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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
BT and TalkTalk lose three-strikes judicial review
Wasted costs claim against sue-the-fans man can continue
Warner Music still accepting new offers
In The Pop Courts
Apple requests Real case is dismissed
Jackson estate reaches settlement with Heal The World Foundation
Awards & Contests
Chiddy Bang to attempt freestyle rapping record
Charts, Stats & Polls
Record Store Day breaks sales records
Reunions & Splits
Girls Aloud may reunite without Cheryl Cole
In The Studio
Imogen Heap fans make noise for new album
Release News
Arcade Fire to re-release album with short film DVD
Brian Eno announces new album
Gay rights group cautious of Lil B's gay album
Books News
Refused frontman working on memoir
Gigs & Tours News
Blink 182 postpone European tour
Tom Vek is back
Wretch 32 announces tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Reviews
Album review: System 7 - Up (A-Wave Records)
The Music Business
PRS announces record performing rights pay out
And finally...
Tom McFly is engaged
Gaga has an "I'm not manufactured" rant


 
WEDNESDAY 20TH APRIL
LOVE INKS
Hailing from the buzzing hive of alt-band activity that is Austin, Texas, dream-pop trio Love Inks united under a collectively strict, no-frills attitude to making music. The band self-recorded their debut LP 'ESP' at home, working with basic analogue equipment and painstakingly feeding sounds through eight-track reels, before pulling in a favour from a friend for the post-studio mixing. 

 
Their CMU approved debut single 'Blackeye' came out earlier this year via Italian label Hell, Yes!, a wry, lo-fi number full of undulating melodies and raw, tinny beats that showcases the band's careful recording craft in a positive light. As the album's release date of 2 May grows ever closer, we posed out Same Six Questions to bassist Kevin Dehan.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started by sitting at my parents' piano when I was three or four years old, just hitting keys, and thinking I really needed to get started on this songwriting thing. It was a great feeling, "OK, I'll sit there for a little while, knock out some songs, go look at the clock maybe". I liked looking at the clock and telling people what time it was. Then I came up with some crap about a dog or something and realised how hard songwriting was and that I needed practice. At that point in time I was really into becoming a musician, sitting in the corner of the house, blasting the monkey's theme song, getting inspiration. Things didn't start panning out until much much later. 

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
Wanting a change in life and in music... Getting out of our hometown together... Really making something we were proud of and getting it to as many people as possible. In a more literal sense, Adam got the idea for the name from his "fringe sciences", as he calls them. He came up with a weird things called 'Emotive Simple' and something for the P too (the album title is 'ESP'). I can't remember, Powerful maybe? Anyway, he came up with the title and I think we were all on the same page on how we wanted to make the album and what we wanted to do with it.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It's very simple. Sometimes it starts with a beat and sometimes the beat comes later. Someone brings chords to the table, we either add more parts or leave it alone, sometimes a melody comes with the chords or a melody is made up later... and the same with lyrics. I come up with really stupid repetitive lyrics but that's the kind of music I love most and Sherry's lyrics are usually more intense, a story-like structure sometimes, or just not as blatantly repetitive. This is sounding more and more complicated, but really it's just a project we all take part in, at times the songs are fully formed when they come to the band. That's cool, too. 

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
We're all very different. Adam, who plays guitar, is very sombre in his musical tastes I think, though he's going to hate me for saying that! He likes Pete Doherty, Blonde Redhead and he listens to a lot of classical music - I think he's very inspired by writers like Pushkin, Dostoevsky, all the Russian guys. He's a heavy reader, too. 

Sherry's more of an Elton John, Fleetwood Mac kind of girl. I know she's been listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell lately, which is cool but sometimes too intense for me. She has a record player by her vanity when she gets ready and I have to get away when Joni's on! She also jams a lot of Motown. The first night I met her we dug through her records, she's always been a huge record collector, I was amazed at how much she knew - I thought I was a nerd, haha! She's turned me on to so much cool stuff it's ridiculous. Also she loves R Kelly, no lie. 

