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ATP COMPANY GOES INTO LIQUIDATION, BUT EVENTS TO CONTINUE
Hogan admitted last year that ticket sales for the early-summer ATP events had declined in recent years, when he announced that moving forward his company would focus on its December holiday camp events, the city-based I'll Be Your Mirror mini-festivals and more conventional tours. More recently he announced that ATP would be working with Pontins again on its holiday camp events, ending a six year partnership with Butlins, which with hindsight was likely due to the festival company tackling financial problems.
Hogan incorporated a new company at the end of May, called Willwal Ltd, and it is now listed as promoter of future ATP events, meaning that up coming tours and festivals being advertised by the firm will still go ahead. On Twitter last night, Team ATP wrote: "To address the rumours some of you may have seen; there are some changes currently happening with the company, but none of the currently scheduled events or future events will be affected". Another statement is expected later today.
After having avoided the wobble experienced by the US live industry in 2010, the British live sector has had a challenging 2012, especially in the festivals space. As previously reported, a number of key festivals, large and small, have been called off this year, while some of those that have gone ahead have had noticeably smaller attendances (on occasion, embarrassingly so).
The distraction of the Olympics has been blamed by many promoters, while both Music Festivals plc boss Vince Power and MAMA Group chief Dean James have both criticised the BBC for plonking a big fat free-to-enter licence-fee-funded London-based festival (ie the Hackney Weekend) into the middle of an already crowded market place.
While the Olympics and the BBC's Hackney Weekend almost certainly has had an impact (especially on those promoting London-based events), a lack of 'new generation' headline acts to fill a rock-biased festival calendar, the recession properly taking a grip, and pretty miserable weather (which becomes a factor once you are relying on last minute ticket sales) have all had an impact too.
Given that smaller players in the live sector operate on very tight profit margins even in the good times, it's widely expected that a number of promoters could be facing administration or forced restructure in the current climate, with some speculating that at least one bigger player could be affected too. It's not clear what suppliers will have been caught up in the liquidation of the ATP company, though given the popularity of the ATP event and brand, many will be pleased that both can continue via a new corporate entity.
LLOYD-WEBBER SPARKS EUROVISION RACISM ROW
Referring to his involvement in the 2009 Song Contest in Moscow, where Jade Ewen represented the UK, Lloyd-Webber told the Radio Times: "At the press conference in Moscow, I was asked: 'Why have you brought a black artist?' I said: 'Because she is the most talented artist that we had and I think she's a major, major star'. I think we would have come second [that year with a white artist] but there's a problem when you go further east [ie Eastern European countries are less likely to give points to non-white artists]. If you're talking about Western Europe - Germany, fine; France, fine; Spain, fine; Greece, fine; Scandinavian countries, fine. But Ukraine? Not so good".
On this year's contest in Azerbaijan, he said: "I don't think there's any point beating around the bush. Did you see the Eurovision Song Contest this year? Well, if you had seen it, you might have noticed one thing - I don't think there was one black face on the programme".
However, the European Broadcasting Union, which stages the annual event, hit back at the comments, telling BBC News: "We have had no indications of racism. On the contrary, we celebrate the differences among different entries, truly uniting Europe for three nights a year. At this year's final we had a female black singer representing Ukraine. Also, the backing dancer of this year's winner Loreen, was black. Not to mention the French contestant Anggun of Indonesian origin".
Yeah Andrew, that's two black faces and a singer from South East Asia, what are you talking about?
The BBC also issued a statement denying the racism claims, saying: "The BBC is committed to Eurovision and has no evidence whatsoever of any racism around the event. Jade Ewen got to a very respectable fifth place in 2009 when 32 out of 41 countries gave the UK points. Jade was given points from nineteen Eastern European countries, including Ukraine, in 2009".
Of course, as previously noted, the UK generally doesn't perform well at Eurovision because it enters shit songs (including that penned by Lloyd Webber), though that's not to say the event isn't immune to political voting and institutionalised racism.
FRANK OCEAN POSTS OPEN LETTER ABOUT HIS SEXUALITY
The letter, presented as a screen grab of a TextEdit file, and possibly liner notes from 'Channel Orange' (or originally intended as such), says: "Four summers ago I met somebody. I was nineteen years old. He was too. We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide".
It continues: "Most of the day I'd see him, and his smile. I'd hear his conversation and his silence. Until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him. By the time I realised I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life".
