Saturday, July 05, 2008

Showboat flotilla: Geldof backs Davis

David Davis' calling of the first-ever Pyrrhic by-election has won the overblown backing of Bob Geldof:

“You are being asked to decide what kind of people you are and what kind of country you want.

“You are being asked to vote about us and you will probably never be asked to vote on something so profound again.”

“I was told David Davis was out on a limb on this one but it is the right limb to be on.

“It is a limb I am proud to join him on and it's the same limb William Wilberforce clambered out and perched himself on in this very town.

“This is not about the grotesqueness of slavery, but it is about justice, liberty and your rights.”

Forty Two days is a serious issue - as, of course, was the 28 days which Davis happily supported, and the suggestion that the State should have the right to kill convicted criminals, something which Davis believes in. But a parliamentary by-election with no serious opposition is not a way to test public opinion - for how are you supposed to vote if you oppose Conservative policy on other matters, but also stand against 42 Days? If you give your vote to Davis on 42 Days, on that principle, why has he not offered to not vote in any other division?

It's grandstanding, the right debate in the wrong forum. The appearance of Geldof merely adds more sideshows to a terrible circus.

Guy Hands: Max Bialystock, for real

If you invested in a bunch of really, really horrible films in the hope of making a huge loss to set against tax, and somehow managed to end up losing millions of quid, you might keep quiet.

Not so Guy Hands. He had been advised backing cinematic donkeys would net him back £1.40 for every £1 he threw away; trouble was, the loophole he was crawling through was blocked. So, now he's suing the accountants whose advice he followed.

Good lord: throwing tonnes and tonnes of money into a rubbish entertainment endeavour in order to profit from the loss. That wouldn't explain the EMI purchase, would it? Does he keep peering at the sales figures for Living La Vida Loca or whatever that Coldplay album is called and crying bitter, bitter tears?

There's something less than noble about a man who hoped to suck resources from the Exchequer by deliberately making worthless films having a strop because his plans failed - the money he hoped to make would have come from all of us, money which could be spent on hospitals, schools, painting the Queen's bedroom, and so on. He gambled, and lost; rather than taking it on the chin, he - and 74 others - are now demanding that the advisors make good their "losses".

Besides making him look like a bad loser and somewhat greedy, it also means that the world now knows that Guy Hands helped fund the movie Nine Dead Gay Guys, by all accounts a nasty piece of work trading on sexual and racial stereotypes to no great effect. If it had been us, we'd have happily swallowed the loss of a few million to keep that information on the back burner.

Poison at war over animal cruelty

First, take some time to absorb the news that Poison are going to be playing a rodeo. In Greeley, Colorado, tonight, in fact. It's the Greeley Stampede.

It's become something of a problem within the band, though. Rikki Rockett issued a statement through Showing Animals Respect and Kindness:

"I had no idea that this gig included a rodeo. I have a huge problem with animal cruelty at rodeos. Greeley is a huge rodeo, which means an enormous amount of animal abuse. I am blown away that I missed the description of this show on our touring schedule printout."

Yes - to be fair to Greeley Stampede, they do describe themselves as "the World's largest 4th of July Rodeo" (we're not sure how many places beyond the US would be holding rodeos to mark American Independence Day, mind.) So it is a little surprising that when they said to Rockett "you're playing a famous rodeo", he didn't notice he was going to be playing a rodeo.

Now, though, Bret Michaels has also issued a statement:
he was "shocked" to hear drummer Rikki Rockett's comments about animal cruelty at the Greeley Stampede and promised to "put on one hell of a big rock show" there despite Rockett's concerns.

And, yes, despite Rockett's apparent disgust, he does still intend to turn up and drum for the audience at the cattle-bothering event. After all, cruelty might be unacceptable, but a payday is a payday, right. Rockett doesn't expect to explain why he believes others should abandon their rodeo when he won't even cancel a gig.

Gordon in the morning: Gordon is the story

Sit down, and then place your head between your legs. For today, we come to offer our sympathy for Gordon Smart, not to point out how shoddy he is. Just for today, like.

Gordon got cornered by Jay-Z in a nightclub ("trendy London club Paper", as Gordon puts it) to take issue with Smart's Gallagher-pandering review of Mr. Z at Glastonbury:

He told me: "You were the only one who gave me a bad review. Everyone else said it was history.

"I’m not one of those guys who gets cut up about good or bad reviews but you missed the moment, man.

"It was a first for Glastonbury and you didn’t get it. You’re a non-believer. I was making history and you missed the moment."

Not that he could care, Smart's paper's full of shit, and he only reads the racecard, anyway.
"I have sold your paper on stage for the last few weeks.

"I made history on Saturday and that can’t be taken away from me.

"It was something new, never done before, and I’m proud."

And Beyonce's fuming.

There's nothing more pathetic than someone over-reacting to a review which diverges from their self-image; you'd have thought that Jay-Z would have had a little more dignity than to indulge in this sort of thing - and, certainly, he might have chosen to argue on grounds of quality rather than his misplaced "history in the making" mythology.

Fat undead guy in a bath

Given that Jim Morrison wasn't exactly hard to miss, it's surprising the number of people who are convinced that those who saw his corpulent, lifeless body in a tub are somehow wrong. Almost a year to a day after we were asked to believe that JimMo actually died in a pub toilet, Ray Manzarek has suddenly piped up that, you know, maybe he didn't even die at all:

"I often wonder if his death has been an elaborate charade.
"Jim was a restless soul, always looking for something else in his life, and even six years of success - and excess - with The Doors hadn't been enough for him.

"A year earlier, he had shown me a brochure for the Seychelles and said, 'Wouldn't this be the perfect place to escape to if everyone believed you were dead?'. At the time, I never thought anything of it."

Or, indeed, thought to mention it in the previous thirty-eight years for some reason. Perhaps he was afraid we'd laugh at him.

Of course, if Morrison is still alive, he'd be spending his time hanging round that Parisian graveyard, the Pere Lachaise, giggling at the people visiting his empty grave. Or maybe he just spends his days trying to figure out how to access his money, somehow.

[Thanks to Michael M]

Friday, July 04, 2008

Harvey Sid's big moment

Something of a treat from 8 Out Of 10 Cats just now - for listeners of weekend era John Peel, as they showed some all-too-breif clips of Harvey Sid Fisher doing his Astrology Songs. Back when Peel was treating us to a song a week from the deranged tribute tohoroscopes, he said there were rumours of a video - who knew it would take Jimmy Carr to bring it to us?

The art that you like is probably bad

Jesse Helms - a man who tried to take federal funding away from 'bad' art - has died at the age of 86. His only positive contribution to art was inspiring this song by Loudon Wainwright - here filmed during a live 1986 appearance on NBC, given a slightly Max Headroomy feel by the camera-pointed-at-TV recording method. There's also some bonus Philip Glass.

