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Boris backs London's grassroots music scene

The Astoria closed down in 2009 Credit: Zak Hussein/PA

London has lost 35 per cent of its grassroots music venues since 2007 according to a report. The number of spaces programming new artists has dropped from 136 to just 88. The London's Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, produced by the Mayor's Music Venues Taskforce, suggests that whilst London's music industry is generating billions for the economy it's under threat at a grassroots level.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says: 'From the Rolling Stones to David Bowie, the Clash to Oasis and Ed Sheeran to Adele, grassroots music venues have played a key role in enabling some of the biggest names in music to develop as artists and to build audiences. They are the incubators for the stars that go on to pack stadiums in London and across the world. The Music Venues Taskforce report makes it clear that protecting live music venues is crucial to London's continued position as the music capital of the world.

The Rescue Plan identifies a range of factors for grassroots music venues closing and continuing to be under threat. This includes rising rents and licensing restrictions; noise complaints by resident and landlords selling venues to developers to turn into housing.


Singer Jessie J says goodbye to London

Jessie J sells London home to move to Hollywood

Jessie J has sold her London home and is leaving the UK because she is sick of speculation about her love life. The 26-year-old has bought a property in Hollywood where she says her talents as a singer are more appreciated.

"I've dedicated my life to singing and I want it to be taken seriously. Here it seems that all people want to know is what I've had for breakfast and who I'm sleeping with," she told the Mail on Sunday.

In 2011 the former coach on The Voice came out as bisexual and is often questioned about her sexuality.

The singer has also described herself as a 'rubbish date.'

"I'm the sort of person who will order ribs on a date, or the spaghetti bolognese and get it all down my front. And I'm too full-on as a date, too intense. It's like, if I'm going to be someone's girlfriend I have to be a really good girlfriend, which can be a bit much for some people. Maybe I should relax more," she said.

Libertines to reform with Doherty for Hyde Park festival

The Libertines featuring front-man Pete Doherty are to reform to headline London's Hyde Park festival this summer.

The band mates last reunited in 2010 where they performed at Reading/Leeds Festival after splitting in 2004 so co-frontmen Doherty and Carl Barat could pursue their own careers.

Pete Doherty (left) and Carl Barat of the Libertines performing on stage at the HMV Forum in Highgate, London Credit: PA

The reunion will not come as a complete surprise to fans of the band as Doherty hinted a show was on the cards in a recent interview, and the band's Facebook page featured an image of Hyde Park.

The Libertines, will play at Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time in Hyde Park on July 5, with the Pogues, Spiritualized and McBusted also set to perform at the festival.

Tickets go on sale on Friday May 2nd.

Cornershop to open the 'world's smallest disco' in Hackney

Cornershop performing live in Finsbury Park, 2002 Credit: PA

Cornershop, the band behind the 90's mega-hit 'Brimful of Asha', will open the 'world's smallest disco' in Stoke Newington, Hackney tomorrow to mark Record Store Day.

The group will be playing tunes and selling music in a bid for the world record.

They hope that the small venue inside a record shop on Albion Road will be officially recognised as having a capacity of just 14.


Black Sabbath to play at London festival

Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath Credit: Ian West/PA

Veteran rockers Black Sabbath are the latest headline act to be announced for the British Summer Time festival. The band fronted by Ozzy Osbourne and featuring Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi will play on the opening night of the Hyde Park event on July 4.

Black sabbath made a comeback last year with a number one album and sell-out tour. Osbourne said he's looking forward to the event, because when he first went to London he was impoverished and spent the advance he got for the first album on a new pair of shoes and some Brut aftershave.

"Returning almost 50 years on we are doing a bit better for ourselves, so I may even splash out on some new aftershave before taking to the stage at Hyde Park - the most beautiful park in London - that has opened its gates to so many legends in the past," said Osbourne.

"We are beyond honoured to be allowed to put on a show and hope that the royals will enjoy it."

Other acts to perform include Soundgarden, Faith No More, Neil Young and McBusted. Tickets go on sale on Friday.

Fan tweets pictures of Prince gig

Stephen Budd was one of the lucky ones who made it in last night thanks to a tip off on Twitter from Music Week.

Prince tour date announcement expected

Prince is expected to announce a number of UK tour dates today.

Details of his tour remain uncertain but Prince said he hoped toplay "iconic" venues along the lines of music club the Bag o' Nails,where Jimi Hendrix once performed, and Ronnie Scott's jazz club.

"We'll work our way up, if people like us, to bigger venues," Prince said.

Woman 'cancels holiday to queue for Prince gig'

The Camden New Journal is reporting that one woman has cancelled her holiday to Turkey, in order to queue for tickets to see Prince tonight.

Ruth Newcombe is standing in the pouring rain, when she could be on a beach, even though she has no guarantee that she'll be able to see the star.

She told the paper: "no one knows if he'll really turn up or not, but we're waiting here anyway. I have done this before and he hasn't even turned up.”

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