Saturday, April 15, 2006


For one night only: Huevos Rancheros.

It's expected to be the last time they ever play together.

[Plug: Dig In - Huevos Rancheros - featuring sample-ettes of the band]


Oddly enough, Will Young doesn't like his early stuff. Now, normally this would prove tricky, because how can a star say "my early stuff was so pisspoor, if you liked it you must have been off your chump", when all of your current fans would have paid for that stuff back then.

Will has come up with a way: it's not that he thought it was shit at the time, it's just that we've all grown a lot since then, haven't we?:

"I don't think [Evergreen] is a great song. I think I've done better songs. When you look back at the stuff you've done, like videos, you think, 'I'd do that very differently now.'

"One of the best things about the job I do is that you'll always change and evolve and I couldn't really just stay in one place. You do tend to look back and see stuff differently."

He doesn't explain how his new stuff is different from the old stuff, but just as an Irishman can discern many different shades of green, clearly Will can tell the difference between apparently identical shades of bland.


They probably shouldn't have tried it, but the Manchester Passion, last night's BBC THREE reworking of the last days of Jesus, came close to pulling it off. After all, even an atheist can see that they were working with a cracking storyline, and if you've got the plot right, it can take any degree of old nonesense being tossed at it.

The music was probably the lamest part of the whole affair - rather than getting a Lloyd-Webber/Rice set of new songs, the BBC reached back to the glory days of Billy Anfield and hammered, twisted and warped Madchester era banging choons to almost fit the story. When it worked, it was obvious (I Am The Resurrection, as Jesus reappears); when it didn't, it was awkward (Pilate and Christ duetting on Wonderwall). In effect, it was like a grand version of Bionic Santa and those other singles where small snatches of song lyric were taken out of context to give the impression of a conversation.

Having Denise Johnson as the Virgin Mary at least ensured there was someone on hand who could carry a tune - even Tim Booth (as Judas) gave the impression that he'd have been better off carrying a huge great cross - but since she was stuck up on a stage and lumbered with Angels, her presence seemed to be as a back-up in case things went wrong. She never got to interact with her son, she never even got to give a reaction. Nice to see that 2,000 of Christian tradition of keeping the women to the margins was upheld, then.

The joy of the programme came in the little touches - Tony Wilson skulking in the mise en scene, and earning a credit amongst the Biblical names as perhaps the only 20th century figure ever to appear "as himself" next to Jesus; the orange jumpsuit a not-too-blatant nod to what happens when Empires pretend they're fighting a religious war. It's not clear if Keith Allen (as Pilate) was meant to seem so confused at the closing moments; it would make some sort of sense - Pilate would have thought sending Christ to his death was the end of the affair, of course, but it might have just been Allen wasn't sure Jesus was ready for his cue yet.

Actually, Pilate has a copy of the Bible next to his washing bowl, so he should have known what was going to happen.

Perhaps the greatest disappointment was there was nothing here to stir the ire of the staunchest Christian; indeed, it was probably Smiths fans who had more to be upset about. An alternative Passion? Passion there may have been (although the guys who hauled the giant glowing cross through the city for little more purpose than a single impressive aerial shot may feel their passion was wasted); there was little alternative in it.


Much of the coverage of the British Medical Journal report into automutilation presented it as "Goths are more likely to self-harm"; the actual report made it clear that that wasn't the conclusion it drew:

Self harm could be a normative component of Goth subculture including emulation of subcultural icons or peers who self harm (modelling mechanisms). Alternatively, it could be explained by selection, with young people with a particular propensity to self harm being attracted to the subculture.

In other words, it could be goths cut; or it could be that people who cut tend to be more drawn towards goth.

And, slightly more flippitantly, the report only considers those people who self-identify as goths; in our experience, the gothier the goth, the less likely they are to call themselves goth. Tracking subcultures - it's not that easy.


There is something extraordinary - especially coming in the week when Shayne Ward realised that he doesn't have any money and Gareth Gates pretended that working in a leisure centre was what he wanted all along - in the reports of Darius Danesh's new lifestyle:

"Darius has come a long way.

"His critics said he had no talent and would end up a nobody.

"But he's working on his third album and is living in the Hollywood Hills in a million-pound mansion with his gorgeous film star girlfriend.

"It's hard to believe it's the same person who was laughed off Pop Stars as a joke-figure.

"Darius is living the high life now."

This, by the way, is reported as coming from "a source" - the truth, which we guess is "Darius, speaking in a high-pitched voice with a hanky over the telephone mouthpiece", wouldn't have fitted.

Of course, it's not quite the rags to riches story it seems - if you're looking for a "Man lives off his girlfriend's earnings while working on an album nobody would buy" story we could lead you to loads in many towns here in Britain.

We're also a little uncertain as to how he's actually living in Hollywood when, erm, he's not actually living there:

Natasha, who is currently starring in hot US drama series Commander In Chief, last night confirmed Darius, 25, had moved in.

The actress said: "Yes, Darius lives here now, although he's out of town at the moment."

He's not just using it as a mailing address, is he?


Anita BakerRough times for Anita Baker - she's being sued by Babyface. No, not the criminal in a pushcahir from The Beano (note to self: check), but the producer.

Kenneth Babyface Edmonds reckons Baker split on a deal they'd made:

The lawsuit claims Baker refused to pay Edmonds producer's royalties equaling at least $100,000 from an estimated more than 500,000 albums sold.

Edmonds, 47, also alleges that he and Baker had an agreement to play four concerts together, but that Baker canceled two shows and refused to pay $150,000 for those dates.

You might wonder why they don't just go and have a look at the contract. Problem is, there isn't one. This was an oral agreement.

"Artists are used to working with producers, making the albums and doing the paperwork later ... It's always an oral agreement in this business," Edmonds' attorney Howard King said Friday.

It's not clear what King thinks the phrase "signing a record deal" refers to if he actually believes that the music industry doesn't go in for all that paperwork - our American legal expert suggested that perhaps he was confusing "producing an album which will sell half a million copies" with "sending a bloke round to fix the broken flush on your toilet", a job where commonly the paperwork is skipped. In this case, Edmond's legal success will depend on finding a witness who may have seen Baker slip a tenner in his shirt pocket and utter the words "if we keep the taxman out of this, there's a drink in it for you, too."

[Plug: Anita Baker's Rapture - 20 years old this year]


The Bank Holiday problem: how do you fill a newspaper when everyone's had the day off? The Sun resorts to filling half its front page with news that Myleene Klass appears to have come back from holiday with bigger tits than she went with - Classic FM must be so proud - and finds room for Brian McFadden's ugly new tattoo. Presumably the bloke who draws up their pie-easy sudoku puzzle was on holiday, too, if they were that desperate.


Stephanie McIntoshThe long march from Ramsay Street to the lower reaches of the Top 40 has been made so often, and is now so unsurprising, that Neighbours-actor-turned-singer Stephanie McIntosh has had to come up with a new gimmick.

