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Jobs & Training Courses
CMU Info
Top Stories
Converse to sponsor 100 Club
In The Pop Courts
Fashion photographer sues over Rihanna video
In The Pop Hospital
Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman too ill to tour
Jazz man George Shearing dies
Reunions & Splits
Steps reform for telly show
In The Studio
Tim Wheeler to appear on new Coldplay album
Release News
Rolo Tomassi announce anthology tracklist
Films & Shows News
Director reportedly in place for Milli Vanilli biopic
Gigs & Tours News
Bright Eyes announce more UK shows
Lia Ices announces live dates
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Breakage feat Jess Mills - Fighting Fire (Digital Soundboy)
The Music Business
Is Gatfield's appointment to allow Doherty to concentrate on Syco?
Warner/Chappell appoints new UK A&R chief
The Digital Business
Universal UK chief: Streaming is the future
Lots of Apple music speculation
The Media Business
Rob da Bank launches new indie chart podcast
Sky's Songbook returns
Channel 4 announces Abbey Road debuts
And finally...
Aguilera's divorce coming soon to a court near you

Since their formation in early 2010, modern grungy types Yuck's rise to prominence has been swift and steady, bolstered by the avid support of a staunch fanbase, and their inclusion on the BBC's Sound of 2011 list. The band is comprised of frontman Daniel Blumberg and bassist-turned-guitarist Max Bloom (both ex-Cajun Dance Party members), with Mariko Doi and Jonny Rogoff on bass and drums respectively. Having established themselves with winsome debut track, the Transparent-released 'Georgia', Yuck turned to the Mirror Universe Tapes label for the issue of pared-down EP 'Weakend', before signing with Fat Possum/Pharmacy for expansive second single 'Rubber'.

Ahead of the release of their eponymous LP on 21 Feb, along with new single 'Holing Out' on the same day, and a headline UK tour which kicks off on Thursday (17 Feb) in Southampton, we approached Yuck guitarist Max to proffer that Same Six line of questioning.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

Daniel and I have known each other since we were quite young, maybe six or something. We have always shared music with each other, but only started writing songs together recently. Daniel met Jonny in Israel on a kibbutz, and we met Mariko in London.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

I'm not sure, really! It's a collection of songs that were written over a period of time rather than an album as a full concept, so the inspiration might be quite varied throughout.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

Usually I start by writing/recording an instrumental and then Daniel will write vocals and lyrics, but it's not consistent. Sometimes Daniel may have a guitar riff, or sometimes I may have a vocal melody.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Lots of artists, it changes on a daily basis! I guess we're all influenced by quite melodic music, whether that's Teenage Fanclub, East River Pipe, Silver Jews, Grandaddy, etc.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Turn it up as loud as possible, then shut your bedroom door. Then press play!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

We want to play in as many places as possible, and make as many albums as possible.

MORE>> yuckband.blogspot.com
We featured the original version of this track, then given its full title 'Meatman, Piano Tuner, Prostitute', in the CMU Approved column way back in October last year. It is taken from Vessels' stunning second album, 'Helioscope', which is due out on Cuckundoo on 21 Mar. Featuring vocals from Jacob's Stories' Stuart Warwick, the album version remains (until it's final explosion of noise) a very understated track, complementing Warwick's fragile voice.

Placed in the hands of Rolo Tomassi guitarist Joe Nicolson it follows a similar structure, though rather than the gentle swell of guitars, he sets synths gently pulsing and glitchy drums skipping underneath the vocals. The track can be downloaded for free from SoundCloud now, and will also appear on a bonus disc given away with the album for free in independent record shops, which will feature more remixes from the likes of Oceansize, The Octopus Project, worriedaboutsatan, and members of Vessels themselves.

And while we're on the subject of Vessels, be sure to catch them live on their UK tour, which starts on 20 Feb.


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London's iconic 100 Club venue has been saved after management there signed a sponsorship deal with footwear makers Converse. It was first announced that a brand had come on board to help rescue the central London gig venue at the end of last year, though the exact company was only revealed to Xfm yesterday.

