Friday, 27 November 2009

Virgin Media to Launch Filesharing Monitor Tool

Virgin Media in the UK has stated that it will start using technology to monitor filesharing traffic on its network, reports Music Week.

The CView system will be implemented by Data processing firm Detica. The tool has been specifically designed to detect copyright infringement within its music download service.

Virgin Media is claiming that this is the first time in the UK that such a tool has been used to detect illegal filesharing.

Virgin has stated that it will monitor around 40% of its broadband users but those being monitored will not be informed that they are part of the test base. This has been met with opposition from consumer bodies.

The technology will allow Virgin to identify P2P packets and explore inside them to determine what content is licensed and what is not.

It is the first ISP to implement such measures. Other ISPs, most notably TalkTalk, have been vocal in their opposition to such systems and disconnections.

Under the recently-published Digital Britain report, the Government gave ISPs a year to reduce filesharing traffic on their networks by 70%.

This was followed by the outlining of the Digital Economy Bill which could see a ‘three strikes’ disconnection and throttling policy imposed for persistent copyright infringers.

Earlier this year, Virgin Media announced plans to develop an unlimited music download service in conjunction with Universal Music. No launch date has been confirmed yet.

Lily Allen - SECC, Glasgow 25th Nov 2009

Cheeky Londoner Lily Allen opened her Glasgow show with ‘Everyone’s At It’, wearing a black and white striped cardi-dress, which was soon to be whipped off.

Her ‘little Miss innocent’ act was present throughout with her giggling fits, her constant fiddling with her sound FX joystick and even when she decided to start handing out pints of Guinness to those in the front rows.

Her newer electro-pop songs better suited her vocals, as she seemed to recognise by cutting tracks like LDN short. Who’d Have Known and Littlest Things were the least pitchy, while I Could Say had some tuning problems.

With a dip in the middle, the set was back on track by her cover of Just Be Good to Me, performed with Professor Green (MC). Smile broke into welcome techno territory and The Fear took it to the encore.

For those who with no opinion, one way or the other, on the 24 year old will find it hard not to be completely won over by her live show. She may have been pretty erratic, but it’s difficult to dislike her.

The show was packed with fun, era-defining pop songs, glamour, and even some shameless filth, but Lily Allen staked her claim to be one of the finest pop stars in Britain at the moment.


Everyone's at It
I Could Say
Never Gonna Happen
Oh My God / Everything's Just Wonderful
Who'd Have Known
LDN / Dance Wiv Me
Back to the Start
He Wasn't There
Littlest Things
Not Fair
Fuck You

The Fear
Womanizer (Britney Spears cover)

ALBUM REVIEW: Tom Waits, Glitter and Doom Live

The first disc of Tom Waits much anticipated two disc live album ‘Glitter & Doom’ is a musical document of the legendary musician and storyteller’s 2008 Glitter and Doom Tour of the US and Europe.

Disc one sounds like a recording of a Tom Wait show, even though the 17 tracks are selected from 10 different dates of his tour. However, each track flows effortlessly and seamlessly into the next.

Waits turns in a very strong performance, with his rendition of classics like ‘Fannin Street’ and the yearning ‘Falling Down’ are heaving with unreserved emotional impact. His raspy vocals sound even more powerfully raw, particularly on tracks like the bluesy ‘Trampled Rose’.

Waits' has left out almost 20 years of the start of his career here. Still he has managed to keeps it fresh by doing new arrangements of many tracks, such as the rocky makeover given to ‘Singapore’ and the groovy beats on ‘Get behind the Mule’.

Disc Two contains a monolithic 35-minute track of a selection of the comic bromides, strange musings, and unusual facts that Tom traditionally shares with his audience during the piano set.

Both discs are edited so they feel like one cohesive slab, despite the fact that they’re very clearly not. This is nice, in that the song selections are cherry-picked, but the listener still gets an experience that feels like Waits’ legendary live show.

Track listing:

1. Lucinda/Ain' Goin' Down
2. Singapore
3. Get Behind the Mule
4. Fannin Street
5. Dirt In the Ground
6. Such a Scream
7. Live Circus
8. Goin' Out West
9. Falling Down
10. The Part You Throw Away
11. Trampled Rose
12. Metropolitan Glide
13. I'll Shoot the Moon
14. Green Grass
15. Make It Rain
16. Story
17. Lucky Day

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Mercury Winner Speech Debelle Quits Label over Poor Sales

Mercury-winner Speech Debelle is quitting her record label, saying the company were to blame for disappointing sales of her Mercury-winning debut album.

Debelle has told BBC 6 Music that sales of her debut album Speech Therapy, suffered because of poor distribution by Big Dada records.

