Saturday, June 03, 2006


After all that talk in the tabs about how healthy and great Kelly Osbourne's "new figure" is, it turns out she was actually ill:

"Forget all that healthy-eating bullshit," she told pals at a London club this week.

"I have a thyroid problem which means I shit all the time. My doctors want me to start taking steroids for it but fuck that. I don't want to put all the weight back on again."

Thats right, Kelly - why worry about having a leaky arse when you could have people who write for Heat telling you that you look "stunning", eh?

What price vanity? Adult diapers, by the sound of it.


Won't someone please, please think of the children? Or, rather, the child - Bluebell Belladonna Paula Abdul Halliwell. Bad enough that she's got Robbie Williams trying to sort out paternity visiting rights, now it turns out that Geri is getting parenting tips from Duncan James. Out of Blue.

"Nah... nah, that's fine... I was always being dropped on me 'ead when I was a nipper... it didn't do me any... what's that stuff called? That bad stuff..."


It must be something about EasyJet flights that turn people into outraged squawk-monkeys when things don't go their way - turning up late for check-in and demanding to know why they can't get on the plane, that sort of thing.

Take Pete Doherty: Now, maybe it wasn't his bloody syringe they found on the plane. But can he be surprised at Spanish police taking a close interest? They snapped on the latex gloves. Pete knows what they're after:

“They wanted to see if we had anything in our bottoms.”

They didn't ask him to lift his hat, you'll notice.

Friday, June 02, 2006


For quite a while now, those willing to take their chances on bar-room readings of Russian law have enjoyed themselves drinking deeply from, the site which sold you downloads for less than the price of sweet cigarette, and reckoned it was fine under Russian law.

And so it appeared to be - the IFPI (the RIAA with some flags) kept pushing for Russian police to do something to protect their precious profits, but the police couldn't see any crime being committed. The most recent investigation, in February, turned up nothing.

Of course, the record companies of the world didn't get where they are today by accepting the laws of the land in which they operate. If they don't like something, they put pressure on to have the rules redrafted in their favour. And it seems, once again, national interests will be bent to the whims of Sony and friends. Putin seems to be offering a restrictive new system of IP as part of the price of Russia joining the World Trade Organisation:

"A necessary condition for developing new technology is more reliable protection of intellectual property. We must defend copyright inside the country. That is our obligation to our foreign partners," Putin said.

"We must also ensure protection of intellectual property rights of our own producers."

Of course, even if they do close down allofmp3, the victory may be bittersweet. Because Russia might want to join the WTO - but what about Ukraine? Or Georgia? The IFPI has a lot more work to do before the boardrooms can enjoy their thirty-pound sandwiches in comfort.


Never mind that the current single is so bad it would even shame shamble-era Gillespie, Primal Scream still have some fire left in their, uh, fireplaces, and are about to do a collection of doings.

6Music has declared Monday Primal Scream Day, with live sessions, lots of not-live sessions and, lets hope, Bobby explaining to Pete Doherty how it's possible to remain alive after your first top-ten album - although the scientific proof today that Screamadelica isn't a better album than Is This It? may lead BBC bosses to cancel Primal Scream Day in favour of a Strokes celebration.

Then, there's a tour, although we're not sure that it's quite as much fun going to see the Primals now that Bobby doesn't look like a man who might fall off the stage at any moment. Anyway, the dates:

Newcastle Academy (November 14)
Aberdeen Music Hall (15)
Glasgow SECC (17)
Manchester Apollo (18)
Birmingham Academy (19)
Liverpool University (21)
Nottingham Rock City (22)
London Hammersmith Apollo (24)
Cambridge Corn Exchange (27)
Bristol Academy (28)
Southampton Guildhall (29)

We have fond memories of seeing the band at Liverpool University a few years back, when a confusion between the roadies and the bar staff saw nobody realise they were meant to evict us during what was a wonderful soundcheck - Bobby working his way through a number of soul standards for something like forty-five minutes. It was actually more memorable than the gig itself, if truth be told.


Is this any way to celebrate fifty years of the album chart? The Guinness Book of British Hit Everythings and came together to decide what is the greatest album of all time, ever, and this was the result:

1. 'Definitely Maybe' - Oasis
2. 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band' - The Beatles
3. 'Revolver' - The Beatles
4. 'OK Computer' - Radiohead
5. '(What's The Story) Morning Glory?' - Oasis
6. 'Nevermind' - Nirvana
7. 'The Stone Roses' - The Stone Roses
8. 'Dark Side Of The Moon' - Pink Floyd
9. 'The Queen Is Dead' - The Smiths
10. 'The Bends' - Radiohead
11. 'The Joshua Tree' - U2
12. 'London Calling' - The Clash
13. 'The Beatles (The White Album)' - The Beatles
14. 'Abbey Road' - The Beatles
15. 'Up The Bracket' - The Libertines
16. 'Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols' - Sex Pistols
17. 'Four Symbols (Led Zeppelin IV)' - Led Zeppelin
18. 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars' - David Bowie
19. 'A Night At The Opera' - Queen
20. 'Is This It' - The Strokes

Let's not even think about the depressing top end of the chart; let us console ourselves instead with this thought: There are enough people who, when they put their heads together, will insist that since Edison's day, there have only been nineteen albums released which outclass and outrank Is This It by The Strokes.

I think that really sums up the electorate quite comfortably, and allows us to lose no sleep over the claims that Oasis made the greatest record in the world.


We've written off the Sugababes more times than we've written off for stickers to complete a fantastic Panini collection, and yet still (in some form or another) they keep breathing. And what's more, they intend to release two more albums at least. By which time, they'll be completely composed of other people.

One is a Greatest Hits, due this Christmas and, we suspect, containing the By Now Law-Ordained two new tracks to release as singles; then, a whole new thing sometime during 2007.

All of which proves, even the most simmering of resentments can be overcome if (a) the money is right and (b) you take someone out and shoot them every so often.


Bad Brains singer, original Faith No More vocalist and - if you're after the bonus points - member of Cement Chuck Mosley has returned with an exciting new project, Vandals Against Illiteracy - or VUA for short. (Do you see?)

Mind you, he only seems vague about what he's doing, and who he's doing it with:

"It's more kind of my style -- more noisiness, but there's some rapping over hard rock. There's more screaming and singing -- some short punk rock songs, some harder ones, acoustic jammies."

Joining Mosley in V.U.A. is Cobra Verde guitarist Tim Parnin, bassist Ed Stevens, and "A guy named Eric. I can't remember his last name, he plays drums -- he was in Pro-Pain," he says. In addition to handling vocals, Mosley also supplies some guitar.

We know drummers are seldom the most valued members of any equipe, but to not be able to recall what he's called seems a little bit slack. Even by heavy rock standards.


