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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Movie industry to ask court to force BT to block infringing index
HMV sells Canadian stores
In The Pop Courts
Lady Gaga sued over Japan relief wristbands
EMI lawyers still confident over MP3tunes case
Charts, Stats & Polls
Ten million digital albums sold so far this year
Elbow lead Glasto sales boost list
Reunions & Splits
Grohl reveals secret Nirvana reunion
Artist Deals
Kanye West's GOOD Music joins Island Def Jam
In The Studio
Bieber hoping to play with himself on new album
Matt Cardle preparing "anthemic" album
Release News
Mick Jagger unveils supergroup, Superheavy
Biffy Clyro release free live EP
Slow Club announce new album
Films & Shows News
Reznor hires Fight Club writer for mini-series
Gigs & Tours News
The Roots announce London show
Festival News
Sonisphere plans two minute silence for Slipknot bassist
The Digital Business
LulzSec disbanding due to boredom
And finally...
Morrissey on playing to wet U2 fans


 
TUESDAY 28TH JUNE
LONDON ELEKTRICITY
Drum n bass tastemaker and acid jazz aficionado London Elektricity, also known as Hospital Records CEO Tony Colman, made his studio debut with 'Pull The Plug' in 1999, at the time partnering under the LE banner with fellow DJ and Hospital co-founder Chris Goss. When Goss departed to concentrate on his label duties prior to the release of 2003 LP 'Billion Dollar Gravy', Colman went on to tour with a band comprising the likes of soul legend Diane Carroll, vocalist MC Wrec and drummer Landslide, all of whom had featured as session singers and musicians on the first two records.

 
Though the group ceased to tour and record together after two subsequent long players and a live album, Tony continued to carry the London Elektricity mantle as a solo act, previewing tracks from 2008's 'Syncopated' on his award-winning and ever-popular Hospital podcast. Now poised to unveil latest disc 'Yikes!' as part of a sold-out release show at Brixton's O2 Academy on 22 Apr, which will also serve to celebrate Hospital Records' fifteenth anniversary, we approached Tony to pose our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

When I was five I used to play with my mum's real to real tape recorder, recording Top Of The Pops and then singing over the top. I soon learned how to put the tape on backwards and do edits using the pause button. This was another world to me, and it led directly to a lifelong obsession with building new musical worlds on tape, or these days, of course, on hard drives. Music is alchemy - you start with almost nothing and sometimes you end up with precious metal. Unless of course you make music using other people's music, in which case it's less like being an alchemist and more like being a furniture restorer.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

For some reason 'Yikes!' is all about guitar and piano in a (loosely) drum and bass framework. I really let myself go with these instruments. It's taken me thirteen albums to feel fully confident as a producer I suppose - guitar and piano were my first instruments as a child, but I've always held back from using them much in my electronic music production. The other main inspiration was Elsa Esmarelda's voice, which is sublime, and songwriting with her, which was a joyful process.

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

Each tune has a different starting point. Sometimes it could be a completed song around which I build the sonic structure, but sometimes a tune will start from a drum break I've made that really excites me, and the whole track builds from there. I make it a rule to never take the same path twice, and every album I make is preceded by a year of building block construction; I make new drum, bass, atmospheric and loop libraries before I even start on the album. This ensures I have a totally fresh sonic arsenal to draw from. I am paranoid to the point of obsession about not repeating myself.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

Arvo Part, Kraftwerk, Todd Rundgren, Quincy Jones, Gil Evans, Ennio Moriccone, Led Zep, Steroelab... an endless list, really.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Go for a long drive!

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

Selling billions with no file sharing?! Haha. I'm realistic and as long as my wife and kids like it I'm happy - they had to live with me making the thing for eighteen months in the top bedroom! For the future, well my label Hospital Records is fifteen years old, as is London Elektricity, so I would love for there to be another brilliant fifteen years for both my artist project and my label!