Okay, so a reality fly-on-the-wall series isn't quite so original in any meaningful sense, but as the one who was Sky Mangel, she's going to need all the help she can get.

"When you look at the people who've had music careers out of Neighbours, from Kylie to Delta, they've all been so different to each other, and I'm about to be different again."

Well, it's true that Stefan Dennis was demonstrably different from the Alessi Twins, because he was a bloke, and only one, and not a twin, but beyond that, we're having difficulty sorting through them in our minds.

But if McIntosh is different from the other Ramsayites, then who is she like?

The concept of using a reality show to launch a music career was pioneered by American star Ashlee Simpson, who has influenced McIntosh's rock-pop style.

Pioneered by Ashlee Simpson, was it? That might come as a bit of a shock to Sheena Easton, don't you think?

So, does this mean we can expect something in the Ashlee Simpson mode - tame, half-hearted pop that thinks its edgy because it wears blue eyeshadow?

"It's definitely pop but it's going to be edgier than people will be expecting," McIntosh said.

Check, then. Indeed, maybe even check one-two.
[Thanks to the ever-lovely CFB for the tip]

Friday, April 14, 2006


Well, there's a bloody nose for the media: Kevin Federline, rap's answer to a shoebox without a lid, says they forced him into a music career:

he former dancer is working on his first album and feels he has no choice but to prove his true talent following his high profile marriage. He explains, "They are forcing me to do this, and I am glad they are. I am more than happy to do it. "I don't have a choice. It's not like I can go and do construction, start building houses in Malibu."

Eh? Why is that, Kevin? Why do you think you can't actually get a career doing something useful?


Nasty scenes at Black Wire's Newcastle gig on Tuesday, when a stage invaion left their guitarist in hospital. Tom Greatorex singer issued a statement:

We would have loved to have finished the gig and played the rest of the songs, but it's made impossible when people get onstage. All si's back is cut open and our equipment trampled on."

"It makes it increasingly unenjoyable to play shows. I don't wish to sound like a moaning bastard, but it starts to beg the question 'What's the point?'"

"Obviously we love people dancing and getting involved, but when that gets to the point of being forced off stage and un-able to carry on playing it's very frustrating and slightly pointless."

Si McCabe needed hospital treatment after he was thrown onto broken glass.


Having spent much of the week kicking George Bush about, Pink has continued to stress the distance between her and a Mariah or a Madonna by launching an attack on KFC and it's habit of treating chickens like shit:

"We're simply asking KFC to modernize its methods," Pink said, "and stop boiling birds alive in the defeathering tank and pumping them so full of growth drugs that they cripple under their own weight."

Also, bringing mashed potatoes to the UK store would be nice, but the animal welfare thing needs to be sorted first.

KFC, of course, deny that their chickens are treated badly, and that they just taste like they've been brutalised naturally. It has established an advisory council on animal welfare, although you'll note it's actually its own council, and hardly an indpendent body.


Following on from our fun with the figures released by the BPI last week - which contained the discovery that each court case discourages an average of less than a 1000 downloaders, the Guardian tech supplement featured some math by Mark Mulligan which focused closer on the claims of downloading costing the UK Music industry £1.1bn:

Mulligan is unimpressed: "The BPI should (a) know better than to infer that consumer survey data is national market revenue data; (b) accept there are many bigger reasons impacting on declining music sales - prices too high, physical piracy, competing expenditure on DVDs and games consoles, and so on."

He points out only 10% of UK internet users are file sharers, or just 5% of the UK population. If they were responsible for all that lost spending, they must have been very big spenders to have left a £1.1bn hole in the music business. "But they're not," Mulligan said this week. "They tend to be young and on low incomes. Physical piracy and the competition from games and DVDs is far more important."

In addition, Mulligan has trouble with the contention that £1.1billion has gone from the UK music industry at all. Since the drop in sales between 2002 and 2005 has come in at less than a fifth of a billion quid, where's the other 810 million gone, he asks?

The problem is, of course, that the BPI doesn't just see lost sales and count them - they like to count potential lost sales as well. For them, the old adage that "what you've never had, you've never missed" doesn't hold true at all. You might come across a copy of the theme tune to unloved Southern TV sitcom Take A Letter, Mr. Jones, and download it to revive memories of the episode in which John Inman's character rustled up an "exotic fish dish" for visiting Japanese businessmen. To the BPI, they see that as 79p you've not spent on a legal download, or £4 you've not spent on a CD. They either don't understand, or choose to ignore, that you downloaded it because it was there and free, that if someone had come up and asked you for cash in return for the song, you wouldn't have bothered anyway; and that you certainly hadn't gone out looking for the TV theme, and made a choice to go for the free option rather than a paid-for one.

It's the BPI's choice to assume that each free download replaces a paid-for one that leads to their repeated choice to make fools of themselves with press releases insisting that gadzillions of pounds are being stolen.

It's like the pen industry claiming that those free biros you get from charities are ruining their industry, because if it wasn't for the free papery pens you get from them, you'd go to buy a jewel-encrusted fountain pen when you wanted to write a letter to the milkman.


For reasons we can't quite fathom, Scott Mills has been trying to get Blackpool Airport to rename itself in honour of Jo Whiley. So far, they've only gone as far as naming a plane after her, but Newquay Airport have attempted to edge themselves into the act and have decided to rename their lounger The Jo Whiley Departure Lounge. Funnily enough, we think that might have been what they used to call her Channel 4 music-based chat show as well.

Still, having a bit of an airport named after you is some kind of accolade; Chris Moyles will probably be able to buy Heathrow and have it named something like Comedy Dave Planes Go Landy Park on his salary.


Now that Gareth Gates' Opportunity has finally stopped knocking, he's chosen a new career: he's setting up as a fitness instructor.

Yes, it might seem an odd career for a pigeon-chested type, but he was an unlikely pop star, and that worked out. For a little while.


In an "exactly what the Brits wanted" moment, Johnny Rotten has launched a middle-aged tirade against plans to give them a lifetime achievement award:

“I don’t want to know. They’re wasting their time — and they’ve been doing that for a long time.

“They think they can just come along and use us. We’re not a prop. We were never anyone’s prop, right."

John Lydon's appearance on I'm A Celebrity, of course, was quite different. Quite, quite different. And, of course, the sending of a sniffy handwritten note to the organisers of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame shouldn't be interpreted as a stunt giving them a prop to wave around and attract extra attention, certainly far more coverage than if the band had simply not turned up. Oh no.

“They’re just trying to glean some credibility.”

Yes, nothing says credibility like having a fifty-year old estate agent pretending to be an anarchist.

“I wrote something that meant something and had a serious effect on society. That’s a lifetime achievement.”

“If they find themselves in a dumb-arse predicament it’s because they didn’t listen in the first place.

“The only person they can blame for getting the music industry into a state of arseholes is themselves. It’s too late to come back and go, ‘Oh, help us out’.”