Conor Oberst, indie-music slashfic slut, says he can't understand why people mention his name in the same breath as Dylan:

"It just doesn't really make a lot of sense to me other than I guess we both play guitar and sing in English. I mean, I like Bob Dylan's music along with a lot of other music, but I read (Dylan comparisons) about a lot of people so in that sense it seems kind of a little like lazy journalism."

Yes... lazy journalism, Conor. Lazy, lazy... laid back... back...

Conor laid back on the big brass bed. A wicked grin played across his face - he would have snickered 'does this make me your lady', but the older man had already thrown himself on top of him; Conor felt his raggedy fringe glance across his belly as Dylan set about the button-fly which could barely contain the his thrill.

"Mind you," thought Conor, as Dylan slid a bony finger or two under the elastic of his briefs, "I'm glad I made him wear the ball gag. That squeaky voice he uses would be kinda off-putting here..."


They might actually wish they'd spend their time ensuring their customers didn't have to wait hours for their email to arrive, but AOL have been following Bruce Springsteen around on his current tour, and are posting one track from each date.


Fifty Cent will be keeping a close eye on the world cup:

I was introduced to soccer in a roundabout way through my uncle Trevor, who was a drug dealer."

"If there was talk about the progress of Jamaica in the World Cup, I knew it was really code for a weed deal.

"If he was excited about Mexico, they were expecting cocaine from there. The more they won the more cash there was!"

It's not recorded if the uncle was ever involved in a row over the supply of Colombia which turned out to be cut with a surprising amount of Tranmere Rovers.


Fathers For Justice, the patience-straining dad's rights stunt artists, could be about to get a famous supporter. And he's a little bit tiresome and more famous as a show-off, too:

Robbie Williams is fuming that Geri Halliwell won't let Sacha Whatsit see his daughter.

Sacha's daughter, not Robbie's daughter. It's an unlikely baby, but not that unlikely.

But how can we be sure of this? Oh, if only there was a pal, or a buddy, or a friend of some sort to fill the 3AM girls in:

A friend of Robbie's tells us: "He introduced them because he thought they'd get on really well. And he was happy for Geri when he found out she was having a baby. Now he can't believe the way she is cutting Sacha out of the baby's life.

"Robbie tried to help by asking Geri to change her mind but she wasn't having any of it. They ended up having a bit of a barney."

Blimey. The 3AM Girls seem very certain of this story, so of course it must be true.

Hang about, though...

Yesterday a spokeswoman for Robbie insisted: "There's no truth in this."

You might wonder how the Girls can get around such a flat denial, and still run a story. Ah, but they have good reason to reject the words of a Robbie spokesperson:

But let's not forget that these same people denied Robbie would be singing a Queen number at last year's Live8...

Thirty minutes before he did!

Aaah! So, because they tried to keep the contents of his setlist a bit of a surprise at a gig last year, they're clearly lying about Robbie's intervention or otherwise in a paternity case.

That makes sense.


If Sean "is that a hole in my head" Spears is expecting an easy life, he may find himself bitterly disappointed.

Kevin Federline wants 'em to get fast food jobs:

"It's completely unfair when a child is brought into this world and now he's already looked at like a prince.

"My kids are going to have to learn what a real job is, what life is. You don't have it easy with me. Period."

"My kids are going to work at Taco Bell, dammit."

Well, by the time they're old enough to, you'll be able to put in a good word for them with your boss, won't you, Kev?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Because he's a middling popstar with a middling managerial career, Ronan Keating has decided that he understands health funding better than Dr Paul Walker, chair of Welsh public health association PHA Cymru.

Walker suggested that cancer took more than an equitable share of the money spent on health and research in the UK, compared with the levels of cash spent on, say, respiritory diseases.

Walker went on to point to the number of celebrities who front up cancer fundraisers, saying they helped "mismatch" the money. He was basing his comments on an in-depth survey of funding patterns conducted by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

Ronan Keating, presumably drawing on his knowledge of how to put together a ballad, went ballistic:

You don't knock charities that are doing good work."

He added: "It is disgraceful that a doctor could say something like that. He said that men and women in the street fear cancer more than they should - if one in three people are being diagnosed with cancer, they have every right to be concerned.

"I am very disappointed in him. It is totally absurd that someone in his position could say these things."

Well, up to a point, Lord Keating. Obviously, Ronan's experience of cancer is coloured by the loss of his mother to the disease, something you wouldn't wish on anyone. But to describe it as "absurd" when someone attempts to put the cancer risk into context and to point out that if you pour all your funds into one, trendy cause disease it starves other areas of cash - that might be overstepping your area of expertise, Ronan.


Baldrick, in voice-over:There's trouble aboard flight EZY5135 from London Gatwick. EasyJet staff have found a syringe hidden in the bin in the toilet.

Male flight attendent: Well, one of the passengers went to the toilet, and spent rather a long time in there, so we went to check what had been going on in there... and that's when we found it.

Female flight attendent, holding up syringe: Eww, it's all bloody

Male flight attendent: Perhaps we should speak to the passenger. Maybe he's... diabolical or something?

They approach a man sat in his chair, twitching

Pete Doherty (for it is he): What? I never done nuffink, me, look, I've got implants anyway. I loves Kate, I do. They kicked me out the band. Ooh, Kate, I love you. Not that one of Big Brother. Besides, I don't have a syringe, do I...

Baldrick, again: The pilot called Spanish police, who detained Babyshambles upon their arrival, but made no arrests. And the band have been barred from ever flying with easyJet again. Meanwhile, at Luton, Leo's having problems with sixteen busloads of shouting businessmen who've missed their flight...


John Ansell, a member of G4 (they were on the X-Factor, apparently) has found a way of getting himself back in the papers.

By getting himself accused of an assault on a pregnant woman. The Glasgow Evening Times has the details:

The 24-year-old is alleged to have been involved in an incident with a mum-to-be outside Central Station ahead of the group's Clyde Auditorium concert.
A scuffle is understood to have broken out between the X Factor star and the woman at 3.30am last Friday and she is alleged to have fallen to the ground.

We're a little bemused by the way the event is supposed to have happened both "ahead" of the performance and at "3.30am".


The PriscillasNo Rock favourites the Priscillas are playing London, England tonight - at the 100 Club; and people who live in Therestofthecountry can go see them at Razor Stilleto's third birthday tomorrow night, June 2nd. (That's in Sheffield.)

They're going to be in Paris on July 7th & 10th - which is a residency, in our books. We hope they'll be taking advantage of the opportunity for Eiffel Tower photo ops.


This Bonfire Night, Mike Skinner will be running round New York. He's going to take part in the New York Marathon.

Doubtless, he was inspired to do this after seeing East 17 walking about one day.


There's something slightly odd about reporting this lunchtime that the Manics are adding a track to a June Brides tribute album.

It's interesting news, but... Still Unravished was released back in February. On, we're delighted to see, Yesboyicecream records which, if memory serves, was what Stephen Fry suggested to Clive James would be a typical Japanese t-shirt in meaningless English.