The album had sold around 3,000 copies prior to her win, with sales increasing to just below 10,000. Speech Therapy never rose above No 65 in the charts, despite winning the Mercury prize in September.

Compare this to the 300,000 sold by last year's winner, Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid, and you begin to understand why Speech Therapy has had the worst-ever chart showing by a Mercury winner.

"The Mercury Prize was on Tuesday, and on Friday there were no more physical albums in the shops," she said.

"So, on the Mercury weekend, which would have been my biggest selling weekend, people couldn't get it," added Debelle, whose real name is Corynne Elliot.

"I wasn't disappointed that it didn't sell well, I was disappointed in the people I was working with", she told the BBC.

Big Dada has yet to comment on Speech Debelle's departure.

Monday, 23 November 2009

U2 to Headline for Glastonbury Festival's 40th Anniversary

U2 are to headline next year's Glastonbury Festival, helping the event celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The Irish rockers have been slated for the Pyramid stage's top spot on Friday 25 June, in what will be their first ever appearance at the Somerset festival.

It will be their first festival gig for more than 25 years and will see them make a flying visit to the UK in the middle of a North American tour.

Organiser Michael Eavis had promised something special for Glastonbury's 40th anniversary, and in booking a band that have been rumoured to headline every year since the mid 1980s, he's done just that.

Eavis said "The 26-year-old rumour has finally come true."

"We've been trying for years, and now we've finally made it happen. I'm sure they will pull out all the stops to make next year's Glastonbury the most memorable ever," he added.

As the 2010 event marks its 40th anniversary, Mr Eavis has promised a line-up fit for the occasion.

Some 177,500 people will be at the event after tickets sold out in 24 hours last month.

The festival will take place from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 June 2010. So far, no other headliners have been confirmed.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Red Stripe Music Award 2010

Red Stripe Music Award is back for its fourth year, and it’s confirmed its biggest series of gigs yet will take place all over the UK in the first quarter of 2010.

The gig series gives emerging acts the chance to play at some of the UK's best loved venues as well as potentially securing slots at a number of summer festivals.

Red Stripe’s Paul Brazier says, “The Red Stripe Music Award is about providing emerging artists with an appropriate platform to be heard, with support from partners that truly benefits each band.”

The award is organised in conjunction with Last FM and The Fly magazine, Arising Artist, Fender, Merc and The Great Escape.

The gig series is open to all bands playing any manner of music, completely and utterly unbiased to trend or leaning.

Applicants must be over 18 and play original songs to be eligible. Interested bands and artists should enter their details via

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Artist Registration for The Great Escape 2010 is Now Open

Returning for its fifth festival of up-front music, The Great Escape is once again set to unearth the hottest bands from across the globe and bring them to Britain's favourite seaside town in 2010.

2009's event saw Brighton rocked, as 15,000 fans and music industry types swarmed to the south coast to witness a whopping 400 of the newest and most exciting bands around doing their thing at over 34 venues spread across the city.

The Great Escape will take place in Brighton from 13th - 15th May 2010.

If you would like to be considered to play the next Great Escape, then register your band today for free. Simply got to: and complete the application form.

Since being founded in 2006, the festival has developed a fantastic reputation for unearthing new music, don't miss you're chance to be part of next year's line up.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Scotland’s Final Fling Scaled Down Due to Poor Ticket Sales

Homecoming Live: The Final Fling has been scaled down following poor ticket sales.

Homecoming Live: The Final Fling was to feature three major concerts, held in Glasgow’s SECC, with the top acts booked to play in the biggest hall in the venue.

Now the event, one of hundreds set up to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, is to be staged in smaller halls within the complex due to lower numbers attending than previously predicted.

The event will feature big names including Midge Ure, Deacon Blue, The Dykeenies, Idlewild, The View, Dougie MacLean and Hue and Cry. Despite the impressive line-up, sales have been disappointing and promoter Geoff Ellis believes that the recession and attempts to ‘politicise’ the event are to blame for the lack of interest.

Ellis, head of DF Concerts, said he was convinced that by moving the music gigs to smaller halls, the atmosphere would be better for gig-goers as they would not be confronted with empty seats and empty spaces.

“The reality is that ticket sales are not as good as we would have liked. But I think the atmosphere will now be much better than it would have been. There’s nothing better than being in a full venue for a concert,” he said.

Adding, “My bank manager will not be happy, but for the audience the experience will be great.”