If you like this sort of thing, you'll be delighted to hear that Des Lynham will be complaining about gas companies selling electricity and Tony Slattery moans about people saying "different to" on Grumpy Old Men, BBC TWO, this evening at 9.30.


When E4 decided that the Hard-Fi live performance movie would be a wonderful Good Friday morning entertainment, did anyone think to watch it first? We're not squeamish about language ourselves, but Richard Archer bellowing "fuck" during school holidays on a free network at 11.25 seems a curiously relaxed attitude to the Ofcome regulations.

UPDATE: The programme just ended with a rather weak apology for the bad language and the hope that "it didn't cause too much offence..."


Now, conisdering that Private Eye dedicated two columns to pointing out that Victoria Newton's Bizarre gets its stories as wrong as often as it gets them, well, even more wrong, it's worth approaching her scoop that Robbie Williams will join Take That onstage in Manchester with a degree of caution. Especially as Newton builds in a get-out if in case it doesn't happen:

Robbie has insisted to aides that if the sensational story is made official anywhere then he won’t turn up on the night.

Not that Newton's feeling prickly about the laughing at her "exclusives" or anything:

And he did it when I revealed in June 2003 that former Take That pal MARK OWEN would do a duet with Robbie during his Knebworth shows.

Cast your mind back. There were furious denials of my story . . . only for Mark to join Rob on stage two months later at his historic shows to duet on Back For Good.


And for once, it's not Pete. Patrick Walden, guitarist, has been in custody since April 6th; he was released on bail yesterday charged with assaulting his girlfriend.


More good news for Kylie, in the week when her hair has started to reappear, and her place as the Sunday headliner for next year's Glasto seems assured: despite her enforced break, she still managed to make an extra £7million last year.

That's more than Chris Moyles put together.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Jarvis Cocker is back, and this time he's sweary. Very sweary. Very very sweary indeed:

“There’s a lot of swearing in the lyrics. One songs is called ‘Cunts Are Still Running The World.’ I hate it when people say swearing is the sign of a limited vocabulary. If you use a swear word well, it is big and clever.”

Cocker also said that the material is different to Pulp: “It sounds different to Pulp but it’s bound to be similar because my horrible voice is all over it.”

And, doubtless, there's going to be a lot of saluting going on when he plays it live.


Polly Jean hasn't played the UK since 2004. She's not in any hurry to put that right, but as a gesture, she's going to do a one-off show at Hay-on-Wye festival, May 26th.

Just Polly Jean Harvey, a guitar, a piano, three hundred book lovers and, presumably, Simon Hoggart hanging about in the background.

DryPluggage: Dry
Uh Huh Her
Rid Of Me
Rare 1993 video collection Reeling With...


Dawyne Vincent - who liked to be called Megaman when he was in the So Solid Crew - faces a third murder trial after the jury hearing his case at the Old Bailey were discharged.

Vincent is accused of encouraging Carl Morgan to shoot Colin Scarlett in November 2004; the first trial last year ended with the jury unable to reach a verdict. Today's trial ended when the judge said he had to discharge the jury in the "interests of justice":

"Material and fresh information has come to light at a very late stage of the proceedings.

"I have concluded after the most anxious and careful consideration that this material is of sufficient relevance that it has to be investigated further and put before a jury."

A date has yet to be set for the third trial.


Now he's about to become a married a man, Preston from the Ordinary Boys has had to let his bachelor pad go.

The Evening Argus isn't daft, though:

The sale will lead to speculation that Preston and Chantelle are moving in together.

You think? The whole getting married thing might be another clue, of course.


Renee Zellweger's marriage to Kenny Chesney might not have lasted very long, but it wasn't a total disaster: she's now going out to cocktail parties wearing the wedding dress.

She's had it dyed, and shortened, but still... a recently not-quite-married woman wearing her bridal gown to bars. That doesn't look desperate in any way, then.


Yahoo's purchase of Webjay back in January may have been a bit hasty - the service, which lets people share playlists of online music and video appears to have lost control of its bar on copyright material.

Yahoo executives declined to comment, but Charlene Fitzgibbon, a Yahoo spokeswoman, said: "Yahoo is currently transitioning some of the features of into Yahoo Music's products and services. Yahoo aims to respect intellectual property rights and will remove any content when notified of material that infringes copyrights."

The RIAA seems reluctant to start an open war with Yahoo, so the loudest complaints are coming from music industry executives who are reluctant to be named:

"When you look at services like that, functionally they are no different than the old
Napster," said a veteran digital music attorney who asked not to be identified. "It makes you wonder why anyone would bother to do a legitimate music service -- to go get licenses -- when they have to compete with this kind of thing."

Interestingly, Yahoo actually has a legitimate download service, which if this anonymous opinion was accurate would mean they were conspiring to put themselves out of business. Of course, that Webjay has managed to co-exist peacefully with over a billion paid-for downloads through iTunes alone would suggest that the existence of gray areas hasn't actually hobbled legal services at all.

What we do find ourselves wondering, though, is why industry figures are happy to put their name to press releases calling for the persecution of twelve year old kids and old ladies, but don't feel quite so bold when it's a large media company they're objecting to.


God alone knows how he's going to manage it (perhaps a long call to Picture Finance has helped) but Jacko could be about to be bailed out of his bankruptcy by those awfully nice Sony people.

Awfully awfully nice: it looks like they're going to bail him out in return for a bigger slice of the Beatles song catalogue. Of course, Michael will also have to pull in his belt a bit tighter if this is to be a permanent salvation.


RezonanceFancy a spot or two of some chillelectrogoth downloads? Step this way, then, as for the next 24 hours you can grab a couple Rezonance mp3s to fill up your hard drive and pretty ears.


After having spent some time inventing MTV and shaking off the image of the Monkee in the wool cap, Michael Nesmith is returning to making music. Not videos, though:

I did music videos in the '70s and that was fun because it was the launch of the basis of it and I was discovering some really interesting principles that govern the form. But after that I lost interest. MTV took off and it became this maze, this massive amount of information. I don't want to contribute any more to that.

He also doesn't think the RIAA companies have much of a future:

I don't hold much hope for Warner Music Group or Sony being a player in the future…. The problem with those kind of companies is that they don't have any good way to add value anymore.

For years, they'd support the artist in their nascent stages and get the goods to market. Those are old-time, Methuselean economics…. There are whole new businesses that will wander in and boot these guys out.

[Their] obituaries were written two decades ago. What you are seeing here is an inertial burn."

[Plug: Head on DVD]


Former David Essex sidekick Catherine Zeta-Jones might have put as much distance between herself and Wales (something, we gather, that Wales doesn't mind overmuch), but still has, shall we say, a hankering for a spot of Welsh.

She makes Michael Douglas pretend to be Richard Burton in the bedroom.

Presumably not when he would say "You're nothing but a washed-up actress, I want a divorce."


Now, we know what you're thinking - hearing that Ashlee Simpson won two Australian MTV awards, including best female artist in the world, you're snorting "did she get that for just turning up, then?" But you'd be wrong. They made her host the event as well. And probably oversee the valet parking, too.