GENNARO CASTALDO WATCH: Less than a mention

An email hits us from Twangfreak this morning, with worrying news:

Aww, poor Gennaro. He doesn't even get a namecheck in this Guardian article, but his loyal fans can instantly recognise his style. The topic is the many world-cup-themed novelty songs being released this week:

A spokesman for the retailer HMV said the trend for unofficial anthems had sprung from the popularity of New Order's World in Motion in 1990 and the subsequent success of David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds with Three Lions in 1996. "What we have now, with over 30 releases, is really just an extension of this trend, where among today's X-Factor generation, anyone has a chance to have a go and grab their 15 minutes of fame, whether it's C-list celebs trying to cash in, former entertainers who are trying to revive their careers or new acts just trying to break through," he added.

Obvious musical reference points passed off as insight? Check. One pop culture reference passed off as sociology? Check. Description passed off as analysis? Check. The 'X-Factor Generation', '15 minutes of fame' and 'c-list celebs' clichés? Check, check and check.

You are Gennaro Castaldo and I claim my five pounds! (in HMV vouchers)

Uh-oh. Gennaro missing out on his credit? Lets hope it's not the first step in a long line which seems him sent off to the new Ottakers outpost of the HMV empire...


It's interesting watching Dannii recast events in a way that throws a more flattering light on her - for example, there was that time she made a terrible fuss about having signs in Arabic on display in Australia, which turned out that she had managed to confuse Independent editor Simon Kelner into assuming that her delight in multiculturalism was in some way an attack on it.

Now, in the wake of Richard Madeley calling the lesser Minogue the rudest guest he's ever had, Dan has taken steps to explain exactly what happened.

Now, you and I might have thought that if she was going on a daytime show to promote a calendar which was basically her in her knickers, she'd have a pretty shrewd idea of what market she was playing to.

Perhaps not.

"I'd agreed to go on and talk, which I didn't want to do, 'cos it's a pretty daggy show."

We can see how someone from Home and Away might feel it a step down to go onto This Morning, but at least you put the idea of flogging a few extra calendars ahead of petty thoughts, eh?

Still, how did it go?

"I had a calendar out and all Richard wanted to do was letch over it, which I wasn't comfortable with. I shot him a look - it was either that or walk off."

Right, so you're on a TV show to try and sell pictures of you in your knickers and you have a fit of the vapours when someone goes "ooh, I like you in your underwear"?

Perhaps the time for these moral qualms was when you were in a photographer's studio with your bits out?


If you seek for my monument, gaze around, reckons Tony Mortimer. He believes that the spirit of East 17 lives on in the artists they inspired who chart today.

No, no, not Westlife.

No, Mortimer believes they have a slightly more impressive legacy:

"The Streets are definitely the closest thing to us in the charts these days.

"I like them a lot. Of course, if you ask them they'll probably say they were influenced by American hip-hop or something."

Yes, we'd imagine it'd be hugely unlikely that Mike Skinner ever said in public that A Grand Don't Come For Free was inspired by Stay. Very, very unlikely.


We're not sure that we entirely believe that Geri Halliwell is trying to bum a free mansion off her rich buddies, but it's a pleasing image:

“Geri has been pleading poverty with her friends. She doesn’t own a house in the UK any more but she desperately wanted her baby to be born in London. She’s been living in various rented properties in Los Angeles and London for the past couple of years and doesn’t have a proper place to call home.

“She’s asked George, Victoria and Emma if she can use their big houses in the country for a while.

“She has told them she doesn’t have as much money as people assume, and that she needs a place in the sticks where she can have some privacy.”

Yes, much-needed, that privacy. After she sold pictures of her baby to Hello (or was it the other one?) while the nipper virtually still had the umbilical cord attached, we all can see how much Halliwell is keen to keep herself from the public gaze.

Still, if she's really keen for a big house for free in the country, Prescott's just given up Dorneywood. Perhaps she should put in a call.


Some classic will-this-do from The Sun this morning, which runs a photo of Britney and child.

Britney and SeanBut why is this picture in the paper?

Because of what it shows, explains the paper:

BRITNEY Spears takes nine-month-old son Sean Preston for a stroll — showing a mystery mark on the back of his head.

Blimey! A mystery mark. Where? Eh? What? What can it mean?

Happily, and magically, there were apparently some onlookers about to speculate on what the mark might be.

Onlookers wondered if it was possibly a dent caused when he accidentally fell off his high chair last month.

Goodness! A dent, you say? A gouge, a hole of some sort? But how could the child have fallen to make a dent, visible to all, weeks later? Could this be evidence of some sort of terrible child abuse?

Oh, hang on, the wind's blown a little.

However the mark, seen when the pair went out in Malibu, California, could have been just a clump of dark hair.

Oh. So it might be a terrible, terrible injury and evidence of bad parenting, or it could just be a clump of healthy baby hair. Oh.

This isn't exactly reporting, is it? It's like they've passed the photo to someone, and just transcribed their reactions to it.


We could probably stomach the reports from the Andre boudoir if it wasn't the knowledge that they do it after a hard half hour or so making their joint album. Still, Andre still behaves like a man who thinks we need to know:

"Kate asks me: 'If I did this, would it make you sick?'

"I’m like: 'Thank God someone's finally said it! Yes I would love it.'"

Mercifully, he doesn't explain in any more detail - although, to be honest, the thought of his slime rubbing against all that plastic is enough to make anyone sick.

Mind you, we're not sure all is as well as Andre thinks:

"At about 10pm I'll sometimes say: 'Can we go upstairs?' and she'll say: 'Yeah but my back hurts, I’ve got a headache'."

Perhaps that's why Jordan worries she might be making Andre sick as a proverbial parrot - if he was picturing a lifetime on the bouncy castle only to discover it's straight to lights out, he must feel a little green about the gills.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Hot, fresh Polly Harvey fun: Recorded by The Guardian at their own Hay-on-Wye literary festival, five slices of PJ Harvey live.


Stop wondering 'what happened to Ani DiFranco*' - she's back. Back, back, back.

She's been away for a year with tendinitis, but is about to launch a new album and has an early-fall tour of the US set up.

* - of course, unless you're an electricity company looking for a settlement of a bill in her name, or possibly a renegade Indigo Girls fan, you've probably not been that bothered.


We're still reeling - like an Irish dance troupe - from the news that far from being cyberpunks, The Arctic Monkeys were frightened of electricity and distrusted the strange magic speaky-lightbox, so we're not sure we entirely trust the Lifetime Achievement award being given to Prince by the Webbys.

Sure, Tiffany Shlain, the founder of the awards, called Prince "a visionary, who recognized early on that the Web would completely change how we experience music."

But can we trust that?


Is it a terrible, terrible leak or a subtle marketing scheme? The Eraser, Thom Yorke's solo album, has appeared on the internet.

Sorry, did we say solo? Not solo, just not-Radiohead record.


