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CMU Info
Top Stories
Ian Rogers, Andrew Dubber, Simon Fox and Frank Turner among latest additions for Great Escape convention
Obsorne to explore limiting Channel Islands mail-order VAT dodge
Chris Brown invited back to Good Morning America
In The Pop Courts
Apple boss forced to testify in long running iTunes anti-trust case
Lou Reed manager arrested for threatening headhunter
Release News

Burial announces new single

Decca to release official Royal Wedding album
Gigs & Tours News
UNKLE to give away flexi-discs at Brixton show
The Playground Weekender hits London
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Single review: Rival Schools - Wring It Out (Atlantic/Photo Finish)
Talks, Debates & Conventions
BASCA opens events to non-members
MusicTank launches live music course
Brands & Stuff
Eliza Doolittle to front Max Factor campaign
The Music Business
Government announces launch of Creative Industries Council
WeGotTickets launches new venue check in app
The Digital Business
Did Limewire's demise result in an instant fall in file-sharing?
ShareMyPlaylists announces new features
And finally...
NOFX man rents out party house

Having enjoyed huge crossover success with seminal synth-pop outfit Ultravox, New Wave tastemaker John Foxx left the group in 1979 to pursue what has since been a distinguished solo career. He released his debut solo album 'Metamatic' on Virgin Records, which was followed by three further significant LPs throughout the 1980s. After a hiatus working as a graphic artist and lecturing at Leeds Metropolitan University, Foxx re-emerged with the simultaneous dual-album release of 'Shifting City' and the ambient 'Cathedral' in 1997.

Numerous records and collaborations later, he now works under the moniker 'John Foxx And The Maths' with electro musician Benge. With their debut 'Interplay' due for release on 21 Mar through John's own Metamatic label, the duo are also set to headline the extravaganza of electronica that is Back To The Phuture at London's Troxy on 2 Apr.

Ahead of this, we caught up with the man himself to offer up our Same Six line of questioning.

Q1 How did you start out making music?
Chorley, Lancashire, early1960s. Just left the choir - broken voice. Heard Merseybeat and thought 'I can do that'. Then I discovered I couldn't sing in tune. Bit of a blow. Formed a band at art college. Went to the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream. Experienced random telepathy in the rush hour, after flight simulation and spontaneous luminosity episodes on Hornsey Rise. Fully recovered now, of course. Had a dimmer installed.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?
All the songs are about a man, a woman and a city - what else is there?

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It usually kicks off with an arpeggio from the Moog Modular system - massive machine converted from an old particle accelerator and part of Germany. A simple click of the switch and every experience you ever had gets connected to everything Berlusconi ever got away with - all entwined with impossible dance moves, mediumistic trance states and gurning. Seemingly takes place in slow motion, but you're actually in hyper-acceleration. To the rest of the world you're just that blurred bit from the bus window. When you come in the next day the place is a mess, but there's a giftwrapped record waiting at reception.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Primarily Stockhausen, because he's so good to dance to. For the last few years, mainly Erik Satie, because I'd like be as otherworldly as that - but I keep going out to play and ruining the mystique. Perhaps when I'm older.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Excuse me, that's Cheryl Cole at the door.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?
Hopefully the album will be a trillion seller by pre-order. Then I'll purchase a tropical island with sunlit lagoon moored just by the House Of Commons - so we could get a bit of sunshine and a swim before strolling into town. People might stare, but we wouldn't care.

MORE>> www.backtothephuture.net
When I first heard Gallops back last summer, it didn't take long to realise what a special addition to the burgeoning scene of British instrumental bands they were. Along with fellow CMU Approvees Three Trapped Tigers and Talons, they take instrumental rock and breathe a new lease of life into it, when those heading down the more traditional post-rock route have largely dug themselves into a formulaic rut. Hell, Gallops you can even listen to with a smile on your face.

Coming nine months after their debut EP, double A-side single 'Joust/Eukodol' is due for release via Holy Roar/Blood & Biscuits on 23 May. Although fast movers will be able to pick up a limited edition seven-inch on Record Store Day. And those that do will be very wise, because both tracks find the band on top form, upbeat and technically mindblowing. And to get the full force of this, you can catch them on tour in the UK from Friday, winding up at the Old Blue Last in London on 7 Apr.