I'm into a lot of New York stuff - Lou Reed, The Ramones, The Dolls and The Dead Boys. One of my favourite records is of Johnny Thunders live with an acoustic guitar and a saxophone player, he sounds so heartbroken. I'm a Kerouac, Patti Smith, Jim Carrol beat generation junkie, I love it! 

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Well, Sherry always advises some weed to be smoked. I guess I try not to say much, just let them take it in. If they dig it, yeah! We put our blood into this music, I feel like when I stay up to write songs I put it on the line. Sometimes I know what I'm working on will never be used or heard but I feel like it's essential to get what's there out of me. One night I just kept hitting the notes to that song 'It's The Same Old Song' by The Four Tops, I couldn't get past it. So I knew I had to record a version of the song just to get past it. It's kind of cool I guess. 

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
We want to get it out there, let people hear it and really back it up 100%. We're super excited about it, we feel like it sounds great, we just want everyone to hear it. We feel lucky that people so far have really given it a chance, so we just want to run with it. For the future we want to tour more, get out of our hometown and win Grammys! 

MORE>> www.loveinks.com
 
THE MUSIC COMPANY OF THE FUTURE
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. 

One of our big panels this year will consider what the music company of the future will look like. With record companies moving into live, merchandising and brand partnerships, while distributors and management agencies launch labels, it seems clear that music companies moving forward will have more diverse operations than in the past (so much so, the term 'record company' becomes arguably defunct). But how will these diverse companies work? And what will their relationships with artists be? Will artists sign to these new look companies outright, will deals look like traditional record contracts, or will they be more like business deals or JV arrangements?

 
Providing their input will be an excellent panel coming from both record company and management backgrounds. Former EMI Music UK & Ireland chief Tony Wadsworth, who has been speaking to other senior industry people about this very issue of late, will lead the debate with a keynote. Then offering their viewpoints will be, from the indie sector, Cooking Vinyl boss Martin Goldschmidt, and from the management side UK-based Iain Watt and Australia-based Catherine Haridy, both of whom have set up incubator labels. 

This panel takes place on the Friday of the convention. To get into it, plus to attend all the other great panels, sessions, parties and gigs taking place at The Great Escape this year, get your delegates pass from escapegreat.com.


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  ABSOLUTE MARKETING, DIGITAL MANAGER
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 Job@absolutemarketing.co.uk. Location: SW London. Closing date: 21st April 2011
       
GET INVOLVED SEEKS SOCIAL MEDIA/DIGITAL PR ASSISTANT
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 orla@getinvolvedltd.com 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:

MUSIC BUSINESS MODELS - MAKING MONEY, FINDING INVESTMENT
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




BT AND TALKTALK LOSE THREE-STRIKES JUDICIAL REVIEW
Internet service providers BT and TalkTalk have lost in their attempt to force the government to rethink the controversial copyright section of the Digital Economy Act.

As much previously reported, the net firms argued the three-strikes provisions set out in the DEA breached European rules on privacy and internet rights, and that the new laws hadn't been given sufficient scrutiny as they were rushed through parliament to meet the deadline of the General Election.

But the judicial review considering those claims, which could have forced the government to take new proposals to parliament, has rejected all of the net firm's arguments, though the judge's found partially in their favour on the periphery issue of cost sharing.

This has all just happened, so we may well have a more detailed report tomorrow.

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WASTED COSTS CLAIM AGAINST SUE-THE-FANS MAN CAN CONTINUE
Remember Andrew Crossley and his ACS:Law firm? You know, that "amateurish and slipshod" and "chaotic and lamentable" set up which "brought the legal profession into disrepute". Not my words, but the words of Judge Colin Birrs, who still seems very angry about the ACS:Law operation, which led the way in sue-the-fans litigation for a time, working on behalf of generally smaller content owners, including pornography makers. 

