Or "Canadace Station", as she seems to have been dubbed on YouTube:
[Part of Glastonbury 2008 videos]
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Or "Canadace Station", as she seems to have been dubbed on YouTube:
BBDO say their joke is a repeat, but then Glastonbury is about the classics, isn't it?
Gowherehiphop catches Lupe Fiasco's slightly-more-political-than-Borrell-at-Hyde-Park speech:
David Cameron, we're given to understand, has already welcomed this endorsement of the Conservatives.
John Demetriou takes the Mail to task for its less-than-enthusiastic embrace of the festival:
You can just hear the selfish old bitter cunts now, as they read this story pretending not to look at the pictures of fruity looking girls swanning by: “ooooooh, how much? hooowww much? And I’m going to have to pay for this!”
The reader's responses are also explored:
Yeeeeah, close it dooowwn, now. Nuurrgh.
What an absolute spanner. What the hell has pitching tents close together in a wet and damp environment got to do with fire hazards, and if there were fire hazards, don’t you think this would have been looked into?
It's a good point, though - we're betting none of those tents have got fire escapes, much less clear signage pointing out the emergency exits. Something must be done.
[Part of the Glastonbury Weekend]
Given the between songs stuff which the BBC have left in during the Winehouse set, you have to wonder what the hell they've been axing when you get a very obvious jump cut from song to song.
Much of the between tracks bits we've seen have been attempts to raise the status of jailed thug Blake to some sort of national hero - when the audience tried to object, Winehouse lectured them about "being rude". We're treated to a rambling reminiscence about how they met - "he hit me over the head with a cricket bat" she reveals, before realising that with his reputation, it's probably best to point out that this wasn't literal.
She's almost gone over a couple of times, too - once neatly saved by a backing dancer. You wonder if they're actually trained doctors, too; the insurance bill would be greatly reduced if the help is on stage rather than in the wings.
And is it worth it, this performance? Not really. Even if you didn't care for what she did, you couldn't deny that she did it well, but this version of her is more a demonstration of what she had. A Joe Longthorne version of Amy Winehouse. Sure, it's unquestionably a bloody impressive for a woman who was at death's door (or at least up the same street) this time last week - but that makes it sadder. Do we really need a spectacle of a woman apparently risking her life, and certainly teetering on the edge of disaster, to warm us up for Jay-Z?
She's dancing like a nervous geologist passing a particularly persistent parasite, too.
Winehouse has kicked off BBC Two's coverage for the evening, where things are helmed by Laverne and Radcliffe and, erm, an introduction where Andrew Marr suggests we take lots of underpants to Pilton.
Back over on BBC Three, earlier, we leaped into the middle of what we thought at first was an interview with someone from a previous series of Big Brother. Suddenly, we realised it wasn't - quite - but instead was Will Young. Even Young might have been surprised at how much screen time he got, indulging with Bowman in the creation of what a straight man might imagine a gay man's fantasy world to be. Something about Jay-Z being supported by Dale Winton, since you ask.
More surprising, though, was Zane Lowe's fawning in the face of Will, praising him as a "credible artist". It turns out that they were waiting for Hot Chip to take the stage, and so we were watching a bobbing boat clinging to a giant Will Young flotation device. We say this often, we say this each year, but: why not just slap on some recorded music in the lulls between live stuff?
Damn, though: it's spooky how close to Edwyn Collins Reggie Youngblood sometimes sounds.
[Parts of this post have been made possible through the generous assistance of the Mr Copper Foundation; part of Glastonbury 2008]
She's turned up, at least...
A brief glimpse of a smiling John Peel, and then we're in to a slice of Placebo's 1998 Glastonbury set that, clearly, has been lifted from someone's Brian Molko VHS stash - though it how survived from the endless freeze-framing, we'll never know.
[Part of Glastonbury 1998]
Now, that's horrifying: the Press Red service crashes while loading - Neon Neon are just kicking off I Told Her In Alderaan on the right hand side, but the television is locked on Crowded House on the left. It must be what middle age feels like - desperate to hang out on the young people's side, but being forced to languish in the middle of the road.
By the time the system has been rebooted, Neon Neon are just shooting themselves in the foot by bringing on Har Mar Superstar. NB, Neon Neon: this is not what most people mean by the phrase "very special guest". It's interesting to see that Har Mar has given up on the seedy porn look in favour of something a little more owner-of-a-failing-sports-bar-in-the-midwest.
There's little escape; demands of the tennis mean the other channel choices are blank until darkness falls on SE11, so it's this, or Crowded House. When, by the way, did Joe Longthorne take over as the lead singer with Crowded House? It would make some sort of sense to sign Longthorne up as replacement for lost lead singers, now I come to think of it - the man of a million voices could fit right in any group as a replacement without much disruption. Especially if the original lead sounded like Shirley Bassey to a greater or lesser extent.
Duffy, back on BBC Three proper, is trying to show why everyone's excited by her; still can't see it, though. It's worth noting, however, that she is dressed like the set-up to a punchline on a dirty seaside postcard.
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
In the ever-present, always-on world, it's no surprise that this weekend's performances are hitting the net almost as soon as they happen. Last night's MGMT, for example, is already up:
More YouTubeage from 2008 to come
Candi Staton - You've Got The Love
Amy Winehouse fightstar
Jimmy Cliff - Wild World
Noah And The Whale - Five Years Time
Band Of Horses - Older
Guardian blogger Alex Hoban gives Beth Ditto a gift, a dissertation about Beth Ditto:
And it happened, just as I imagined. Entering her dressing room she fanned herself forward in a breezy floral dress like a new Aphrodite against which beauty must be measured. Many platitudes were exchanged as I handed her the chalice of my endeavours and, visibly enthused by the whole situation, she promised to read it and get back in touch to let me know what she thought.
A big important book all about how important Beth Ditto. However did he know?
Holy Fuck are going in prepared:
Tomorrow we head to the Glastonbury Festival where we’re playing the John Peel Stage. Hopefully the hippies are kinder to Jay-Z than they were to Kanye. And hopefully we don’t drown in the mud as it’s already been raining and continues to do so today. Brian is set as he has his Canadian-branded wellies.
Let's hope his wellingtons find favour - Fashionologie takes Daisy Lowe to task for a "no-no":
On the other hand, wearing wipe-clean trousers makes sense when you're kneedeep in mud, surely?