As previously reported, the Oxford Street venue was facing closure as running costs spiralled out of control. The club, which has occupied its current site in various forms since 1942, is noted for putting on early gigs by bands who have gone on to fame and fortune, and was a focus of the late seventies punk scene. But in recent years it has reportedly seen rents rise to more than £13,800 per month, with another £4000 needed every month for business rates. In December last year, Paul MacCartney played a gig at the venue to help the campaign to save it.

The venue's owner Jeff Horton told Xfm that Converse isn't looking for headline sponsorship (so there'll be no name change), but just "wanted to give us a hand".

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Converse said: "We at Converse are very excited about our new partnership with the legendary 100 Club in London. Converse's commitment to being a catalyst for creativity is at the heart of the brand and we are dedicated to championing and supporting artists, fans, the music scene, venues and the experience. Converse and the 100 Club both share a love for music and this partnership is a great opportunity to reunite the 100 Club with a generation who experienced history inside its walls, as well as introduce it to a new generation with a vow to bring the best in music to its legendary stage".

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Fashion photographer David LaChapelle has launched legal action against Rihanna and her people over allegations the risqué video to her track 'S&M' was "directly derived" from a photo shoot he did for Vogue back in 2002.

Numerous media and bloggers noted the similarities between the Melina Matsoukas directed pop promo and the LaChapelle photo shoot when Rihanna's video first hit the net, with even Perez Hilton, who makes a guest appearance in the vid, tweeting: "The next time you make a David LaChapelle music video you should probably hire David LaChapelle".

Some sources have since claimed that Matsoukas had prints from the LaChapelle shoot on set while recording the video. Meanwhile, LaChapelle's people seemingly first became aware of the Rihanna video when people called his studio to ask if they had been involved in its creation.

The lawsuit, which was made public yesterday, says that "the music video is directly derived from and substantially similar to the LaChapelle works" and that it copies the photographer's "composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting".

The photo man is seeking unspecified damages. Meanwhile, if you want to compare and contrast Rihanna's video, which has been banned in eleven countries, with LaChapelle's raunchy photoshoot, well, where better to head than the Daily Mail website?

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Jeff Hanneman, guitarist with metallers Slayer, has had to step down from the band's upcoming tour because he is suffering from a nasty bacterial virus called necrotising fasciitis which attacks skin, fat and body tissue. According to reports, Hanneman fell ill after being bitten by a spider, and he is due to undergo surgery on his right arm in a bid to fight the disease.

Meanwhile, his bandmates have decided to plough ahead with their tour commitments using a guest guitarist, seemingly eager to not have to cancel yet more dates, having postponed a number of tours in the last eighteen months because of frontman Tom Araya's ill health.

Confirming Henneman was ill, Araya told Antimusic.com this week: "Jeff is our brother, we've all been friends and together as a band for almost 30 years. We just want him to recover as soon as possible".

Meanwhile Henneman's fellow guitarist in Slayer, Kerry King, commented on the decision to go ahead with their tour, saying: "After everything that's happened we all agreed that we just can't let our fans down again. Jeff is totally on board with the decision, so we will tour as planned. We can't pinpoint what day he'll be back, but it will be as soon as he possibly can. We can't wait for him to get better and get his ass back on the road".

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Anglo-American jazz pianist George Shearing has died in New York, aged 91.

Born in London, Shearing was blind from birth. He started playing the piano aged three, and subsequently received formal training at the Linden Lodge School for the blind. Despite being offered scholarships to continue his music education, Shearing opted to take a paid role playing piano and accordion on a regular basis at a Lambeth pub. From there he became part of the London jazz scene, playing with various London jazz bands, performing on the BBC, and winning Melody Maker awards for seven years running.

