CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 13th October
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- IFPI figures show mixed fortune for global music business
- WH Smiths sales down - but it's part of a grand plan
- Sanctuary Germany closes its doors
- Madonna adoption approved through courts
- Hit40 UK announce revamp and new presenter
- BBC Trust now in place
- Boy George takes on homophobic hecklers
- Shitdisco drummer breaks wrist
- Hawley announces hometown gig
- Antony & The Johnsons plan interesting gigs
- Panic! Man to guest on Fall Out Boy's album
- Stooges working on new album
- Ramones film planned
- Pet Shop Boys at NPG
- Loudeye face investor lawsuits ahead of takeover
- Sirius to broadcast CBGB finale
- Daltrey set for CSI appearance
- Cat Power/Carl Lagerfeld love in
- Pop band want to release Cornish Beatles songs
- Muse frontman is a conspiracy theorist
- All Saints respond to Girls Aloud bitching

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TOP BIT>>
The well documented growth of digital music sales, highlighted again today in the latest set of global record sales figures from the good old International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry, is obviously good news for the music industry, especially as physical CD sales, on a worldwide basis, continue to decline. The digital domain, of course, offers so many great opportunities for the music business - opportunities which may well eventually deliver greater revenues than those being lost as CD sales free fall - though I suspect more opportunities than those currently being pursued will need to be tapped for that to truly be the case.

But here's another interesting digital challenge. The CEO of WH Smiths yesterday revealed that her formerly struggling retail chain has recently seen a considerable rise in profit, despite continuing declines in sales. The profits boost has been achieved by removing unprofitable products from Smiths stores - so that while less is sold, more profit is made. One of the developments helping to bring about this change in fortune is the further reduction of Smith's music departments so that they start to replicate the CD aisle in the supermarket - all chart releases, TV advertised compilations and special promotions.

Now, Smiths has hardly been a specialist record store for a long time now, but the further down grading of their music departments is, while understandable from the retailer's point of view (they have to compete with the supermarkets, and are doing so by copying them), a bit worrying for the rest of us. A significant chunk of the music buying public used to buy their music primarily from Smiths, Woolies et al. As those consumers rely increasingly on their supermarket's more limited CD aisle, and as the high street stores reduce their music departments to mimic those aisles, those customers are left with less choice and, more importantly, labels are left with less retail space to try and tempt the chart orientated shopper to buy something newer or different.

So what can be done? Well, on the high street and out of town shopping centre, possibly not very much. But is there a way digital could be used here? Everyone knows the advantage of selling online is that you don't have the shelf space and storage problems of the high street - which means you can stock a greater range of goods. The Amazons and Play.coms of this world are already capitalising on this fact. But are the existing online and digital players reaching the former WH Smiths record buyer - and tempting them to expand their musical purchases like the high street stores once did? I'm not sure they really are. Yet. But that doesn't mean they couldn't. The mainstream commercial radio stations that are planning their own over-the-air download ventures already have a relationship with those very audiences - and if they can persuade them to play with their new fangled download services then that could well be a start. A few success stories in that domain, and digital could be help the record labels overcome some retail frustrations that long preceded P2P and all that jazz.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

TICKETWEB HAVE A WIDE VARIETY OF GIGS AND TOURS all over the country to suit every musical preference. Right now, you can catch 80s cult heroes The Icicle Works, art-school electronica group The Soho Dolls, up-and-coming indie stars Fields and GoodBooks, bluegrass metal tribute Hayseed Dixie, the eight-day Soho Rainforest Jam in London, eccentric Gypsy punks Gogol Bordello and much much more. For the latest events visit http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/.
 
Promoters - contact clients@ticketweb.co.uk to find out how TicketWeb can help you sell tickets.

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ADVERTISE YOUR SERVICES & PRODUCTS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for details.