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
TimS has posted a snapshot of a flipchart with the latest Glasto stats on: 342 crimes, 33 transfers to hospitals, 1 arrested tent thief and "crime virtually zero" (although what the tent thief was doing isn't clear, then.)
Hey, you sass that Norman Cook? There's a man who knows where his towel is. Photo by Whiper under a creative commons license.
Meanwhile, it seems that Adam Buxton hasn't completed the BBC training video on location filming and this is as close as anyone got to Shakin Stevens and survived.
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
Metronomy are having a lovely time at Glastonbury, although Gigwise shows they might be enjoying the grumbling as much as the fun:
Oscar was singled out by the band for being a Glastonbury virgin, and a somewhat subdued Oscar quipped: “I haven’t seen any evidence that it’s so special. It sounds really harsh but maybe I will. We don’t want to be ungrateful. I am having a good time.”
Q went to see Shakin' Stevens, who seems to have confused his invite to play with an interest in what he's doing now:
Surely this would have been an opportunity to wheel out the entire back catalogue of hits rather than using it as a showcase for new songs?
Especially since he didn't do Green Door. And, as Q observed, there'd been a literally-minded request in the shape of:
And is the NME still running eye-catching headlines that don't really stack up?
Scroll down, and down, and down, and you find this:
So, it's not actually defiance as such, it's just turning down a polite request. And it's probably not that seriously asked anyway - after all, hardly anyone would recognise an old Kings of Leon track, so it doesn't make much of a difference if they slip in some new ones, does it?
It's not just because it was hell on earth that 98 seems like the pivotal Glastonbury - there were signs all over that things were shifting. The sense of being isolated from the rest of the world was vanishing quickly, as mobile recharging stands and cashpoints were popping up all over. Down in the market area, slick corporate booths flogging phones sat alongside the blankets and patchouli-scented headscarves. Robbie Williams knew it was the place to reboot a stalled career. And it was the year where the TV coverage started to ramp up. In 1999, the BBC would be covering Glastonbury like a heavy-handed Tory council CCTV initiative.
There were gaps in 98, though - so, sorry, there doesn't seem to be an Ultrasound or Kenickie as the second stage didn't seem to get any daylight acts recorded. There is, however, footage of Catatonia, so hopefully this'll do:
[Part of Glastonbury 1998]
Bjork - the planned headliner for Vince Power and Geoff Oakes Go Wild In The Country Knebworth fest - has pulled out with a week to go.
If that sounds last minute, according to her explanation, it sums up the festival's approach:
Are there now so many festivals we're facing a scrap for rigs and speakers? Has it come to this?
Effectively, the Sun's coverage is hanging this morning on triumphantly blowing the Doherty isn't coming story out the water:
Pete was top notch, performing to a dedicated following who finally believe he cares more about the music than the drugs.
Hang about, Nadia Mendoza - that sounds like a dangerous deviation from the paper's party line, there.
Nadia's coverage of Franz Ferdinand's discovery of the risks of turning up as a surprise too high up the bill is pretty good, too:
The Scottish rockers played a surprise set on the Park Stage before the British rapper, leaving the crowd bewildered and second guessing if the hip-hopper would turn up.
Polite applause and confusion left what should have been a fantastic set somewhat tainted.
We were surprised, though, that Nadia seemed both bemused how The Subways could be familiar enough to be on the main stage, and yet also convinced their songs were too over-familiar to be worth bothering with.
While The Sun is berating those who fall for rumours, it's slightly kinder on the people who ran stories about Dolly Parton's surprise plans - what with that being the boss, and all. No Dolly, no way, as she's playing at the other end of the country.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Mirror is leading its coverage with an interview with Martha Wainwright, and a sad tale of lost footwear:
The paper also found tickets on eBay for a tenner. So, Michael Eavis has finally beaten the touts - by tanking the resale value of the tickets.
The Mail has spotted Kate Moss, and so can now go home happy. She didn't speak to them, so the paper made do with the next best thing:
The Guardian's coverage focuses more heavily on the music, offering a handy scorecard of the acts so far:
Candi Staton - 9
Ting Tings - 8
Vampire Weekend - 8
Glasvegas - 7
Glasvegas probably lost a couple of points for being on a rival sponsor's stage.
The Telegraph has sent Tom Chivers down to battle through the crowds, although he does seem to be relying on his rivals to keep him in the loop:
But he rallies, and gets a scoop of his own:
Morrissey? Bloody hell - the tickets'll be lucky to make a fiver on eBay, then...
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
You could hear the sigh of relief releasing itself from Television Centre a country mile away, as it became increasingly clear that Mandela's 90th Birthday Party was going to have to shift from being solely a celebration of his life to having a political angle as Zimbabwe became harder and harder to ignore. Sure, nobody would suggest that calling for fair elections in Harare should be balanced with getting a spokesperson in to insist that there should be more repression, not less, but having got boiled over Live Earth and Live 8, you imagine that BBC management must have been relieved to not worry about another knees-up turning a little bit op-ed.
As it turned out, though, they needn't have worried, as it fell to Johnny Borrell to be the voice of the world's conscience. "All we are saying is democracy for Zimbabwe" he pleaded. Or would have done, had he not stumbled over the 'democracy' - a bit like Mugabe, really.
Winehouse did make it out of hospital - although, as she apparently substituted "free Blakey my fella" for "free Nelson Mandela" during the finale, perhaps it would have been better if she hadn't done. Unless morality has shifted so badly that we're suggesting political activism and boorish barroom brawls are now indistinguishable. (Mind you, we've only got the Sun's word for it that she sang those words.)
The Lightning Seeds 98 set marked another piece of Glastonbury's legendary piss-poor planning. On the first night, England were due to play Colombia in World Cup Match, upon which hung the chances of the team's progression to be crushingly defeated in the middle stages of the contest. Perhaps hoping that the various attractions of the festival might keep people away from the prospect of Jimmy Hill in his lucky St Georges bow tie - on a big screen, mother - the decision was taken to show the match only in the cinema field.
It might have just about worked, too, had the start of World Cup Grandstand (as it still was then, correctly) not dovetailed with the Lightning Seeds finishing their set on the Pyramid Stage with a rousing Three Lions. Stood in the cinema field, you could hear thousands of voices raised insisting there'd be no more years of hurt before the Seeds went off the stage and their audience turned to traipse towards the cinema stage. Up some narrow, already muddy lanes.
Luckily, realising they had unleashed a health and safety nightmare, the organisers suddenly decided to patch the match through to the screens at the side of the stage.
