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HUNT ASKS OFCOM TO INVESTIGATE GLOBAL/GMG DEAL
Hunt's move means media regulator OfCom will now investigate if the deal throws up any plurality issues. The takeover is already on the agenda of the Competition Commission, and Global have requested that its investigation be fast-tracked, so that it can go about the business of properly absorbing GMG Radio as soon as possible.
The Guardian Media Group yesterday said that, in its mind, the sale of GMG Radio has been completed, and that any regulatory issues, with OfCom or the Competition Commission, are now Global's problem. If regulators agree with Global's competitors that the merger will give the firm too much dominance in the UK radio sector, then the company may be forced to sell off some of its frequencies in those regions where it is particularly dominant.
Or Hunt's department and OfCom might try to force Global to agree to provide more local programming in some areas. Reinvigorating local broadcasting has been one of Hunt's pet projects (albeit with limited success), though concurrently Global has been trying to reduce its obligations to provide locally-made and/or orientated shows.
GARY AND DAWN BARLOW LOSE CHILD
The statement read: "Dawn and I are devastated to announce that we've lost our baby. Poppy Barlow was delivered stillborn on 4 Aug in London. Our focus now is giving her a beautiful funeral and loving our three children with all our hearts. We'd ask at this painful time that our privacy be respected".
LAMB OF GOD'S RANDY BLYTHE WILL RETURN TO CZECH REPUBLIC FOR TRIAL
As previously reported, Blythe was arrested and charged with manslaughter when the band arrived in Prague to play a gig in the city at the end of June. The charge relates to the death of a fan following a performance in the Czech capital two years ago. According to reports, the fan, named only as Daniel N, climbed onto the stage several times during the show, and on the third occasion was allegedly pushed off by Blythe, and fell onto his head, sustaining injuries that led to his death.
Blythe posted bail a few days after his arrest. However, the prosecution challenged his release, saying that he was likely to attempt to flee the country. A judge ruled that he would stay in jail for at least another ten days while this was assessed. Over a month later he was finally allowed to leave the prison last Friday - though only after the amount of money he needed to pay was doubled from four million to eight million Czech Koruna (approximately £260,000).
Back in his home town of Richmond, Virginia yesterday, Blythe issued a statement thanking those who had supported him while he was jail (revealing that it was only when he returned to America that he learned the extent of this), and saying that he had been treated well by prison authorities.
He added that if asked, he will return to the Czech Republic to face trial, saying: "While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution".
He then turned to the family of his alleged victim: "As I write this, the family of a fan of my band suffers through the indescribably tragic loss of their child. They have to deal with constantly varying media reports about the circumstances surrounding his death. I am charged with maliciously causing severe bodily harm to this young man, resulting in his death. While I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain. The worst possible pain remains".
He continued: "It is fairly common knowledge amongst fans of my band that I once lost a child as well. I, unfortunately, am intimately familiar with what their pain is like. Therefore, I know all too well that in their time of grief, this family needs and deserves some real answers, not a media explosion followed by the accused killer of their son hiding like a coward thousands of miles away while they suffer. I am a man. I was raised to face my problems head on, not run from them like a petulant child. I hope that justice is done, and the family of Daniel N will receive the closure they undoubtedly need to facilitate healing".
Finally, he wrote: "I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned. This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honour, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter".
"WE HAVE NO PLANS", SAY INCUBUS. MANAGER DENIES HIATUS.
Anyway, what does Brandon Boyd make of it all? He tells Billboard: "We have no plans, to tell you the truth, at the moment. I have been tinkering around, potentially, with a second solo record. That's probably the most likely scenario. But as far as Incubus right now, we'll probably take another break. Hopefully it won't be as long, but what we'd like to do is arrive with the best of intentions and try to create music from a sense of urgency as well as purity and not necessarily based on a schedule. I know that can be frustrating for our listeners and stuff, but I think we'll make better music as a result".
His manager Rennie takes a similar stance on the issue of haste v artistry, saying to CBS Local: "Let's not get locked into the word 'hiatus'. They just need to get rejuvenated and inspired to make their next album. Bands like Incubus don't crank out music on a schedule. Taking time to work on other things only adds to what they can bring to the table when they regroup".