The winners in full:

Best Male Artist: Shannon Noll
Best Female Artist: Ashlee Simpson
Spankin' New Artist: The Veronicas
Best Group: Green Day
Best Rock Video: The Darkness - One Way Ticket
Best Pop Video: Ashlee Simpson - Boyfriend
Best Dance Video: Rogue Traders - Voodoo Child
Best R&B Video: Chris Brown - Run It!
Best Hip-Hop Video: Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot
Song Of The Year: James Blunt - You're Beautiful
Album Of The Year: Bernard Fanning - Wish You Well
Video Of The Year: The Veronicas - 4Ever
Viewers' Choice: Anthony Callea
Free Your Mind: Peter Garret

Peter Garret, of course, is a former environmental campaigner turned government patsy, which is exactly the sort of neutred old dawg MTV likes to give prizes to.


It's hard to believe the dream is over, but Sony-BMG have decided they can now do quite well without Gareth Gates' help.

There's a "source" on hand to explain the decision, although it's not really one that calls for much in the way of brainage:

“The record label felt there was no way for them to take Gareth’s career forward. He had been working hard on trying to relaunch himself with a new sound and new image.

“But his latest material wasn’t strong enough to compete with fresh talent being churned out on programmes like X Factor.”

Now, it's one thing to be sacked, but to be sacked because you're not as good as Shayne Ward must smart a little.

Ward, meanwhile, sounds like he's had a penny or two drop. Perhaps it was while he was filming the advert for Woolworths and noticed that Worth the Puppet Dog was treated as the star:

“People think I’m loaded but it’s not true.

“My record contract is worth a million but I pay the expenses — stylists, make-up artists, travel and all that stuff.”

I believe the phrase young people use under these circumsatnces is "no fucking shit, Sherlock". Still, Shayne, it's not like you thought you were actually being given a million quid, is it? You haven't gone out and over-extended yourself with an insane mortgage or anything, have you?


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

POPOBIT: June Pointer

Following a long illness from cancer, June Pointer has died.

Born in 1953, June was the youngest of the Pointer Sisters, and one of the original members of the band when they were the duo Pointers-A Pair. Raised by a reverend with the Church of God in West Oakland, June and her sisters first taste of public performance came singing in church. Their family background was basic - new clothes were rare; a father keen to shield his daughter from "the devil's work" in all its forms - make-up, jewellery and secular music. June recalled their Grandad would bubble them if they strayed:

"Our folks would leave the house, and we'd get in the back room and beat pie pans with spoons, making that rhythm and jamming together. When they'd come home, Grandpa would say, 'Better whip their butts--they were in there popping their fingers and shaking their behinds, singing the blues! Terrible! Terrible!' And we'd get a whipping, too--you'd better believe it."

There were also two brothers in the family; one of whom wound up refereeing for the NFL.

The band was Bonnie's idea; first the duo, and then, when Bonnie and June tempted Anita from her legal secretary's job, they became The Pointer Sisters. Fame wasn't instaneous - a 1969 trip to build a career in Texas ended in disaster; but from that disaster came a deal with David Rubinson. He paid their fares back to California and set them up with studio backing vocals for acts as dispirate as Taj Mahal and Grace Slick; Rubinson's partner Bill Graham signed them to a managment contract. In 1971, Atlantic Records picked them up.

The first record - Don't Try To Take The Fifth - didn't do well; Atlantic persuading the band to abandon their plans of working acapella. The deal ended before a single was released and in the ensuing reshuffling, they wound up on David Rubinson's new Blue Thumb label, with Ruth joining them to make up the quartet.

The new look and new contract gave them the confidence to put together their own act - "we just shook everything we could shake" - and live perfomances and a slot on the Helen Reddy Show built a buzz that would lift their first proper single, Yes We Can Can, to number 11. Their 1973 self-titled debut album was a critical hit.

1974's That's A Plenty saw an first flirtation with country and western on Fairytale; its release as a single gae them a country hit and opened doors for the band to the Grand Ole Opry. Quite a coup for the times:

"When we first performed at the Grand Ole Opry, the audiences loved us," Anita recalls. "But at the hotel where there was a party for us, the staff assumed we were the hired help and directed us toward the back door."

By 1976, things were starting to come apart - health took June out the group for a while, and in 1977 Bonnie quit. The remaining sisters thought about going it alone, but instead signed a new deal with Planet records, and had a huge hit with a reading of Springsteen's Fire. The partnership continued to prove successful, building to 1982's So Excited, whose title track became so familiar as to wind up flogging Crunchie bars.

1983 saw June release her first solo album, Baby Sister. She stayed with Planet Records for this, and was able to continue to working with her sisters on the Pointer's Break Out album - her vocals driving Baby Come And Get It and Jump; it was the latter track which won the band one of their two Grammy awards.

RCA offered the band a new home in 1985, for whom they produced Contact and Hot Together. As part of the promotion for the latter, the sisters made a TV special, Up All Night.

At the end of the RCA contract, The Pointer Sisters signed with Motown and June, a solo contract with Columbia. This would have the first fruit, 1989's June Pointer album; the group's Motown debut, Right Rhythm, followed the next year.

June was the second sister to leave the family group - to concentrate on her own recording career, or because the others got tired of her drug use, depending on who tells the story.

She was proud of what the band had achieved, and was delighted especially with their gay following. Speaking in 1996:

You know we're gonna be the grand marshals at the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco. It's gonna be fabulous. I try to connect with the gay community in every city, go to a couple of clubs, and they put shows on for me. And I love meeting the people. I just love people in general. It doesn't matter what color skin you have or how you like to make love—it's what in your heart that counts. Please tell everybody in the gay community, "You ARE the best audiences."

Her last years weren't uncomplicated: drug use led to nasty scenes when on-off boyfriend Joel Coigney took her to court claiming she'd tried to claw his eyes out while high. After the court case - Coigney sought a restraining order, which he got - June checked into a spell of rehab and the couple got back together.

The 52 year-old was surrounded by her family as she died in the hospital she'd been confined to since February.


With Limp Bizkit now just an apology note to future generations, where now for Fred Durst?

To the movies, that's where: Durst has dediced to have a crack at being a director. Presumably on the basis that it's got to be easier to pretend to be running a film set than it's been to pretend to be a pissed off fifteen year old for the last few years.

Durst will direct The Education of Charlie Banks, kicking off in June up in Rhode Island.

If the name changes in production, we'll let you know so you can avoid going to see it by accident. If it ever turns up in a cinema.


Damon Albarn reckons he's glad that his current band are a bunch of cartoons, what with him being so reticent and all:

"I'm actually happier. I just like being able to get lost in the music and not worry about it. I don't feel so exposed, basically. Even though I was a frontman for many years, I don't think I'm actually that comfortable with it. It's what I did when I was younger and it had its course and then it stopped.

"The image and the artifice of music is something you have to be really aware of, otherwise it can destroy your music. If you allow vanity to get in the way, and ego, that's where so many people go wrong. That's why so many people start out brilliant and end up shit."

