CMU Daily - on the inside 28 Nov 2003
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Stones tour grossed over $300 million
- Jacko update
- Coral plan limited edition album
- Lloyd Webber interested in Warner's publishing empire
- Live Review: Tali At Movement Live 7 
- Radio takeovers will take time
- Cheeky Girls hire bodyguards after being mugged
- Yorke partakes in some onstage Blair baiting 
- Birmingham station in trouble for burning cash
- Soulja Slim shot dead
- Single Review: Dj Ss - S Files Lp Case File 1: Stress Related / S'house 
- Pop Idol update
- Mackenzie threatens to sue RAJAR
- Blink 182 announce euro tour
- Morrisey back in studio
- ITV to launch new digital channels
- Westlife boy wants to be president


Despite the cancellation of that Twickenham home-coming because of a sore throat, the postponements caused by the SARS crisis, and the complications with the planned Chinese dates, the Rolling Stones 40th anniversary Forty Licks Tour was confirmed a huge success this week. It is the second highest grossing concert series ever, second only to the Stone's previous epic - the Voodoo Lounge tour in 1994/5.

According to Billboard the 116-venue tour grossed nearly $300 million - the Voodoo Lounge tour grossed $320 million. The band played to an enviable average of 99% capacity venues. 


And so the latest Jacko soap continues. Good news for the Jackson camp this morning as the case against the singer loses ground. According to latest reports there is a recording of Gavin Arizo, the boy who is at the centre of the latest allegations, confirming he had never been abused by Jackson. The boy is with his mother and brother when making the recording. On top of that Arizo and his family allegedly signed an affidavit shortly after the screening of the controversial Martin Bashir documentary earlier this year which stated Jackson had never abused Gavin. That, coupled with reports that this isn't the first time the Arizo family have pursued sex-abuse related lawsuits, is making the case for the prosecution much less clean cut, unless they can proved the alleged abuse occurred in the last six months. On the down side the health of Gavin Arizo - who had made remarkable recoveries since his friendship with Jackson began - is said to be deteriorating again since the latest scandal broke.


The Coral have said their third album - which will be released as a limited edition in January - was recoreded live at a studio in Wales in just one last week. According to the NME just 75,000 copies of the album will be pressed and it will be sold at the special price of £7.99.

Singer James Skelly: "I suppose it is a third album in a way. It's an album, and it's the third one.
"We just had a load of songs, recorded it, did the cover and then it's done. Some of the songs we just wrote on the day. We banned anyone from hearing it 'til it was done."


Assumptions that the sale of Warner Music to the consortium led by Edgar Bronfman Jr would keep Warner's recording and publishing divisions in the same company may as yet prove to be unfounded. 

According to reports yesterday composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is now interested in bidding to acquire Warner's publishing division, Warner Chappell. A spokesman for Webber told the Guardian yesterday that: "Andrew is seriously interested. He is confident he can get a consortium together."

Lloyd Webber heads up the Really Useful Group - which produces theatrical productions and runs a number of key London theatres. That company includes a small music publishing business which owns the rights to Lloyd Webber's musicals - including Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom Of The Opera. Word is Lloyd Webber would merge that business into Warner Chappell if he successfully bid for the company.

It is as yet unclear if Warner Chappell is up for sale as a stand-alone business - though industry insiders reckon that if bidding begins others would compete with Lloyd Webber to acquire the company.


LIVE REVIEW: Tali at Movement Live 7 on 25 Nov
Drum and Bass Live. Hmmm. After witnessing Roni Size and Co Live at Tribal Gathering in 1997, I have had some doubts. While London Electricity put on a good live show these days, I was still a little unsure of this show. Tali was very bland at the Drum And Bass Awards last week, and with I Kamanchi at Homelands failed to make an impression with her other Bristol collaborators. So I wasn't too sure what to expect as Cargo filled up. Starting off with a poppy cross over track, I was not impressed - she remained static, and the crowd were not sure. With 'Airport Lounge' she found her feet to the sound of a punchy kick drum, but this was cheating because this track was a kind of punky rock offshoot, not jungle. It was with the funky jungle beat of 'Lyric on my Lip' that the crowd got going - pleased to hear a tune they knew the atmosphere hotted up and Tali jumped about the stage like an ocelot - 'High Hopes' took it up one rung further. Whether she lives up to the hype I'm not sure (I'm told she is "the next big thing") but all in all I can see where the tippers are coming from - and she is clearly a fine vocalist. Certainly worth checking out should the opportunity a rise. PV


Radio Authority boss David Witherow has said the consolidation of the radio industry will be much slower than many have predicted. Talking about the affects of the recent communications act Witherow told reporters yesterday that despite the imminent relaxation of ownership rules, any takeovers and mergers were unlikely to happen overnight.