Elsewhere in his interview, Boyd was less than gracious in his comments about Incubus' ex label, Sony's Epic Records, whose partnership with the band ended with the release of 'If Not Now, When'. In particular the object of his critique was newish Epic boss LA Reid, who Boyd claims was in part representative of the general "lack of attention" given to the last album's promotional campaign.
Says Boyd: "There was a lot of changing of the guard sort of going on... [Reid] wasn't quite there yet, even though he's the guy. There was a real lack of direction and leadership when we kind of needed it most. It was hard and it was frustrating, but it was also very telling for us and perhaps educational because we were forced into ingenuity... It forced us into thinking outside of that normal music industry paradigm we had gotten so accustomed to".
SWIM DEEP SIGN TO RCA
And for fans of region-based record deal trivia, the quartet aren't the first Birmingham band to ally to a Sony label of late; their B-Town peers Peace were signed by Columbia Records back in May.
Posting this photo live from the studio, they said in unison: "We did something we've all dreamed of since we were kids, we signed to RCA. Now we're recording an album for you. Cheers to everyone involved, and all of you. Here's to the future".
PAUL BANKS RELEASING LP
Out via Matador on 22 Oct, it'll carry this tracklisting:
Download a free copy of 'The Base' here.
FRANK TURNER POSTS HARDCORE AUDIO
Formed last August, the band comprises Turner (obviously), his one-time Million Dead drummer Ben Dawson, and keyboardist Matt Nasir.
And here's the video for the new track, which is titled 'Casual Threats For Weekend Hardmen'. As you'll see, the video was filmed via iPhones gaffer-taped to each of the three-piece's faces, like a very low-budget episode of 'Peep Show'.
CHRIS REIMER SOLO LP GIVEN POSTHUMOUS RELEASE
So named after Sub Pop-signed songwriter Chad VanGaalen, whose idea it was to make a cassette compilation of Reimer's solo recordings, the set remains incomplete, Reimer having passed away (from complications relating to a heart condition) part-way through making it.
However, reads the LP's accompanying info: "His closest friends have assembled the songs he intended for the tape, laid it out with Chris's own writing and artwork and now this tape is available here for you".
All proceeds from sales of 'The Chad Tape', which is released on limited edition cassette and in MP3 format on 13 Aug, will go towards the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund, the charity established by Reimer's family to raise money for children's arts scholarships.
You can place pre-orders via Reimer's BandCamp page, or play the entire tape here.
THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE SHARE NEW SINGLE
Prior to its release via Marshall Teller on 6 Aug, the band are now screening the kaleidoscope's-eye-view promo for lead track 'Do It Wrong', and streaming its B-side 'Long Way To Go' via SoundCloud. They'll also play the single's live launch party at London's Birthdays on 15 Aug.
FATBOY SLIM FESTIVAL FILM TO BE SCREENED IN CINEMAS
Filmed in June at Brighton's 40,000 capacity Amex stadium, 'Live: From The Big Beach Bootique' will feature a large-scale LED video wall, laser effects and pyrotechnics, and will be soundtracked by a set of DJ Norman Cook's very greatest hits. Obviously.
Certain participating cinemas will host fancy dress premieres of the film on 31 Aug, details of which you'll find via this link.
Meanwhile, here's a promo trailer to look at.
PASSION PIT TO TOUR
Take a glance at the dates after viewing the video for the band's next single 'Talk A Walk', which is released via Columbia Records on 17 Sep.
13 Nov: Glasgow, QMU
THE LOW ANTHEM ARRANGE ONE-OFF SHOW
It takes place at London's Bush Hall on 29 Aug, after which the band will make for Dorset for their EOTR cameo on 31 Aug.