MORE>> www.londonelektricity.com
 
PLANS & APOLOGIES
Brilliant indie-pop craftsmen Plans & Apologies played their final show in October 2008, and with the release of their second album, 'The Bassett Hound And The Icy Ground', bowed out of the music game after seven years together. The following January, a message was posted on their website by frontman David Williams saying that they would record a third album, "because a) we'd half learned it already and b) it's my favourite thing we've done since we started". But nothing ever materialised.

 
But then last month, the band announced that they would reform for one night only to headline Pennyfest, a gig to raise money for Systemic Sclerosis charity Penny's Fund. That gig duly happened on Sunday and seems to have been a resounding success. Then, on Monday, that third album, entitled 'Soz', appeared on Bandcamp. It may have taken two and a half years, but it is indeed worth the wait, with 'Nick Drake Part II', 'Single Life' and 'Pissbook' particular standout tracks. All proceeds from sales of the album will be donated to Penny's Fund.


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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 13 Jul

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MOVIE INDUSTRY TO ASK COURT TO FORCE BT TO BLOCK INFRINGING INDEX
The UK movie industry will today go to the High Court in London in a bid to try and force BT to stop its internet customers from accessing Newzbin2, a Usenet indexer which the film industry says helps web users access vast amounts of unlicensed movie content. It's something of a test case, and if the film companies are successful could open the doors for more claims by content owners for injunctions forcing ISPs to block access to websites that enable copyright infringement.

This is not the UK movie industry's first legal assault on Newzbin. Last year a judge ruled that the Usenet index service was liable for copyright infringement for providing access to large quantities of unlicensed movies stored elsewhere on the internet. In their defence, the operators of Newzbin used the standard excuses: that their service had legitimate uses, that they didn't host any unlicensed content on their own servers, that they didn't promote that their service be used for illegal content distribution, and that they weren't aware that there were vast amounts of unlicensed films linked to via their index.

The judge hearing the case didn't buy those arguments, and ordered Newzbin to remove any links to movies represented by the plaintiffs from their site. The judge did not, however, instigate a wider ban of the Newzbin service. Nevertheless, the company that ran the index went into administration and the service went temporarily offline, but then resurfaced a few months later as Newzbin2, seemingly run out of Sweden.

The Newzbin case was interesting in that it tested, under English law, the liability for copyright infringement of websites and internet services that simply provide links to other servers where infringing content is stored - ie they don't host unlicensed content themselves. Of course, that issue has been at the heart of all the big lawsuits against the providers of P2P software or BitTorrent search services, and in most jurisdictions liability has been found, though the British music industry has never pursued any such case in the English courts.

When they go to court today, the Motion Picture Association will presumably claim that Newzbin continues to provide links to unlicensed movies, despite last year's court ruling, and that given the service is now operating from outside the UK it is difficult to target the index directly, so the next best thing the law can do is to force internet service providers to block access to the Newzbin URL.

Such domain blocking already happens in criminal scenarios, and in some jurisdictions injunctions have been given by the courts ordering net firms to block access to copyright infringing websites like The Pirate Bay, but not in the UK. An entire section of the Digital Economy Act proposed a fast track injunctions system whereby content owners could target websites that infringe copyrights, or provide links to unlicensed content, but a last minute clause inserted in the DEA put that proposal on indefinite hold pending the launch of the three-strikes system against individual file-sharers, and further parliamentary debate.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey is currently looking into a possibly voluntary web blocking system, where ISPs would voluntarily block access to copyright infringing sites. The problem, of course, is who decides what constitutes a copyright infringing website, when legitimate search engines like Google routinely provide links to unlicensed content.

It remains to be seen whether the MPA succeeds in getting its injunction against BT and Newzbin under existing UK copyright law. If they do, the music companies might be tempted to try similar action against any file-sharing sites that still get them all hot and bothered.

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HMV SELLS CANADIAN STORES
HMV has sold its Canadian business to a division of restructuring specialists Hilco for £2 million. The money will be used to reduce debt levels.

The entertainment retailer began accepting offers for both its Waterstones and Canadian businesses earlier this year as it looked to raise some quick cash to help in its negotiations with its banks to restructure debts. Of course, Waterstones was sold to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut in May, while a debt restructuring deal was confirmed earlier this month.