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JOBS N STUFF>>

SCRUFFY BIRD SEEKS: NATIONAL RADIO PLUGGER
Scruffy Bird Ltd is looking for a full time National Radio Plugger to join our Radio and TV promotion department. Applicants should have at least four years radio plugging experience, excellent contacts and outstanding business knowledge. You must also have an obsessive passion for music and an exceptional work ethic. The right applicant will be used to executing both higher profile campaigns as well as new breaking acts across national radio. Scruffy Bird is a young, dynamic music company offering national press and artist management services alongside radio and t.v. promotion. Please send CVs to Emily Cooper, Director - emily@scruffybird.com

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ADVERTISE YOUR JOBS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for details.

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

KILL ALL HIPPIES OCTOBER 2006
Ladies and gentleman - Kill All Hippies returns after its Summer break this Friday at a brand new venue - the Carling Islington Academy. And the line up is looking both big and wonderful. Live wise you'll get The Others, performing tracks off their new album, Dublin's finest rock 'n' roll export Humanzi, plus Action Plan, shining lights from the Young And Lost stable. DJ action comes from the indie mash up master himself, The Freelance Hellraiser, with support from Anu Pillai from Freeform Five and resident Gavin Nugent (Fully Comprehensive). Room 2 (Bar Academy) will be hosted by the Moshi Moshi guys featuring their finest DJ talent playing filthy electro, bootlegs, remixed classics and new wave. It's going to be a good night. It takes place on Friday, 13 Oct, from 8.30pm to 4am. Entry is just a fiver before 11pm and £7 after. Not only that, but the first 100 people with a flyer, or the answer to the question 'Which band released the single Kill All Hippies?' will get themselves in for free. All good.

Full info>> http://www.leylinepromotions.com

Check our interview with Humanzi>> http://www.thebeatsbar.co.uk/cmuinterviews

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIPL Chew The Fat! at The End.
A great club night in one of London's best venues, the Chew The Fat! crew will once again be thumping the The End's fantastic sound system - but with good reason: it's their 9th Birthday. As always, Fat! Records head honcho and all round nice guy Paul Arnold will be leading from the front, with bad boy Tayo, D Ramirez, Soul Of Man and Precision Cuts on the line up, and if you can't make this one, Fat is 9! goes beachside on the 27 Oct in Brighton at the Ocean rooms, with Atomic Hooligan, the hot Aquasky, and hard hitta Merka.

Friday 13 Oct. 18 West Central Street, WC1A, 10pm-5am, £10, £6 (NUS), more at http://www.thefatclub.com, press info from anton@trailermedia.co.uk

CARO'S LIVE TIP: Cord At The Portland in Cambridge
Sorry to keep recommending you stuff on a school night. I am also guilty these days of something of a bias towards Cambridge, which is interesting, as I had never visited the place before July but now get up there quite a lot. Anyway, you can actually see these guys in Hertford tonight, Guildford on Saturday and Wolverhampton on Sunday. But I'm going for Cambridge because I've actually been there. Actually, I've been to Guildford too, but don't tell anyone. Anyway, there is a veritable host of dates you could catch these guys - there's a full list of the dates on their MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/cordonline. Try to go to one of them.

Cord, Monday 16 Oct, The Portland, Chesterton Road, Cambridge, 8pm, £5 adv, more at http://www.theportland.co.uk

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IFPI FIGURES SHOW MIXED FORTUNE FOR GLOBAL MUSIC BUSINESS
New figures from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry released yesterday show a mixed picture of the global music industry's current fortunes. There was growth in some territories and digital revenues continued to grow, but there was also significant declines in certain key markets as CD sales continue to fall.

Overall, global shipments of “physical soundcarriers" fell by 10% in the first half of 2006, generating trade value of $8.4 billion, 4% less than the corresponding period in 2005. As a result some key markets also saw overall declines - Germany was down 4%, the United States down 7% and France down 9%. The trade association says that piracy and increased competition for consumer spending are both key factors in the declines.

However, not everything in the IFPI report was doom and gloom. Some markets grew at the start of the year - Japan was up 12%, South Korea 5% and Australia 6%. Digital sales, meanwhile, were up across the board. The value of the digital music sector rose to $945 million, up 106% on the same period in 2005. This means the digital sector now accounts for some 11% of worldwide music sales.

