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CMU Info
Top Stories
Grooveshark exec denies the streaming music service is illegal
In The Pop Courts
Vandals bassist come lawyer gets Variety trademark dispute moved closer to home
Awards & Contests

Ivor Novello Awards nominations announced

Music Week Awards nominations announced
Release News

Gorillaz release remix app for iPad

William Elliott Whitmore announces new album
The Agitator announces new EP
Gigs & Tours News

Public Enemy to perform Fear Of A Black Planet in full

The Leisure Society to perform
Oh Land announces album, single and gigs
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: Instra:mental - Resolution 653 (Non Plus)
The Music Business
Ticketmaster to offer dynamic pricing functionality
Warner Music buys Vivo
The Digital Business
HP developing music service
The Media Business
ITV confirms no Cowell for X-UK
And finally...
Blue belated hit back at Phillip Schofield
Kings Of Leon accept Glee creator's apology

Offbeat Brit MC Ghostpoet, also known as Obaro Ejimiwe, made his debut with his 'The Sound Of Strangers' EP last year. A single, 'Cash & Carry Me Home', made more waves earlier this year, and was followed by his first long player 'Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy' soon after by way of Radio 1 tastemaker Gilles Peterson's imprint Brownswood Recordings.

The album was much-lauded for its easy, inventive incorporation of quite disparate musical flavours and influences, tying together Obaro's roots in a grime collective with elements of trip hop and dubstep. Second single 'Survive It', a trudge through the regrets and realities of everyday life with a chorus lifted by Fabiana Palladino's hypnotic vocal touch, is due out on 9 May.

Having been handpicked by Metronomy as the main support act for their UK tour, Ghostpoet will be appearing live tonight at Digital in Brighton. Ahead of this, we caught up with the busy MC by bursting in on his pre-show warm-up brandishing a sheaf of our pesky Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I started during my university years, experimenting with Reason, messing with grime...

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

Life, a life long feeling that music is my calling, emotion, the up and down roller coaster of the everyday.

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

A skeleton of a beat first, then a lyric or two, then a little more beat to wove around my infant words until there's some sort of conclusion.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

I wouldn't really say any particular artists influence my work but there's quite a few I admire such as Badly Drawn Boy, Fela Kuti, Squarepusher, The Horrors, Roots Manuva and Patti Smith to name but a few.

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

Expect the unexpected... then expect some more.

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

For as many people to listen to it around the world as possible. I know that's a little hippy, but that's me! I guess for the future I just want to keep being creative and keep my music true to me, nothing more nothing less.

MORE>> www.ghostpoet.co.uk


Every day in CMU this month we are previewing a different session taking place at this year's CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which takes place from 12-14 May at the Brighton Dome.

Today, something a little bit different - let's talk about the formal networking sessions taking place this year. Doing the networking thing is core to TGE, and we will be offering you more chances than ever to meet, talk and share with other industry players this year, whether you are looking to buy, sell, expand, invest, learn or mentor.

There are plenty of chances to network during the three days. Registered delegates will have access to a directory of all the other delegates looking to network, and you can choose to meet at one of our parties, at anytime during the day in the convention hub or on Saturday book a table in the Great Escape Exchange. If you opt in, we can also arrange meetings for you on the Thursday afternoon. Registered delegates will get more info about all of this very soon.

In addition to all that, AIM and UKTI will be hosting their own speed networking sessions under the Around The World In 80 Ways banner, plus Canadian Blast will give you the chance to network with leading figures from Canada's independent music community on the Friday morning. For more details about these sessions, and signing up for them, click here.

To gain access to all the unrivalled networking opportunities available at TGE this year, not to mention the panels and gigs, you need to get yourself a delegates pass. Do it now at escapegreat.com

IHOUSEU.COM - We do email marketing better than anyone else!

IHOUSEU.COM is the UK's market leading music email marketing company. With over a 155,000 members and regular clients including Ministry of Sound, Gatecrasher, Fabric London, Warner Music and EMI to name just a few - why let anyone else manage your online campaign?

