CMU Daily - on the inside 30 Mar 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- IFPI to make downloading announcement
- Irish promoters fear the effect of the smoking ban
- Aussie singer charged over fan fracas
- Live Review: John Squire at The Shepherds Bush Empire
- Stern maybe planning his own radio station
- Jacko gets award for charity work
- French rockstar jailed for killing girlfriend
- O2 use OutKast promotion to push mobile music service

- Play online football with Delays
- Skinner on the Streets concept
- Supergrass 10th anniversary best of
- Single Review: Grand National - Talk Amongst Yourselves
- May dismisses Darkness collaboration claims
- Roadrunner rock with US metal tour
- Young Heart Attack dates
- Prince launches download service
- eMusic add live section
- Chemical Brothers to play Glint party
- Von Bondies dates
- Eminem to play London D-12 date
- EUK appoint new MD
- Festival update
- Will Young: "photo book makes me look boring"
- Walsh on Farrell's lucky escape from Boyzone

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IFPI TO MAKE DOWNLOADING ANNOUNCEMENT
Much speculation this morning as to whether the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry is planning to step up its action against illegal file sharing around the world after the announcement of a telephone press conference to be chaired by IFPI boss Jay Berman around about now.

The press release announcing the conference highlights new research that estimates 800 million tracks were illegally downloaded around the world in 2003, up from 500 million in 2002. Those kind of statistics will certainly provide the IFPI with a mandate to extend its action against illegal downloading.

To date the IFPI has played primarily an educational role in tackling illegal online music sharing, mainly through its Promusic website. But in a report back in January Berman indicated that his organisation would consider using litigation to tackle the growing 'downloading problem', though he wasn't clear if that action would target individual downloaders like the legal campaign launched by the Recording Industry Association of America last year, or if it would predominantly target the companies who own the P2P networks the file sharers use.

The IFPI announcement follows that 'final warning' issued by the BPI last week which told illegal downloaders here in the UK they face legal action if they don't cease and desist. Canada's music industry also began its own RIAA style legal campaign against individual downloaders earlier this year.

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IRISH PROMOTERS FEAR THE EFFECT OF THE SMOKING BAN
Following that high profile smoking ban in Ireland as of this weekend, some in the live sector there are concerned of the impact the ban may have on the pub music scene. As you probably know, the Irish government's ban on smoking in all workplaces means smoking is no longer allowed in pubs and venues. Proprietors of pubs in Ireland face a 3000 Euro (about £2000) fine if they allow their customers to smoke on their premises.

Dublin based gig promoter Derek Nally has told the BBC he worries the ban will have an impact on the live music sector there. While admitting "a smokey atmosphere is no longer a vital part of the Irish music scene" he added "smokers might think twice about going to see new acts playing pub gigs because they can no longer smoke there - which means new, younger indie bands will find it harder to attract fans".

However supporters of the ban have argued the anti-smoking move may reinvigorate the pub music sector. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern stressed a recent survey suggested nearly three in four people who visited a bar in the last two weeks were non-smokers, and he feels the ban will encourage those people to socialise in pub venues more frequently.

Colin Irwin, author of 'In Search of The Craic', a guide to pub music in Ireland, also questions the impact the ban will have on the live scene - but on the basis that most pubs will ignore the ban. "Dublin likes to think of itself now as a modern city with modern values - but the music world will see smoking and drinking as part of its heritage and I can't see promoters or landlords having much sympathy with the ban. I can imagine security being posted outside to check for the gardai (police)... and it'll be like being back at school with everyone stubbing out fags, swallowing smoke and looking guilty when the teachers catch them lighting up behind the toilets."

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AUSSIE SINGER CHARGED OVER FAN FRACAS
Australian singer Howie Day was charged last week after allegedly locking a female fan in the bathroom of his tour bus and smashing another fan's mobile phone. On tour in the US supporting the Barenaked Ladies, the incident reportedly occurred after one female fan resisted the singer's 'sexual advances'. When her friend tried to call the police he smashed her phone.