Never mind the fuss that gets made when people publish pictures of Mohammed, you should see the outrage pouring now that a Finnish magazine has published pictures of Lordi without what turns out to be a rubber mask.

Seiska thought its pictures of Tomi Putaansuu would delight its readership, and mark it out as quite the investigative powerhouse of Finnish journalism. Instead, people have reacted badly to this letting in of daylight upon black magic - subscriptions cancelled, advertisers pulling campaigns, petitions organised. There was even going to be a protest, but it went a bit like the Frasier Crane Fan Club's attempts to get him reinstated: journalists outnumbered protesters seven-to-one.

VENUEWATCH: Queen's Hall

Edinburgh's Queens Hall won't make it out the other side of this decade, as the local council plan to replace it with a new venue.

The city burghers are convinced that a brighter, more expensive, waterfront venue will do better than the current one; they've agreed to pump in £150,000 a year to keep the place alive while a new venue is built.

The Queens Hall was only opened in 1979; the council reports people who go to concerts and gigs at the venue are less-than-delighted by their experiences.

We're not sure that's entirely true - Falling Sky describes it as a "funny little venue"; World of Boober went to see a classical event there and didn't mind the venue so much as the audience (packed with the Ageing Middle Class: polo-necked and bolt-upright attentive, or tweedy and dozing-off blissfully.") - but then there's much more excitement for a council in opening a new venue than in fine-tuning an old one; and - hey - it's not like it's their money, is it?

Having said that, it's probably ten years since we saw a gig in Edinburgh, so we'd be interested if people will be excited to dance a jig on the grave of the QHE?

VENUEWATCH: Queen's Hall

Edinburgh's Queens Hall won't make it out the other side of this decade, as the local council plan to replace it with a new venue.

The city burghers are convinced that a brighter, more expensive, waterfront venue will do better than the current one; they've agreed to pump in £150,000 a year to keep the place alive while a new venue is built.

The Queens Hall was only opened in 1979; the council reports people who go to concerts and gigs at the venue are less-than-delighted by their experiences.

We're not sure that's entirely true - Falling Sky describes it as a "funny little venue"; World of Boober went to see a classical event there and didn't mind the venue so much as the audience (packed with the Ageing Middle Class: polo-necked and bolt-upright attentive, or tweedy and dozing-off blissfully.") - but then there's much more excitement for a council in opening a new venue than in fine-tuning an old one; and - hey - it's not like it's their money, is it?

Having said that, it's probably ten years since we saw a gig in Edinburgh, so we'd be interested if people will be excited to dance a jig on the grave of the QHE?


CBS have decided that the Frankensteinisation process which saw them ruin INXS forever by putting a talent-show winner into Michael Hutchence's leather pants was such a success, they're going to have another go. This time, they're going to make a band from scratch - melding a competition winner with Tommy Lee, Metallica's Jason Newsted and Guns n Roses' Gilby Clarke to create a whole new band, Supernova.

Everyone's happy, right?

Not 1990s punk-pop band Supernova - they're more than a little pissed that CBS is trying to steal their name.

Supernova say that they were "flipped the finger" when they tried to raise the matter with CBS; they're now using MySpace to launch a fightback.


Elizabeth Taylor has angrily denied reports that she's starting to disappear behind the curtain of Alzheimers. Which means we can only assume she means every word she says about Michael Jackson:

"I've never been so angry in my life," she said of the case brought against Jackson.

"I've been there, when his nephews were there, and we all were in the bed watching television.

"There was nothing abnormal about it. There was no touchy-feely thing going on."

She added: "We laughed like children and we watched a lot of Walt Disney. There was nothing odd about it."

Now, we know that "odd" is a bit of a flexible concept, but... we'd have said that might count as odd by most people's measure of it.


Even more surprising than last year's Revolting Cocks reactivation is the news that Al Jourgensen has decided that Ministry has reached the end of its natural life:

"I've got other things to do," Jourgensen explains. "I just started a label (13th Planet Records), and I want to sign some bands and really build it up like I did with WaxTrax in the '80s, not just a vanity label. I think it's time -- and I'll be leaving on the top of my game instead of hanging on too long and doing crappy Aerosmith and Rolling Stones albums 30 years later.

They're going out as you'd expect, though, railing against the GOP:

"It's a trilogy," Jourgensen says. "The next one's going to be called 'The Last Sucker,' and it's also about this corrupt administration. That seems to be my muse; everyone seems to think I write real shitty music when a Democrat's in office. So we'll do that one, and then me and George Bush go riding off hand-in-hand, into the sunset."

... and Blair with his hand in the hand, and Prescott with his hand in that hand. It's going to be quite a crocodile.


Recent victim of a Whigfield, Dave Grohl denies internet claims he's dead:

"I got a phone message from a friend saying 'Er I guess... Jordyn [Grohl's wife]... this is maybe... for you. I'm so sorry to hear what happened'. I heard this message and went 'What the fuck?'. They were leaving a message on my cell phone saying 'I'm sorry Dave died'.

"That was weird, but I guess I've finally graduated to that status of being an internet rumour. It weirded me out a bit, but it's stupid. I'm like a cockroach, don't worry, I'll be around for a long time."

We're still not sure that's enough to convince us he's not dead.


Normally, the idea of Mozzer issuing threats would seem to be risible - even his death wish for Johnny Rogan seemed to be more cuddly than killer, but we're not sure about his threat to staff working at the proposed Oxford vivisection lab:

"Make no mistake, for anyone working in the labs, we are going to get you."

After the really unpleasant digging-up-old-ladies-corpses and grave desecrations of the last couple of years, you'd have hoped that animal rights activists might have twigged that, yes, you may need actions more strong than PETA getting a supermodel to do a poster, but attacking individuals rather than institutions tends to be counter-productive in winning support. (Indeed, it's managed to generate an atmosphere in which there are now pro-animal testing protest groups forming - presumably marching under placards reading 'Beagles enjoy cigarettes' and 'Rabbits squirt shampoo in each other's eyes in the wild, you know'.)

In fact, Speak, an anti-organisation who were present when Mozzer made his comments (this was during the Oxford date of his current tour) seemed to be quick to try and recast his words into something slightly more cuddly:

[They] said later they supported Morrissey's words . . . but said he was not talking about violence when he said "We are going to get you".

"I suspect he was talking about exposing these people for what they do," said a spokesman.

Yes, yes, that would be it. It sounds a lot less menancing if you pretend he meant something else entirely.

To be fair, Mozzalandra was dismissive of calls for vivisectors to be killed, sniping back with a "it's that simple, is it?"

Of course, on recent form, if Morrissey really wanted to save all the lab rats, he'd send his manager to buy them all up, like with meat.


Having had to cancel two US dates, Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol is seeking advice following the loss of his voice.

"My voice is in pieces. You may have seen us on Good Morning America and, if you did, you'll be aware I barely scraped through it - and that was only one song."

