Thursday, 30 May 2013


Michael Sunden, the manager of Swedish glam rock combo Crashdiet has died at Nottingham's Rock City after accidentally falling during  alive set by Saxon. Sunden was only 45 and leaves a wife and two young daughters.

UEA entertainments manager Nick Rayns has died aged 61. He had been at the East Anglian university venue, a major touring destination in the UK, for more than thirty years and had organised more that 2,000 gigs.
Ray Manzarek, a founding member of The Doors, has died at the age of 74. The keyboard player died in Rosenheim, Germany, with his family at his bedside following a battle with bile duct cancer. He and singer Jim Morrison formed The Doors in 1965 with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger and the band recorded six studio albums including LA Woman and Strange Days.
Veteran British bass guitarist Trevor Bolder, best known as a member of hard rock act Uriah Heep since the mid-1970s and before that as a member of David Bowie's Spiders From Mars band from 1971, as well as a member of Wishbone Ash, has died aged 62 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Bolder featured on Aladdin Sane and Hunky Dory and Bowie wrote on his website "Trevor was a wonderful musician and a major inspiration for whichever band he was working with. But he was foremostly a tremendous guy, a great man."

Georges Moustaki, the cosmopolitan singer songwriter who wrote for Edit Piaf and had success in his own right with his hit album Le Métèque has died aged 79.

Terri Anderson, who held senior communications roles at both EMI and UK record labels trade body the BPI, has died after losing her battle with cancer.

And farewell to veteran promoter Barry Fey, the pioneering US promoter who put Denver on the touring map and also promoted in Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Dallas and Houston amongst many other cities working with artists such as Led Zeppelin, the Doors, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones an U2.  He was 73.

And finally farewell to agent Paul Gourlie who worked with The Agency Group. He has died aged just 37 from a lifelong affliction of Cystic Fibrosis. 

The Revolving Door

Live Nation has announced the appointment of Jared Smith to the role of President of the US side of its ticketing business Ticketmaster

Universal Music has announced the appointment of Rob Wells to its Executive Board. Wells, who has been with the major for over a decade, rose out of the firm's UK division to lead the company's digital business.

Tulisa Contostavlos has confirmed that she will not appear on the next series of 'X-Factor'.

Ann Tausis is joining as MD of the neighbouring rights business for music publisher Kobalt. Tausis joins from Universal Music Publishing where she had various senior rights management roles. Tausis will replace Sabine Jones, who was MD for KNR during its launch period, and who is now planning to pursue a consultancy career.

HMV Senior Marketing Manager Jill Thomas is expected to depart the retailer, along with long serving PR man Gennaro Castaldo, who has already announced his move to the BPI.

The Agency Group have appointed a new CEO, Gavin O'Reilly, who comes to the talent agency from the newspaper industry. O'Reilly will take over in the CEO job from the firm's founder Neil Warnock, who will relinquish operational control of his company taking on a more business development role as Worldwide President of the agency.

Pussy Riot's Maria Alekhina on hunger strike

Pussy Riot's Maria Alekhina, who has been on hunger strike for over a week in the Russian prison where she is currently being held, was admitted to hospital earlier this week, Pyotr Verzilov, the husband of one of her bandmates has said. Alekhina, one of two Pussy Riot members jailed last year for performing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral, was refused parole last week.

Small rise in online piracy in the UK

The number of British web users accessing pirated content rose slightly in the last quarter of 2012, according to a copyright infringement report published by media regulator OfCom.

The report says that 18% of UK web-users streamed or downloaded unlicensed digital media content including music, film TV, ebooks, games and other software - at least once in the three months up to the end of January 2013, with 386 million unlicensed files accessed overall. This is a small rise on the 16% accessing unlicensed digital media content in the previous quarter. About 5% of users relied more or less exclusively on illegal services and music is by far the most pirated kind of content, accounting for around 280 million of the 386 million files pirated.

BBC announce first 'truly digital' Glastonbury coverage

(c) 2011 Ben Challis
The BBC has announces plans for its broadest and best Glastonbury coverage to date, giving music fans better than ever access to their favourite acts, live and on-demand, at home and on the go. More than 120 live performances will be broadcast exclusively by the BBC over the three days of Glastonbury 2013 on TV, radio, red button and online – well exceeding the number featured two years ago. ]

The BBC will bring together the unrivalled musical expertise of some of its biggest names to guide viewers and listeners every step of the way. Glastonbury first-timer Chris Evans and festival veteran Steve Lamacq will be joined by Nick Grimshaw, Gemma Cairney, Lauren Laverne, Dermot O’Leary, Mark Radcliffe, Jo Whiley, Craig Charles and others to form a team which will work together across TV, radio, red button and online.