Then it started pissing down anyway, so all but the strongest gave up before the half-time business.
In order to avoid health and safety nightmares here, and because live Three Lions was so ropey it doesn't seem to have made it onto YouTube, here's them doing The Life Of Riley instead:
[Part of Glastonbury 1998]
Friday, June 27, 2008
Joe Lean has, the NME tells us, compared himself to Hitler during the Jing Jang Jong's set. Not, unfortunately, in the sense that he's about to escape justice, but simply because he looked a bit like him in a video:
Although, of course, it's not as bad as thinking like Hitler. Having said which, you can beat Labour in a by-election doing that these days.
The NME's coverage does seem to have hit on "eye-catching headline on a ho-hum story that actually says the opposite" framework for Glastonbury. So, we also get this:
Only for the story to reveal that he's guilty in a good way:
Still, let's just ponder this for a moment: who is actually stopping Ditto from camping to wait and see Jay-Z? If she's that jealous, why doesn't she send a minion to Bristol to pick up some stuff from Millets and pitch a tent?
And is it just us, or does this "ooh, Jay-Z's made this a good festival" just smack of the most desperate bid to sound contrairian? I don't ever recall Ditto having accused Glastonbury of not being good in the past, and certainly never bemoaning the lack of hip-hop stars on the bill.
Meanwhile, Gigwise shows how to write a headline that sums up the story honestly, and with passion:
Q meanwhile is slightly hobbled by its official role as "partner", and so is having to do all the public service. Actually, the story about Billy Bragg, Dirty Pretty Things and Bluetones doing charity work for the guitars-for-prison charity is a strong one, and it's in a noble cause. It's a pity they've hidden it under an apologetic heading:
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
Were The Feeling doing I Thought It Was Over live? Really live? It didn't sound like it was coming from a stage in a unseasonally autumnal field.
BBC Three is currently being anchored by Edith Bowman and Zane Lowe - Lowe, surely, must be wondering if he's ever going to get any work from the BBC besides festivals and the Evening Session slot by now. Clearly, the City Of Domes that is modern Radio One means he can't do that forever, and it looks like he's attempting to slightly reposition himself enough to open some other lines of employment. Calmer, controlled, almost suave. But he's never going to get a National Lottery themed gameshow, is he?
Bowman is laughing like a tractor sinking into a slurry tank; Rufus Hound is filling up acres of air time with those pointless roving reports that they seem to think are integral to the programme - Hound does 'em well, but it doesn't alter the fact the reason why most of us are watching on TV is we don't want to spend time with the sort of eccentrically-behatted types who clutter up the campsites like a wacky invading army, so we really don't want to hear what they have to say. Especially when, as the woman who was just on, it's "I have a different outfit each day, pink yesterday, multi-colour today... these are my friends from London, but I see them most weekends despite coming from..." Where? Wales? Scotland? Spain? Nope... "... Kent." Not all the way from Kent to London, a distance of less than no miles.
Lupe Fiasco has, somewhat optimistically, encouraged people to sing along "if you know the words." The audience tried, but thought the words were "polite cheer".
Edith and Zane are trying to talk up the Jay-Z set - "word has definitely got to him about the reaction to his set" suggests Zane, letting us into the secret we wouldn't have heard unless we had ears or eyes of some sort.
Editors were pretty good - you can see why people peg them as a bit like Coldplay - they even have the same wet beards, but it's like comparing a microwave curry with the proper deal in a restuarant. Yes, there's a sense of the flavours being similar, but only one offers a real experience of textures, and surprises, and satisfaction.
This year's entertainment value has been increased greatly by adding the Guardian's Great Lyrics booklets, allowing countless rounds of 'One song to the tune of another'.
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
At the moment, it's one-nil to the stay-at-homes. Our Man In Newcastle relishes being in Newcastle:
A quick look at the webcam and it looked, well, dry. And there are few better places in the world than a dry Glastonbury.
But then I just checked again and this is what the place looks like now and all of a sudden I’m glad I’ll be tuning into to it on the sofa later.
Yes, it's pouring. Just like Carol Kirkwood claimed it wouldn't.
Mind you, someone sees this as an opportunity, claims the Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe:
The Premier, Mike Rann said that rain was so predictable at the festival that it could help to turn things around in South Australia, facing another summer of drought.
They could just try hiring Michael Eavis to tell them it's raining.
Tamsin is also glad to be home:
The Beat Happening is coming at you from the press tent, via the magic of wifi:
And let's put the cynicism to one side for a moment. Glastonbury can be magic:
life of a so-called shutterbug reminds us how:
The post is tagged 'husband'.
It's a tradition (= we did it last year and so will do it again this year) for us to remind ourselves of a gentler, happier Glastonbury ten years ago through the medium of video while the new event is pouring out of Somerset.
Except, of course, ten years ago wasn't happy. It was bloody miserable; we know, because - while Blur were doing this set - we were stood watching them. Except, we weren't standing. We were treading water, to try and stop the top of our boots disappearing under the churning mud. It looks so much better from here:
More videos - and embittered reminiscence, no doubt - as the weekend continues
Lightning Seeds - The Life Of Riley
Catatonia - Road Rage
Placebo - Lady Of The Flowers
Portishead - Western Eyes
Underworld - Born Slippy
Or, things you don't want to read in the subject lines of your inbox:
They've got enough for a double. Send your children to the higher ground, and make peace with god.
We know, we know: you're sick of bloody Glastonbury and if you were that bothered you'd have gone down to Somerset.
Luckily, it's possible to have some fun without catching trench foot or having Michael Eavis bark 'you ARE having fun' at you. Because this weekend, UNKLE are starting a sort of scavenger hunt, where you can start to collect a mini album from across four websites. The tracks go together to make up a whole piece, and they themselves are a bit of the forthcoming UNKLE album proper. There's a press release which explains it all:
The four tracks will be made available as follows:
Track 5 - Kaned And Abel via UNKLE.com on Fri, June 27th
Track 8 - Chemical (feat. Josh Homme) via Pitchfork on Mon, June 30th
Track 6 - Blade In The Back (feat. Gavin Clark) via Rcrdlbl.com on Wed, July 2nd
Track 7 - Synthetic Water via UNKLE77.com on Fri, July 4th
You can scamper about the internet gathering the pieces from now. Or, of course, save yourself the effort and buy End Titles… Stories for Film when it comes out instead.
Guess who's not going to turn up at Glastonbury? Or, indeed, anywhere else much.