The Clyde Auditorium will be used instead, and other artists will now be performing in the Lomond Suite and Hall 3 in the SECC.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

2010 European Border Breakers Awards - EBBA’s

The ten winners of the 2010 European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA’s) have been chosen. They will receive their awards at a ceremony presented by Jools Holland on 14 January 2010, in Groningen, Netherlands.

The show will be attended by the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth Maroš Šefčovič and will be broadcast on TV throughout Europe.

European Border Breaker Awards are given by the European Commission, in cooperation with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to highlight the success of 10 debuting European artists in crossing national borders by selling albums and touring outside their home territory.

The aim is to stimulate the cross border circulation of creativity, encouraging the mobility of artists, groups and composers who succeed in reaching audience outside their own country, highlighting Europe's magnificent cultural diversity.

The winners of the 2010 European Border Breakers Awards are:

Belgium Milow "Milow"
United Kingdom Charlie Winston "Hobo"
Germany Peter Fox "Stadtaffe"
Austria Soap & Skin "Lovetune for Vacuum"
Estland Kerli "Love Is Dead"
Sweden Jenny Wilson "Hardships"
Portugal Buraka Som Sistema "Black Diamond"
France Sliimy "Paint Your Face"
Netherlands Esmée Denters "Outta Here"
Italy Giusy Ferreri "Non Ti Scordar Mai Di Me"

Former winners of the award include now established artists such as Carla Bruni, Adele, Katie Melua, Damien Rice, The Thrills, Gabriel Rios, The Fratellis, Basshunter, Dolores O’ Riordan and many more.

This year's awards include a new category, the 'Public Choice EBBA'. One of the 2010 winners will be chosen by the European audience as the most popular border breaking act in Europe and will be rewarded with the Public Choice EBBA.

Voting for the Public Choice Award takes place online from mid-November until the end of the year at and is supported by EBU radio stations throughout Europe. The winner of the Public Choice EBBA will be announced during the ceremony on 14 January in Groningen.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Absolute Xtreme to be Replaced by New Station - Absolute 80s

Absolute Radio is ditching its Absolute Xtreme digital radio station and launching a brand new non-stop station devoted entirely to music of the 1980s.

Absolute Xtreme launched in 2005 under the name of Virgin Radio Xtreme was aimed at playing new rock for a youth audience targeting 16-35 year olds.

However the station suffered from fierce competition from more established 'new music' brands such as BBC 6Music, Xfm, NME Radio and Kerrang.

The new station, Absolute 80s, will include a nostalgia-based playlist aimed at 30-54 year olds with a jukebox format without DJs. The station will also feature evening playlists that have been designed to create a party atmosphere.

Core artists will include Depeche Mode, Blondie, The Human League, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Duran Duran, Prince, ABC and Bon Jovi, plus some lighter fare from artists such as Bananarama, Culture Club and Madonna.

The station, which launches in early December, will be streamed nationwide on the internet and on digital DAB in London on the slot currently held by Absolute Xtreme.

The Absolute 80s station is the newest addition to the company's portfolio, which also includes the main Absolute Radio station plus Absolute Classic Rock.

EU in Agreement on Internet User Rights

European Parliament lawmakers and EU governments have reached an agreement on new draft telecommunication rules which offers more protection for Internet users.

The outcome strikes a compromise between governments seeking to impose tough anti-piracy laws and those who want greater protection for consumers.

Under the compromise, any decision made to sever Internet access, an approach championed by several EU countries to clamp down on illegal file-sharing, must be subject to a legal review.

Internet users in all 27 EU states accused of illegal file-sharing are to be put through a "fair and impartial procedure" before being disconnected. Authorities will have to provide evidence of illegal downloading first.

The European Parliament and Council is due to make a decision on its Telecoms Reform Package later this month.

Backers hailed the deal, saying it would legally underpin the right to Internet access in Europe while stopping short of facilitating widespread criminal piracy.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Register Now for Live and Unsigned 2010

Auditions across the country for Live and Unsigned 2010 are about to begin.

Live and Unsigned is the largest national music competition for original artists; bands and solo artists. Over 30,000 acts have auditioned over the last three years.

Auditions will be held around the country in London, Sheffield, Manchester, Brighton, Newcastle, Glasgow, Ipswich, Cheltenham, Fareham, Bedford and Aldershot.

Auditions will begin in January 2010; however there are only a limited number of places, so register early if you want to be in with a chance.

Each act will perform, in front of a prestigious judging panel, a live piece. Successful acts will be given a place in the regional final.

You will perform an original track with your band or backed by a backing track in front of a live crowd, battling for a place in the Grand Final and the Live and Unsigned Festival.

The winning act will be offered a recording contract and will also be invited on the UK Live and Unsigned tour.

For information go to