Noel takes on the knife squads

Just as you thought knife crime and young people bleeding to death couldn't get any more depressing, it's woken up Noel Gallagher's political compass. Apparently forgetting his enthusiastic embrace of Tony Blair and the New Labour Project, Gallagher instead plumps for the simplisitic 'it wasn't like this in my day':

"In my day, status was trying to be somebody, do you know what I mean, not trying to kill somebody?"

We're not quite sure what happened to this unwavering focus on achievement when Noel and Liam were fighting, or the Oasis party was getting thrown into the cells in Munich after bar-room brawls; perhaps we're just meant to applaud them for using fists?

Still, given that there weren't any of that violence in Noel's day - we especially remember how peaceful Moss Side was back in the late 1980s - what could be the cause?
"People say it's through violent video games and I guess that's got something to do with it."

Yes, that's it Noel. Young people are arming themselves with knives because they're afraid they're going to be attacked by Super Mario. Computer games... give us strength... half... oh... Nintendogs, nintendogs...

Morrissey's futureshock

Can we have heard that properly? In 6Music's report of Mozzer's interview with Hot Press, did they really say that Morrissey chided people who cling to the Smiths for getting too mired in "looking backwards"?

If you're going to critcise the Johnny Marr haircut in someone's eye, you might want to check the Charles Hawtrey and Pat Phoenix sleeves in your own, mate.

Strange goings on in York

Just what is happening in York? Tim Hornsby - who founded and used to manage the legendary Fibbers venue in the city - has been attempting to open a new venue, The Duchess. We got an email earlier this morning from Andy, who told us about the troubles the Duchess were having getting a licence.

The Police, Fire Service and Council were - it appears - all happy, but a series of objections apparently coming from Barfly - who now own Fibbers - was throwing things off kilter by filing objections and ensuring the licence application was subject of a full enquiry. A post on the Duchess website attempted to rally local support in advance of the independent hearing:

If you really agree with opening the live music venue that everybody in York has wanted for so long; and if you genuinely believe that we pose no threat to public safety, local traders and neighbours or even our own customers, please drop us a quick line, start your own petition, anything! No vendettas or "boycott Fibbers stuff" please. Your messages of support will be presented to the enquiry.

All fair enough - and the post stressed that it was perfectly legal for Barfly to object and trigger this part of the process.

Curiously, though, that post has been removed and replaced:
We have received a solicitor's letter this morning from Barfly advising us to remove this news story.

Perhaps Barfly objected to the tone of the piece; maybe they just don't want the story playing out in public. But it seems a little unfair to insist that your rivals remove a story soliciting support for their campaign - especially when the Duchess had taken great care to ensure the focus was on support for their venue rather than a pointless war with the Barfly group.

Bag of spite: Oasis trumped by Halliwell

What does it say if Noel Gallagher and Geri Halliwell come up with the same title for a record?

Well, admittedly, nothing you haven't thought before:

"The missus goes, 'Bag It Up'? Isn’t that a song by Geri Halliwell? I was like, 'You've ruined my entire fucking year'."

Oh, god, how grating is that 'the missus', like he's a man of the people or something. He might as well start wearing a cap made from whippets.

And Noel has confirmed that he's hired Robbie Williams' drummer:
"It was too much of a temptation to piss Robbie and Liam off in one phone call"

What a way to run a happy ship... telling new member that he's basically there to annoy other people... idiot... can't concentrate... concentrate... fruit juice... jam... hmm... breakfast...

Shiny new band: Summer Cats

We've always been impressed with the quality of Australian indie pop. Something to do, we think, with being exposed to Snipe fanzine back in our youth, a zine which wouldn't look at a band unless it knew its VB from its Fosters.

And still - all these years later - Australia is shooting out perfectly formed bands like Summer Cats. You know you'll love them, because they list Irene's role as "keys, Shaker, Vox and doing the arm dance".

They've just released a split 7" with Portland's Eux Autres. This is what they sound like when they make the noise they make:

Lydon plumps self up again

Most people would admit that The Sex Pistols weren't even the best punk band of their time, much less a genre-striding group of genius. John Lydon, though, isn't most people:

"This [the DVD he was shilling for] is edited highlights, but anyone who is potentially interested in seeing true British genuine quality of work should pay attention to this, we are Britain's finest."

"Always have been, alright? And there's only one man in England who really can save the Queen and it would be Johnny Rotten."

Oooh, he mentioned the Queen again! Ooh! It's like its 1977 all over agai... oh, no, sorry. Nobody noticed.

Given that the Pistols were, basically, a marketing exercise - albeit a wonderfully executed one - Lydon still popping up banging on about how great they were is a bit like seeing, say, the PG Tips chimps or the Guinness Toucan sharing their opinions about modern beverages.

Contact Music prejudges outcome

As if the 'Mark Ronson puffs on stage' story wasn't slight enough, Contact Music manage to bungle the reporting:

West Oxfordshire District have confirmed they have launched an investigation into the allegations and will be examining photo evidence of the gig.

A council spokeswoman tells British newspaper the Daily Mirror, "Our environmental health department will be investigating it and meeting with organisers and reviewing what went on. We can't say now whether we're prosecuting him (Ronson) or not."

If he is prosecuted over the offence, Ronson will receive a minor $100 (GBP50) penalty but the event's organiser will be fined $5,000 (GBP2,500).

Erm... you don't get fined when you're prosecuted, but if you're convicted - and then, those are maximum fines.

Still, great news for the good people of West Oxfordshire District Council to see how their council tax is being wasted - the council has even established a freephone line for snitching ('free' in the sense of 'paid for by council tax'); it's far from clear which member of the public complained about Ronson's fag - or, indeed, if an outdoor stage is an indoor space in the meaning of the act. Surely this is a case where a ticking off - rather than an expensive prosecution - is commensurate?

Gordon in the morning: Will this do?

It's a thin day over on the Bizarre desk this morning, with Gordon reduced to plugging space by running those Blake 'sex' letters again - credited to "Online reporter". And it's always a great sign when nobody wants their name put to a story, isn't it?

The Sun comes over all maiden aunt:

Please note that although we have censored these letters they still contain sexually explicit references that some readers may find offensive.

Yes, there's every chance that someone following a link to a story about Blake's Kinky Rude Sex Letter Shock Kink Sex Rude Rude might suddenly be offensive.

The paper hasn't even been bothered to transcribe the letters - just slapped them on a scanner. Even by the low standards of Bizarre, it's struggling to reach half-arsed.

In the paper, mind, Gordon bangs on for two pages about how much he loves Rhys Ifans' band. Nobody seems to have been able to bring themselves to put that online yet.