We have over 10 years experience in running successful online marketing campaigns and can help you promote your dance music releases or events for as little as £75.

For more information request a media pack from IHOUSEU by emailing [email protected] or calling +44 (0)8453 888 903. Visit www.ihouseu.com

Absolute Marketing and Distribution, one of the oldest established label services business within the music industry, is expanding. We require a digital manager to oversee our overall digital and on-line offer. The ideal client will be a self motivated person with the ability to work under pressure and will have a keen eye for detail.

Working in an open plan environment the position covers all aspects of digital and mobile retail, marketing and administration. The role will include the creation and delivery of meta data and all related information; managing and developing relationships with all major on-line retail sites; liaising with aggregators and direct deal retailers; overseeing and managing the company website; liaising with internal marketing and label managers; liaising directly with label clients; and creating and developing new business opportunities.

Please forward via email, a covering letter with CV and details of current package to [email protected]. Location: SW London. Closing date: 21st April 2011
We're looking for a young, creative social media expert who loves tweeting, is fixated by Facebook and knows their Instagram from their Storify. Supporting our Digital PR team you'll help create content for social media platforms for clients and live events and write for our blog. Please email [email protected] with your CV and your hottest tip for the 'next big thing' in social media. The position would suit a student or a recent graduate looking for work experience in the music industry and would be based at our offices in Queens Park 5 days per week.

"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 build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 20 Apr 2011

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 4 May 2011

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

Often controversial US-based streaming music service Grooveshark has shared an open letter with Digital Music News refuting claims by some in the music business that its service is "illegal". Such claims were made more publicly than usual earlier this month when the digital firm's smartphone app was taken off Google's Android Market platform, seemingly at the record industry's request.

Grooveshark has ruffled feathers in the music business over recent years for two reasons.

First, some label execs don't like the way the service's catalogue was put together, basically in the early days the platform's users all uploaded their MP3 collections. On some levels this is very clever, it puts the onus of digitising less mainstream catalogue onto the users rather than the content owners, and, as a streaming service with file-sharing elements, is potentially a way to monetise the file-sharing phenomenon. But it does mean large parts of its catalogue came from unofficial sources.

Second, many labels claim Grooveshark is now streaming their music without a licence. EMI was first to sue over this, though the major label subsequently settled and entered into a licensing deal with the digital company. Universal Music is the major now engaged in litigation with the Groovesharkers, and seems much less keen to reach an amicable agreement.

But Grooveshark says that, while it's true there is unlicensed music on its system, the company is operating within the rules set out in America's Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and that it fulfils what is required for its service to be protected by that Act's safe harbour provisions, in particular operating a takedown system allowing content owners to order unlicensed tracks be removed.

The labels' lawyers would disagree with that interpretation of current US copyright law, and might also point out that even if Grooveshark is protected by the DMCA in its home country, those safe harbour provisions do not apply in Europe, where Grooveshark is also accessible.

It is presumably these sorts of arguments that the major labels gave to both Apple and Google when they pressured the digital media giants to take the Grooveshark app off their respective app stores. But, says Grooveshark's Executive Vice President of Strategic Development Paul Geller, those arguments are flawed.

In the letter shared with DMN, Geller says: "Google hasn't specified what it was in their 'Terms Of Service' that we allegedly violated [so that our app was removed from the Android store], but there does appear to be some confusion about whether Grooveshark is a legal service. So let's set the record straight: there is nothing illegal about what Grooveshark offers to consumers".

Justifying that claim, he continues: "First, there is a distinction between legal and licensed. Laws come from Congress. Licences come from businesses. Grooveshark is completely legal because we comply with the laws passed by Congress, but we are not licensed by every label (yet). We are a technology company, and we operate within the boundaries of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. Some would have you believe that those of us who use the DMCA to innovate are inherently infringers and that claiming safe harbor under the DMCA is as good as admitting guilt. Not so".

