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WEDNESDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2011
TODAY'S FEATURE: Q&A - SONDRE LERCHE
Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche released his debut album, 'Faces Down', just after his 20th birthday. His smart, charming songwriting skills quickly won him fans both inside and outside of Norway. Lerche is due to release his eponymous sixth album on 3 Oct, the first through his own label Mona Records. Ahead of that, CMU Editor Andy Malt spoke to Sondre Lerche to find out more more>>
TODAY'S APPROVED: GOLD PANDA
New music from Gold Panda is always welcome, isn't it? Since his early EPs, anything Derwin Panda (for that is the name Wikipedia insists his parents gave him) creates has been eagerly awaited, with his debut album, 'Lucky Shiner', being one of our favourites of last year. Now he's back again with a new track that will open his forthcoming DJ-Kicks mix, entitled 'An Iceberg Hurled Northward more>>
TOP STORIES
- Misplaced trust cost Michael Jackson his life: Murray trial update
REUNIONS & SPLITS
- Bloc Party searching for new singer
- INXS announce new frontman
ARTIST DEALS
- Bieber manager signs Cody Simpson
RELEASE NEWS
- Sonic Youth to release best of compilation plus remastered tour film
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Thurston Moore announces tour dates
- Peggy Sue to tour
- One Direction announce arena shows
TALKS, DEBATES & CONVENTIONS
- Speakers announced for Manchester Music Seminars
- MIDEM launches award for best marketing campaign
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Bronikowski moves to Echo Nest
- Spotify responds to Facebook link up criticism
- Apple to announce iPhone 5 next month
THE MEDIA BUSNESS
- Glasgow's Rock Radio to become Real Radio XS
AND FINALLY...
- Tyler, The Creator protégé a hoax
- Kasabian call U2 fans "cardboard cut-outs"
- Rihanna's exposed underwear not welcome on Irish farmland
9PR, PUBLICIST
Rapidly expanding leading music publicists 9PR are recruiting. We have an excellent and growing roster of artists and events that includes All Tomorrow's Parties, Submotion Orchestra, Chapter 24, Kraftwerk, Camille, Ali Renault, NOVAK 3D Disco, American Express Symphony At The Park, Brian Olive, White Noise Sound, Union Square Music, Thomas Dolby, Lanie Lane, plus Sony catalogue (including Miles Davis, Iggy And The Stooges, Johnny Cash and Santana). We need someone with a minimum of two years experience in national print PR. Radio and/or online experience is an advantage and depending on the right candidate, the role is adaptable. Salary subject to experience. Email info@9pr.co.uk.
   
OUTPOST, ACCOUNT MANAGER
PR Superstar required for busy PR agency, Outpost. Minimum two years PR experience in printed press. Radio and/or online experience an advantage. Salary £20k - £24k + bonus

Fast growing music PR agency is looking for a sharp Account Manager who loves PR and takes pride in doing a Superstar job. You will require an encyclopaedic music knowledge, a passion for clubs and gigs and be obsessed with popular youth culture. Social networking will be second nature, fitting in perfectly alongside your bulging contact book. You must also have exceptional writing ability. Superb training and support provided. You will take ownership of your job and be generously rewarded for the quality and reliability of your work.

Telephone calls only in the first instance - call between 10.15am and 2.30pm, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and tell me why on earth we would be MAD not to take you on for this position. Call David Silverman @ Outpost (outpostmedia.co.uk) on 020 7684 5634.
   
DOMINO RECORDING COMPANY, INTERNATIONAL PROMOTIONS MANAGER
Domino is seeking an experienced International Promotions Manager who would be responsible for all aspects of international promotion - including press, radio and TV - for the whole of the label roster (including Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Anna Calvi, The Kills and John Cale) and working closely with our international partners around the world. Minimum two years experience with artists, managers, record labels and international media is required. The position is based in our London office.

Applicants should send a CV and cover letter to: internationalpromotions@dominorecordco.com Closing date is 10 Oct.