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WH SMITHS SALES DOWN - BUT IT'S PART OF A GRAND PLAN
Retailer WH Smith has revealed a big rise in profits, despite overall falling sales - especially in the CD and DVD domain. Smiths' sales fell 7% overall in the last year - with book sales down 5%, stationery down 4% and 'entertainment', mainly CDs and DVDs, down 20%. Needless to say, the high street chain is still being hammered by the pesky supermarkets, who are supplying much of Smiths' traditional customer base with access to cost cutting books, stationery, CDs and DVDs.

But, despite those sale figures, the company saw a leap in profits - up by 14% to £42 million - mainly thanks to various changes made by CEO Kate Swann in the last year, in particular ending unprofitable promotions, shifting to higher-margin goods and cutting costs.

The sales decline has apparently continued at the start of the current financial year but Swann says she's not too bothered: "It is not bad news. It is part of the plan. We didn't expect sales to go up this year and we don't expect them to go up next year either. It is not part of the plan for the next few years."

Music wise Swann's plans will see Smiths' music departments become increasingly chart and promotions focused, dropping any back catalogue the chains still stocked.

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SANCTUARY GERMANY CLOSES ITS DOORS
We hear that the latest downsize in the world of struggling music group Sanctuary Music is the closure of its German office, which has overseen the sales and promotion of the Group's activities in Germany, Switzerland and Austria since 2001. The Group will now coordinate those operations via its international marketing department in London.

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MADONNA ADOPTION APPROVED THROUGH COURTS
Madonna has had her official adoption application approved by a Malawian court, according to the country's government officials. The judge issued an interim order to allow the singer and her husband, Guy Ritchie, to take custody of the previously reported one year old boy at the Lilongwe high court yesterday. Government official Benston Kilembe explained that the couple had "followed the normal processes" and that the procedure was complete, saying "This has been going on for some time. Now this is the completion point".

As previously reported, the baby boy lost his mother a month after his birth. His father, Yohame Banda, said of his meeting at court with Madonna and Ritchie: "They are a lovely couple. She asked me many questions. She and her husband seem happy with David. I am happy for him. Madonna promised me that as the child grows she will bring him back to visit."

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HIT40 UK ANNOUNCE REVAMP AND NEW PRESENTER
Producers of the commercial radio chart show, that'll be the Hit40 UK, have announced that Capital Radio drive time presenter Lucio will take over as host from next week. He will replace current presenter Simon Hirst, who is leaving after two years fronting the show.

The presenter change coincides with a format update, which will see various 'listener interaction' features added, though Lucio himself says that doesn't mean the show is going down the more magazine programme route adopted by Radio 1. In fact, he said this: “The dismal, bland and cheesy excuse for a chart that Radio 1 broadcast will really be no contest for us. Our chart will be all about the music with top name interviews and we'll be predicting future hits with first plays of songs months before release."

Rob Corlett, MD at show producers Hit40 UK Ltd, added: “We are really excited by this re-launch as it is a new approach to radio. It's taking the best bits of how music lovers interact with music community websites and doing it bigger and better on an integrated radio and online platform."

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BBC TRUST NOW IN PLACE
The government has announced who the remaining eight members of the new BBC Trust will be, which is funny, because I didn't know they'd named the first four of the twelve strong committee. I must have been dozing that day. The Trust, as I'm sure you do remember, is the new body that will oversee the Beeb from the beginning of next year, replacing the current Board Of Governors.

For those that care, the new trustees are as follows: Dr Chitra Bharucha, a former consultant haematologist who chairs a General Medical Council panel; former economics editor of The Independent and member of the Competition Commission, Diane Coyle; Alison Hastings, a former Newcastle Chronicle editor who becomes the trustee for England; Patricia Hodgson, the former chief executive of the Independent Television Commission; Rotha Johnston, an independent businesswoman who becomes the trustee for Northern Ireland; former S4C executive and vice-president of the British Board of Film Classification, Janet Lewis-Jones, who becomes the trustee for Wales; David Liddiment, former director of programmes at ITV and non-executive creative director All3Media; and Mehmuda Mian Pritchard, a solicitor and Independent Police Complaints Commissioner for London and the South East. They join existing appointments Dermot Gleeson, Richard Tait and Jeremy Peat (trustee for Scotland) and, of course, Trust chairman Michael Grade.

