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LIVE MUSIC ACT BECOMES LAW
As previously reported, the Live Music Bill will remove some of the bureaucracy attached to gigs in smaller venues, much of which was introduced by the 2003 Licensing Act. In particular, venues under a 200 person capacity will no longer need local authority permission for music gigs between the hours of 8am and 11pm, and where music is not amplified there will be no capacity limit for that rule.
Many feel that bureaucracy has deterred some venue owners, especially pub landlords, from staging music nights in recent years, cutting off a valuable platform for new and alterative talent. With numerous specific grass roots music venues around the country, especially in the regional cities, currently going to the wall (however much you read about the still buoyant live sector), it's more important than ever that all pubs, clubs and such like are encouraged to stage live music.
The new act is likely to come into effect this autumn, meaning it won't be up and running in time for this summer's Diamond Jubilee and Olympic celebrations. Some, who see those major events as a great opportunity for grass roots performers to reach a new audience, are disappointed the new rules won't be introduced before the summer. But the Act's supporters agree it is more important the altered rules are introduced in a controlled way, to ensure there are no hitches as councils employ the new systems.
Welcoming the Live Music Act's ascendancy into law yesterday, the boss of one of the bodies who campaigned for the new law, UK Music's Jo Dipple, told CMU: "For a private member's bill to receive royal assent is a monumental achievement, even more so for one that is introduced in the House Of Lords. This has happened only five times in the past decade. The assent of today's Act is the result of a dogged commitment to musicians combined with outstanding parliamentary skills. UK Music thanks Lord Clement-Jones and Don Foster MP for their work".
She continued: "The global success of our industry is dependent on a flourishing network of small venues, where tomorrow's headliners can learn their craft and develop their career. Allowing these venues the freedom to host live music is a huge boost for British artists and means more opportunities for developing talent, as well as enriching our local communities and the economy overall".
Meanwhile John Smith, General Secretary of the Musician's Union, added: "We would like to thank all of the MPs and Lords who have been involved in this process. The MU has been lobbying for changes to the Licensing Act for many years now, and this exemption is fantastic news for musicians and will be a real boost for live music. We look forward to the implementation of the Act later this year and we will be working with the government to ensure that the Act has maximum impact".
Concurrent to all this, the government itself is also reviewing licensing rules, so a further relaxation of regulation could come up further down the line somewhere. Though, as previously reported, none of this applies north of the border in Scotland, where grass roots promoters are facing a change in licensing rules in the other direction that could add to the bureaucracy involved in staging small events, including free gigs. Councils around Scotland are considering how to put new rules passed by the Scottish Parliament into effect as we speak. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a day of creative protest about the new licensing arrangements is planned for 1 Apr.
AGENCIES IN LEGAL BATTLE OVER FICTIONAL ADAM LAMBERT BOOKINGS
According to TMZ, UK-based live firm Madison Universal is suing Family Productions in Santa Monica over allegations the defendants claimed to be able to book Lambert for two Eastern European shows for a total of £80,000 when, the litigation claims, the US agency was in no position to do any such thing.
The two shows would have been in Russia and the Ukraine, and Madison Universal seemingly handed over a 10% deposit to secure the former 'Idol' star and current Queen collaborator, but then became suspicious when no firmer plans for the bookings were forthcoming.
The company possibly also started to think that 40 grand a show, in dollars, was rather cheap, and so contacted Lambert's agent at CAA direct, who informed them that the budget for two shows that required his client to fly to Russia would be at least $500,000.
Madison is now suing Family Productions for a return of its deposit and damages to the tune of $25,000.
AMP AND CHOICE PRIZES PRESENTED
First up, there was the Australian Music Prize, which was presented to rockers The Jezabels for their album 'Prisoner'. Apparently it was very, very, very close, which I am sure will reassure all the losers who don't take home 30 thousand Aussie dollars back to mother. Actually, The Jezabels are currently gigging in Europe so weren't in attendance to pick up the prize themselves, meaning the money has probably gone straight to their mothers, and will be spent long before the band head back home.
They don't need the prize money, anyway. They're doing fine as it is thank you very much. Indeed some have criticised this year's AMP shortlist for being too "safe" in terms of acts chosen, something the winners noted in their pre-supplied acceptance speech, which said: "[We like that] AMP celebrates excellence and quality in Australian albums, regardless of their popularity or success, but also recognises that those things are not mutually exclusive".