Okay, Amy Winehouse was a good guess, but it's not right (at least, not yet) - this time, it's Pete Doherty who has pulled out. And cancelled the Babyshambles tour, and possibly even fired his tour manager.
But we bet Gordon Smart still believes in his story about a Barat-Doherty reunion during the weekend.
Boris Johnson isn't: He's in Glastonbury, hanging out with very dubious company indeed.
This year, it seems, is to be the year when on-site unofficial coverage of Glastonbury is going to become familiar - for the last couple of festivals, there have been a couple of blogs attempting to report from the mud, but this year it's looking like that there's going to be a constant stream of coverage.
DJSemtex blogged before leaving:
It could be the mud, it could be the fact that I wont be doing my radio show tonight, it could be the fact that its gonna take 8 hours to get there.
He's also planning to Twitter, although according to that he's been watching the Hulk for a week.
Fat Butcher's off there, too, although sounding a bit more positive, although less keen to do everything live:
My first major festival sets of the year, working with Bassline Circus and Pointless Productions, will be updating with photos on my return.
Those who are staying at home seem content with their choice. The Crazy is Catching reckons it'd have been better for a year off; Tizyertiz reckons it should be "put out to pasture" altogether, and isn't sure about Jay-Z - and is able to call on experience of the last Glasto/hip-hop pyramid experiment to support their working:
That - liquid on stage - can ruin an act, as KANYE WEST YELLED AT US JUST THE OTHER DAY.
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
It's not enough that Glastonbury has embraced commercialism whole-heartedly, as every other company in the world jostles for a piece of Glasto-related coverage.
A bank rushes out a press release to somehow link Glastonbury with pension planning:
"Not only are the over 50s taking over the line-ups at festivals but they are also making up a large proportion of the crowds - which just goes to show more and more over 50s have ambitions to enjoy exciting challenges and experiences well into later life."
Of course, using Leonard Cohen as an example of planning shrewdly for your retirement is taking you onto dodgy ground.
Anyway, will you have any money left over to invest in pensions if you listen to an insurance company, which warns you to make sure you get insurance:
"Our research shows that many music lovers are taking unnecessary risks by storing expensive goods in tents, carrying pricey items on them and failing to consider protecting themselves from theft. We urge all festival goers this summer to plan ahead, only take what they need to as well as checking their cover before they go."
It might be a bit late sending out the press release when people are already half-sleeping in their tents.
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
"Some people think she's just a pair of tits", you know. Yes, Gordon Smart surpasses himself by running a photo of Dolly Parton that looks like something you would have seen in a swingers' magazine.
He pushes his point home home in the story:
But I didn’t realise they meant the size of her boobs.
Do you see? She has breasts! Ha ha ha! Breasts!
Smart also runs the exciting news of Libertines reunion:
Oh, no. It's a guess:
A guess which, over in the Daily Star, is being strongly ruled out by Carl Barat:
The Mail spots Amy Winehouse shopping for alcohol and Euro 2008 stickers:
(Why would you give your fans pictures of footballers? Why would that be your first guess?)
The paper is sure she'll be at Glastonbury, having got it from the horse's mouth:
The festival’s 72-year-old founder revealed last night that he was looking forward to seeing Miss Winehouse’s scheduled performance on Saturday more than any other.
An offer of a helicopter to fly her in and out of Glastonbury to assure her the minimum of stress has also been put in place.
Of course, given that Eavis had been confidently predicting a sell-out and a dry festival, you might want to take that with a giant salt lick.
Lucy Bannerman in The Times warns that rain might be the least of fans' problems this year:
Those who have pitched tents on the site at 900-acre Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, will have to steel themselves for strong southwesterly winds, which are predicted throughout the festival. Light showers are also expected today and tomorrow, but campers should escape the torrential downpours that have blighted previous years. Temperatures will hang around the 19C (66F) to 20C mark.
The Somerset County Gazette counters that, actually, you should fear water, too:
What of the bands, though? The regional presses go for local heroes. The Daily Record ignores the Jay-Z hoo-hah and the will she won't she Wineshe, and reveals who the star of the event will be:
Oddly, the Glasgow paper chooses to focus on a down-page act on the Greenpeace stage rather than, say, bigger Scottish names. But then maybe that's understandable - would you really want to claim the Fratellis as your own?
Preparing for their slot, the Fratellis moan to the Guardian about their image:
"You can't pick your fans, can you?" he asks, having settled himself at an outdoor table overlooking the canal that runs behind the Paradiso. "But we're grateful to have fans. And I think when people describe us as a band to get drunk to, or a party band, it shows you how out of fashion rock'n'roll is. We get described as a pub band, but that's what rock'n'roll is. Twist and Shout was three chords and 'C'mon, c'mon, c'mon' - it was nonsensical. But that was why it was effective."
The Evening Gazette has two Teesside acts to cheer for:
DIRTY WEEKEND submitted their demo tape in a competition and beat thousands of other hopefuls to bag themselves a spot.
Eben the Chorley Citizen has found a local angle:
Mind you, if the United Press International is to be believed, there's going to be more bands than fans there:
Bloody hell - 100,000 unsold tickets? No wonder Eavis was loooking worried...
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Mark from the Wichita Recordings blog is travelling down with a "random posse" and hoping that the site makes its magic happen:
And if magic doesn't work for you, there's always faith. More faith than ever before, explains TotallyJewish:
And if you're not interested in magic, and not bothered by faith, there's always sex. Dirty Converse is covering the festival from the lesbian's point-of-view:
“Charlie Dimmock’s got nothing on her,” was one of the more polite comments I overheard while watching my first display of chainsaw tree sculpting. Picture a well built woman in jeans brandishing a fucking huge motorised saw, carving up tree stumps like they are pieces of cheese.
Bolsoversion isn't going. And was happy with the choice. Until they realised what they'd done:
On the up side, I will be sleeping the next four nights in a warm bed, not a hard tent floor, but this doesn’t reduce my jealousy.
All I am now hoping for is a little bit of rain. Not too much (I don’t want to wish the misery of Sunday 2007 on my friends and family) but maybe just a bit.
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
This is the scene from Glastonbury now - or at 10.17 this evening, anyway - as captured by the BBC webcam. They've made a widget so you can poke it wherever you like, too.