Expanding on what the DMCA's safe harbor is all about, he says: "The DMCA's safe harbor component encourages technology companies to innovate in hopes that they will eventually solve some of the problems that are plaguing content producers today. The safe harbor provision reads like it was written specifically for YouTube and Grooveshark, and its necessity continues to be illustrated every day. If it weren't for this notion, many of the products and services that are now taking a bite out of piracy would never have been born".

But Grooveshark does have licences too, Geller is keen to add: "With that said, Grooveshark doesn't just rely on the protection of the law. We have worldwide licensing from over a thousand labels - large and small. We pay the three major US performing rights organisations, as well as some international bodies, and are actively pursuing agreements with those that we don't. [Meanwhile] we've taken down over 1.76 million files [where we do not have a licence] and suspended upload privileges to 22,274 users. These are not the characteristics of a company 'dedicated to copyright infringement'".

He concludes: "In light of the recent misleading press concerning Grooveshark's application, it is important to make clear that we will defend our service, and the letter and the spirit of the law, in court and in Congress".

You can read the full letter on the DMN site here:

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Hollywood trade mag Variety has failed to stop a trademark dispute from moving to the Californian courts, despite their efforts to have the case heard in Delaware.

Variety is suing punk band The Vandals over a logo they used on their 2004 album 'Hollywood Potato Chip' which styled the word 'Vandals' so to look like the entertainment industry magazine's logo, which is trademarked. At the time the magazine's publisher reached a settlement with the band who agreed not to use the spoof logo ever again. But last year it appeared on both the Vandals website, and the website of their label Kung Fu Records.

Variety exercised a clause in the 2004 agreement that said that if the band were ever found to be in breach they would pay the magazine $50,000 plus legal fees. But the band say they didn't personally put the logo online last year, so are not in breach of their agreement.

This case is all the more interesting because the band's bassist, Joe Escalante, is also a lawyer and presents a radio programme about entertainment law, so he is representing the outfit in the dispute. It was he who asked the case be moved to the Californian courts - despite the original agreement naming Delaware as the jurisdiction of choice - because it's more convenient for him.

Variety did not want the move, but the Delaware courts this week agreed it would make more sense to move the case to California where the majority of documents and witnesses relating to the case are based.

Escalante has since posted on the Vandals website criticising Variety's lawyers for pursuing this case at all, and seemingly dissing the magazine for ever complaining about his band's spoofing of their logo which, he reckons, would have been protected by first amendment free speech rights had the magazine's original legal complaint ever actually reached court.

Variety is yet to respond.

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The nominations for this year's Ivor Novello Awards for songwriting were announced this morning at The Ivy Club in London. This year's ceremony will take place on 19 May at Grosvenor House in London.

Here are the nominations in full:

Best Song Musically And Lyrically: Villagers - Becoming A Jackal (Conor O'Brien), Everything Everything - MY KZ, UR BF (Jonathan Higgs, Jeremy Pritchard, Alexander Robertshaw, Michael Spearman) Foals - Spanish Sahara (Jack Bevan, Edwin Congreave, Walter Gervers, Yannis Philippakis, James Smith)

Best Contemporary Song: The xx - Islands (Romy Madley Croft, Baria Qureshi, Oliver Sim, James Smith), Katy B - Katy On A Mission (Benga, Katy B, Geeneus), Tinie Tempah - Pass Out (Timothy McKenzie, Patrick Okogwu, Marc Williams)

Album Award: Bombay Bicycle Club - Flaws (Jack Steadman), Everything Everything - Man Alive (Jonathan Higgs, Jeremy Pritchard, Alexander Robertshaw, Michael Spearman), Plan B - The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Benjamin Drew)

PRS For Music Most Performed Work: Kylie Minogue - All The Lovers (Jim Eliot, Mima Stilwell), Plan B - She Said (Eric Appapoulay, Richard Cassell, Benjamin Drew, Tom Wright-Goss), Scouting For Girls - This Ain't A Love Song (Roy Stride)

Best Television Soundtrack: Agatha Christie's Marple, Series V (Dominik Scherrer), Any Human Heart (Dan Jones), Going Postal (John Lunn)