Unicorn Jobs is on the lookout for Fashion / Lifestyle PR experts for a great opportunity within a high profile boutique fashion PR agency. The focus is on candidates from a Senior Account Executive to Account Director level who have strong fashion PR credentials, excellent media contacts and a history of working with high-profile clients, preferably in the fashion and retail industry. We are also looking for a digital/social media expert to join this agency as Head of Digital and take full responsibility for the company’s digital offering. Please email [email protected]

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:


A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 6 Apr 2011


How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 20 Apr 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

And now for the latest batch of announcements about the CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which will once again bring together music business leaders and innovators to debate the key issues and, more importantly, provide practical advice and case studies on how artists and music rights will be discovered, developed and commercialised in the new music business.

First up, PRS for Music, host of day one of the convention, has announced that its Chief Economist Will Page will be joined by Topspin CEO Ian Rogers and digital music expert and Bandcamp advisor Andrew Dubber for his keynote session, which will focus on the rising importance of direct to fan platforms. Page, Rogers and Dubber will together assess the role of such platforms for labels and artists, today and in the future, and evaluate the different approaches taken by rival services, while also considering how best to use direct-to-fan technology to recruit, engage and sell to fans.

Says Page: "For the best part of a decade MySpace has been at the forefront of direct-to-fan relationships. The Great Escape provides the perfect platform to debate who will maintain these relationships in the future".

Second up, and a central theme at every Great Escape convention is how artists and music companies can "escape" their domestic markets and pursue opportunities in other territories. This topic with be expertly dealt with this year in a panel presented by PPL. Bringing insights from a live, label and management viewpoint on how to meet the challenge of launching and monetising talent abroad, the panel will include ATC Management's Arwen Hunt, Exceptional Records' Bob Fisher and PPL's Director of Performer Affairs Keith Harris.

Says Harris: "A key priority for PPL in recent years has been the expansion of our global operations, ensuring the artists and labels we work for are paid all the revenues they are due for the use of their music anywhere in the world. Therefore we are especially pleased to lead this discussion at The Great Escape this year. Many of the biggest opportunities for UK artists lie in markets abroad, but capitalising on those opportunities is no easy task. We aim to help point delegates in the right direction".

Elsewhere in the panels domain, 7Digital's Ben Drury and Omnifone's Jez Bell will discuss the merits of rival digital business models, while BASCA CEO Patrick Rackow will lead a debate on digital licensing. For those working with newer artists, Radio 2 and 6Music's Jeff Smith, The Guardian's Caspar Llewellyn Smith, and festival and TV booker Ali Anselmo will reveal how they discover new talent, and advise bands on how they can build that all important "buzz".

On the Friday afternoon, delegates will be able to explore the thought processes that go on behind music-based brand partnerships as four managers and promoters pitch their sponsorship ideas to four leading brand managers who will come to the convention with at least £500 to spend. Staged in association with brand partnership specialists Vision Artists, this session will demonstrate the kinds of things different brands look for when working with artists, as well as giving four managers or promoters the chance to secure £500 to fund a small project.

And there's even more to add. HMV CEO Simon Fox will provide a keynote and take questions on his vision for the UK live sector, discussing HMV's ambitions in this space and how the live industry could better work with other parts of the music business. Wired journalist Duncan Geere will provide an insight session on the state of the digital music market, with some predictions on future trends. And PRS For Music has just added a great In Conversation event to their day one programme which will see Frank Turner discussing his career to date with 6music's Matt Everitt. He is the latest addition to the wider In Conversation programme, which already features DJ Shadow and BRIT Award winning producer Paul Epworth.

All this is in addition to the previously announced masterclass programme, The Great Escape Start Ups Showcase, and the debate on what the future music company will look like, which will include insights from BMG Chrysalis A&R director Alan Pell and Cooking Vinyl chief Martin Goldschmidt.