Of course, if he really was that bothered about the limelight, he'd be learning the drums rather than giving interviews about how he likes being on the fringes.

[Plug: 3862 Days, Stuart Maconie's history of Blur's first 10.57 years]


Police are still pulling together the details of what happened at Detroit's CCC Club on the night Proof was shot, but the emerging theory is that security guards shot proof after Proof had himself fired a gun.

Angel Bender, sister-in-law of Keith Bender, the other man injured during the incident, says her relative was in the "wrong place at the wrong time".

Earlier: Proof obituary


Not entirely surprising: Pete Doherty was due in court today. He didn't show.

So, not unlike his usual gigs, then.


In a bid to raise some interest in the Virgin Radio breakfast show, Christian O'Connell has resurrected the "fan's song for England" idea which stood him in good stead when he was at XFM. This time, a poll has been arranged and Jimmy Pursey has won. He's going to rework Hurry Up Harry as - of course - Hurry Up England.

If you need us, we'll be in the corner sobbing.


Patrick Cavanaugh, who spent twenty-two years on death row after being convicted of the murder of Coasters manager Nathaniel 'Buster' Wilson in 1980 has died before the State could kill him.

Cavanaugh died from natural causes in Ely State Prison Infirmary, Nevada. Unlike his victim, his body wasn't hacked into pieces and dumped in a canyon in Califonia.


TAG are demanding $100 million from Jessica Simpson. They feel the reason why nobody is wearing their range of Simpson endorsed sportswear is because Jessica Simpson doesn't.

Simpson has or would have pocketed the best part of ten million bucks from TAG in order to turn up at places wearing her own line of clothing; not only do they say she's failed to do so, but she's even trilled away about how her favourite clothes are made by, erm, other people.

Simpson's lawyer, Jed Ferdinand, said: "She denies it. It's absolutely untrue. That's what the evidence will show, and she will vigorously fight the lawsuit."

It's great that she's got a strong lawyer fighting her corner, but it's going to come as a shock to the team at Legal Advice by Jessica S, who thought they'd had a deal to provide all her public representation.


Assuming the vinegar and brown paper fixes Sean Spears' head, he won't be taking up a stage role yet. Kevin Federline won't let his kids join the world of showbiz. And not only because he doesn't want the competition:

"I'll encourage it, but not until they're adults. I'm not gonna let them be in this business when they're kids. "I don't believe in that. It's too hard on them. They need to learn life values first."

Good point, Kev - kids who are stars when they're young get loaded down with cash, and then they're susceptible to the first plausible looking person with a pulse and a plan to help them spend it. Like, ooh, what was that woman who used to be on the Mickey Mouse club?


Gwen Stefani might be all of a flutter to discover that the Flaming Lips have written a song all about her:

"Gwen sort of has a perkiness and a smartness that's pleasant. "We've always said the worst thing about her is that she's married to the guy from BUSH (GAVIN ROSSDALE). I'm sure he's a nice guy, but his band is so repulsive."

Very nice, Wayne Coyne, but will Gwen be pleased to discover that the song, It Overtakes Me, was originally titled I Like To Masturbate and Think of Outer Space?


Gorillaz is coming to the end of its natural life (yeah, that's what we thought about Fat Les) and apparently, they're going to go out with a holler: Damon wants a Vegas goodbye:

"There's a possibility of doing these shows one more time in Las Vegas. But we're not sure when. It'll be big and all bells and whistles. Then that's it."

"That's it" - except, of course, for the soon-come computer game and film.


Sophie AndertonLast week, Daniella Westbrook had a pop at Pete Doherty. Today, Sophie Anderton is having a go. Doherty, clearly, is the addict even other addicts (and reformed addicts) despise:

"I admire Kate. Anyone who can admit they need help is on the right track to recovery.

"But Kate's taste in men is as bad as mine used to be. What does she see in Doherty? He's a dirty fucker. I couldn't let him touch me with those hands, they're all dirty. And he's obviously still on drugs. He needs to be dunked in Dettol. He needs a good scrub."

Trouble is, Sophie, Pete probably mainlines dettol when he's between Methadone scripts so we're not sure it'd make much difference.


It's one thing to see your husband spend all his time with another woman: but what does it mean when he prefers to spend his time in a draughty community centre wearing baggy jim-jams?

Apparently, Madonna is upset at the amount of time Guy Ritchie spends doing martial arts.


What's exactly going on with Britney Spears? Reuters is reporting that child welfare agents dropped by her home:

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said on Tuesday deputies accompanied workers from the county's Department of Children and Family Services on a Saturday visit to Spears' home in the beachfront enclave of Malibu.

The spokesman, Sgt. Ken Cheurn, declined to discuss what prompted the DCFS house call, saying, "It was their investigation." But he said the matter was settled at the time of the visit and called the incident "a big nothing."

Some other US newspapers are reporting that Sean Spears fell out his highchair and shattered his skull into some more pieces than skulls are usually in:

The Star reported Sean was treated briefly at a Los Angeles hospital six days after the fall for what was described as a minor "scalp fracture" and blood clot caused by the fall. The Star claimed a distraught Spears brought Sean to the hospital because he was sleeping more than normal.

Curious. And not in a "Curious by Britney Spears" way.


He must really like engagement parties: only a couple of months after popping the question to his last girlfriend, Preston from the Ordinary Boys is to marry Chantelle.

"It was as much unexpected for me as it was for him," she said.

"He asked for his mum to send the ring over and he asked me.

"I just want to marry him.

"I've had a really long day today but I don't feel tired and I'm just dying to get home to see him."

When she says his Mum sent the ring over, we think it's because they're using a family ring and not because he has one ring he uses for all his betrothals, tied on a piece of string in the manner of the coin Top Cat used for tipping.

The big question: do they invite Pete Burns?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Michael Jackson is well known for seeking out young people under the age of 18. His Dad, Joe, is on the lookout for some older people - 18 to 32 year old to take part in his Hip Hop Bootcamp.

No, no, it's not a dotcom sitcom set in a hip-hop chip shop, it's a worldwide competition to find the next generation of hip hop stars for his son to pester to take part in a doomed project to raise funds for disasters yet to happen.


Obviously, it's not the most dodgy decision she's ever made - a woman who married Kevin Federline would have to go some to top that - but has anyone taken Britney Spears to one side to suggest that concentrating on the acting might not be the wisest of long-term choices?


As if the upheaval of a World Cup isn't bad enough, and as if the imminent Embrace official hymnal hasn't tried our patience already, Bez is adding to the mix with his first ever solo single in honour of the event.

For the benefit of our American readers, the World Cup is an opportunity once every four years for young England players to be strapped in a chair and force fed alcohol, except for those with gambling debts who can simply look forward to being strapped in a chair and forced.

Here is a glimpse at Bez's tune, One Dream:

One ball/
One team/
Three Lions/
One dream

At least, to be fair, he's twigged that England would need only one team turning up to stand a chance of getting beyond the second round.