Best Original Film Score: How To Train Your Dragon (John Powell), Monsters (Jon Hopkins), Unstoppable (Harry Gregson-Williams)

Best Original Video Game Score: Enslaved: Odyssey To The West (Nitin Sawhney), James Bond 007: Blood Stone (Richard Jacques), Total War (Richard Beddow, Richard Birdsall, Ian Livingstone)

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Music Week has announced the nominees for this year's Music Week Awards. We thought about doing it, but it only seemed appropriate to let them have first crack. Plus, they had the list and we didn't, which did give them the advantage with regards breaking this story.

Taking the outstanding contribution award this year, or The Strat as they insist on calling it, is PPL chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla. He'll pick up his trophy along with all the other winners at The Roundhouse on 24 May.

Those nominations in full:

Independent Music Retailer: Badlands, Indulge Retail, Rarewaves.com, Resident Music Ltd, Rise Bristol

Music Retail Brand: Amazon, HMV, Parte

PR Campaign of the Year: Richard Dawes from DawBell for Take That - Progress, Janet Choudhury from EMI Records for Tinie Tempah - A Very British Rapper, Davis Paddy from Hall Or Nothing Independent Publicity for Tom Jones - Praise & Blame, Lauren Hales from Mercury Music Group for Rihanna - Loud, Beth Brookfield and Carl Fysh from Purple PR for Hurts - Happiness

Promotion Team of the Year: Atlantic Records, Columbia Records, Mercury Records, Parlophone Records, Virgin Records

Live Music Venue of the Year: Cheese & Grain (Frome), Concorde 2 (Brighton), LG Arena (Birmingham), O2 Academy Leeds, Royal Albert Hall (London)

Live Promotion Team of the Year: AEG Live, Beyond, Live Nation, New Vortex Jazz Club, SJM Concerts

National Station of the Year: 1Xtra, 6 Music, Classic FM, Radio 2, Smooth

Regional Station of the Year: Glide FM, Moray Firth Radio, Radio City, Real Radio, Wave 105

Sales Team of the Year: PIAS UK, Proper Music Distribution, Republic of Music, Sony Music, Warner Music

Distributor of the Year: Arvato UK, Discovery Records Ltd, Plastichead Music Distribution, Proper Music Distribution, Sony DADC

Consumer-Facing Digital Music Service of the Year: Amazon, eMusic, Fairshare Music, PledgeMusic, Songkick, We7

Julie's Bicycle Green Business Award: Firefly Solar CIC, KOKO, The NEC Group, The Premises Studios Ltd, The Sage Gateshead, Truck Enterprises

Independent Artist Marketing Campaign of the Year: Ben Watt from Buzzin' Fly Records/Strange Feeling Records for Tracey Thorn - Love And Its Opposite album, Jason Rackham from Cooperative Music/Kitsune for Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History, Nicola Spokes from Ministry Of Sound Recordings for Example - Won't Go Quietly, Stephen Kersley from Proper Music Distribution for Bellowhead - Hedonism

Artist Marketing Campaign of the Year: Alex Eden-Smith and Jude Stone from Parlophone for Tinie Tempah, Clive Cawley from Vertigo for Arcade Fire - The Suburbs, Emma Powell from Polydor for Take That - Progress, Rob Owen and Dan Duncombe from Parlophone for Gorillaz - Plastic Beach, Shyamala Tharmendiran from Mercury Music Group for Rihanna - Loud

Catalogue Marketing Campaign of the Year: Jo Brooks & Nigel Reeve from EMI for David Bowie Station to Station, Johnny Hudson from Universal Music /UMSM for Paul McCartney & Wings Band On The Run, Peter Loraine from Polydor for ABBA Gold, Shyamala Tharmendiran & Nicola Melly from Mercury Music Group for Bon Jovi - Greatest Hits, Sue Armstrong from Universal for Sandy Denny Box Set

Business to Business Digital Service for the Year: get-ctrl, IMD Fastrax, Mobile Roadie, Omnifone