In 1947, he moved to the US where he recorded for MGM, the film studio's spin-off label releasing one of his most famous singles, 'September In The Rain'. He formed the George Shearing Quintet in 1949, and subsequently worked with numerous other musicians and labels, including Capitol, while also briefly running his own music company in the early seventies. After disbanding the Quintet in 1978 he recorded as a trio, duo and solo, working with the likes of the Montgomery Brothers, Marian McPartland, Brian Q Torff, Jim Hall, Hank Jones, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, and Nancy Wilson, while in the 1980s and 1990s he worked most frequently with jazz singer Mel Torme.

Renowed for his unusual "locked hands" method of playing the piano, over his career he played for three US presidents and the Queen, being knighted in 2007. He performed well into his eighties, though a fall in 2004 slowed him down.

Shearing is survived by his wife Ellie.

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Steps are going to reform, because that's clearly what the world needs just right now. Though before you get too excited, they are only reforming, initially at least, for a three-part TV show due to air on what we now must call Sky Living.

The telly show will look back to those happy, happy days when any old shit could sell fifteen million records. There is, however, talk of a one off charity reunion gig.

Of course, since the Pete Waterman-created covers band sensation split in 2001 all five members of the group have continued to, erm, well, continued. I mean, they're not dead, are they? Well, unless I missed some really big news story and this Sky show is another one of those live pop séances.

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According to The Sun, Ash frontman Tim Wheeler has recorded some vocals for Coldplay's new album, which is due out later this year.

An unnamed source told the paper: "Chris has always had a soft spot for Ash. They were quite close in the early days and have shared a number of bills over the years. He admires Tim as a songwriter, especially his brilliant way with melodies, so he didn't think twice about asking him to get involved".

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Progressive hardcore kids Rolo Tomassi are to embark on a string of UK dates starting on 5 May in Birmingham, thereby celebrating the release of 'Eternal Youth' on 18 Apr through the band's own label Destination. The album will take the form of a 36 track anthology of rare recordings and other exclusive material, largely previously unheard by all but the hardest of their core fanbase.

Disc one:
Mount Celestia
The Golden Ghost
Jealous Bones
Apocalypso 2009
Digital History
Film Noir
Cirque Du Funk
...And Then The Mannequin Spoke
C Is For Calculus
Fuck The Pleasantries Lets Rock
Rock The Pleasantries Lets Fuck
Codes Within Codes
From Ambience To Ambulance
Hiroshima 8.16am
A Cosmic Accident

Disc two:
Breathing Through A City...
The Tentatively Titled 'Film Noir'
...And Then The Mannequin Spoke
Headclouds/Reign Of Low (Throats cover)
Oh, Hello Ghost (Acoustic)
Nine (Acoustic)
Abraxas (Cereal Remix)
I Love Turbulence (Three Trapped Tigers Remix)
Fuck The Pleasantries, Lets Remix (:( Remix)
C Is For Drowning Under Waves Of Listless Apathy (Ornine Remix)
Beatrotter (Please Will Remix)
Tongue In Chic (Team Wolf Remix)
Fofteen (Dolby Anol Gets Dark Remix)
I Love Turbulence (Rich Manu Rework)

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A film based on the rise and rather bumpy fall of lip-syncing pop outfit Milli Vanilli is getting closer to actually being made, according to Allhiphop.com.

The duo, Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan, were the darlings of the eighties pop scene for a brief period, of course, until it was revealed they were miming vocals sung by session singers. With their careers over almost over night Pilatus fell into depression and drug addiction, eventually dying of an overdose in 1998.

There has been talk of a biopic telling the Milli Vanilli story for a while now but, according to Allhiphop, German director Florian Gallenberger has now been signed up to make the movie.

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With new album 'The People's Key' out this week, and a Royal Albert Hall show booked in for June, Bright Eyes have announced more UK gigs for July. The band also played London's Scala last night.

You can download two tracks from 'The People's Key', 'Haile Selassie' and 'Shell Games', for free from www.saddle-creek.com.