And, before we can take comfort in the thought that "at least there's no bloody Fat Les this year," Alex James and Keith Allen are thinking of reviving the half-joke. With alleged pub-fighter Ian McCulloch on board, warns James:

"Ian McCulloch's been singing 'Come on, come on, you fucking England' to the Bryan Ferry song 'Let's Stick Together'. You take the backing track from that, stick McCulloch singing 'Come on, come on, you fucking England!' and Embrace can fucking suck my cock."

If Danny McNamara giving head to James would make it stop, perhaps somebody could try and persuade him it would be in all our best interests to do so? Come on, Danny, it's not an unpleasant way to spend an evening and it could keep Keith Allen out a recording studio.


Despite an enormously expensive billboard advertising campaign about three or four years ago - over four weeks teaser adverts led to the "I am Dave Matthews" revelation and the "so?" shrug - Dave Matthews Band has never really done much in the way of sales in the UK. As a result, Dave hasn't bothered to play that much here.

Next month, though, Dave will be coming here to give three gigsworth of his fascinating music:

12 Manchester Academy
13 Birmingham Academy
15 London Hammersmith Apollo

This would make mid-May a great time to be in America, I guess.


There was never any harsher warning to avoid an advert for penfriends than the advertiser's inclusion of enthusiasm for Extreme. Now, the time to short circuit usual standards of not judging by covers is with us again, as lank-haired horse faced softrocker Nuno Bettencourt has reassmbled the cough classic Extreme line-up for a series of live dates.

We can't hide our joy.


Proof, rapper and protege of Eminem, has been shot dead in a club on Eight Mile Road, Detroit.

Born DeShaun Holton on October 2nd 1975, Proof had achieved a level of success before he had the Eminem bounce: he'd done well in the 1998 Blaze Battle and won the following year's The Source Unsigned Hype award.

But it was the 2001 boost to his D12 project that cemented his position in, if not quite the centre of all things rap, then at least well within the gravity. D12 - kind-of short for the Dirty Dozen - had been formed by Proof in the early 90s; one member, who took the alias Slim Shady, went on to have considerable solo success outside the band and used his new financial and creative muscle to bring his former friends along to his vanity label Shady Records. Eminem would sometimes still work with the band, which helped debut album Devil's Night debut at number one on both sides of the Atlantic.

The next year, Proof hooked up with Dogmatic and toured with Eminem; his Shady links also won him a part in 8 Mile, the movie - his Lil' Tic character was the only one in the film to feature genuine, rather then scripted, rap freestyling.

In 2005, Proof's perhaps surprising obsession with Jerry Garcia was demonstrated not only in the title of his solo album Searching For Jerry Garcia, but in his choice of August 9th for its release - the tenth anniversary of Garcia's death. Proof explained his passion for the man:

"Despite his genius, Jerry Garcia died from drugs, stress, and poor diet. At one time or another we all struggle through one of those things, so in a way, we all have a little Jerry Garcia in us."

Proof and an as yet unnamed 35 year-old man were taken to hopsital with gunshot wounds to the head following the incident at the CCC Club; the second shooting victim has apparently survived but is in critical condition.


A free Priscillas gig, that's what. Turn up for their gig this Saturday at Underneath the Phoenix, in London, before 10pm, you get in for free.

That can't be bad.

They have some other shows coming up, too:

Saturday May 6 London Luminaire Kilburn With The Debretts and Royal Treatment Plant
Saturday May 13 London The Buffalo Bar Guided Missile Presents The Glitter Band
Friday May 26 London Dirty Water Club With The Top Ten (ex Bobbyteens! Woohoo!)
Saturday May 27 London Garage With The Rezillos
Thursday June 1 London 100 Club With The Beestings
Friday June 2 Sheffield Razor Stiletto
Saturday June 3 Nottingham TBC


To be honest, we didn't know they were dating, so we're managing to hold our life together at the devastating news that News on Yahoo! MusicCiara and Lil Bow Wow have apparently put an end to their mutually beneficial dating incidents. Ciara's spokesperson broke the bad news:

"I cannot comment on the reason, but can confirm that Ciara and Bow Wow have split," said Tracy Nguyen in a statement Monday. The spokeswoman also took the unusual step of stating that the breakup wasn't amicable.

Surely saying that it wasn't amicable is pretty much commenting on the reason for the split.


Most people, if they came home to discover their partner had given their clothes to charity, would assume they had been caught in some sort of bad behaviour. At least David Furnish has taken comfort in the knowledge that Elton is also lobbing his own cast-offs into the sale in aid of the Elton John AIDS foundation.

You can pick up the outfit Elton wore when he appeared at the Grammys with Eminem. Eminem's isn't included in the sale, but if you hang about until Kim heaves stuff down to the Oxfam shop in a black bag, you might be in luck.


Surely Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney aren't so desperate for cash they'd be helping out with "new Beatles songs" for a Las Vegas show in association with Cirque Du Soleil. And presumably they're not doing it for the artistic opportunity of providing a soundtrack for some juggling and clowns. Which raises the question: why?

"The show involves the creation, by the remixing and remastering of The Beatles' recorded performances, of completely new music, which will be featured in the show, and which should lead to the release of the show album," Apple Corps' Neil Aspinall told the Daily Telegraph.

Oh... actually, it probably is about money, isn't it?


The Subways have put their tour on ice: Billy Lunn has lost his voice.

Last weekend's Bristol date was pulled; now the two nights at Shepherds Bush Empire have also gone. Dates will be re-arranged and everything.


As Empire Square comes to the US, Dave Rowntree talks to Billboard and reveals why it's
a cartoon for adults and not kids

"When we first started out with this, it was a completely different idea. We liked the idea of making a kids TV show but the more we went down that path, the more it seemed a waste of time. There's so many restrictions. People get really protective."

You can't just do anything you like on kid's TV? Who'd have thought, eh?



It's not just the make-up which attracts him to the idea of making more movies: the money probably helps.

But at least he's not deluding himself, figuring his limited acting skills make it best to stick to smashing stuff onscreen:

"I'm working on a few things. Hopefully everything goes as well as planned, but I'm really into the action.

"I don't think I'm ready to cry on set yet. So you know, I'm tryin' to stay away from the sentimental things and stick to what works for me."

That's it - work your way up to the Hamlet role bit by bit.


A jazz band from Queensland ("unsigned" sniff some commentators, as if bands don't actually exist before they have a record deal) have forced Jack White to change the name of The Raconteurs to the equally poor Saboteurs when doing business in Australia.

So, no room for confusion there, then.

There's a statement:

"The Raconteurs name was already taken by a jazz band, to make things easier, and in the spirit of espionage and subversion, we have decided to become The Saboteurs in Australia only."

Surely the jazz band have been more subversive here?


