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NME AND MORRISSEY SETTLE OVER RACISM CLAIMS
As previously reported, last year Morrissey finally got round to suing the music weekly over an interview it ran with him back in 2007 in which the singer appeared to say that an "immigration explosion" had damaged Britain's identity. Morrissey immediately hit out at the magazine and its then editor Conor McNicholas, arguing they had twisted his words to make him look racist, so that the interview would be more sensational and sell more copies. The NME always denied any such editorial meddling.
In November last year, top libel judge Michael Tugendhat ruled that, despite the four year delay between the interview being published and Moz suing, the case could go ahead to full trial.
NME's publisher IPC Media had initially asked that the case be dismissed, arguing that it would be unfair to expect McNicholas, the interviewer Tim Jonze and then NME editor Krissi Murison-Hodge (Dep Ed at the time of the interview's publication) to remember conversations and editorial decisions had and made over four years ago. The company also pointed out that the fact that Morrissey had enjoyed much success as a recording and performing artist in the intervening years made a mockery of his claim the interview had harmed his reputation.
When those arguments were rejected, IPC said, as people tend to in these situations, that it was looking forward to its day in court. But sadly that day will never come, because an out of court settlement was announced yesterday.
The first sign of a shift in the deadlock that existed between the two sides was the publication of an "it was all a misunderstanding, mate" style apology on the NME website yesterday morning, which read: "In December 2007, we published an article entitled 'Morrissey: Big mouth strikes again'. Following this, Morrissey began proceedings for libel against us. His complaint is that we accused him of being a racist off the back of an interview which he gave to the magazine. He believes the article was edited in such a way that made him seem reactionary".
Concluding, the magazine said: "We wish to make clear that we do not believe that he is a racist; we didn't think we were saying he was and we apologise to Morrissey if he or anyone else misunderstood our piece in that way. We never set out to upset Morrissey and we hope we can both get back to doing what we do best".
IPC then issued a further statement to Music Week, saying: "NME is pleased that it has buried the hatchet with Morrissey in respect of the libel case he brought against us. Morrissey sued over an article based on interviews with him which he believed accused him of racism".
It continued: "After an on-going dialogue with Morrissey and his representatives, NME today publishes a clarification in the magazine and online which makes it clear that we do not believe we ever called Morrissey a racist and nor do we believe he is. We have said sorry to Morrissey for any misunderstanding that may have arisen".
Giving details of the actual settlement, the company said: "The settlement with Morrissey does not involve payment of any damages or legal costs (other than the small sum of costs which the court ordered NME to pay last year when we applied unsuccessfully to have the case struck out on grounds of delay)".
So, there you go. We didn't get the trial we were looking forward to and Morrissey didn't get any cash out of it. It's hard to see what the point of it all was.
LAURYN HILL AVOIDED TAX "IN ORDER TO LIVE AND CREATE OPTIMALLY"
In the statement, Hill said: "For the past several years, I have remained what others would consider underground. I did this in order to build a community of people, like-minded in their desire for freedom and the right to pursue their goals and lives without being manipulated and controlled by a media protected military industrial complex with a completely different agenda ... These devices of control, no matter how well intentioned (or not), can have a devastating outcome on the lives of people, especially creative types who must grow and exist within a certain environment and according to a certain pace, in order to live and create optimally".
Elsewhere in the lengthy statement, she said: "I did whatever needed to be done in order to insulate my family from the climate of hostility, false entitlement, manipulation, racial prejudice, sexism and ageism that I was surrounded by. This was absolutely critical while trying to find and establish a new and very necessary community of healthy people, and also heal and detoxify myself and my family while raising my young children".
Finally, she explained: "I conveyed all of this when questioned as to why I did not file taxes during this time period. Obviously, the danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution".
Hill is due in court on 26 Jun. If convicted she faced up to three years in prison and fine of up to $300,000.
UNION SQUARE ANNOUNCES KIRSTY MACCOLL REISSUES CAMPAIGN
'The One And Only Kirsty MacColl' promotion will include digital and physical reissues of albums 'Kite', 'Electric Landlady' and 'Titantic Days', plus CD re-releases of the singer's debut album 'Desperate Chancer' and of the charity tribute album recorded at the Shepherds Bush Empire in 2010 featuring various other artists performing MacColl's songs. Under the new deal, USM will also now handle synchronisation and sub-licensing deals for 'Kite' and 'Electric Landlady'.
USM MD Peter Stack told CMU: "Since Kirsty's tragic death in 2000, her great music lives on and she has become an inspiration to many of today's female singer-songwriters. USM are very proud and excited to be working with this great catalogue and hope to play a part in bringing Kirsty's music to a whole new generation of music fans".