Questions, questions

We've been contacted by a researcher who is conducting a study into music blogs - and they want to hear from you. There's a few questions about your music life and the research will not be used to create a superweapon that will destroy the earth or anything nasty like that. Go on, give it a go.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

MFDM Thursday Evening Special: Drive Drive Drive

Exhausting the YouTube offerings - all too quickly - from Man From Del Monte, this is Drive Drive Drive:

[Earlier: My Love Is Like A Gift...]

Viacom deny they want anything personal

Viacom are trying to salvage their reputation in the YouTube information hand-over by denying they want to infringe your privacy:

Viacom said it “has not asked for and will not be obtaining any personally identifiable information of any user”.

Oh, really?

They want user names and IP addresses, and the videos which people have watched. This, of course, is information which could be completely anonymous, but - as we saw with the release of supposedly anonymous data from AOL - there is anonymous data, and data which can be pieced together with other information to not be anonymous any more.

On a broader philosophical note, why is someone's Google ID not an identity which should be treated with the same respect as your name in the real world? Many people use the same screen-name in many places; if you've done nothing illegal, and haven't been accused of anything illegal, shouldn't that identity be spared from being violated by a corporation in the same way as your passport-and-social-security identity?

Embed and breakfast man: Say yes to the best

There's nothing like enough for a full weekend of Man From Del Monte stuff, so instead, as a mini-event, it's Man From Del Monte Thursday evening.

At the time, we thought of them as a poppier Kitchens Of Distinction, but we're now busily reworking that as an ahead-of-their-time Art Brut. They were from the second half of the 1980s, but the use of those fake flowers that vibrated in time to sound would have told you that.

What we didn't know until just digging out their Wikipedia entry was that, if you believe the wisdom of crowds, they were managed by the young Jon Ronson. It probably says a lot about his management nous that there's only two videos by the band surviving on YouTube.

This is My Love Is Like A Gift You Can't Give Back:

[Later Drive Drive Drive]

Plan B for Allen: Scouting

If Lily Allen's second album flops, she's got an idea of what to do next: turning to A&R:

"I'm really scared about what people are going to say. Some people will like it and some won't.

"If people hate it, then I'll just try something else. I'd really like to do A&R at a record company. I love going to gigs."

Great idea. If you're able to so badly misjudge the public taste as to turn your career into a nosedive, why not share that anti-midas touch with record labels as a career?

In these shoes

Is there anything more depressing than the news that Kanye West is "designing" shoes for Louis Vuitton?

Well, yes, there is, loads and loads of things that are worse than that. But how quickly does a sting get drawn - one day standing up for the rights of those George Bush left to drown; now just a pointless, trivial, vacuum.

Subpop singles again

The Subpop singles club - of course, you never got to see any of their records, but it always brightened up a corner of the Peel show when he got to announce "this, then is the latest from the SubPop Singles Club..."

Obviously, we won't be hearing those words again, but the SubPop singles club is back. And it's signed up Black Lips, Black Mountain, the Notwist, Mika Miko and... you know the deal. Bands who you suspect will still be cool by the time the 40th anniversary of SubPop comes round.

Mogwai: Come on, try free

As a taster for the new album, Mogwai are releasing a free mp3 download, The Sun Smells Too Loud. We could link straight to the mp3, but it's much more fun to go through the page before.

Alan McGee doesn't love the companies

We're sure that Alan McGee's latest spot of record-company slapping is in no way motivated by the failure of Poptones, oh no:

"I'd recommend a band not to go to any record label, I think they're all fucking rubbish.

"You're better off doing it yourself. They're living in the past, it's like owning a tram company or something."

Like running a tram company? Like the one that runs the trams in Manchester, do you mean, or the one that runs the Croydon trams? You really think that owning a record company is akin to being in charge of a modern, rapid, urban transport network?

We suspect he probably meant something more like a steam railway, didn't he?

Love will tear up the stone - again

Someone has pinched Ian Curtis' headstone from his grave. Not quite as bad as what happened to Gram Parsons, certainly, but still incredibly disrespectful.


So, can anyone at Viacom explain why, in the pursuit of people who have shared what they claim is their material on YouTube, they require to know the user name, IP address and details of every video watched by anyone anywhere in the world?

More to the point, how can Viacom reassure me that the data about what videos I have watched are going to be kept safe?

It seems a little unfair that an American judge can violate our privacy in the UK for no actual reason, so we're sending off a polite letter to a senior person in the UK branches of Viacom, inviting them to use their influence on their parent company to save Viacom from getting a reputation for being a heavy-handed organisation with no respect for individual privacy.

Nick Bampton - - is the managing director of Viacom Brand Solutions and, you hope, in a position to have a gentle word.

If you want to complain direct to Viacom in the US, their contact form actually insists that you relate your comment to one of their networks - Viacom, it seems, believes we will all have a relationship with one of its channels. Perhaps that's why it can't conceive of our online activity having absolutely nothing to do with them.

Another time to pretend

We noticed zooming up the Pentonville Road yesterday that there's a big splashy MGMT album poster campaign down in the capital; but even while their faces are hovering high above the afternoon commute-stream, the band are laying plans:

"We've been longing to get in the studio for a while because we got out of it recording our last album about a year ago," said Andrew Van Wyngarden

"We're definitely ready to start working on some new stuff," he added. "I think in January we’re gonna start recording and hopefully put an album out next summer."

His bandmate Ben Goldwasser explained: "We work better when we sit down in a room and go for it, but we don't have much time to do that right now."

That's going on for a rate of an album every twenty months. If they don't get to sit down a little more often, they might well burn themselves out at that pace.

John Lydon complains that things aren't like what they were in his day, and how kids today, they don't know they're bloody born

John Lydon, off I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and member of a Sid Vicious tribute act doesn't hold with modern festivals:

“I was remembering festivals in the 70s and how crazy mad they used to be and what great fun,” he told the Daily Star.

“This lot were deckchairs, posh Butlins – what I was performing to was polite schoolteachers.”

“But it’s all right because it’s not the kids that need education – it’s that lot. I didn’t go to Glastonbury because what’s that without the hippies and the rave?”

What a terrible shock it must be for Lydon to find himself in front of an audience of middle-aged, middle-class professionals unlike the audience for 1970s nostalgia shows he usually plays, who tend to be late middle-aged, middle-class semi-professionals.

More to the point: What's Glastonbury without the hippies? But, erm, wasn't your whole raison d'etre taking a stand against the hippies, John?

Darkness at 3AM: Pecking orders 'not Transatlantic' shock

3AM are enquiring minds who want to know:

Don't Jay-Z and Pharrell realise that Peaches Geldof is the party scene queen?