ACS:Law, working with an agency called MediaCAT, which officially represented the content owners, sent out letters to suspected file-sharers accusing them of infringing copyrights administered by MediaCAT, and demanding the accused pay up damages or face court action. Many paid up, mainly to avoid the embarrassment of being accused of stealing porn in court. ACS then took a commission, reportedly 65%, of the money. 

But when Crossley actually took some of those who ignored his demands to court, it turned out he must have been having the little nap the day that copyright was covered at law school, and the cases he was pursuing, and his subsequently his entire letter-sending operation and business, started to collapse big time. Both ACS:Law and MediaCAT are now kaput. 

Crossley's lawsuits were eventually dismissed, but lawyers representing some of the accused file-sharers are still pushing for their costs to be covered. With MediaCAT - the actual plaintiff in these cases - no more, who can they go after for that money? Step forward Crossley himself, who defence lawyers Ralli say should foot the bill for breaching the solicitor's code. And Birrs is inclined to agree. 

In court on Monday, the judge said that ACS:Law's relationship with MediaCAT, and the way it profited from settlements by commission, breached the solicitors code of conduct, and that therefore there was a claim for so called 'wasted costs', where the lawyers involved in a litigation can be held liable for another party's legal fees. 

According to The Guardian, Birrs said: "In my judgment, the combination of Mr Crossley's revenue sharing arrangements and his service of the notices of discontinuance serves to illustrate the dangers of such a revenue sharing arrangement and has, prima facie, brought the legal profession into disrepute".

Birrs' judgement means there will now be a full hearing about the wasted costs claim. As ACS:Law no longer exists, Crossley will have to personally pay any monies his former firm is held liable for, which could be up to £100,000. As previously reported, Crossley also faces a hearing at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal later this year regarding his sue-the-fans operation. 

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WARNER MUSIC STILL ACCEPTING NEW OFFERS
Although owners of the Warner Music Group have reduced the number of bids to buy the firm that they are still considering down to just three, they are still open to accepting more, according to reports. 

As previously reported, after the second deadline for bids passed the Warner Music board decided they wanted to sell the whole music firm to one bidder. Of the offers on the table for the whole company, only three were acceptable. 

However, according to Billboard, some of the other bidders - most of which originally bid for either just the Warner record labels or just the Warner Chappell publishing company - have been told they are welcome to now re-bid for the whole company, providing their offer price exceeds $3 billion. And it seems that Warner is now also happy for interested parties to talk to other previous bidders about making a joint offer, something the major's bankers at Goldman Sachs have actively discouraged. 

It is not currently clear what timeline Warner's current owners are working to with regards completing any sale of their music company. 

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APPLE REQUESTS REAL CASE IS DISMISSED
Apple has asked a federal judge to dismiss that previously reported antitrust lawsuit still rumbling on from the era of DRM in digital music. 

As previously reported, this lawsuit relates to the digital music market of 2004 when the major record companies still insisted all downloads came with digital rights management embedded. The only DRMed file format that would work on the market leading iPod was that owned by Apple itself, AAC files with Fairplay DRM. And the only place these could be bought was the iTunes Music Store, meaning that iPod users were locked to iTunes when buying music from a major label.

One of Apple's main competitors at the time, Real Networks, launched a bit of software that could convert digital music files from one format to another, so that downloads bought from any of iTunes' competitors could be transformed into Fairplay AAC files, so they'd work on an iPod. Apple did not like this turn of events, and promptly updated the software that drives an iPod so that files created by Real's format-transfer system didn't work.

This all ended up in anti-trust litigation, with Apple accused of acting anti-competitively in forcing iPod owners to buy music from its own music store rather than those of its rivals. The lawsuit is still rumbling on, and recently a US judge insisted that Apple boss Steve Jobs must testify as part of the proceedings, despite him being on sick leave, because he had knowledge of correspondence between Apple and Real back in 2004 that was essential to the case. 

