Manchester indie band the Charlatans are to release their new album as a free download, it has been confirmed.

The band have signed an exclusive contract with Xfm to distribute their upcoming album via the radio's stations xfmmanchester website.

You Cross My Path, the lead single from the as-yet-untitled album, has already received its first play on the radio station's Music: Response show and is now available as a free download online, before its release on October 22nd.

And the band's manager Alan McGee - famed for having discovered Oasis and accusing Coldplay of making music for "bed-wetters" - explained that making the album available online was an easy decision to make.

"Why would you volunteer to join the army for ten years unless you had no choice?" he asked. "Record companies are kind of like the army; very regulated.

"We were really excited when Xfm got behind us and were as enthusiastic about the download as we are - they are the first people to Embrace music for the people."

McGee added: "The band will get paid by more people coming to gigs, buying merchandise, publishing and synch fees. I beliEve it's the future business model!"

Tim Burgess, lead singer of the North Country Boy band, was equally effusive: "We want 'the people' to own The Music and we want the artist, ie us, to own the copyright. Why let a record company get in the way of people getting the music?

"We are excited at releasing our forthcoming singles and tenth studio album online free of charge through"

10/10/2007 17:39:38