Tour dates:

23 Jun: London, Royal Albert Hall (sold out)
8 Jul: Birmingham, Institute
12 Jul: Gateshead, Sage
13 Jul: Leeds, Academy
14 Jul: Manchester, Academy

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US label Jagjaguwar's rising starlet Lia Ices has confirmed that she will appear at a trio of London dates, plus a September appearance at the End Of The Road Festival. This micro-tour comes in the wake of Lia's celestial sophomore album 'Grown Unknown', which came out yesterday.

The tour dates are:

22 Feb: London, XOYO (supporting Glasser)
23 Feb: London, The Windmill
24 Feb: London, Upstairs at The Garage

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2000TREES, Upcote Farm, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 14-16 Jul: Scots indie sorts Frightened Rabbit are newly-confirmed to co-headline the ethical eco-fest with Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip. Also playing the Main Stage will be Islet, Ellen & The Escapades and Straight Lines, whilst the Cave Stage will showcase a rather raucous rundown of acts including Devil Sold His Soul, Talons, Exit Ten and The James Cleaver Quintet. Meanwhile, Dizraeli & The Small Gods, Stringerbessant, Sound Of Rum and Stagecoach will soothe battered eardrums, playing away quietly on the Leaf Stage. www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk

ØYA, Middelalderparken, Oslo, Norway, 9-13 Aug: Besuited CMU favourite Janelle Monáe is to wow crowds at this year's Øya, whilst neighbouring alt siren Lykke Li will venture from her native Sweden to play her only Norwegian date this year. Local acts Hakan Hellstrom and Tog weigh in with the likes of Warpaint, Pulp, Fleet Foxes et al. www.oyafestivalen.com/pages/eng/

POHODA, Airport Trencin, Slovakia, 7-9 Jul: Ambient chillmaster Moby has just been added to the bill of this Slovakian two dayer, which was already set to play host to acts including Portishead, Junip, Beirut, We Have Band, and many more. www.pohodafestival.sk

SONISPHERE, Knebworth Park, 8-10 Aug: Limp Bizkit have announced that they'll make their only English festival appearance of 2011 at this year's Sonisphere (which does suggest they'll be playing something elsewhere in the UK, too), while Sisters Of Mercy will play their first UK festival for 20 years. Also newly added to the bill are Gallows, Kids In Glass Houses, One Minute Silence, Gojira, Volbeat and InMe. www.sonispherefestivals.com

SOUTH WEST FOUR, Clapham Common, London 27-28 Aug: Aussie D&B wizards Pendulum are scheduled to appear at the capital's foremost celebration of electro and dance music, closing the festival with a Saturday bill-topping slot. More headline acts are to be revealed throughout the coming week, so in the unlikely event that you're not a Pendulum fan, stay tuned. www.southwestfour.com

Y-NOT, Matlock, Derbyshire, 5-8 Aug: First-announced headliners Maximo Park will be bringing their own brand of wonky Tyne and Wear rock to the sixth annual edition of Y-Not, which is the sister event of 2000Trees. Crowds can also expect performances from The Milk, Tellison, Karima Francis and Stagecoach, as well as such worldly activities as yoga, African dancing and dodgems. www.ynotfestivals.co.uk

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SINGLE REVIEW: Breakage feat Jess Mills - Fighting Fire (Digital Soundboy)
'Foundation', last year's album from Breakage, aka James Boyle, really showed promise in the drum and bass, so if you played me this track cold and told me it was from the same producer, I'd think you were pulling my lower limb. But you wouldn't be.

'Fighting Fire' is little bit prog house and very trancey. There's a few flecks of dubstep in there - but only a trace. So it's a radical departure from 'Foundation'. Why he's gone this route I don't know, though it's possible he wants to crack the charts by any means necessary. The cinematic vocal from Jess Mills is well delivered, but very generic for this type of track.

