Saturday, October 01, 2005


In what we believe is known as a "shameless sell-out", the Rolling Stones have signed a deal to market themselves through daytime soap Days of Our Lives. One of their songs will be played remorselessly as a love theme.

Oh no, apparently it's not selling out at all:

Cheryl Berman, chief creative officer for the Leo Burnett ad agency, said "Selling out has changed. Selling out means you're doing bad creative."

No it hasn't changed, you silly pie-chart-spewer. You might desperately want to think you can repackage the idea of selling out from being "sucking satan's cock for the money" to "not satisfying satan when you suck his cock for the money", but actually, selling out has nothing to do with the quality of what you get at the end of it. If you're doing a promo for British Nuclear Fuels, you're still doing a promo for BNFL, even if it has dancing hippoes in blue sparkly tophats.

However, this isn't, as Reuters fears it might be, "the ultimate sellout for the Stones". That would have been when they flogged Start Me Up to Microsoft to push Windows 95.


What larks over in the heart of America's teenland, where Benji Madden from Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson and Hillary Duff have gotten caught up in a battle over - oh, yes - artistic integrity.

What seems to have happened is this: Clarkson made her jokey remark about wanting to fight Duff; Duff's boyfriend Madden read the remarks but didn't really understand them in a "what is this 'joke' of which you speak?" way, and he stormed down to the computer to post a two-fingered message on the Good Charlotte blog. Two fingers being both the typing method, and the result:

"My mom told me if I didn't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all, so I won't say 'Amercian Idol' sux, but it does make me laugh when someone like Kelly Clarkson disses someone like Hilary Duff, 'Cause let's not forget Kelly (BTW-Kanye West thinks u have a nice ass, I saw him look at it one time ... me, I prefer the more fit look), you were a 'contestant' on a TV show. Hilary made herself."

Shortly afterwards, one of the grown-ups who run the Good Charlotte brand must have seen the post, and quickly yanked it. Because it made Benji look stupid, presumably. Or rather revealed that he was.

Benji's main job in the band is to provide inspiration for the groups' fans to write twin-incest fanfic.


Yes, yes, we know what you're thinking: "this is news?" - but we're not talking about Dave Grohl; this is the Bleach-era drummer, Chad Channing. He's put together a band - Before Cars and, working with Jack Endino, who produced Bleach, has recorded an album.

Chad's pretty unbitter about being asked to yield the Nirvana drumstool:

"After we did Bleach, Kurt said he wouldn't mind having some help with the songwriting, and I was like, 'Oh yeah, I'm all for that.' But over time, I realized that that wasn't going to happen, and I slowly started losing my inspiration to play. And when you lose your inspiration, it shows."

Of course, he won't know he's really made it until Courtney Love starts squeeching at him that he's stealing food from her baby's mouth.


Joseph Yacteen, the guy accused of shooting Bobby Cohn this August, has waived his preliminary court hearing and is now due back in court November 29th to stand trial.

Yacteen remains in custody while his girlfriend, Patricia Vail has been released on bond. She faces charges relating to her alleged help for Yacteen; if he's found guilty, he faces up to ninety years in jail.


Some deft work over at the Guardian, where they've dug through the archives of their sister paper, the Manchester Evening News, to find their preview for the infamous Free Trade Hall gig - you know, the "judas" one.

Interestingly, the preview makes it pretty clear that not only did fans pretty much know what to expect that night, but that he'd already been heckled and jeckled on stage for going electric:

Now there is something disturbing about Dylan: he is said to have disowned all the songs he ever wrote before he turned to "folk-rock". He is said to have become an introvert.

He was nearly booed off stage in Dublin recently when he came on with three tons of sound equipment and his new backing group - simply called the Group.

There were pleading shouts of "We want the real Dylan. Leave it to Mick Jagger" as he belted out the endless choruses of his hip-orientated rhythm and blues songs.

In other words, then: the chap who shouted "judas" wasn't reacting in shock to seeing his beloved troubadour getting wired up; he'd probably bought his ticket just to get his shout in.

Oh, and Dylan's supposedly secret marriage?

For one thing, the existentialist Dylan has married.

About as secret as a Robbie Williams secret gig, then.


Another small smattering of people are being threatened by the RIAA which claims to have evidence they have been filesharing - 757 added in the costly campaign which, at current rates, will take at least 2,000 years to complete bringing actions against regular US filesharers.

We were taken with this part of the report:

It brings the total number of online copyright infringement cases brought by the US music industry to 14,800.
So far more than 14,000 people in 12 countries have faced legal action for allegedly swapping music tracks online.

Well, yes... if there's been more than 14,000 threatened in one country alone, that would suggest that there have been more than 14,000 cases worldwide.


It's surely a little cruel to ask Lee Ryan to write for a newspaper - even if it's only the 3am column. But always unable to spot when he's being set up to make a fool of himself ("happy to help"), Lee was delighted to be asked by the 3am Girls ("my 3am Girl pals") to cover the Dolce & Gabbana ("my good friends Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana") 20th anniversary party. The resulting piece appears to have had a great deal of work done on it to shore it up, but it still reads like a third former's 'what I done on my holidays' essay. And we're talking about the end of the school where there's a greater emphasis on crafts and sports:

Then it was time for the party, which got pretty wild. I spotted super-voluptuous model Victoria Silvstedt and Formula One bigwig Flavio Briatore swigging Dom Perignon by the magnum together.

Classy work. It's just a pity they didn't get him to draw a picture as well.


The Met really are throwing themselves heavily into investigating the Kate Moss drugs complaint - although, of course, it's still not clear who actually made the complaint - with the force making a high-profile raid on the studio where Moss and Pete Doherty were filmed doing coke.

There's no reason to wonder about the timing of this raid - only a cynic would wonder why, when they've had a fortnight to conduct a search of the premises, they elected to leave it until the very day Ian Blair was coming under pressure again with the discovery that he attempted to block an investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes and begged the Home Secretary to "suspend" the law which required an independent enquiry. It's not like there'd be any reason to assume that in a high-profile case where the owners of a site of an alleged crime knew there might be a search conducted, you'd want to do that search as quickly as possible, is it?

Meanwhile, the Mirror seems to have forgotten its own take on the Kate Moss story:

Kate, who has checked into a £1,500-a-day rehab clinic in Arizona - where she will share a room with addicts and submit to the tough regime - is expected to be quizzed by police next month.

"Share a room with addicts", eh? But, surely, Daily Mirror, you've been telling us for two weeks that Kate herself is an addict? Because if she wasn't, why would you have bounced her off into rehab? Curious.

The police went off carrying some bags, apparently.