Our advice - learning to communicate through emphatic gesture and considering a new career illustrating children's books - wasn't welcome, it seems.

But then Gary seems to have a problem taking good advice:

"When we began the Eyes Open tour in February of this year I was told by my doctor a few days beforehand that I had laryngitis and it would be best if I took a week off to recover.

"I told him I didn't have a week as we had shows pretty much every day. All the gigs so far have been a struggle. Unfortunately now I can barely hit any notes. My entire upper range has disappeared into a whisper."

We were slightly surprised there's more to Snow Patrol than the odd bit of whispering. Still, we hope he finds some time to rest his voice and get some recovery time in. There's not much point in breaking America if it breaks your ability to sing.


The cancellation of "touted" T in the Park tickets means that there's suddenly a slew of thousands of extra pairs available for this year's festival - they'll be on sale from 9am on Saturday.

There are 12,000 extra tickets - some through "cancellations", some created by an expanded site - so we expect they'll be sold in a couple of blinks.

Organiser Geoff Ellis is thrilled:

"It's great news for us that there is now a system in place to help identify and eliminate touts. And once again, we would urge fans not to buy from unofficial sources."

Trouble is, of course, we don't really know whose tickets have been cancelled, or why; have they had their money back? Have they had their booking fees returned? Were they given an opportunity to argue against their sudden exclusion?

While few would object to touts being closed out of ripping people off, we're a little alarmed at this latest spreading of summary cancellations. Are they saying that you no longer have the right to decide what you'll do with your ticket after you've forked out a hundred pounds or so? If you bought a ticket in good faith, and then found out you can't go, why shouldn't you be able to sell it on at a premium if you can find someone who's willing to pay that price?

Ellis has no answers, because he's busy planning:

He said: "The site will be surrounded by a fortress fence which will include an exclusion zone.

"This fence will also be around the camp site, and together with increased security patrols, it will ensure protection and comfort for those who have already bought tickets."

Rumours that the 2007 T fest will ensure even greater "protection and comfort" by taking place in a fabulous city of domes somewhere underground could not be confirmed.


My, what a long courtship (in tabloid-fodder terms) it's been for Cheryl Tweedy and Ashley Cole. But that can't last forever, as sooner or later a magazine is going to need some pictures to get through a week without a Jade from Big Brother exclusive.

They've set a date.

July 15th.

You might think it odd, an England footballer choosing to get married less than a week after the World Cup Final - after all, it's a busy time getting married and you wouldn't want any distractions like a World Cup Final eating away at you while you're trying to sort out what's happened to the person making the cake. Perhaps Ashley isn't expecting to be otherwise engaged by the end of the World Cup.

We're not sure how this bit works, either:

Our source says: "The invites have gone out - they're keeping the location under wraps as they've signed a magazine deal."

So, does that mean Cheryl's wedding invites are more like tickets to a rave? Will Nadine (plus guest) have to turn up at a phonebox in Bristol and wait for a call telling her where the ceremony is?


Apparently that East 17 reunion is still happening - I know, I know, you speak of little else around your water-coolers and electronic whiteboards. It sounds like the band are going to need a sit-down mid-gig. Tony Mortimer laments:

"I'm 35 now. I was the hear t throb of the band, now I'm the waistline."

"We've shelved the dance routines - friends went to the Take That gig and saw Gary was struggling with the dance moves so I don't want to be like that."

Wonder if they'll have an announcement posted up warning "Band may be too fat to dance" at the entrance, so people can choose a refund instead.


Christina Aguilera's plans to move into acting by standing in front of a camera taking her clothes off (okay, it's not so much of a move) may hit problems - Tempest Storm, who Aguilera was supposedly going to play, reckons the project has been announced without anyone talking to her.

The casting of Christina probably won't help. Just because she was a stripper doesn't mean Storm had no standards.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Copyright misery hits the US courts again: Ben Freeman is suing Nelly and NSYNC as he believes their song Girlfriend was actually his:

Ben Freeman, leader of the R&B boy band "TRB," claims that he wrote and recorded 'Be My Girlfriend' for his sons Ben III, Antoine and Christopher Freeman in September of 1995.

We're a little bemused as to why you'd write your children a song called Be My Girlfriend, but we're not here to judge.

It's the mother who seems most annoyed:

"To have a superstar band like NSYNC, with Justin Timberlake as its lead singer, do this to us is so disheartening. For this successful young White kid backed by these giant recording and publishing companies to come in and heavy handedly infringe on my husband's copyright of his songs; the songs that my husband wrote for our boys," Mrs. Freeman stated. "It's just like taking candy from a baby! It's not right, it's just not right. It's downright criminal! My husband also recorded the song, 'Too Far Away' which I believe is the mirror image of their song 'Gone' which is on their CD entitled Celebrity."

If it's the mirror image, wouldn't that make it like the song but running backwards?

Lets just hope Tom Robinson doesn't countersue for his band's name back.


Dave Gimour is fretting about how much money he has:

"I do feel uncomfortable with the degree of wealth that comes with the territory I occupy. "

"We live in a capitalist society, I suppose, and it's only a matter of supply and demand. "

"And I do look at other bands and think, well, we are a fuck of a sight better than them. "

"But it is extraordinarily perverse that I as a musician am paid so much more than, say, a doctor, or a nurse, or a teacher."

Oddly, Gilmour's worries didn't keep him so awake at night that he felt he ought to offer some of his enormous jacuzzis of cash back to, say, pay for some teachers or something.

"Terrible, mate," he said, shoving some more bunches of twenty quid notes down his shirt front, "but what can I do? I'm a victim of a capitalist conspiracy."


Astonishingly, Keane's Tom Chaplin wanted to kill Bono to death:

The strange thoughts came to Chaplin while backstage supporting U2 on the bands American leg of the Vertigo tour in 2005. He noticed some kitchen knives lying around, and the bizarre thought just popped into his head!

Chaplin told Q Magazine: "The thought just came to me, 'I'll kill Bono.' Like when a Tube train's approaching and you get the urge to jump."

The astonishing thing is that Chaplin fought back the urge.


Nobody can deny that money brings self-belief. But doesn't Paris Hilton have any self-awareness to go with it?

"I loved doing it (the album). I've always had a great voice.

"I'm an icon. You either have it or you don't. It's something you're born with."

No, love; you're going to inherit some landmarks, that's undeniable. But icon? You sure you're not getting muddled up with "bunion" there?


Trying to convince you of the need to buy his solo album, Roddy Woomble is about to lurch out on tour:

24 Glasgow, Mono Cafe & Bar Launch party
25 Aberdeen, Lemon Tree
26 Edinburgh Queen’s Hall
27 Leeds, The Wardrobe
28 London, Bloomsbury Theatre
31 Bristol, St George’s

01 Salford Quays, The Lowry, Quays Theatre
02 Oran Mor, Glasgow
03 Findhorn, Universal Hall

The album, the folky My Secret Is My Silence, is out on July 24th.