TYLER SIGNS PUBLISHING DEAL WITH OLE
Confirming the deal, Ole's LA-based Creative Director Chad Richardson told reporters: "As one of the few people to have heard the upcoming Aerosmith record, 'Music From Another Dimension', I can enthusiastically say that it's an amazing piece of work and that Steven and the band sound better than ever".
Tyler himself added: "Chad is a songwriter and lover of music, who heard what I heard and it was a perfect fit into another dimension for all of us. I look forward to working with Chad and Ole".
PET SHOP BOYS SHARE LP TRAILER
Continuing with the theme of general vagueness, an unspecified Pet Shop Boy (it's either Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe, or both at once) says this: "We wanted to make this album in a different environment. Despite frequent visits there we have never made an album in Los Angeles. Working there with Andrew Dawson has enabled us to make a very fresh-sounding album".
If you like, you can see a short film based on 'Elysium' at www.petshopboys.co.uk
SKY FERREIRA DEBUTS VERY LITERAL NEW VIDEO
Directed by go-to photography letch Terry Richardson, the promo features Sky applying lots of crimson mouth make-up (and a tarantula) to her face whilst not wearing very many clothes. And that's about all that happens. Did I mention the tarantula?
If this sounds like something you'd like to see, do so now:
EAGULLS TO RELEASE EP
The band will promote said EP, which is released digitally and on transparent green vinyl via Sexbeat on 16 Jul, with an appearance at London's CAMP Basement (18 Jul) and a free homecoming gig at Leeds' Brudenell Social Club on 20 Jul.
CHERYL COLE LISTS FIRST SOLO ARENA TOUR
Speaking to SugarScape, the miniature pop star said she's prepared go to any lengths to ensure her fans leave her concerts feeling "hyper".
She says: "I would fly, I would swan-dive. I would have a b-stage and a c-stage, I would do all of it. Tricks. I love bells and whistles. I want people to go away feeling excited, like that was the best thing they've ever seen. You know when you leave a concert and you feel hyper? That's what I want".
Tickets for the tour go on sale this Friday at 9am, and the dates look like this:
3 Oct: Belfast, Odyssey Arena
KINDNESS TO PLAY EROL ALKAN CLUB NIGHT
In relevant news, Alkan has created a seven minute remix of Kindness' 'Gee Up', which is released as part of Bainbridge et al's 'House' EP on 18 Jun.
Preview part of it here: soundcloud.com/erolalkan/kindness-gee-up-erol-alkans
HERE WE GO MAGIC SET LONDON DATE
Touring hasn't always been so glamorous for the band, mind; not long ago they were busking on a damp Hampstead Heath bandstand playing 'A Different Ship' standout 'Alone But Moving'. No really, look: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ySz8p7v7Vk
BUGG TO PLAY KOKO
Bugg's manager Keith Armstrong told CMU: "To go from the 100 Club straight to Koko is unbelievable - I can't wait!"
LICENSING ISSUES CAUSE CANCELLATION OF WOWFEST
The event's promoters say that demands that a £140,000 fee for council and emergency services be paid by 31 May, and that an additional unspecified financial bond be made to the Isle Of Wight Council, have made staging this year's event impossible. Organisers had hoped that reducing the capacity of the event to just under 5000 would have helped overcome licensing issues, but the council seemingly wouldn't let them change their licensing terms at this stage.
Festivals over a 5000 capacity on the Isle Of Wight are licensed under a special bit of UK legislation introduced after the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival, when an estimated 600,000 music fans flocked to the island. WOWfest's organisers say that they originally had a good relationship with the local authority when discussing their three year plan for the event, but that things have become more difficult of late, partly because of the actions of "anti-festival lobbyists".
Confirming the cancellation, WOWfest organisers said in a statement yesterday: "Putting the festival together, in what is proving to be a very challenging year and with damage inflicted by anti-festival lobbyists, was more difficult than we anticipated. Although great confidence had initially been shown by the Isle Of Wight Council to grant a Premises Licence for 18,000 rising to 22,000 capacity over a three year period and to further grant permission to run an event of that size under the Isle Of Wight Act, there are many forces trying to prevent the event happening".
They continued: "There is no doubt of the WOWfest team's operational capabilities to deliver such an event. However, the Isle Of Wight Act conditions imposed by the council on 18 May required a lump sum payment of over £140,000 for council and emergency services to be brought forward to 31 May. WOW Festivals Ltd informed the Isle Of Wight Council and responsible authorities, before the payment deadline for over £140,000 under the Isle Of Wight Act fell due, that WOWfest would revert to run a downsized event - under the size (5000) at which the Isle Of Wight Act is invoked. owever, the Isle Of Wight Council rejected a minor variation application to voluntarily reduce the capacity and hours of operation on our Premises Licence and the police decided to call for a full licence review, at the start of the Jubilee weekend. [This means] the planned event for 2012 will need to be postponed".
