Saturday, July 08, 2006


In pre-recorded testimony in his trial for breach of contract, Michael Jackson has said how shocked he was to discover the gay porn director he hired had made gay porn:

The popstar told Santa Monica Superior Court in video-taped testimony on Thursday he watched on in disbelief as Mark Schaffel directed the adult entertainers what to do, before touching their penises.

Hang about... that doesn't mean that Jacko touched their cocks after watching in disbelief, it means that he watched as Scaffel first directed and then touched.

He said, “I was shocked by what I saw... (Schaffel) was directing two guys. They were naked from head to toe... and he was telling one what to do with the other and he grabbed their penis or something. I didn't believe it."

The testimony being filmed, there was no chance for cross-examination to ascertain if Michael meant he couldn't believe someone touching a penis and the knob's owner not saying "give me half a million or I'll tell my mummy..."


There's seldom a day that can't be cheered with news of Jarvis Cocker, so we're delighted to discover him sitting about in a corner of MySpace, with a new, solo song to listen to, and a blog post and everything.

Oh, yes, he's not happy with what Live8 supposedly achieved:

If all the technical bits & pieces are working properly then you should be able to hear a new song I've been working on. I wanted you to hear it now cos It's exactly 1 year since that Live-8 thing & it was the night of that event that I wrote this song. I apologise for all the swearing but sometimes that's the only thing that seems appropriate.

It's in no way a criticism of Geldof & co. but I remember thinking at the time: "Where does engaging with these politicians/businessmen really get you?" - ( 12 months on & the cunts still haven't paid up as far as I can make out) - maybe the problem is something more ..... fundamental. Anyway, what do I know? I'm just a pampered rock star - but at least I think it's good to discuss this stuff. Don't you?
Let me know what you think.

We will, Jarvis, oh, we will...


We've already heard of a smattering of people put in hospital because they were so intent on shuffling that they didn't hear the bus coming up behind them, but now news reaches us of another risk: lightning strikes.

One minute, Jason Bunch was mowing his lawn in Castle Rock, Colorado, listening to Metallica on his iPod. The next thing he knew, he was in bed, bleeding from his ears and vomiting.

To be honest, that's not unusual when listening to Metallica, but the burnt tshirt suggested that maybe something else had gone on.

Bunch's ears were burned on the inside, and he's lost some hearing, mostly on the right side. His hair was singed.

His face, chest, hands and right leg have freckle-size welts on them as if buckshot had come from inside his body out.

The wounds follow the line of his iPod, from his ears down his right side to his hip, where he was carrying the device. The iPod has a hole in the back, and the earbuds dissolved into green threads.

The scientific thinking seems to be that, although the iPod didn't attract the lightning, the cabling provided a route for the electricity to flow through.

The answer, by the way, to our quiz question "what kind of person cuts his grass during a thunderstorm" was "A Metallica fan, clearly."


Following last year's period of awkwardness, when Brandon Flowers first announced Where Is She was a song written from the perspective of Jodi Jones' mother and then, bemusingly, that it wasn't actually about Jodi at all, The Killers have decided to drop the song altogether and it won't be appearing on the new album after all.

Luke Mitchell, who was convicted luring 14 year-old Jodi to the woods and murdering her, was given leave to appeal earlier this year.

The Killers seem to wish they'd never got involved, to judge by their spokesperson:

"The band have decided they don't want to make any further comment about it."

Although the main pain for the family was caused by Flowers' attempt to try and imagine how they must have been feeling, the Daily Record doesn't seem to see anything wrong in ending the story imaginging how the family would be feeling:

But a source close to the family said last night: "The family have never liked it when people appear to be making mileage from the death of Jodi, because she would have disliked it."


We knew nobody could be that mild-mannered without having a secret, crime-fighting identity: Darius Danesh intervened in a pub-sited domestic battle; coming to the aid of a girl who was being attacked by blokes in a pub. Danesh then chased them down the street - we'd love to say he was singing his signature reworking of Hit Me Baby One More Time, but he wasn't.

They got away from Darius, but he's used to that: victory in television competitions, pop fame, violent thugs - all seem to be within his grasp and then just slip away. Police have arrested someone in connection with the assaults.


Who, we wonder, is sending The Sun the constant stream of information about how much sex with ladies Robbie Williams is having on his current tour? We suspect it might be someone very close to the Williams camp.

Now, it seems, he's having so much sex with ladies that he's, well, shagged out, sharing the news with one of his gig audiences that he had to have a vitamin shot in the butt just to keep going.