The hip-hop legends were chatting away at the Maddox Club, London, but didn't notice Peaches loitering by the VIP area.

This assumes they'd (a) know who she is and/or (b) think that it mattered in the first place, surely?

When anthems clash

Trouble in Denver, where the invited national anthem singing guest for John Hickenlooper's mayoral "State of the City" address chose to play an unexpected round of One Song To The Tune Of Another:

"The city asked Rene Marie to sing the national anthem at (Tuesday's) State of the City event. She agreed to do so. We expected her to sing the national anthem, and she deceived us," the mayor told reporters at a press conference in front of the City and County Building.

"Her actions show a certain lack of understanding for how strongly our community feels about patriotic symbols and traditions, and certainly overshadowed a day of great importance to our city," Hickenlooper said.

Marie's anthem choice immediately triggered public outrage.

Marie sang the first verse of James Weldon Johnson's Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing, also known as the Black National Anthem, but adapted those lyrics to the tune of The Star-Spangled Banner.

She also upset people in Denver by refusing to allow the Platform Blocking Move on the Denver Light Rail adaptation of Mornington Crecent.

Hickenlooper had, to be fair, at first taken a hands-off, 'hey, this is art, this is freedom, what's the problem?' approach, before discovering that swing voters didn't share that view; then, he changed his mind:
[I]n a tradition-laden civic ceremony that included a law enforcement color guard presenting our flags and the Pledge of Allegiance - making a personal substitution for the national anthem was not an option. We asked for The Star-Spangled Banner and that's what we expected," he said.

"We will do whatever it takes to ensure that a situation like this never occurs again, even if I have to sing the national anthem myself," Hickenlooper added. "If people feel the city of Denver or the mayor has in any way disrespected them, I'm happy to apologize."

Yeah - can you imagine turning up to find out what's happening with the taxes and laws of the city, and there not being a song about exploding bombs and red rockets flying through the air to start it off with? How can you concentrate on the fiscal state of the place without a bit of singalongaslaughter first, eh?

How does Hickenlooper intend to ensure that "this never happens again", though? His suggested idea - of him singing - has already got civil liberties protesters up in arms on the basis of the constitution barring cruel and unusual punishments.
Amongst those who felt slighted was the Dawn's Early Light, which told USA Today it was especially annoyed as "it doesn't seem much to ask, that people sing about me, what with me rolling out of bed first thing every day. And the hand on the heart thing - that's cute, isn't it?"

Twilight's Last Gleaming was unavailable for comment.

Glastonbury 2008: Band of Horses

More video from last weekend: This is Band of Horses doing Older in some tent or other:

[Part of Glastonbury 2008 videos]

Gordon in the morning: Shock and awe

If you asked Pete Doherty to offer a piece of art to the art show, given that he's developed a tedious reputation for using blood when he does his drawings, would you be surprised if the resulting contribution used blood as part of its mixed media?

No, and we suspect the We Love Marlborough arts people weren't, either, despite Gordon's characterization of their reaction:

PETE Doherty shocks organisers at a KIDS art show with painting drawn in his blood
He stunned organisers
The We Love Marlborough arts and culture group got more than they bargained for...

So, it was unacceptable and wrong and shocked them, did it, Gordon?

Did it, Gordon?

Did it?
The group have decided to include the bloody pic in the exhibition saying: “We can’t think we will get many postcards painted in blood, not unless one of the children had a nosebleed while doing theirs.”

Oh, so they have put it in the exhibition and are using it as the focus of their press push.

People deal with shock in so many different ways, don't they?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Oh, god, we're screwed

As if the world wasn't in enough trouble, we've now got to rely on Ringo Starr asking for world peace for his birthday:

"Wherever you are," Starr said Tuesday in a statement, "office, home, bus, tube, sitting, standing, walking, alone or with others, doesn't matter -- at Noon on July 7, make the peace sign and think, say, shout, sing 'Peace and Love'."

and then all say "Doctor" and that'll defeat the Master, too.

Much as we love a spot of idealist optimism, there's something slightly creepy about a bloke who thinks the miseries upon miseries of the world will be put on one side as a birthday gift for a bloke who used to drum in a pop group.

Other music blogs are available

We were delighted to be alerted to the existence of Abeano Music, where Imran is doing some good posting, including an astonishing shot of the crowd watching Jay-Z and a brilliant spot of number-crunching on the Glasto sales effect:

Special kudos to The Fratellis though who’s new album ‘Mistress Mable’ sales manage to drop 28.6 % despite playing Glastonbury’s Other Stage. They must have been even worse than usual.

It's not recorded how many were returned to the shops, though. Or buried in a garden.

Brian May: where's the respect?

Brian May - a man who has the hump so often he could go on as Quasimodo without make-up - is annoyed that ITV didn't treat the not-quite-Queen set at Nelson Mandela's birthday show with the respect he thinks it deserved. (Key words here are "he thinks", of course.)

"It baffles me how, given the privilege of televising an internationally significant event, a TV company can miss the point so badly.

"All (they) had to do was televise the whole event, with no insertions from them. Well, it seems they largely failed. I wonder who's responsible for these bad decisions?"

It's hilarious that May thinks that, effectively, all ITV's editorial input should consist of is switching on the camera at the start and putting up the copyright caption at the end. And, indeed, that anyone would feel that - in the context of an event which celebrated the life and achievements of a truly brave and decent statesperson against a backdrop of the Zimbabwean nightmare - a couple of Queen tracks being cut out of an ITV programme is the sort of thing to make a fuss about.

UB40 split: Even less amicable than it ever was to begin with

In a battle which is less two bald men fighting over a comb, more a scrap over a combover, UB40 are now moaning that Ali Campbell is doing the songs he made famous on tour:

Guitarist Robin Campbell has slammed his older brother for his treatment of the group.

He says, "Ali is calling his tour The Best of UB40 - 1980-2008. That disgusts me. He wanted us to fall apart and disappear so that our fans would go to his shows. When we said we were touring without him, I think he was shocked.

"When our fans stuck with us, I think that was the biggest kick in the balls for him."

Robin, sweetly, doesn't seem to have realised that - unless they play neighbouring venues on the same night - it's more than possible for lovers of cod reggae to enjoy both acts without signing up to one or the other. It's not like Lassie, where the two parties are at either end of the street playing Red Red Wine to see who the audience gathers around.

Jay-Z appearance pays off - for Jay-Z

The Glastonbury appearance, then, has put some money in Jay-Z's back pocket, as the Midweeks are showing 99 Problems back in the Top 25, and Numb/Encore creeping into the top 40.

It's not expected that Oasis will be appearing in Sunday's chart.

Meanwhile, Andrew Collins has considered if Jay-Z fitted Glastonbury from a political, rather than musical, angle.