Second, the Choice Music Prize has been presented in Ireland, and the surprise there was that it was handed to a previous winner, meaning electro-rock types Jape have won the honour twice in its eight year history. In his acceptance speech band founder Richie Egan, according to the Irish Times, said: "This year I didn't think we'd win because the line-up is so great. I actually thought that Lisa Hannigan was definitely going to win. To be honest all of the fucking bands on the list are so good, I'm just actually in shock that we won".
Well done one and all. Well, mainly Jape and The Jezabels. And mother.
MUSIC WEEK NOMS OUT
High Street Retail Brand: ASDA, Fopp, HMV, Sainsbury's, Tesco
Independent Retailer: Rough Trade East, London; Resident Records, Brighton; Banquet Records, Kingston Upon Thames; Rise Records, Bristol; Sound It Out, Stockton On Tees
Online Retail Brand: Amazon, eMusic, HMV, iTunes, Play.com
Non-Retail Digital Music Service: Deezer, The Orchard, Spotify, VEVO, We7
Radio Station: 6music, Absolute Radio, Capital FM, Kerrang! Radio, Radio 1, Radio 2, Wave 105.2
Radio Show: The Chris Evans Breakfast Show (Radio 2); MistaJam (1xtra); The Ronnie Wood Show (Absolute); Steve Lamacq (6music); In Demand: Uncut with Jim Gellatly (Bauer Scotland); Rickie, Melvin And Charlie In The Morning (Kiss); The Roger Day Evening Show (BBC Radio South East)
TV Show: Later... with Jools Holland (BBC Two), The Jo Whiley Music Show (Sky Arts), The X-Factor (ITV), Glastonbury Coverage (BBC Two, Three, Four), Professor Green Unseen (Channel 4),
A&R Award: Asylum Records, Universal/Island Records, Universal/Mercury Records, Ministry Of Sound Recordings, Beggars/XL Recordings
Catalogue Marketing Campaign: Nirvana - Nevermind (Universal), The Smiths Complete (Warner/Rhino), Steps - The Ultimate Collection (Sony/RCA), Suede Re-Issues (Demon), Why Pink Floyd? (EMI), The Who Quadrophenia (Universal)
Artist Marketing Campaign: Adele (Beggars/XL), Jessie J (Universal/Island), Olly Murs (Sony/Epic), Frank Turner (Xtra Mile Recordings), Coldplay (EMI/Parlophone), Lana Del Rey (Universal/Polydor)
PR Campaign: Adele (Purple PR), One Direction (Hackford Jones), Ed Sheeran (Warner/Atlantic), Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds (Murray Chalmers), Military Wives (Universal/Decca), Emeli Sandé (EMI/Virgin)
Promotions Team: Universal/Island, Warner Bros, Cop Media, EMI/Virgin, Universal/Decca, Sony/Columbia, Warner/Atlantic
Distribution Team: Arvato, Proper Distribution, Gem Logistics, Absolute, EMI
Sales Team: PIAS, Sony Music, Warner Music, Proper Music, Universal Music, EMI
Manager Of The Year: Stuart Camp (Rocket Music Management), Jonathan Dickins (September Management), Dave Holmes (3D Artist Management), Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee (Modest Management), Jho Oakley (Jho Management)
Music & Brand Partnership: Converse Gigs @ 100 Club (Cornerstone Agency), Lucozade & Various Artists (Billington Cartmell Agency), On Track With Seat 2011 (Universal Music UK), Bands In Transit (Ford/Love Live), The Station Sessions Live From St. Pancras International (HS1/Emerge Media)
Live Music Venue: The Leadmill, Sheffield; HMV Forum, London; The O2, London; Shepherd's Bush Empire; The Lexington, London; Birmingham Symphony Hall
Independent Record Company: Fatcat, Domino, Thrill Jockey, Beggars/XL, Bella Union
Record Company: Warner/Atlantic, Universal/Island, Ministry Of Sound Universal/Mercury, Beggars/XL
EMI PUBLISHING SIGNS FORMER X-FACTOR FINALIST
Confirming the deal, EMI Publishing's Guy Moot told CMU: "We are thrilled to have signed Rebecca. Her career is off to a flying start and her talent as a songwriter is undeniable. The whole team have been deeply impressed by Rebecca's natural songwriting ability from the start. She writes honestly and from the heart, and that allows her to connect with people. We're now looking forward to creating opportunities for her music to be heard on a worldwide stage".
