to the target, Viv took some time out to answer our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
When I was seventeen, my granny died and left me £200. My family was very poor so this was something that would never happen to me again. I couldn't decide whether to buy an old Norton motorbike or a guitar. I thought I would probably die quite quickly if I bought a bike so I got a Les Paul Junior, single cutaway. I'd never played an instrument in my life. Never had a music lesson. But I had seen the Sex Pistols play their first show and I thought 'I want to do that'. Even though there were no girls I could think of as role models and I couldn't play. It didn't put me off. I was galvanised.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
I have an EP out called 'Flesh' released on Sonic Youth's Ecstatic Peace label. I hadn't made music for 25 years. Not touched a guitar. Not written a song. Two years ago The Slits asked if I would consider rejoining them, so I said 'give me a couple of months to see if I can relearn the guitar'. I bought a cheap Telecaster copy, a Squier, sat down at the kitchen table, to much ridicule from my family, and started to fumble around on it. One day a couple of weeks in, my fingers and my inhibitions let go and I went mental on that guitar. Songs started pouring out. I couldn't stop. I still can't. The Slits thing wasn't for me but I am fired up again. Got to get it out.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
Sometimes I start with a guitar part and sometimes with lyrics. I always write on guitar. 'Confessions Of A MILF' started with a ten page rant that I refined and edited. It didn't seem like it was going to be anything special. The guitar part was so simple I was embarrassed. But the thing about that song and all my songs is they come from deep inside me. Now that is the song that resonates mostly with people. I use the same principals in songwriting that we did in the punk days because that's what I still believe in; absolute honesty in lyrics, absolute lack of self indulgence in music and absolute truth to yourself. This never fails. Because you cannot fail if you tell the truth. You only bring what is right for you and that may not be money or fame. It may be an interesting life.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
The English narrative poets which I learnt at school, I still like the meters and rhyming. 'The Lady Of Shalott' by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 'Goblin Market' by Christina Rosetti, 'The Highwayman' by Alfred Noyes, 'The Ancient Mariner' by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I love very English words and writers - The Kinks, John Lennon, Syd Barrett. Musically, I try not to be influenced. I just let the sounds come as I write. I'm totally self-taught so what comes out is just an amalgamation of years of sounds I've heard coming out. Not just music.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
"I am not here to entertain you. I am here to make you feel uncomfortable" - Luis Bunuel

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
I am in the process of recording an album track by track as I have no money. Musicians are playing on it for practically nothing. Strummerville have paid for some recording sessions. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. It's my manifesto. The truth, undiluted by lovers, children, parents, record labels, managers. I'm free.

MORE>> www.vivalbertine.com

Edinburgh five-piece Letters formed early last year, instantly marking their guitar pop sound out from the rest by adding a cellist to the line-up. This adds a darker element to their sound, which, coupled with their tendency to leap on the distortion pedal as songs draw to an end, and my weakness for vocals sung in a Scottish accent, it makes for a winning formula.

The band's debut double A-side single, 'The Grand National/Pipe Dreams', out on 14 Feb, showcases two incredibly strong songs, merging downbeat lyrics with upbeat rock and meaty hooks. If they've got more songs like these in their arsenal they could have a very bright future indeed. And you'll have ample opportunity to discover whether or not they have those songs when they tour the UK from March to May.


Do you know your Oscar Peterson from your Chilly Gonzales? Award-winning music consultancy Music Concierge, is looking for a Playlist Designer to join our small but expanding creative team. You will develop a sound understanding of our clients' needs, and then source, program and timetable appropriate tracks in line with the client brief. You will have an encyclopedic music knowledge across a multitude of genres, including jazz, classical, pop, world music, and all forms of electronic music. Alongside your creative talent, your professional and motivated approach to work means that you relish pressure and eat deadlines for breakfast.