Thank god Adele kept her feet on the ground

Well, that didn't take long - Adele's buggering off to New York:

"I have a watch that's diamond-encrusted and I have not worn it outside in London because I'll get mobbed for it."

Whereas, of course, street crime is unknown in New York.

Gordon in the morning: Keep quiet

Gordon has turned in a think-piece to lead with this morning, turning his attention to Amy Winehouse's repeated professions of love for Blake. So, erm, that's a response to her Glato appearance four days ago (although he claims she was telling anyone who'd listen about an impending release yesterday.)

Gordon wants Amy to keep quiet:


Zip it, button it,, I’ve got a whole bag of “SHH” in Bizarre HQ for you — please just give us all a Blake!

Of course, if Gordon really did want to quieten down Amy's constant banging on about her thugsband, he could, erm, not report it every time she says something.

Still, Gordon does know how irritating it is to have somebody constantly banging on about a marriage. The 978 consecutive days of the Ashley Cole/Cheryl Tweedy story, for example.

Gordon makes space for a denial from Madonna's people about those marriage rumours:
After Ritchie flew to the US, aide Liz Rosenberg said: “Guy arrived in New York to be with his wife and family — not in a last-ditch attempt to save his marriage which does not need saving.”

Mind you, that's the same Liz Rosenberg who was telling everyone that Madonna was not adopting a Malawian child five days before David Banda was parceled up.

[Updated: Thanks to Michael for pointing out the vital missing 'not' in the last sentence.]

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

NME has a vacancy for a technology correspondent

Obviously, music journalists aren't expected to be tech journos, but the coverage of Rhapsody's new mp3 store is a little shoddy even making allowances:

An online download service, Rhapsody, has put itself into a position to potentially rival the Apple iTunes download service, by making the MP3s downloaded from the site compatible with iPods for the first time.

The website does not use digital rights software, and for the first time its MP3s will be compatible with Apple's range of MP3-playing devices, reports Brand Republic.

Rhapsody, of course, has never sold mp3s before, and mp3s have always been compatible with iPods. But other than that, it's spot on.

Glastonbury didn't think that The Verve are as good as Keane or something

Richard Ashcroft's suggestion that Michael Eavis didn't think The Verve would be as good as Keane have been scoffed at by Emily Eavis:

Speaking to the BBC, Emily Eavis said that Ashcroft's comments were “not true at all" and were “not a big deal.”

"We've liked The Verve for ages and we were really pleased to have them on," she added.

That doesn't quite answer the suggestion that Michael prefers Keane, though, does it?

Gordon in the morning: A sordid four-page fantasy

Regular readers of Gordon Smart's column will be familiar with Blake Fielder-Civil's plans to dump Amy Winehouse and run off with a "mystery blonde" who may or may not have turned out to be a brunette. So, they'll be slightly confused today to discover that, erm, actually, he's planning to dump Amy and run off with a different mystery blonde - or, in the words of Richard White, "Showbiz reporter":

AMY WINEHOUSE’s rat husband BLAKE FIELDER-CIVIL is plotting drug-fuelled sex romps with a woman jailbird he has never even met.

Fielder-Civil has supposedly been sending sexy letters to Melissa Goldstone which have, somehow, got into the paper this morning:
In a note the 24-year-old received last month, he detailed a four-page fantasy so graphic most of it cannot be printed in a family newspaper.

Yes, you don't want to open a newspaper to read a journalist writing about a woman's tits only to be confronted with someone getting all sexual, do you? Presumably to save himself from feeling sexy-sexy-wrong, White concentrates on spelling and grammar:
The error-strewn message continued: “I squeeze your throat whilst your s****** me and I ask you if your a dirty b***h.” He then described a deeply disturbing sex fantasy before signing off: “At most we’ve got to wait ten weeks for the best snog of our lives!! Miss you Lissy, love and rockets, your Blakey x x x.”

We're at a lost how the paper can happily chat away about Blake throttling the woman during sex and then suddenly decide that the rest of the letter is too disturbing to share - perhaps he's going to ask her to beat him with a Daily Mirror.

Blake, it turns out, really isn't very bright:
Another time he wrote: “I’ve told Amy about you and read a bit of one of your letters. It turns her on and she wants to meet ya. I think she might write to you cuz she asked for your address."

Yes. Yes, we imagine she probably has.

Meanwhile, Pete Samson is reporting that Amy has stormed out of her clinic - the one the Sunday People was insisting that she wasn't going to leave until Blake was out:
A pal said: “We feared a taste of the outside would remind her what she’s missing and it would be hard to get her back into life at the clinic. That’s exactly what’s happened.”

Ah, yes, that slippery slope: a day out is the gateway drug to living outside.

Samson is alarmed. Or, rather, is having Winehouse's friends being alarmed on his behalf:
Friends now fear she may return to drugs

May? May? Come on, Samson, we can work up more alarm than that, can't we?
— if she hasn’t already.

Elsewhere on Gordon's Gordonless pages, yet-another-Cole-Tweedy story churns out, notable only for the byline:

Nobody even wants to put their name to the guff anymore, then.
ASHLEY COLE surprised his stunning wife CHERYL on her birthday by turning up unannounced to the X Factor auditions in Manchester.

And you can see why. The point of the story seems to be more about quashing a different story:
And the couple, who looked over the moon to have their marriage back on track, scotched yesterday’s reports that Cheryl had not been at his brother’s wedding over the weekend.

'Yesterday's reports' having appeared in the now-removed Gordon Smart's Bizarre page, but still on Google News, just:
Ashley is the sole Cole
The Sun, UK - Jun 29, 2008
By JOHN TROUP LOVE rat ASHLEY COLE turned up to his brother’s wedding alone – sparking fresh speculation over his marriage to CHERYL. ...

Interesting that The Sun was so ashamed of its error that it removed the page entirely rather than, say, merely correcting it.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Big Train trumped by real-life

The Big Train sketch which depicted Hall and Oates as a crime-fighting duo has been trumped by official product: a cartoon which depicts John Oates and, erm, his moustache as a crime-fighting duo.

You heard:

"In a cartoon setting, the mustache has its own personality," Oates says from Aspen, Colo., where he's finishing his latest solo album. "Just as I'm represented as the John Oates of today, the mustache is the John Oates of yesterday. The focus of the music will be on the back catalog, but it's an open-ended situation. There's even talk of the mustache trying to bring new bands into the picture."

Hopes a full reunion depend on John Oates' mullet completing its stint on Celebrity Rehab next year.

Sting's environmental commitment: He only has a small-ish plane to himself

Of course, it's not that surprising that Sting was spotted flying into Germany on a fourteen seat jet with just him aboard, given that he happily endorsed that Jaguar car as well. And, let's face it, it's not like there's any other way to get from England to Germany by regular plane, is there?

