Saturday, July 19, 2014

Burke takes a long walk from Mandela gig

If you want to do a secret gig, you should really do a secret gig. Like the Mandela birthday gig coming up in Chalk Hill, which is so secret one of the advertised acts, Alexandra Burke, appears to not know how she even ended up on the bill:

The Bad Boys hitmaker was billed to appear alongside artists including former M People singer Heather Small, gospel musician Sandra Godley and Rwandan pop star Kitoko at the Nelson Mandela Day Concert in Chalk Farm, but she insists she was never booked for the charity gig.

Taking to her page on Thursday (17Jul14), she writes, "Despite being a worthy cause, I'm afraid I am not performing at the Mandela Day Concert this Friday.

"My performance has been advertised under false pretences. My fans know that I am currently performing in (stageshow) The Bodyguard. Sorry to disappoint anybody who has brought (sic) tickets thinking I was performing. No agreement exists".
The Groupon deal still has Burke's name attached to it (a Groupon? Oh, yes, that's a tribute to one of the greatest politicians of all time right there, isn't it?).

The good news? June Sarpong is still on board.

Yes, that's the closest we can get to good news.

Shh... it's a Jesus And Mary Chain secret

An email comes from a server with exciting news:

It's not actually a secret show if you're sending an email (to a list not BCCed), is it? Perhaps wind it in a bit for the email body:
Now in Dublin rehearsing for their upcoming festival and tour dates - and loving it - the Jesus and Mary Chain will play a low key date.
"Low key date" is a bit more accurate.

It's at Vicar Street, Dublin on July 31st. Ticketmaster are doing the ticketing, I'm afraid, so be prepared to pay unacceptable fees so that the costs of doing business don't have to eat into Ticketmaster's lovely, lovely profit base.

Pictures of Louis Tomlinson fail to purchase football club

The much ballyhooed takeover of Doncaster Rovers by Louis Tomlinson is about to collapse, as the Football League isn't impressed.

Of course, Tomlinson was never actually going to buy the club, but was instead helping a fan-funded trust purchase the team. But it's not working out:

The Trust's Crowdfunder total currently stands at £757,796 from 514 backers, well short of the £2m target. Tomlinson had declared that he was going to charge £250 per selfie, in order to raise money for the club.
It must be a bit galling for Tomlinson. I bet he's aware Harry Styles could probably raise enough from selling selfies to buy Man United. Or at least Everton.

The grown-ups who are helping Louis with the bid are a bit upset:
Clearly angered by the decision, [John] Ryan told BBC Radio Sheffield: "The situation is that the crowd-funder didn't succeed and we are very sorry about that but the real problem is with the Football League.

"They have made it so difficult now that unless you have a bag full of cash you are going to get turned down."
You can understand his frustration, but 'not raising the amount of cash required to ensure the team can function' does seem to be less a problem with the Football League and more about the people trying to raise the money.

Still: you can't purchase a medium-sized business with huge running costs and variable income streams without having a lot of money. Every day is an education, isn't it?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lady GaGa follows Jessie J's lead; returns bixesuality paperwork

Missed this at the start of the month, but caught up with it via the estimable and admirable Biscuit webzine: Lady GaGa has moved on from saying she's bisexual to, apparently, forgetting:

“Atlantic City Baby. Straights celebrating their pride by unLEASHING our gayness. @thedirtypearls @tommylondon Be proud. We were born this way. #TellemAsia”

… and so famously “bisexual” star Lady Gaga revealed to her Instagram followers that she now considers herself “straight”.
Usual caveats about how your sexual identity is, precisely, your sexual identity and that all our identities are fluid, of course; but even so... there's a lingering sense that maybe GaGa was wearing bisexual for exactly the same reasons she wore a meat dress: not because it was comfortable, but to try and get a reaction.

Kiran Leonard downgraded

Record of the Day allows Kiran Leonard eight seconds of glory before cruelly ripping off his award and handing it to We Were Promised Jetpacks instead:

Adele selling house: vacant, possession

In other property news, Adele is flogging off her Sussex mansion:

Singer Adele puts her ‘haunted’ house in Partridge Green up for sale
Wow. Haunted? Really, The Evening Argus?
Adele famously gave a US TV host a guided tour of the mansion in 2012 but also reportedly believed it was haunted.

She told 60 Minutes presenter Anderson Cooper that one corridor in particular was “quite scary really”.
By the way, "Adele's Scary Corridor" is a great option if you're looking to give a Shambling Revival band a name.