So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself your delegates pass right now, which gets you into all of this plus The Great Escape festival for a mere £125 (providing you buy by 12th April). And look out for more announcements next week, and daily previews of each convention session throughout April.

The Great Escape runs from 12-14 May across Brighton. More at www.escapegreat.com

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So, as expected, the boy Osborne set aside a little bit of his big budget speech yesterday to explain what his government plans to do about the weird Channel Islands VAT tax dodge which lets offshore mail-order websites undercut their mainland competitors by 20%. And what does he plan to do? Well, slightly less than fuck all. But only just.

As much previously reported, because the Channel Islands are in the European customs zone but outside the EU, businesses based there benefit from so called Low Value Consignment Relief, which means that any products sold to customers in the UK under £18 are not subject to VAT.

This VAT dodge has been utilised by numerous large-scale companies - including Tesco, Sainsburys, Amazon, Play.com and HMV - to sell products like CDs and DVDs by mail-order without having to pay a sales tax. This gives these services a 20% advantage over high street retailers, and any independent music sellers looking to launch mail-order services.

Campaigners have been calling for the loophole to be closed for years, with some arguing the UK government actually has a duty under EU tax laws to ensure tax relief initiatives of this kind are not used to unfairly distort the market.

Both the Channel Island governments and the last Labour government in the UK pledged to look into the loophole, though they subsequently did very little to close it. George Osborne, meanwhile, criticised the VAT dodge while in opposition, and since becoming Chancellor Of The Exchequer his colleagues in the Treasury have promised they'd announce measures to combat it.

Those measures came yesterday. The main move is to reduce the threshold for the tax relief from £18 to £15, which may affect some niche operators but will mean next to nothing to CD and DVD sellers utilising the VAT dodge, given nearly all their products retail for considerably less than £15.

Osborne also pledged to "explore options" with the European Commission for limiting the scope of the relief, and vowed that if these measures are not effective that the issue will be revisited in a year's time.

The most positive bit of Osborne's announcement for those who oppose the loophole, I suppose, is the "exploring options with EC tax officials" bit, though that is, of course, a very vague commitment. Richard Allen of RAVAS, which lobbies on this issue, nevertheless welcomed that measure, though called on Osborne to instigate any explorations quickly, with a view to addressing the "scope" of the tax relief as soon as possible.

Allen told CMU: "We have been telling Revenue & Customs about this for years already. I hope they now come to a conclusion quickly about what they are going to do about it. Many UK retailers might not survive another year of this. [Reducing the relief threshold] isn't really going to provide much immediate relief for those retailers suffering the daily reality of a distorted internet retail market".

Though, he added: "They certainly won't be opening bottles of champagne in the offshore fulfilment industry either, as it appears the days of this arrangement are numbered. We maintain a strong dialogue with the European Commission on this issue and we will be monitoring developments closely. There remains a significant amount of avoidance and market distortion caused by the UKs application of LVCR and its failure to prevent it being abused".

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US TV show 'Good Morning America' has invited Chris Brown back for a second interview after he recently flew into a rage and smashed a window off camera following an appearance on the programme on Tuesday.

As previously reported, Brown became angry after he was quizzed about the 2009 incident in which he attacked his then girlfriend Rihanna, leaving her bruised and unconscious on an LA pavement following an argument on the way home from a pre-Grammy Awards party. Despite attempts by the singer to steer the conversation back to his new album, 'FAME', the 'GMA' presenter continued to ask questions relating to the incident.

Following the interview, Brown went backstage and refused to come back on for a planned performance of one of his new songs. Instead, he ripped off his shirt and allegedly smashed a window with a chair, which sent broken glass raining down on the busy pavement below the ABC TV network building. Security was called to eject him, but the shirtless Brown shortly afterwards appeared on the street of his own accord.

However, yesterday Robin Roberts, who conducted the interview, said that Brown had already been invited back on the show, telling 'Good Morning America' viewers: "We wish him the absolute best ... We've extended the invitation to him and I sure hope that he takes us up on it, because we'd love to have another chat with him".

