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INFORMATION
Jobs
CMU Info
TODAY'S NEWS
Top Stories
Doherty out, Gatfield up, Rhone across, time for more major label musical chairs
Paypal joins IFPI's campaign to cut off illegal download stores
In The Pop Courts
Britney is gross, says lawsuit
John Legend denies plagiarism claim
In The Pop Hospital
R Kelly out of hospital
Awards & Contests
Mojo Awards presented
Music Video Awards return
Reunions & Splits
Steps announce silly reunion
Ware to rejoin Human League?
Artist Deals
The Jezabels sign to PIAS
Imagem signs Ludacris
In The Studio
Damon Albarn to record in Congo
Release News
Jens Lekman announces new EP
Steve Mason dub album released next week
Trojan Records announces boxset
Gigs & Tours News
Girls announce UK tour dates
Wu Lyf announce tour
MusicConnex to stage soul showcase
Festival News
Festival line-up update
The Digital Business
7digital announces HP partnership
And finally...
They'll be no more ridiculous pictures of Celine Dion thank you


 
FRIDAY 22ND JULY
THE MUSIC BUSINESS WEEK IN FIVE
So, this is the penultimate Week In Five column before it takes its traditional summer break for August. Which also means in just over a week's time I'll be heading to Scotland to pursue my secret other life as Co-Editor of the biggest review media at the Edinburgh Festival, the world's biggest cultural extravaganza. The music programme at Edinburgh's annual August fest is pretty damn big, you know, though obviously it's in comedy and theatre where this three (four, five, depending on when you start counting) week festival really excels, it being the biggest hotbed of comedy and theatrical talent anywhere in the known universe.

 
You should all come for a couple of days, believe me, nowhere else will you experience something quite like Edinburgh during its Fringe. And if you are coming, obviously go check out ThreeWeeks.co.uk for show tips before you embark. But for now, back to the good old music business, and this week's main developments.

01: Ministry Of Sound shouted 'foul' at Syco. The dance label says the Sony division has stolen one of its tracks, Avicii's 'Penguin', as the backdrop for Leona Lewis's new single 'Collide'. Ministry is planning on releasing its own version of Avicii's instrumental with vocals on top. Syco stressed that Avicii was credited as a co-songwriter on the track, while Leona herself took to Twitter to say the rising superstar DJ gave her label permission for his track to be used. But Avicii and his manager say they knew nothing of Lewis's use of the track until 'Collide' showed up on Radio 1, and as a result Ministry is now consulting its lawyers. For the record, the Lewis track is awful. CMU report | Daily Mail report

02: Simon Fuller sued Fox and Fremantle over 'X-Factor USA'. Fuller says that he should get an Executive Producer credit and fee from the new American version of Simon Cowell's talent show, because of a 2005 agreement between Fuller and Cowell's company Syco which was struck after the former accused the latter of ripping off the 'Idol' format for 'X'. Fox was involved in the 2005 agreement, Fuller adds. The 2005 deal saw Cowell committing to work on 'American Idol', and to not launch 'X-USA' for five years, as well as giving Fuller the Exec Producer credit and fee on 'X-Factor' ventures. Despite the agreement, both Fox and Fremantle seem reluctant to give Fuller anything as he's not actually involved in their new show in any way. CMU report | FT report

03: Baidu announced a deal with the majors, or at least with One-Stop China, an agency it says counts Sony, Universal and Warner amongst its shareholders. The Chinese search engine was a target for litigation from the Western music firms because its MP3 search service gave easy access to illegal music. But under the new agreement Baidu will pay a licence fee for any tracks accessed via its music search facility. The labels will also support the Chinese web firm's new ting! service. CMU report | WSJ report

04: Andy Parfitt announced he was leaving Radio 1, after thirteen years heading up the nation's favourite. Parfitt is leaving the BBC altogether, where he has also led other youth and pop music ventures. His deputy, Ben Cooper, will take over on an interim basis. It's not clear whether Parfitt's departure will be used by the Beeb to implement some of the proposals in John Myers' recent report on the Corporation's music stations, ie that Radios 1 and 2 should share a controller. CMU report | Telegraph report