Meanwhile, Pete Doherty has made it as far as Manchester - "only twenty minutes late". The Manchester Evening News asks its readers to send their opinions on Doherty:

Is Pete Doherty all hype and no talent or is he one of Britain's greatest ever rock stars?

Faced with those two extremes, it's hard to know what to pick: clearly he isn't one Britain's greatest ever rock stars, but then he's not untalented either.

Although the talent does seem a little shaky when you start to look at it - the Surrey Comet has been listening to Babyshambles' Bollywood to Battersea to try and work out exactly what he's on about:

Could someone deconstruct these lyrics and explain why the star's attention had fallen on the borough?

A speedy reply came. "The only person who can really give you the information you need is Peter, as he wrote the song. Unfortunately, he is not doing any interviews at the moment," said a spokesman.

Of course, there's nothing to say that a great songwriter has to be understandable. But if even his own press team don't have a clue what he's wibbling off about, it might suggest that much of Doherty's mystique is all puff and no flash.


Without wanting to even think about the sort of person who'd pay a thousand pounds to see Robbie Williams (unless it's in the context of a sentence which ends "... being chased along a cul-de-sac by three hungry lions"), we're wondering if Robbie Williams secret London Astoria gig tonight is, officially, the worst-kept secret in history? Especially now Kate Moss' drug use is no longer even a supposed secret.

In fact, the only way we can assume this secret gig is in any way is if they haven't told Robbie he's doing it - we'd imagine that he would manage to remain in the dark since his media consumption is hardly likely to extend much beyond a quick scan of the headlines in The Dandy and twenty minutes staring at the front of the Daily Sport chanting "I like girls... I like girls..." every day.


We're a little amused and the Sun Online interview with Katie Melua, where she reveals - and prepare to be shoocked - that she isn't a "pop princess." Er, no, because you don't play pop, you play marketing-tune.

Katie insists that her artistic integrity is important to her:

"And I don’t think I would like to be part of a girl group like Girls Aloud. I wouldn’t do well in that environment."

Having said which, Girls Aloud haven't ever flogged their signature tune to DFS (or whichever one of those interchangeable sofa-matic stores it was).

This is interesting, too:

Katie’s new album Piece By Piece look sets to rocket to No1 on Sunday. It’s a classic bluesy production, which sticks to the winning formula that helped her shift millions of copies of her debut disc.

Her break up from from her long-term boyfriend Luke Pritchard last month inspired many lyrics.

So, she broke up from someone last month, and managed to write, record, manufacture and distribute an album about the split into the shops by last Monday? She was lucky there was space on all those shows to promote it at such short notice.

Friday, September 30, 2005


As grimly inevitable as bird flu or Ian Paisley rejecting anything offered to him, the support slot on the Rolling Stones tour for Pearl Jam could mean only one thing: Eddie Vedder making a "surprise" guest appearance during the Stones' set. Still, nice for him not to be the oldest guy on stage for once.


We yield to nobody in our admiration for Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, but whenever Clement and La Frenais start writing about the music industry, our neck starts to tighten a little. The Commitments was bad enough; Still Crazy far worse. But now the news that they're making a film which is going to feature Bono as an aging rock star and - oh, yes - a plot held together by Beatles tunes makes us wonder if there's not some kind of law to stop this sort of thing. Eddie Izzard is involved, but sadly his judgement has never been a patch on his dress sense, has it?


We're not entirely sure that the new Rolling Stones album which is being released on a memory card is quite as ground-breaking as they seem to think: didn't Robbie Williams stick out an album on removeable memory the other year to general apathy? What's different this time is that it's a new sort of memory card that's been invented for the purpose - called the Gruvi, god help us. The supposed advantage of this format is that you can move the card from place to place and the music never rests on the player at all:

“You can take the card out and transfer it to other devices and the content stays locked in the card rather than to the device,” [SanDisk spokesman Ken Castle] said.

When we say advantage, of course, we mean it purely in terms of advantage for the record companies - not for the consumer, who are being asked to shell out USD40 for an album on the disk (it does include more music, but you have to pay extra for those) and can't even move the tracks onto your computer or mobile player. In other words, you're paying more to be able to do less with your music.

And surely the main selling points of mobile players is that you can stack up your entire collection on one small device - why would there be value in abandoning that convenience to carry round a whole bunch of extra little disks that you can risk losing, breaking or simply inadvertently feeding to a dog?

It's an idea whose time has come. Unfortunately, it came about fifteen years before the technology was available. The choice of a toecurling name for the product means it doesn't even deserve the honour of obsolesence.

Incidently: Robbie Williams' Greatest Hits were released on Flash memory last October, as the first product in Carphone Warehouse's mobile content Playmobile brand. That doesn't seem to have lasted much beyond the one release, either.


Everyone seems to be happily convinced that, despite the company doing the construction work being in despearte straits, the new Wembley Stadium (slogan: It looks like everyother football stadium now) will be ready for this season's FA Cup. Hoping that's true will be Bon Jovi, who have booked the venue for a gig on June 11th. They were the last musical act to play the old Wembley; unless someone takes a gamble on the date of completition, they'll be the first headliner in the new stadium. Have we no national sense of shame?


Perhaps the last man alive who believes it's going to happen, apparently Michael Jackson is going to be coming to London to record his Katrina charity single with, erm, all of those stars none of whom seem to be signed up for it.

We wonder why he's chosen London. Hasn't someone told him they film Grange Hill in Liverpool now?

* - Answer: No


Those hardy but difficult to quantify people, "friends of Pete Doherty" are worried about him. Yes, it's hard to believe, but apparently he's overindulging on the current tour and even collapsed at the end of one of the Babyshambles tourdates this week.

Pete Doherty. Overdoing it. No, we're having trouble picturing that.


Bad cess to Leed's Space club, which refused entry to a blind woman. They did say that Sarah Caltieri could go in, she claims, providing she left her cane behind the bar - the doorman thought this might be hazardous. Of course, encouraging young people to drink large amounts of alcohol long into the night, that isn't hazardous in any way. But a small white cane? There'd be bloody carnage.

The club's assistant manager comes on like a Labour Party conference organiser:

Mark Jarvis, an assistant manager of Space, said he hadn't had a chance to speak to the doormen. He added: "I need to ask the doormen what was said. You cannot discriminate because a blind person needs that equipment to function properly. If that was the case then we would apologise profusely."

... and, of course, hope that nobody launches a prosecution under the disability discrimination act.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


... you assume that just because a man wears blousy shirts and walks around with flowers hanging out his pocket, and looks longingly at his guitar partner, that he takes it up the Harris...

Apparently, Morrissey has never been so insulted at suggestions he and Johnny Marr were lovers:

"There was a love and it was mutual and equal but it wasn't physical. There are lots of people post-Smiths who would like to make some dramatic homosexual story. There never was one."