Ferguson herself added: "I'm so excited to be working with EMI Music Publishing, they have such a great history and so many fantastic songwriters have signed with them. I'm looking forward to a successful and creative relationship".
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KEVIN ROWLAND'S DEXYS SIGN TO BMG
Although the v2.0 BMG, launched in 2008, has focused in the main on music publishing, it's always had ambitions in the sound recordings space too, and has acquired some master recording rights along the way. However, the new BMG has no intention of becoming a traditional record company, and in terms of new recordings is looking for partnership deals, managing and marketing releases in partnership with the artist and their management, who in turn have more control and earn a higher royalty.
Confirming this approach is what attracted Dexys and its driving force Kevin Rowland to BMG, the band's manager Tim Vigon told CMU: "When you're talking about one of the most legendary artists the UK has ever produced, it's important to be able to hand-pick a team that has the necessary clout and passion. The BMG model has given us that freedom. BMG are very committed and we have worked out every detail of this release together. It's a team effort and feels very exciting".
Giving the BMG take on the deal, the firm's SVP of UK Alexi Cory-Smith added: "Artists are increasingly demanding a say in the way their music is sold. They want transparency and an alternative to the old-style record deal. That is what the BMG masters deal is about".
Meanwhile, focusing on the Dexys deal in particular, BMG's Manager of Masters UK Danny Watson said: "It is a huge honour to work with Kevin Rowland and Dexys. The album is extraordinary and is set to be one of the musical highlights of 2012".
BEACH HOUSE CONFIRM BLOOM DETAILS, LIVE DATES
There's also a tracklisting:
Oh, and these live dates in the album's honour:
23 May: Brighton, The Haunt
LANA DEL REY, DAMON ALBARN CONTRIBUTE TO NEW BOBBY WOMACK LP
Featuring guest vocals by Lana Del Rey on album track 'Dayglo Reflection', it comes co-produced by Damon Albarn - with whom Womack previously collaborated on Gorillaz single 'Stylo' - and Richard Russell, boss of XL Recordings, who will oversee the long player's release on 11 Jun.
Russell's blog states that Womack's LP cut 'Stupid' samples part of a monologue by Gil Scott-Heron, whose final album 'I'm New Here' the XL chief also supervised.
Download 'Please Forgive My Heart' for free from www.bobbywomack.com
The Bravest Man In The Universe
OFF! TO RELEASE FIRST LP PROPER
You can preview several tracks from the LP via this Noisey studio video. www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8iXUMBBwpo
THE TEMPER TRAP ANNOUNCE ALBUM, TOUR
With new album track 'Rabbit Hole' now available to preview at www.thetempertrap.com, the band will release lead single 'Need Your Love' on 7 May.
Need Your Love
WHISKEY DISTILLERY ANNOUNCES FREE TICKET LOTTERY FOR ON-SITE FESTIVAL
No acts have yet been announced for the two-day festival, but organisers hint that all announced artists will bear some association to the Bushmills brand. Bon Iver, Chromeo, Theophilus London, Foy Vance and Iain Archer all feature in the company's current advertising campaign, so it stands to reason that at least one will appear on the festival's final billing.
Free tickets for the event, which takes place in the County Antrim locale from 21-22 Jul, aren't available by conventional means. Entrants must instead apply for pairs of passes by submitting a photo and an explanation as to why they'd like to attend the festival. Full details of the contest, which runs from 17 Mar - 27 Apr, are available on the Bushmills Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Bushmills1608
Says Bushmills' Master Distiller, Colum Egan: "It will be fantastic to host some of our most famous friends as part of Bushmills Live this summer. It will be a unique occasion and will bring the best of handmade music and the best of handmade Irish Whiskey together under one roof".