The BBC's Glastonbury presentation team
For the first time, the BBC will be live-streaming six key music stages – The Pyramid Stage, Other Stage, West Holts, The Park, John Peel  including the BBC Introducing stage, reflecting over 120 acts being filmed  ranging from the newest talents to the biggest headliners, and amounting to more than 250 hours of live coverage and streaming.

The BBC’s coverage will be available on multiple platforms across TV, radio, and online, on four screens: PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV (including smart TVs and games consoles), as well as BBC Red Button. Music fans will be able to watch and listen to a huge range of performances live, wherever they are, and relive their favourite festival moments or ones they’ve missed on BBC iPlayer.

Bob Shennan, BBC Controller of Popular Music, said: “Glastonbury is one of the greatest pop music events in the world and we want to make this year’s coverage the next best thing for everyone who can’t make it in person to Worthy Farm. We aim to broadcast more of the festival than ever before, and reinvent music coverage as only the BBC can for music fans at home and on the move.”

Mark Friend, BBC Controller, Multiplatform across Radio and Music, said: “Just as we did with sport at the Olympics, our ambition this year is to bring our audiences even closer to the music they love at Glastonbury, with access to all the BBC’s coverage - live and on-demand - at home, at work and on the go. Not only will this be the first truly digital Glastonbury, this will also be the first mobile Glastonbury – we expect mobile and tablet viewing and listening to reach unprecedented levels, particularly over the weekend.” The BBC will stream to four screens - PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV. A wealth of content will be available at, as well as more info about the line-up, acts, stages, photo galleries and interviews. BBC iPlayer Radio will be the place for all music on the go with a dedicated tab in the mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

On BBC iPlayer, all the action from BBC One, Two, Three and Four will be available live or as catch-up for 7 days after broadcast. In addition, you'll be able to catch up on all the full sets from the main stages. On TV, three additional red button streams will offer more content and highlights from the festival, and the BBC’s Connected Red Button service available on Virgin Media’s TiVo service will bring viewers all the live streams and on-demand video seamlessly on their TV.

Festival founder and organiser, Michael Eavis, said: “The BBC have stuck with us through thick and thin since 1997 and they’ve earned their stripes the hard way. It’s been quite a journey since 97 and to have a complete record of what we’ve been up to over the years is music history gold dust.”

Coverage will kick off on Friday 28 June and continue until after the final headliners on Sunday 30 June. Across the weekend it will feature on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music. Acts playing at the Festival include the Arctic Monkeys, Mumford & Sons, Primal Scream, The xx, Chase & Status, Dizzee Rascal, Portishead, Jake Bugg, Public Enemy, Chic with Nile Rogers, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Castles, Bobby Womack, Foals and the legendary Rolling Stones.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

93 Feet East gets another chance

East London club 93 Feet East has had its licence reinstated five moths after a police raid led at the venue led to the club having its licence revoked by Tower Hamlets Council amidst allegations the business had not done enough to combat the dealing and consumption of illegal substances on the premises. Thames Magistrates Court have seemingly upheld an appeal against the actions of Tower Hamlets Council, which means the venue can now reopen with pretty much immediate effect. In a statement on the club's website, 93 Feet East management said: "We are delighted to announce that on 17 May 2013, Thames Magistrates' Court allowed 93 Feet East's appeal against the decision of Tower Hamlets Council on 7 Jan 2013 to close 93 Feet East. 93 Feet East, which has been at the heart of Brick Lane's evening economy since the year 2000, is free to reopen immediately".