For full information visit: www.musicconcierge.co.uk/vacancies

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 9 Feb 2011

A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 23 Feb 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

So, for those of you reading the EMI saga in book form, today is a new chapter, and maybe even a new edition. Or at least the epilogue of the previous edition. Or maybe the prologue of a new one.

Anyway, as expected, Citigroup yesterday took ownership of EMI from Terra Firma. The holding company through which the equity group owned the music major - Maltby Investments Limited - was put into administration after failing to meet covenants linked to its three billion pound bank loan, and Citigroup took control of another Maltby business and EMI itself. Terra Firma, Guy Hands and all those tedious, slightly arrogant private equity types are out the door, replaced by some lovely bankers. It's party time people, party time.

Once in control, Citigroup immediately agreed to restructure EMI's finances and obligations to the bank, slashing the music firm's debts from £3.4 billion to a mere £1.2 billion in return for 100% of the company's equity. With in excess of £300 million also available to the music major in cash, coupled with relatively good financial performance on a day-to-day basis of late, this puts EMI in a relatively strong position, for the time being at least. Citigroup said it was happy with the management team that has been built around CEO Roger Faxon since he took over the day-to-day running of the whole EMI group last summer, and that he would be allowed to continue to pursue his current business plan.

Which is great news, right? The streamlined, more efficient, more effective EMI that has emerged from the quagmire of Terra Firma's brutal but probably required cutbacks and headcount cull will be allowed to continue as normal, without the very gloomy clouds of that three billion pound debt above it. Thanks to the £4 billion cash injection Citigroup and Terra Firma kindly gifted between them, the British music industry has a leaner, fitter major player. And now Faxon can pursue his mission to integrate the different parts of EMI's business so to transform it into one of those high-speed, fully-adaptable, multi-skilled music rights agencies of the future.

Except, how long is Citigroup planning on being proprietor of a music company? Surely the bank will want to sell it on quick pronto, splitting it up into at least two separate businesses if necessary, and who knows what any buyers might want to do?

Yesterday's statements from both EMI and Citigroup made no reference to any sale, stressing that, for the time being, it was business as usual, except without the fear that must come with unsustainable debt. Faxon said: "The recapitalisation of EMI by Citi is an extremely positive step for the company. It has given us one of the most robust balance sheets in the industry with a modest level of debt and substantial liquidity. With that solid footing, we are confident in our ability to drive our business forward".

He continued: "We have already made great progress in meeting the challenges facing our industry. The closer alliance between our two operating divisions is already delivering impressive results on behalf of the creative talent we are privileged to represent. We have a clear vision for the future, a strong and committed management team, and now the right capital and financial structure in place to deliver successful outcomes for artists and songwriters".

Citigroup Vice Chairman Stephen Volk added: "Citi today took ownership of Maltby Acquisitions Ltd, the holding company that controls EMI. In the process, the previously unsustainable debt load at EMI was reduced by 65%, leaving the company with a strong balance sheet and the ability to invest in and grow its business".

Looking forward, he added: "This is a positive development for EMI, its employees, artists, songwriters and suppliers. Our objective is to have EMI perform its absolute best for our shareholders over time. EMI is an iconic business and we are completely supportive of both its management and its strategy. It is business as usual for everyone at EMI".

But Roger Faxon admitted to Billboard last night that Citigroup would only be temporary owners of his company, saying: "It's pretty clear that Citigroup will not sell CDs ... it's not a comfortable place for a music business to sit. It's not compatible with their business. It is a financial services giant. In due course, we of course are going to get sold. But it will be an orderly and profitable process. Many other music businesses will also be sold in due course".

But what does "due course" mean? What would be best for Citigroup shareholders "over time", a quick sale that could bring in £1.6 billion now, maybe more if a bidding war could be instigated, or sitting on EMI for the time being hoping Faxon's grand plan, coupled with general economic recovery, could bring in a bigger pay day down the line, covering at least some of the £2 billion the bank had to write off yesterday.