05: Ged Doherty left Sony Music, somewhat suddenly. The major's UK boss will be replaced by Nick Gatfield, the former Island Records President, who joined Sony in a new role overseeing all of the company's UK label operations earlier this year. Gatfield's promotion follows the arrival of Doug Morris at Sony Music HQ in the US. Gatfield worked under Morris - albeit at one remove in the hierarchy, he reported to then International CEO Lucian Grainge - while running Universal/Island. CMU report | Guardian report

And that's your lot, though for more retrospective ramblings, do check out today's podcast, going live later at theCMUwebsite.com/podcast

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU
 
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: House Headz at Vibe Bar
The first of two Corona-sponsored events at Vibe Bar on east London's Brick Lane this weekend, House Headz will turn the venue and its courtyard into a mini Ibiza on Saturday, with palm trees, sand and, of course, fifteen hours of great music. Headlining the line-up of DJs is Brandon Block, who will be preceded by the likes of Norris Da Boss Windross, Steve Taylor, Dan Mitchell and Roberto Ciagli. Plus there'll also be a live PA from Kyscraper and another one from a yet-to-be-announced surprise guest.

 
Provided the weather holds out, it should be a great event. Even if the rain does come and wash out the courtyard, indoors you'll still be able to find plenty of that San Antonio sunshine vibe.

Saturday 23 Jul, Vibe Bar, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, E1, 12pm-3am, more info at www.vibe-bar.co.uk.


MODO DESIGN & PRODUCTION
MODO Design & Production Limited are at the cutting edge of bespoke packaging solutions for the entertainment business.

With a team of highly qualified designers and print focused project managers, MODO can deliver the full packaged product. MODO is expert at idea generation but also can work with the customer to develop their ideas.

Quite literally the complete solution for anyone who wants to enhance their product at retail and bring added value to the consumer.

See our work on www.modo.co.uk

Contact us on creativepackaging@modo.co.uk

  MUTE, INTERNATIONAL MARKETING MANAGER
Mute require a forward thinking marketeer to plan and implement international strategies across the breadth of their roster.

Working with our international licensees and distributors you will develop effective and creative local marketing, digital and promotional campaigns on a wide range or artists. You will be organised, efficient, forward thinking and an excellent communicator with extensive experience and knowledge of international markets and media.

Apply to: ApplytoMute@Mute.com. Salary commensurate with experience
       
 

NAME PR, ACCOUNT MANAGER
Name PR, one of the UK’s leading specialist music trade PR agencies, are seeking an Account Manager to work with their growing roster of technology and new media clients, which include cloud services, app developers and a global licensing agency. The ideal candidate will have at least three years’ PR experience, at least one of which will have been spent in the music or new media/technology sectors.

Candidates should be energetic, flexible, reliable and easy-going, and take pride in their attention to detail. They should be meticulous writers with a proven record of producing engaging and intelligent copy, on message and on deadline. Hands-on experience with social media is highly desirable. Above all, top candidates will show that they are eager and ready to grow and manage a burgeoning division of a rapidly evolving business.

Salary is £24,000–£30,000 p.a. + bonus and pension. The closing date for applications is 12 noon, Monday 25th July. Full details here.


"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 RIGHTS – INSIDE & OUT
A beginner’s guide to music copyright – everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 27 Jul

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 7 Sep

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



DOHERTY OUT, GATFIELD UP, RHONE ACROSS, TIME FOR MORE MAJOR LABEL MUSICAL CHAIRS
So, put your hand up if you saw Ged Doherty's sudden departure from Sony Music UK coming. Most didn't, it seems, with the news yesterday that the major's British boss man would be replaced by one time Universal/Island chief Nick Gatfield taking some by surprise.

Then again, the move does fit in with a wider story, I suppose. That being the rise of former Universal execs within the Sony music empire, now that it's being run, ultimately, by former Universal Music chief Doug Morris. Though preparations for Doherty's departure possibly preceded Morris' recent arrival at Sony; I think several of us did wonder what the incumbent CEO would be doing once Gatfield was brought into a new role heading up Sony Music UK's 'music division' in February, introducing, as it did, a whole extra level of management when most majors are trying to trim their executive structures.