But it's a happy circle - Robbie has sex with ladies (apparently), the newspapers print that he's had sex with ladies, and then he can bring the newspaper story saying he had sex with ladies to the next audience's attention, which the newspapers can then report:

He is clearly enjoying his success with the fairer sex. ("Fairer sex" means ladies.)

He joked about his groupie action during the gig on Wednesday, telling the 45,000 crowd: “Did you read the paper today?

“It says I kissed a mystery red-haired girl in the hotel bar. I can only confirm the rumour. And she was very cute.

“Actually, I don’t kiss on the first date — but she asked so nicely.”

Since his audience were in Copenhagen, we're not entirely sure they'd have been big readers of The Sun, but we'll let that pass. Victoria Newton is so wrapped up in the current campaign, she's seeing signs of his heterosexual virility everywhere. Take his rather downbeat backstage rider demands:

The star demands soft toilet paper, two deodorants, toothpicks, soap and two freshly laundered towels.

Now, for someone about to run around getting sweaty singing and dancing, that might seem like the bare minimum requirements to tidy yourself up after the show. But Vicky? She sees it as part of his pre-sex-with-ladies ritual:

Well, he does need to keep well groomed for all those lovely Scandi-ladies.

We love that she hammered in the word "ladies" right at the end, even Scandiladies isn't a pun on anything (Scandi-lady-ones might just about sound enough like Scandinavian to work, mind.)

So, that's Robbie Williams: having so much sex with ladies, he's having to drop his trousers and have vitamins pumped into his butt by a Scandanavian doctor first thing in the morning.


It's not like Madonna's run out of ideas or anything, of course, but having managed to get a slither of interest in her from people under twenty when she kissed Britney and Christina at the MTV Awards, guess what she's come up with now?

Erm... some faux lesbiana with two slightly-past-their-peak blonde pop singers at the MTV awards.

This time round she's talking to Lindsay Lohan and Jessica Simpson, and thinking of throwing in some play bondage. But, effectively, it's the same bloody thing as last time.

You know what would really make for an unforgettable performance? Do some of the songs from when you were great, and then announce your still-not-too-late-to-be-graceful retirement.

Go on, you know it makes sense.


Not just Alan, of course, but for the many people who suffer from a fear of clowns. It turns out their numbers are so great that Bestival have pulled ideas to try and break a world record. They wanted to have more people dressed as clowns than anywhere in human history.

Yes, there is both a world record for the number of clowns in one place at one time - somewhere south of 10,000 - and a name for the fear of clowns (clourophobia). It's not clear if you can turn up dressed as a clown if you enjoy doing that in your spare time.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Universal Records have revealed their plans to allow the physical CD to fight back against the digital download: they're inventing a format they see as the equivalent of a paperback book.

The idea is to release catalogue CDs in a stripped-down format, the basic CD. It'll come in a card sleeve and sell for about nine euro (roughly seven quid), shorn of all extras like insert booklets and those little bits which are meant to hold the CD in place but break off and rattle about in the jewel case.

There's some problems with this strategy.

First, there's the belief that setting the price at roughly the same level of cost as buying a full download album is the right way to go. But, of course, the joy of online purchasing is you can skip the fillers and padding and tracks you've already got on single, so being able to buy the whole lot of Shimmery Songs by the Bibble-Bobbles for price X isn't automatically going to be attractive, as for X online you could get all the tracks you want from, say, three albums.

Second, setting the price of the basic product at the same level as the cost of an album download underlines that downloads are over-priced: if Universal can make, ship and store a physical product for price X, why are you paying the same price for the same thing when there's no crate, shelf space, plastic, card and so on involved?

Meanwhile, with the news that HMV are trying to reverse their own physical sales decline by offering full-package catalogue CDs at a fiver (and a similar price for most old CDs in supermarkets), Universal's seven quid for a stripped down disc seems to be hugely overpriced for the marketplace. Faced with the choice of an EMI disc with booklet and lyrics and photos for five quid, or something on Universal in card with just the name of the tracks, and what would you go with?

Besides, offering just the music shows that Universal have missed what should be the physical product's USP: that it's a lovingly produced, complete package. If I can spend seven quid, and have the music now, or else take a trip to town (or wait for the post to come) and have just the music for the same price, where's the value in the delay? It might be worth the delay if I'm going to get some glossy photos of my favourite artists (perhaps in their pants) or some mini-essay by Paul Morley putting the skiffle movement into the context of post-Gaudian art, or at least a box I can lean on when I write a letter to the council.