Of course, there have been rumours that Citigroup has been in talks with possible buyers for months. To summarise, the previously mooted options open to the bank other than keeping hold of EMI for itself in the short term, are as follows:

1. Sell the whole of EMI to equity group and BMG backers KKR. Whether it would be interested in the whole of EMI - recordings and music publishing - isn't clear, though some have speculated it may be. Given BMG already owns Chrysalis, taking ownership of EMI's publishing business might interest the competition regulator in the UK.

2. Sell the EMI publishing business to KKR and the EMI record companies to Warner Music. This has long been mooted as the most likely end result. Warner might need to sell some of its current assets to fund such a bid, and has already hired Goldman Sachs to review its options. Any merger of Warner and EMI would almost certainly interest competition regulators in Europe, and probably the US too.

3. Sell the EMI record companies to KKR and the publishing business to someone else, possibly the also acquisitive independent music publisher Imagem. While it has long been assumed KKR would be more interested in EMI Publishing - BMG having much stronger interests in songs than recordings - BMG top man Hartwig Masuch told Music Week late last year that EMI's record companies were actually of more interest to him.

4. Sell the whole of EMI to either Sony Music or Universal Music, who would split up recordings and publishing and merge them with their existing respective businesses. This has been mentioned by a couple of City commentators in the last fortnight though seems unlikely, if only because this would pose big competition regulation issues.

5. Sell EMI back to Guy Hands and Terra Firma, who possibly reckon that Faxon's grand plan - sans the three billion debt - will work and could ultimately enable them to claw back some of the £2 billion+ they have lost on their music business adventure to date. If it was to work, it could also repair Hands' damaged reputation in City circles. Although this seems unlikely, there have been widespread rumours that Hands has already spoken to some of his backers about raising the required £1.6 billion, and that Citigroup - despite the acrimony that exists between the two companies - would consider an offer.

6. Sell EMI to a consortium of private equity players led by Terra Firma. As above, but with Terra Firma sharing the risk with some of its competitors.

7. Sell to Simon Cowell's Syco business. Yes, even Cowell has been mooted as a bidder. This seems the least credible of the rumours, but who knows? Whether it would actually be Syco that would bid, or Cowell's JV business with Topman owner Philip Green isn't clear, possibly because this rumour is made up. Syco, of course, is half owned by Sony Music, so if it was to bid presumably all the regulator crap that would kick in if Sony itself was to make an offer would also apply.

8. Sell to Apple Inc or Google Inc. Neither seems likely, both probably realise their respective music operations are much more profitable if they can keep talent at arms length; investing in new bands in a risky business after all. But I'm mentioning it because some have long predicted one of the tech or web giants would ultimately buy up a major entertainment player.

9. Sell to some as yet unmentioned equity group. It is unlikely any single equity outfit would bid for the whole of EMI, but there remains some interest in the private equity community in music publishing rights, and EMI's publishing catalogue is a goodun.

10. Sell to CMU. I can exclusively reveal that this rumour, widely reported by no one last week, is not true.

So there you have it, plenty of options. Most of the realistic ones involve either splitting up the EMI businesses, or merging EMI - as a whole or in parts - with an existing music company. None of which would allow Faxon's stand-alone integrated music rights business plans to come to fruition. Which is a shame. On paper, at least, they are good plans.

As for any pending competition regulation nonsense that could occur with some of the above mentioned scenarios, IMPALA, the pan-European indie label trade body that put up a good if ultimately unsuccessful fight against the Sony BMG merger in 2004 has vowed to oppose any moves to merge EMI with one of the existing major players in music, by which I assume they mean Sony, Universal and, most likely, Warner.

Big regulator concerns about a combined EMI Warner have been raised in the past, though some argue that particular deal is possibly more likely to get past regulators now than five years ago because of changes in the wider economy, and the fact the big music companies can argue they are increasingly in competition with non-traditional competitors, including Live Nation, AEG Live and possibly Apple.

