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IT'LL ALL BE OVER BY CHRISTMAS

  • Steve Lamacq
  • 28 Nov 08, 02:30 PM

Usually the only dust-up you'd find in the music industry in the run-up to Christmas is a small bout of marketing-led fisticuffs over whose Greatest Hits albums have got the best shelf space in Asda - or the Gumball Rally style race for the Christmas Number One.

That's just the record industry dueling with a couple of wet fish.

But not this year. This year it is all out war. Not only are the major corporations haunted by another 12 months of falling sales, but there is a new battleground they're desperate for success on: market share.

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THE TURNER PRIZE

  • Steve Lamacq
  • 20 Nov 08, 02:39 PM

frankturner.jpg

Frank Turner looks nine feet tall, with a grin that must measure a foot wide. Looking out from a cramped stage, the former punk rock drummer turned Bragg-style troubadour beams a 200 Watt smile as the assembled rowdy audience underpin a rousing chorus of his song Reasons Not To Be An Idiot.

This is one of my favourite memories of this year's Reading Festival - watching Turner in the Radio 1 Punk Tent. But what a year he's had. Looking at his live itinerary you start to suspect his agent has been playing some sort of join the dots type game with him and his touring schedule. He's been all over Europe, through America - and even made his debut at the Cambridge Folk Festival.

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PRINGLE: ONCE YOU POP YOU CAN'T STOP

  • Steve Lamacq
  • 10 Nov 08, 11:36 AM

I went to see Slummin' Angels last week, who aren't Slummin' Angels anymore. They're now called Bleech, which is a surprisingly good new moniker for the east London trio who make a brooding sort of confrontational grunge pop. They could equally be Babes In Toyland's lost support group or a band who wouldn't be out of place sharing a bill with The Subways.

bleech.jpg

But the name change is interesting - suggested to them by Andy Ross, their new manager and one time kingpin of Food Records. Ross, I like to think of as an old-school A&R man who, rather than worrying about the numbers of hits the group are receiving on MySpace, worries about things like songs and perception. The nitty-gritty.

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SQUEEZED IN

  • Steve Lamacq
  • 3 Nov 08, 01:40 PM

Apologies for the lack of posts over the past month but I've been all over the place recently - not least a week off in Marrakech sampling the delights of Moroccan ambient pool music (a good way of cleaning the old ears out).

But I've also been involved in the judging for this year's Student Radio Awards which take place on Thursday night; been out on the road doing some DJing; and promoted a BBC Introducing gig as part of the Electric Proms (of which more later).

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