Besides worrying that her butt is too damn small (she's doing exercises to cope with that, rather than the more obvious "enjoying cheese"), Nadine from Girls Aloud hates people thinking she looks like Victoria Beckham. Simply because she's stick thin, has the same haircut, and is in a five-piece girl band who are starting to clutter the place up.

She thinks the hair is the main problem:

“I have the same hairdresser as Posh, so I suppose that’s where some people may find a comparison. But I don’t try to look like her.”

Which makes us think of this old joke:

Bloke walks into a barbers and says "I want my hair cut like Phil Oakey out the Human League."
The barber says okay, and sits the bloke down. Ten minutes later, after much chopping and combing, the bloke's got a number two crop.
"What have you done? Phil Oakey doesn't have his hair cut like this," he rages.
The barber sniffs. "He does if he comes here."

Maybe Nadine should ask to try the senior stylist next time. Go on, Nadine. It's worth the extra fiver.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Maybe Will Young isn't quite as nice a boy as he seems - although the clips of Valerie Singleton, Pete Purves and John Noakes in his current video are all legal and above board, it turns out that nobody actually thought to ask the fab three if they were happy to be digitally manipulated to support the sales of his new single.

Bad mistake. Valerie Singleton used to present The Money Programme, and John Noakes always had an eye on making a few bob (the BBC had to step in and take Shep into care when Noakes made adverts featuring the Blue Peter dog; Noakes shrugged, and got a lookalike called Skip in). Now, stung that they only found out about it by reading it in the papers, the triumeverate are now muttering about getting some cash from the whole deal.

What's perhaps more interesting is what the choice of Blue Peter presenters says about who Will Young is selling his records to: Val, Peter and John last shared a banquette in 1972, and the other pair bailed in 1978. So, even taking a generous view, someone who was six when any of them were last on Blue Peter would already be in their mid-30s; a more typical ten year-old viewer for the last time they all worked together would now be forty-four. The impression, then, is Will is being pitched more desperately at an aging market than he is at the youngsters of today. Even a smattering of Lesley Judd could have given a slightly younger tinge to Young's target demographic.


BT keeps starting to get interested in music - trying out all sort of interesting ideas (dial-a-disc, getoutthere, dotmusic) before abandoning them or selling them on to somebody else, leaving it five minutes and then deciding that it's time to get back into the music industry again. The latest? As part of their broadband TV offering, 500 gigs by artists as varied as The Pixies and the Who will be available on a pay-per-view basis.


BBC TV and Radio has done quite well out of GGlastonbury since winning the rights over from Channel 4 a while back, but this year, of course, was looking at having to come up with some fresh ideas to plug its weekends. Instead, though, they've done a deal to rescue Reading-Leeds from the early morning slots usually given to it by ITV.

BBC THREE is also going to carry TV footage of Radio One's Big Weekends, the 21st century reworking of the Radio One Roadshow. Of course, there was an experimental series of Roadshow programmes on BBC ONE years ago which didn't do very well. But then 1BW doesn't have Gary Davies, which gives it an advantage.

Andy Parfitt, the controller of Radio 1, said BBC3's decision to broadcast the Big Weekend for the first time "ties in with our visual ambitions on all digital platforms."

Mmm. Visual ambitions on digital platforms, you say?

Maybe we were too quick to kick Gary Davies.


Gwyneth Paltrow has given birth to her second child with Chris Martin.

They're calling it Moses.

There was a kid up our street called Moses. Our mam always said it was appropriate, as he was a right little basket.

Of course, Moses' elder sister is called Apple. We'd not seen this quote from Gwyneth before, explaining their choice:

"It conjured such a lovely picture for me - you know, apples are so sweet and they're wholesome and it's biblical - and I just thought it sounded so lovely and clean."

The apple in the Bible, of course, wasn't sweet and wholesome and lovely - indeed, you find that out quite early on in the bible, even before you get to the bit with Moses in.

Still, one from Genesis; one from Exodus. We're betting the next kid gets lumbered with Abihu.


We were a little surprised to see that the creative team behind Woolworths' ads have run out of ideas so quickly that they've fallen back on getting their puppets to present a fake news report in the current run of Easter commercials - even provincial furniture stores thought the pretend news headlines format for an ad looked dated by the mid-80s.

Now, though, this comes live from the scene: Shayne Ward is going to co-star with Wolly and, erm, Worth to flog his only album.

"Shayne Ward is currently the hottest property in this country and our ad team have pulled off a major coup," said Woolworths marketing director Stephen Robertson.

"His album is expected to be the biggest-selling pop CD of the year and Woolworths is the biggest seller of pop music, so the fit was an obvious one.

"We believe the ad will excite our customers and deliver a significant sales boost to the most important music release of the year."

A plastic pop star working through some tired gags with a pair of cut-price muppets is what passes for excitement amongst the average Woolworths shopper these days, is it? That explains a lot about the look in the eyes of people who brave the nasty, overpacked stores, then.

Now, Robertson, of course, is no Gennaro Castaldo - after all, it would have been Robertson who signed off on the whole "hey, why don't we have the dog and sheep present a news show about how cheap Woolworths is" scheme in the first place, so don't be too cruel to him by pointing out that Chico is probably hotter than Shayne Ward right now; that even the cups of tea pensioners sit over in Woolworth's cafes are hotter than Shayne Ward. Let's just enjoy the outline of the fabulous commercial this latter-day Lennon will feature in, shall we?

Titled Ladies' Man, it sees Shayne appearing as a guest on TV show Woolworths News, where Wooly is the entertainment correspondent and Worth is the anchorman.

Shayne chats about the attention he receives from adoring female fans - only for Wooly to butt in and say: "Tell me about it."

Apparently, then, the felt puppets also write the adverts as well as star in them.

The advert airs from Saturday. Some people have trouble telling the characters apart, so here's a handy cut out and keep guide:

Worth - the dog, who is made to talk by a man under the table with his hand up his bottom
Wooly - the sheep, who is made to talk by a man under the table with his hand up his bottom
Shayne - the other one, who we hope at least gets given a earpiece


We're not quite sure how far her involvement goes, but Liz Phair's cascade down from icy indie queen to American Idol wannabe didn't apparently end with the album where she teamed up with the people who made Avril Lavigne. She's now teamed up with Ralph Lauren Hot, which we were disappointed to discover is yet another perfume and not a deli sandwich.

We say we're not sure as after about twenty miutes the Hot website hadn't finished loading up, but if the teaser ad is to be believed, as well as providing a soundtrack for what may be the most-lazily fragrance in toilet water history, Phair appears to have given an interview to one of Lauren's models.

Sometimes, it's nice not to be asked questions about what direction you seem to be heading in.

We're also delighted to see the site offers a contest to win $500 worth of Lauren clothes - which, at his overpriced levels, would be a pair of knickers and a hanky.


What scares Karen O?

Nothing much, you'd have thought.

But she's afraid of Kelly Clarkson, and the scary similarity of Since U Been Gone to Maps:

"It was like getting bitten by a poisonous varmint. Ah, well, if it wasn't her, it just would've been Ashlee Simpson."

