l SOME five years after their last disc, Ode to J.

Smith, Glasgow band Travis release in August their seventh album, Where You Stand. Produced by Sweden's Michael Ilbert, it is the product of sessions in London, Norway and New York as well as the Hansa Studios in Berlin where David Bowie recorded some of his most acclaimed work.

The album is on the band's own Red Telephone Box label and will be preceded by a single release of the title track.

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l NEVER mind the Milibands and the Johnson brothers, the famously combative lead guitarist of the Kinks and sibling of songwriter Ray Davies is making another bid for solo recognition with a new disc, revealingly entitled I Will Be Me, out in June.

Dave Davies, who co-founded the sixties band, has a claim to have invented the sound of heavy metal rock on the single You Really Got Me and relates his creation of the distorted guitar sound on the autobiographical track Little Green Amp. His collaborators on the album include another giant of British rock guitar-playing, Chris Spedding.


l FORMER director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Paul Gudgin is to succeed Ian Ritchie as director of the City of London Festival at the start of August.

Gudgin, who previously ran Edinburgh's Queen's Hall, was in charge of the Fringe for eight years from 1999 and has since worked as a consultant in Canada and Australia as well as with the British Council.

Ritchie, a previous boss of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the St Magnus Festival in Orkney has been in charge of the London event for the past eight years and his final festival runs from June 23 to July 26.