But IMPALA reckons the regulatory process in 2011 could be even more strict than in 2004. IMPALA Chair Helen Smith told CMU: "Some parties argue that the regulators would be sympathetic because of the economic climate, yet this ignores three vital facts. First, the regulatory landscape has completely changed. Second, all previous music mergers have proved that concentration is not the answer to the music sector's ailments. Third, [smaller music companies] are already suffering not only because of the crisis but also because market access is difficult due to excessive concentration. All the concerns that we expressed in previous merger cases have been validated".

She added: "In the current regulatory climate, it is difficult to imagine the EC agreeing to further concentration. Even an attempt to combine EMI/Warner would be blocked unless substantial remedies were put in place to counter the anti-competitive impact".

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Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday asked media regulator OfCom to review the section of last year's Digital Economy Act that put in place - sort of - a framework to speed up the process by which content owners can force copyright infringing websites, including those that enable others to infringe, offline. He said that although he agreed in principle that copyright owners should have a simpler route to target infringing websites, he wasn't 100% convinced the system proposed in the Act would work.

This all relates to the second key element of the copyright section of the DEA, the bit that's not three-strikes. Although plans to ultimately suspend the internet connections of persistent file-sharers got most attention outside of parliament as the DEA was being discussed, it was these measures to shut down infringing websites that caused most controversy in the house.

Said measures weren't even in the first draft of the bill, rather there was an ambiguous clause giving the secretary of state powers to introduce such systems in due course. But that proved too ambiguous for parliamentarians, and so a more detailed clause was inserted outlining a process that would enable content owners to take quick action against sites that infringe, or enable others to do so, rather than them having to pursue drawn out and costly infringement litigation against a website's owners, or having to convince the authorities some sort of conspiracy to defraud is taking place.

But those proposals also proved controversial. Some claimed that the system could be used to target search engines which, in amongst a stack of legitimate search results, provide links to unlicensed content. Others said the system amounted to censorship of the internet. In the end, and with ministers rushing to get the bill passed before the General Election, the clause was all but cut from the bill. Except what actually happened was that the clause stayed in with an additional line saying the secretary of state could consider such measures at some point in the future, but would have to return to parliament to actually green light such a system.

Anyway, now Hunt wants to completely review the proposals. He told reporters yesterday: "The government is committed to creating the right conditions for businesses to grow. That includes providing them with the right tools to protect the products of their hard work and investment. The Digital Economy Act seeks to protect our creative economy from online copyright infringement, which industry estimates costs them £400m a year".

He continued: "I have no problem with the principle of blocking access to websites used exclusively for facilitating illegal downloading of content, but it is not clear whether the site-blocking provisions in the act could work in practice so I have asked Ofcom to address this question. Before we consider introducing site blocking we need to know whether these measures are possible".

The review is also backed by that oh so popular shithead, I mean Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who said the review was in part motivated by public response to his Your Freedom consultation project. He told reporters: "When we launched Your Freedom, I promised that the ideas submitted would be given proper consideration. Although reform of the Digital Economy Act did not form part of the coalition agreement, we have listened to the views expressed. The government will look at whether we have the right tools for the job in addressing the problem of online copyright infringement".

Those who oppose the copyright elements of the DEA, already pleased that the whole three-strikes thing is heading to a judicial review, were equally delighted that Hunt is now reviewing this part of the act. Peter Bradwell of the Open Rights Group told The Guardian: "It's encouraging to see the government listening to people's genuine concerns about the Digital Economy Act. The web-blocking provisions are a real mistake - they would stifle freedom of expression, for unproven benefit, whilst being extremely costly and difficult to manage".

But those in the music industry who lobbied hard for the DEA, including this provision, stand by the proposals in the act. BPI top man Geoff Taylor told CMU: "The BPI continues to believe that measures to prevent access to illegal websites are essential if Britain's creative and technology sectors are to fulfil their growth potential. Many of these websites are located outside the UK and exist solely to profit at the expense of artists and creators, threatening British jobs and investment. We will engage closely with Ofcom's Review and make the case for an effective mechanism to deal with illegal non-P2P downloading".