There's always a worse option.


What we don't understand is exactly what Chris Martin meant when he said that "one of Mariah Carey's boobs is on Coldplay's tail" - bouncing behind them like one of those things off the Prisoner?

He then, erm, sang a little song about Mariah's tits:

Mariah Carey's boobs are so nice/
and she don't mess around/
if she had been aboard the Titanic/
there's no way that ship would have gone down"

Well, at least it's more flattering than "they was all yellow".


How does a man who's had to close down his freaky child-magnet private zoo for lack of cash manage to afford to buy a fifty grand watch? Presumably if he's spending someone else's money.

Although to be fair, Michael Jackson could probably do with a good timepiece, in order to manage the countdown to the release of that Katrina benefit single. Although a five-year calendar might be more apt.


Kevin Federline is in trouble. His fabulous recording career (forgive us if we're wrong, but it seems so far to be self-released stuff through MySpace, like fourteen year-old boys from Chukkhappa would do) has managed to piss off Thomas Dolby. Federline sampled Mobb Deep on one of his "joints", and didn't bother to clear the sample.

Now, Mobb Deep are labelmates of Britney, and so they couldn't really say much (it's kind of like if the bosses' dog pees on your shoes).

Unfortunately, the sample Federline chose was itself a sample, from Thomas Dolby and Magnus Pyke's She Blinded Me With Science.

Okay, Pyke wasn't credited on the single, but he'd been rucial to its creation - he'd refused to deliver his, titular line as anything other than a question on the grounds that everyone knew he was a celebrated scientist and it would be impossible for a girl to blind him with science; he also refused to wear a white coat in the video as impersonating a doctor was a crime.

Anyway, Dolby is really pissed with Federline:

"You can't just take a very well-known piece of music and add your own vitriolic rap over the top of it and get away with it. If anybody's going to sing nasty lyrics over my music, it's going to be me."

"I considered turning a blind eye to it other than, as I mentioned on my site, asking him politely to take it down," Dolby said. "But I found out today that it aired on VH1 last week. So it's more than just an MP3 download. It's airing on TV, and there's no question it's taken from the Mobb Deep record. It's like what Vanilla Ice did with 'Ice Ice Baby' [illegally sampling Queen and David Bowie's 'Under Pressure'], although I think Vanilla Ice is a superstar compared to this guy."

Now, that, Thomas, is just being nasty.


Chances of an England World Cup victory are looking more slim than ever: apparently Ashley Cole's match fitness relies on "saucy bedroom workouts" with Cheryl Tweedy:

Cheryl says: “I’ve been doing my best to help him keep fit.

“We tackle each other in the bedroom, and he loves me massaging his feet.”

Let's hope she's been getting him used to facing the disappointment of an early departure from the competition as well.

Still, it's all a fascinating insight into how they have sexy fun together, Ashley Cole and Cheryl Tweedy, together, from The Sun. Nothing to do with Cole suing their sister paper over stories placing him at a gay orgy. It's kind of like Murdoch's other tabloid, The Times running a story on Cole's lawyers demanding to know from Google if it was an "editorial" decision that typing in "Ashley Cole" generates "See results for: ashley cole gay".

Sunday, April 09, 2006


"Six months before that record came out, you were planning a strong record career?"

Our Sunday pick from the world of YouTube:

Kate Bush had been written off as having disappeared from the face of the Earth, living somewhere in Scotland. Then she made Aerial and everyone remembered how great she is.

Noel Edmonds had been written off as having disappeared from the face of the Earth, living somewhere in Devon. Then he made Deal or No Deal abd everyone remembered that he could be very watchable.

This, then, is the meeting of those two legends from their first flush of fame. 1979 - Callaghan-era Multicoloured Swap Shop: twelve minutes of questions on the phones. 01, if you're outside London, 811-8055.


One of our guilty little pleasures in life is the Regret The Error blog, which collects apologies and and the like from around the media. We were interested, therefore, to see their item on Lindsa Lohan. W magazine is offering an olive branch and "so very sorry" over a - uh, shall we say - misinterpetation of something she may or may not have said in an interview about her mum visiting her car crash father in jail:

Lohan never said that and West is, according to Lohan's representative, ac- knowledging his mistake.
"There will be a correction in next month's issue," Lohan's rep, Leslie Sloane, said. "Kevin West took down the wrong notes and inferred something about [mother] Dina and her kids visiting him in jail. No, they haven't visited and neither does Dina want to - she has nine orders of protection out against him. Michael and the children only speak occasionally on Mondays when he calls."

Under those circumstances, it's not entirely clear how you might come away with the impression that mom was popping in on pop at all. Very curious.

More curious, though, is RTE's releated glance at Lohan's battle with Vanity Fair:

It quoted her talking frankly about an eating disorder. "I was making myself sick," she said. "I had people sit me down and say, 'You're going to die if you don't take care of yourself'."
After the article appeared, she released a statement to Teen People: "The words that I gave to the writer for Vanity Fair were misused and misconstrued, and I'm appalled with the way it was done. Aside from [the writer's] lies and changing of my words, I am blessed to have this job and wonderful family that I do."
Too bad for Lohan: Vantiy Fair had it all on tape. No correction.

The real curiosity here is that Lohan is not noted for her orotund style - indeed, aside from when she introduces herself, she barely gets beyond one syllable at a time - and yet all these journalists find themselves confused about what she's saying. Perhaps it's the dazzling beauty of her eyes distracting them.


It's wonderful to see so many former members of Atomic Kitten getting jobs in selling - Kerry Katona selling her true story to any magazine prepared to put up enough cash for a bag of turkey twizzlers and a can of something fruity, for example, and now Jenny Frost agreeing to be the face of Veet.

Back when Frost was famous, Veet was called Immac, so presumably the idea is that you have to forget what you were and get used to your new identity.

Trouble is, she threw a bit of a huff (claims the People) and refused to have her photo taken as part of the publicity launch, which for Veet is a bit like having a sandwichboard man who suffers from a severe shyness problem.


Are Madam Tussauds really bothering to make a waxwork out of Shayne Ward? Unless his waxy effigy is going to like one of those advent candles, and they're going to burn down a notch every day until his career, and his effigy, disappears forever. Or maybe they just have a few models made out of PlayDoh or something, so they can give it a tweak and turn it into whoever wins Big Brother this summer?

After all, the unveiling is going to be a bit awkward - Tussauds are used to people nudging each other going "who's it meant to be" when confronted with a waxwork; when it's the actual celebrity there for the big reveal, though, that'll be different.


Remember those BBC One adverts from ages back, with the bloke who climbs over buildings and stuff to get back home in time to catch whatever it was? It's kind of like the start of Vertigo only showing off? Yeah, if you cast your mind back far enough, you might just remember. It was when the idea that risking your neck jumping from building to buildings was (a) impressive and (b) a sport?

Madonna's building her world tour around a bloke like that. Sebastian Foucan, to be precise.

It'll be surfball for the 2009 tour, you'll see.