The Loadstar remix sounds much more like what I was expecting - a long intro, then into a proper drum and bass backdrop, with a touch of the Hoover bassline in there too. Meawnhile, the Foamo remix builds well, and takes it proper dubstep. It's these remixes that'll make it to my iPod, while the original will be discarded and (hopefully) forgotten. PV

Physical release: 28 Feb

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So, this is interesting. Media news website Beehive City reckons that yesterday's news that former EMI A&R boss man Nick Gatfield is to become President of Sony Music UK's 'music division', is linked to the news late last year that Sony's Syco division had lost its CEO Ellis Watson.

As previously reported, former Celedor TV exec Watson was brought in to oversee the Syco business after Simon Cowell's music and media venture was restructured and expanded after his new deal with Sony early last year. But Watson's tenure was short lived, him stepping down last December, officially because he wanted to spend more time with his family in Scotland.

Watson wasn't replaced, but it is known that Cowell himself wants a CEO type exec overseeing the expansion of his business as he focuses his attentions on the launch of 'X-Factor USA'. And Beehive City reckon that Sony Music UK's CEO, Ged Doherty, will now basically take on that role.

Which is why Gatfield has been appointed to take on a big chunk of Doherty's day-to-day work with regards the other Sony labels, in particular RCA, Columbia and Epic. Which would explain why Sony has decided to introduce a new level of management into its UK business when most labels are trying to reduce the amount of executive structure.

This is, however, mere speculation. Which we should probably add here. Right at the end of the story when most people have probably stopped reading.

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The UK division of Warner Music's publishing company Warner/Chappell yesterday announced it had promoted its Creative Director Mike Sault to the new role of Director Of A&R. He will report to Warner/Chappell UK MD Richard Manners.

Says Manners: "The creation of this new role is an important step towards more closely co-ordinating our strategic approach across Warner/Chappell UK's entire range of repertoire. In his time with us, Mike has consistently demonstrated his exceptional ability to recognise talent and, just as importantly, bring it to prominence. Now more than ever, the kind of creative vision that Mike can bring to bear will open up new avenues for our catalogue and ensure that it remains dynamic and relevant in today's market. I look forward to working toward those goals with Mike and congratulate him on a very well-deserved promotion".

Sault added: "I'm delighted to be stepping into this role at such an exciting time and continuing to work with Richard and the rest of the exceptional team here during the next phase of Warner/Chappell UK's development. We are all extremely ambitious for our writers and their music and committed to the kind of innovative approach that will help realise the true potential of the Warner/Chappell catalogue past, present and future".

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Universal Music UK's top dude, that's David Joseph for those not paying attention, says he remains optimistic about the future of the music business, and that it will be the musical stream from the cloud in the sky that will turn things round. Man.

Joseph was talking to The Guardian about the state of the music industry ahead of tonight's big BRITs bash over there under the Greenwich dome. As previously reported, the Universal UK chief is now heading up the BRITs committee, and has played a key role in the relaunch of the awards show and its move east to The O2 complex.

Noting that Joseph had recently admitted that the UK record industry had not been as successful as it would like in breaking new acts in 2010, the paper asked the Universal chief whether there was reason to be upbeat about the future of his industry.

Joseph: "It's a fall we expected since the retail market was seriously in decline. I think a streaming and subscription model is going to be our future. Streams of music are eclipsing everything. It's a different digital currency to downloading. You're dealing there with 175 million single tracks bought a year compared to seven billion streams of music. The revenues are significantly growing and I fundamentally believe that streaming and subscription models with unlimited access on all devices are the future of our business. But will people still listen to albums, or just single tracks, or send playlists to their friends? Answer: all of the above".

Of course, Joseph's words echo those of Edgar Bronfman Jr, top man at Warner Music, who last week told his investors something similar. Though, as we know, while streaming music may be the future, that part of the digital music market is still far from stable. Asked about what the closure last week of one such streaming service - the short lived Sky Songs platform from BSkyB - meant for his theory, Joseph added that digital music offers needed to engage music fans to be successful. He continued: "For music services to succeed they have to understand the fan and how artists work, and they need to be well marketed with, in the case of this model, integrated billing".