Coming in a few weeks: Atari Teenage Riot 1992-2000, a compilation of pretty much the whole caboodle:

Destroy 2000 Years Of Culture
Revolution Action
Deutschland Has Got To Die
Into The Death
Riot 1995
Start The Riot
Too Dead For Me
Atari Teenage Riot
Get Up While You Can
You Can't Hold Us Back
Delete Yourself
Sick To Death
Western Decay
Kids Are United
Hetzjagd auf Nazis!

Air your leather trousers for July 3rd.

GENNARO CASTALDO WATCH: Edged out of his own party

Poor Gennaro Castaldo - he spends his life managing to squeak references to his employers, HMV, into news stories left and right, and then when HMV is the news, he's elbowed aside in favour of some chap called Gideon Lask.

The occasion is HMV's launch of a new service which allows you to buy CDs using your mobile phone.

Gideon is very, very excited. He's seen the future, and it has a Crazy Frog ringtone:

"We have recognised that our customers like to shop across a number of channels," said Gideon Lask, the head of internet at HMV.

"We need to become a true multichannel retailer and the mass-market penetration of mobiles is an attractive proposition to give people flexibility to buy wherever they are, whenever they want."

Whoever they are, whatever they are, whimsoever they be. This ability to order records without even having to power up a PC is great news for the sort of artist who only ever sells records based on instant whims. If it takes off, Shayne Ward may yet have a career ahead of him.


Lawrence Lessig has used his Hay-on-Wye festival appearance to launch an attack on the demands for extended copyright periods led by Cliff Richard.

Lessig explained how he believed constricting copyright rules could choke off creativity, and that feathering Cliff's nest could have a negative effect on other's art without doing anything to improve his:

"There is no reason to extend it [copyright periods] for existing work. Whatever we do, Sir Cliff is not going to create any more great works in 1955".

He said a war was being fought with law and technology to eliminate piracy, likened to using "DDT to kill a gnat".

"These tools are designed to kill piracy but also kill the read-write culture," he said, adding the would "force creativity underground".

He told his audience: "Embrace and celebrate the potential of new technology. Stop suing our creativity back into the dark ages of the 20th Century."

The RIAA is, of course, not likely to see the days when it was able to fix prices, choke off competition and happily bribe their way onto radio playlist without any pesky criminal investigations as the "dark ages."


The Foo Fighters are coming to the UK. And as part of the celebrations, they have a special plan: a hyphen-heavy eight-piece all-acoustic one-off line-up.

It's the Victoria Theatre, June 14th, before their more conventional style gigs.


We suspect that more people will be surprised at their existence rather than their decision to split, but even so: The Open are no more:

"We leave the two records that we are very very proud of and memories that will remain in our hearts forever. Some of us will continue on our path through music. Some of us will not.

"We all wish each other the greatest of luck. No excuses, no regrets, no big philosophical kiss off, its just the end of one journey and the start of another. Bless you all for your support over these last years and goodbye."

With a whimper, then. Not a bang.

StatuesTheir second and final album, Statues


Perhaps with the heavy-handed policing in mind, Ian Brown issued some "stay off the cocaine" advice during his set at the Hi-Fi festival. He also kept a close eye on the clock:

Ian kept playing and asked the crowd to keep an eye on the time as it was costing him "£1000 every minute we do past 11pm."

He also made it clear he wasn't going south of the river at this time of night.


We're slightly bemused by Russell Brand's claims to be a 'sex junkie'. He's doing shows for 6Music and MTV, and a seemingly never-ending Big Brother stint for E4: if he's addicted to sex, he must be slipping it in during the commercial breaks. And you'd have thought someone who does it so often would need longer than the length of an Ocean Finance ad.


Delta Goodrem's mother has ensured that the next Sunday lunch they all enjoy as a family is going to be a frosty affair: She's told her daughter that she should ditch Brian McFadden.

Ma believes that McFadden is a loser, and that without him, Goodrem would be one of the biggest singing stars in the world. And she's right up to a point. (The point being the word "loser" in that sentence.)

Brian, perhaps unsurprisingly, is wounded, and has sent a card to her:

"You don't know any thing about my career or future. Delta is an intelligent, talented woman who is making decisions by herself. Be choice with your words in the future."

He was lucky they had a card like that in Hallmark; had he gone to Card warehouse he'd have been stuck with a "Quiet, Poisonous Bitch" one.

No, seriously, McFadden clearly wrote this himself, as the tortured "be choice with your words" bit shows.

Mother Goodrem can probably expect a drunken "go girl" phone call from Warrington in the next few days.


Apologies again to anyone who thinks that even mentioning Big Brother is a cultural faux pas on a par with, say, Chris Moyles talking to Paul Daniels (or, more likely, Paul Daniels talking to Chris Moyles), but we're very taken with the news that Pete cherishes his teddy bear.

A teddy bear given to him by friend-of-his-mother Robert Smith.

You can imagine the horror running through a parent's mind if someone out The Cure turned up at your house with a brightly-wrapped package "for your son...": It's not... it's not a dead thing, is it? Or a skull?

[Earlier: Parenting advice from Robert Smith]


If you'd just been praised by your husband for giving birth in a way dictated by a crotchety old sci-fi writer and his three-wheeled cultists, the last thing you'd probably want would be an unnaturally shaped woman turning up offering to help you "get your figure back."

Victoria Beckham has turned up to "help" Katie Holmes, claims Reveal.

Of course, it'll be handy having Beckham on hand to help with the daughter, too - whenever baby Suri cries for a feed, Victoria can explain, patiently, how it'll be much better for her chances in future if she just sucks on a dry breadstick instead.

Reveal doesn't explain how Beckham is able to bring this get-unhealthy-looking regime despite the women being in different continents.


After the unloved Soccer Aid (apparently it had Robbie Williams in it) and the unloved Beckham party (apparently that had Robbie Williams in it, too), ITV continues to spoil us with Celebrity X-Factor. (It doesn't have Robbie Williams in it, but there are a number of people who can just about carry a tune with enormous egos, so it's hard to see why he wasn't invited).

And what larks already:

CHRIS Moyles has vowed to ignore X Factor: Battle of the Stars rival Paul Daniels all week.

The Radio One DJ made the snub as the celebs sang for the first time last night.

A source said: "He said his goal was to end the week without speaking to Paul."

Quite right too, Moyles: Paul Daniels is the sort of microceleb who'd wind up on the now-defunct ITV in some sort of glorified karaoke show. Oh.

Monday, May 29, 2006


He's very keen to be thought of as at the very heart of things, but Radiohead have flatly rejected David Cameron's claims that he influenced their KoKo setlist:

I sent this rather sad letter saying I'd love to come to the concert, thank you for asking. PS please play ['Fake Plastic Trees'], my favourite song - and he did.