READING AND LEEDS TICKETHOLDERS TO RECEIVE FREE FOOD AND DRINK
Explaining the system, Festival Republic MD Melvin Benn said: "The mechanics are simple. For the food element every weekend ticket holder will receive their food vouchers at the same time as their ticket, with a per day voucher that can be redeemed at specially created 'Food For Campers' locations in the campsite, offering either a bacon, sausage or a scrambled egg and mushroom bap. The breakfast bap will be available between 7am and twelve noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday and only the voucher for that specific day can be redeemed. Although no sponsor has come forward to support this in any real way our pals at Heinz have been kind enough to donate enough sauce to make us all very happy!"
He continued: "The beer is even easier! As you walk out of wristband exchange for the first time a team of festival volunteers will be waiting to give every weekend wristband holder a bag with three cans of beer or soft drinks, one for each of the music days. What's even better is that the bag is a recycling bag, which you can fill with empty cans over the festival to get even more free beer!"
I'm not sure how much sauce would make me very happy. I'm not sure sauce could ever truly make me very happy. Condiments are nice though. As is free food and beer.
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FESTIVAL LINE-UP ADDITIONS
1234 FESTIVAL, Shoreditch Park, London, 1 Sep: Buzzcocks. www.the1234shoreditch.com
BT LONDON LIVE, Hyde Park, London, 27 Jul - 11 Aug: The View, The Enemy, Ocean Colour Scene, The Imagined Village, Soul II Soul Soundsystem, Geno Washington, Jazzie B, Roll Deep, Skepta, Horse Meat Disco, The Wave Pictures, Cut A Shine, Trans-Siberian March Band, The Magic Tombolinos, Gypsy Hill, Ska Cubano, Lokandes , Los Chinches, Yasmine, Nuru Kane, Afriquoi Ft Serocee + Warrior Queen and Joseph Macwan. www.btlondonlive.com
CROISSANT NEUF SUMMER PARTY, Usk, Monmouthshire, 10-12 Aug: Molotov Jukebox, Ryan Keen, Luke Concannon, Bowjangles, Hot Sister, Nick Wilkinson, Seasfire, In Gratitude, The Ten Pound Suit Band, Anima Circus, Taranga, Lazy Habits, Cutting Loose, Milon and Agent K. www.croissantneuf.co.uk
DECIBELL, various venues, Seattle, Washington, USA, 26-30 Sep: DJ Shadow, MiMOSA, Tycho, Star Slinger, Tipper, Dam-Funk, Clark, Jimmy Edgar, Sepalcure, Public Lover, Machinedrum, George FitzGerald, Peter Van Hoesen, Objekt, Braille, Jeff Samuel, Groudislava, Eprom, AntiVJ, B.Bravo and Keyboard Kid. www.dbfestival.com
GREEN MAN, Glanusk Park, Powys, Wales, 17-19 Aug: Savages, Loney Dear, Temples and E Hawkline. www.greenman.net
ITUNES FESTIVAL, The Roundhouse, London, 1-30 Sep: Calvin Harris. www.itunesfestival.com
PLAYGROUP, Eridge Green, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 21-23 Sep: Alice Russell, DJ Yoda, Herbaliser, Reso, Anchorsong, Nedry, Prince Fatty, The Qemists, High Rankin, Hidden Orchestra, The Correspondents, Resonators, Belleruche, Atomic Drop, King Porter Stomp, Lazy Habits, AK/DK, Reeps1, Donkey Pitch, Carnival Collective, Los Albertos, Kalakuta Millionaires, Gaggle, King Lagoons, Flying Swordfish Band, Dizraeli and the Small Gods, Coda, Moulettes, Barulho, Peppermint Beat Band, Samsara, Sam and The Womp, Phoria, Perhaps Contraption, John Crampton, AMiTY, Allison and the Earthquakes, Hyperpotamus, Cate Ferris, The Dirty Devine, Buffo's Wake, The Beautiful Word, Sweet Sweet Lies, Us Baby Bear Bones, Man Ray Sky, Running Numbers, Black Fields, London Afrobeat Collective, GGB, Blah Blah Blah, Electric Playboys, Atlantiks, Jabbawocky Hi Fi, The Wild Knights, DJ Cous Cous, Dad Disko, Mass Evil, Zen Death Squad and Hot Tip Hi Fi. www.playgroupfestival.com
FORMER UNIVERSAL EXEC PLANS ACQUISITIONS TO FORM NEW PUBLISHING BUSINESS
According to Billboard, Renzer plans to launch a fully fledged publishing business as part of the Saban Group, but is currently considering catalogue acquisitions, and the exact nature of the company he creates will depend to an extent on what it acquires.