Elsewhere in the Universal-execs-take-over-Sony story, there has been wide speculation in America this week that former Universal Motown President Syliva Rhone is also heading to Sony where she will rejoin her former boss Morris, and work alongside former Universal colleague LA Reid (even though gossipers say they don't really like each other), to relaunch the defunct Portrait Records label.

As previously reported, although Rhone is technically still employed by Universal, she has been in limbo since Universal Motown was merged into a division of the major headed up by former Sony US exec Barry Weiss. The plan was she would stay with Universal to head up a new 360 degree style business unit but, according to the Hollywood Reporter, Rhone told bosses at the major this week she would be taking up an opportunity at Sony instead.

Finally in Sony Music executive changes news, Doherty wasn't the only sudden departure from the major yesterday. It was announced that Richard Sanders, the US-based head of Sony Music International, is also out, though he won't be replaced by a former Universal dude. Word has it Edgar Berger, boss of Sony's Germany, Switzerland and Austria division, will be promoted into that vacant role.

Of course, some might wonder if this game of musical chairs within and between the major labels is really what the record industry needs. Given just how spectacularly wrong the major label old timers got it ten years ago when the internet first arrived on the scene, perhaps what the sector really needs just now is some new blood, rather than just moving the old blood into new offices.

Said old guard might point out that EMI did try bringing in talent from outside the traditional music business, and it didn't work out especially well. Then again, the company was being run by idiots at the time, so it possibly wasn't the best moment to be testing such an approach.

Of course, a total 'out with the old, in with the new' policy wouldn't be a panacea either. As former EMI owners Terra Firma learnt to their cost, reinventing your business relies on artists playing ball, and that requires good artist relations, and that requires A&R execs and label chiefs who the artists already know, like and trust. And that's where the old guard - some of them, anyway - add real value.

But you do wonder why the majors aren't plundering more prolifically the indie label and management sectors, and the British urban music community, where you sense the real innovators lie. Or perhaps they've tried and, unlike in the eighties, entrepreneurs in the indie sector just aren't interesting.

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PAYPAL JOINS IFPI'S CAMPAIGN TO CUT OFF ILLEGAL DOWNLOAD STORES
PayPal has agreed to support efforts by global record industry trade body IFPI and the City Of London Police to target websites that sell downloads illegally. The online payment service follows the previously reported lead of Visa and Mastercard, who pledged their support to the anti-piracy initiative back in March.

The project aims to target those websites that look like legal download services, mainly because they take payment for music (albeit normally at much lower rates than legit download stores), but which are actually unlicensed. Although in theory the operators of said sites could be targeted with copyright infringement litigation, many are based in places like Russia and the Ukraine where pursuing such legal action is tricky.

Under the IFPI and City Of London Police's system, such sites are reported to credit card firms who then refuse to take money on behalf of the pirates, basically cutting off their lucrative Western customer base. It was the approach that led to the decline of the most famous rogue Russian download service AllofMP3.com. The City Of London Police's Economic Crime Directorate will now also alert PayPal of dodgy download sellers.

IFPI boss Frances Moore told CMU: "We knew that when illegal online music services could no longer take payment from credit cards they would try to work around the restriction. That is why we and the City of London Police approached PayPal and I am delighted to say they responded instantly and positively. The work the City of London Police is undertaking is at the cutting edge of tackling online copyright infringement, a serious problem that is eroding the ability of record companies to invest in a diverse range of artists with serious consequences for jobs, tax revenues and consumer choice".

Confirming their involvement, PayPal's UK MD Carl Scheible said: "Today's announcement shows that PayPal is very serious about fighting music piracy. We've always banned PayPal's use for the sale of content that infringes copyright, and the new system will make life even harder for illegal operators. Our partnership with the music industry helps rights holders make money from their own content while stopping the pirates in their tracks".

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BRITNEY IS GROSS, SAYS LAWSUIT
One time Britney Spears bodyguard Fernando Flores, who, as previously reported, is suing his former employer for sexual harassment, is pulling no punches in his litigation which, of course, the singer's people say is totally baseless.