Later in the letter he observes: "I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager. The ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realised they were written in a language I did not speak".
Although written in somewhat abstract terms - leading some to speculate whether Ocean would define himself as bisexual or homosexual - the confessional note is arguably brave in a genre that has long been accused of homophobia (indeed such accusations have been made against some of Ocean's Odd Future collaborators), and where it's widely assumed gay artists hide their sexuality for fear of a backlash from fans.
You can read the open letter here.
JIMMY SOMERVILLE SIGNS TO BMG CHRYSALIS
BMG Chrysalis Senior Director, Creative, Kate Sweetsur, told CMU: "Jimmy Somerville occupies a unique place in British pop history, but his latest work shows that there's a whole lot more still to come. We are delighted to welcome his three decades of music to BMG Chrysalis UK".
KATY PERRY TO "STEP OFF THE CLOUD" ON NEXT ALBUM
Speaking to the Radio Times, Perry said: "I feel I have a lot to say on the next record. I have a lot to flush out of the system. I'm not saying that I'm not going to be the candy queen any more, but I think it's time for more meat and potatoes. With [last album] 'Teenage Dream', I created this cotton candy cloud with a kind of a wink and a kiss, and it was all cute and fun and playful. Now it's as if I have had to step off this cloud and face reality. It's like I'm falling from cloud nine and crashing from the sky, crashing from the sweetness of that moment".A
Giving an insight into the possible subject matter of her new songs, she spoke about the difficulty of trying to keep her marriage to Brand stable while maintaining an international career, saying: 'Every ten days or so [while on tour] I would put everybody on pause for three or four days so I could go back and re-charge and see to my relationship and give that time, which was very intense for me because the show was still on the road. But I made that sacrifice because it was important for me and I had made a commitment at that time. Sometimes I had to fly in on the day of the show, completely jet-lagged and feeling like I had been hung by my ankles, and have to go on stage. But it's like I pushed a button when I walked out [on stage]".
So there you go, the marriage broke down despite frequent plane flights across the world. At least we know who to speak to when the polar icecaps melt away.
LIAM GALLAGHER PROMISES NEXT BEADY EYE ALBUM WILL BE BETTER
Speaking to BBC 6music, Gallagher explained why the band's debut, 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' hadn't been up to scratch, saying: "The first album came straight off the back of Oasis splitting up and we just wanted to be in a band again, so we just went straight in and did it. This time, we're taking our time a bit. We're not worried with having to be out there, we'll be there when the songs are absolutely bang on".
He continued: "It's sounding good. We've got a bit more writing to do, but we'll go in and record some time this year. If Stone Roses and Beady Eye both release an album next year, everything will be alright".
Will it though? Really?
NEW DEFTONES ALBUM ALMOST COMPLETE
Speaking to Billboard about the as-yet-untitled record, Moreno said: "It's not a super fast or slow record. It's very dynamic. Some of my favourite things about Deftones are the dynamics. Yes, we're a heavy band, but we're not just in-your-face aggro the whole time, punching you in the face. There's a lot of aggression in some of the music, but there's also this very soothing element where there's a lot of soundscapes rather than attack, attack, attack the whole time. I understand that's a big part of our sound, but I really feel like we reached a peak on our dynamics on this record with those two qualities - the beauty of something and just straight, ruthless aggression".
Explaining how they approached the writing and recording of this album, he added: "It was important that we wanted to not drag it out," he says. "We have a well-documented history of taking forever to make records. But with our last record we did it in a really short, good amount of time, probably four or five months from the time we started writing until we finished it. For us, that was record time, so this time the idea was: 'Let's go in and start a record on this date and let's try to be finished by summertime and keep this work ethic we kind of stumbled upon on the last one', and we did".
He added that with the new Deftones album almost complete, he is ready to finish work on the debut EP from Palms, the band he formed earlier this year with former ISIS members Aaron Harris, Clifford Meyer and Jeff Caxide: "The music's all been recorded and everything, and obviously I've been engulfed in the Deftones record. But I told them as soon as I was done, we would record the vocal stuff. The songs are long as hell, so it's like a full LP. I don't know what it'll be like or when it's going to be done or released, but it's a project I think is pretty rad".
