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The Independent Culture
MASSIVE ATTACK may have missed out at the Brit Awards, but they can console themselves with the news that they have royal assent.

A friend of Pandora's was recently working on the site of Chatsworth House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, while Prince Charles and Camilla were guests. Workers were told to keep their music down unless it was Elvis - the Duchess's favourite. Inevitably, the sound barrier was broken, in this case by Massive Attack's Mezzanine album. Far from receiving a royal ticking off, the workmen were told by an aide not to worry as the Prince "thinks Massive Attack are very good".

THE BATTLE of the Brits after-party has become like the post-Oscar parties. Pandora had so many invitations last Tuesday night that she didn't know where to start. The official party at London Docklands Arena never really got off to a swing. As soon as the awards ended, the party people were already heading off. Triple award-winner Robbie Williams held a party at ChinaWhite, the Balinese-style night-club in Piccadilly, but the host never showed up. Apparently he was too upset after seeing his ex-fiancee, the All Saints singer Nicole Appleton, with her new amour.

CONTINUING THE search for the ultimate after-party party, Pandora headed over to Browns night-club in Covent Garden. Bono and the double award- winner Natalie Imbruglia popped by and Stevie Wonder arrived with a huge entourage, but the stars of the night had nothing to do with the music industry. David Ginola, Ian Walker and Les Ferdinand were celebrating Tottenham Hotspur's semi-final win in the Worthington Cup.

PANDORA THEN hotfooted it to the Met Bar in Park Lane, where Sony was hosting a party for the Manic Street Preachers. Also there were Des'ree, Ian Brown of the Stone Roses, Boy George, Catatonia and Bob Geldof, all enjoying chocolate-mint and watermelon martinis. After spotting Julia Carling and Ross Kemp, Pandora decided enough was enough. On her way home she nipped into Home House, a private members' club in Portman Square, built in the 1770s for the Home family. This was the venue for the ultimate post-Brits bash. Bono and Imbruglia chose to finish their evening swapping stories and song ideas alongside The Corrs, Dave Stewart, Richard Branson, Mark Owen and Caprice at the elegant Georgian venue.

WELSH OFFICE Minister Peter Hain did a useful bit of networking at the Brit Awards. The Welsh bands the Manic Street Preachers, Catatonia and Stereophonics have promised Hain they will give a special concert at the new Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Let's hope that, despite all the rumours, the stadium really will be completed in time. If not they may have to go down to Cardiff Bay and make some noise at the new Assembly building, er, which has also yet to be built.

MPS WERE in a soulful mood this week as they joined forces to sing for the BBC's Songs of Praise, which was being filmed in the crypt beneath the House of Commons. No doubt the Conservatives in the congregation were praying for a miracle.

A DIFFERENT kind of party was hosted in London by Rupert Murdoch for his son and heir apparent, Lachlan, and bride-to-be, the model Sarah O'Hare (pictured). At the dinner party, the Wonderbra model was seated next to Paul Keating, twice premier of Australia. Half-way through the dinner she turned to him and asked: "Do I detect a bit of an Aussie twang in your accent? Where are you from?" Keating admitted that he once lived in Canberra, the home of government in Australia. "Oh really, whereabouts?" she asked, "I've got some friends who live there." The kind of conversation you expect from the Brits, perhaps, but not at Mr Murdoch's table.

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