According to reports, Flores' legal papers claim Spears repeatedly exposed herself to and made unwanted sexual advances towards the bodyguard during the time he worked for her.

The advances, he stresses, were unwanted because, and here comes the good bit, "Spears had obnoxious habits, such as chain-smoking - making her smell continually of stale tobacco. She broke wind or picked her nose unselfconsciously and unapologetically, and she was constantly and gratuitously loud and profane. She did not bathe for days, did not use deodorant, did not brush her teeth, did not fix her hair, did not wear shoes or socks".

The legal papers also accuse Brit of being a bit of a diva, adding: "Spears was mentally unstable, obnoxious and demanding - requiring staff on various occasions to address her as Jennifer or Queen Bee".

We should stress again that Britney's people deny everything that Flores has ever said about anything, a rep for the singer telling reporters his lawsuit is "another unfortunate situation where someone is trying to take advantage of the Spears family and make a name for himself".

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JOHN LEGEND DENIES PLAGARISM CLAIM
John Legend is the latest artist to be accused of nicking a song off an unsigned singer-songwriter, though he's denying the allegations full on.

One Anthony Stokes claims he gave Legend a copy of his song 'Where Are You Now?' on a demo tape after a concert in 2004. Two years later, he goes on to allege, Legend released 'Maxine's Interlude', which the claimant says is based on his song.

But Legend says the allegations are untrue and he's ready to fight the lawsuit in court. He told E!: "This gentleman made an accusation that's not true and we know it's not true. I never heard of his song until he sued me. I would never steal anyone's song. I've never, ever done that before. Never even been accused of it before, and we will fight it in court and we will prevail. I'm not worried about it. I know the truth is on my side".

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R KELLY OUT OF HOSPITAL
OK people, you can sit down and stop stressing, R Kelly is out of hospital. As previously reported, the R&B star was rushed to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago earlier this week for emergency throat surgery after doctors found an abscess on one of his tonsils.

It wasn't clear how long he'd be kept in the medial facility, but then he was discharged yesterday, so that long. He is now recuperating at home. His spokesman said it's still not clear how long it will be before Kelly can perform again. What do you mean you hope it's a long time? The guy's recovering from surgery, give him a break.

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MOJO AWARDS PRESENTED
So, it was the Mojo Awards in London last night. You can focus on Rumer winning the Breakthrough Award or the Arctic Monkeys getting best album if you want, because those are the two wins that seem to have interested the most people.

Though some media coverage has focused on the fact that Ringo Starr, who was at the music mag's awards bash to pick up the Icon Award, told Sky News he definitely wouldn't be appearing on stage with Paul McCartney at any Olympics concert next summer, because he'll be touring the US for the duration of the Games.

Anyway, winners...

Breakthrough Award: Rumer
Song Of The Year: Grinderman - Heathen Child
Best Album: Arctic Monkeys - Suck It And See
Classic Album Award: Primal Scream - Screamadelica
Best Live Act: John Grant
Compilation Of The Year: Sweet Inspiration - Songs Of Dan Penn And Spooner Oldham
Catalogue Release Of The Year: Orange Juice - Coals To Newcastle

Les Paul Award: Steve Cropper
Merit Award: Martha And The Vandellas
Medal Award: Bob Harris
Hero Award: Eddie Floyd
Maverick Award: Donovan
Inspiration Award: Gary Numan
Classic Songwriter Award: Squeeze
Vision Award: Upside Down
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Public Image Ltd
Icon Award: Ringo Starr
Hall Of Fame Award: Brian Wilson

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MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS RETURN
Organisers of the annual Music Video Awards have announced that this year's big event will take place on 8 Nov at the Empire cinema in London's Leicester Square.

Says MVAs Editorial Director David Knight: "On a professional level, music videos continue to be an important testing ground for filmmakers - potentially the next generation of movie directors, and certainly commercial directors. But the playground is now open to pretty much everyone, and this year the MVAs have expanded the number of awards to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of music video creativity in 2011. Some really outstanding videos have been made in the past year, for all genres of music, in the UK and beyond. We're looking forward to honouring them at the 2011 UK MVAs".