It's hard to imagine what the attraction to Universal is of this plan. They do claim to have sold three million bit-rubbish format discs while trialling the idea in Europe. We wonder if they're keen to shore up CD sales this way because they're able to sting their artists for more cash (to cover the costs of manufacture and distribution) when the songs are sold on a physical disc than they can when they're sold in a digital download.

But that would be cynical, wouldn't it? And we all know that the labels do what they do for the artists, not for themselves.


It looks like Muse are trying to pull off a dangerous stunt, by dangling themselves over the burning fires of prog-rockery with only a smirk of self-awareness to try and save themselves. Matt Bellamy hopes they're wry enough to avoid ever going onstage in wizards hats:

There's a definite Englishness to what we do, playing with eccentric ideas. Sometimes, even I step back and go: 'That's a bit silly, isn't it?' Maybe calling a song 'Knights of Cydonia' is, in itself, acknowledging that this is a bit funny, particularly when we are pushing the epic side of the band to almost comical levels."

"Bands tend to take themselves very seriously, but we often turn into a bunch of giggling schoolboys when we're together, because we were giggling schoolboys when we started. I think the giggle factor is quite healthy. Both on stage and in the studio, there's an element of not really giving a damn. There's a lot of freedom in being able to laugh at yourself."

We'll believe it when they start making videos with laugh tracks rather than furrowed brows...


The still-burbling discontent over the BBC's defence of Chris Moyles use of "gay" in the modern sense has surged up again, as the little-known Gaydar Radio has seized the opportunity for a spot of publicity and sent a letter to ofcom about it:

"By sanctioning the derogatory use of the word gay the BBC has endorsed not only the negative use of the word gay but, more insidious, they have promoted the acceptance of a bigoted and harmful definition of gay," said the Gaydar commercial director, David Muniz, in a letter to the Ofcom standards case manager, Fiona Lennox.

This is, as we've said before, a bit of a puzzlement. Obviously, homophobia stinks and there's no place for it on the public airwaves, but clearly, Moyles wasn't being homophobic and Gaydar's letter seems to accept this. Which means that the network seems to want the BBC to be responsible for stopping the shift in changes of meanings of words. We're sure, you know, Mark Thompson would add ossifying language to the aims of the Corporation in return for an extra few thousand on the licence fee, but is that really what we want the BBC to be doing? After all, if the BBC was charged with making sure that language doesn't shift in its meanings in ways that could upset people, wouldn't they have had to have ensured that "gay" never got used on air to mean anything other than happy.

At a time when there are so many things to be worrying about - not least the rise of religious right - for the gay rights movement to suddenly be focusing on trying to save the meaning of words seems a curious misdirection of effort.


The Pixies are going to continue as a touring band, but have announced they won't record any more records.

Which might be a wise decision, all round, but it seems only some of the band are keen to protect their record on, erm, record, says Frank Black:

"I wish it could go a bit further again and we could make a record. Not all of the band-members are willing to do that. Rather than make a big deal out of it, we've agreed to just continue to play live."

Of course, if the band-members who don't want to risk new material predecease those who do, there is the risk of splodgey new stuff somewhere in the future. Make sure you aim your prayers wisely.

[Plug: What they have to protect: Wave of Mutilation]


Coming round the UK this winter: The Flaming Lips.

Brighton Centre - November 4
Bournemouth BIC - November 5
Birmingham NIA - November 9
Glasgow SECC - November 10
London Hammersmith Apollo - November 13

Room, you'll note, for extra dates should they be required.


It's being pitched as a bid to avoid "press intrusion", although it comes across more as a bid to try and stir up some interest amongst what seems a less-than-fascinated world: Avril Lavigne has issued standby instructions to friends and relatives as she plans to bring her wedding forward. She's attempting to leverage her brand through a reverse takeover of Deryck Whibley from Sum 41.


This will put your mind at rest: Lemar says he's not dating Joss Stone.

Amongst other women he's not dating are Sandi Thom, Kelly Osbourne, Coronation Street's Janice Battersby and Octavia from Pipkins.


Apparently, Paul Weller wants Going Underground played at his own funeral. Which we can understand - it's a bit of a gag, although we're surprised that Weller would consider having his coffin lowered to the words "the public gets what the public wants."


You'd have imagined that Shayne Ward would have been making the most of his fame, as it slowly, slowly dwindles (he was reduced a sight gag in the 2012 Olympics episode of Doctor Who the other week.) While he's been marginally famous in a Heat sort of way, you'd have thought he'd been taking his best chance to interest potential sexual partners - "I won a game show on TV. No, no, it wasn't Deal or No Deal but will you touch my penis anyway?", that type of thing.