Music and Brand Partnership of the Year: Alex Lavery, Simon Rose and Charlie Coney from P&S and Golin Harris for Glenfiddich The Sound of Taste, Bob Workman from EMI Music for Gorillaz & Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta - A creative partnership, Danielle Ford from Topman for Topman CTRL, Kirstie Macdonald from Material Marketing + Communications Ltd for T in the Park on behalf of DF Concerts Ltd and Tennent's Lager, Sarah Desmond from Universal Music and Steve Robertson from SEAT UK for On Track with SEAT UK

Music Sync of the Year: Ayla Owen from Black Sheep Music/BBH & Karina Masters from Sony/ATV Music Publishing for Yeo Valley, Gary Welch from Westbury Music Ltd & Pete Raeburn from Soundtree Music for Volkswagen Last Tango in Compton, Nick Oakes from EMI Music Publishing for Kronenbourg 1664 - Slow Campaign, Pip Bishop & Chris Hodgkiss from RKCR/Y&R and Ali Johnson from Warner Music UK for Virgin Atlantic featuring Feeling Good by Muse, Stephen Phillips from Imagem Creative Services for IKEA Kitchen Party

Studio of the Year: Abbey Road, Air, Dean St Studios, Metropolis, Strongroom

Festival of the Year: Bestival and Camp Bestival, Creamfields, Glastonbury, Rock Ness, T in the Park

Music Mobile App of the Year: Exile On Your Street: Rolling Stones (Android and iPhone), Gig Finder (Ovi), iTunes Live (iPhone), Ninja Tune Official (iPhone), The xx (iPhone)

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Radiohead have denied that they're planning to release a sequel album to 'The King Of Limbs', which was released earlier this year. The theory that a second half might be coming was first posited by fans because 'The King Of Limbs' only features eight tracks, the last of which, 'Separator', contains the lyric: "And if you think this is over/Then you're wrong", which was taken by some to mean the song would act as a separator between albums.

But Ed O'Brien told the BBC at the weekend that the band's Record Store Day single, which features two tracks, 'Supercollider' and 'The Butcher', will be the last material to come out of recording sessions for the band's most recent album.

He said: "'The Butcher' is from the 'King Of Limbs' sessions. 'Supercollider' was recorded during that period and finished off after the album came out. There are [other] songs that we have started, that we never finished, but there's not like seven or eight finished songs waiting in the wings to be released now, or in the autumn, or something. When we start a new record, we tend to start afresh. It's kind of an evolutionary thing - only the fittest survive".

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Not content with writing and recording a whole album using an iPad, Gorillaz have released a new iPad app allowing users to remix said album, 'The Fall'.

The app has been created with electronic instrument makers Korg and is a specially customised version of the company's 'virtual analogue beatbox' iELECTRIBE app, the standard version of which was used heavily in making 'The Fall'.

Korg iELECTRIBE Gorillaz Edition is available on the iTunes App Store here: bit.ly/GorillazElectribeApp

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Currently touring the US with Chris Cornell, Americana proponent William Elliott Whitmore has announced that he will release his new album, 'Field Songs', through Anti-Records on 11 Jul.

More info on William at www.williamelliottwhitmore.com

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The Agitator has announced that he is releasing an EP to coincide with his first TV performance. Jools Holland will pop his telly cherry this evening, which means the five track EP, entitled 'Money, Jobs, Religion and Sex', is out now. Hurrah!

More information at www.nowisthetimetoagitate.com

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Yes, if that headline didn't make you jump a little in your seat with excitement, well, I wonder about you. Public Enemy are to perform their classic album, 'Fear Of A Black Planet', in full as part of ATP's ongoing Don't Look Back series.

The show will take place at The Forum in London's Kentish Town on 8 Sep. Tickets are available now from www.atpfestival.com

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Ivor Novello-winning indie band The Leisure Society have announced that they are to play a gig in the London Aquarium next month, before heading out on a touring of boring, normal venues. The show will take place on 2 May to promote the release of new album, 'Into The Murky Water', out on the same day.