On the new committee, Grade said all these here words: "The new BBC Trust has a very different role from that of the Board of Governors it replaces. The new Charter requires that the Trust is independent of BBC management representing the interests of licence fee payers. We must consult the public to ensure our decisions are properly informed by those who pay for the BBC. The Trust will recognise that every licence fee payer also has an interest in the wider choice offered across the industry. For the first time, the public will help set the strategic agenda for its BBC".

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BOY GEORGE TAKES ON HOMOPHOBIC HECKLERS
Boy George was seen to lash out (not physically) at a group of teenagers shouting homophobic abuse at him during an incident at the Vodafone Live Music Awards the other night. The singer was being interviewed on camera when the kids started hurling the insults at him, and George retaliated by calling them 'chavs' and telling them to "bend over and be quiet".

He then screamed: "I know I'm a queer. Shut your mouth 'til I knock you out". The teenagers continued to heckle, however, so he made his way over to the glass doors where the young people were standing and threw a champagne glass at the wall. George said afterwards that he was "calm" - adding "otherwise they'd be dead."

Elsewhere in Boy George news, but on the same evening, the singer has said that his Culture Club replacement is awful. Which may not be altogether surprising. As previously reported, the band have reformed, but without George, because he didn't want to do it, and recently held auditions to find a new front-person. The new singer, Sam Butcher, played his first gig back in July.

George said, having seen a video on the band's MySpace page: "I wanted to like it but I couldn't. They're my songs, they're my heart, they're my life. They're my gay love songs about my boyfriend. He can't sing them, can he? To me, the mark of a good band is when someone else can't successfully sing their songs, and he can't sing my songs."

Butcher has since responded: "I wish George well with his new solo career. I am hurt by George's comments but realise George says terrible things about everybody, including Madonna. I am just starting my career so it seems rather cruel to take pot shots at me. Maybe Boy George should keep it for the big boys like Madonna and George Michael."

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SHITDISCO DRUMMER BREAKS WRIST
Shitdisco's Darren Cullen has broken his wrist and will not be appearing with his band for the remainder of their performances on the Club NME On Tour thingy. The drummer was apparently dancing on top of the tour van. And then fell off. Not funny that. It's not. Because he had to go to hospital. He probably shouldn't have been dancing on top of the tour van. And now his group are going to have to employ the services of a session drummer.

A spokesman for the band explained: "The house engineer broke his fall slightly but he still suffered a broken wrist. He went to hospital and had metal plate put in after surgery. He will be unable to drum for the rest of the tour but Darren is in good spirits and he can't wait to get back."

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HAWLEY ANNOUNCES HOMETOWN GIG
Richard Hawley has announced that he will stage a homecoming gig at the Sheffield City Hall on 12 Dec. He will also appear at Shepherd's Bush Empire on 29 Nov. The singer is currently working on a follow-up to his 2005 album 'Coles Corner'

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ANTONY & THE JOHNSONS PLAN INTERESTING GIGS
Antony & The Johnsons will collaborate with video artist Charles Atlas on a multi-media performance at the Barbican next month. Based on Antony Hegarty's appearances during the nineties at New York club Mother, the show will feature the singer's vocals against a backdrop of videos showing a procession of models known as 'NYC Beauties'.

Speaking of the inspiration for the project, Hegarty told The Guardian: "The stage was tiny, not much more than the size of an elevator. But we did a lot of shows at Mother: installation type things, singing songs surrounded by drug-addicted drag queens and camp ladies of the evening. Everyone performed at the place, from Debbie Harry on down ..."

The show, entitled 'Turning', takes place on 4 and 5 Nov.

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PANIC! MAN TO GUEST ON FALL OUT BOY'S ALBUM
Panic! At The Disco guitarist Ryan Ross is to make a guest appearance on Fall Out Boy's second album, alongside New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert. The pair both contributed guitar solos to a track on the yet-to-be-titled LP. Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz says of the album: "We tried to make it a bit different than the way we used guests on 'From Under The Cork Tree'. We felt like rock bands have kind of neglected the guitar solo, at least in our genre. So we had our friends Chad Gilbert and Ryan Ross both play guitar solos on a song. But it won't be what you expect.