However, we do know that music created for TV shows made by programme makers within the Saban group (post-2010 - works prior to that date were sold to Bug Music, now BMG) will be administered by Renzer's new division.
Saban Capital COO Adam Chesnoff told reporters: "Media and music rights have long been at the core of investment activity at Saban Capital Group. By partnering with an experienced and talented executive such as David, we believe we can take an entrepreneurial and opportunistic approach to building a great music publishing company together".
MUSIC FESTIVALS PLC CONFIRMS LOSS LIKELY FOR 2012
The statement reads: "The Group's two main festivals were held in July 2012 and as set out in the announcement dated 3 Jul 2012, tickets sales at that date led the Directors to believe that the Group's financial results for the year ending 31 Dec 2012 would be significantly lower than market expectations".
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THE ORCHARD APPOINTS NEW COO
Says Orchard boss Brad Navin: "Our clients will benefit from Colleen's acute understanding of international markets and executing multi-territory release strategies. Internally, Colleen's history with The Orchard, combined with her long term industry experience, will ensure we continue to be the premiere global distribution platform for labels, artists and filmmakers".
Recruitment is underway for a new GM in the UK/Europe.
WARNER OWNER BUYS INTO DEEZER
The Post reckons that the New York based conglom might put pressure on the European digital firm to fast-track a US launch, though it's thought that Deezer management want to hold off entering the particularly competitive American market for the time being, concentrating instead on becoming more established in most other territories (more countries than exist, if one infamous press release is to be believed).
It's not the first digital company Blavatnik has invested in this year, and as a small investment via a different part of his business, the deal is unlikely to have any impact on Warner Music, which already licences Deezer anyway.
CHRIS MOYLES, NICK GRIMSHAW SET DATES FOR RADIO 1 CHANGEOVER
He'll actually bid his 7.1 million listeners adieu the previous day via a "goodbye party", which won't render his actual exit the next morning a strange anticlimax by comparison at all. But oh well... life, prime-time pop playlists, and Moyles's nightmarish casting as King Herod in that 'Jesus Chris Superstar' arena tour all must go on.
His on-air successor Nick Grimshaw isn't billed to take over until 24 Sep, which leaves five days' worth of empty airspace to be filled by a mystery something. Though what that something is, no one knows. Perhaps they'll bring Mark & Lard back for a week to delight old timers like me, before Grimmy spearheads the youth revolution at the nation's favourite.
THE OLYMPICS ARE RUBBISH, GUESSES MORRISSEY
"I am unable to watch the Olympics due to the blustering jingoism that drenches the event", he wrote from his home in Rome in one of his regular missives for the True To You fansite. "Has England ever been quite so foul with patriotism? The 'dazzling royals' have, quite naturally, hijacked the Olympics for their own empirical needs, and no oppositional voice is allowed in the free press. It is lethal to witness".
Luckily it hasn't been lethal for Moz because, as he says, he's not actually watching any of it. Still, he continued: "As London is suddenly promoted as a super-wealth brand, the England outside London shivers beneath cutbacks, tight circumstances and economic disasters. Meanwhile the British media present 24 hour coverage of the 'dazzling royals', laughing as they lavishly spend, as if such coverage is certain to make British society feel fully whole. In 2012, the British public is evidently assumed to be undersized pigmies, scarcely able to formulate thought".
Finally he wrote: "As I recently drove through Greece I noticed repeated graffiti seemingly everywhere on every available wall. In large blue letters it said WAKE UP WAKE UP. It could almost have been written with the British public in mind, because although the spirit of 1939 Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain, the 2013 grotesque inevitability of Lord and Lady Beckham (with Sir Jamie Horrible close at heel) is, believe me, a fate worse than life".