Yahoo! snap up Tumblr

Yahoo! has  announced that it had purchased blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Announcing the purchase on Tumblr  CEO Marissa Mayer said "We promise not to screw it up. Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster". And TechCrunch reports that Yahoo’s Flickr photo-sharing service is providing one full terabyte of storage space to users. In addition, Flickr is offering full resolution photo storage service. Most photo sharing services offer a few dozen gigabytes, or an unstated upper limit as in the case of Instagram and other mobile services

Final Competition Commission into Global/GMG published

The Competition Commission (CC) has decided that Global Radio Holdings Limited (Global) must sell radio stations in seven areas of the UK following its completed acquisition of Real and Smooth Limited (formerly GMG Radio Holdings Limited). In its final report published today, the CC has concluded that the merger is likely to lead to higher prices for advertising in seven areas of the UK. The CC has found that in areas where Global and Real & Smooth stations currently overlap and compete, advertisers buying airtime on a campaign-by-campaign basis, directly or through smaller agencies (non-contracted advertising) could face higher costs for both airtime and sponsorship and promotion activity.
The stations Global will be required to sell are as follows:
East Midlands:   Smooth OR Capital
Cardiff and South Wales:   Real OR Capital
North Wales:   Real OR Heart
Greater Manchester and the North-West:   Capital OR Real XS with either Real or Smooth
North-East:   Real OR Smooth OR Capital
South and West Yorkshire:   Real OR Capital
Central Scotland:   Real OR Capital
The CC found that advertisers would not be adversely affected in London and the West Midlands. The CC has also concluded that advertisers using media agencies to buy airtime on a contracted basis and national sponsorship and promotion would not be adversely affected significantly.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Wu Tang Clan face image right claim from Ol' Dirty Bastard widow

The widow of Ol' Dirty Bastard has launched legal action to prevent a hologram of the late Wu Tang Clan founder, real name Russell Jones, being used as part of a set the Wu Tang Clan plan at the  Rock The Bells touring hip hop festival, which takes place in September. Icelene Jones, who controls the rapper's estate and copyrights, says that she has not been consulted about the plans, adding: "I am disappointed that Rock The Bells would not contact me directly about the use of my husband's image. I am looking forward to talking to Wu-Tang about this matter and coming up with a positive solution". Wu Tang Clan's plans, which follow the appearance of a Tupac hologram at Coachella 2012, are seemingly endorsed by Ol' Dirty Bastard's mother Cherry Jones, who attended a press conference announcing the Rock The Bells venture last week.,0,6359656.story

Live Nation grows East

Live Nation has announced a new joint venture with Singapore-based Lushington Entertainments that will promote concerts in both Singapore and Hong Kong. Live Nation has operated in the region since 2006 and has been looking to further expand its Asian operations. Confirming the new deal, Live Nation chief Michael Rapino told CMU Daily: "Live Nation continues to enhance and expand our global footprint. Our new joint venture with Lushington will increase our presence in Asia and enable us to bring more live entertainment to more fans in Hong Kong, Singapore and throughout the region". Michael Roche, MD of Lushington Entertainment, added: "After 23 years of promoting in the region, we found a great partner in Live Nation. We share a common vision and work style centred on hard work, integrity and dedication to bring the very best international and emerging stars to Hong Kong and Singapore".

Bieber booed at Billboard Awards

Justin Bieber has been booed at the Billboard Music Awards, which handed out its first ever “Milestone Award” to the diminutive popster. Having had some bad press in Europe for (very) late arrivals and onstage times, spats with paparazzi, cancellations and some ill thought out comments, the award was amazingly a fan-voted award for musical ingenuity and innovation - and yes it went to Justin Bieber, beating off Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift. Bieber was booed before he could even give his speech, and when the 19 year old finally got to talk, he was not very humble. “This is not a gimmick,” Bieber told the crowd. “I’m an artist and I should be taken seriously.” That only led to more boos.

Other winners included

Top Artist:  Taylor Swift

Top 100 Song: Someone That I used To Know  Gotye ft Kimbra

Top Billboard 100 Album:  Red by Taylor Swift 

Top Group:  One Direction

Top New Artist:  One Direction

Top Touring Artist: Madonna

Top Male Artist: Justin Bieber

Top Female Artist:  Taylor Swift

Top 100 Artist: Maroon 5

Top Radio Song Artist: Rihanna

Top Pop Album: 21 by Adele

Top R&B Album: Unapologetic  Rihanna

Top Rap Album: Reloaded by Nicki Minaj

Top Rock Album: Babel by Mumford & Sons

Top Latin Album:  La Misma Gran Senora  by Jenni Rivera

Top Dance Album: Bangarang by Skrillex

Top Streaming Video: Gangnam Style by Psy for all the winners

Sunday, 19 May 2013

New UK fund launched for emerging talent

During a keynote speech at The Great Escape in Brighton, Alan Davey, the boss of Arts Council England, officially launched the Momentum Music Fund, which will make half a million available to help develop the careers of artists and bands. Grants of £5000 to £15,000 will be available via the scheme, which will be run by PRS For Music Foundation.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