An officer with the local police force in Wisconsin told reporters: "He apparently tried to stop a female from leaving his tour bus and some type of altercation ensued, and that's when we were contacted."

Day was taken to the Dane County Jail but later released on a $850 bail. He was charged with three misdemeanors - including criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct and intimidation of a victim - the next day, and is now due in court on Thu.

Although there's been no official comment from Day or his label, the singer reportedly told police when asked about smashing a fan's phone: "That was probably wrong of me, but I felt violated."

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LIVE REVIEW: John Squire at The Shepherds Bush Empire on 26 Mar
I entered the Shepherds Bush Empire at bang on seven o'clock with an anticipatory smirk pasted onto my face. But from first glances it was easy to see that John Squire did not possess that mass appeal that I first assumed he would have after hearing his immense album 'Marshals House' - the two top tiers had been cordoned off and the main bar was closed.

With the main floor only at quarter capacity band number one took to the stage within minutes - Liverpudlian quintet 'Black Velvet'. Their entrance was met with a dead silence so I thought it appropriate to shout my support - this was met with curious glances from my fellow audience members and a little smirk from the shaggy haired lead singer. Their set was filled with songs which possessed a classic style made infamous by The Darkness and comments from the singer in-between numbers that went totally over my head (partly because I was standing directly next to the mass of speakers, but also because his accent was as foreign to me as French). They played for a good half an hour and somehow managed to slightly enthuse the very unexcited audience - by the end you could see a definite wave of head bopping. The lead singer's mirror-rehearsed Jaggeresque poses and the lead bassist's obvious excitement enhanced their music as the bass player whirlwind strummed out harsh yet extraordinarily rhythmic bass lines to accompany their already melodic tracks.

Next act Blueline - and if I were to venture a guess they too where from up-north though I cannot say for sure. Either way, their music was so diverse and engaging that I really felt as if I was (and I don't think I was alone in this regard) discovering a new Big Big Thing. Their music was a speed fuelled Jefferson Aeroplane-meets-Dylan-meets-Libertines-meets-the skin head equivalent to the Beach boys, all packaged in a rather harmless way that reeked of blues riffs and true and un-disputable talent. They notably received a much warmer final applause than the previous act - though they may well have benefited some way by Black Velvet's warm up efforts.

Finally the main act emerged, dressed as far from cool as you can go, in an over-sized t-shirt and jeans. Starting his first number immediately, the venue went suitably ballistic as he belted out tracks that where so intellectually stimulating and beat ridden that all of the now significant crowd seemed suitably excited. But five tracks later he had not changed beat once, and as track six began in the same vein the term "one-trick pony" started to fill my mind. So - and I'll be honest with ya - with my eyes slowly sinking and the enthusiasm to clap along to over-played beats waning, I left.

Squire's album was tremendous - a brilliant combination, good production and a fine track list. But from Friday's experience the live show didn't live up to the recorded experience, and I can't help thinking if some Squire fans decided to stay at home and listen to said album rather than filling those upper floors of the Empire - they made the right decision. BS.

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STERN MAYBE PLANNING HIS OWN RADIO STATION
Howard Stern is reportedly looking for investors to fund his own radio station which would air via satellite. According to the New York Post, Stern's planned radio station would charge listeners $1 a month to listen - if only some of his 10-15 million listeners bought into the station that would be quite an income generator. How soon such a project would begin is unclear. Stern still has two years to go on his contract with radio group Infinity - although he says on air almost daily that he expects to be sacked as the US media becomes paranoid in the wake of the recent crack down by the FCC.

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JACKO GETS AWARD FOR CHARITY WORK
Just to prove we're not only interested in bad news - a quick one from the Michael Jackson file. Jacko is set to be given a Humanitarian Award from The African Ambassadors' Spouses Association this Thu in recognition of his charity work. Apparently Jackson has given an estimated $50,000,000 to charities around the world over the years - not to mention the millions raised by the We Are The World project he co-founded with Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie. And he is listed in the Guinness Book Of Records as the pop star who has given most to charity.