Wentz added that fourteen tracks have been recorded, and he thinks they're nearly done: "It never really feels like the homestretch, but I think we should be finished tracking this week. Or maybe we will do one more song, we'll see. I think the date the label wants the record is Halloween. We're gonna deliver it dressed in costumes. Or maybe not."

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STOOGES WORKING ON NEW ALBUM
The Stooges are back in the studio working on a new album, their first new LP since the release of 'Raw Power' in 1973. The band, who reunited for the first time back in 2005 for a series of live appearances, of course, are working with former Nirvana producer Steve Albini at his Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago. The current line up consists of Iggy Pop, Mike Watt, Scott Asheton and Ron Asheton.

Iggy Pop says of getting back to song writing with bandmate Ron Asheton: "All the same passions and problems are there. But the problems are in a more muted style. I'm still the show-off in the group that gets all the attention. Everyone has their role. It's pretty much the way it was in high school."

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RAMONES FILM PLANNED
According to Variety, producer Rory Rosegarten has bought the film rights to forthcoming book 'I Slept With Joey Ramone', an authorised biography by the star's brother Mickey Leigh and music journalist Legs McNeil. Rosegarten has also struck a deal with Joey Ramone's mother, Charlotte Lesher, who is executor of his estate, which will mean he can use Ramones music to soundtrack the biopic.

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PET SHOP BOYS AT NPG
An exhibition of Pet Shop Boys artwork will be on show at London's National Portrait Gallery from the end of this month. The collection, which will be available to view from 30 Oct, features the work of the likes Gilbert & George, Bruce Weber, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Derek Jarman. A photo book, 'Pet Shop Boys: Catalogue' will also be published.

As previously reported, a live album, 'Concrete' will be out on 23 Oct.

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LOUDEYE FACE INVESTOR LAWSUITS AHEAD OF TAKEOVER
Back-end digital music provider Loudeye is facing some legal issues as it is taken over by technology firm Nokia. Although the company's investors have, as expected, given the go ahead to Nokia's takeover, a number of lawsuits have been issued against the digital music company alleging the firm artificially inflated its value between the period of May 2003 and September 2005, affecting share price and stock value.

One of the lawsuits, issued by New Orleans-based Kahn Gauthier Swick, LLC, accuses Loudeye management during that period of "severe financial and operational control deficiencies", a situation which led, they say, to subsequent “stock declines".

Other lawsuits make similar allegations. US firm Scott+Scott says the "defendants made false and misleading statements and material omissions" about core performance, while the Law Offices Of Howard G. Smith say "material misrepresentations to the market" were made during the period.

Loudeye are yet to comment. However, the lawsuits are unlikely to stop Nokia's $60 million takeover of firm, which has now cleared all the regulatory and shareholder hurdles. As previously reported, the purchase is part of Nokia's attempts to gain advantage in the digital and especially mobile music markets.

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SIRIUS TO BROADCAST CBGB FINALE
US satellite radio network Sirius has confirmed it will broadcast the final live show to be staged at the iconic New York venue CBGBs. As previously reported, rather a lot, CBGBs, renowned for staging the early gigs of The Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads, is closing after its owner, Hilly Kristal, was unable to reach an agreement with the landlords of the building the club is housed in regarding rent rises.

The final gig, taking place this Sunday, will feature Patti Smith, who first played the club in 1975. The show will be broadcast on the Sirius network's Disorder channel. Commenting on playing the final ever gig at CBGBs New York, Smith said: "Although we mourn the closing of CBGB, we should remember CBGB, not merely as a place. It is a state of mind".

Kristal plans to reopen CBGBs at a new venue in Las Vegas.

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DALTREY SET FOR CSI APPEARANCE
Roger Daltrey is to make a guest appearance in US TV show CSI - that's Crime Scene Investigation, if you don't know. What's interesting about that is that the theme tunes for the show and its spin-offs are all tracks by Daltrey's band, The Who. No further details of the cameo role are available as the producers are keeping the singer's character a secret, calling it "a surprise role that will keep viewers guessing".