BT tickles the BPI belly

According to letters seen by the Register, BT has followed Virgin in sending warning letters to customers the record companies claim are file-sharing.

BT didn't like The Register suggest they'd joined the BPI's side:

BT has not changed its policy for dealing with copyright infringement and we have not joined any "crusades". We do ask that our customers adhere to our terms and conditions which state that they must comply with all relevant laws and not infringe the rights of others.

Although given that the BPI clearly is on a crusade, and that BT has decided to help them police content on the web, it's hard to see how they can feel they've not joined in. It's a bit like a weapons manufacturer denying they're joining in the war.

Summary, yes, but not quite justice

Although it's nice to hear that fans at a Hatebreed show in Columbus, Ohio weren't going to stand for a nazi whackdod throwing seig-heil salutes during the set, it's a little disturbing the resulting effect was dragging him outside and beating the crap out of him. However much you punch a calculator, you'll never get two wrongs to add up to a single right.

Rhapsody learns to love the iPod

And so the expensive sound of businesses arriving at the logical conclusion continues to echo, with Rhapsody announcing plans to open an MP3-only store in order to stop flogging to only a tiny share of the online music marketplace:

"We're no longer competing with the iPod. We're embracing it," said VP Neil Smith.

The independent observer might wonder why it's taken them so long to reach this point, and, given their late entry to the market, why they think they can command a price premium over Amazon's MP3 downloads. (Rhapsody are selling for 99c).

As is usual, this is all theoretical when viewed from the UK, as it's a US only business.

Glastonbury 2008: Noah and the Whale

As the crowds arrive home, so more interesting stuff is appearing on YouTube. This is Noah and the Whale doing Five Year's Time:

[Part of Glastonbury 2008 video]

My, my, how could we forget you?

Taking a role in the money-in-the-bank Mamma Mia might have seemed like a shrewd move for an ageing bloke low on work and in need of a pension scheme. But you'd be wrong. Why, for Pierce Brosnan, it was nothing short of bravery:

"All of us put our neck out on the line for this," he told BBC Breakfast. [...]
"It was the last thing I expected to be offered," said the actor, who played secret agent 007 in four Bond films.

"To see an ex-MI6 thespian singing and dancing in the world of Mamma Mia... people are going to howl."

We've just checked, and, yes, he did just inflate 'pretending to be a spy' into being 'an MI6 thespian'. Fancy going from a multiplex pantomime piece of fluff into another multiplex pantomime piece of fluff. However will we contain ourselves?

It's as unlikely as, say, that bloke from Remmington Steele signing on to appear in Vanilla Gorilla. IMDB explains the plot of that forthcoming treat:
An albino gorilla in captivity uses sign language to communicate his plight to a little girl who befriends him, setting in motion an international escape plan.

We might not have done howling yet.

Gordon Brown loves The Beatles

As preparations continue for the First Liverpool Festival Of Self-Parody (sorry, Beatles Day), someone has thought to ask the leaders of the main UK political parties (and Gordon Brown) what their favourite Beatles song is. For some reason.

Gordon Brown likes All My Loving, although he was taken off-guard as it's unusual for him to be asked a question which doesn't start "God, you're shit and you know it, don't you, you national-sized failure":

Mr Brown explained his choice: "It is so hard to pick one because there are so many but this was my early favourite because it was the first I learnt to play on the piano when my parents sent me for lessons when I was young."

Of course, his real favourite should be Octopuses Garden, because it's the one where the very-effective drummer got the top job and proved to be rubbish at it.

Dave Cameron chose The Long And Winding Road, mouthing "like to Downing Street - do you see? Aren't I clever?" at the end, while Nick Clegg turned up to say "A Day In The Life", although we're not sure anyone asked him:
Mr Clegg said of A Day in the Life: "Even after all this time, it still sounds innovative and radical.

"The dramatic shift of gears musically leading to the powerful piano chords at the end are frighteningly effective, while the lyrics are incredibly effective by combining the mundane everyday life with the tragic death of someone in a car crash. It shows the Beatles at their edgy best."

A Day In The Life, of course, is the result of an awkward compromise, a coalition of a song. Can't think why that would appeal to him.

"Not in the plastic disc business"

Matt Phillips of the BPI has just appeared on Today's business slot, explaining that - hey, you know what? The British Phonographic Industry isn't about phonograms at all, it's all about licensing content and artist development.

He didn't blanch when the Madonna deal was mentioned, seizing it as an example of the kind of thing he's talking about - although, of course, it also showed why he's honking in the dark. Because while a business designed to efficiently ship plastic discs round the globe is one with enormous barriers to entry, managing artist rights and shuffling copyright doesn't need investment in buildings and factories and infrastructure in the same way. Yes, your local newsagent couldn't suddenly take on Mick Jagger and his future career - but a newspaper company could; or a TV production house; or an advertising agency... or a well-funded, correctly-staffed start-up.

Glastonbury round up: The journey home

It's not just the streets of Britain which have become a godless place, apparently - The Sun reports a Glasto crimewave:

CRIME more than doubled at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, police figures revealed yesterday.

By last night there were 489 reports of crime among the 170,000 festival-goers, including drug offences.

The shock number compared to 236 reported crimes at the three-day music extravaganza last year.

Cops said this was because there were more tent thefts, trying to put a happy face on it:
Sergeant Carolyn Crocker said last night: “Despite a challenging festival in terms of thefts from tents, 99.7 per cent of festival-goers will return home having not been victims of crime.

“The event remains one of the safest of its kind and we continue to work proactively with festival security to ensure people have a safe final night.”

"Challenging" = we have had a rotten festival.

Gordon's team chooses to celebrate binge drinking again - remember, it's only a problem in the news pages:
And THE TWANG’s PHIL ETHERIDGE has a top phrase for going on the lash – “Getting on the swamp”. Genius.

Yes. What genius. I'm starting the public subscription for the statue and blue plaque.

Gordon didn't enjoy Jay-Z, either:
The whole point of the big bill topper is to get your arms around your pals’ shoulders and sing along to the chorus.

So when Jay opened the show by miming to OASIS megahit Wonderwall – after playing a tape of NOEL GALLAGHER saying he was wrong for Glasto – I thought we were in for a treat.

It was all downhill after that, though. There was no spine-tingling COLDPLAY Fix You moment. Or 50,000 people singing Don’t Look Back In Anger and pointing at the sky.

A festival entertainment where you don't feel you're stuck in a Burnage Bierkeller sounds like a step-up to us - surely, if Smart wants to get involved in some man-on-man hugging - just as mates, like, not in a funny way - he could have waited for the Verve.