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FRENCH ROCKSTAR JAILED FOR KILLING GIRLFRIEND
Fun goings on in the world of French rock this week. Bertrand Cantat, the frontman of French rock bank Noir Desir, has been found guilty in a Lithuanian court of fatally beating his actress girlfriend Marie Trintignant - he now faces eight years in prison.

Although Cantat admits to killing Ms Trintignant during a violent row last July, he maintains it was an accident - and to that end his lawyers were hoping for a more lenient sentence. The judge did note that Cantat "did not want the consequences", but added "the guilt of the accused is indisputable". The singer is expected to appeal.

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O2 USE OUTKAST PROMOTION TO PUSH MOBILE MUSIC SERVICE
O2 is embarking on a major push of its mobile music service this week by making an exclusive mix of OutKast's 'The Way You Move' available to its members.

As previously reported the service, launched last November, allows music fans to download tracks via their mobile to a special Nokia music player. With deals in place with all majors bar EMI and, via AIM, most independents, the service hopes to have 100,000 tracks available for its members by the end of the month.

The new OutKast promotion will be supported by an high profile marketing campaign including TV ads, billboards and flyposting.

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PLAY ONLINE FOOTBALL WITH DELAYS
If you're looking for a way to waste a few hours this afternoon - well how about playing a little virtual beach football courtesy of the Delays? Marking the release of the Rough Trade band's debut album next Monday you can play the game at http://www.fadedseasideglamour.co.uk - and you could even win a weekend away in Brighton - what a good investment of your time.

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SKINNER ON THE STREETS CONCEPT
Speaking to Xfm, Mikee Streets has said new album 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' is something of a concept album in that it tells a continuous story starting with him losing £1,000 and falling for a girl called Simone, and ending with some philosophical reflection on his lifestyle and friends. But the concept bit was an accident.

Mr Skinner: "I kinda think that happened while I was recording it. I've always wanted each song to say something specific but I also like it when songs refer to other tracks. Tracks talking to each other y'know? Then it ended up as this bloody concept album. I hate the word 'concept' though. Makes me think of Spinal Tap."

On the subject matter of the album he continued: "Contrary to what the tabloids said last week, my songs have no relevance to my real life. If I was to have a really big argument with my girlfriend, I wouldn't be so stupid to put it in a song would I?"

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SUPERGRASS 10TH ANNIVERSARY BEST OF
Ten years hey? God I'm so old. But yes, it's ten years since Supergrass first appeared on the scene and to celebrate they are releasing a special album and DVD. The album will feature a massive 21 tracks including two brand new tracks - 'Kiss Of Life' and 'Bullet' - the former of which is out as a single on 24 May. The DVD release will feature two discs - one with a video archive, the other including a documentary, TV appearances and largely unseen material. Album and DVD are both out on 7 Jun.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Grand National - Talk Amongst Yourselves (Sunday Best Recordings)
There's been a small amount of hype/positive press (delete as appropriate) about North London's Grand National and, based on this, their second release, you can see why. A slowed-down disco beat, some New Order circa-1985 sequencer patterns and a jangly guitar motif ‡ la Johnny Marr...sounds good doesn't it? And you'd be right. Despite the 80s influences and general charity shop aesthetic though, 'Talk Amongst Yourselves' doesn't actually sound as dated as you might suspect; somehow coalescing to sound deftly original and thrillingly modern. Chuck in vocals that sound deliriously woozy, as if the singer recorded them whilst hooked on a morphine drip, and some quality b-sides that nod favourably to everything from Nick Drake to choppy post-punk, and you're left with a very fine single indeed. Along with Keane and Delays, Grand National's debut album will, if released this year, be one of the strongest debuts from an indie act you'll hear for quite some time. MS
Release date: 5 Apr
Press contact: AP [CP, RP, NP] Sunday Best IH [CR, RR, NR]

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MAY DISMISSES DARKNESS COLLABORATION CLAIMS
Brian May has commented on reports that the Darkness' Justin Hawkins would be joining him and Roger Taylor for a special Queen performance to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the legendary band's first chart hit. Calling the story in this weekend's Sunday People "a nice little fabrication", he added "some wishful hacklet has put two and two together and made three and a half. Well, it's not April Fools day yet, so I guess the joke is on ....The Fabulous Factual Sunday People!"