OfCom is expected to report back later this spring.

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Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil has said that he's ready to go to jail, which is good because that's exactly where he's going.

As previously reported, the singer originally pleaded not guilty to charges of DUI dating back to June last year, but agreed to a plea deal last month, which will see him serve two weeks in prison later this month, followed by two weeks under house arrest, and pay a $185 fine. Sort of like George Michael, so that's fun.

Speaking to People, Neil said: "I made a mistake, and I have to finally learn my lesson and go do a little bit of time. I've already learned my lesson. I just have to move on and get past it and get it behind me".

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Legendary songwriters Graham Gouldman and Don Black, along with Neil Sedaka, have teamed up to judge a competition to find the UK's best new songwriter.

The contest is sponsored by the producers of 'Dreamboats & Petticoats', the West End jukebox musical which starred Tony Christie for a chunk of last year.

The winner will have their song published by Universal Music, featured in the musical, and included as a bonus track on the fifth edition of Universal's 'Dreamboats & Petticoats' compilation series from which the stage show spun off.

More details on how to enter at www.dreamboatsandpetticoats.com.

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The shortlist is out for the Australian Music Prize, which is sort of an Aussie Mercury Music Prize. The shortlisted albums are as follows:

Cloud Control - Bliss Release
Dan Kelly - Dan Kelly's Dream
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Rush To Relax
Gareth Liddard - Strange Tourist
Pikelet - Stem
Richard In Your Mind - My Volcano
Sally Seltman - Heart That's Pounding
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker
The Holidays - Post Paradise

The winner, who gets thirty grand in Aussie dollars, will be announced on 3 Mar.

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Skate-rap innovator Lupe Fiasco returns to the limelight with new single 'The Show Goes On', out on 21 Feb on Atlantic, which features the most interesting use of a Modest Mouse sample since... well... ever. New album 'Lasers' is released on 7 Mar.

Watch the video for 'The Show Goes On' here, if you like: youtu.be/Rmp6zIr5y4U

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Brillo Brooklyn trio Vivian Girls are back with a new sound and a new drummer (the old one ran off with Best Coast), and have announced the release of their latest album, 'Share The Joy', out on 11 Apr through Polyvinyl.

Commenting on the new record, guitarist Cassie Ramone says: "It's cleaner and more hi-fi than the previous records, the sound is more open, more free. I think that this album really shows our strengths as musicians, and shows us melding together musically. It's more psychedelic and less shoegaze. There's also a lot of organ on it, which is new for us".

Sample the psychedelia on track 'I Heard You Say', which can be downloaded here for free: www.polyvinylrecords.com/iheardyousay

The tracklist is as follows:

The Other Girl
I Heard You Say
Dance (If You Wanna)
Lake House
Trying to Pretend
Sixteen Ways
Take It as It Comes
Vanishing of Time
Light in Your Eyes

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Elton John has revealed that he is working on a script for a film about his life with 'Billy Elliot' writer Lee Hall. No film studios have yet expressed an interest in making it as yet, though. Presumably they're all waiting for him to die, as is the protocol in these situations.

John told Chris Evans on his Radio 2 show: "I'd just like to make a really great film about my life story. We have a great script already by Lee Hall ... It will be more of a fantasy - 'Moulin Rouge' type of stuff. Obviously, it's not going to be your normal, run-of-the-mill film. My life's been so surreal, from buying a football club to God knows what".

He added that these days, now he's married with a child, his life is a little bit less hectic, which is presumably why he doesn't think he should have to die before this film gets made. He said: "When I come off stage now I have a balance in my life. Until I found that [balance] in 1990, I came off stage and I didn't know what to do with myself. Now I fly home every night after a show and I get back in my own bed. I have a wonderful partner in David, I have wonderful friends. I can remember things".