But Isle Of Wight Council leader David Pugh, who campaigned against the event, said that the demise of WOWfest was totally the fault of its promoters. He told the Isle Of Wight County Press: "Whilst it remains our view that this event should never have been granted a licence, its failure is entirely down to the organisers and their inability to put sufficient measures in place that would have met the delivery of the four licensing objectives. It was only a matter of time before this conclusion was reached, and it is a shame that the organisers have sought to divert attention from their own shortcomings in making this announcement".
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
CORNBURY MUSIC FESTIVAL, The Great Tew Estate, Chipping Norton, 29 Jun - 1 Jul: Stooshe and Aurora J Young are just a couple of the many, many musicians and comedians now primed to visit Cornbury's premiere live platform, and accompany Elvis Costello & The Imposters, James Morrison, Jools Holland, Alison Moyet, Pixie Lott, Macy Gray, Aloe Blacc and Will Young on its listings at large. www.cornburyfestival.com
READING/LEEDS FESTIVALS, 24-26 Aug: Sleigh Bells, The View, The Subways, Feeder, Niki & The Dove, Alt-J, SCUM and Veronica Falls feature on the identical line-ups of Reading and Leeds' Festival Republic Stage, and therefore join The Cure, Kasabian, Foo Fighters, The Maccabees, At The Drive-In, Justice, Metronomy, Paramore and The Black Keys on both overall rosters.
RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS, Newquay, Cornwall, 8-12 Aug: Spector, Dodgy, Sway, Utah Saints, Mistajam and Karima Francis and more form part of Boardmasters' latest live enlistments, existing examples of which include headliners Ed Sheeran and Dizzee Rascal, plus Maverick Sabre, The Ting Tings, The Big Pink, Maximo Park and Zane Lowe. www.boardmasters.co.uk
SUMMER SERIES AT SOMERSET HOUSE, London, 7-19 Jul: With Jessie Ware just booked to support Paloma Faith at her headlining Summer Series episode on 18 Jul, Somerset House's seasonal spectacular is also to host Tim Minchin, Anna Calvi, The Temper Trap, M83, Katy B, Jill Scott and Charlotte Gainsbourg. www.somersethouse.org.uk
RECORD INDUSTRY TO SEE NEW GROWTH IN NEXT FIVE YEARS, PWC SAYS
In the music space, PWC reckons digital sales of recorded music will fully surpass physical product sales worldwide in the next five years - as previously reported, we have started to see digital outsell physical in various markets already, including the UK for one quarter. By 2016 digital could account for between two thirds and three quarters of recorded music revenue. The record industry will also go through a new period of growth in the next five years after years of decline as the recorded music firms have been coming to terms with the digital revolution. Elsewhere PWC reckons the live sector, despite recent wobbles, will also see further growth in the coming years.
Markets-wise, China passed Germany to become the third biggest market for entertainment and media in 2011, so that the biggest four E&M markets are now the US ($464 billion a year), Japan ($193 billion), China ($109 billion) and Germany ($99 billion). The E&M market in Brazil is also seeing considerable growth, according to the report, being already ahead of South Korea and set to pass Canada and Italy in the coming years.
MU SUPPORTS EUROPEAN PETITION ON AIR TRAVEL WITH MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
As previously reported, musicians are frustrated that rules regards taking instruments on board as hand luggage vary from airline to airline, making it difficult planning international trips with valuable instruments that performers are unwilling to put in the hold. The MU has lobbied the UK government on the issue previously, and in theory the Department Of Transport has made moves to address the problem, though the Union says some airlines continue to set their own arbitrary rules.
Commenting on the new petition, John Smith, General Secretary of the MU and President of FIM, told CMU: "It is only by working at a European and international level that we can successfully tackle this issue, and that is why today's petition from FIM is so important. Just a few months ago we saw the US Congress introduce a uniform national policy regarding musical instruments on airplanes - we need to see similar action in Europe. The problem is that existing law allows each airline to set their own policy regarding musical instruments - which we have seen recently with BA. We need uniformity and fairness across the whole sector".
SPOTIFY'S SUCCESS IS KEY TO DEEZER'S, SAYS CFO
Asked why Deezer (which last year announced plans to launch in more countries than actually exist in the world) had not yet made any plans to enter the American market, Baldeyrou said: "The US is the world's biggest market, but it is also the most competitive. This is also iTunes' main market. [And] the price to enter the market is very high. [But] we hope Spotify will manage to evangelise customers on streaming there".