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
THE APPLE CART, Victoria Park, London, 3 Jun: Victoria Park's rosiest one-day music/comedy/cabaret event completes its overall roster with the all-new presence of Lianne La Havas, Jamie N Commons, Supergrass' Gaz Coombes and Bill Wells & Aiden Moffat. Noah And The Whale, Billy Bragg, Josh T Pearson, Beth Jeans Houghton, Scritti Politti and Adam Ant also feature on the final bill. On the funny side of the line-up, Rich Hall and improv troupe the Phil Jupitus Quartet join Shappi Khorsandi, Josie Long and Miles Jupp. www.theapplecartfestival.com
BELLADRUM TARTAN HEART, Belladrum Estate, Inverness-shire, Scotland, 3-4 Aug: Headliners The Wombats, plus Slow Club, Beverley Knight, We Are Scientists and Bastille form part of a pleasing first announcement regarding this year's Belladrum Tartan Heart, which also includes a Scottish festival exclusive in Saturday's main stage supremos, Travis. www.tartanheartfestival.co.uk
ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL, Seaclose Park, Newport, Isle of Wight, 21-22 Jun: Lana Del Rey has just been added to the bill for this year's Isle Of Wight festival. She joins the previously announced line-up, which includes headliners Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band. www.isleofwightfestival.com
MTV PRESENTS TITANIC SOUNDS, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 13 Apr: Staged as part of Belfast's Titanic Festival, which will this year mark the centenary since the construction of the ill-fated ocean liner, MTV's open-air concert will deliver Olly Murs, Rizzle Kicks and Sean Paul as its all-star artists. Says Murs: "I always love coming to Belfast, and it will be a great way to commemorate 100 years since the Titanic was built there!" www.mtv.co.uk/events/mtv-presents-titanic-sounds
RADIO 1'S HACKNEY WEEKEND, Hackney Marshes, East London, 23-24 Jun: Jay-Z is coming to Hackney, everyone. For real this time (http://www.thecmuwebsite.com/article/editors-letter-is-all-publicity-good-publicity/). Mr Zed will headline the BBC's silly pre-Olympics bash in June, joining the likes of Jack White, Lana Del Rey, Plan B, Jessie J and Bombay Bicycle Club. www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/events/hackneyweekend2012/
TURNTABLE.FM CLOSE TO GETTING LABEL DEALS
Turntable.fm caused a little excitement when it first appeared last year. It allows users to invite friends into a virtual room, and to then play music via the platform to the computers of anyone virtually present. After a flurry of excitement in Europe as well as North America, the service was subsequently limited to US users as the digital firm began licensing talks with the rights owners.
A deal was quickly struck on the publishing side with collecting society ASCAP, but negotiations with the record companies have been ongoing ever since. Some feared that the labels would make demands that would make it impossible for the service to get off the ground as a properly licensed set up, though amongst its first round of investors were two useful allies, Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter and long-time Madonna business partner Guy Oseary.
C-Net reckons some announcements on major label deals could be made during this month's SxSW in Austin, though both Turntable and its possible label partners have so far stayed tight lipped. It also remains to be seen if expansion beyond the US is currently on the agenda.
SONGKICK ANNOUNCES COMPLETION OF NEW INVESTMENT ROUND
Confirming the new round of investment, Songkick founder and CEO Ian Hogarth told reporters: "We set this company up as three friends in an attic with the simple idea that fans would go to more concerts if someone made it really easy, and focused on the bands rather than just the venues. We've since gathered proof that it makes a meaningful difference to people's lives: when people start using Songkick, they go to almost twice as many gigs the year after".
So far Songkick has stayed neutral in terms of ticket providers and media, providing affiliate links to various ticketing agencies, and forming content partnerships with various media and digital partners.
While Songkick likes its neutrality, Ticketmaster is possibly a powerful partner, or indeed competitor. It's also possible that some of the firm's new investors expect Live Nation to make a bid for the company down the line, which will provide the opportunity to cash in on this week's investment.
Either way, Songkick remains one of the UK's most interesting music-based digital set ups.
DIGTAL ROUND UP: SPOTIFY APPS, VEVO'S MTV DEAL, GOOGLE PLAY AND AUDIOGALAXY'S RETURN
First up, Spotify told the Music Apps: Beyond The Hype conference that its users had spent 13.1 million hours using its apps since the streaming music platform allowed such things last year. The Guardian points out that's just 1.3 hours per user, which probably means a small community has embraced the Spot apps big time, but most people are yet to see the point.
Certainly the Spotify app channel still seems to be something with more potential than current use at the moment. But the streaming company certainly sees the app thing as a major part of its future - probably rightly - with the firm's Director Of Platform Sten Garmark tell The Guardian: "We have to turn ourselves into the OS of music. We are in the middle of a transformation from being an app ourselves to being a platform".