But, no. Shayne has the same girlfriend he had before he was on Model Behaviour or whatever it was. But they just can't do it, see, because he can't bring himself to do it while his mam's downstairs:

"I would never have sex under my mother's roof," he says. "I just can't imagine that - her sitting downstairs and me and Faye upstairs. No thanks. She's given me the greatest life and I treat her with the utmost respect."

We really, really hope he does mean that he can't concentrate on having sex with his partner in the bedroom of the house while his mum is in the sitting room, and not using some terrible euphemisms.

Most people might send their mother out to bingo once in a while, but Shayne's solution has been to move out of home. Let's hope he can find another reason to explain non-performance should he find that it wasn't the thought of his mother eating jellied fruits watching Wogan in the room below that was putting him off his stroke.


Here's an astonishing scoop for the Sun's Bizarre column: Lily Allen lived with Harry Enfield. Over to you, Victoria Newton:

CHART sensation LILY ALLEN is earning a reputation for razor-sharp lyrics, helped by genes from funnyman dad KEITH ALLEN.

But I can reveal Lily also spent three years under the same roof as another top comic — Keith’s former pal HARRY ENFIELD.

Wow... that's quite a revelation. Although, um, it's one based on an eleven year-old interview where Enfield talks about living with Allen's Mum and her four kids. So, neither an exclusive nor entirely hot off the press, then.


No, not Pete - this time, it's his sister, Emily, who has apparently upset her employers, the British Army, by having her boyfriend spend three weeks in her billet while he was on sick leave. God help us if there's ever a war, and so on.


The world's press has heard about the small fire at the Osbourne mansion - "None of the family was at home. A fire service spokesman said an electrical fault in a lamp was suspected", says the BBC; the Associated Press note that "[n]either the couple nor their children Amy, Jack and Kelly were at the house" and quote a Buckinghamshire fire service sspokesperson: "We were able to prevent the fire from spreading," Pearson said. "It was relatively small." The blaze caused minor fire and smoke damage to the entrance hallway of the mansion.

So, fairly small, and none of the family at home, then.

Oddly, though, The Sun seems to be reporting on a totally different fire:

AN electrical fault sparked a huge blaze yesterday at the £5million mansion of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

Daughter Kelly, 21, was asleep — but she was saved when a hi-tech alarm awoke staff.

Kelly, believing a dog was trapped, was led hysterical from the 18th-century manor house, which the Osbournes now claim is “cursed”.

A high-tech alarm which doesn't wake up non-staff: are the domestics at Osbourne Manors blessed with a wider hearing range than their employers? (Well, everyone has a wider hearing range than Ozzy.)

Of course, Sharon has quickly turned the thing into a sideshow, burbling away about how they're cursed. She was "working" on the set of the X Factor (there's to be another series of that, then) when she heard the news:

An insider says, "When the judges took a break there was a message for Sharon. "When she rang Kelly she started crying. She said her house was on fire but Kelly wouldn't say how bad it was. "Simon just told her to go home."

Hang about a moment... the fire was dealt with before eight in the morning yesterday, and she was returning Kelly's call? So unless they start work very, very early on the Factor, her house couldn't have been "on fire", could it?

Are the Osbournes cursed? They're making millions at a time when none of them have very much in the way of talent left to sell. Not noticeably so, then.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


"How much bad luck can one house have" wail "friends" of The Osbournes, as a small electrical fault at the Osbourne's lavish mansion causes, erm, some, relatively minor, smoke damage.

Which, considering the potential damage an electrical fire can do, sounds like good luck to us. But there's no news value in that.

Not that the Daily Mail is afraid to bark up the news anyway. The article is headlined:

Kelly flees house fire at Osbourne home

Kelly Osbourne was forced to flee her parents' country home after a fire broke out early today.

But the story admits that she didn't actually flee, as she'd already left the house before it happened:

Sharon and Ozzy's daughter had left the house to film scenes for her latest show, Project Catwalk, shortly before the blaze was discovered.

So how, Daily Mail, was she forced to flee? Did the fire brigade chase her back into the house to make her flee again? Or does she have second sight, able to flee from a fire that nobody has yet discovered?


We're not sure why they're bothering to spend quite so much money when they could spend less cash filming images of ruddy-faced people shouting at each other in North East pub car parks and engage with just as few viewers, but for whatever reason, Love Island is returning on ITV.

