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Pop / Rock 27/06/2003

A court battle about the band name 'Blue'

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LONDON, UK (Blue Fans Forums) - A group of ageing rockers have launched a High Court battle with boy band Blue, over the fact they share the same name.

Seventies rockers Blue and record entrepreneur Matt Nicholson are suing boy band Blue and EMI/Virgin for up to 5 million, claiming confusion about the names was damaging the original group's recording career and reputation.

Mr Justice Hugh Laddie was told by Charles Purle QC that the reputation of his clients, the original Blue, was being threatened by the new boy band because fans might confuse the two.

The veteran Blue are expected to produce evidence from Sir Elton John to confirm that the band were signed 30 years ago to his Rocket record label and that he produced their album Another Night Time Flight.

The current Blue - Duncan James, Anthony Costa, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe - who released their first single, All Rise, in 2001 and now have a large teenage following, insist there is "no merit" in the case.

The judge asked Mr Purle: "Are you seriously saying that fans of one group would mistake one for the other? There is somewhat a difference of appearance. One is aged like you and me, the other is a boy band."
When Mr Purle countered: "My clients were a boy band in the 1970s," the judge replied: "Oh no. Boy band is a style of music that is a bit more recent than the Charleston."

The original Scotland-based Blue - brothers Hugh and David Nicholson, from East Kilbride, and Ian MacMillan, from Paisley, all now in their 50s - say that EMI/Virgin knew of their existence before the release of All Rise.
Elder brother Matt Nicholson, manager of The Record Label, has accused EMI/Virgin of treating the respected composers and musicians from the original Blue with "arrogance and contempt".

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