The BBC are predicting that it's going to rain heavily tomorrow; Weather.co.uk suggest rain tonight, tomorrow and on Saturday. But Gigwise found someone prepared to buck the gloomy predictions:
His daughter, talking to the NME, was slightly less positive about the prospects, but still upbeat:
"It's beautiful down here today, It's boiling hot," Eavis explained. "I'm expecting a bit of a shower at some point over the weekend but we think it will be pretty fine all weekend from knowing what it's like here."
Sponsors Q have actually put on some music:
Glasvegas and Santogold (pictured) were among those to benefit from the huge interest in the Queen's Head and the "up for it" crowd happily tolerated the latter's slightly late appearance after getting stuck in traffic on the way to the Somerset site.
Here's a simple rule of thumb: if you're going to use a creaking with-it phrase like up for it, daddio, don't draw attention to it by putting it in quotes.
Back to Michael Eavis, finally: the first video from this year's events to hit YouTube is this, shot at the official opening:
[Part of Glastonbury 2008]
Current TV take a break from the usual gap-year-meets-Damien-Day fare to make room for this:
The Ting Tings talking about things.
This is New Wave Nigel, one of the characters you could collect at American branches of McDonalds as an American Idol themed toy with the Happy Meals.
Why, yes, there is a passing resemblance to Devo, what with the hat and all. And, since you mention it, Devo have noticed, too. And they're not Happy:
By Co-Opting DEVO's Energy Dome
We recently discovered that DEVO has once again unwittingly intersected with mainstream pop culture.
McDonald's fast food restaurants are offering a series of American Idol TV show themed toys in their children's Happy Meals. One of the toys is named "New Wave Nigel", who sports an orange jumpsuit, punk shades, and an unmistakable DEVO Energy Dome. Flipping a switch plays a DEVO-esque song (which sounds a bit like a mutated version of DEVO's Doctor Detroit.
Was DEVO ever contacted by McDonald's, American Idol, or anyone else involved in making and distributing this toy wearing their trademark headgear?
Of course not. Pioneers who got scalped....again.
It's disgusting, this sort of commercial exploitation of a band who set their face against commerce. Except when they did the 2003 advert for Swiffer.
We're given to understand they had been negotiating to create an "Are we not Bells? We are Taco - T-A-C-O" campaign for a rival chain.
After the claims that Coldplay might have borrowed one of the songs on their new album, former Macca PR bloke turned Coldplay spokesperson Murray Chalmers issued a strident denial:
It's a terrible thing to be accused of, plaigarism, isn't it... oh, hang on, though, what's this The Times has noticed in an interview for Borders?:
It's curious to delight in your own musical 'borrowing' only to throw a massive strop when someone else accuses you of the same thing; perhaps it's just the band can't bear to be thought of stealing off people like Creaky Boards.
Perhaps the decision to pre-announce Franz Ferdinand's 'surprise' appearance at Glastonbury tomorrow night is intended to try and shift some of those last few thousand tickets. But you can't help wondering if a surprise is slightly diminished by, erm, not being a surprise at all.
As inevitable now as the pictures of mud-covered teenagers, this is our annual post which gathers together the weekend posts marking Glastonbury.
You can read all the posts by checking the glastonbury 2008 tag.
3,000 openings: charities pay price of Glasto overstock
Guardian download freebie album
Franz Ferdinand: Surprise! Oh, not any more
Online: Webcams, weather and wellies
Blogs: Jews, lesbians and not going
Paper round: Dolly's breasts, local heroes and missing 100,000
Online: PR jostles for coverage
Blogs: Memories of Eminem and promise of Tweets
Boris and Billy: together at last
No show Doherty
Blog round-up: Staying, and staying together
On TV: Does Zane Lowe have a plan B? Or a plan A-and-a-half?
Web round-up: For the love of pies
Paper round: Martha's wellies, and 2009's headliner revealed
Web round-up: Eavis fibs, Shaky disappoints
Flickr dip: Cook and crime
Blogs: A present for Beth Ditto
On TV: Crowded House, Neon Neon, Duffy
On TV: Amy staggers and Will Young appears
Blog round-up: The hitherto-unseen fire risk
Flickr dip: Duffy, positions for watching and complaints
Paper round: Winehouse lashes out, get lashed
Web round-up: Jay-Z fights himself
Morning-after round-up: Jay-Z and James Blunt
This year's festival video
Lest we forget
Britain could be about to follow South Korea and offer a proper, licensed peer-to-peer network, as a result of government banging together heads of record companies and ISPs:
Interesting - if the Andrew Orlowski's report is correct, then it seems the reason why the BPI have been reluctant to push for legislation bringing in three strikes is fear of what the balance would be in return, then.
There are wrinkles still to be sorted out - not least the question of how much this is going to cost. Would we be expected to pay, say, eMusic subscription rates for a service where the consumer is providing the infrastructure for distribution - in other words, why should a subscriber pay as much for delivery when they drive to the depot to collect the product, and then drop off packages for other people?
More to the point, seriously, could the music industry cope with not being able to paint p2p as an evil, thief-riddled technology and play its part in promoting the idea that all that stuff they warned you about - viruses, secret porn, people stealing your files, cooties - isn't a problem all of a sudden?
[Thanks to Duncan G]
While Gordon Smart was struggling to make something out of 'couple do different jobs; go to different places' this morning, he could have actually asked his colleagues on the Times' law desk if they had something a bit meatier.
They did: Frances Gibb and Adam Sherwin were reporting that Fiona Shackleton has been set up to represent Madonna if and when something decree-related happens. Shackleton, of course, took one for the Macca team when Heather Mills poured water over during the McCartney divorce sideshow, we think to indicate how terrible it was being portrayed as bit unpredictable by the media. It's not known if Guy Ritchie has an arsenal of water pistols, but chances are.
Fire! FIRE! Run for your lives... Glastonbury's aflame.
Oh, hang on... it's not: there's just a small fire in a scrap metal yard a mile from the site. It might mean the traffic has a bit of trouble, but then it's a festival in the country. The traffic is always bad.
GCap must have their own entrance to Ofcom, they're carpeted there so often. After a run of misudgements and accidents - the Easter Bunny saying "motherfucker" at breakfast, that sort of thing - they've now been hit with a massive fine for cheating their audiences.
The Secret Sound contest was deliberately fudged so that contestants with the wrong answer were put on the air, so that the competition could carry on rolling along, with listeners spending their cash on the premium-rate entry line. The competition ran across the One network - which shows one of the advantages of networking 'local' programming: it allows you to rip off people right across the country with one central con, instead of having to arrange thirty smaller cons in each licence area.