MISPLACED TRUST COST MICHAEL JACKSON HIS LIFE: MURRAY TRIAL UPDATE
So the basic arguments are in now place after opening remarks were delivered by both sides on day one of the Conrad Murray trial, and they pretty much take the form we expected. Murray, of course, is the doctor accused of causing Michael Jackson's death through negligence back in 2009.

The prosecution say that the king of pop - addicted to various prescription drugs and facing a gruelling 50 night residency at London's O2 Arena - put his trust, and his life, into the hands of Murray, who then negligently administered the anaesthetic propofol - designed to put people under for surgery - as a sleeping aid, using the drug in totally the wrong environment, and failing to properly monitor his patient once the drug was in Jackson's system. One shot too many killed the singer.

The defence, though, argue that Jackson's addiction to certain prescription drugs was out of control before Murray began working with the singer, and that those drug dependencies were worsened by fears relating to the O2 residency, which was extended to 50 nights from the original ten against his wishes. Murray, they argued, was actually trying to wean Jackson off some of those drugs, in particular propofol. Possibly as a result, but unbeknownst to Murray, Jackson consumed an extra shot of the drug in a desperate act to induce sleep, resulting in his death.

As Murray's manslaughter trial got under way yesterday, after various previous false starts and delays, the prosecution seemed to launch straight into shock tactics. Lead prosecutor David Walgren contrasted video footage of a seemingly fit and healthy Michael Jackson rehearsing for the 'This Is It' shows just days before his death with a previously unheard phone message, left on Murray's iPhone around the same time, in which an almost incoherent Jackson slurs his words as he rambles about his ambitions for the O2 residency.

Jackson wasn't especially unwell, frail or physically unable to perform a 50 night show, as some have suggested, but he was addicted to certain prescription drugs which made him erratic. Murray should have tried to tackle that addiction but, Walgren alleged, instead he fed it. The doctor had ordered just over four gallons of propofol between April and June 2009, and was negligently feeding Jackson's addiction with it.

"This drug is not a sleep agent", Walgren told the court. "It's a general anaesthetic. It's a wonderful drug if used by someone who knows what they are doing, and who knows the dangers as well as the benefits. But under no circumstances should it be given outside a hospital setting. Continuous monitoring is essential". The fact Murray failed to tell paramedics trying to save Jackson that he had administered propofol, the prosecution added, proved the doctor knew he had used the drug inappropriately.

Walgren then added some back story, explaining how Murray came to be Jackson's full time doctor in 2009. The singer had met the medic in Las Vegas a few years earlier, when Murray - practising medicine in the city - treated the singer for some nominal ailments.

They stayed in touch and, when Jackson struck a deal in early 2009 with AEG Live to do the O2 shows, and a full time medic was part of the deal, the singer asked for Murray. The job would require the doctor to give up his other work. He asked for $5 million for a one year contract. AEG offered $150,000 a month. He took the job, quickly informing his other patients to find new doctors, and telling a friend his new role was a "once in a lifetime opportunity".

Jackson seemed to trust Murray, Walgren said, adding that the singer "literally put his life in the hands of Dr Conrad Murray. That misplaced trust cost Michael Jackson his life". Others involved in the 'This Is It' venture became concerned about Jackson, especially after he showed up for rehearsals a week before he died in a bad way, suffering from chills, and rambling incoherently, presumably a condition linked to his drug dependencies. Tour choreographer Kenny Ortega sent Jacko home and took up the matter with Murray directly, who, the prosecution claim, took a hostile tone and told Ortega: "I am the doctor, not you".

When he took to the stand, defence attorney Ed Chernoff agreed with some of the picture Walgren had painted. Yes, Jackson was addicted to prescription drugs. Yes, Murray had administered propofol to the singer as a sleep aid. But, Chernoff argued, Murray had been desperately trying to wean the singer off the more dangerous medications he was taking, despite the singer's increased anxieties about the upcoming O2 residency. And it was those anxieties that caused Jackson to help himself to a dangerous mix of drugs on the morning of his death.