HMV CEO Simon Fox confirmed the sale yesterday, telling reporters: "The board has fully explored the options available to it for HMV Canada, and believes that a sale to Hilco is the correct decision for the business at this time, whilst reducing the operating leverage in the continuing Group. Having received shareholder approval for the disposal of Waterstones, and with a refinancing in place, the Group is focusing on clear and tightly defined plans for transforming HMV into a broad-based entertainment business".

As Fox just said there, the aforementioned Waterstones deal was approved by HMV shareholders last week and is due to be finalised later today.

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LADY GAGA SUED OVER JAPAN RELIEF WRISTBANDS
Earlier this year Lady Gaga had some wristbands made up, which she sold to fans to raise money for the ongoing post-tsunami relief effort in Japan. Which was nice of her. Except, according to claims made in a new lawsuit, she was overcharging for postage and keeping profits from the overcharge for herself. Which, if true, just proves what we've always suspected: that Lady Gaga is a seasoned eBay user.

The legal documents filed on Friday by the totally legitimate-sounding law firm 1-800-LAW-FIRM names Gaga and one of her affiliate companies as defendants, and calls for $5 million in damages and compensation for people who bought wristbands. The firm intends to then donate all the money to the Japan relief fund, which is very noble and makes me feel a bit guilty for mocking their name. It's not the most serious-sounding name for a law firm though, you have to admit.

Anyway, Alyson Oliver, a partner at 1-800-LAW-FIRM, said in a statement: "While we commend Lady Gaga for her philanthropic efforts, we want to ensure that claims that 'all proceeds will be donated to Japan's earthquake relief efforts' are in fact true. Our intention with this lawsuit is to uncover any improprieties committed by Lady Gaga and appropriate the full donations assumed to the victims in Japan".

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EMI LAWYERS STILL CONFIDENT OVER MP3TUNES CASE
Lawyers for EMI are confident the major record company will win their long running lawsuit against Michael Robertson with regards his digital locker service MP3tunes.com, according to Grokster founder Wayne Rosso, writing on The Music Void.

As much previously reported, MP3tunes.com was one of the first music-based digital lockers to reach market, and legal action from EMI quickly followed. Robertson, who, as founder of the original MP3.com is used to fighting record companies, insists his service does not require a licence from the record companies and music publishers, whereas EMI says that without such a licence MP3tunes.com is committing copyright infringement by storing copies of its customer's music on their servers.

Of course, that's an increasingly familiar debate, since Amazon and Google likewise launched music-focused digital lockers without any licenses from the music companies earlier this year. Rosso's sources say a resolution on EMI v MP3tunes could come within the next few months, which could have a bearing on the roll out of the Amazon and Google lockers.

Rosso points out that if EMI loses this legal action it will give the two web giants' services a definite boost, though if EMI wins it doesn't necessarily mean legal papers will immediately be filed against Amazon and Google, rather the record companies will have a stronger case for forcing the web firms to agree to licensing deals and sizable upfront advances.

That said, some legal experts reckon there is enough difference between the MP3tunes.com service and the very simplistic music lockers currently offered by Amazon and Google for the big web players to dismiss any ruling against MP3tunes.com as not being relevant to them.

Either way, all parties will continue to watch EMI v MP3tunes.com very carefully. If Rosso's sources are right and we get a late summer resolution on it, the timing will be very apt, given Amazon, Google and Apple - the latter operating a licensed (by the majors in the US at least) locker - will all presumably be planning big pushes of their respective music storage services in the autumn and the run up to Christmas.

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TEN MILLION DIGITAL ALBUMS SOLD SO FAR THIS YEAR
Ten million digital albums have been sold in the UK already this year, at the same point in 2010 only 7.1 million had been legitimately downloaded, demonstrating that the album format is truly taking off in the digital domain, which was initially very much a singles market. That said, nearly 80% of British album sales are still on CD, showing that that format is far from dead when it comes to long players.

