January 22, 1999 16:04


'The main reason we believe that this story has run, is that most major record companies see the Internet as a threat to their business,' they claim...

Belle & Sebastian hit back at accusations of 'vote rigging' by Pete Waterman today. Here is the full text of their press release:

Press Release Dated February 22 1999

In response to the allegations made by Pete Waterman and The Sun newspaper with regards to Belle & Sebastian winning the Best Newcomer Award at the 1999 Brit Awards, these are the points we would like to make clear:

There was no vote rigging scandal. Late Friday we were contacted by Stephen Jones of Music Week who informed us that Pete Waterman was not satisfied with Belle & Sebastian winning the best newcomer award at The Brit Awards, and that Mr Waterman was ordering an investigation into the voting system. As we have nothing to hide, we welcomed the suggestion.

The next person I spoke to was Lisa Anderson, Executive Producer of The Brit Awards, who informed me that they and Radio One had completed a thorough investigation into the votes polled and that there were no illegal findings and both Radio One and The Brit Awards were satisfied with the outcome. Ms Anderson also mentioned that there had been an anomaly in the voting from e-mail addresses at Strathclyde University, however taking into consideration that they were from Belle & Sebastian's home area, they weighted this section of the votes.

A press release containing this information was submitted to The Sun newspaper from The Brit Awards office. On Saturday 20th February, The Sun ran the story commenting upon how Steps should have won the award. Although The Sun newspaper's story is scandalous, in the final paragraph of the article it does mention that 'it was all above board', however, given the context it's obvious the article was trying to mislead the public into believing that Belle & Sebastian didn't deserve the award and had cheated.

Belle & Sebastian have a loyal fanbase and receive over 100,000 visits a week to their Internet Site alone, which resulted in approximately 20 per cent of their fans voting. The main reason we believe that this story has run, is that most major record companies see the Internet as a threat to their business, whereas Jeepster positively embrace technology and the opportunities it has to offer.

Click back for more on this story.

Does this demolish every point made by Waterman? What should we ask him when we speak to him? Is he just bitter or is he trying to damage B& S's credibility? Tell us what you think. Post a message on Angst!

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