He added: "Spotify is a direct competitor, but the market is so wide that we see them more as partners [who can] evangelise customers on streaming. We believe our web-based approach is much more flexible though, and belongs to the future of the internet, allowing, for example, people to access their account from any device".
Despite apparently requiring Spotify to succeed long term in order to assure its own global future, Baldeyrou said that Deezer already has a strong financial base in its home country, France: "Deezer is profitable in France since 2011. We are in an investment phase abroad. We had a 50 million euros turnover in 2011, against 14 million euros in 2010, and 6 million euros in 2009. 80% of our revenue comes from subscription, which is our growth driver, 20% from advertising".
He also confirmed that tel co Orange has an 11% stake in the company, a deal cut in order to gain access to the ISP and mobile provider's customers in France.
SPOTIFY LAUNCHES NEW ANDROID APP, SOUNDROP GETS FUNDING
Announcing the new app, Spotify's VP Products Gustav Södertröm said: "For all our Android users, this Spotify update is a huge leap forward. We've rebuilt it from top to bottom, making it faster, slicker and much better looking. The feedback we got from the preview we released a few weeks back was really positive. We wanted to give our users something special - we really hope you like it".
In other Spotify news, Soundrop one of the original third party apps made available in the streaming service's app store when it launched last December, has received $3 million in funding. The cash injection from original Spotify investor Northzone makes it the first third party Spotify app to receive such investment.
One of the more popular Spotify apps, Soundrop allows users to add tracks to a collaborative playlist and vote for which should be fast tracked up the queue. Tracks are then played to all members of a Soundrop 'room', where they are provided with chat features so that they can complain that they don't like what's playing (or say they like it, I suppose). In May this year, Soundrop says, 60 million tracks were played in 7000 'rooms'.
THREE PARTIES INTERESTED IN BUYING GUARDIAN'S RADIO STATIONS
It's thought the UK's biggest radio firm, Global, which owns Capital, Heart, Classic FM, Xfm and LBC among other stations, is likely to be a lead bidder, though rival UTV is also said to be interested. According to Media Guardian, an equity outfit may be the third bidder.
The Guardian Media Group hasn't actually formally put its radio business up for sale, though there has been talk of it selling the division before. The media firm, ultimately reporting to the not for profit Scott Trust, is obligated by its constitution to pursue profitable media ventures to safeguard the future of the usually loss-making Guardian newspaper and website.
It's thought GMG Radio could fetch up to £50 million, somewhat less than the £118.9 million value listed next to the business on GMG's balance sheet, though probably a fair price for a company generating in the region of £4 million in profits a year. Global and UTV would hope to make the firm more profitable by reducing its costs through economies of scale.
If Global were to acquire GMG Radio the deal would likely be subject to an enquiry by the Competition Commission, and the company might be forced to sell off some of its new acquisition's licences in some regions where Global already dominates. The company was forced to do something similar in the Midlands when it bought GCap in 2008.
PLANET ROCK LAUNCHES PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
The digital radio firm is being pretty upfront that the VIP club initiative is a bid to develop new revenue streams for the station beyond traditional on-air advertising and sponsorship. Station boss Malcolm Bluemel told CMU: "The world is changing and Planet Rock has to change with it. We are asking our family of listeners to help us make that change and secure the future of their favourite radio station".
STONE ROSES MISS ENCORE AFTER DRUMMER GOES HOME
The recently reformed band are playing various gigs and festivals around Europe before their big three night homecoming bash in Manchester's Heaton Park later this month. Everything seems to have been really rather amicable about this reunion so far - in fact most shows have felt like a bit of a love in between the old band mates - which is no fun at all. And it was perhaps with that in mind that the band's drummer boycotted the expected encore rendition of 'I Am The Resurrection' at last night's gig, while frontman Ian Brown told to his audience "what can I say, the drummer's a cunt".
Various theories have been circulating online as to why Reni left the venue before his band's encore (as have incorrect reports that the drummer stormed off stage mid-show), with some suggesting there were technical problems with the drum kit, others that there was confusion over whether or not there'd be an encore (and, seemingly, Reni usually makes a quick exit once any gig is over), and more fun theorising that the drums man was mightily pissed off about something or other, and now the entire reunion and upcoming Manchester shows are in jeopardy. Though Louder Than War notes that when initially leaving the stage Reni gave guitarist John Squire a hug, which doesn't really sound like a bandmate on an angry rampage.
Anyway, whatever, Ian Brown made light of the situation when some fans expressed displeasure at the lack of an encore, telling the audience: "I'm not joking, the drummer's gone home. Get all your aggro out on me, I can take it. What can I say, the drummer's a cunt". I guess we'll find out if Reni's premature exit is anything more than a bit of confusion or a temporary bad temper if and when the band arrive on stage for their next booking, at a festival in Sweden tomorrow.