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Underworld have written a score for Danny Boyle's stage production of 'Frankenstein' at the National Theatre, which begins previews this Saturday.

The dance duo have previously contributed music to a number of Boyle's films of course, most famously their track 'Born Slippy' was used in 'Trainspotting'. More recently, they scored 'Sunshine'.

Speaking of their fifteen years of collaborations, and their latest project together, Underworld's Karl Hyde said: "Danny Boyle and Victor Frankenstein, what a combination - I mean, can you even imagine what he's going to do with that? No. Neither can we! Danny feels like another member of the band. Over the years, a common language has evolved between us. Every time we step into a room together, it's like we were never apart".

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Gruff Rhys is to launch his new LP 'Hotel Shampoo' by taking over The Gresham Hotel in Blackpool on 13 Feb. Gruff will get lucky fans all lathered up with a special performance and bed 'n' breakfast extravaganza, in celebration of the album which is to be released on 14 Feb via Turnstile/Onvi.

Says Gruff: "The Gresham Hotel is to Welsh pop music what the Hilton, Las Vegas was to Elvis and co. It was opened in 1988 by the most successful Welsh language pop duo of all time, Tony ac Aloma. Having sold tens of thousands of records in the 1960s the pair fled Wales to avoid the pressures of fame and set up The Gresham as a venue where they could play in perpetuity, welcome fans and invite other popular Welsh acts to perform. It is therefore a great honour to be allowed to celebrate the release of my new album, 'Hotel Shampoo', at this hallowed venue".

Reservations can be made at www.gruffrhys.com. New single 'Sensations In The Dark' is out on 7 Feb.

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With the last edition of Nordic showcase night Ja Ja Ja still ringing in our ears, having featured an excellent line-up curated by 6music presenter Tom Robinson, The Quietus and The Stool Pigeon are already plotting something altogether noisier for next month's outing.

The three bands being flown over to London to play The Lexington on 24 Feb are Kellermensch, Årabrot and Deathcrush.

More information from www.jajajamusic.com.

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Liverpudlian progsters Anathema have announced that they will tour the UK later this month. The band returned last year with their first studio album since 2003, 'We're Here Because We're Here'.

Tour dates:

9 Feb: Durham, Live Lounge
10 Feb: Glasgow, Cathouse
11 Feb: Sheffield, Academy 2
12 Feb: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
14 Feb: Leamington Spa, The Assembly
15 Feb: Manchester, Academy 3
16 Feb: Wolverhampton, Slade Rooms
17 Feb: London, The Scala

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BEARDED THEORY, Kedleston Hall Park, Derbyshire, 13-15 May: Wagner of 'X-Factor' infamy will occupy the 'family-friendly' Sunday afternoon slot at this year's Bearded Theory funfest. The hairy 'X-Factor' alumnus is also to curate the festival's annual World Record Attempt For People Wearing False Beards. On a serious musical note, The Whip, The Skints, The Last Republic, Sonic Boom Six and Cosmo Jarvis will also appear. www.beardedtheory.co.uk

HARD ROCK HELL V, Prestatyn Sands, Wales, 1-4 Dec: Headliners Quireboys will be joined by Tyketto, Dan Baird and Reckless Love at the wintery 'Village Of The Damned'-themed event. www.hardrockhell.com

LARK IN THE PARK, Moira Demesne, Moira, Northern Ireland, 29 Apr - 1 May: Borrell and his wily band of Razorlight men will take to the stage on the Saturday of this Northern Irish bank holiday festival, to the delight of historical hat fans everywhere. Athlete and The Divine Comedy are also confirmed to co-headline, with support from acts including Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, InME and more. www.larkinthepark-ni.com

ØYA, Middelalderparken, Oslo, Norway, 9-13 Aug: Joining Fleet Foxes, Warpaint and Bring Me The Horizon at this year's five day Scandinavian spectacular will be Vreid, Oslo-based Lukestar and American folksters The Avett Brothers. www.oyafestivalen.com/pages/eng/

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tipper - Broken Soul Jamboree (Tippermusic)
With well over a decade of experience, British leftfield electronic producer Dave Tipper has been working on this self-released project for four years, and it's turned out well - with some exemplary tracks on offer.