According to Bloomberg, Apple has now asked for the case to be dismissed, arguing it employed the policies it employed back in 2004 for technical rather than commercial reasons, noting: "iPods work better when consumers use the iTunes jukebox rather than third party software that can cause corruption or other problems". The company also claims that the tech firm received 58 complaints from customers who had put tracks on their iPod which had been created using Real's technology (before Apple blocked it) and found they didn't work. 

US District Judge James Ware is expected to rule on the motion next month. 

Elsewhere in Apple litigation news, the IT firm is suing Samsung over allegations its rivals copied the design of its iPad and iPhone for the Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones and tablet devices. 

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JACKSON ESTATE REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH HEAL THE WORLD FOUNDATION
The Michael Jackson estate has reached a settlement with the Heal The World Foundation, a charitable organisation which utilises the name of the late king of pop's short lived 1990s charity. The Foundation claimed its creation in 2005 was sanctioned by Jackson, and continued to imply an affiliation in its literature after his death, while also seemingly enjoying the support of the Jackson family, and especially its matriarch Katherine. 

But the Jackson estate said the singer had never officially sanctioned the formation of the Foundation, and therefore they were infringing IP rights in his name and image. The lawsuit was due to go to court anytime now, and Katherine Jackson, now on the Foundation's board, was due to testify, but an out-of-court settlement was reached yesterday.

Details of that settlement are not known, though it is thought ownership of the name Heal The World Foundation and various other trademarks used by the charity will lie with the estate. Reps for the charity are yet to comment.

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CHIDDY BANG TO ATTEMPT FREESTYLE RAPPING RECORD
Chiddy Bang's Chidera 'Chiddy' Anamege will attempt to break the Guinness world record for the longest freestyle rap to open MTV's new digital music awards, the OMAs, on 28 Apr. The record has been held by rapper M-Eighty since December 2009 and currently stands at nine hours, fifteen minutes and fifteen seconds.

Chiddy will begin rapping as the awards start on 28 Apr, and will presumably have to miss the whole ceremony, so you can see why he agreed to do it. He told MTV News: "I've been freestyling since I was fourteen years old, and this is definitely me putting myself to the test. I really think I can break the record, but, regardless, this is going to be a dope moment. I am ready to just go and go!"

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RECORD STORE DAY BREAKS SALES RECORDS
This year's Record Store Day has been deemed a success, as the Official Charts Company has confirmed that independent record shops saw singles sales double and album sales rise by 20% compared to the previous year's event. 30 more UK shops also took part this year, bringing the total up to 180.

Record Store Day's UK Coordinator and Manager of Rough Trade East in London, Spencer Hickman, said in a statement: "Record Store Day has been an overwhelming success. It seems to have struck a chord with artists, labels and music fans alike. It is now one of the most significant music events of the year".

He continued: "Record Store Day is a commercial event and when measured in those terms this year was clearly the biggest we have yet seen, but just as important as that is the positivity and love for record stores and physical product that it creates".

Speaking about the atmosphere in his own shop, he said: "We had 800 or so people in the queue and some people had to wait in line for three hours just to get through the doors, but my staff still managed to send them away happy. It was a genuinely festive experience. We had Chilly Gonzales play the opening set in the morning and watching him banter with [people in] the queue [for the till] and get the entire shop singing along with him was the perfect start to the day".

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GIRLS ALOUD MAY REUNITE WITHOUT CHERYL COLE
OK, this is a pretty dubious story, but all stories referring to a Girls Aloud reunion are dubious, so deal with it. According to Heat, the four members of Girls Aloud who aren't Cheryl Cole are "really up" for getting back together without Cheryl Cole. This presumes they've all stopped hating Nadine Coyle now (that being a previous rumour).

An unnamed source told the magazine: "The girls are very keen to reunite and start working on another album. Their main love is the band and they all feel ready to get back and start recording. But Cheryl can't commit to that right now. They're all very supportive of her, but they are concerned they could be left behind. They're also worried they might be hanging around forever if they wait for Cheryl".

They continued: "Obviously it's going to be very difficult without Cheryl, but they know they'll do well with another album and Cheryl could even join them for the tour next year if she's available. It makes sense and it doesn't mean that she'd leave the band - she'd just be taking a break".