There are a couple of former musicians in there, and, indeed, Shane Lynch out of Boyzone is probably one of just two people who are vaguely famous in a crowd where the definition of celebrity has been stretched to the extent that the daughter of the woman who is married to Paul Gascoigne qualifies.

There is some scientific interest in this, as it turns out that celebrity list naming follows the same principle as hurricane naming, and once you're past z they start with Greek letters.

The kappa-list celebs in full, then:

Lady Victoria Hervey
Sophie Anderton
Alicia Douvall
Colleen Shannon
Kelle Bryan
Shane Lynch
Leo Ihenacho
Pierce Brosnan's son, Chris
Paul Gascoigne's stepdaughter, Bianca
Lee Otway
Brendan Cole

We expect one of them will win, if there's a competitive element to the whole thing.


How can they be sure Pete Doherty will turn up for Friday Night with Jonathan Ross? Simple; they film it in advance. So he's shown up, the interview's been done, and the key details have been released to the press, allowing everyone to concentrate on Lea's eviction instead.

Doherty says that he's having twice-weekly tests for cocaine and heroin - we presume he means he's testing the drugs rather than someone else testing his blood for the presence of them in his system; oddly, though, he also claims the cleanest he's ever been was when he was in prison. Which implies to us that he's not entirely clean now:

The musician, who has been arrested for drug possession several times, said he was "absolutely" trying to quit drugs.

"Being skint, drunk, paranoid, no, I don't wish that for myself.

"For the first time in my life I'm upping the stakes in my battle against it."

Meanwhile, heroin, in an exclusive interview with this week's Heat, has insisted that its relationship with Pete isn't over: "I still really want him, all the time. He's the greatest thing that ever happened to me..."

In the Ross interview, Doherty also talks (incoherently) about the end of the Libertines:

: "I just became persona non grata, I got booted out, it was just exile - I suppose because of the drugs but really because I didn't want to tour.

"None of them talk to me. Carl [Barat]... we were best friends, we loved what we did, we took it right to the end."

How convenient that the end happened to coincide with the point where Doherty got booted out the band because he was a liability.


While Sandi Thom sits over there denying that she owes it all to her PR machine, now Lily Allen is piping up that she didn't trade off her Dad's name to force her way to the front of the Heat-tastic singer peloton:

"This connections things is such bullshit. As if my dad just rings someone up in Parlaphone and says: ‘Lily hasn’t got a job right now, can you give her a record deal?’"

She added: "'Yeah, sure Keith, 'cos you've got such a good reputation and you're so hardworking.'"

On the other hand, if you've got a record label with a table full of near-identical photos linked to largely indistinguished demos, you can picture them saying "well, this one's got a famous Dad, which would give a hand to the media campaigns..."

It's a little like David Dimbleby trying to pretend that his Dad had no influence at all on getting an interview for a position at the BBC. Even if there's no direct input, the connection is undeniable.

And Lily said she is even more famous than her pop.

She revealed: "I Googled my dad the other day and he came up as being Lily Allen’s father."

Really, Lily? There must have been a hell of a Google-dance since then, as we've just Googled "keith allen", and the first mention of you comes in somewhere around result 350, and that's not in connection with your dad (hey - at least we've proved he isn't trading off your fame...)


You can hear the thrill in the air: Robbie Williams has gone to a drugs den.

Only, erm, he hasn't. He's gone to the largest and one of the best-established communes in Europe, Freetown Christiania in Copenhagen. It's true, as Victoria Newton reports that it's a place

where cannabis is openly smoked on the streets and most drugs are up for grabs.

But I defy her to name a city in Western Europe where that isn't the case. With the possible exception of Ely.

The real story here is that Williams took six minders along, which besides being totally pointless just made locals think they were part of the police team trying to close the place down.

Robbie — who had a single out last year called Tripping and has admitted to using cocaine and ecstasy in the past — even gave his blessing to the Freetown.

He bought a hoodie bearing the slogan “Bevar Christiania,” which means “Save Christiania.”

We suspect that he wasn't actually endorsing the place, and would have bought that in a Beavis and Butthead way. "Beaver... hehhehhehheh heh hehheh..."


There is, if you have the time to dig and seek and look for it, and interesting apology in today's Sun. You might recall that, when it was doing what it still fully believes was "shaming" Heather Mills, it set about attacking her claims that her full-frontal porn was an educational book by printing a series of quotes from Robert Page, the man behind the Lovers' Guide sex book, which had him tut and say "educational? I should cocoa."