DAPPY REVEALS SOLO ALBUM DETAILS
Here's the tracklist:
CLARK ANNOUNCES NEW EP AND SCALA SHOW
Speaking about the EP, Clark said: "Ian Brown has always loved the sound of trumpets. I've occasionally liked the sound of flutes. And bass. Analogue bass and psychedelic melodies to trip out to on the dance floor. No hippy shit though. This EP is more about conjuring the full mind-distortion that you get when you hear this music on loud sound systems, that's sort of what 'Fantasm Planes' is about. Refocusing the album into the context of metric rave gear, but with those full, saturated textures of 'Iradelphic' still playing a vital part".
Stream the titled track of the EP here.
TALL SHIPS ANNOUNCE DEBUT ALBUM
But anyway, that's quite enough of me writing about it, because all the information you need about the album can be found in this video featuring some cute kids.
ICE-T RAP DOCUMENTARY TO GET UK PREMIERE THIS MONTH
Following the screening at the BFI Southbank in London on 20 Jul, Ice-T will also be on hand for a Q&A session.
Watch the trailer for the film here.
FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Glanusk Park, Powys, Wales, 17-19 Aug: Metronomy have been announced as this year's 'special guests' at Green Man, playing an extended live set on the Mountain Stage on the Saturday. They are also newly joined on the bill by Savages, Lonely Dear and Tom Williams & The Boat. www.greenman.net
LOOPALLU, Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, 21-22 Sep: The Fratellis and Jake Bugg are among the latest additions to this year's Loopallu line-up, joined by The Dangleberries, Lilygreen & Maguire and Gary Innes. www.loopallu.co.uk
BPI WANTS GOOGLE AND GOVERNMENT TO DO MORE ABOUT PIRACY
According to Billboard, the organisation's Chairman Tony Wadsworth told the collected record industry types in the room: "We should not be afraid to shout about how proud we are of our industry and of the importance of music to society. [But] this love affair [our government has] with big technology and big telecoms has cast a shadow over our home-grown creative success and it's time to redress the balance. We have earned the right to be treated seriously and fairly by government. The technology world has to also come to the party either willingly, or kicking and screaming".
Of course the current government's slow progress in getting the three-strike elements of the Digital Economy Act up and running was one gripe expressed during the day, but hooking onto the record industry moan zeitgeist, Wadsworth also took aim at Google, for failing to do enough to remove links to unlicensed content for its search results, and to ensure copyright infringing websites do not benefit from its ad networks.
The BPI Chair continued: "When consumers are encouraged towards illegal content by search engines, where reputable advertisers plough millions towards websites that make their money from our music and return not a penny to the creators, the government needs to step in".
Also calling on the current government to do more for music - unsurprisingly - was Labour's Harriet Harman, the Shadow Secretary Of State For Culture, Media And Sport, and guest speaker at the BPI's event. Accusing the coalition government of failing to properly bring together the different departments that have an interest in music - including culture, business and education - she too called for more action in getting her party's DEA enacted, though also, perhaps less predictably, took a pot shot at Google et al as well".
Harman: "Google and other technology companies need to do more with the content creators to better signpost legitimate search and block illegal sites. Search engines like Google are highly trusted, and there's no way of telling, as an average consumer, what is an illegal site. They could also do more to stifle the income of pirate websites by stopping advertising on illegal sites. And I want to see the government getting on with implementing Labour's Digital Economy Act. And while I'm pleased that OfCom published their code for consultation [on three-strikes] last week - it will still be 2014 before any warning letters are sent out".
You can read Harman's full speech here.
Elsewhere at the BPI AGM, Julian Wall, who is the primary contact for indie labels within the BPI, as well as heading up international events, announced he would be departing the trade body in September.
MELVIN BENN CALLS FOR ACTION ON SECONDARY TICKETING
Benn writes: "The government brushed off concerns [about secondary ticketing] by claiming that ticket touts are an irritant from which people can walk away. Yet this ignores the fact that the longer the secondary ticket market stays unregulated, the more we'll see the emergence of a two-speed economy in the arts and culture".
"Here at Festival Republic we organise large-scale festivals such as Latitude, Reading and Leeds. Our whole business is geared around providing thousands of people with the opportunity to see their favourite artists and take in a selection of entertainment from across the arts, all for one ticket price that we believe is fair and affordable. I don't, unlike ticket touts, want to see ordinary people priced out of going to see concerts, plays or matches in a time of austerity".