Talking of whom, the mystery of what the hell they were doing as headliners was explained by Richard Ashcroft, reports the BBC:
"I want to thank Emily Eavis for inviting us to play Glastonbury," Ashcroft told the crowd. "And I hope her dad realises why she booked us now."

Mr Eavis founded the festival on his Somerset dairy farm 38 years ago.

It's not known yet who came up with Kings Of Leon, though. Perhaps they let the cows have a go at choosing a headliner, too.

Alexis Petridis in the Guardian was more positive about Jay-Z than Gordon was:
Then a broad grin spreads across his face and the crowd go obligingly berserk. It's the sound of a risk paying off handsomely.

It's also one of those transcendent, tingle-inducing Glastonbury moments people talk about so much, but it's a Glastonbury moment unlike any other: suddenly, a festival whose very future seemed pretty bleak 24 hours ago feels like a triumph.

But then, if Guardian writers want to hug their mates, they hug them. They don't have to wait until Noel Gallagher gives them the excuse.

The 3AM Girls suggest there was some band-on-band rudeness:
Amy Winehouse snubbed by Arctic Monkeys at Glastonbury

Although it turns out this "snub" was, erm, just that didn't go to watch her.

Michael Eavis - as pretty much is standard by now - has decided that his crazy plan worked, telling the Mail:
Summing up the weekend of music, festival founder Michael Eavis said: "We've a much younger audience this year.

"It's like Sunday school at a nice local church. You have to have youngsters there, otherwise we just all grow old together."

60 Seconds on BBC Three last night had a quote from "organisers" suggesting that the appearance of Jay-Z had "secured the festival for the next two years", which seems a little unlikely - or, rather, like so much spin to us. We're guessing the scraping last-minute sell-out was the deciding factor.

In the Times, Caitlin Moran was won over, suggesting that in the context of some of the other things you might see in the fields, a major recording artist playing his hits is hardly that unusual:
But a wonderful air of curiosity is embedded in Glastonbury's bones — and what you found outré on Thursday, by Sunday is greeted merely with a shrug and an amused “Why not?”.

After all, when you've spent all weekend sitting under a 30ft robot ant, watching a man dressed as a toilet holding hands with Queen Victoria, you might as well go down to the Pyramid Stage, and attend your first hip-hop gig.

So, Jay-Z proved that a good performance can convince many doubters. Over in the Telegraph, Tom Horan discovered the same message, but in a slightly less likely corner:
The old Harrovian-turned-crooner James Blunt divides people into two distinct camps - both of which contain millions of members. There are those who can't bear the sight of him, and those who buy every note he records.

As he took to Glastonbury's Pyramid stage in blazing sunshine both were well represented, and neither was disappointed.

I lost count of the thousands of women mouthing every line of the former Guardsman's romantic ballads. To their credit, they comfortably drowned out the people hooting and laughing at each new declaration of love or all-round sensitivity.

Yes, James Blunt - for the Telegraph, bravely walking into enemy fire:
Blunt, as always, simply rose above it all, and delivered a slick, professional performance. His commanding officer would have been proud of him.

Horan also takes some sort of prize for stripping a set down to its essentials, in his entire Amy Winehouse review:
The troubled singer, pictured, took to the stage wearing a blue dress and greeted the audience by saying "hello, Glastonbury" to much applause.

We suspect the word "pictured" explains this rather odd sentence which misses much of the drama of Winehouse's appearance - it's just a sop to allow the paper to run a photo of a young woman in a strapless dress. Everyone, eventually, gets the Glastonbury they want.

[Part of Glastonbury 2008]

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Glastonbury 2008: Franz Ferdinand

From the YouTubes - here's team Franz doing Katherine Kiss Me:

[Part of the Glastonbury 2008 video]

Glaston the box: Day three

Once again, the red button service has wound down early, filling screens with stuff that's been on over the last couple of days.

Still, let's not carp, eh? Instead, let's focus on the sets of Eddy Grant and Neil Diamond - both doing their first Glastonburys (Grant seemed as surprised as anyone at this) and both clearly, clearly relishing it. Not in the way Shakin' Stevens or Jay-Z did - in a "I'm making this festival better" way - but just a genuine delight in being part of it. Who couldn't feel a warm glow as Neil Diamond abandoned his set list's demands for a ballad because, man, he wanted to dance?

And, let's face it, Cherry Cherry is far more fun than something that's effectively two seconds of a U2 song played over and over again, isn't it?

[Part of Glastonbury 2008]

Glastonbury 1998: Born Slippy

Ah, arriving home. As I slipped into a bath - a hot, hot bath - on the radio, Kate Aldridge was giving birth in the Green Field. Luckily, someone caught Phoebe before she disappeared under the Somerset mud forever.

Concluding the romp through Glastonbury ten years ago, then, here's Underworld's Born Slippy. In two parts, because of the YouTube ten minute rule:

[Part of Glastonbury 1998 videos]

EMI plan B: Send for Barry Scott

EMI's desperate attempts to find some solution to its debt problem has set it seeking for a new head of its recorded music division in a strange place. The FT reckons Elio Leoni Sceti is leading the shortlist - the man who has been responsible for marketing Cillit Bang and those bemusing, ever-mutating variations on Finish dishwashing powder.

We look forward to the prospect of Coldplay albums being sold like Calgon, complete with poorly-dubbed repurposed German adverts.

Is it really wise, in a difficult market, to get someone from a totally different sort of product environment? With digital being handled by a bloke who admits he hardly bought any music this century, is a cleaning product guy really a wise idea?

Glastonbury 2008: Jimmy Cliff

Mr Cliff has seen a lot of what the world can do - although nothing would have prepared him for meeting Amy Winehouse backstage.

[Part of Glastonbury 2008 video]

Glastonbury web round-up: Battle royale

Yes, yes, Noel Gallagher was wrong about Jay-Z. There was no reason that Mr. Z shouldn't have headlined the festival (although five years ago might have made more sense) and really, the racially-tinged 'this isn't for your type of music' complaints were best ignored.

But, of course, they weren't, were they? Like an imagined slight in the Big Brother house, the mutterings of discontent have been seized on, and repeated and inflated and turned into a focus rather than treated as an irrelevance.

BBC News watched:

The New York hip-hop star fired up the crowd with an introduction that included a BBC interview in which Oasis star Noel Gallagher said hip-hop was "wrong" for Glastonbury.

Jay-Z then took the stage to the strains of the Oasis hit Wonderwall.

"So they say you guys didn't want me here to be here tonight," he said.

"They said you guys weren't into hip-hop." The crowd responded by chanting his name to show their support.

"Thanks for all the love here tonight," the star added, saying Glastonbury had "embraced my culture".