Asked if he thought they could pull off coming back as a four-piece, the group's former manager Louis Walsh said: "Absolutely. Westlife became more successful without Brian McFadden, and the Spice Girls did it without Geri Halliwell".

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IMOGEN HEAP FANS MAKE NOISE FOR NEW ALBUM
Imogen Heap is asking fans to send her noises, which she will spend the next couple of years turning into an album. Using recordings uploaded to SoundCloud, the musician will begin work on a single track every three months, hoping to have twelve songs to make up an album by 2013.

The first track, entitled 'Lifeline', is available now at www.imogenheap.com. Says Heap of fans' response to the project: "People just loved the idea that they could record whatever sound they want and upload it to SoundCloud".

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ARCADE FIRE TO RE-RELEASE ALBUM WITH SHORT FILM DVD
Arcade Fire have announce that they will re-release their latest album, 'The Suburbs', with bonus tracks and their Spike Jonze-directed short film 'Scenes From The Suburbs' on 27 Jun. 

The repackaged album will feature a new extended version of 'Wasted Hours', plus two new tracks, 'Speaking In Tongues' and 'Culture War'. An accompanying DVD will include 'Scenes From The Suburbs' plus a behind the scenes documentary.

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BRIAN ENO ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Brian Eno has announced that he will release a new album, a collaboration with Rick Holland entitled 'Drums Between The Bells', on 4 Jul via Warp.

You can listen to a track from the album, 'Glitch', here.

Tracklist:

Bless This Space
Glitch
Dreambirds
Pour It Out
Seedpods
The Real
The Airman
Fierce Aisles Of Light
As If Your Eyes Were Partly Closed As If You Honed The Swirl Within Them And Offered Me... The World
A Title
Sounds Alien
Dow
Multimedia
Cloud 4
Breath Of Crows

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GAY RIGHTS GROUP CAUTIOUS OF LIL B'S GAY ALBUM
Gay rights group GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has approached the announcement that rapper Lil B is to call his new album 'I'm Gay' with an air of caution. It seems they don't think he is.

In a statement, the organisation said: "As a lyricist, Lil B knows that words matter. Slurs have the power to fuel intolerance. We hope that Lil B's album title is not just a gimmick, and is really a sincere attempt to be an ally. He has the platform and the voice. We hope he uses it in a positive way".

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REFUSED FRONTMAN WORKING ON MEMOIR
Frontman of Swedish hardcore legends Refused, Dennis Lyxzén, has announced that he is working on a book remembering his time in the band. 

Lyxzén told Swedish music TV show 'PSL': "Writing has been a dream of mine and it seems like a good idea to start off with a subject I know well. A lot of people have talked about it. Not that they're begging me to write a book, more that they're curious about us. I figured that enough time had passed that I could get away with it now".

He continued: "When I read my journal, I understand why [band members] walked out. We were jerks. We were used to doing things fast. The circumstances were insane. Your point of view changes and then you think: 'That's what it was like'. Then you read what you wrote back in 1994-1995, and the way we lived was unreal. The things we accepted: 'This is what it's like, being in a band'. Anyone who quit was a wimp. But it was too much to take. Now it's like: 'What on earth were we doing?' Still, it's fun to read about it".

The band's demise was already recorded in the documentary 'Refused Are Fucking Dead', but this will be an altogether more personal account of the band's history. Of the film, Lyxzén said: "The documentary went in pretty deep, but only covered our last year together. To me, this is really… It's about me. I can't lie and say it's the complete story of Refused. It's about my life during that period of time, what demons I battled back then and what I liked. It's a closer look at myself as opposed to just listing details ... It's so totally different".