So there you have it. Sonya Echobelly was in with a chance all along.


Poor Patsy Kensit; it turns out all those column inches and magazine covers she kept appearing on simply because she was married to Liam Gallagher were, you know, bad times and not good PR at all. She says she touched the flame:

"It wasn't so good for me. I lived it and I've come out the other side and I'm so lucky to have come through this sane.

"I touched that burning hot, white flame of rock 'n' roll."

Actually, love, by the time you hooked up with Gallagher it was more the fake plastic coal effect of showbiz.


Just as the No Dirty Gold campaign fixes its sights on Alicia Key's paid-for endorsement of the dubious industry, so Alicia herself pops up to tell us how good she is:

Despite the busy schedule, she'll continue to keep an eye on the larger world around her and step in when necessary. She expects her peers will do the same.

Says Keys: "We'll continue to speak out about things because it's necessary. That's always been part of music's goal - to really expose what's happening and what's affecting the people. When we get away from that, we just become cheap."

Keys, of course, could never be accused of being cheap. We bet them gold companies are paying through the nose.

Of course, the flexible concept of campaigning (except where it affects your commercial activities) is summed up by her idea of an activist hero:

"I had a great conversation with Bono the other day and I said :"Tell me, just tell me how you do it. How?' He's just so successful in the way he's able to make things happen."


Ouch, that's got to have hurt - The Paddington's Marv Hines might be without feeling in his hand through to the end of next summer, after a drink-amplified accident in Hull:

"I was out with the boys and I was stood with Tom just pissing about and having a laugh. I had a glass in my hand and I'd drank my drink and I apparently smashed a glass into a wall and then said 'See you in a bit' to Tom and walked off."

He continued: "Tom had a load of people coming up to him and saying 'are you alright?' because he'd just got a new suit which is worth more than my guitar and it was covered in blood. There was this trail of inch-thick blood leading around the floor so he followed it and found me."

We're not quite sure why the singer of The Paddingtons needs such an expensive suit. Maybe he's expecting a case to come up.


Apparently, Chris Martin is a good quality stud - Gwyneth Paltrow is up the duff again. Early betting suggests they might call the kid Orange or Satsuma. That might be a little over-cute, but then... so was apple.


She's always had a squeaky-clean image but Alicia Keys has upset activists worldwide by taking cash to appear in adverts for the World Gold Council and Robert Coin. The No Dirty Gold campaign is puzzled how she sees endorsing the industry fits with her professed humanitarian ideals:

"Alicia Keys' fans are well aware of her commitment to bettering the lives of Africa's poorest people," Keith Slack, senior policy advisor at Oxfam America, said in a statement. "But, gold, as it is currently produced, comes at the expense of poor communities who risk being displaced or losing their only source of clean drinking water because of dirty mining practices."

... which we think is a polite way of saying "funny how your concern runs out when someone offers cash for an advert."


The world never nearly got a sophomore album from The Darkness - when they weren't sacking Frankie Poullain, Justin and Dan Hawkins were fighting amongst themselves. Justin says it was only the quality of the rough tracks they'd laid down that stopped him from throwing the towel in and walking away.

Plus the record company contract, of course. That must have helped.


We don't know why Elton John has decided to pimp himself out - perhaps he needs to replace the gilt on his guest bidets - but, for £850,000 you can hire him for Christmas. For a million, he'll leave David Furnish at home.

It would be kind of fun to have whip-round and book him, wouldn't it? Paying that sort of money, you could probably choose the setlist...


Apparently, Madonna keeps going back to see Mama Mia, the Abba musical, over and over again. Eight times now.

Unfortunately, it's inspired her in the wrong way. Rather than spotting that Abba secured their legacy by quitting at the top, and not watering down what they'd achieved by an inability to leave the stage even when the songs started to get less compelling, Madonna's just decided to sample the band instead.

Oh, if only we could persuade her to retire to Sweden. Or anywhere.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Babyshambles have confirmed details of their debut album, which will, of course, be called Down In Albion - due 14th November - and then followed by a single called Albion, on 28th November.

It's not like Pete Doherty gets fixated on a single idea or anything, is it?


Now, our dislike of Windows Media isn't (totally) built on a kneejerk dislike of Bill Gates and his monolith - it just doesn't do the job as well as Quicktime or Real, in our experience; we suspect that this is down to it carrying the usual bunch of garbage and DRM that Microsoft pour into seemingly everything they ever do. So, had we been looking to launch a premium, high-end download service, we really wouldn't have plumped for windows media as being the obvious choice. However, with such high quality, you'd need to be able to calm the record labels down and convince them that the tracks would be virtually useless.

MusicGiant has launched this lossless service in the US; you have to pay fifty bucks up front in order to be able to access the tracks which cost $1.29 each. We're not convinced the market is going to be there for this - not with such a hefty upfront payment - but it'll be interesting to see what happens.


That'll make the winter chill a little less depressing this year: Goldfrapp are off on tour:

February 1 - Cardiff, Great Hal
2 - Southampton Guildhall
4 - Cambridge Corn Exchange
5 - Reading Hexagon
9/10 - Brixton Academy, London
18 - Manchester Apollo
21 - Liverpool University
23 - Sheffield Octagon
24 - Birmingham Academy
26 - Belfast Ulster Hall
27 - Dublin Olympia.

Tails are optional, but essential.


You'll remember how record companies insist - as they try to sue thirteen year old kids - that all they're interested in is the welfare of their artists? They do what they do for their boys, to ensure the talent gets rewarded. And yet, of course, they don't. So James Blune had a number one single, and a number one album for what seemed like a lifetime and a half, and yet he's not seen a single penny for his work so far.

Remember, kids: if you steal music, your favourite artists won't get any cash for their work. On the other hand, if you buy music, the chances are they won't then, either.


We do wonder at the self-importance of men like David Stansfield, who complained about his local Asda showing Rimmel posters with Kate Moss in them, getting the display removed.

David Stansfield, 42, who has two-year-old twins and a daughter of seven, complained to Asda in Burnley.

Yesterday he said: "Kate Moss is a role model for a lot of young women. Keeping her adverts in the store sends out completely the wrong signal."

An Asda spokesman said: "Kate Moss is ultimately contracted to Rimmel and not with Asda."

But if his oldest kid is seven, why would it even register that the poster was of Kate Moss anyway, much less that she'd been caught taking drugs? If a seven year-old kid is up to speed on the latests twists of the Doherty-Moss affair, you might think the father's problem is not with adverts in Asda.


There's nothing Freudian about his apparent recurring dreams of struggling with burly men as they pee, sneaking up behind them and getting all rought without even giving them enough time to zip up their flies.

Nothing Freudian at all.