So not really haunted, then, just a corridor. Anything else?
She also claimed to have heard strange noises in part of the building which used to be a convent – so she reportedly paid a bodyguard £100,000 to stay with her in the listed building.
What, exactly, would be the point of a bodyguard if you've got a ghost nun clattering about your vestibule? You'd want a Ghostbuster, or at the very least an exorcist.

The house is on at six million, but Kirstie and Phil suggest you should be able to get at least ten per cent off to cover the costs of cleaning the ectoplasm off the hardwood floors.

Liam Gallagher is selling up

Trouser-magnate and former Beatles tribute star Liam Gallagher is selling his home on Central Park:

You can have your own little “oasis,” if you purchase Liam Gallagher’s two-bedroom, 2½-bathroom, 1,575-square-foot condo, which is on the market for $4 million.

The ’90s British rock star who started the band Oasis with his brother Noel is putting his 17th-floor unit at the Essex House at 160 Central Park on the market.
For someone who strutted about believing he was a reboot of John Lennon, you've got to admit that buying a flat on the skirt of Central Park does take a certain degree of guts.

The flat apparently has a 40-bottle wine cooler and maid and valet service. Man of the people.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lady GaGa says "tighten your faucet"

How bad is the drought in Southern California right now?

They've had to draft in Lady GaGa.

Apparently it's not so serious they've drafted in someone who can operate a camera and a microphone - unless they were actually aiming for a 'last message recorded by humanity before the end of the world' vibe. But serious enough for GaGa deployment.

Buble has mouth fixings

Michael Buble had been preparing for a gig in Manchester, New Hampshire when he tried to open a packet of ketchup with his teeth. And dislodged a crown.

A call went out for a dentist:

Bloom was in surgery Friday morning when he received an unusual call.

“The assistant comes in and says, ‘Dr. Bloom, your wife is on the phone,’ and I’m thinking, ‘Who died? What happened to the dog? What happened to the hour?’” Bloom said.
Bloom fixed up Buble's mouth, the show went on and Bloom got tickets and a call-out during the show.

Yes, without David Bloom's intervention, nobody would have had to listen to Michael Buble in New Hampshire that day. After nearly 40 years, Laurence Olivier's Dr Szell finally has a challenger for the 'inflicting misery using dental instruments' crown.

(Seriously: Buble - despite having the sort of pain which makes you seek out a dentist, Buble was still charm itself. He might be a hoofer, but he's a hell of a trooper.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Matthew Healy saves dog, car; except doesn't, quite

Karen and Yasemin Gokoglu spotted Matthew Healy out of the 1975 doing a thing, and ran over excitedly to have their photo taken with him.

After all, as the Western Morning News observes, he's not just Matthew Healy, he's...

Hunky Matthew Healy from the group 'The 1975'
Trouble is, he's so very, very hunky he had caused them to lose their minds, and forget something basic. They'd forgotten to put the handbrake on their car.

The car - complete with dog on backseat - started to roll away:
Matthew saw it rolling down hill with their pet Shih Tzu on the back seat and the trio gave chase - before red-faced Karen was able to hop inside and apply the brakes.
The Western Morning News headlines this adventure:
Well-known pop star saves Mercedes from run-away disaster in Plymouth
As we've noted before, if your name isn't strong enough to make sense in a headline, you're probably not actually well-known at all. (And "well-known"? Not even "famous"? Could the subs not come up with a milder term? "Slightly familiar pop star...")

And he didn't actually save the car, as we've heard, because it was Karen who jumped in the car and saved it.

Hunky Matthew Healy was in town for an MTV Crash gig, which would give us an easy, lazy punchline but...
Karen said [...] "I can laugh about it now but I was shaking like a leaf at the time. I've only had the car two weeks. It could have really been an MTV crash."
Karen's beaten me to it. Faster than Hunky Matthew Healy running down a hill, faster than everyone for hitting a punchline.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Apparently they're still talking about the second multiplex

It seemed, about six years ago, the idea of a second national DAB multiplex died with Channel 4 Radio. Certainly, now that so many people listen to the radio (and "radio") through the internet the idea that anyone would want to invest a fortune reviving the idea in 2014 seems unlikely... hang on... what's this, mediaGuardian?

Commercial radio rivals Magic owner Bauer and TalkSport parent UTV Media have joined forces in a bid to succeed where Channel 4 failed with a joint application to run the second national digital radio multiplex.