The openers set the scene - with ethnic strings galore over some trip hop beats in 'Big Question' and then some quirky, dreamier layers in 'Cuckoo'. After some more conventionally electronic leanings in 'Neuron Huskie', things get even more trippy dippy with 'Tit For Tat' and 'Hourglass'.

What are probably the best bits follow, 'Brocken Spectre' uses tabla over chilled out deep house keys, 'Dead Soon' is some quality ambient and is the highlight, while the well crafted 'Cinder Cone' is a foray into more moodier pastures.

There are a couple of weaker numbers - 'Reality Harshness Defender' is a bit lack lustre and 'Royal Dragons' is too stripped down - but the final track, 'Ever Decreasing Circles' more than makes up for it. It uses a hang, a flying saucer shaped percussion instrument which sounds akin to a steel pan drum, but is far more portable. The hang's melodic beats are backed with a lush uplifting backdrop which leaves you with a distinct warm feeling.

All in all, a decent downtempo album from Tipper. Let's hope we don't have to wait as long for a follow-up. PV

Physical release: 14 Feb

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The UnConvention guys are staging another one of their UnConvention Factory events, this time in London, on 26 Feb, in which an impressive bunch of artists, producers and music industry types will collaborate to make and release an entire album from scratch in ten hours. The album will be based on The Clash's seminal long player 'London Calling'.

Organisers say the aim of the event is to "demystify the music industry, laying bare the processes involved, and allowing participants a unique insight into what often seems a rather impenetrable business, with a view to inspiring all involved to pursue their own creative endeavours".

Alongside all the music making, which will take place at The Roundhouse, will be a number of panels, workshops and showcases. Among those due to take part are Jagz Kooner, Jon McClure, John Robb, Scott Cohan, Ian Johnson (Enter Shikari), Viv Albertine (ex The Slits), Charli XCX and reps from MusicGlue, Domino Records, Green Man, The Guardian, 6music, Lee Fest, Eden Sessions, Buzzin Fly Records and Strummerville.

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I know Americans have a bit of a reputation for being overweight, but that doesn't mean they want to be reminded of that as they tuck into some unhealthy food. Well, not in Chicago, anyway. The Fatburger restaurant in the city's Orland Park area has closed after a review of its "financial viability" found it had none. This is music news because this particular franchise was operated by a company called Kanye West Foods, LLC.

Marketing Co-ordinator, Maria Brooks, said in a statement, "From time to time, Fatburger Corporation and our franchisees routinely review the performance of each of our stores, and make business decisions regarding their continued financial viability. It's unfortunate that the Orland Park location owned by Kanye West Foods, LLC has closed, but we hope to have a presence in the Orland Park community at some time in the future".

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It's all go at the BBC's pop music radio stations this week, the Corporation has just announced changes to it presenter positions on Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6music which will come into effect in the spring.

Jo Whiley has finally outgrown Radio 1 after seventeen years and will be shunted off the Radio 2, Huw Stephens will take over her weekend slot on Radio 1 and in turn Matt Edmondson will take over his Wednesday evening show.

Meanwhile, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie will see their Radio 2 evening show shift over to 6music at lunchtime, though both will also launch new solo shows on Radio 2. Nemone, who loses her daily show on 6, will take over the station's weekend breakfast show.

From 4 Apr, Whiley will present a new hour and a half evening show on Radio 2 from 8pm from Monday to Wednesday. The show will see her recommending new music and unearthing tracks rarely heard elsewhere on the station. She will also continue to host the 'In Concert' show on Thursday evenings.