While - talking of McDonalds - it's nice to see someone trying to do something about obesity, we're far from clear that it's a good plan to ask Hilary Duff warning about the dangers of overeating. Although she doesn't actually recommend following every meal with a quiet ten minutes in the washroom, it's like her rib-counting presence will be hinting at that. We guess using pin-up girls for anorexia is one way to try and encourage kids to slim down; I suppose we should be lucky that the Olsen twins were busy.


Things are tough for Ronald McDonald - in Japan, he's been replaced by a lady; now his plans to force his product into rap songs through the rather unsubtle means of paying rappers to work his patties into their songs has come to grief - as nobody wanted to do it.

"We have not identified the right opportunity," a spokesperson for McDonald's told Advertising Age, adding that the plan's not dead quite yet. "We are open to ideas to positively reflect our brand but we have not yet identified the match that we've been looking for."

The burger purveyors had wanted the campaign to be in full swing — with songs invading the nation's airwaves — before summer. Artists would've been paid between $1 and $5 for each time their song was played on a regular or satellite radio.

The sort of artist they hoped for wasn't touching the deal with a long McFlurry spoon; and the sort who would wasn't what they had in mind.

And they've axed the Quorn burger in favour of a greasy slimy mess they call a deli sandwich. Quiznos, like, so rules.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

VENUEWATCH: Victoria Inn, Derby under threat

In one of those "improvement plans" that councils sometimes come up with when they're casting about for land to flog off to developers, Derby has decided to introduce a plan which would mean the loss of the Victoria Inn venue. The City Centre Eastern Fringes Area Action Plan is supposed to make the bit around Derby Station seem more "attractive" to people arriving at the station. The Inn is attempting to fight back, and we wish them luck.


Gathering his disciples around him, Alex Kapranos has swished his purple gowns and granted absolution to Pete Doherty:

“Pete Doherty is a brilliant songwriter. ‘Fuck Forever’ is a real anthem. I was really impressed with him when I saw him in Paris.”

Now, we're not sure, but we can't help wondering if Alex is being a little minxish here - even those who think Doherty's early work is worthy of note finds Fuck Forever a tiresome piece of brattery - could Kapranos be attempting to shore up weak competition to make his own band seem glowing by comparison?

Another shake of the gown, and it's an encyclical on Antony and the Johnsons:

“The Mercury is about innovation. He’s performing from the heart and as a songwriter, I understand what he’s gone through to put his feelings out there.”


We can only think that it's one of those moments you sometimes get when the dj is meant to play one track and sticks on the wrong one by mistake - because, surely, Tony Blair didn't intend to take the stage to the sounds of Sham 69, did he? He wandered on to deliver his keynote Labour Party conference speech to a video montage and - yes - If The Kids Are United.

We look forward to the next election, where - now the precedent has been set - Hersham Boys will surely be the campaign song...

Jimmy Pursey, of course, reappeared last month having a scrap with John Lydon outside the US Embassy


Those of you who recall Fresh Fields, Julia McKenzie and Anton Rogers sitcom, will also remember that they had built a flat at the end of the garden for Hester's mother - sometimes they'd have a shot of the old lady peering out from behind a net curtain at the big house with all its antics going on inside. This image comes to mind with the discovery that apparently Johnny Ramonebuilt some sort of shed in his garden for Eddie Vedder to live in.

I mean, we can see why you wouldn't want Vedder in the house - he could have a brand new DFS sofa unsuitable for human seating within an hour and a half - but why would you convert your outside toilet for him to live in? And despite Johnny's death, Vedder still turns up to sleep in there - pushing a supermarket trolley with his stuff in it, we'd imagine:

"He set it up so I could visit and stay there.

"I remember reading that Frank Sinatra did that for Sammy Davis Jr. So I felt proud to be Johnny's Sammy."

Does Eddie know the degree of contempt in which Sinatra held Davis?


Bono - the Wall Street financier and property magnate who has a weekend gig as a singer in his own band - has applauded the World Bank's endorsement of the G8 summit decision to wipe out debt for some countries. Bono sees this as job done:

Bono said the plan was a "great day for the poorest people on the planet".

He adds, "This is not a charity issue, this is a justice issue. (The) next injustice to be torn down is the bullying tactics of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)."

However, campaigners who are less close to the US government aren't quite as convinced:

Christian Aid’s debt expert Sony Kapoor said, “The decision will be good news for some, holds hope for others but will disappoint the majority who will not see any debt relief.”

Speaking from the World Bank/IMF meetings in Washington DC, he continued, “In the select group of 18 countries, it will transform lives for the better. Millions will go to school for the first time, be vaccinated against killer diseases and get access to clean water.

“For the other ten or so countries that could qualify by next year, the deal brings hope”.

But he added: “The G8, the Bank and the Fund have forgotten about the more than 100 other poor countries that urgently need their debts cancelled. For them the deal brings disappointment with perhaps a glimmer of hope of further action following this precedent.”

Bono is applauding a deal which leaves 19 out of 20 people in the developing world in extreme poverty. It's great that a really limited step forward has been taken forward for the few, but for Bono to suggest that all the goodwill and desire for change that surrounded Live 8 has been rewarded is to let the World Bank and the rich nations off the hook. The developing world is still running up debt repayments of USD120million a day - yes, the WTO needs to be sorted, Bono, but how about finishing this job as well?


We're a little puzzled about Mel B's reaction to photos of her getting close and cuddly with Christine Crokos:

Image hosted by

"Oh yeah, I heard about that," Brown laughed. "Do you know how many stories I've had? If I was to even take one bit of them and slightly get boiled up and believe it, I would be a wreck. I'd be some lesbian, horrible, bitchy, aggressive psychopath, party animal, sex and drugs maniac. I don't really know. I could be, but I'm not!" she told Jawn Murray. What we find a little unsettling is her apparent consideration that lesbianism is a type of character flaw like being a psychopath or bitchy. Curious.


So, all that promotion, across the entire BBC, and how did the Dyaln-Scorcese biography do? 1.8 million viewers - the same number of viewers as tuned in for Channel Five's compilation of bits and pieces from old TV talent shows. It's not a bad audience for BBC2 on a Monday night, but after the sheer weight of promotion thrown behind the event, to manage a tie with old clips from Opportunity Knocks might be considered a bit of a disappointment.


Does nobody die without first hiding a big pile of previously unheard recordings under their bed? Latest dead artist to have his estate suddenly unearth some lost "gem" is Bob Marley. Somehow, his son Ziggy found a tape with the song on it, which - of course - now demands a proper release.

How do these things get overlooked for so long?


It's always worth keeping an eye on the Radiohead blog, Dead Air Space, as the band settle back into the studio and kill time between takes of Tom being locked in a bucket of water adding stuff.