The radio groups have teamed up with transmission business Arqiva for their application for the licence to run the second nationwide digital audio broadcasting (DAB) platform, which will be home to around 10 new national radio services.
Why? In god's name, why?
Arqiva owns the only national DAB multiplex to launch to date, Digital One, which is full to capacity with 14 stations, including five from Bauer – Absolute Radio and its spin-offs Absolute 80s and Absolute Radio 90s, Planet Rock and Kiss – and UTV’s TalkSport.
Mmmm. Full to capacity. It's certainly true that there are no spare slots on the DAB One Multiplex, but given that Smooth is about to leave the multiplex and is being replaced with yet-another-late-20th-century oldies station the idea that there's a load of exciting ideas just waiting to find space seems unlikely.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Washington and Qantas settle

Remember almost a year ago Megan Washington got upset when Qantas posted video of her singing a song praising the company?

The case she bought has been settled, although the terms of the agreement aren't being revealed. So it could be anything from an extra bread roll with an in-flight meal, to two tickets between Brisbane and Adelaide.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Consumers Association about to kick ticket agencies' asses

Long-running complaints about ticket agencies are going to come to a head this week, with the Consumer Association telling them to justify their add-on costs or face a formal referral to the Competition & Markets Authority:

"Consumers can often feel ripped-off with widely varying and often high ticket fees, so we've put companies on notice to step up and Play Fair on Ticket Fees," said Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, quoting the name of the consumer body's ongoing ticket fee campaign. "They need to justify their fees and treat their customers fairly, or we will take our evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority."
The weasel-livered explanation offered for charging people to print out their own tickets on their own printers in their own homes is, apparently, the agencies need to check the tickets when they're presented at the venue. Righto.

Bookmarks: 4AD

This is a few months old now, and so you've probably already consumed it and moved on, but just in case...

BookD interviews Matt Johnson, Miki Berenyi and Simon Raymonde about their time on 4AD.

Gary Barlow to launch investigation into how he could have been avoiding tax

I think the most heartbreaking thing about Gary Barlow's response to his tax "avoiding" ways is that it's taken him months of knotted-brow think-clunking to come up with the "I know, I'll pretend that when I signed off on that scheme that was going to save me all that tax, nobody told me I was signing off on a scheme that was going to avoid tax" defence:

He is now investigating how accounting staff allowed his money to be put into the fund.

The singer has vowed to “leave no stone unturned”.
It's not clear yet whether Barlow has appointed a person to carry out this investigation into Barlow, but rumours suggest he might invite Gary Barlow to lead the inquiry.
A source close to the star revealed: “This is an incredibly complex issue and Gary is looking into it carefully.

"He is trying to get to the bottom of it."
'For instance, just yesterday, he went through one of the big chests stuffed with money and jewels to see if he could find any of the paperwork relating to the tax scheme.' (Pictured)

The "source" is keen to stress that there's no way that Gary could be expected to know what he was doing:
“Gary’s view is that he put his trust in the hands of financial experts. He is a musician, he knows nothing about money, he never has, so he entrusted people to advise him.

“He writes music and he sings and he pays finance ­experts to keep his money safe and do the right thing with it.

"Gary isn’t evil, he isn’t a money grabber and he is very upset about this."
Very, very upset. You know, how can you be expected to know when your financial advisors tell you that putting your money into a scheme will magic away your tax liabilities that that's a bad thing to do, right?
“He isn’t passing the buck ­either.

“He is trying to sort this out, to make sure others don’t find themselves in the same position.”
That's Gary Barlow, there, bravely not passing the buck by, erm, blaming his advisors and threatening to sue them.

You'll notice that Barlow's ire is directed at finding out who got him involved in the arrangements that got him into trouble. If he was really contrite, wouldn't he be trying to get sympathetic journalists to write about how he's investigating if he's been badly advised into joining other schemes?

This week just gone

Five years ago: These are the July 2009 stories which have proved most popular since:

1. Panic At The Disco split
2. Daily Mirror invents feud between Little Boots and the Saturdays
3. Win Alison Mosshart's jeans
4. RIP: Gordon from Peter & Gordon
5. Sandi Thom releases a greatest hits albums
6. Video: MGMT cover Voices Carry
7. @diditleak alerts people to leaky music
8. Janes Addiction wants to take copyright in any photos of them
9. Charles Moore decides its okay to not pay licence fee because of Jonathan Ross
10. One of the Jonas Brothers get engaged

These were out this week, and worth thinking about:

Comet Gain - Paperback Ghosts

Download Paperback Ghosts

Sweet Baboo - The Marc Riley BBC Sessions

Plank! - Hivemind

Download Hivemind

Sia - 1000 Forms Of Fear

Download 1000 Forms Of Fear

Pete Fij & Terry Bickers - Broken Heart Surgery

Download Broken Heart Surgery

Manic Street Preachers - Futurology

Download Futurology

Marc Almond - Ten Plagues

Download Ten Plagues