Saturday, June 18, 2016

Half Man Half Biscuit: Ride away

This may be the best thing You And Yours has ever broadcast: A Half Man Half Biscuit cycle trip

Blissobit: Prince Be

Attrell Cordes, better known as PM Dawn's Prince Be, has died.

A Facebook post from Doc G confirmed the news earlier today:

Prince Be has unwell for some time - Doc G spoke to The Stranger in 2011 as he took on the PM Dawn mantle, and wasn't ruling out a return to stage:

I don't know if he'll ever be able to join me again. Prince Be is doing his best to try and get back his health. I think the death of Nate Dogg woke him up. He was slacking a bit. I don't know if Nate had diabetes, but, you know, the strokes... Prince Be can still sing a bit, but he has paralysis in his right hand and it's a little tough. I wish I had the funds for a portable dialysis machine. We'd go on the road. I have this whole vision to get him back out there. I actually had an idea of putting him in a wheelchair and dressing him up like a Utopian Professor X.
Prince Be was American, but PM Dawn wouldn't have been PM Dawn without Britain.

When Be was six, his dad gave him a record by Donovan - and you can see the influence of Donovan's lyrics and worldview on the candy, universal outlook of PM Dawn. More crucially, when the band couldn't catch a cold in the US, the UK liked Ode to a Forgetful Mind to earn the band a deal with an offshoot of Island Records. Prince Be relocated to London, explaining why to the LA Times in 1991:
That spiritual orientation of the late '60s, stressing peace, love and equality, permeates Prince Be's views. He said he even moved to London recently because he finds the atmosphere there less stressful than on the East Coast.

"You can hear the difference in the songs that were written over there," he said in another interview recently. "New York is really stressed out so the songs I write (there) are really morbid. London, though, is (as) if you took New York's fire and poured water on it, so you still have the embers."

But Prince Be also found Britain to be more comfortable on a social level:

"They're not so race conscious over there. They understand me better. It's a shame but it's hard being black and spiritual in this country."
You'll see Prince Be described as an optimist in many places over the web; there can surely be no better proof of his optimism than a man who moved to John Major's England because it felt like a Shangri-La.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

EMI: Hands handed arse; tries to save face

It's been a while since we heard about Guy Hands, the man who borrowed large sums of cash to buy EMI and then discovered he wasn't very good at running a record label.

He's been in court this week, trying to blame his failures at EMI on CitiGroup, in a legal case which was basically Hands' Terra Firma going "waah waah, why didn't they tell us".

The fraud case was supposed to last into July - rather like Euro 2016 - but ended somewhat abruptly with a humiliating defeat - rather like England's Euro 2016.

Hands climbed down:

“Terra Firma confirms it unreservedly withdraws its allegations of fraud,” David Wolfson – standing in for lead QC Anthony Grabiner – told the hastily convened court. Terra Firma will also pay the costs of the US bank, likely to run into millions of pounds.

Hands, who had been claiming at least £1.5bn from Citi, had been questioned by the bank’s lawyer for the previous two days, and his evidence had been expected to last into next week. He had faced repeated questions about his recollection of events in 2007 when Terra Firma took over EMI just before the credit crunch and had been accused of having a “hazy memory”.

At one stage during his questioning of Hands, Mark Howard QC, representing Citi, said: “The problem is, Mr Hands, your story is shifting and it is impossible to reconcile these different versions.”
Much as EMI had relied on releasing poorly-conceived best of 'special edition' collections, Hands was trying to sell a bunch of remixes of old material, but the court wasn't really buying.

His case having crumbled underneath him, Hands was left trying to whistle a brave tune:
Hands, who was not in court, said the latest claim had been brought in good faith. “However, it has become evident that our documentation of the fast-moving and complex events, and memories of these events after nine years, are no longer sufficient to meet the high demands of proof required for a fraud claim in court,” he said.

“The matter is now closed,” said Hands, saying that the Terra Firma business he founded in 2003 was looking to the future. “We have an exciting portfolio of companies, a talented and experienced team, supportive and loyal investors and €1bn of capital to invest,” he said.
It's funny, isn't it, that he hadn't noticed he couldn't remember all that "fast-moving" stuff until he'd been taken to pieces on the stand.

And while Hands might believe the matter is closed, that isn't entirely true. Terra Firma have agreed to pick up all of Citi's costs. That Billion of capital might be whittled down a bit in the coming weeks.

To be alive at this time

Fighting for scraps on the edge of fame:

Real Housewives Of Cheshire star Dawn Ward found guilty of assaulting pop star Sinitta
Justice has been done, though:
Dawn, a cast member of the ITVBe series, stood quietly in the dock as District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe told her that she would be bound over in the sum of £500 for three months and ordered her to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. No costs were awarded.
ITV Be, the cruellest injoke of a channel name (you wonder if they brainstormed other dismissive titles, like ITV Who? and ITV Second String). Still, the thought of having a £500 fine hanging over her will focus the mind; that's going to knock out the earnings from about six series of the programme.

What were the pair fighting over?

Yeah. Nobody cares.

This week just gone

Last week, these releases intrigued us:

Tegan And Sara - Love You To Death

Download Love You To Death

Ladyhawke - Wild Things

Download Wild Things

The Kills - Ash And Ice

Download Ash And Ice

Amber Arcades - Fading Lines

Download Fading Lines

Dexys - Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul

Download Dexys Do

Cats Eyes - Treasure Houses

Download Treasure Houses