Jonny Greenwood's made an interesting confession:

There is loads of great music out there that you’ll never have time to find out about. I’m always saying this - boring the arse off someone about this. Partly to make me sound like I know loads of great music that they don’t, and partly to justify why I’ve never heard a note of, say, the Stooges (though I really must, I know, I can I claim to be a an Iggy Pop fan if I've never even heard 'I wanna be your dog'? etc. etc.)

This reminds of the piece Danny Baker used to do on his shows, where people would ring in and reveal the things they'd never done - like never playing Monopoly, or never drinking coffee; it does seem curious that someone of Greenwood's age and background has managed to avoid The Stooges; especially someone who likes Iggy. You wonder if it's now become a superstition - if he worried that if someone phoned him up and played Jesus Loves The Stooges down the phone, Greenwood's life might start to unravel.

He introduces this thought as a way of explaining why he's listenint to dub in the studio. Be interesting if this is going to feed its way into the sound of the album...

... meanwhile, let's spook him out by sending him the rarities & offcuts boxset


So far, the RIAA has been doing very nicely, thank you, threatening legal action against people for filesharing. Faced with the mighty weight of the four major labels barking angrily at them, it's understandable that people think the best bet is to settle out of court. And if the cases never come to court, so much the better for the RIAA - it only strenghtens their hand.

Now, though, one of their demands for cash has made it into a courtroom, and come to grief almost straight away. The RIAA in the form of Priority Records had hoped to get a quick, lucrative settlement from Candy Chan, on the basis that (it claimed) her daughter had been illegal filesharing. (You'll note, once again, the RIAA's supposed focus on the big filesharers has shaken down a thirteen year old girl.) Instead of folding, Chan contested the action:

The RIAA continued to argue that Ms. Chan was indirectly liable for providing a computer to her teenage daughter. After taking Ms. Chan's deposition, the RIAA moved to add the 13 year old child as a defendant.

Ms. Chan's attorney, John Hermann of Berkley, Michigan, objected, arguing that the daughter was a minor and that the Court would have to appoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of the child, before for the child before they could proceed.

Judge Zatkoff was about to announce a judgement in Ms Chan's favour, when - paniced - the RIAA hastily withdrew its action against her. Because, of course, a judgement against the RIAA could have scuppered its nice bit of business of taking cash from parents under the threat of legal action.

However, the RIAA then attempted to introduce a legal action against the kid, calling on the court to appoint a guardian ad litern. Happily, the judge was having none of this.


We know how much it pains Mariah Carey when she gets accused of being a demanding diva, because, darling, she just isn't like that at all. So it might be wrong to conclude that her time scrambling to get out of the dumper has not taught her humility, but to grab it all while she can, or to draw any further conclusions from reports that she demanded USD25,000 to turn up for a Vegas nightclub opening. And blacked out windows and the presidential suite.

Oh, and she wanted the waiting staff and security to "lower their heads in her presence", apparently.

Yeah, that's actually not a bad idea, that one. Or only look at you through smoked glass.

The nightclub wouldn't pay, so she didn't turn up; but her simple, non-divaesque requests actually did a better job of getting publicity coverage for the opening by themselves.


Heady times indeed for Michael Jackson - apparently, as he prepares his comeback (again), he's decided to turn to gangsta rap. Presumably inspiration struck when he thought those crowds outside court chanting at him were all yelling "P Diddy Style."

We're not sure it's such a great idea, though - sure, Eminem's done alright for himself but for most people "white guy rapping" means Vanilla Ice; certainly, Jacko's contempt for rap as an artform is on record when he got Macauly Culkin to open and close his mouth to someone elses's words. (We mean in the Black and White video, not during the court case, of course.)

What's amusing, though, is that as Jacko spends his time flicking through sportswear catalogues and sending his people down to Target to look at the jewellery counter, so the line-up of people who "are" going to appear on his Katrina charity single have shifted. Last week, we were being told it would feature Mariah Carey, R Kelly and James Brown. Now, it's going to be Jay-Z, Missy Elliot and Mary J Blige.

As part of his rap makeover, Michael Luckman (who wrote a book about Jacko once, so he should - ahem - know) claims that “soon you will see him surrounded by beautiful women.”

Well... he's always had an eye for the birds...


Oddly, despite his claim on Sunday that he's got a secret lover and his meticulous planning of his wedding in Las Vegas, Williams is also stating that he isn't seeing any one person and doesn't want to get married:

He said: "I think growing up in my 20s, not knowing who I really was, I wanted someone to come and save me and make me better.

"But now I am like, there’s plenty of time. Let’s not run and have one of them, let’s walk and have them all."

Really, Robbie, we're convinced - you're waiting for a change in the law... sorry, a love 'em and leave 'em kind of guy. But it might be more convincing if you decided if you were a devoted monogamous heterosexual or a randy, shag 'em all straight, so we know what exactly it is we're being convinced of.

And let's not even worry about the kissing Jonathan Wilkes and telling people that he's gay "for a laugh." Because it's a laugh, innit? It's just mucking about.


How could Robbie Williams be gay, eh, when he's planning his wedding? He's decided he wants a "quiet" affair at a Las Vegas chapel rather than something big and flashy like Jordan and Peter Andre - and quite right, too, Robbie. After all, Jordan and Peter's whole marriage was a massive publicity stunt, wasn't it?

But you do know Las Vegas isn't in Spain, don't you?


Louis Walsh, one of the "experts" who judges on The X-Factor, has had his ears cleaned out. This, clearly, is an act of public-spirit we should all applaud - we'll all benefit if he can actually hear the bunch of Tomcats-with-knackers-caught-in-mangles auditioning on the programmes; but if we had to sit at a table with Simon Cowell and Sharon Osbourne skriking their opinions, we wouldn't be having the wax taken out of our ears. We'd be wedging cheese, crayons, anything to hand in them.

Monday, September 26, 2005


We're usually happy to think the worst of Christina Aguilera, but even we think we'd stop here for a moment to consider the claims of the Daily Star that she marked the birth of little Sean Preston Spears by sending Britney a corset and diet handbook - what, are we meant to believe life is like Hollyoaks?

Besides, if you were going to go to all that trouble to be cruel, wouldn't you be really cruel and send, say, a kaftan and a box of laxatives?


Phil Spector popped into the court house today to hear the judge in his murder trial shift pretrial dates to October 27th & 28th and speculate that the actual trial proper would begin "probably" in January - which will at least give Court TV something to keep it busy once it's run out of Christmas 'Year of the Jacko trial' specials. Spector has waived his right to a speedy trial.


Despite a panicky period of issuing more profit warnings than hit albums, the label and management indie group Sanctuary has announced that it's no longer looking for a buy-out partner. The stock exchange reacted to the news that possible tie-ups with EMI and Warners had been ruled out by rushing to offload more stock in the company.