Talking of Queen - there's a magical bootleg online just now that utilises vocals put down by Freddie Mercury during a "broadway rehearsal" style demo. It's called 'New York At Last' and it sounds so smooth and fresh you'd be forgiven for thinking Freddie had put it down in the great studio in the sky just last week. Although Queen's catalogue is also owned by EMI (they who disliked Danger Mouse's Beatles bootleg project so much), word is that the reaction to the remix has been so good amongst the Queen faithful that there are positive murmurings among the band's people. We'll let you know more when we get it - meantime more info at http://www.mash-ups.co.uk

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ROADRUNNER ROCK WITH US METAL TOUR
If you like to rock, then look out for the New Wave of American Heavy Metal tour which is taking Roadrunner Record's Killswitch Engage and Chimaira on the road with support from Shadows Fall and God Forbid this June. Dates as follows:

8 Jun: Exeter, Lemon Grove
9 Jun: Portsmouth, Pyramid Centre
10 Jun: Cardiff, University
11 Jun: Liverpool, Academy
12 Jun: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
13 Jun: Manchester, Academy
14 Jun: Nottingham, Rock City
16 Jun: Dublin, Ambassador
17 Jun: Belfast, Limelight
18 Jun: Northumbria, University
19 Jun: Glasgow, University QMU
20 Jun: London, Astoria
22 Jun: Oxford, Zodiac

Press info from alison@roadrunnerrecords.co.uk

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YOUNG HEART ATTACK DATES
Talking of live loud rock, Young Heart Attack are following up support tours with Motorhead and The Darkness with their own UK tour. Dates as follows:

1 Apr: Sheffield Uni
3 Apr: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
4 Apr: Leeds Joseph Wells
5 Apr: Glasgow King Tuts
7 Apr: Liverpool Uni
8 Apr: Wolverhampton Little Civic
9 Apr: Cardiff Barfly
10 Apr: Oxford Zodiac
11 Apr: Birmingham Academy
12 Apr: Manchester Night & Day / Roadhouse
13 Apr: Leicester Princess Charlotte
14 Apr: London Garage
15 Apr: Bristol Louisiana

Press info from Beggars IH

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PRINCE LAUNCHES DOWNLOAD SERVICE
Prince yesterday announced he was launching his own music download platform called the Internet Musicology Download Store which will sell tracks from his catalogue of self-released albums, including new album 'Musicology'. The platform will follow the iTunes model - fans will be able to download albums for $9.99 or individual tracks at 99 cents a go.

Prince is in an advantageous position because since he fell out with Warner Music in 1996 he has self-released most of his subsequent material - selling CDs direct to fans via his website. This means he completely owns the rights to much of his recent music, enabling him to sell it direct to fans without involving record labels or publishers - and that includes new album Musicology which, although due to be distributed via Sony Music, has been produced at the artist's own expense.

Some in the American media are suggesting Prince's deal with Sony is a clever move to utilise the major's marketing machine to rekindle interest in his music, so he can then sell direct to fans via his website. If successful some reckon other established artists may look to self-release music and sell direct to fans via their own online music stores. Larry Katz in the Boston Herald comments: "Imagine new CDs by Eminem, Norah Jones, Bruce Springsteen and Beyonce made available online at each artist's own website. After all the talk about illegal downloading destroying the music industry, it could be legal downloading that puts the big record companies out of business."

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EMUSIC ADD LIVE SECTION
Talking of downloads - American download site eMusic has added a live section. They have set up a network of 40 clubs around the US and - where artists allow - will be recording gigs there and making them available via the site, sometimes as soon as fifteen minutes after the gig is completed. No doubt UK venue owners Mean Fiddler, who announced their intention to launch a music download service last week, will be keeping a watchful eye on the eMusic live service as it would make an obvious addition to their platform too.