EC approve Parlophone sale

The European Commission has granted approval for the sale of the Parlophone Label Group to Warner Music, it was announced yesterday. When it acquired EMI last year, Universal Music was forced by competition regulators to sell the Parlophone Label Group - which includes the UK-based Parlophone frontline label and catalogue, some more British EMI archive, and EMI operations in various other European markets - and it was announced that Warner would buy it in February in a £478 million deal. 

Beggars boss Martin Mills told Music Week: "This is good news for the market, and goes some way towards mitigating the concerns raised by Universal's EMI acquisition, which we are already seeing become reality. As the clearance says, the strengthening of both Warners and the independents, as a consequence of Warner's agreement with IMPALA and Merlin, should go some way to counter the power of Universal - and the existing duopoly of Universal and Sony - to unilaterally determine the shape of the marketplace. The consequent strengthening of the independent sector as a whole should be especially welcomed".

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Beyonce cancels Belgian date

Amid speculation that Beyonce may be expecting again, the singer has cancelled a show in Belgium (14 May) because of "dehydration and exhaustion". In an email to the Associated Press, the R&B star's press rep said she'd been advised to take a break from playing live, and is "awaiting word from doctors" as regards another planned performance at Antwerp's Sportpaleis Arena on 15th May.

Pirate Bay founder to stand as MEP

Peter Sunde, the co-founder and formerly the official spokesperson for the controversial file-sharing website The Pirate Bay, hopes to stand in next year's European Parliament elections, running for the Finnish Pirate Party.

Label news

Warner Music saw revenues rise by 8% year on year in the quarter to 31st January 2013 to $675 million, while operating income was up 159% to $57 million and net income moved into profit, to $2 million, from a loss in the same quarter a year earlier. In other Warner's news, Edgar Bronfman Jr, the former CEO of the mini-major, who led the consortium that bought the music firm from Time Warner in 2004, has left the company's board.

Revenues at Universal owner Vivendi were stable in the first quarter of its current financial year, though net income slipped by 18.5%, from 825 million euros to 672 million. The entertainment and communication group's mobile business that caused most of the slide. Universal Music, in contrast, saw its revenues rise 13.5% year on year in the first quarter, to 1,091 million euros. Better than expected income from the mega-major's newly acquired EMI units contributed to that upturn. Digital products generated 54% of Universal's recorded music revenue in the period, compared to 46% in the first quarter of 2012.

And the CEO of hedge fund Third Point, Daniel Lobe, has called on Sony Corp to sell off a slice of its entertainment business in a bid to boost profits, according to the New York Times. The US-based Sony entertainment group includes the Sony Music record company and the firm's half of the Sony/ATV music publishing business. Third Point own 6.5% of the shares in Sony Corp. 

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster split

Just before their scheduled show at The Great Escape in Brighton, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster has disbanded. The band were due to bring the house down this Saturday at Coalition. According to a statement from the band, a shared musical common ground couldn’t be found, and they apologise for any disappointment caused by cancelling upcoming shows.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

YouTube Introduces subscription channels

Google’s YouTube video service has launched a platform of up to 50 paid for  a subscription services with content creators, which includes children’s programmers Sesame Street and Muppet creator The Jim Henson Co, PGA Digital Golf, Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Cars.TV and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The service will be available initially in 10 countries and monthly subscription prices will start at 99 cents and channels will be able to set their own rates, many with annual discounts.  It is thought Google will keep about 45% of all revenues as its share. One pilot channel will be Acorn TV, offering up a 'Best of British' menu with programmes such as 'Midsomer Murders' and 'Pie in the Sky'  at $4.99 a month.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


Boyband JLS are to split up, the band have announced. Having enjoyed widespread successes, the four piece X factor finalists have struggled recently with their last single Hold Me Down making it to just 112 in the UK charts.

Reggae producer Harry Johnson (Harry J) whose Roosevelt Avenue studio in Kingston , Jamaica, was a beacon for top acts including Bob Marley & The Wailers, Burning Spear  and Gregory Issacs has died aged 67.