Sanctuary - home to the likes of Elton John, Axl Rose and Morrissey - is heading towards making a loss this year and plans to try and salvage things by "cutting costs." There may be one or two names on their books who will be running a grubby finger round the inside of their sweaty collars tonight.

Sanctuary had got itself the reputation as being like the RSPCA's home - all manner of old bands who had nowhere else to go found comfort, warmth and shelter there. The lack of a hook-up with one of the majors means that the label will now be looking to keep bankers happy - and that might mean one or two old faithfuls being put out of their misery.


And in a rap-(attempted)-murder-trial on the other side of the Atlantic, Beanie Sigel has been cleared of shooting Terrance Speller after a dispute outside a Philadelphia strip club. This was Sigel's second time on trial for the killing; the first ended in a deadlocked jury.

It's not quite time for Sigel to pay off his briefs and think about settling down - he's got another trial coming up following claims that he broke a man's eye socket in January 2003. But after that he should be able to live a simple, Courtney Love style life.


The murder trial of Dwayne Vincent, (slightly) better known as Megaman from the So Solid Crew has been told by the victim's brother that he was not seeking to "do Megaman down."

Kyle Scarlet - whose brother Colin was shot last November - also denied suggestions from Vincent and co-accused Carl Morgan's defence that he hadn't been present at the time of the shooting.

The case continues.


Well, at least you can't accuse Katie Melua of being deluded into thinking she's all that:

My music isn't meant to be innovative, I know that. The only thing I claim to do is hopefully play good songs. It wasn't groundbreaking music that inspired me - it was songs that did something to me on an emotional level.

But if you don't innovate, doesn't that leave you just being... well, derivative?


You know what only occured to us today? That Lucy Clarkson, who "opened her heart to The People" about all the lesbiancokeshag stuff she'd seen would be the same Lucy Clarkson who told the News of the World she'd been shagging Justin Timberlake behind Cameron Diaz's back. Only, of course, she hadn't been, and ended up costing Rupert Murdoch a large sum of money. Nice to see it hasn't stopped other sunday papers from getting their checkbooks out.

Meanwhile, Shaun Ryder has been shrugging his shoulders. Apparently, he could try to tell Moss to calm it down but would she listen?

Speaking to The Sun, Ryder said: “I wouldn’t give Kate advice on her habit – she probably wouldn’t listen to me anyway.

“I’ve been in Kate’s company but I can’t say I’ve ever done coke with her.”

Well, yes: Having Shaun Ryder stand in front of you and tell you to leave the drugs alone... it might not be entirely convincing, mightn't it?


We don't know what's more astonishing - that there was stuff left over from the sessions for Gwen Steffani's Love Angel Music Baby album (they didn't, it seems, rush out the first bunch of tracks they came up with and knock off early) - or that she's afraid that the stuff she's doing sounds so now if she doesn't release the rest of it before Christmas it'll sound out-of-date.

A woman who wears houndstooth bikinis is afraid of the tide of fashion running away from her.


As the US breathes out again as Rita receedes, there's still a lot of unanswered questions hanging over from Katrina.

For example, Barry Cowsill of 60s Partridge-lites The Cowsills is still missing. Barry, who has been having drug problems (of the liking them a little too much sort), disappeared totally in the days after Katrina hit; then made a phone call saying that he was waiting for a bus out. Now his family think they've seen pictures of him on the CNN website at the New Orleans Convention Center.


6Music are reporting that young Adam Ant is going to publish an autobiography next year - called, disappointingly, Stand and Deliver rather than Diddley Qua Qua. It should be a cracking read, as he's had quite a life. We wonder if it'll finally stop people googling to see if he's Liza Goddard's son. (He isn't.)


Radio One have been given a big ticking off for the not-entirely-helpful warning of bad language at the start of Zane Lowe's Most Punk back in June.

Zane's introduction, delivered by an old lady, was pretty much like this:

“Hello ladies, boys and girls, I thought that you might like to know - in the spirit of punk rock – the following show includes, what we often refer to as language. So if, like me, you are offended by such words and phrases as: arse; bollocks; tit, wank; tit-wank; rotter; mother licker; mother sucker; mother fucker; twat; minge juice; bottler and of course bastard – then you might wish to turn over, or fuck off – thank you”.

Ofcom wasn't amused:

The programme was an examination of punk culture. It was therefore inevitably likely to include some material that contained strong language and a warning was given. The ‘elderly lady’ was clearly intended to be ironic and provide a humorous introduction to the programme. We therefore appreciate the editorial technique that the BBC was trying to use, with the use of labelling and warnings.

Broadcasters have the right to transmit, and listeners the right to receive, material which may offend some people but uses strong language to explore artistic and creative themes. However, the right to deal with such subject matter comes with the responsibility of ensuring material is appropriately scheduled with the potential child audience in mind. While this was a legitimate approach, its application here was seriously misguided.


Actually, they'd not ask that as a pubquiz question, as the answer - Madonna Louise Ciccone - is too easy. Not, though, as simple as it might seem as Guy Ritchie was asked the question on live TV and didn't know.

Perhaps he got confused in that period when Madonna started babbling on that she wanted to be called Esther. Or perhaps - like many of us these days - he's just not that interested in the details of Madge's life anymore.


Interesting developments over at LimeWire, the lovely file-sharing client software: they're working on code that could stop sharing of unlicensed material:

If an individual shares an unlicensed MP3 file, the LimeWire client will display the following message and prevent its distribution:

"LimeWire can't determine if one or more files have been published under a suitable license. These files will not be shared."

What's crucial here, of course, is that it doesn't stop you downloading unlicensed material - just from uploading it. In the same way that that RIAA software we wrote about last week is designed to save you from yourseld, so is this - only in a more genuine fashion. What it effectively does is prevent you from inadvertently sharing stuff that's identifiable as being unlicensed. It spares you from being caught by the RIAA, rather than stopping you doing what you've always been doing. At the same time, Limewire are able to show to the RIAA they've been doing their best to stop people putting their product to evil uses. Quite a deft piece of work.


Everytime someone gets thrown through a windscreen, a light goes on in Jimmy Saville's house to alert him that his work pushing seatbelt safety has been ignored again.

Image hosted by

Last week, Saville's Light of Disappointment came on as largely-forgotten soul singer D'Angelo came to grief in his Hummer. You might be a little puzzled as to why a former pop star needs to drive on the main roads in a vehicle designed for driving over conquered nations, and so are we; maybe it was a desire to be off tarmac on the part of the army vehicle that led it to leave the road, crash into a fence and catapult D'Angelo, unrestrained by a seatbelt, into a field.