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CHEMICAL BROTHERS TO PLAY GLINT PARTY
The Chemical Brothers are due to play their first DJ set of the year at Turnmills' Glint night on 22 May - they will DJ alongside Nathan Detroit and Justin Robertson.

The duo told Xfm: "After an amazing New Years Eve at Turnmills we are really excited to be coming back to one of the best clubs in the world to do a Glint party. It's always a real buzz to play in such a brilliant atmosphere and the fact that we feel so relaxed/free in Turnmills means we plan to play music fresh from the studio."

That is to say, material from the new album - which is currently in development - may be road tested at the Glint gig.

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VON BONDIES DATES
Fresh from the high profile beating of frontman Jason Stollsteimer by Jack White - erm, I mean, high profile success of excellent single 'C'mon C'mon' - CMU favourites the Von Bondies have confirmed a UK tour for Apr - dates as follows:

19 Apr: London ICA
20 Apr: Bristol University Anson Rooms
21 Apr: Leeds Blank Canvas
22 Apr: Brighton Concorde 2
24 Apr: Liverpool Academy
25 Apr: Glasgow Garage
26 Apr: Manchester Academy
27 Apr: Birmingham Irish Centre
29 Apr: Portsmouth Pyramid Centre
30 Apr: London Astoria

Press info from Warners IH.

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EMINEM TO PLAY LONDON D-12 DATE
So much live news today. Eminem will make a live appearance with D-12 when they appear at London Shepherd's Bush Empire on 8 Apr. Tickets are completely sold out though, so best of luck blagging your way in.

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EUK APPOINT NEW MD
Woolworth's CD / DVD distribution arm Entertainment UK - who also supply MVC and most of the supermarkets with music and film - have appointed a new MD following the retirement of Richard Cowen. Lloyd Wigglesworth, a former WH Smith and EMAP exec, takes over with immediate effect.

Confirming the appointment EUK's commercial director told reporters: "Both myself and the rest of the team here at EUK are very much looking forward to working with Lloyd. I am sure that under his leadership the company will continue to go from strength to strength."

Wigglesworth himself added: "I'm very much looking forward to the challenge of this role with EUK and leading the company to even greater success for itself, its customers, and its suppliers."

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FESTIVAL UPDATE
Looooooooooads of festival news for you.

Firstly line up news from the Reading and Leeds Festivals. Headline wise we're talking The Darkness, The White Stripes and Green Day, while also high up the bill come Morrissey, The Libertines, Franz Ferdinand, Ash, The Hives, 50 Cent and The Streets. All in all, quite a fine list to start with.

Up in Scotland The Thrills and Starsailor are the latest additions to the also very find T in the Park line up.

And if you're planning travelling a bit further for your festival entertainment this summer, Jane's Addiction's Perry Farrell has announced the initial line up for the Lollapalooza Festival which, once again, will tour the US this summer. On the bill so far are Morrissey, Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Modest Mouse, the Polyphonic Spree and String Cheese Incident.

Don't forget - date, ticket, website and press contact info for the main UK festivals is in this week's CMU Weekly - download a copy at here.

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WILL YOUNG: "PHOTO BOOK MAKES ME LOOK BORING"
Will Young on the new photo book dedicated to the Pop Idol - 'On Camera Off Duty': "The book is mainly pictures and polaroids. But I do feel in that book I'm really pretty boring. I really don't have too much to say. It's totally true."

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WALSH ON FARRELL'S LUCKY ESCAPE FROM BOYZONE
And finally pop manager Louis Walsh confirming that one Colin Farrell auditioned for Boyzone but was turned down a position in the boy band on Ronan Keating's advice: "[Ronan said] don't give him the gig. If you do, he's going to cause real problems. But it was obvious Colin would be the favourite in the group. All the girls were watching him at the audition. Colin certainly looked the part, even if he couldn't sing at all well. But then none of them could!"

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QUICK NOTE
National press for The Belles' single 'Never Said Anything', which we raved about yesterday, is being handled by Darling Dept, not Ian Cheek.

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