Video makers can currently put their work forward for consideration via the MVA's website at www.ukmva.com.

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STEPS ANNOUNCE SILLY REUNION
Earlier this month, former Steps singer Claire Richards told the Daily Mail that a reunion of her former pop outfit would be "a bit silly".

Richards said: "We do get offers all the time, which we consider, although up until now it's never really been right for everybody. Maybe it's just my age, but I can't really see myself up on stage in one of those bright costumes doing what we did. It's taken me this long to get to a place where I'm happy with what I'm doing and trying to build a career of my own. To drop all that to go back seems a bit silly".

So, what is next on the agenda for Richards' career? Why, she's reuniting with her former Steps bandmates, of course. It's been confirmed that the cheesy pop five-piece will get back together for a new documentary series on Sky Living. The show will examine what lead to the group's split in 2001, and watch them try to rebuild their relationships as they relaunch themselves upon the British public.

ITV Studios Creative Director Michael Kelpie said: "Steps came, they entertained and then went their separate ways. Their split was acrimonious, messy and played out on the front pages of the national newspapers. This documentary series reveals the truths behind the polished pop façade that led to the break-up of one of the most successful pop acts in the UK. Steps will face their demons as they try to rebuild both personal and working relationships. It will undoubtedly be explosive viewing".

Sky's Head Of Factual Entertainment Mark Sammon added: "We'll document the in-fighting, jealousy and power struggles - it's not the sugar-coated Steps we all remember. I'm delighted this British pop phenomenon has given us access to their stories. And we can expect tears and dramatic confrontation as they attempt to put the past behind them and re-launch Steps ten years on from their split".

With Richards, Lisa Scott-Lee, Ian 'H' Watkins, Lee Latchford-Evans and Faye Tozer all apparently on board, the programme will coincide with the release of a new 'best of' compilation.

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WARE TO REJOIN HUMAN LEAGUE?
Heaven 17's Martyn Ware has said he may get back together with his former band, The Human League, at some point in the near future, having patched up his differences with frontman Phil Oakey.

Ware formed The Human League with Ian Marsh in 1977, originally under the name The Dead Daughters. Having brought Oakey on as vocalist, they settled on the name The Human League the following year. After the poor commercial success of their first two albums, Ware and Oakey fell out over the creative direction of the band, which led to Ware and Marsh leaving to form Heaven 17.

This week, Ware told 6music: "I am very keen to work with Phil. We've discussed it over the last few years, and Phil for various reasons said it's not the right time, but I've seen various comments online recently saying that Phil's interested, possibly. So, I don't know where we stand on that one. He's a funny old cove Phil. But we're good mates again now. I had lunch with him not long ago".

Whether this would mean Marsh would get involved too, bringing the complete original line-up back together, isn't clear.

Meanwhile, Heaven 17 will perform at the Tramlines festival in Sheffield this weekend.

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THE JEZABELS SIGN TO PIAS
The Jezabels have signed to Play It Again Sam Recordings, and will now release a new single in September with their debut album due to follow in spring 2012.

[PIAS] Group MD Edwin Schroter told CMU: "I am extremely excited about The Jezabels and proud to have them as one of the first new artist signings to our recently re-launched Play It Again Sam label. I was blown away the first time I saw them and it's great to listen to how the band have developed throughout their three EPs. We look forward to developing the band's broad appeal and with an awesome live show to work with, the debut album, to be released next spring, will be an exciting moment for Play It Again Sam Recordings".

Meanwhile the band's manager Dave Batty added: "We're very excited to be working with Play It Again Sam Recordings. They have a strong vision for the band, equal to our own, and share the same ideologies and ethic as the band on how we'll get there. They've shown great enthusiasm through all their European offices and we're looking forward to getting to work with them on the debut album".

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IMAGEM SIGNS LUDACRIS
Independent publisher Imagem has signed rap man Ludacris to a worldwide exclusive co-publishing agreement, according to Billboard. The company's USA chief Richard Stumpf said his new signing "is a forward thinking artist who has proven himself in both music and film". But I think we already new that. The new deal covers Ludacris's future work rather than his catalogue, I believe.