Seriously, though, you wonder if networking isn't partly to blame: if the team putting together the competition lived and worked amongst their audience, they might be less keen to agree to a scheme to cheat them. Either because they'd have a stronger sense of community and responsibility, or because they know the people they anger drink in the same pubs, send their kids to the same schools and shop in the same branches of Tesco as they use. It's easy to see people as saps to be shaken hard for cash when they're not your neighbours.
GCap didn't help themselves by not being entirely helpful when their duplicity was revealed:
"GCap was neither as full or as frank as it should have been either with Ofcom or its listeners," it concluded.
Ofcom said GCap had made matters worse by its behaviour after the incident had come to light.
The regulator said the company's internal investigation "did not appear… to have been either thorough or extensive", with no formal written report produced and GCap's board given only a "verbal report" of what had happened.
The piddling refund offered - two pounds, regardless of how much the company had taken from your pockets - also didn't go down well with the regulator.
The upshot? GCap has been fined £1.1 million quid.
There is a footnote, though: This represents twenty-five times the money GCap made from the competiton. ITV had made about fifty million from premium rate competitions during the time it wasn't playing fair - oddly, their fine wasn't one and a quarter billion.
Rav Singh has been banging away at the "Madonna marriage crisis" for a couple of weeks now, but clearly Gordon has been waiting until there was some, erm, facts to run with.
Or there was space amongst pictures of ladies in bikinis.
His big revelation? That Madonna and Guy are sleeping in separate rooms.
Yes, yes, they said that ages ago. But Gordon has 'discovered' they're doing it on trips away, too. He's so excited, as well as his photobyline:
He's given himself another byline as well:
So, what did Gordon Smart's Bizarre by Gordon Smart, editor of Bizarre by Gordon Smart have to share?
And Madonna, 49, visited fashion designers to arrange costumes for her forthcoming tour.
So, erm, couple with different jobs do different things during the day, then.
But if that's a worry, there's also the recession to worry about:
Still, it's still worth over ten million, and - as far as we know - she's still managing to keep oiks like you and me orf her land - so it's not all bad news for her as she feels the credit crunching in the way we'd imagine her lower back must have been for years.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Be Your Own Pet have quit the Warped tour:
Much, much too busy, then.
Their non-appearance has nothing, of course, to do with their previous observation about the Warped tour and the fools from whom it will be removing ticket cash:
So it's like, okay, now we're going to be performing for these people. Our label is under the impression that we're going to play one date and then automatically sell 100,000 more records. All those bands have this very specific look and sound and style. It's like the new hair metal or something. There are like 10 different rules about how you write a song and what everything sounds like and looks like.
Apparently, there's an extra rule about not slagging off the dumbasses in their Rancid t-shirts.
The Cancer Bats - no, you haven't missed anything - proudly tell their fans via their MySpace that they're in with a sniff of a major award:
- Best Live Band
- Best Album ('Hail Destroyer')
– Best International Band
This is a huge deal and we need you, the fans to vote vote vote!
Head over to: www.kerrangawards.com and vote for Bats as much as you can!!!
The curious fan who follows this instruction - and the link - might be surprised to discover that the shortlist for the awards isn't out for another month. So, yes, you could say they're up for the awards, but only in the same way that Coldplay and Emmy The Great are - because there's nothing to stop anyone writing any name they like into the form at this stage.
The Reverend Al Green is on his way to the UK. Not quite yet, to be clear, but he'll be heading here come October:
Tuesday 28th October - Birmingham NIA Arena
Thursday 30th October - Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
Monday 3rd November - Manchester Evening News Arena
Wednesday 5th November - London Royal Albert Hall
Thursday 6th November - London Hammersmith Apollo
Kanye's Boonaroon experience wasn't a happy one. Now, he's extending the pain by posting a blog entry about it:
LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT THAT POINT WE'RE RACING AGAINST THE SUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT 4:20AM DON COMES BACK 2 THE BUS AND TELLS ME, " IT WOULD TAKE 45 MORE MINUTES TO PUT ALL YOUR PYRO IN!" I SAY I HAVE TO GET OUT THERE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE . I HIT THE STAGE AND PEOPLE HAD BEEN THROWING SHIT ON THE STAGE AND HAD ACTUALLY HIT THE JANE SCREEN WITH, I GUESS BOTTLES OR SOMETHING AND HAD BROKEN MY FUCKING SCREEN. REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE A SHORTY AND WATER WOULD HIT THE TV?????? WHEN I GOT 2 "THROUGH THE WIRE" I STEPPED ON THE FRONT PART OF MY STAGE AND THERE WAS SO MUCH LIQUID ON THE STAGE I COULDN'T MOVE WITHOUT SLIPPING. I HAD TO ADJUST MY WHOLE PERFORMANCE STYLE BECAUSE OF IT. A FEW MORE SONGS IN AND THE SONG WAS ON IT'S WAY UP.. I CUT A FEW SONGS FROM THE SET BECAUSE I WANTED PEOPLE 2 EXPERIENCE STRONGER WHILE THERE WAS STILL SOME DARKNESS TO PERFORM IT IN. I'VE STRUGGLED WITH STRONGER FROM IT'S CONCEPTION. REMEMBER LAST SUMMER WHEN I CANCELED SOME TV APPEARANCES. IT WAS BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO PERFORM STRONGER IN THE DAYTIME. ANYONE WHO CAME TO THE GLOW TOUR CAN UNDERSTAND WHY I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE IT PROPERLY. IT BROKE MY HEART THAT I COULDN'T GIVE THESE FANS STRONGER IN IT'S GREATEST FORM... BY THE TIME I GOT TO STRONGER IT WAS DAYTIME AND IT BROKE MY HEART. I'M SORRY TO EVERYONE THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THE ABILITY 2 GIVE THE PERFORMANCE I WANTED TO. I'M SORRY... SOMETIMES I GO 2, 3 DAYS W/O SLEEP WORKING ON MY PERFORMANCE... I HAVE TO ICE MY KNEES AFTER EVERY SHOW AND THEY HURT WHEN I WALK THROUGH THE AIRPORT... HAVING AN EXPENSIVE STAGE CUTS MY PAYDAY IN HALF... CALL ME WHAT YOU WANT BUT NEVER SAY I DIDN'T GIVE MY ALL!!!
In other words: Pearl Jam over-ran, please don't think I was holding back but I was afraid of slipping and looking silly, and fuck it, I think I've got my Mac Air Caps Lock stuck on.