Oddly, though, it turns out he'd not even seen the book, and now the paper has had to apologise:

IN our June 6th article headed “A Lovers’ Guide? This Is Hard Porn” we carried quotes from Robert Page, creator of The Lover’s Guide, on the difference between pornographic pictures and those used in sex education.

In fact, Mr Page’s comments were given by telephone and he was talking only in general terms and without seeing the pictures or knowing they were of Heather Mills.

We accept that our article misrepresented his position and that his comments were misreported.

We apologise to him for this.

Odd though, they seem to have forgotten to apologise to Heather Mills who, equally, had been damaged by the article. We imagine that's just an oversight.


Look out, St Albans. And Watford.

Pete Burns has been banned from London, which means he's probably going to stand outside the city boundary and shout through the capital's letterbox.

This is part of his new bail conditions; they also insist he has to wear an electronic tag at all times, which is going to cause him no end of problems to find matching accessories for.

His choice of outfit for yesterday's remand hearing was an indication that he's taking the charges against him seriously. Yes, yes, he was wearing a loincloth, but it was a black and white loincloth.


Much the disgust and hollow moral outrage of the tabloid newspapers, Kate Moss had been suffering something of an earnings droop before her Pete Doherty related "coke-shame"; since then, she's had something of golden age. All that anger and angst and calls for her head on a plate, and she ended up better off than before.

Mind you, we don't think that she'd be able to pull the same trick using members of, say, Kasabian.

Monday, July 03, 2006


It's nice when pop stars stick together.

Like Pink and Britney Spears.

Not stuck together in a mixture of gaffer-tape and chains, so clear that thought from your minds. (No, quickly, before K-Fed turns up and tries to join in... too late.)

No, Pink has dedicated a song to Spears while playing at Los Angeles.

Pink dedicated Don't Let Me Get Me to Spears, because "I've released two substandard albums in a row, too, so I know how it feels..." ("Spears needs "good energy and love, because she could use it right now".")


We're not entirely sure why this is being treated as an event of any sort of magnitude, but is currently being led by Lily Allen's pronouncement on Sven's England team:

"Thank god Sven's reign is over," declared Allen. "England have been shit in this tournament, saying that, I was proud of them from the second half of (the Portugal) game. I think football reflects the state of a country at that time, and to be honest I'm with Germany from here on. Germany have managed to shake their stereotype of being a square, uncultured and over-efficient society and have embraced a 21st century way of living.

"I was in Germany last week, they have a good health service, great opportunities for young people and seem to be a country I would be proud to be a part of and I think there football reflects that. England, on the other hand, play in a way that reflects our society -money-minded, confused, lacking control and direction and most of all bored.

Er... right. Coming up later: Sandi Thom rates Andy Murray's chances.


One thing we'd missed in the reshuffle of specialist music programmes on Radio One: Lamacq Live 's slot has vanished to make room for Colin Murray's new night-time hijinks.

Apparently, Andy Parfitt is "talking" to the ridiculously gaunt one about "new presenting opportunities" ("So, Steve, how do you feel about joining the Chris Moyles show as a sidekick?").

And we're still no clearer what's going to happen to the One Music strand. This bit from the MediaGuardian report doesn't sound too hope-filled:

It is understood that other Radio 1 DJs who host evening and overnight shows, including Mike Davies, Huw Stephens, Bobby Friction, Ras Kwame, Trevor Nelson and Rob da Bank will continue to work for the station in the new lineup, which launches on September 25.


Police investigating the vicious attack on Les Incompetents' Billy Bell have arrested a 19 year-old man.

A Scotland yard spokesman said: "The man attended a north London police station voluntarily and was arrested. He is being questioned today.

"Mr Leeson is in a critical but stable condition."

Bell - who's real name is Leeson - had a five-hour operation last week to relieve pressure on his brain.


SharleenSharleen Spiteri wasn't happy when somebody lobbed a shoe at her during Texas' bit of the Hyde Park Calling gig at the weekend.

She had a pop at the bloke who did it (let's hope she didn't just pick on a one-legged guy or anything) and threatened to walk off. Which, presumably, would have been what the shoe-thrower would have wanted.

She told the Mirror:

"It pisses me off when something like that happens."

How often do people throw shoes at you anyway?


How should you react if someone critcises your music? The appropriate thing to do might be to try and explain the thinking behind your work, or to point out the flaws in the critic's argument. Maybe, even, to shrug and say 'well, that's your opinion.' On one occassion, someone sent their wife over to tell us that we know nothing about music. That's a way of engaging.