Now, you might be thinking, how the hell do we know this? Well, little do you know, we have a direct line to the very heart of the music industry's big fat counting machine, aka The Official Charts Company. Well, they send us press releases. Although only 22% of album sales so far this year have been digital, the digital-to-physical ratio is moving towards the former year on year, last year 17.5% of albums sold were digital, while in 2008 only 7.7% were.

Commenting on this tiny little package of sales stats, Official Charts Company counter-in-chief Martin Talbot told CMU: "These figures amount to 59,000 digital albums a day on average this year, compared to 42,000 in the first six months of 2010. By the end of last year, 16.7 million digital albums had been sold in the UK; at that rate, the market total should soar beyond 20 million sales by the end of this year. It is also true, however, that we should prepare for digital albums to co-exist with physical albums for some time to come. With digital accounting for just 22% of all albums sold, CD continues to be the mass market favourite. At this stage in the life-cycle of the digital single, physical sales had declined to less than 10%. In comparison, the CD album will be around for plenty of time to come".

Now, as a special treat for reading that very long quote in its entirety, here's a list of the five best selling digital albums so far this year.

1. Adele - 21 (Beggars/XL)
2. Rihanna - Loud (Universal/Mercury)
3. Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Warner/Atlantic)
4. Jessie J - Who You Are (Universal Island)
5. Chase & Status - No More Idols (Universal/Mercury)

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ELBOW LEAD GLASTO SALES BOOST LIST
More sales stats? You bet. And while these 'increase in record sales as a result of some big event' stats are generally a little flawed - yes Elbow saw a massive 1751% increase in the sales of their 'Build A Rocket Boys' album during Glastonbury weekend, but that's probably because they only sold two copies the previous week - but hey, they're fun anyway.

And, indeed, at least according to HMV's stats, Elbow were the band on the Glasto line up who saw the biggest increase in album sales over the weekend during which the uber-fest dominated our BBC screens and mainstream news media. Next were Mumford and Sons (775%), Plan B (525%), Coldplay (411%) and Biffy Clyro (396%). It's too soon to see the impact Zane Lowe's enthusiastic endorsement of Beyonce will have on her record sales - coming, as it did, right at the end of the weekend - but I am sure it will be huge.

Anyway, here's HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo saying words: "With its near-saturation coverage, Glastonbury is now at the very heart of our popular culture and hard to miss, which is also reflected in pronounced increases in album sales of the featured artists, who increasingly plan their own campaigns around the festival. Coldplay are now nicely set up for their forthcoming album after their memorable show, while Beyonce's new release this week is bound to fly following her spectacular festival-closing performance".

Amazon has also published similar stats, putting Janelle Monáe top with an increase in sales of 4928%. As noted above, this doesn't really give a clear picture of how many copies were actually sold, but any increased interest in her brilliant debut album, 'The ArchAndroid', has to be a good thing. Was her Glastonbury set really that impressive? Oh yes it was.

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GROHL REVEALS SECRET NIRVANA REUNION
Former Nirvana members Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear (a Nirvana member for the band's final tour and now a Foo Fighter with Grohl) recently played a Nirvana song together for the first time in nearly two decades, with only one other person there to see it, Grohl has revealed.

Novoselic had joined Grohl and Smear to rehearse for a planned guest appearance to perform a couple of Foo Fighters songs at a show in California earlier this year. Grohl told The Guardian: "Krist is on bass. Pat's on guitar. I'm on drums. Krist says: 'You wanna run through some oldies?' Me and Pat look at each other. I mean, that's something I've never considered before. I was, like [queasily]: 'OK'. Krist says, 'Fuck it, let's do 'Smells Like Teen Spirit''. And Pat starts playing, and we kick into it. I haven't played that drum beat in seventeen years. It was crazy. It was like... a ghost. It was heavy. Our studio manager was the only guy there".

Asked who provided the vocals, Grohl said: "Nobody sang".

