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UNIVERSE POSTPONED

More fall-out from the rift between the organisers of last years' Tribal Gathering festival. One result was the split into two festivals (Universe and this weekends' Creamfields), and the loss of the Tribal Gathering title. More shockingly, Universe have just announced that their 23 May date will be postponed. Whispers of disappointing ticket sales have not been confirmed, however, the License officer for the event has said that it wasn't the licence that caused the problem, but it was a licensing problem. Knebworth Estates would not lead the way with an explanation, even though they called for the postponement.

SPLIT

The drummer, bass player and guitarist from The Fall have left the band, accusing Mark E Smith of being "impossible to work with". They have already formed their own band, called Ark, and replacements for the rest of The Fall tour have been found.

RARE RECORDINGS

Rumours abound, as normal, about the Jackson family. Apparently the brothers Jackson, Michael, Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Randy have begun work on a new Jackson album for A&M Records. It has been ten years, but absence has not dimmed confidence and Jackie Jackson has promised that the album will "change music". A collection of rare Underworld material is to be released on a new Junior Boy's Own compilation on 1 June.

Marc Almond, creator of seminal glam-electronica music encapsulated by "Tainted Love", is about to get old tracks and rare tracks (like their Jimi Hendrix medley), indulgently re-released by Polygram. For those who don't want to go through the traditional channels of the record company, a recent report by BPI has warned record companies that there are piracy risks with Real Audio clips on internet web sites. Apparently, with the right equipment, they can quite easily be recorded from the site.

MUSIC AWARDS

Revival: "I Wanna Sex You Up" tunesmiths, Color Me Bad have just signed to Epic and are planning a new album in June. Let's hope it doesn't contribute to any more teenage pregnancies.

Altruism and Promotion - An unlikely alliance: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds will be playing a free gig at London's LA2 on 10 May, to coincide with the release of their Best Of album.

Artistic Suffering: the band's lined up for the Tibetan Free Concert in June have been told in a letter by the Chinese government that they "will not be permitted entry to China, including Tibet, and their works will never be welcome in our country". Bob Geldof has asked people to help make sure donated food gets to war-torn Sudan. This sounds as much of a logistical nightmare as Live Aid, but look at what happened there.

Remix and Rising: or so Rod Steward must be hoping will happen by letting DJ Todd Terry (who revived the career of Everything But The Girl) get at his "Ooh-La-La" track.

Top Tips: on 25 May, indie-hopefuls Ultrasound will release "Stay Young", produced by Nigel Godrich, of Ok Computer credence.

Jennifer Rodger

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