There's been a rumpus over at iTunes, with upsetment at Apple offering War Child album individual tracks at its standard price, 20p a go less than they are on the official website; last week things were even worse, with the store selling the album as a whole at a discount rate. Some sort of "mistake", apparently, rather than a grand conspiracy of any sort.


For reasons that we're entirely clear about, parents trying to keep Channelkirk Primary School open have decided to approach Status Quo to get their backing for their campaign.

The Oxton school is just north of the Scotland-England border. Perhaps that rugged countrysdie suggests Francis Rossi's temperament.


Robbie Williams isn't gay, you know. Oh no. In fact, he's got a girlfriend. Oh, yes, he has. He's been seeing her for months and months, he has. Yes, he has. It's just a secret, see. All a secret.

Of course, Robbie. In fact, you're having a lovely relationship with five lovely sisters, aren't you? And their darling Mother Palm.


If Kate Moss had been hoping that the dogs were going to be called off now that she'd lost contracts, she's going to have an uncomfortable morning. The big company who had decided to stand by her, Rimmel, now seems to have made itself a target. The Sun (them again) fumes over the company's plans to run an ad campaign filmed before The Mirror did its own filming:

COSMETICS giant Rimmel was slammed yesterday for cashing in on Kate Moss’s drug shame in a new TV ad campaign.

Commercials will see the model living up to her wild image by partying all night — before applying make-up in a taxi and arriving for work looking stunning.

"Slammed" might be overstating it a bit - the best a ring-round by the paper could do in the way of outrage was Liberal Democrat MP John 'who he' Hemming:

Lib Dem MP John Hemming said yesterday: “Cocaine damages people’s lives. It is sad a company would endorse that sort of activity for commercial reasons.”

... and even that is hardly much of a slamming. However, it might be enough to flack to persuade Rimmel to do a 360. We hope that they hold firm in the face of this onslaught of mild disappointment from an obscure MP.

Meanwhile, despite his very public descriptions of Kate as a crack-addled slut last week, Pete Doherty still thinks they're getting married this year. Well... maybe...


The passing of the entire front page to a story that is 'woman the country doesn't like much writes book' must, surely have been a contractual deal, which is the only way we can imagine that the paper managed to throw away their pictures of Charlotte Church in a latex dress at GAY on an inside page.

Mind you, perhaps the paper just didn't think the pictures were that good - they seemed to think that she looked like a short, tubby bloke:

SINGER Charlotte Church takes the stage in a tight-fitting latex frock — and looks just like gay Little Britain Welshman Daffyd.

Charlotte, 19, made a striking double for comic Matt Lucas in his costume for TV’s Daffyd who says he is “the only gay in the village”.

To be honest, we don't see it ourselves - perhaps the Sun just thinks that everything wrapped in rubber looks the same to them. I bet they're a hoot when their boyfriends put condoms on...


It would be slightly easier to have a degree of sympathy for Sharon Osbourne's announcement that she's unable to beat bulimia if the revelation wasn't coming as part of an exclusive deal to flog her life to The Sun, complete with horrible, self-satisified TV advertising campaign.

In case you managed to miss the TV ads, a crowd of journalists were gathered outside Osbourne Manor barking questions at a limo while Sharon woodenly delivered "I cannot comment" lines before settling back into the car seat to read her own story in the Sun.

Actually, this was a little more honest than Sharon probably expected - who, except a desperate publicity whore would wind down their car's tinted windows to be photographed when she was contractually obliged to not say anything? And isn't there something a little too revealing in her stilted delivery of some words scripted by someone else forbidding her from talking about her own life to anyone else, because she's sold it for a handfull of beans to Rupert Murdoch? And the final scene, of Sharon settling down to look at herself in the papers - presumably she's off taking the paper to be framed - really does sum up the self-obsession of the woman.

What is puzzling, though, is why The Sun thinks that Sharon's story is not only worth paying for, but apparently today's big news...

Sunday, September 25, 2005


We're reluctant to mention Ashlee Simpson here, as her name is a huge magnet for comment spam - is she really such a top-drawer pull? Or do the spammers just assume that if you're interested in Ashlee Simpson, you'd probably need viagra? Anyway, apparently there's to be another album from Simpson, and has what it claims is the lyrics from this opus.

If it wasn't called AshleeFan, we'd assume it was a cruel pisstake. Here's a couple of samples:

What you been doing
What you been doing
Whoa, whoa, haven't seen you around
How you been feelin, how you been feelin Whoa, whoa, don't you bring me down


It seems like yesterday that my world fell from the sky
It seems like yesterday I didn't know how hard I could cry


But all my girls we're in a circle and nobody's gonna break through
L, O, L, O, L O LO V E
L, O, L, O L, O
L, O L, L O L, O L O V E
L, O L O L O
Did you hear me say
L, O, L, O L O L O V E
L, O, L O L, O
L, O L O L O L O V E
L, O L O L O L O

Teletubbies said something similar once, I believe. We can't help but note that the popular internet shorthand LOL has been hidden in that one, as a hostage to fortune.

Nothing's gonna hold me back
It's Friday night
And I feel all right
Nobody's gonna bring me down
It's my life
And I'm doing fine
Don't you know I wanna play
So take me on a holiday

Well, it does all rhyme, at least.

Parents: we wouldn't normally advise this, but... if you do find your kids are downloading this album off the web - report your children to the RIAA. It's the kindest thing to do.


We're quite excited to hear via DJ Martian that there's a double album retrospective from The June Brides in the pipeline - a band bleoved of Janice long-era Night-time Radio One, the Record Mirror and Snipe! fanzine, amongst others. And it really is to be a career-spanning retrospective, too - all forty-one tracks they ever recorded. Will Martin Scorcese be making a documentary? No. But everyone who has the jangle in their heart will have a slightly bouncier step today.


Since when did Jennifer Love Hewitt start being called J Love? Anyway, "J Love" has offered Kate Moss a rather school ma'amish ticking off, and observed that coffee and cocaine are two different things, almost entirely:

"I have to say that I think maybe they [H&M] did her a favor, and maybe she'll actually get help," the actress/singer said. "Coffee's one thing, but coke is another. It's not something you want to really have as a problem in your life. I think we have to kind of stop rewarding bad behaviour and actually start helping people. You know when you're out in public that there are gonna be people who watching you, so you should just try to act like somebody that you would wanna be proud of if they got a photo of you. Not that you should always feel like you're always working, but it goes with the job, I think."

Excepy, Jennifer... Kate Moss wasn't out in public when she was filmed doing coke - so, since you've decided to endorse the actions of H&M in dropping Moss, does that mean that you think - as a general rule - celebrities should welcome the idea that they might be secretly filmed at all times? Or are you just blurting out some career-friendly soundbites without thinking?