Grohl also revealed in the interview that he had considered leaving the music industry after Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins suffered a heroin overdose in 2001, having sat at his bedside for two weeks while he was in a coma. He said: "When Taylor wound up in hospital I was ready to quit music. Because, to me, it felt like music equalled death. I started praying. I've never been to church in my life, and I'm walking back from Taylor's hospital to our hotel every night, praying out loud in the streets of London. I don't even know if I believe in God. But I felt like, y'know, this is just not right, y'know, what kind of God would let this..."

Read the full interview here.

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KANYE WEST'S GOOD MUSIC JOINS ISLAND DEF JAM
Island Def Jam has signed a new deal with Kanye West which will make the rapper's label GOOD Music an imprint of the Universal subsidiary. GOOD releases have previously had different distribution partners for each record. The first release under the new deal is Big Sean's debut album, 'Finally Famous', which is out today in the US.

Announcing the deal, Barry Weiss, the Universal exec who oversees IDJ, told reporters: "GOOD Music is an exciting new chapter in the long and successful association of Kanye West and Island Def Jam. As a recording artist and a producer over the past eight years, there is no one who has made a greater impression on the game than Kanye. We look forward to working closely with the new and established artists that he will be bringing to GOOD Music, which is already off to an impressive start with Big Sean".

West has been signed to IDJ for his own music since his debut album, 'The College Dropout'.

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BIEBER HOPING TO WORK WITH HIMSELF ON NEW ALBUM
For someone so young, Justin Bieber has collaborated with an impressive range of artists. But for his next album, he's hoping to work with himself. I think he meant in an emotional sense, but it's funnier if we all pretend he meant he wants a solo collaboration.

Bieber told MTV: "I want to work a lot with myself. And [I want to] write a lot myself. I will be working with a lot of other producers and stuff like that, but I'm just writing a lot, writing on tour".

He added that he's already got some ideas recorded, saying: "[I'm] writing about how I feel. I've been producing on my laptop and on my computer. I've been really into it and, hopefully, this next album will be huge. I've done a lot on my acoustic guitar, so it's gonna have that vibe. I'm not gonna really limit myself. I think music is music, and genre - I mean, I know there's country music, there's rock music, but my music is different. My voice is not meant for any style. I just want to make music".

We'd try to find the energy to mock that quote a bit, but look, Justin's been mocking himself with a spoof of his recent vomit-inducing perfume ad. I do hope he hasn't been advised to go the Justin Timberlake 'mock yourself until people get bored of mocking you' route, that'll be no fun.

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MATT CARDLE PREPARING "ANTHEMIC" ALBUM
Back in March, it was revealed that 'X-Factor' victor Matt Cardle had signed a joint deal with both Simon Cowell's Syco and Sony Music's more rock-friendly label, Columbia, with a view to turning him into a credible rock act. And it sounds like he's making a jolly good go of it.

Cardle told BBC Newsbeat: "My inspiration is everything I've ever listened to; Michael Jackson, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine, Dave Matthews Band. There's some anthemic stuff in there, there's some very upbeat stuff, there's some stripped back soulful stuff in there. It's real".

Did you hear that? It's a real album. Not like those ones you buy and then find out are just a blank CD. I hate it when that happens. Said album is apparently due in September.

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MICK JAGGER UNVEILS SUPERGROUP, SUPERHEAVY
Meet SuperHeavy, the very viable new supergroup comprised of grizzled rocker Mick Jagger, soul starlet Joss Stone, 'Slumdog Millionaire' composer AR Rahman, Eurythmics man Dave Stewart and reggae singer Damien Marley.

The big-name band have announced plans to release an as-yet untitled debut album, with their first single 'Miracle Worker' due some time in September. Recorded in a number of studios around the world, the cross-cultural LP was produced by Jagger and Stewart, and will feature, amongst other eclectic things, The Rolling Stones helmsman singing in Urdu on an A R Rahman-devised track called 'Satyameva Jayate'.

Get a brief introduction to the group via this clip, which comes complete with studio footage and snippets of all-new SuperHeavy songs including 'Miracle Worker'.

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BIFFY CLYRO RELEASE FREE LIVE EP
To mark the release of their first live album, 'Revolutions: Live At Wembley', which was recorded live at Wembley Arena last December, Biffy Clyro are giving away two tracks from it as free downloads.