You don't do this if you're Chris Martin, though.

Oh, no: you tell them they're fat. Martin tries to justify this:

“When someone insults you to your face about your music, the first thing you want to do is pick on something about their appearance. It’s a terrible thing but I had this woman parked outside our house.

“I would never say it to anyone else, but she drove me so crazy that I advised her to go to Weight Watchers, which was not a very nice thing to say.

“I’m not proud of it, but it’s weird how if you sort of feel like you’re being attacked you can become a real arsehole.”

Or perhaps, the real arsehole comes out. Really, Chris, if the best you can do in the face of someone pointing out the weakness in the last Coldplay album is to go "yeah, but you're a lardarse", and if you can't cope with people who aren't telling you you're great, you've got two options. One, you could try and make better music. Or you could just stop making your whiney sixth-form gurgling altogether.


Bless Peggy Gallagher; she's seen pictures of the new midlife crisis ("slimline") Oasis boys and has flown into some sort of panic mode, calling on the boys to fatten themselves up.

Hats off to Victoria Newton for coming up with the "you should have a roll with it" joke, which she uses as the headline, in the article, on the web teaser and as a photo caption (under a picture of a bread roll).


Last week, The Sun was very clear that people who hang around in public places sneaking photos of children for their own gratification were dodgy beyond belief and "proved" that the public needed to be protected from them.

Today, The Bizarre column runs photos of Rocco and Lourdes, taken by people who hang around in public places sneaking photos of children for their own financial gratification.

Presumably there's a difference we're missing.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


In what could prove to be a risky move, the BPI has applied - and won - permission to bring action against Russian cheapo download site AllofMP3 in the British courts.

The BPI is confident of victory:

BPI's general counsel, Roz Groome, said: 'This is an important step forward in our battle against We have maintained all along that this site is illegal and that the operator of the site is breaking UK law by making sound recordings available to UK-based customers without the permission of the copyright owners. Now we will have the opportunity to demonstrate in the UK courts the illegality of this site.'

On the other hand, of course, AllofMP3 might have an opportunity to demonstrate that people in the UK have the right to buy products wherever they choose, providing those items are sold in line with tha market's laws.

The BPI could have chosen to sue in the Russian courts - after all, it's going to struggle even if it wins in London to make sure the judgement sticks. That it isn't suggests it doesn't have as much confidence in proving to a Russian court that the site breaches Russian copyright laws than it claims to; simpler, by far, to concentrate on the more arcane question of if a Russian company sells to British market whether it should do so under Russian or UK law. Especially as it's possible the Russian company might choose not to bother launching an expensive defence case in front of the British court and allow the British judges to issue what would ammount to a pyrrhic victory for the BPI.

The music industry hopes that the major economies will insist that Russia tightens its copyright laws as part of the deal to allow the nation to join the WTO. Let's just ponder that for a moment: with the Russians buying up energy distribution companies around the globe, and much else besides, and controlling enormous reserves of energy reserves that developing Chinese and Indian industries would be just as happy to consume as American and European companies, does the RIAA really think that the rights to a few Englebert Humperdink recordings are going to prove a stumbling point?


Dallas Austin, Jacko and Madonna producer, has pleaded guilty to charges of bringing cocaine into the United Arab Emirates. He was caught en route to Naomi Campbell's party.

Facing four years in jail, Austin says it's been a bit of a mix-up:

"I'm pleading guilty but by mistake," Austin was quoted as saying during a short hearing. "I had no knowledge and no intention of violating the laws of the U.A.E."

Ah, the old "guilty by mistake" plea - Ronnie Biggs used that one, didn't he? We're a little scared of Joshua Rosenburg, but we're considering putting in a call to see if he can explain what sort of "mistake" the courts might be prepared to consider in a bid for clemency. Or, indeed, what sort of mistake Austin might have made.

Did he perhaps think he was flying to a country where it was OK to have cocaine stashed in your luggage? In which case, what did he think he was going? Or did he know that you can't take cocaine into Dubai, but - rushing to get packed - threw a bag of coke into his suitcase instead of picking up the shampoo?


The pretend marriage of Jessica Simpson and the once-famous Nick Lachey has come to an end, with the formal completion of their divorce. The pair have had their contract - formalised by the payment of cash from Viacom - dissolved.

There had been hopes of a reconciliation, or at least that the pair of them could record a soundtrack for the DVD boxset.