Before that, like right now, you can watch the video for first single 'This Phantom Life', which is released on 25 Apr. The video stars the always brilliant Mark Heap being unsurprisingly brilliant, as he attempts to lure the band away from their instruments and into his spiritual retreat: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8HAmWbqgvs

Tour dates:

2 May: London, Rough Trade East
2 May: London Aquarium
3 May: Brighton, Komedia
4 May: Bristol, Thekla
5 May: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
7 May: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
8 May: Glasgow, King Tut's
9 May: Manchester, Band On The Wall
10 May: London, Union Chapel

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At bloody last, Oh Land has announced that she will release her eponymous and excellent second album via Sony/RCA in July. It will be preceded by the not eponymous but still excellent (and long ago CMU approved) single, 'Sun Of A Gun'.

To mark the single's release, she will play two UK shows. You should go to both:

13 May: Brighton, The Great Escape
17 May: London, XOYO

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BESTIVAL, Robin Hill Country Park, Isle Of Wight, 8-11 Sep: The cream of the latest acts to be confirmed for Bestival includes Santigold, Yuck, Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit and Dutch Uncles, with DJ sets also expected from the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs, Busy P and Jaguar Skills. Amongst those previously announced are headliners PJ Harvey and Pendulum, with The Maccabees, Kelis and Fatboy Slim also taking to the stage at the four-day weekender. www.bestival.net

THE BIG CHILL, Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire, 4-7 Aug: Organisers have snagged the unlikely bill-topping pairing of Kanye West and Rodrigo y Gabriela for their three-day musical extravaganza, with closing headliners The Chemical Brothers adding further diversity to the bill. Wild Beasts, Warpaint, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Metronomy will also perform, as will Jessie J, Calvin Harris, Neneh Cherry, and Robert Plant and his Band Of Joy. www.bigchill.net/festival

CAMDEN CRAWL, Various Venues, London, 30 Apr - 1 May: CMU fave Tinchy Stryder is newly-booked to play an intimate show at Camden's Proud Galleries. He joins an ever-expanding list of Crawl-accredited artists like OFWGKTA, Graham Coxon, Simian Mobile Disco, Ghostpoet and, last but most definitely not least, Razorlight. www.thecamdencrawl.com

HEINEKEN OPEN'ER, Gdynia, Poland, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: Nonplussed NY slouch-rockers The Strokes will be staying cool at this year's beer-backed bash, being, as they are, the recently-announced closing attraction for Heineken Open'er. They will be joined by James Blake and Crystal Fighters in rounding off a weekend that features such previous confirmations as MIA, Coldplay, These New Puritans. www.opener.pl/en

HIDEOUT FESTIVAL, Zrce Beach, Pag, Croatia, 1-3 Jul: Ibiza party collective Circo Loco will bring acts including Tania Vulcano, Andrew Grant, Dan Ghenacia and Gauthier DM to the party at this dance-orientated seaside festival. The existing bill boasts Chase & Status, Mount Kimbie and Erol Alkan. www.hideoutfestival.com

LATITUDE, Henham Park Estate, Suffolk, 14-17 Jul: New on the Latitude programme is a DJ set from the friendly face of 'X-Factor', Dermot O'Leary, who will be spinning tracks as part of his 'Indie Disco'. Hurrah! Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is also a late booking for the Obelisk Arena, taking his place on the line-up beside The National, Suede, and Paolo Nutini. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

OXEGEN, Punchestown Racecourse, County Kildare, 8-10 Jul: Organisers have named an array of recent line-up additions, with Slash, OFWGKTA, Glasvegas and Metronomy the finest picks from it. Lucky festival-goers can also expect memorable performances from a host of more pop-inclined acts, with The Saturdays, Ke$ha, Eliza Doolittle and Example joined rather incongruously by err, Peter Doherty. www.oxegen.ie