Rather than addressing the slightly more interesting question of how Cameron came to be invited to the gig, Radiohead have just focused on the Fake Plastic Trees question:

"The set list was chosen to reflect the fact that it was just Thom and Jonny playing and the choice of songs was what they wanted to play - nothing to do with any special requests."

Things might have been different if only Cameron had requested Creep.


The thought of Mike Patton "rediscovering" melody is a strange one; kind of like John Prescott rediscovering dignity, or George Bush rediscovering humility. Anyway, Patton insists that his new solo stuff is a rekindling of the love of tune:

"This is more song-oriented. I needed some balance," Patton told Reuters in a recent interview. "A lot of melodic song ideas were seeping up and I had not outlet for them. I just go through phases, and now it's "Peeping Tom" season."

Peeping Tom is the name of the new album, we should point out, and not a sign that he's going to be appearing outside your bathroom window with a video-enabled mobile phone and a box of tissues.

While anything that isn't Faith No More is to be welcomed, the phrase "melody-based record that fuses hip-hop and alternative rock" has been used, which we're taking as a warning.


Cat PowerIf you fancy taking a risk that she might turn up and spend the entire evening sat with her back to you, now's the time to buy your tickets for Cat Power and the Memphis Band at the Barbican (in London, in the South of England) on June 21st.

It's quite an exciting evening in prospect, althought the press release does slightly oversell:

The combination of these iconic talents will make it a performance not to be missed or ever forgotten.

Unless, of course, she's in a fantastic grump in which case you'll take to heavy drinking in order to forget it.


Although Apple pretty much appears to have sucked up the entire online music market in pretty much the same way Thames Water have a profit-maximising monopoly to supply water to thirsty Londoners, there are ways of purchasing music that doesn't involve getting a track which counts how often you move it from player to player and rings up home if you try to use it too many times. And since we're always moaning on and on about DRM, it only seems fair to plug people who are trying to avoid using it.

So why not spend your bank holiday afternoon over at the audio bubble, who are offering a new deal for both sides of the transaction:

For musicians:
» You'll always own the rights to your music!
» You set the price of your music
» No startup fees to pay, so you can get started right away
» No risk; you can't lose money
» We'll work as an agent for you, recommending the best artists on our sites to independent labels

For music lovers:
» 30 seconds isn't enough. Listen to high quality, full length previews before you buy!
» Pick the tracks you want from an album
» You know exactly where your money goes
» Find music you've never heard before from independent artists
» It's all in mp3 format, so you can play it in any media player

... which at least sounds like an interesting approach. Can't hurt to look, can it?


Wasn't Britney Spears reading a book one of the signs of the forthcoming apocalypse?

Okay, so it's a self-help book, which is barely a step up from Where's Spot, but at least it has words in and everything.

The Sun sees this as a sign of the end for Kevin:

BRITNEY Spears has turned to self help books to get over her rift with hubby Kevin Federline.

Oh, yes? But what book did she buy, then?

Getting The Love You Want, reports the paper.

Thirteen seconds on the internet would have shown that the point of this book is not to put a bad relationship behind you, but to salvage one:

I highly recommend this book. Even if you do not do a single exercise and your partner doesn't want to hear about it, you will still get wisdom and perspective I had not come across anywhere else and which is bound to make you a better and more understanding partner and improve your relationship.

Which, to us, makes it sound like Britney's planning to bring Federline up from the basement and give him another chance.

Pity she didn't leave with 'Don't be such a sap, you idiot'.


While it's understandable that she might be upset at the popular view of her as a gold-digging heartless self-publicist, what's curious is why Heather Mills feels she needs to right this apparent wrong.

But she does, so she's plotting a TV interview where she can put her side of the story, and, presumably having seen Trevor McDonald's interview with Charles the other week, she's hoping to get him to do the questions.

Trevor's Charles interview was so fawning, it didn't even really need the heir to the throne to be there: in fact, Trevor accepted his questions were so soft he took to answering them for himself. You can see why Mills thinks this is man for her job, even although McDonald isn't actually an interviewer. Perhaps because he isn't an interviewer.

If Mills is hoping to pull off a Diana Spencer by going on telly to blub over how awful it all was, though, she might find herself worse off at the end of it. Because giving a "warts and all" account of her marriage in return for an ITV cheque sounds more like the sort of whining, money-grubbing behaviour for which she's starting to get a reputation.


Tiziano FerroMeet Tiziano Ferro, an Italian popstar who has managed to get himself into a bit of bother.

He suggested that Mexican women (except Salma Hayek) have moustaches:

In an interview given to Italian media he stated that in Mexico it is completely impossible to find beautiful women because "they have moustaches".

It seems the only one not guilty is Salma Hayek: "It's impossible to say that the most beautiful women in the world are in Mexico. No offense but...they have moustaches...I'm sorry, but they know it. Maybe not Salma...”, he said on the Che Tempo fai show on Italian network RAI.

After his mention of Mexican women's moustaches on Italian TV, the program's host warned Ferro that his insulting comment could offend all Mexican women, to which the singer replied "They know it".

Now, this would be a slightly smaller storm in a teeny-tiny cup were it not for the popularity of Italian pop in Latin America: indeed, about the only place outside of Italy where Italian-language artists sell in registering numbers is the Latin America market. So insulting Mexican women, and by implication, their lovers and sons and brothers, isn't exactly the smartest move.

Tiziano's response? A strangulated moment of panic, and then a desperate "ha! it was all a joke!":

'I was part of a broadcast in which, in a comedic tone together with the host, I did a sketch based on sarcastic jokes', said the singer.

'I didn't make a statement, it was just a joke in which sarcastic comments were made about different country's customs, including Italy and myself. I am really sorry if anyone was offended by this', he added.

Sorry, Tizzy. The only way out of this is to start dating a Mexican woman, preferably one with a giant, bushy moustache that catches the pasta from soup.


Following James Blunt's if you don't like You're Beautiful, turn it off challenge, one radio station has decided to take him at his word:

Essex FM has banned him from their airwaves. At least until he comes up with something new:

"We don't have anything against James Blunt and we're pleased he has been so successful, but we really need a break," said programme controller Chris Cotton.

"While his songs have been very popular, there is a tremendous amount of industry pressure to play certain artists frequently.

"Often this can be out of step with the audience's tastes, which results in songs being overplayed. We're happy to stand up to this pressure and follow the strong message listeners have given us. We encourage other radio stations to take the same step."

You can help, too - if you know someone with the song on their iPod, show them how to delete it. Or just delete it for them. You know it's the right thing to do.

Sunday, May 28, 2006


You're Michael Jackson. You've managed to get off on child-touching charges. So what do you to ease your way back into public life?

Head to Asia and turn up surrounded by orphans.

Is he actually being advised by Gary Glitter?

Oddly, we've still to hear the release deatils for his Hurricane Katrina benefit single.