And perhaps most interestingly, while Sky had presumably failed to "understand how the fan and the artist worked", Joseph had some good things to say about their main competitors, Virgin Media. We know Virgin have been trying to get a game changing digital music service off the ground for some time now, with Universal working hand in hand with the internet company. Though their proposals to date have not gone down so well with the other record companies.

But Virgin could still shake things up, Joseph says. He told The Guardian: "We have concluded a deal with Virgin on a thought-leading new service. It's an exciting proposition and I understand they are currently seeking agreement from the other labels. [Virgin Media CEO] Neil Berkett has led the ISPs in this area".

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So, how about some speculation about a new music service from Apple? And how about we speculate that rather than entering the Spotify market with an iTunes streaming platform, Apple might jump on the same bandwagon as Google and go the only slightly controversial digital locker route.

Well, boys and girls, you're in luck. Because according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is planning a revamp of its MobileMe online storage services, which will more overtly promote its music storage facility and possibly allow for streaming whole playlists, rather than single tracks. Woo, now there's a thing. The new mobile locker service might launch in conjunction with a new smaller, cheaper iPhone which Bloomberg reckons is in development.

So there you go. Have that idle Apple speculation on us. Oh, and you know how Sony Music is going to pull it's music from iTunes? No, you hadn't heard that? Well, don't worry, that bold rumour that was circulating online yesterday seems to be based on a misunderstanding of something said by the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, Michal Ephraim.

He told someone or other that if streaming services, such as Sony's own Qriocity whatnot, were to gain real traction, then the music industry would become less reliant on iTunes, and that would be a good thing, because Apple are shits. Well, I'm paraphrasing a little, but that's what he meant.

But, as PC World magazine points out, he admitted that it will take at least three to five years for any streaming services to grow to an extent where they are really competing with iTunes and that, until then, the labels will have to continue to work with Apple. Which is a long way for the "Sony to pull music from iTunes" line that has been spun in some quarters from Ephraim's quotes. So consider that resolved.

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Rob da Bank will front a new monthly music podcast, which launches today, based around the Official Independent Charts. Each edition will also feature interviews with indie label artists and execs, plus live performances and other what not fun. The first edition features Mute chief Daniel Miller, beatboxer chap Beardyman and a live acoustic performance by Connan Mockasin. The podcast will be available via www.theofficialindependentcharts.com and will also be promoted by The Guardian.

Robbie told CMU: "Looking back over the last thirty years of the independent chart makes me very nearly weep with how much good music I've lived through. And the most fantastic part is that it's still going, we've all just forgotten it's there, so I'm very proud to be drawing attention back to what I've always passionately believed in - independent music made by independent musicians for an independent label! Long live the independent chart!"

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Sky Arts' music series Songbook will return for its fourth series next month including two episodes in 3D, which is possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. The show, of course, celebrates songwriting talent, and this series will feature Dave Stewart, Don McLean, Leiber & Stoller, Diane Warren, Kasabian and KT Tunstall.

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Following on from its 'Live At Abbey Road' show, Channel 4 has announced that it will launch a spin-off, 'Abbey Road Debuts' in April. The fifteen minute show, presented by 6music's Tom Ravenscroft, will air weekly for twelve weeks from 4 Apr and feature studio performances from Mount Kimbie, Crystal Fighters, Trophy Wife, James Blake, Lower Dens, Treefight For Sunlight and Dark Dark Dark. All of whom, presumably, will be playing at the Abbey Road Studios for the first time.

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Christina Aguilera's marriage to music exec Jordan Bratman will officially become a former marriage on 15 Apr. So, put that date in your diaries, folks. The pair split in October after five years of marriage, then earlier this month Aguilera got a line in a song wrong. Coincidence? I think we all know the answer to that.

The announcement of the finalisation date of the divorce comes after the couple reached an agreement over custody of their son, Max. According to TMZ, Aguilera will also get to keep their mansion in California all for herself, which is nice. Bratman had been living there since the split but apparently moved out last week.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Lady Gaga
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