Unbeknownst to Murray, Chernoff said, a frustrated Jackson helped himself to eight lorazepam anti-anxiety pills in a bid to induce sleep. When that didn't work he added propofol to the mix. Reuters quotes Chernoff as telling the court: "We believe the evidence will show ... that when Dr Murray left the room, Michael Jackson self-administered a dose of propofol that, with the lorazepam, created a perfect storm within his body that killed him instantly. He died so rapidly, so instantly, he didn't even have time to close his eyes. The whole thing is tragic, but the evidence is not that Dr Murray did it".

Various members of the Jackson family were in court for the opening testimonies, including his parents and sisters Janet and La Toya. A string of witnesses will now be presented by both sides, though one that could stand out - should it go ahead - is Jackson's teenage son Prince, who witnessed the scene as his late father died in his bedroom that day in 2009. According to The Sun, Prince has said he'd rather not testify, but that he will do if asked.

The case, as they say, continues.

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BLOC PARTY SEARCHING FOR NEW SINGER
Bloc Party guitarist Russell Lissack has confirmed that the band are looking for a new vocalist to replace Kele Okereke.

As previously reported, Okereke recently told NME that he'd spotted Lissack while in a restaurant in New York and had followed him. When he got around the corner, he then saw all three of his bandmates go into a rehearsal studio together. "I hope I haven't been fired", he said. "I don't really know what's going on, because we haven't really spoken recently and I'm a bit too scared to ask".

Asked to confirm the story on Twitter, Lissack said: "I expect they [NME] will be announcing the auditions soon". At the time, most took this to be a sarcastic comment, though a week later that is exactly what has happened.

In an interview with the music weekly, the guitarist said: "It's not really a secret because Kele's been pretty busy doing solo stuff and it looks like he's going to be doing that a bit longer. The other three of us wanted to meet up and make music. We were talking about just doing an instrumental thing, but now we might get a singer as well, to properly put some music out and play some shows".

Confirming that there had been no contact with the band's former frontman, he added: "I haven't spoken to Kele for a couple of months, I guess since the festivals when I was doing stuff with Ash. But there's no bad vibes".

Of course it's possible there might be now. But hey, Okereke is due to release a new solo EP, 'The Hunter', on 31 Oct, so that'll keep him busy. And it's not entirely clear if the rest of the band intend to work without him under the Bloc Party banner or set up a separate group while they wait for him to return.

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INXS ANNOUNCE NEW FRONTMAN
As expected, INXS have announced the appointment of another new frontman.

As previously reported, JD Fortune, who won the role of the band's singer via a TV talent show in 2005, and who had been performing with the outfit earlier this year, despite falling out with them in 2009, last week tweeted: "As of now I have not been invited to be a part of INXS's new music".

A new track was then posted on the INXS website last week with a new vocalist. Many thought the singer sound rather like Bono, and began speculating that the U2 frontman might be working with the Aussie rockers, as improbable as that sounded. But, it has now been announced, the new singer may sound like Bono, but is in fact a bloke called Ciaran Gribbin, a Irish songwriter and musician who has worked with numerous big name pop acts over the years, but who is not so well known in his own right.

Gribbin will front the band on a tour due to kick off in November.

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BIEBER MANAGER SIGNS CODY SIMPSON
Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun - possibly aware that, despite all expectations to the contrary, the Biebster is growing up - has signed another pop teen phenomenon in the making.

Fourteen year old Aussie Cody Simpson - who, strangely, already looks older than Bieber - has signed a worldwide management deal with Braun as he starts to promote his new EP, released via Warner's Atlantic Records. Presumably plans are already afoot for an album, a movie, a book and a headphone range, all leading up to what every teenage boy surely aspires to achieve these days, the perfume range.

Like Bieber, Simpson first came to the attention of some key movers and shakers in the US music business via YouTube videos of his performances. It was producer Shawn Campbell who first discovered the aspiring pop star on the internet.

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SONIC YOUTH TO RELEASE BEST OF COMPILATION PLUS REMASTERED TOUR FILM
Sonic Youth have announced that they will release a new compilation of some of their songs selected by various celebrity fans. Entitled 'Hits Are For Squares', the album will also feature one new song, 'Slow Revolution'.