T IN THE PARK, Balado, Scotland, 8-10 Jul: Slash, The Strokes and Peter 'don't call me Pete' Doherty make their second appearances in today's FLUU as new bookings for the T fest, with Jenny & Johnny, The Naked And Famous and Fun Lovin' Criminals further bulking up an existing line-up that stars Arctic Monkeys, Coldplay, Pulp and Beady Eye. www.tinthepark.com

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ALBUM REVIEW: Instra:mental - Resolution 653 (Non Plus)
Alex Green and Damon Kirkham are the London based duo behind Instra:mental, and after hearing their rather lacklustre Fabric mix with dBridge last year, I wasn't expecting much from their debut artist album. But I am very glad to be proven wrong.

'Resolution 653' draws on many different genres, and from different eras: from techno beats to cutting edge dubstep, with some electro thrown in too, but with a palpable 90s acid house vibe permeating many tracks.

The production is excellent. The opener 'Sun Rec' really sets the scene - dark, moody cinematic techno - while the staccato pounding beats of 'User' work really well. It makes good use of the Bobby Susser 'overdose' sample too, something originally brought to the rave scene two decades ago by 4hero in 'Mr Kirk's Nightmare'.

Something a bit more downtempo is found in the lush 'Waterfalls', while 'Love Arp' sounds like early Autechre and is excellent, with its upbeat melodic synths. There are some weaker tracks - 'Arc' is overly industrial and the System 7 type techno of 'Delta Zone' is not so good - but the other tracks more than make up for it. In particular 'Aggro Acid', the highlight of the record, with its abstract leanings and rawness.

All in all, an extremely good project, which improves on each listen. Well worth tracking down. PV

Physical release: 18 Apr

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Live Nation's Ticketmaster has partnered with an analytics company called MarketShare to offer dynamic pricing to the promoters who use the ticketing giant's platform to sell their tickets.

The new technology Ticketmaster plan to employ will, according to the live firm's press release "allow sports teams, artists, promoters, and venues to better understand the value of their ticket inventory throughout the entire ticketing process - both prior to, and during the onsale".

I think it basically means promoters will be able to more easily access real time information regards how well their tickets are selling, and to amend pricing according to demand, so that the ticket price for in-demand events goes up as the number of tickets available becomes small, whereas prices for events where demand turns out to low may come down. Promoters may also want to reflect the going rate for tickets for their events being sold on the secondary ticketing market, though it's not clear with MarketShare's system automatically considers such data.

We don't know how quickly these extra services will be made available, though it is one of a number of efforts by the ticketing giant to offer its clients more market intelligence and user data, in a sector where such information is increasingly valued, so much so some promoters are looking into controlling their own ticket sales so that access to such data is complete.

Elsewhere in ticketing news, American secondary ticketing giant StubHub, a subsidiary of eBay focused on ticket reselling, is apparently looking to expand into the European market. And while StubHub has a sports bias in the US, MusicWeek reckons music and entertainment will be a main priority for the resale service over here.

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When Warner Music is the only major label hold out on Sony/Universal owned music video service Vevo, it's confusing when you hear on the grapevine that Warner has bought Vivo - but it's a different vevo see, which is more obvious now I've written it down for you.

Yes, Warner has bought Vivo, an Italian live events company, another example of a major label trying to diversify its operations into other aspects of the music business. As part of the Warner Music Italy family, Vivo will work closely with F&P, an artist services company already owned by the major.

Says Warner Music Europe CEO John Reid: "As one of the region's most well-respected, innovative touring and events companies, Vivo will add further strength and flexibility to our live operations in Italy. At the same time, the deal is another significant step in the transformation of our role in the European music value chain, as we expand our ability to partner with both local and international artists across all their activities and at all stages of their careers".

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Hewlett-Packard is reportedly planning to launch a digital locker and streaming music service, details of which have surfaced on smartphone website PreCentral, which somehow got its hands on an internal PowerPoint presentation from the tech firm.

It is thought that HP's digital entertainment platform, which will also offer movies, will let users store their digital content on a remote server and stream it back to any net connected device, ie the same as Amazon's recently launched locker service, and similar to those reportedly being planned by Apple and Google.