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DAMON ALBARN TO RECORD IN CONGO
Damon Albarn and a group of producers, including XL boss Richard Russell, Dan The Automator, Kwes, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Actress, have travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they hope to record an album in seven days.

The project is similar to Albarn's 'Mali Music' album, which saw him travel to Mali and record local musicians and sounds, piecing them together as a record, which he later performed live with some of the musicians involved.

Once released, the album will be sold to raise money to aid Oxfam's work in Congo. You can track their progress here: drc-music.tumblr.com

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JENS LEKMAN ANNOUNCES NEW EP
Jen Lekman has announced a new EP, entitled 'An Argument With Myself', which will be his first new release for four years. The EP will be released by Secretly Canadian on 19 Sep.

Lekman told the Walla Walla Washington Union Bulletin: "I was working on an album. I wasn't really planning to put out an EP, but I came across this dilemma. I really loved these songs, and I thought they were great, but they just didn't seem to fit the mood of the record. And they seemed to be the songs that people enjoyed the most when I played them live, so I decided that they belonged together on an EP, sort of like a little taste of what's not to come".

Here's the tracklist:

An Argument With Myself
Waiting For Kirsten
A Promise
New Directions
So This Guy At My Office

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STEVE MASON DUB ALBUM RELEASED NEXT WEEK
Steve Mason's previously reported dub reworking of his 'Boys Outside' album will be released by Domino/Double Six next week. The album, 'Ghosts Outside', has been created with renowned reggae producer Dennis Bovell.

To mark the release, Mason will play a show at The Shacklewell Arms in London on 27 Jul, tickets for which are available now.

You can watch an interview with Mason and Bovell about the album here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQi3HvWc2iE

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TROJAN RECORDS ANNOUNCES BOXSET
Legendary reggae label Trojan has announced that it will release a new five disc boxset chronicling its history next month. The release of 'The Story Of Trojan Records' on 29 Aug will also coincide with the relaunch of the company's fanclub The Trojan Appreciation Society.

The five discs will each cover a theme - The Hits, The Artists, The Producers, The Labels, plus rare and unreleased tracks. 67 tracks will appear on CD for the first time, and 20 have never seen the light of day at all. As well as the music, there will be a 50 page book with a foreword by Rhoda Dakar, four postcards, a window sticker and a twelve track bonus download compilation for anyone who signs up to the fanclub.

Commenting on that fan club, Johnny Hudson, Head of Marketing for Universal Music Catalogue, who control the Trojan catalogue, told CMU: "Trojan Records is one of very few labels with a resilient legacy and an identity that resonates deeply with its fans. It is to reggae what Motown or Stax is to soul. The catalogue just doesn't seem to age, and continues to influence and inspire countless new sounds, artists and generations".

He adds: "We therefore felt a real opportunity to re-launch the Trojan Appreciation Society and engage with fans in a more meaningful way. We want to build a thriving community where we can identify what people want at the same time as rewarding their loyalty and allegiance to the label. This will present many exciting opportunities for the label and its fans to get closer".

A website for the Trojan Appreciation Society will go live on 15 Aug, here: www.trojanrecords.com/society

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GIRLS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
Following the announcement that they will release their second album, 'Father, Son, Holy Ghost', on 12 Sep, Girls have announced some tour dates to promote it. Albeit not until November.

To fill the gap between now and the album release, the band have made a new track, called 'Vomit', available as a free download from their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/girlssf

Tour dates:

8 Nov: Cardiff, The Globe
9 Nov: London, Electric Ballroom
10 Nov: Manchester, TBC
11 Nov: Glasgow, Stereo
12 Nov: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms

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WU LYF ANNOUNCE TOUR
Wu Lyf have announced UK tour dates for October. This follows the release of their debut album, 'Go Tell Fire To The Mountains', last month.

Tour dates:

17 Oct: Newcastle, The Other Rooms
18 Oct: Birmingham, Temple Room
19 Oct: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
21 Oct: Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
22 Oct: Liverpool, Kazimier
25 Oct: Bristol, Thekla
26 Oct: London, Shepherd's Bush Empire
27 Oct: Brighton, Coalition

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MUSICCONNEX TO STAGE SOUL SHOWCASE
Organisers of MusicConnex, the music business and DIY conference that launched in London earlier this year, will next month stage a new music showcase with a soul theme at Under The Bridge, a recently opened new music venue underneath Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge stadium.