On the same day, the band will also release their 1991 tour documentary, '1991: The Year Punk Broke', on DVD. As well as live performances by the band themselves, it also features footage of Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Babes In Toyland, and The Ramones. You can watch the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxEzBR-rEnk

And here's the tracklist for 'Hits Are For Squares':

Bull In The Heather (selected by Catherine Keener)
100% (selected by Mike D)
Sugar Kane (selected by Beck)
Kool Thing (selected by Radiohead)
Disappearer (selected by Portia de Rossi)
Superstar (selected by Diablo Cody)
Stones (selected by Allison Anders)
Tuff Gnarl (selected by Dave Eggers and Mike Watt)
Teenage Riot (selected by Eddie Vedder)
Shadow Of A Doubt (selected by Michelle Williams)
Rain On Tin (selected by Flea)
Tom Violence (selected by Gus Van Sant)
Mary-Christ (selected by David Cross)
World Looks Red (selected by Chloe Sevigny)
Expressway To Yr Skull (selected by The Flaming Lips)
Slow Revolution

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THURSTON MOORE ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES
Talking of Sonic Youth, the band's frontman Thurston Moore has announced that he will tour the British Isles in support of his excellent solo album, 'Demolished Thoughts', later this year. The dates include a performance at London's Union Chapel, and will finish with an appearance at ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas. Tickets for the headline shows go on sale on Thursday at 9am.

Tour dates:

27 Nov: Dublin, Button Factory
28 Nov: Glasgow, Arches
29 Nov: Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
30 Nov: Manchester, The Ritz
2 Dec: London, Union Chapel
3 Dec: ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas

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PEGGY SUE TO TOUR
Following the recent release of their second album, 'Acrobats', Peggy Sue have announced two new headline shows in Brighton and London, in October and November. They will play The Haunt in Brighton on 25 Oct and Bush Hall in London on 29 Nov, the latter show the day after the release of their new single, 'DUMBO'. The band will also be supporting Sons & Daughters on their UK tour in October.

And don't forget, Katy and Rosa from Peggy Sue recently compiled an excellent Powers Of Ten playlist for us, collecting together some of their favourite music.

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ONE DIRECTION ANNOUNCE ARENA SHOWS
One Direction have only released one single and already they're announcing an arena tour (well, weirdly, arenas in some cities, and multiple dates in the large concert halls in others). You might say that was them getting ahead of themselves, but it seems there is a large and rabid audience for their particular brand of nondescript pop.

Whatever, tickets go on sale at 9am on 1 Oct. And then you'll have to start saving your pennies for their debut album the following month, which will no doubt be filled with arena-sized songs. Get ready.

Tour dates:

21 Dec: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
22 Dec: Manchester, Apollo
23 Dec: Manchester, Apollo (Matinee)
23 Dec: Manchester, Apollo
3 Jan: Bournemouth, BIC
4 Jan: Birmingham, NIA Arena
5 Jan: Plymouth, Pavilions
7 Jan: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall (Matinee)
7 Jan: Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
8 Jan: Brighton Centre
10 Jan: London Hammersmith Apollo
11 Jan: London, Hammersmith Apollo
13 Jan: Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium
14 Jan: Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium (Matinee)
14 Jan: Glasgow, Clyde Auditorium
15 Jan: Liverpool, Echo Arena
17 Jan: Newcastle, City Hall
18 Jan: Blackpool, Opera House
20 Jan: Sheffield, City Hall
21 Jan: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
22 Jan: London, Hammersmith Apollo
24 Jan: Dublin, O2 Arena
25 Jan: Belfast, Waterfront
26 Jan: Belfast, Waterfront

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SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED FOR MANCHESTER MUSIC SEMINARS
Organisers of the Manchester Music Seminars have announced a bunch of speakers for their inaugural event, which will take place on 14 Oct. Keynotes will come from the rather marvellous Mary Anne Hobbs and a certain Steve Levine, broadcaster and producer extraordinaire.