He explained: "The middle portion of the book is excerpts from my journal. Two years, every single gig. What we ate, how little we slept. It's loads of details about dates and gigs. The introduction and conclusion are freer, from memory. The last one and a half years, I wrote everything on this laptop that disappeared, but I have notes on every gig from 1994 through 1996. That's a large portion of the book. Actually, when I started writing, my - aside from obvious 'Get In The Van' [by Henry Rollins] references - [Swedish musician Ulf] Lundell's 'Jack' was my inspiration. The basic structure is similar, with journal entries and freer passages. An account of a repetitive life that captures something bigger. That was my biggest source of inspiration for this book".

Watch the full interview here.

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BLINK 182 POSTPONE EUROPEAN TOUR
Blink 182 have announced that they are postponing their upcoming European tour dates in order to finish work on their new album, their first since reforming. They will now be in the UK in June and July next year. They've also announced new shows in Ireland and Scotland.

In a statement, the band said: "It is with heavy hearts that we have to announce our planned 2011 European Summer tour has been rescheduled. When we booked the tour last year, we were confident that we would have the new album out before the summer. Turns out we were mistaken as the album is taking longer than we thought and won't be out til later this year. We hoped we would have some new songs to play rather than do another 'greatest hits tour', which you all saw last summer. As much as we know our fans would be cool with that, we feel that we owe you guys something new when you spend your money to come see us. Frankly, it's what needs to continue for us to remain vital".
 
The new 2012 dates are as follows

7 Jun: Birmingham, NIA
8 Jun: London, O2 Arena
9 Jun: London, O2 Arena
12 Jun: Dublin, O2 Arena (new show)
13 Jun: Belfast, Odyssey Arena (new show)
15 Jun: Manchester, MEN Arena
16 Jun: Birmingham, LG Arena
17 Jun: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
19 Jun: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
20 Jun: Glasgow, SECC (new show)
10 Jul: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
11 Jul: Nottingham, Capital FM Arena
12 Jul; Liverpool Echo Arena

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TOM VEK IS BACK
The video for Tom Vek's previously reported new single, 'A Chore', is now playing on his website, www.tomvek.tv. He's also announced that he will release a new album, entitled 'Leisure seizure', on 6 Jun.

Oh, and there are some tour dates:

13 Jun: Manchester, Ruby Lounge
14 Jun: Glasgow, Classic Grand
15 Jun: Birmingham, Institute Library
16 Jun: London, Heaven
18 Jun: Brighton, Concorde 2

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WRETCH 32 ANNOUNCES TOUR
British rapper Wretch 32 has announced that he will tour the UK in October, which is nice of him. 

Here are the dates:

16 Oct: Glasgow, ABC 2
17 Oct: Newcastle, Academy 2
19 Oct: Manchester, Academy 3
20 Oct: Liverpool, Academy 2
21 Oct: Sheffield, Plug
22 Oct: Leicester, Academy 2
23 Oct: Birmingham, Institute Library
24 Oct: Oxford, Academy 2
26 Oct: Bristol, Academy 2
28 Oct: London, Koko
29 Oct: Brighton, Concorde 2
30 Oct: Norwich, Waterfront

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 24-26 Jun: The Killers are new to the proceedings at Hard Rock Calling, taking a spot on the line-up alongside headliners Bon Jovi and Rod Stewart. Hurrah. To fill some space, I'm including this quote from Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci."It's been too long, friends" he says. "Feels like forever since we've seen each other and now it's time we pay a visit. Have to get the machine oiled and ready to make this kinda thing happen more often. Feeling creative, let's do this". Yeah, let's do this. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

READING AND LEEDS, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire and Bramham Park, Leeds, 26-28 Aug: Reading & Leeds organisers have disclosed another portion of the dual festivals' line-up, with Simian Mobile Disco, Nero, Sub Focus joined by Cold Cave, Devlin, Crystal Fighters, Mount Kimbie and D/R/U/G/S in the sweaty confines of the Dance Stage. The NME/Radio 1 Stage is newly primed to host Best Coast, Yuck, Frankie & The Heartstrings, Miles Kane and Dananananaykroyd. This lot are new additions to a bill that previously included My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, and Pulp in headline slots, with Interpol, The National and hordes of others also set to perform. www.readingfestival.co.uk