Poor old Emil Koverot. The guitarist with black metal band Bloodsrit had been offered a teaching job at his local school in Västervik, Sweden, only to find that he got sacked before he started as the school suddenly decided that his musical career might be incompatible with the whole shaping-young-minds-thing.
Koverot has done what any self-respecting metaller would do: He's resorted to sacrifice and slaughter to avenge the dishonour. Or, rather, he might, if his appeal to the local ombudsman fails.
He sees himself as the latest in a long line of musicians kept down by The Man:
“It’s the same way people reacted to the Beatles in the 1960s.”
Although, to be fair, most people rushed out and bought Beatles records in large numbers and - as far as we know - the suitability of Ringo taking a role as a classroom helper in Knotty Ash never came up, so we can't be sure.
Also, it's not quite the same thing anyway, is it? The Beatles had songs about love and hand-holding, whereas a typical Bloodsrit lyric runs more like this:
He screams endlessly in naked fear
I am an eternal veil of evil torture
And I take pleasure in his agony
He is being crucified upon a cross
And boiling blood is poured upon him
His face explodes in bursting heat
As I whip his soul a thousand times
Apart from anything, could you have a person teaching who thinks there's any way you can be crucified other than on a cross?
We were thinking the other day that most of the first wave of fans of Dadrock are probably actual Dads now. But still, the Dadrock keeps coming, as Oasis unveil plans for a new album. And they're going dance:
It's called Dig Out Your Old Parka, They're Back Again. Or maybe Dig Out Your Soul. And Noel... let's try and pay attention... he's excited... really...
Of their new single Gallagher said: "If 'The Shock Of The Lightning' sounds instant and compelling to you, it's because it was written dead fast. And recorded dead fast.
Eh? In order to feel the songs you have to have a connection with them? Isn't that true of any piece of art, ever? And why... recorded fast... compelling? How? What? Need... no... silence...
To celebrate their involvement in Glastonbury, the Guardian's music site are making available a free album's worth of downloads, including the mighty Operator Please and Neon Neon. And CSS.
There is some White Denim on there, too, but these things happen even in the best-regulated households.
Thom C drops us an email to alert us to Guido Fawkes' blog suddenly embedding music videos (don't worry, we're not going to retaliate by suddenly throwing adverts for Total
Sport Film Politics all over the place.
Guido is championing Billy Ruffian, who have written a song in support of David Davis and his 42 day stunt. Sort-of.
Let's not quibble that they seem to have confused John Stuart Mill with Hayley Mills, and instead ponder why the song - sung from Davis' point of view:
And it's two days for Germany and the USA,
Russia has five, Italy has four,
So why do we require 38 more?"
"There's no argument for it, mine's the argument against,
I want the voters to come down off the fence,
I've gambled my job and my political future,
Mr. Brown debate with me on any day that suits you."
Trouble is, of course, that Davis has happily supported - and, indeed, continues to support - 28 days, which is equally random and - a quick tap of the calculator suggests - 24 more than Italy.
The other question, of course, is the awkward question of what effect this has on the people of Haltemprice and Howden. With Davis only campaigning on one issue, either they're going to have to vote for a man with no manifesto commitment to indicate how he might represent their wishes in Parliament on other questions of the day, or else will have to withdraw from anything other than votes on 42 Days. Either way, the constituency is being denied proper representation - is effectively disenfranchising a large swathe of the North-East really the act of a defender of individual liberty?
The comment on Guido's blog includes an entry from Billy Ruffian:
They steal a Tony Hancock gag:
That's from the Half Hour, Twelve Angry Men, where Hancock exploits the legal system in order to boost his own personal finances by extending the jury deliberations. We'd like to think using the appeal from a man who was interested in justice, but only up until it started to cost him, was intentional. But we're guessing not.
Never mind the Who / Torchwood / Sarah Jane Adventures triple crossover this weekend. This morning, it's Gordon In The Morning meets Gennaro Castaldo Watch.
Yes, Gordon's attempt to try and argue that Coldplay are cool was struggling:
But that means there are 500,000 uncool people in the UK alone who have rushed out to buy the band’s latest album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends in the last fortnight.
And I am not ashamed to be included in the figures.
Really, Gordon? You went out and bought it? In a shop? But didn't you tell us that you'd been sent a free copy to review before it came out?
Still, Gordon feels his love of the band has been justified because of the sales:
Gordon doesn't mention the Beatles did it back when it wasn't quite so easy; not the way Coldplay released their records during this bit-of-a-lull period for record sales to boost the chance of this sort of thing happening. (The sales of the album were huge, but the double chart-topper probably wouldn't have happened if they'd tried it in, say, December.)
And Gordon does allow that it's not automatically a guarantee of never-ending cool:
Younger readers might be unaware that Rod Stewart is actually the father of Rod Stewart's Daughter.
Gordon tries another tack: they're modern:
= their tunes are available for download. Like the Top Gear album and the Thunderbugs back catalogue.
Struggling to demonstrate why 'selling like baked beans or bus tickets' is the same thing as being great, Gordon calls in Gennaro:
"So while many more of us are downloading, this clearly shows that the music-loving public still love their CDs."
"The most amount of pre-orders"? Clearly, parachuting into Gordon's column has damaged Castaldo's power of control over the English language.
Still flailing, Gordon manages to describe Coldplay's sales as if he's talking about bird flu:
In record company speak, they have conquered all the vital territories — Japan, America and Europe.
It spreads so easily these days because of air travel, you see.
Not just proud, but - by getting a lead story out of 'popular, mid-market band sell lots of records to middle markets' - you've become their cheerleader. If ever Murdoch tires of you, EMI's press department will always have a home for you.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Ticketmaster has been spun off - or, perhaps, thrown out of - its parent company. It'll go independent in 2009, carrying three quarters of a billion dollars in debt.
It's not, perhaps, the best time to be trying to set up a debt-laden company that doesn't really do anything much beyond act as a middleman. Apparently they've got lots of ideas about how they can pay off the debt and thrive - we suspect the business plan includes the words "bigger booking fees".
It's not just the slightly-optimistic anonymous commenter who is applauding Boris Johnson's decision to drop the anti-racism from the anti-racist Rise festival; some of his political opponents do too.
Indeed, the BNP are claiming the idea for their own, reports the Guardian diary:
Of course, as the commenter rightly pointed out, there's no reason to infer from the redirecting of Rise that Boris is racist. And just because you're getting applause from the BNP doesn't automatically make you a right-wing stooge. It does all look a bit petty and clumsy, though. You know, kind of like that 2003 Taki article that appeared in The Spectator when he was editor.