In effect, though, wasn't all this effectively agreeing with much of what Gallagher said? That hip-hop wasn't core Glastonbury? Wasn't the point more that, actually, there was nothing unusual about having a black American perform on the Pyramid stage? And that Jay-Z's culture and the Pilton culture are just different parts of a musical continuum?

But Jay-Z needed the ghost of Gallagher, as otherwise it was just a standard show, records Gigwise:
Contrary to popular belief Jay-Z was not joined onstage by any of his celebrity friends but did sample an array of artists during the set including AC/DC on '99 Problems' as well as U2, Estelle and Rihanna.

Away from all this, Simon Munnery has written a piece for the BBC Glastonbury site:
In a way Glastonbury is the opposite of the world; outside Glastonbury the rich live in luxury and the poor in squalor - in Glastonbury the rich, the ticket buyers, live in squalor while the workers live in comparative splendour. It's like a cell with many different organs within.

Why doesn't someone give him some money to make TV programmes?

[Part of Glastonbury 2008]

Fill your pockets with Stone's

Joss Stone isn't worried if you download her stuff without approval. Not in the slightest:

“I think it’s great,” adding “Yeah, I love it. I think it’s brilliant and I’ll tell you why. Music should be shared. I believe that this is how music turned into like, some crazy business. The only part about music that I dislike is the business that is attached to it. Now, if music is free, then there is no business, there is just music.”

Obviously, you might feel a little confused as to why, if commercialisation is so bad, Stone lovingly embraced doing ads for Cadburys. Maybe she just dreams of a day when there is no chocolate industry, just chocolate?

It turns out she does want some business, though:
“As long as you come to my show, and have a great time listening to the live show it’s totally cool, I don’t mind,”

So: distribution deals and publishing - bad; ticketmaster mark-ups and venue bans on photography - good. Hope that's cleared that up.

[Thanks to Michael M]

Glastonbury 1998: Western Eyes

Yes, I'd fled by Sunday lunchtime, figuring that there was no point in staying on a site where you couldn't get from stage to stage without an hour of cautious shuffling, spending the day being miserable and wet and not being able to see the bands you wanted to - the new bands tent was constantly full of people who were just hiding from the rain.

The trains out of Castle Carey were full, too - the railway company had hopefully provided everybody with those little blue overshoes you get in model homes to protect the trains, seemingly oblivious that the large numbers of passengers clambering onboard were covered in mud from nose to toenail. And have you ever tried to pull an overshoe on a Doc Martin boot anyway?

To my dying day I will recall the toilets at Temple Meads, and the sweet joy of being able to come out with less mud on you than you came in with. I'm telling myself it was mud. Mud. Yes.

So, in tribute to Bristol, and the people of Bristol, and the sweet, sweet railway toilets of Bristol, here's Portishead doing Western Eyes.

[WARNING: quite stobe-filled]

[Part of Glastobury 1998]

Glastonbury 2008: Punch or slap?

So, judge for yourselves - was it a full-on assault, or was it a bit of slap?

[Part of Glastonbury 2008 and Glastonbury 2008 video]

Glastonbury paper round: Winehouse fray breakdown

It's not unusual for journalists to spice up their copy with a few fact-skirting extra details, but reading Rav Singh's coverage of Amy Winehouse's fan spat, you wonder if he realised the event he was embroidering was on national television live. And, erm, on video on his own paper's website linked from the paragraph where he upgraded a half-hearted annoyed slapping to this:

The singer first used an elbow then threw a flurry of punches after leaving the Pyramid stage to saunter along the front row as she sang Rehab.

The 100,000-strong crowd had lapped up hits...

Although, of course, not that sort of hits.

The Sunday Mirror at least admits that - as with the set - while there may have been intent, there wasn't much contact:
Amy Winehouse made a chaotic appearance at Glastonbury last night - spitting chewing gum at the crowd, rambling incoherently and attempting to punch one fan.

The People sounds a little confused:
Amy Winehouse is refusing to leave hospital until a court decides the fate of her hubby.

She feels soothed and secure in the £2,000-a-night London Clinic and plans to stay put until BLAKE FIELDERCIVIL is sentenced in 12 days' time.

Okay, they might have gambled on her not doing Glastonbury, but she'd been in Hyde Park on Friday - how do they explain that?
She was well enough to appear at Glastonbury last night and the Nelson Mandela 90th birthday concert on Friday.

But she is now back in the Harley Street hospital. Mum Janis, 53, said: "She likes it there and feels secure. She doesn't have any worries while she's in there. "Going into hospital has allowed her to be properly rested and cared for."

So she's unable to face the world, except for when she's stood in front of 100,000 people staring at her.

The People hasn't got any mention of fan-scrap incident, which is understandable, in as much as it's not really a functioning newspaper any more.

For the Telegraph it was a "scuffle"; the Sunday Times hedges with "appears to punch a fan" (oddly linking to a YouTube video rather than the more official-looking video their sister News of the World has.

The Sunday Telegraph has sent Stanley Johnson to Pilton - or "London Mayor Boris Johnson's father, Stanley Johnson" as the headline snappily titles him. So, what does London Mayor Boris Johnson's father, Stanley Johnson, make of it all?
In the early hours, when gentlemen of England still lay abed, I watch convoys of fork-lift trucks shunting piled-high boxes of baps to different dispersal points around the valley.

It's a little known fact that Glastonbury is all about the bread products, but an army marches on its stomach and London Mayor Boris Johnson's father, Stanley Johnson is determined to push an analogy that this is like, you know, war, but with Jay-Z.

[Part of Glastonbury 2008]

Glastonbury Flickr dip

Kosso catches a snap proving that the Eavises have introduced a swift system for dealing with complaints this year; David E Young captures the essential somewhere over there there's a band-ness of festivals; Coderkind proves not everyone loves Amy Winehouse and Will Rose captures Duffy lost in a moment.

Oh, and Project365 shows the best way to enjoy the festival.

[Part of Glastonbury 2008]

This week just gone

The tne most-read individual stories this week:

1. R Kelly's sex video - not even illegal porn any more
2. RIP Joaquin Tavares
3. Brett Anderson's Wilderness video
4. Beth Ditto - naked for a reason
5. Robbie Williams hearts Keira Knightley
6. Robbie Williams plays a round with a girl
7. RIP Nick Sanderson
8. Glastonbury 2008
9. Eavis flogs off his wellies
10. Cathal Coughlan: a weekend of videos

We plugged this stuff:

The Beep Seals - Things That Roar

Camper Van Beethoven - Popular Songs...

Glissando - With Our Arms Wide Open...

Free Kitten - Inherit

Experimental Dental School - Jane Doe Loves Me

Thomas White - I Dream Of Black

Sigur Ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust

Glasvegas - Geraldine

The Cement Garden DVD