Whiley said of her departure from Radio 1: "I've loved working at Radio 1 for the past seventeen years. It's given me opportunities I could only have dreamt of - Coldplay's first Live Lounge, Arctic Monkeys covering Girls Aloud's 'Love Machine', Jay-Z performing live in my own lounge - I've even measured the distance between Bono's nipples live on air... don't ask. As well as supporting my love of music, Radio 1 have also supported and accommodated me bringing three further children into the world, something, as a woman, I will always be grateful for".

Huw Stephens said of his new position on Radio 1: "I love presenting on Radio 1 and can't wait to present my own weekend show. Taking over from Jo Whiley is a real honour. She's a brilliant broadcaster and an inspiration and I hope to continue with Jo's enthusiasm and love for music on the show. My current shows give me the chance to dig deep and champion exciting emerging music, so I look forward to adding new sounds to weekend afternoons".

On the same day Whiley joins Radio 2, 'The Radcliffe And Maconie Show', which has graced the evening schedule on Radio 2, will move to the 1-4pm slot on 6music. Stuart Maconie will continue to present 'Freak Zone' on 6, which is good news. Both will also remain on Radio 2 as solo presenters, with Mark Radcliffe launching a new late night show on Tuesday evenings from 11pm to midnight, and Maconie broadcasting a series of documentaries in 2012.

Radcliffe said of the move to 6music: "Moving to 6music is a wonderful opportunity for Stuart and I to be part of the digital radio revolution and also the establishment of MediaCityUK in Salford. We feel like we have signed up to the future in a big way. The music policy of 6 is right up our street with its blend of heritage tracks and emerging new talent".

Maconie added: "6music provides a priceless service to its legions of fans and I'm happy to be joining the merry bandwagon of joy. The usual inane banter will remain, the only difference will be the hour - let there be light!"

I think that's everything.

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Bauer Media has announced it will revamp the websites of all of its 42 radio stations, with Manchester's Key 103 and Glasgow's Clyde 1 the first to be upgraded. The new look sites will have stronger editorial content and "scalable opportunities for commercial partners", whatever that means.

Bauer Radio London's Head Of Digital Bruce Mitchell says: "According to Nielson UKOM, a Bauer Radio user views more pages, more times in a month and spends longer on our websites than most other commercial radio sites, and our objective is to drive this reach higher through content that connects with audiences across the country".

Bauer Radio Development Director Iain Clasper adds: "Online audiences are vital to Bauer's continued growth and our new sites will allow us to take another major step in connecting audiences with compelling and bespoke content which reflects our on air commitment. It also ensures flexibility for our commercial partners who can now work with us by station, region, or across the entire portfolio easily".

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Adele has spoken about the true measure of celebrity; the lengths eBayer sellers will go to in order to get your autograph and photograph your pets.

Speaking to The Sun, the singer said: "The other day I was up north and there were these - well, I don't think they were fans actually, they were like eBayers. I'd be at the venue, they'd be there. I'd leave the venue and they'd be there. Then they started taking pictures of my dog doing a shit and stuff like that. It was really weird. I was on my own taking Louis out for a walk. One of them just got in the lift with me and I got really panicky. Luckily there was a cleaner on the floor I was on".

She added: "I was just thinking - imagine being someone like Cheryl Cole or Katy Perry or Gaga, where you've got to be conniving to have a normal day. That scares the life out of me. I don't think I'd be able to carry on doing music if it got to that point. I don't think it ever will - I don't think I'm the kind of artist where that will happen".

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Olly Murs has revealed that his music is inspired by the 'Lilt Man' advert from the 80s. Seriously, that's what he said.

Murs told The Sun: "When you hear the Lilt ads in winter you want to go away. Reggae is the summer sound. I wanted that warm feel on the album".

And if the line, "Here come the Lilt man, Liiiiiiiilt" isn't circling around in your head already, this sentence should sort that right out for you.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Richard Keys
Equal Opps Manager

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