We don't think Jason Donovan should have sued the Face all those years ago, but even so, it's probably unfair on him that, fifteen years on, the case is reported as having been about being called gay. Today's G2, for example, notes:
He should have shrugged and moved on, but his case against the magazine was not that it called him gay; it was that it called him a liar. That he was supposedly lying about his sexuality wasn't really the point, and certainly it's unfair to suggest that he came off as homophobic during the case.
It should also be remembered that he cut a deal with The Face which allowed it to keep it publishing - he was seeking an apology rather than vengeance.
The irony, of course, is that the brief mention of his name in an article about outing would, by now, have been forgotten; the legal action just ensures that nobody can write an article about the closet without throwing in a reference.
How, you might wonder, are the slender ranks of those who still believe in Avril Lavigne managing to show their enthusiasm for her so much that her Girlfriend video has become the most-watched option on YouTube?
By rigging it: there's a page which happily refreshes the video page every fifteen seconds, with instructions to Avrilophiles to:
Of course, as it resets every fifteen seconds, the bonus is that you can build Avril's page views without the video ever reaching the song's introduction. Even her biggest fans, it seems, would rather not have to listen to the awful tune.
We could see the free Prince album giveaway - clearly, nobody much was going to pay for a Prince album, but might have been just curious enough to take a free copy with the Mail On Sunday.
But now, the Mail has done a deal to give away a free McFly album:
It's a lovely dream; we do like to picture three million people turning up eager to see McFly, like some sort of Jarrow March.
But we'd not picture there being much of a crossover between the McFly target audience (if such a thing still exists) and the sort of people who take the Mail On Sunday, and really the exciting opportunity is to put three million discs straight into landfill. At least if they did the giveaway through the Observer, the readers would recycle them.
An email alerts us to the nifty deal done by IPC to get the NME picture galleries sponsored by RayBans.
RayBans used to be a cool youth brand twenty years ago, you know; now, they're riding off a fading reputation. Can't see any synergy between them and the NME there.
Still, there's nothing wrong with a bit of clearly-labelled sponsorship, so long as it's kept separate from the editorial and there's no suspicion that plugs are being scattered through the actual business of the paper, eh? The three plugs for the brand are entirely valid.
At least there's a faint stirring of conscience:
... and so long as you get a positive mention of the sponsor in while you try and salve your better nature, it's all okay, yeah?
Twenty four hours before the hardcore start to pitch tents, there are still Glastonbury tickets left unsolde:
"But they are going out slowly. We did about 800 yesterday so we'll just about scrape home without losing my shirt."
Well, yes - his shirt is safe:
Even Glastonbury is feeling the pinch of the rising oil prices - those wind turbines don't take up all the slack, you know.
The latest weather forecast: cloudy for Friday and Sunday, light rain for Saturday.
With Amy Winehouse released under doctor's orders - and being snapped smoking a fag as she drove away from the hospital - it's better news to hear that Carl Barat has also been discharged:
"I was discharged from hospital at the weekend, which was liberating. I have been told to take it easy this week and I shan't be over exerting myself, which may be difficult as the LP is out next week and there are rehearsals to be had. Anyways, as long as I behave I should be right as rain (back to full health) before you know it."
We love that he explained the meaning of 'right as rain' - presumably in case there were any Baltic web moderators reading.
We know that Ronnie Wood's reputation as an artist is that he's not that bad, in a helps-he's-famous way, but it doesn't help enough when you ask people to shell out cash for his work.
Wood was trying to flog a picture of himself and Rod Stewart on eBay, but has withdrawn the lot after it only managed about half the reserve. Mind you that was five hundred quid, so it's not like people were totally turning their noses up.
Perhaps if he'd only done Rod...
Juliana Hatfield continues her exploration of her back catalogue - reaching Congratulations:
Gordon Smart is currently on Today, trying to knock down the suggestion that female celebrities get a rougher ride than male celebrities. He offered the suggestion that he wrote about Pete Doherty as much as Amy Winehouse - although, if he was being honest, he'd have admitted that Doherty was covered more because of his connection with Kate Moss (and, recently, with Amy) than in his own right - Doherty was promoted to tabloid regular status because he was Moss' boyfriend, not because he was Barat's brother in arms.
Effectively, in the end, Gordon accepted the charges:
... but then he could hardly do otherwise, could he, with his acres of bangers and trumpeting of "shagger of the year". What he might have said is that the column was more-or-less dealing in the same stereotypes when Victoria Newton was the picture above the stories, but it didn't seem to occur to him.
From emphysema to "a little bit of emphysema" to not having emphysema at all: what an amazing recovery Amy Winehouse has made a wonderful improvement.
The latest intervention has come from her US publicist:
"She is not diagnosed with full-blown emphysema, but instead has early signs of what could lead to emphysema," Tracey Miller, her U.S.-based representative, told The Associated Press on Monday.
Yes, because who would be in a better place to judge the true state of someone's health? The father who took her to hospital and was at her bedside while doctors tried to work out what had caused her to collapse, or a New York based spokesperson.
Still, bloody lucky that it's not "full-blown" emphysema (a medical term we've not come across before) - can you imagine the insurance implications for the record company if they had to send someone with emphysema out to promote records?
If we didn't know better, we'd assume that this morning's Bizarre had been knocked out by someone for whom English was a third, or maybe fourth, language, as bad pun piles on top of bad pun.
Sarah Harding in a bikini? Why, she's "tan-tastic" and - because you can see her belly - "tum-thing's up".
Coleen McLoughlin planning to display her wedding dress? That would make her a "troophy wife", then.
Paris Hilton photographed at a masked ball? She's got "no hiding face", then.
Yes, no hiding face. No, we don't know what a hiding face is, nor why putting a mask over it means that it isn't there. Perhaps they've overdosed on Doctor Who.
Talking of which, Billie Piper makes an appearance with an actual - sort of - story; she fears that the topless scenes in Diary Of A Call Girl might have ruined her chances of a Hollywood career:
“And then I started thinking, ‘Oh, my God, what have I done? I’ve ruined my future career.’”
Yes. It's not like you can think of a squillion Hollywood movies where the female lead does naked squirming, is it?
To be honest, Billie, it's going to be less likely that going topless harmed your career. It's more the choice of role - after all, who is going to hire an actor who's played a blogger on-screen?