Simpson intends to continue to concentrate on whatever her career was supposed to be this week; Lachey's long-term plans are not known but in the short term will be sniffing boxers to find a pair clean enough to open the door when his extra large Four Seasons is delivered.


This week's Sunday selection: some live Elastica:

Waking Up, live at the Festival Bar, 1995
Da Da Da, live at the Fuji Rock Festival, 2000
Smile, live at Pairc Ui Chaoimh Cork, 1995
Connection, from Later with Jools Holland, 1995

[If you don't own the first album, you really should]


Like a kind of oncological batman, Ronan Keating is always ready to drop everything and issue a word or two when someone, somewhere, suggests that the world doesn't revolve around cancer awareness.

So, when the admittedly bemusing decision to fine members of Australian Rules football team Essendon AUS$20,000 (because they wore cancer awareness armbands) to a match was announced, Ronan churned out a statement:

"Cancer prevention is about education and alerting people to the issue. In Ireland, professional sports people often wear our cancer awareness armbands."

Interestingly, the hyper-rich Ronan didn't dig his hand into his pocket and offer to pay the fine on the team's behalf; nor did he suggest the AFL might want to try and make ammends for their mean-spirited behaviour by donating the fine to charity.


Possibly double-edged is the news coming from "Cupertino insiders" that the next versions of Apple OS X might be able to track stolen iPods and so on.

The idea is that the mapping capability of the operating system could use GPS in some way, but it does make us slightly nauseous: if you can tell where a stolen iPod is, then surely someone could tell where any iPod is?


We have no idea on what basis the Sunday People can even pretend to know this, but it seems very convinced indeed that Heather Mills is going to deal with the Banker ("Paul McCartney") and take a ten million quickie divorce. Although Noel Edmonds will then make them play out how they would have carried through an acrimonious court battle, just to find out if she dealt too soon.


What could that all be about, then? Noel Gallagher phoned in to the Russell Brand 6Music show this lunchtime (the man of the people was shopping in Hamleys for a birthday gift for one of his nephews, considering a child-sized Bentley) when the topic drifted onto yesterday's Gay Pride.

At first, Noel was his familiar grumbling self, complaining about the disruption to traffic caused by the march and taking bemusing offence: "it's like they think we still don't get it."

You wonder why the queer world might think there are people who don't get in 2006: could it be because of people like Liam Gallagher saying things like "at times the England players seem to play like women. Beckham and others, they’re gay boys"?

Under some prompting from Brand, Gallagher then insisted that if he was gay, he'd be the biggest gay in the world:

"I would be gayer than Freddie Mercury."

The thought of Noel Gallagher prancing about in lurex isn't one you want on a day when sweating is already about all the body can manage, is it?

A giggling Russell suggested that the 3AM girls might be interested in Noel suddenly getting in touch with his gay side, to which Noel replied:

"In a manner of speaking, I may have done already."

Blimey. Before anyone could really attempt to consider what being gay "in a manner of speaking" meant, Noel was focusing on his need to buy a toy instead. Let's hope, though, that those words don't start to follow him round like the "bisexual who's never had a homosexual experience" clung to Brett Anderson for so long, eh?


The last seven days on No Rock and Roll Fun, condensed:

The ten most-accessed items:

1. Heather Mills' porn past
2. More of the Heather Mills McCartney naked previous life
3. The eternal "Is KT Tunstall a lesbian" question
4. McFly naked video shoot requires no widescreen lens
5. France introduces law banning one-player digital downloads
6. The Janet Jackson diet
7. Heather Mills saved by Wayne Rooney's ankle
8. iPods come from iSweatshops
9. Sleater-Kinney declare no more No Rock & Roll Fun
10. Peaches Geldof's new boyfriend didn't know they were going out

Revisit the entire glorious week in one page
or spin through the whole of the previous week in one post

And if a thirty-billion cash injection from Warren Buffet was burning a hole in your pocket, we had ideas for that:

This time, it's a Parisian art punk take on Bela Lugosi's Dead and Blue Monday

That's singer-songwriters as in Robert Wyatt, Daniel Johnson, Mary Margaret O'Hara...

BMX Bandits' album from last winter gets a higher-profile re-release

Rummage round the Kitchen archives turns up Swans, Sonic Youth, etc

Three singles in, iLikeTrains try a mini-album

Season 4 of Quantum Leap, starts with the one where Al leaps instead and never loses the momentum

Taking orders for the Alan Ant tell-most autobiography

Gladys Knight has a crack at some standards

Radio Stars' 1977 mini-songs reissued

Not new, but worth having: The Danse Society collection