Witherow: "Local ownership rules, and competition law, will apply; so will format control. While share values are well down from their peak, they still look high to potential buyers from outside the industry. It is more likely that we will see convergence of interest, with some companies finding synergies with others rather than outright takeovers, at least in the short term." 

Witherow was speaking as he starts the process of winding up the Radio Authority to hand over control of the UK's airwaves to new uber-regulator OfCom.


According to the Evening Standard the Cheeky Girls have hired bodyguards after being mugged in central London. Reports suggest the duo were mugged in Oxford Street - a thief pushed both girls over as he stole a £700 Gucci bag from one of them. Despite the value of the bag itself, the thief is sure to be disappointed with what was inside - no money, no cards, just a lot of badges carrying the slogan "Have a Cheeky Christmas", which the girls planned to distribute at a school visit they were on their way to.


Radiohead's Thom Yorke found time for a bit of Blair-baiting during his London gig this week. Before singing anti-Blair track 'You And Whose Army' he criticised Bush's recent visit to the capital, and then said: "These are the kind of faces Tony Blair pulls when Bush comes to visit" before pulling a lot of unusual faces during the track. More of Yorke's opinions on Bush and Blair are featured in an interview in NME this week.


What is it about radio stations in Birmingham. Capital owned BRMB has got into trouble with regulators in recent years for a blind date on air wedding and by making listeners sit on burning-cold blocks of ice to win 'the coolest tickets in town'. 

Now the Birmingham branch of Chrysalis owned Galaxy have caused controversy by burning five grand in cash on their breakfast show. In the 'Burn It Or Bank It' feature listeners got to vote on what should happen to the five grand. One listener tried to persuade others to give her the cash for a breast enhancement operation. But her fellow listeners opted to have the money burned instead.

Most objections to the promotion came from local clergy who were campaigning to have the money donated to charity. 

A spokesman for the Anglican church in Birmingham told reporters: "Members of the clergy were outraged at what was happening. The station told us it was bound by its decision but it could have given its listeners another choice - to give the money to charity. But they refused to do that. We suggested the money be donated to a local Royal British Legion group whose £5,000 Remembrance Day collection had been stolen that week. But we received no reply. What does this say about our society in terms of excess, responsibility and stewardship when it's a game to burn £5,000?" 

A formal complaint has now gone to the Radio Authority who will investigate whether any programming codes were broken. Galaxy's MD Paul Fairburn told reporters: "We were aiming to involve the audience in a truly dramatic competition. I would stress the money was never earmarked for charity use; it would either have been burned or given to a listener to squander." 


Rapper Soulja Slim, a protégé of hip hop mogul Master P, was shot dead on Wednesday in New Orleans. The rapper, real name James Tapp, rose to prominence in the hip hop scene in 1998 with his album 'Give It To Em Raw', released on P's No Limit Records. More recently he signed to Koch and enjoyed some success with 'Years Later ... A Few Months After' earlier this year. He was shot four times as he got out of his car on his way to visit his mother. He died at the scene. No word yet on any motive for the murder.