You can download 'Mountains' and 'Bubbles' here.

The band are also due to play live live (rather than recorded live) supporting Foo Fighters at both of their Milton Keynes Bowl shows this weekend.

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SLOW CLUB ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM
Slow Club have announced that they will release their second album, 'Paradise', via Moshi Moshi on 12 Sep. The first single, 'Two Cousins', will be released on 25 Jul.

Handily, the duo's rescheduled UK tour dates also begin on 12 Sep. The two and a half week jaunt was originally planned for May, but had to be postponed after singer Rebecca Taylor fell ill.

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REZNOR HIRES FIGHT CLUB WRITER FOR MINI-SERIES
Trent Reznor's previously reported mini-series based on Nine Inch Nails' 2007 concept album 'Year Zero' is slowly getting closer to becoming a reality. The Hollywood Reporter reports that writer of the screenplay for the film version of 'Fight Club' - Kim Uhls - has been hired to write the show.

The mini-series, and the album that spawned it, is set in a dystopian 2022 and is being funded as a co-production between HBO and BBC Worldwide.

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THE ROOTS ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW
The Roots will perform at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 19 Aug, it has been announced.

The band, who are currently working on their latest album, said in a statement: "London holds a very special places in our hearts. It was our home base from the summer of 1994 until the summer of 1995 and has proven to be a consistent source of inspiration both musically and socially across the years. We've missed the town profoundly and we're really looking forward to what we think of as a homecoming".

Tickets are on sale now.

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SONISPHERE PLANS TWO MINUTE SILENCE FOR SLIPKNOT BASSIST
A two minute silence in memory of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray will be observed at Sonisphere next week, it has been announced. At the festival, the band will play their first UK show since the musician's death last year.

A statement reads: "Sonisphere will host Slipknot's first UK performance since the tragic passing of bass player Paul Gray, at Knebworth on 10 Jul, where they close the Apollo Arena stage. The band would like to invite all the maggots in attendance to join them in paying their respects. At 2pm on the Sunday, a two minute silence, led from the Saturn Arena stage, will fall over the whole arena and all the stages at Knebworth, so fans can pay tribute to Slipknot's number 2".

A book of remembrance will also be available for fans to sign, which will be presented to the band at the end of the festival.

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LULZSEC DISBANDING DUE TO BOREDOM
An online group which targeted, among others, various Sony businesses with some of those trendy Distributed Denial Of Service attacks, has said it has shut itself down not because the authorities are closing in on its members, but because they've got bored of the whole DDoS thing.

After an online announcement that they were disbanding, a member of the informal group of cyber-attackers LulzSec told the Associated Press: "We're not quitting because we're afraid of law enforcement. The press are getting bored of us, and we're getting bored of us". It has to be said computer hackers are in the main pretty boring. Apart from Matthew Broderick in 'War Games', obviously.

As previously reported, Essex geek Ryan Cleary, who was arrested last week for targeting various websites with DDoS attacks, including record label trade bodies the BPI and IFPI, was linked to the LulzSec community, though they denied he was part of their group.

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MORRISSEY ON PLAYING TO WET U2 FANS
I'm not sure Morrissey particularly enjoyed his Glastonbury set on Friday, mainly because he got the impression he was mainly playing to wet, impatient U2 fans. Not that he's blaming said U2 fans.

He told Pitchfork: "The rain was bitingly cold and the audience were soaked and covered in wet mud, and it was dark and dismal and every time I opened my mouth I swallowed rain. Under such conditions you can't really expect much from an audience. I think they were there for U2 anyway - understandably. U2 have an enormous Star Wars set with drumsticks that light up northern Africa, and a sound system that would drown out an earthquake. I can't compete with that. Not with my Post Office savings account. All I have to offer the world are songs".

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Andy Malt
Editor
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Co-Publisher
Caro Moses
Co-Publisher
           
Eddy Temple-Morris
Columnist
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Zane Lowe
Backtracking Officer

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