Jim McCabe has been in touch again - and it's always a delight - to raise a couple of questions. First, has anyone thought through the wisdom of having Roger Daltry and Robert Plant share lead vocals on the Peel tribute single?:

With those two egos at play, the old Buzzcocks' classic will sound like an angry sparring match in a bar just before fisticuffs occur.

Second, just why did the Guardian choose to editorialise about how much it loves Dylan?

Not entirely unwelcome, though unexpected. It would be slightly tawdry, however, if the only reason for the editorial was some sort of tenuous tie-in with Scorsese's forthcoming Dylan opus.

Ourselves, we're so tired of Bob Dylan right now. If he'd actually gone knocking on heaven's door the coverage of this documentary couldn't have been any more over-carpeted. We've seen or heard it trailed now on BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, Radio 3, Radio 4 and 6 Music - and we bet it's just luck that we haven't caught a plug on Radio 2. Now, we can understand the excitement at Bob picking up an electric guitar, in its context. It's like when Creation started issuing twelve inch singles, or the Manics didn't split after the first album. But, crucially, even if BBC2 did air an documentary featuring Matt from Sarah recreating the great "measuring the runout groove" incident, it's unlikely it would be trailed every single time you turn the television on. Even though is should.


We're not sure if Pete Doherty's plan is to try and push things so far that British tabloid readers feel there's no option but to build up a pile of faggots and kindling and burn him, but the way things are going, that seems to be the only ending. A couple of days ago, he was getting himself muddled up with a sixteen year-old, who yesterday was spread all over the front of the Daily Star pledging to take Kate Moss' place "in Pete's bed and on the catwalk" - you'll note the British tabloids treat 16 year-old girls as children in need of protection when they're in a car with pop stars, but as women able to make their own decisions and choices when they're being interviewed; it was almost a step back to the days when Mike Gabbert was editing the Star and ran a picture of a fifteen year-old girl with a headline which mentioned the size of her tits, and how many days until she was 16, when she was pledging to get them out for the paper.

This morning, the main story in the People is headlined RACE TO SAVE FAN 15, FROM JUNKIE PETE BUS. That's not, of course, a junkie called Pete Bus. The heart of the story is that a 15 year-old girl decided to leap onto the Babyshambles bus as it left Dundee; her parents called the cops; the police intercepted the bus at a motorway service station. Not, really, the stuff of Hollywood movies, but the People do a good job of writing it up to make it sound as lurid as possible. They almost let the facts get in the way of a good story, too:

The impressionable 15-year-old had embarked on a 400-mile motorway journey through the night after being invited on to a tour bus used by Babyshambles crew members that followed in convoy with junkie Pete's coach.

So... actually, she wasn't even on Junkie Pete Bus, she was on some other bus. Which reduces the impact of the later paragraphs, somewhat...

The 15-year-old's distraught parents - aware of Doherty's horrific use of illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine - alerted cops after getting a mobile phone call from their daughter.

But while they might be distraught, what does the habits of someone not on the bus have to do with the story?

Last night family organisations were appalled by the girl's experience.

But... why? What was the experience that was so appalling? Sure, there were a few errors of judgement on all sides, and we can imagine it must have been a bit upsetting for the parents. But 'girl takes a lift; parents panic and intervene' is hardly that bad, is it?

Eric Hester, vice-chairman of Family and Youth Concern said: "It is every parent's nightmare. These girls might look older than their years but a 15-year-old is still a child and she should be protected."

We know that Family and Youth Concern are permanently on aler - and it's a sign of how ready they are to judge that Eric Hester broke off from chairing their vice sessions to comment. But this is all a flap about nothing, isn't it? It could have been very bad indeed, yes; but it wasn't.

And The People's Agony Aunt Rachael said: "This has to be the ulimate horror for parents - your teenage daughter on a bus full of roadies from a pop band headed by a self-confessed junkie."

Again, it's probably not what parents would want to hear, but we can think of dozens of parents who have had horrors far more awful than hearing their daughters have climbed onto a bus and had a bit of a silly adventure; and we're prepared to bet that when they got the phone call saying "Mum, I'm on a tour bus" they actually were relieved that some of their more obvious, burning horrors they'd been imagining - involving shallow graves and brutalism - were able to melt away.

Meanwhile, the Sunday papers rush to play catch-up with a full seven days of Kate Moss stories: Lucy Clarkson will clearly never work again after blabbing to the people:

Opening her heart to The People, Yorkshire-born Lucy, 23, revealed how...

YOUNG girls take part in lesbian orgies after losing their minds on Class A drugs.

SLEAZY businessmen hang around backstage luring young models into sex romps by offering them drugs.

DESPERATE models routinely take cocaine because it suppresses their appetite and enables them to stay slim.

CATWALK JUNKIES snorted the drug off silver platters at the prestigious London Fashion Week.

FASHION BOSSES know about the illegal abuse but ignore it.

We know, we know... who knew that models might take coke to stay slim? We're as shocked as you are.

Something we are really surprised at is the Mirror's claims that Naomi Campbell is Kate's "supermodel pal" - surely Kate can't have been so addled by drugs as to be mates with her, can she? There doesn't seem to be much to the claim, apart from a bid to stack up the paper's insistence that Moss will go onto Parkinson when she comes out of rehab. Apparently, Parkinson is the show of choice for yer recovering addict, says the paper's mysterious source:

"If she goes on and says: 'I'm sorry. I'm hooked, I was wrong,' people will show her more respect. That's what Naomi did. She's been through the same nightmare herself and has told Kate that Parky is the right show to do. It worked for her. And she's convinced it can work for Kate, too."

We're not quite sure how it "worked" for Naomi, who threw a massive strop when the Mirror ran pictures of her coming out of her twelve-step group (despite acknowledging you have a problem being step one...), but we know why Parky's the first choice - he's such a lame interviewer, it's more like being licked by a kitten than asked questions. The other main options - Martin Bashir or Jonathan Ross - would be either too probing or too prone to take the piss. Going on Parky is like choosing a twnikly old priest who doesn't much care anymore to make your confessions to.


What should we make from the news that someone who got knocked back from the X Factor as being too poor a singer even for them was able to sound passably enough like Ronan Keating to persuade Mrs. Keating that he was her husband:

He said: "I love Ronan. I've his voice to a tee. I explained that I was his double - I am the world's best Ronan Keating impersonator.

"I sang to him and his wife shouted downstairs 'Shush Ronan, I'm putting the kids to bed'."


Echo and the Bunnymen return from creative isolation

Broadcast invite "pushing the right buttons" praise

This week's Swedish garage rock heroes

Ex-Chesterfield and Polly Harvey collaborator's solo work