Elsewhere in streaming music, VEVO and MTV announced a new deal, which brings official videos from the VEVO library to the music broadcaster's websites. VEVO and MTV actually had a similar deal once before, but not since 2010.
It was reported last December new negotiations were under way, and a deal was confirmed earlier this month, with videos represented by VEVO now already appearing on MTV sites. MTV already has a deal with the one major not participating in the VEVO party - Warner Music - so the broadcaster now has all the big boys on board.
Over at Google towers, the web giant launched a new brand called Google Play, of which Google Music, the Google eBookstore and the Android Market will all be constituent parts. The new platform will also incorporate the web firm's digital locker service.
Some wondered if the rejig was a bid to give a new boost to Google's music download platform, which seems to have run out of momentum following its much hyped launch last year. Though Google bringing together all its digital content assets might be more linked to the company's plans to enter the digital device market with a one-stop entertainment centre of some sort.
And finally in this quick digital update, Audiogalaxy is back. One of the early digital music brands, the original Audiogalaxy - a file-sharing service - appeared in the very first edition of the CMU Daily in 2002 as it reached an out of court settlement with the Recording Industry Association Of America, which basically rendered its original business model redundant.
Work on a Warner Music-backed attempt to launch a licensed P2P service through the US colleges followed, as well as an involvement in Rhapsody, but all that went quiet a couple of years back. But now a new Audiogalaxy has launched offering some sort of cloud-based digital-locker play-back set up, seemingly with scan and match functionality, so users don't actually have to upload all their digital music files to enable remote listening.
We're still not 100% certain how the new look Audiogalaxy works, but it will be interesting to see whether the new service forces the brand back into the pop courts. Although the new service is licensed, all the deals are with collecting societies and royalty agencies, so on the sound recordings side that's SoundExchange, which licenses online radio style services such as Pandora on behalf of the labels in the US. It remains to be seen if the big record companies believe the Audiogalaxy v3.0 service can operate under such a licence.
BBC CONSIDERING ITS OWN PROGRAMME DOWNLOAD PLATFORM
According to paidContent, the Beeb itself - rather than its commercial spin-off BBC Worldwide - is developing the proposals to respond to ambitions within the Corporation to make as much new and archive BBC programming available for download as possible to licence payers in the UK. Currently only a fraction is available via BBC Worldwide's deals with services like iTunes.
Such a move will be swamped with politics of course. First up, the Beeb will have to negotiate deals with any third parties with interests in its programmes, in particular the independent producers who make a chunk of the Corporation's output.
There will also no doubt be questions asked about what it will cost to digitise the entire BBC archive, whether its right to re-charge licence fee payers for content their licence fee funded, and what impact the downloads will have on BBC Worldwide's DVD business, which brings in extra revenue to subsidise the licence fee at BBC central.
Then there are the technical questions about how these downloads will work, what devices they will play on, and how users already downloading BBC shows to their iTunes player will be affected. And that's before commercial media owners and digital operators file the customary moans about the BBC exploiting its size and state-funded archive.
All of which makes this an ambitious plan, but an interesting one nevertheless. I wonder if anyone has even thought about the licensing challenges involved in making classic 'Top Of The Pops' episodes available for download.
CMU BEEF OF THE WEEK #101: MILEY CYRUS V HATERS OF SCIENCE
She added a quote of her own: "Beautiful". And she's right, Krauss' words are quite poetic - see science can be fun even when Brian Cox isn't rubbing his face all over it. Not all of Cyrus's followers agreed though, and the tweet received a flurry of angry replies, such as this one: "would U post anything that said 'Forget Allah'??? I hope U never claim 2 B of God/Jesus again....just saying! oh....& I hope ya'll enjoy ur fame & fortune now....cuz you can't take it w/you when you evaporate into star dust!!!!"
Faced with an argument put so articulately, you might think that would have been Cyrus told, but no. Miley stood her ground. Earlier this week she returned to Twitter to say: "How can people take the love out of science and bring hate into religion so easily? It makes me sad to think the world is this way. Like Einstein says: 'Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind'".
You might say that Miley Cyrus quoting theoretical physicists is a sign of the coming apocalypse, but that's because you're a horrible cynic. And surely a world where popstars have opinions on things and debate issues of science and religion with their Twitter followers is better than one where they just tweet shit like: "All this aircon on planes! Grrrrr".