One USP the HP service may offer is that it will work out what tracks a user listens to most often, and then store copies of those songs on a user's portable devices as well as the central server, thus reducing the bandwidth implications of accessing music via the service.

No word on possible timelines for all this, nor whether HP plan to get the digital locker licensed by the music companies, or go the Amazon route and claim no such licence is required.

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ITV has confirmed that Simon Cowell will not be a judge on this year's UK version of 'X-Factor'.

There has been speculation for months as to whether Cowell would be able to appear on the UK version of his telly talent show, given the US version he will launch and star on this year will be filmed at the same time. There were rumours Cowell had wanted ITV to push 'X-UK' back into spring 2012 so he could take part, but that the telly firm insisted the pop show air in its usual autumn slot.

ITV bosses were keen to stress yesterday that losing Cowell to the US version of the show was not a disaster, and that the Syco chief would still be very involved behind the scenes. They also confirmed rumours he may have an albeit limited on-screen role in the latter stages of the UK competition.

According to The Guardian, ITV Director Of Television Peter Fincham told reporters: "Some of the speculation about us pleading with Simon to be a judge makes me smile. I constantly hear we are in crisis but in reality we have an amazingly constructive relationship with Simon and are very much reading from the same page. We are talking to him about ways he can have an on-screen presence later in the show. He will not be a weekly judge, but he will be an enormous presence backstage as always".

ITV said it will confirm who will be on the 'X-UK' judging panel this year in the next few weeks. Cheryl Cole is also likely going to the US version of the show, so at least two new judges will be required. They should give Joe McElderry a call, I believe he has some time on his hands, and he knows all about 'X-Factor' and its role in launching chart-topping globe-trotting pop stars. Well, he knows all about 'X-Factor'.

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Blue have hit back at comments made on Twitter a whole fucking month ago. Come on, Blue, you need to be quicker than that in this internet age.

Anyway, back in March, Schofield commented on the boyband's Eurovision entry, 'I Can', thus: "Well that's Eurovision screwed for another year! Sorry guys, I love you together and individually… but that's a shocking song".

This week, Anthony Costa told Digital Spy: "The man is a national treasure on TV, and for him to say what he did about our song... obviously he's entitled to his opinion, but he should have pulled us aside. To say it to 700,000 followers on his Twitter wasn't cool. If we performed it on his show, he'd stand there and give us a clap, and he would say well done".

Quickly, Lee Ryan waded in: "He'd be like, 'Let's wish our boys luck', and we'd be thinking: 'You two-faced Gordon the Gopher!'"

Phillip Schofield did not operate Gordon the Gopher, his former Children's BBC sidekick, so I'm not sure Ryan's comment really works. But, hey, what about the fact that Schofield also said that Eurovision is a "political farce", huh? What do the Blue boys have to say about that?

Well, Simon Webbe has this to say about that: "It's not a farce any more - Germany won it last year! He needs to do his homework before he jumps in with those sort of comments".

Once Blue have triumphed at the non-political non-farce that is Eurovision 2011 and subsequently topped the charts with their entry, they're looking forward to rubbing it in Schofield's face. Said Duncan James: "It's made us determined to get this song into the top five and come back, sit on his sofa on ['This Morning'] and have smug grins on our faces".

Yeah, good luck with that.

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Oh, well, this it no fun whatsoever. If it wasn't bad enough that 'Glee' creator Ryan Murphy apologised for calling Kings Of Leon "self-centred assholes" for not allowing their music to be used on his show, now the band have only gone and accepted that apology.

Frontman Caleb Followill told Rolling Stone: "I'm glad he said something. We don't hold grudges".

Don't worry though, there's still beef. Drummer Nathan Followill added: "I'll just be glad when I can check my Google alerts and don't have to read anything about us and 'Glee'. That'll be a wonderful feeling".

Yeah! Nathan, if you're reading, this one's for you.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Joe McElderry
Temp (Pop Star)

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