In one of the least surprising and cynical pieces of policing outside of Ian Blair's patch, taking a tough line on drugs at the Maften Hall Hi-Fi mini festival resulted in a large number of drug arrests.

Brilliant work, policeblokes - the shooting fish in a barrel approach really helps out with those crime clean-up rates at the end of the year, don't they? Of course, heavy-handed policing of drug users does tend to chase the serious dealers further underground where it's harder to keep a safe eye on things.

Which might explain how despite (or rather, because of) this self-declared "robust" policing of drug use while Ian Brown and the others played, a fourteen year old boy wound up in hospital after taking drugs.


It's with a note of sadness that we hear of the decision by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci to call it a day. They issued an official statement:

Mae Gorkys Zygotic Mynci wedi penderfynu chwalu. Hoffa Richard, Megan, Euros a Pete ddiolch i bawb a ddaeth i'r gigs ac a brynodd y recordiau dros y blynyddoedd. Bydd tair albwm cyntaf y band - Patio, Tatay a Bwyd Time – yn cael eu hail-ryddhau fel a gynlluniwyd erbyn diwedd y flwyddyn. Am wybodaeth am rhai o gyn aelodau'r band gwelwch y cyfeiriadau uchod.

So, the re-releases still to look forward to, and much solo fun to come. Still, there's a feeling that there might have been more to come from them.


Our regular Sunday sample of music delights from YouTube:

This week, a slew of Sleater-Kinney:

The Fox live
Everything, live in Portland
David Letterman's never met a band he doesn't love

All Hands on the Bad OneWatch some, buy some: S-K's mighty All Hands On The Bad One


Now, while we can understand James Blunt's message to those of us who hates his droning signature tune, it's not really that simple, is it, James:

"To all those bastards who don't like my music -- you're all adults, you can switch your radio off."

Right. I figure I've heard You're Beautiful about seven thousand times since it was first made, and on no occasion that I've heard it have I been able to "switch it off". The trouble with your song, James, is that it's so bland and wallpapery it's found its way onto the mind-zapped compilations played in public places: it pours out of the supermarket tannoy system between calls for checkout operators to return to their tills; as you try to decide between socks in clothes shops, it'll dribble out of the in-store radio service; enjoy a low-priced meal at a Pizza Hut and it'll come at you from behind the salad bar. The reason why your song is so offensive is because it's the type of empty noise over which we have no control. If we could just switch you off and not bother about you, don't you think we would?


We're not finding it easy to tell the current Big Brother participants apart, but we think the one which this morning's Sunday People reckons had a swift bunk-up with Pete Doherty is the self-dramatising one who speaks every single part of a word very, very slowly, like she's a nervous contestant on Give Us A Clue and trying to work out how many syllables to signal to Una Stubbs.

Apparently she's got a name - Nikki - and a flatmate, who, though superhuman powers, managed to wait a full nine days before flogging the dalliance to the papers:

Her ex-flatmate Laula Lavin, 21, told The People:

'She'd had a lot to drink and they ended up going back to his place in Notting Hill, just the two of them. He got his guitar out and started singing to her.

He was singing Babyshambles songs. He told her he was going to write a song for her.

Nikki thought he was really sweet and caring but his flat was disgusting. There were needles everywhere and it was filthy.

She also said his fingers were really grubby and disgusting. She couldn't believe she let him touch her with them.

Nikki said he was smoking crack in the house and blowing the smoke in her face.

He also disappeared for a while leaving her on her own. She thought he might be shooting up.

Nikki is really anti-drugs. She spent the night at his place but she didn't want anything long-term.

Aha! She's the one who was having the spatchcock-fit because of the cardigan which may or may not have had a slight hint of BO on it.

I think we can take three things away from this story:

1. She loves hygiene, hates drugs, but is happy to jump a grisly crackhead if he's famous.
2. Pete Doherty - far from being the pure indie son of Albion hangs out drinking in the sort of place where people who want to go on Big Brother turn up.
3. We have seen too much of this season of Big Brother and really, really need Springwatch to start again soon. Although with his track record, we'll probably see Doherty shagging a kestrel on that.


Good lord, we never thought we'd find common ground with Kevin Federline, but it seems he isn't quite the complete dupe we may have thought; if we can believe the Sunday Mirror's Radar column:

BRITNEY Spears' marriage is on the brink because she was continually mocked by her loser hubby Kevin Federline.

Especially when it came to Kabbalah - the celebrity religion that Madonna introduced her to in 2003. Pals say she gave up her faith because of Kev, who never tried to understand the religion - and made jokes of it. Just kick him out, girl!

Of course, the fact that the cult demanded money and time that Kevin may have had other plans for (we imagine he was hoping to see what an actual jacuzzi of cash looked like) could have coloured his judgement, but someone who at least was prepared to point out to Britney that she was being suckered in to a cash-sucking peversion of religion sounds worth keeping around. It's a pity the Sunday Mirror seems to think that The Kabbalah Centre should be more important in Britney's life than some realism.


It's against the odds, but Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale's new-born child has been given a name that doesn't sound like a shopping list or a gardening catalogue:

Kingston James McGregor Rossdale.

Oddly, despite the 3AM Girls' story about Gwen and a wheelchair going to a club in Camden on Saturday, Gwen was in LA when she gave birth yesterday. We're sure the 3AM Girls will tell us which airline Gwen was planning to fly on so late in the final trimester in Monday's column.


Teeny-tiny former Radio One dj Bruno Brookes had nearly read out his last twisted lyric this week - he had a heart attack on Wednesday. Brookes says he's going to take this as a sign that he should stop smoking.

He's due to be released from hospital some time this weekend.


The ten most-viewed individual stories on No Rock this week have been:

1. Britney offers to go nude to Hollywood
2. Eurovision - live commentary
3. Is KT Tunstall, you know, one of them?
4. Sell off Radio 1 & 2, say people who want to buy Radio 1 & 2
5. Imagine having sex with James Blunt
6. Babyshambles dropped
7. Bono justifies turning compassion into profits
8. Arctic Monkeys never used MySpace
9. Enoch-loving hunt-supporting Clapton attacks artists who take up causes
10. Mariah Carey's legs have a mind of their own

You can explore the entire week on one page
or skim through the previous week in one post

Convicted fraudster Ken Lay says "if you're about to enjoy a period of lengthy incarceration, why not try some of these great new releases":

Canadian all-she indie-pop thrills

Once I Had A Secret Love, and it was Doris Day's film music

Collecting some of the The Pig's Big 78s from the Peel show

It's not drinking, not to say drinking... - Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads on DVD

We hope Shonen Knife start to surround themselves with girls dressed up like Gwen Stefani

Punky-noise clash from Digital Leather

Chikinki's second collection of rock-with-dancey bits

We hope Boy Kill Boy haven't missed their moment

Look, who cares about the plot? Aeon Flux is for looking at, not analysing

The Spits: not the Slits, but will do for now