ROCK WERCHTER, Rotselaar, Belgium, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: It seems there's room on the Rock Werchter line-up for a few more, with My Chemical Romance, Ke$ha, The Pretty Reckless and Grouplove all freshly crammed onto the bill alongside a truly vast existing roster that includes Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Kings Of Leon, Iron Maiden and Queens Of The Stone Age. www.rockwerchter.be/en/home/

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ALBUM REVIEW: System 7 - Up (A-Wave Records)
Emerging 20 years ago as a product of a burgeoning rave culture, System 7 almost feel a like relic from a bygone era, but this album finds them to be in rude health. 

Inspired by the current Berlin techno scene, the duo (Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudy) have delivered a consistently up-tempo but never one-dimensional set of tracks layered with hypnotic sounds and fluid melodicism. Opening track 'Positive Noise', one of two collaborations with acid house pioneer A Guy Called Gerald, does float by on a bassline seemingly lifted from Pet Shop Boys' 'It's Alright', but with its ascendant euphoria and Hillage's trademark dreamy guitars, it's a fine statement of intent. 

'E-Fusion' and 'Dolphin Smack' are simply classic System 7, with their perfect fusion of dreamy mellifluous guitars and pulsing house beats, whilst the adrenalised 'The Mind Boggles' feels like a suitably turbo-charged alternative soundtrack to 'Bladerunner'. Only 'Funky Gong' feels misjudged (the grungy guitars feeling out of place amid the crystalline futurism), but for the most part this is a fine dance album. MS

Physical release: 30 May


PRS ANNOUNCES RECORD PERFORMING RIGHTS PAY OUT
PRS For Music yesterday announced it would make a record pay out to the publishers and songwriters it represents this quarter, despite the publishing rights collecting society seeing its overall income slip slightly for the first time last year. 

The collective performing right royalties passed onto PRS members this quarter will top £127 million, the largest ever. This is the money taken in for the use of songs on broadcasts, at gigs and in public spaces. Presumably revenues being paid on mechanical rights, ie the cut songwriters and publishers get from record sales, continue to slide; these are paid out separately on a monthly basis. 

PRS also says that this set of royalty pay outs is based on the most extensive data analysis ever, meaning how the royalties are split up between rights owners should be more accurate than ever. The collecting society says it analysed 44.9 million plays and performances of music, with more than 640,781 songs being identified as being due a royalty. 

PRS boss Robert Ashcroft told CMU: "With the increased challenges we have faced during the past year, PRS For Music has performed well for our members, collecting £611.2m. Whilst revenues collected this year were reduced by £7 million, an increased focus on reducing administration costs and improved efficiency has meant that the [overall] amount paid to our members reduced by only £800,000". 

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TOM MCFLY IS ENGAGED
McFly singer Tom Fletcher is engaged. We know this, of course, because of Twitter. The McFly guy tweeted: "OK, so you'd find out from someone else sooner or later so I thought I'd be the first one to tell you, I proposed to @giovannafalcone earlier tonight and she said YES! We are now officially engaged! :D"

So that's nice. 

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GAGA HAS A "I'M NOT MANUFACTURED" RANT
I have a feeling Lady Gaga doesn't like it when people say she's a manufactured pop act, or that when you strip away all the costumes and nonsense there's not much left. 

Here's what she tells NME in an interview this week: "If you want me to be a manufactured act, you can fuck off ... If you fucking rip my hairbow and my wig off my fucking head, my shoes, my bra, every single thing on my body, and you throw me on a piano with a microphone, I will fucking make you cry". 

She continued: "I feel I have been probed endlessly about who the fuck I am. I have been quite open about it. And still nobody seems to have a clue ... Who are you looking for? I'm right here. Stefani is also who I am. Gaga is my nickname. It's like when you're a kid and your mom calls you 'Skip'. I really make no separation between Stefani and Gaga". 

Which is all well and good, but who the fuck is Skip? 

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Andy Malt
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