Elsewhere in the programme, taking place at Manchester's Umbro Design Studios, Muse manager Anthony Addis, The Quietus's John Doran, Xfm's Mike Walsh and the Sharp Project's Tom Clarke are among those who will take part in a programme of panels, which cover topics like 'a method to management', 'critiquing the melody makers' and 'the perfect radio pitch'.

The Manchester Music Seminars have been set up by Kevin Moore, who previously worked for Manchester-based music business convention In The City, which, as previously reported, isn't taking place this year. In many ways MMS follows on from the new educational strand launched at ITC last year, which Moore programmed.

More at www.manchestermusicseminars.co.uk

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MIDEM LAUNCHES AWARD FOR BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Organisers of the slightly revamped MIDEM music business conference have announced the launch of a new award to be presented at next year's event celebrating the best music marketing campaigns.

Both agencies, labels and managers are invited to put their campaigns forward. Ten finalists, to be selected by an ad industry magazine called Contagious, will present case studies of their campaigns at MIDEM where a panel of experts will pick an overall winner.

People interested in entering must put their campaigns forward for consideration by 15 Nov. More info at www.midem.com/en/programme/marketing-campaign-competition

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BRONIKOWSKI MOVES TO EACH NEST
Jeff Bronikowski, the former Universal exec who moved to AOL Music last year after less than a year with Yahoo! Music is on the move yet again.

He is joining Echo Nest, the Boston-based digital agency which is powering various services offered by digital content providers like MOG and Clear Channel's recently revamped iHeartRadio. According to All Things D, in his new job Bronikowski will be charged with the task of finding new partners who will utilised Echo Nest's technologies.

Back at, AOL two of Bronikowski's former deputies will basically be promoted so that he doesn't need to be replaced.

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SPOTIFY RESPONDS TO FACEBOOK LINK UP CRITICISM
Spotify has responded to criticism of its increasingly close links with Facebook, claiming that it is "creating an amazing new world of music discovery".

As previously reported, Spotify came under fire earlier this week when it announced that new users would only be able to sign up with a Facebook account. There was also some anger that new settings that allow the streaming music service to post details of every song users listen to back to their Facebook profiles were not clearly explained.

In a statement yesterday, Spotify said: "To us, this is all about creating an amazing new world of music discovery. As most of our users are already social and have already connected to Facebook, it seemed logical to integrate Spotify and Facebook logins. We already use Facebook as part of our backend to power our social features and by adopting Facebook's login, we've created a simple and seamless social experience".

It continued: "From today, all new Spotify users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. Think of it as like a virtual 'passport', designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember. You don't need to connect to Facebook and if you do decide to, you can always control what you share and don't share by changing your Spotify settings at any time".

The music service finished by saying that it is "constantly trying new things" and would "make changes based on customer feedback" wherever possible. It also published a blog post clarifying how to control what information is shared externally by its software, though if the comments on that blog are anything to go by, critics of the changes - who are probably just a very vocal minority - are unlikely to be placated.

The blog is at www.spotify.com/se/blog/archives/2011/09/27/what-to-share/

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APPLE TO ANNOUNCE IPHONE 5 NEXT MONTH
Apple has announced details of the launch of the iPhone 5. Well, it's sent out an invite to an event at 10pm on 4 Oct saying "Let's talk iPhone". Which seems like a pretty clear statement that the iPhone 5 will be launched. Well, clear by Apple's standards anyway.

The announcement is expected to be the first delivered by Tim Cook since he took over from Steve Jobs as the company's CEO, and rumours about what he'll be telling the assembled journalists and geeks across the world are, of course, flying fast.

It seems to be generally expected that not one but two new iPhones will be announced, the iPhone 5 supertelephonecomputer and an entry-level phone, possibly called the iPhone 4S. Cook will also almost certainly officially launch Apple's iCloud software, which, amongst other things, will put all your digital music files up in the cloud (or onto the internet, to give it its more boring but more accurate name) for access anywhere via any net-connected Apple device.

But does anyone really care what Cook will say next month? The rumour mill has already turned its attention to the iPhone 6, which will apparently have a new design that will feature a dentists drill as standard.