Janos Starker, the celebrated Hungarian born cellist who played with the Budapest Orchestra, as principal cellist with the New York Metropolitan Opera and the Chicago  Symphony Orchestra and who ended his career as a widely respected teacher at the Indiana State University has died aged 88.

The country singer George Jones has died aged 81. Jones, who was married to Tammy Wynette for six years and had been a US Marine for three, had early success in the rockabilly genre before having more than 60 country music hits between 1955 and 1971. Having battled alcoholism and cocaine addiction, he was still touring at the time of his death.

Chris Kelly, one half of Kris Cross who had a massive 1992 hit with Jump when the pair were teenagershas died aged 34.

Jeff Hanneman, founder member of Slayer, has died aged 49 after suffering liver failure. The guitarist had suffered from ill health since contracting necrotising fasciitis after being bitten by a spider in 2011.

Composer Steve Martland has died aged 53. Martland often collaborated with artists from outside conventional classical institutions, resulting in distinctive work and he collaborated with Spiritualized at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe.

And on a personal note I would like to say farewell to Clive Burr, former drummer with Iron Maiden and Praying Mantis who has died aged 56. Clive was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1994. He was a lovely chap. 

As I Lay Dying frontman arrested over alleged plot to kill wife

Tim Lambesis, co-founder of the christian heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, has been arrested over an alleged plot to kill his wife. Police claimed he tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife. Lambesis was arrested at a retail business in Oceanside, the San Diego County sheriff's department said in a statement adding that detectives received information last week that Lambesis had solicited someone to kill his wife, who lives in nearby Encinitas. A task force from several law enforcement agencies quickly launched an investigation that led to the arrest.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Hop Farm cancelled

Vince Power has announced the cancellation of this year's Hop Farm Festival, due to take place on the 5th and 6th July, citing poor ticket sales as the reason for the decision. As previously reported, Power salvaged the Hop Farm brand after the collapse of his last vehicle, Music Festivals Plc which left Hop Farm Festival suppliers, including the local police force, a total of £4.8 million out of pocket according to local press. This year's festival was due to be headlined by My Bloody Valentine and Rodriguez and The Horrors, Jilmmy Cliff, The Cribs and Dinosaur Jr were also set to perform across the weekend.

Read more at 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Hot Stones in the UK, cold Stones in the US

Despite selling out their two Hyde Park shows in London in record time, the Rolling Stones shows in the USA have failed to sell, with the Observer newspaper suggesting the the tour guarantee offered by promoters AEG may be renegotiated as ticket prices are discounted. Some fans are blaming the high US ticket prices - ranging from $170 to $635, with VIP packages at $2000, on the band's greed, and others are not prepared to travel to the limited number of shows. London prices were between £95 and £300, although some £750 UK hotel and ticket packages remain unsold according to reports. The band have also announced that they are headlining the already sold out Glastonbury Festival.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Live Nation buy half share in Electric Daisy parent

In another move into the USA's EDM market, Live Nation will take a 50% stake in dance music promoter Insomnia Events, best known for the Electric Daisy Carnival festival. The WSJ values the deal at around $50 million.

Ad income compares well

PRS For Music has revealed that music publishers and composers earned nearly £10 million in 2012 from UK public performance royalties paid in relation to music that appeared in TV and radio advertising. £1.9 million was paid by the radio industry to the publishing sector rights agency to cover the music that appeared in ads, while TV commercials netted the PRS £8 million. The society also revealed that of all the music that airs on commercial television, about 10% is in the ads. Top ad music was 'Over There' by George Cohan, used in the Go Compare ads, followed the Village People's 'YMCA' for Elsewhere in the most played ad music chart is a track co-penned by Speech Debelle and used in a Sky ad, and hits from Blur and Take That, used by British Gas and Morrisons supermarket chain respectively.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pirate Bay sails again

File-sharing website The Pirate Bay has shifted its primary domain to the island of Saint Maarten just days after moving to an Icelandic TLD, which in turn followed a move to a Greenland-registered web address last month, which had been used in place of a Swedish .se domain for the main Pirate Bayweb address when it got wind of the fact efforts were being made to have that web address seized. Danish court rulings about the illegality of the site may have influenced the move from Greenland, which is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark - although Sint Maarten is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which may be less than helpful in the long term for the new "Pirates of the Caribbean".