SINGLE REVIEW: DJ SS - S Files LP Case File 1: Stress Related / S'House (Formation Records)
The first 12" off Leroy Small's forthcoming album 'Stress Related' is nothing to write home about - fairly minimal and on an industrial tip, typical Scratching Stein, rising and falling, dancefloor oriented. But 'S'House' takes off the pressure, rolling around 170 with a vocal loop and some tom-tom business. Smooth, and shows SS is still way up there. I look forward to the rest of the LP. PV
Release date: 5 Jan
Press contact: Formation IH


Given how many CMU associates have asked us to blag a copy of his new album (anyone at BMG wanting to send some copies would make two members of the UnLimited team in particulat very happy) things are looking good for Will Young as he prepares to release his second album. Concerns Young might be overshadowed by the climax to the second series of Pop Idol are unlikely to ring true given Will's appearance on the World Idol show, and the critical response to the debut single of his new album. Such is the popularity of 'Leave Right Now'. HMV admitted they ran out of copies this week. HMV's Gennaro Castaldo explains: "This is the strongest week-one demand for a single that we have experienced all year, and a small number of stores were taken a little by surprise and ran out of stock quicker than expected. However, they now have copies of the single back on the shelves to cater to the demand from fans." Young is expected to top the charts this weekend.

Elsewhere in Pop Idol news: ITV have confirmed World Idol - the Eurovision style Idol of Idols competition which will be screened globally - will be the flagship show in its Christmas Day schedules. Both Young and original American Idol winner will compete with winners from Pop Idol contests in nine other countries for the title of 'World Idol'. 

Commenting on the show, Simon Fuller told reporters: "When I dreamt up the idea of Pop Idol, I always saw it is a global concept, and so I'm delighted to see World Idol being made here in London. The last two years have been fantastic and it is incredibly satisfying to see a British TV idea being so successful on a global stage." 

And one more bit of Pop Idol nonsense - Mark, one of the finalists on the current series of the show - has told reporters how frightening it was when he was mobbed by fans during a trip home to the West Midlands. Mark: "I just wasn't expecting it. I did an interview for regional TV and around 100 people crowded round me asking for my autograph. I actually found it quite frightening. The trouble is, you don't know who means well and who doesn't. While I was shopping, I had a few people shout things like 'You're rubbish' and although it didn't upset me, it did worry me a bit. So far, there hasn't been any real aggro and I hope it stays that way. I'm not complaining though. This is what I wanted and now I've got it. I'm still very flattered when somebody asks for my autograph and I make a point of signing every single one."

Oh, and one bit more pop reality news - Celador, makers of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, are planning their own global Pop Idol style show, but without an age limit, so expect lots of more 'mature' singers to compete.


Kelvin MacKenzie's Wireless Group are threatening to sue radio listening-figures body RAJAR for £27 million in relation to that long term argument over how ratings are measured. 

As previously reported RAJAR base their listening figures on the dubious method of 'diary keeping' - a sample group of listeners write down what they're listening to. MacKenzie has been lobbying for an electronic system - most probably where a sample group of listeners wear special watches which recognise what radio stations a person is listening to at anyone time. He argues his main radio station, TalkSport, loses out in the RAJARS because people often assume they are listening to the BBC when they hear sport on the radio. 

If you score badly in the RAJARS you can't charges as much for advertising - hence why MacKenzie reckons his company has lost £27 million because of the research group's methods. RAJAR have been looking into developing a more reliable electronic system for sometime, but argue they are yet to find a system that isn't flawed. MacKenzie's legal people are expected to sit down with RAJAR next month in a bid to come to an agreement - word is that if RAJAR step up their development of electronic measurement the Wireless Group may drop their damages suit. 


Blink 182 will play three UK dates as part of their European tour next Spring: 

6 Feb: Wembley Arena
7 Feb: Manchester Evening News Arena
8 Feb: Braehead Arena, Glasgow

The UK dates will launch the tour, which will then visit Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France.


Morrissey is back in the studio working with producer Jerry Finn on his first new album since 1997's 'Maladjusted'. The album, which will be released by Sanctuary Records, should be out in late 2004.


According to the Independent the newly merged ITV are planning to launch a number of new digital channels next year. Alongside the existing ITV2 and ITV News a more upmarket ITV 3 and an ITV Kids channel is planned. No word on whether the digital channels which carry the Granada name - including Granada Plus and Men & Motors (co-owned by Granada and Sky) - will be rebranded as ITV channels


Pity poor Ireland - Westlife's Bryan McFadden has expressed an interest in running for president of Ireland. The singer told the Sun he is "deadly serious" about running for the non-political head of state post at some point in the future: "When the time comes I'll run for president. I think I'd be very good. But I'm too young at the moment. Look at it this way, you get a huge house, a private jet and about 15 security guards."

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