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GLASGOW'S ROCK RADIO TO BECOME REAL RADIO XS
Glasgow's Rock Radio will become Real Radio XS, after the Guardian Media Group decided to keep hold of the station.

As previously reported, a management buy out had been on the table, with The Guardian's radio division talking to former exec Billy Anderson about him leading a bid to buy the Glasgow FM service. But it seems those takeover talks are now off, and GMG will keep hold of the station. To that end they will rebrand Rock Radio as Real Radio XS, as they have already done so with the other Rock Radio outpost in Manchester. The rebrand makes the rock station a more overt sister service to The Guardian's bigger Real Radio franchise.

GMG Radio CEO Stuart Taylor told Radio Today: "Rebranding to Real Radio XS provides a much stronger commercial proposition to advertisers in Scotland and greater brand strength and awareness for our rock music station. The station will continue to have a distinctive rock sound and will cater for all rock music fans in Glasgow and Central Scotland, but this move will give it the best possible chance to grow".

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TYLER, THE CREATOR PROTÉGÉ A HOAX
Odd Future recently announced that they had signed a new artist to their label, Odd Future Records, a development various media around the world reported on, though who remembers whether CMU was suckered in? I know I don't.

It was an interesting story because when the hip hop posse first set up their own label via a joint venture with Sony's RED distribution company they insisted they wouldn't sign other artists, but use the venture to release their own output. But then they said earlier this week that their new discovery, the rather provocatively named Young Nigga, was just "too good" to not sign. They "simply could not pass up the opportunity" to work with this new talent, the announcement said.

A preview of the rapper's debut single, 'Come Threw Looking Clean', brought the group's website to a near standstill, and Young Nigga's debut album, 'Expensive Pasta', to be produced by Odd Future's own Tyler, The Creator, was reportedly in the works. Except it isn't. Because it turns out that Young Nigga is none other than Tyler himself, cunningly disguised with a wig and some glasses.

Why Tyler did this, no one seems sure. His publicist told the LA Times: "I guess it was just Tyler having fun, because I could not verify why he did this alter ego either".

Oh well, have a listen here anyway: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTExVZInf7I

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KASABIAN CALL U2 FANS "CARDBOAD CUT-OUTS"
Kasabian frontman Tom Meighan recently said that he would refrain from badmouthing other bands in the future. However, he said nothing about their fans, who are apparently still fair game. Speaking to News.com.au last week, Meighan revealed that he didn't enjoy supporting U2 on their '360 Degree' tour one bit.

"I didn't take in anything supporting them, the gigs were horrible, worst ever", he said. "U2 fans are cardboard cut-outs, can you imagine supporting U2? Their fans are probably into one band and one album - 'The Joshua Tree'. I didn't learn anything because that's just a fucking different level. It was amazing to watch and meet them [U2], but I didn't learn anything apart from just get the fuck out".

He added: "We were the support, so it is what it is. I hate supporting bands, we're not a support band. So that's never going to happen again".

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RIHANNA'S EXPOSED UNDERWEAR NOT WELCOME ON IRISH FARMLAND
There was Rihanna, just minding her own business, removing her clothes in a field in Northern Ireland, when the farmer whose field it was, Alan Graham, turned up an ordered her to cover herself. Alan Graham wasn't the only person to notice the singer's underwear; she seemingly caused quite a traffic jam after hundreds of people arrived at the farm near Bangor in County Down to have a look.

Rihanna was filming a new video for her song 'We Found Love' ahead of three shows in Belfast later this week, and her people had been given permission by Graham to use his field for a video shoot. However, he said he hadn't been aware that there would be any pants on show when he signed up, and only noticed what was going on when he went to collect a tractor.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "I thought it was inappropriate. I requested them to stop and they did. I had a conversation with Rihanna, and I hope she understands where I'm coming from. We shook hands. I didn't know who was coming [for the video shoot]. If the name 'Rihanna' had been mentioned, well, no disrespect, but it wouldn't have meant anything. From my point of view, it was my land, I have an ethos and I felt it was inappropriate. I wish no ill will against Rihanna and her friends. [But] perhaps they could acquaint themselves with a greater God".

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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