Daltrey is no stranger to the acting world, of course - he was nominated for a Golden Globe back in 1975 for his role in 'Tommy', and has also appeared in stage musical such as 'A Christmas Carol' and 'The Wizard of Oz'.

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CAT POWER/CARL LAGERFELD LOVE IN
Fashionista types are speculating that a chance meeting between Cat Power and Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld will lead to some kind of relationship between the singer and the fashion house, with rumour suggesting that she may appear in a Chanel campaign at some point.

Lagerfeld told Fashionweekdaily: "I saw her in New York in front of the Mercer Hotel and she was smoking and I said, 'Only a woman - she - can look glamorous while smoking."

Meanwhile, Power (real name Chan Marshall, of course) told Women's Wear Daily: "I was outside waiting, sitting on a pile of Louis Vuitton luggage, drinking water, with an apple and a cigarette in my hand, my cell phone, oh, and two guitars and out comes Karl. He walks up, looks at me and says, 'Only a woman can look glamorous when smoking.' And I lowered my glasses and pointed to [the bags under my] eyes and said, 'With these'?"

The singer is set to play at London's Roundhouse on 1 Nov.

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POP BAND WANT TO RELEASE CORNISH BEATLES SONGS
A band from Cornwall want to release a CD of Beatles songs, but translated into the Cornish language. Skwardya say they've already translated four and are working on another six. The duo, Matthew Clarke and Dave Miller, add that they began the project for fun, but that it's generated so much interest that they've contacted Sony to see if they can release a CD. They say they'll give up, however, if it turns out to be a pricy process.

Clarke says: "It would be great for the Cornish language to have a CD of Beatles songs. The group is not a folk band, we perform pop songs in Cornish and English. My whole raison d'etre is to prove that the Cornish language is alive and well and not just for a folk-singing, pasty-eating environment."

The Cornish language, formally recognised by the EU in 2002, is from the same family, as it were, as Welsh and Breton. Only a few hundred people still speak it, but Clarke says that a revival is gathering speed.

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MUSE FRONTMAN IS A CONSPIRACY THEORIST
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy seems pretty convinced that the events of 9/11 were, in fact, orchestrated by neo-Cons in order to give them an excuse to go to war. Bellamy says: "September 11 is clearly an inside job, there's massive evidence that suggests that it was either allowed to happen or even worse, deliberately made to happen. There was a document called 'Project For The New America Century' which was made by neo-Con writers in the 90s who supplied most of the agenda that Bush is putting into place now, which clearly says, 'We need a Pearl Harbor-level of event so we can have an excuse to invade the Middle East.'"

Now we all know that conspiracy theorists are generally mental. But to be honest, I have a little sympathy for this viewpoint. About three days after 9/11, I said to my flatmate that I wouldn't put it past the US administration to have let it happen in order to give them an excuse to go to war in the Middle East. The difference between me and Matt Bellamy is that I told my flatmate, not the general public... oh.

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ALL SAINTS RESPOND TO GIRLS ALOUD BITCHING
All Saints have hit back at Girls Aloud following reports that band member Cheryl Tweedy had suggested that All Saints are copying the Girls Aloud Sound (tm). As you may remember, Tweedy was quoted as saying: "The new All Saints sounds just like us. They must have looked at what's working at the moment and thought we'll go that way, but the whole thing is driving me insane."

However, All Saints have reacted angrily to the claims, with the group's Melanie Blatt responding (presumably with the slightest hint of sarcasm): "What Cheryl said is so true...because 'Jump For My Love' is so where I wanna be. We could only aspire and dream to be like them. Hopefully one day we will achieve that. For now we will just have to make do with copying them."

Shaznay Lewis added: "In all honesty they are stupid little girls and we don't really give a fuck. That's the end of that."

Now, do either of these two bands have any upcoming releases, I wonder? Ah, yes. All Saints release their new album 'Studio 1' on 20 Nov. Girls Aloud's Greatest hits collection, 'The Sound Of Girls Aloud' on 30 Oct.

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