On the bill at the event, which takes place on 26 Aug, will be five new British female soul singers, including Monique Thomas, Elisha La'Verne, Hannah Francis, Izzi Dunn and Charlene.

MusicConnex boss Jon Mansfield told CMU: "It's the next step in what we do and another outlet for artists to perform, showcase, connect and utilise our vast professional network. We have handpicked these acts for our first showcase and much like our inaugural conference we want everyone who attends to not only enjoy the event but take something positive and beneficial from the experience whether it be empowerment, fresh ideas or an extension of their network via artiste-fan interaction".

Info at www.musicconnex.co.uk/musicconnex-live-showcase-tickets

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE

ELECTRIC PICNIC, Stradbally Hall Estate, Co Laois, Ireland, 2-4 Sep: Underworld, Bob Geldof, I Am Kloot, Everything Everything, Foster The People and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are amongst those freshly poised to join the festivities at the premiere Irish bash, which boasts a towering list of such previously-announced bookings as Arcade Fire, Pulp, The Chemical Brothers, Interpol, PJ Harvey, Beirut, White Lies, Blonde Redhead, The Drums and Zola Jesus. www.electricpicnic.ie

LOOPALLU, Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, 16-17 Sep: The Buzzcocks become brand new features of the Loopallu bill with their most recent announcement, joining headliners The Feeling, plus Jon Fratelli, The Bluebells, and The Ullapool Pipe Band. www.loopallu.co.uk

READING FESTIVAL, Richfield Avenue, Reading, Berkshire, 26-28 Aug: Reggae man Little Roy will be performing his take on a selection of Nirvana classics at both the Reading Festival and its Leeds counterpart, joining the line-up along with fellow fresh booking Young Legionnaire. Overall headliners My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, and Pulp top a bill that also features The National, Deftones, Crystal Castles, The Kills and Death From Above 1979. www.readingfestival.co.uk

WALK THE LINE, Various Venues, Cheltenham, 1-8 Oct: Hotly-tipped bunch Ellen & The Escapades lead the first acts announced for this diminutive metropolitan bash, which is also to host US band Midwest Dilemma, Mercury-signed spoken word pairing Skint & Demoralised, Tellison, and local skiffle heroes Thrill Collins. walkthelinefestival.co.uk

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7DIGITAL ANNOUNCES HP PARTNERSHIP
Following similar deals with Samsung, Toshiba and Blackberry, 7Digital has announced a partnership with HP which will see the company power an MP3 download service on the IT firm's new tablet computer.

Says 7Digital dude Ben Drury: "HP is a worldwide leader in consumer electronics and we are very pleased to deliver the 7Digital global music experience to their sleek-designed and highly functional tablet device. Through the use of 7Digital's platform, HP TouchPad users will have an optimised music experience at launch".

HP VP of something or other Richard Kerris added: "High-quality applications and music are essential to the HP TouchPad. 7Digital's deep catalogue of music and robust platform will help us bring a great music experience to our customers".

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THEY'LL BE NO MORE RIDICULOUS PICTURES OF CELINE DION THANK YOU
The owner of a website called Ridiculous Pictures Of Celine Dion which featured, erm, ridiculous pictures of Celine Dion, says he has had to shut his blog down because of a legal letter from the Dion's lawyers. The grand songstress, it seems, didn't like a site dedicated to her pulling odd looking faces.

Says a message on the former website: "Celine Dion found our blog, and she didn't like it. We just got a letter from Celine's lawyers that the blog has to be shut down. Though this blog is well within the realm of 'fair use', I don't have the money or time to get a lawyer to respond. The dream is over".

Over indeed. I wonder if they had any shots of Celine's classic Michael Jackson tribute. I think this would qualify as 'looking ridiculous': www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lrccH7IHtU

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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
Rupert Murdoch
Chef (speciality - Humble Pie)

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