"I also believe it's very unfair that the profits made on secondary ticket sales go not to the organisations that take on the risk of mounting cultural events like Latitude, which brings together hundreds of bands, theatre companies, writers and artists, nor to the charities we work with. Instead, they go straight into the pockets of touts, who in turn then pay no tax on their profits".
Noting that some, including Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, have suggested there are technical solutions to secondary ticketing that would be more effective than new touting regulations, Benn argues that forcing gig goers to provide ever increasing amounts of ID, to prove they were the original buyer of a face-value ticket, is not a welcome route to go.
He concludes: "The time has come for the secondary market to be regulated, and a 10% profit cap to go on the resale of tickets as called for by Sharon Hodgson MP". As previously reported, Hodgson has been campaigning on this issue in parliament for some time, and her case was aided earlier this year when the Channel 4 programme 'Dispatches' ran an expose into the corporate end of the secondary ticketing market.
As also previously reported, that documentary accused some of the companies that claim to only provide the technology to help others to resell tickets online, of actually buying up large amounts of tickets to in-demand events themselves - sometimes in partnership with the promoters of said events - and then selling them on at a large mark up to fans who missed out on standard price tickets when they first went on sale. Those promoters involved in such practices claimed they only formed partnerships with ticket tout companies because the government failed to curtail the growth of ticket reselling.
SONY MUSIC UNLIMITED LAUNCHES IN JAPAN
All four majors are on board, with a catalogue of ten million tracks available. As in other markets, including the UK, Music Unlimited will be accessible via a range of Sony devices, as well as via Android and Windows powered smartphones.
Sony Network Entertainment International President Tim Schaaff told reporters: "Bringing the cloud music subscription service to Japan, which is one of the largest music markets in the world, is a key step in the expansion of Music Unlimited".
In related news, The Next Web has reported that the Sony Music record company in Japan has finally announced it will make its catalogue available to Apple users for download, having previously refused to licence iTunes. However, it seems that a special app will be needed to play the major's music on Apple gadgets.
GLOBAL ANNOUNCES MOVE INTO MUSIC TV
The radio giant, currently trying to become even more giant by acquiring The Guardian's Smooth and Real Radio networks, yesterday announced it would be launching two music video channels utilising two of its radio brands, Capital and Heart. The new services will go live in September on the Sky and Freesat networks.
Confirming the development, Global top man Ash Tabor, told reporters: "Global prides itself on clear, simple brand propositions for its consumers. Brand extension is a natural thing for us to do, for example online, mobile and live events, so I'm delighted we're now bringing both Heart and Capital's top-class brand quality to music television".
Global's announcement coincided with the latest brand extension from the aforementioned Bauer, which has just launched a music and celebrity TV channel around its Heat brand. Bauer's TV business Box TV, a JV with Channel 4, has also just announced it has launched a channel, under the Box brand, in the African market, which is currently available in South Africa and Kenya.
TOMMY SAYS FUCK OFF
In a Ringo Starr "that's it, no more autographs" type outpouring, though in this case via Facebook rather than a video, Lee last week wrote: "I fucking LOVE my fans! [But] what I have a problem with is... Taking pictures! I hate it! Irritates the fuck out of me when people say: 'You owe it to your fans, they put you where you are', etc etc! I certainly don't owe anybody anything! When I bought all my Led Zeppelin records and concert tickets I didn't say: 'One day these fuckers are gonna owe me a picture, it's the least they can do for me!' What the fuck, people?"
He continued: "You don't admire something so that it can give back, you just cherish it! And to those who say you should be grateful that people wanna take your picture, maybe one day they won't want it - that day can't come soon enough! I'm not here to take pictures with you, I'm here to entertain you!"
He adds that a quick 'hello' and handshake is fine, providing it's an appropriate 'situation'. Lee: "Most people never consider the 'situation'. That's really important... Ya wouldn't wanna handshake standing at the pisser in the men's bathroom next to me would ya? And yes that's happened to me too. Or when you're eating a nice quite meal with your family some rude jackass comes up and asks for a picture!"
So, Motley Crue fans, consider yourself told. And Beliebers, consider yourself lucky that Bieber's recent grumpiness at Toronto airport hasn't resulted in an all out autograph/photo ban. Though, there's time, I'd keep an eye on his tweets.