Saying that she'd "thought he was joking" when he flew into a rage and that he was "seriously considering" the second interview, she also added that Brown had been aware that Rihanna would be a topic of conversation in their discussion, saying: "Any time we have a guest, we let them know ahead of time the subject matter and the topics. And even right before the interview I let him know. I was shocked like everyone else, because we've had a wonderful relationship. I've been to his home, he's very gracious, and we've had easy conversation".

A spokesperson for ABC also confirmed to Entertainment Weekly yesterday that Brown would still appear as a contestant on the new series of 'Dancing With The Stars', which is due to begin on Tuesday.

As part of his sentence after being convicted of assault likely to cause great bodily harm in August 2009, Brown was put on probation for five years. It's not yet clear if the incident on Tuesday will affect this. ABC has said it will not press charges, but New York detectives are known to have attended the scene. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, where Brown's probation is managed, told MTV News yesterday that they "were unable to comment".

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A US judge has ordered the ailing Steve Jobs to give a deposition in relation to an old anti-trust lawsuit regarding iTunes.

The lawsuit relates to the digital music market of 2004 when the major record companies still insisted all downloads came with digital rights management embedded. The only DRMed file format that would work on the market leading iPod was that owned by Apple themselves, AAC files with Fairplay DRM. And the only place these could be bought was the iTunes Music Store, meaning that iPod users were locked to iTunes when buying music from a major label.

One of Apple's main competitors at the time, Real Networks, launched a bit of software that could convert digital music files from one format to another, so that downloads bought from any of iTunes' competitors could be transformed into Fairplay AAC files, so they'd work on an iPod. Apple did not like this turn of events, and promptly updated the software that drives an iPod so that files created by Real's format-transfer system didn't work.

This all ended up in anti-trust litigation, with Apple accused of acting anti-competitively in forcing iPod owners to buy music from its own music store rather than those of its rivals. And it is in relation to that litigation that US judge Howard Lloyd has insisted Apple chief Jobs gives a testimony, despite him being on sick leave from the IT giant.

Lloyd said this week that Apple had not demonstrated how Jobs giving up to two hours of testimony would result in "undue hardship" for their top man, while adding that "the court finds that Jobs has unique, non-repetitive, first hand knowledge about Apple's software updates in October 2004 that rendered the RealNetworks's digital music files once again inoperable with iPods".

The deposition will be limited to questions about correspondence between Apple and Real Networks in 2004 - Real's lawyers had wanted the opportunity to question Jobs on a wider range of issues. Apple, which would rather Jobs not be involved at all, can appeal Lloyd's ruling, though legal experts reckon the company will struggle to have the decision overturned.

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Former Universal A&R exec and now President of the New York-based Esther Creative Group management company, Tom Sarig, was arrested for aggravated harassment on Sunday.

According to reports, Sarig threatened to murder headhunter Adrian Smith, who specialises in finding PAs for celebrities. The alleged incident reportedly occurred when Smith asked Sarig to pay an $11,500 bill relating to services provided in appointing a new assistant for one of ECG's artists, Lou Reed.

Smith has filed an official complaint with police which, according to the Village Voice, claims that Sarig told him he'd send Israeli hitmen after him if he continued to seek payment.

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Burial's only just released a collaborative single with Four Tet and Thom Yorke, and now he's announced the release of his first solo single since 2007. It's all too much excitement.

The single features three tracks, 'Street Halo', 'NYC' and 'Stolen Dog', and will be released through Hyperdub on 28 Mar.

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Songs from the wedding of that William Windsor bloke to his other half Katie Middleton will be available for download within hours of the ceremony itself, which is surely what the whole digital content infrastructure has been building towards these last two decades.

Universal's Decca Records will release the official album of the Royal Wedding, which will feature star turns from The Choir of Westminster Abbey, The Chapel Royal Choir, The London Chamber Orchestra and The Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. The album will be available in all good digital music stores within hours of the Wedding on 29 Apr, with a physical version arriving in shops on 5 May.

Decca Records boss Dickon Stainer told CMU: "This will be the first official royal wedding album ever to enter the worldwide digital charts. It will capture a piece of history for a new generation".

No word on whether Universal's deal with the happy couple also includes the rights to release the subsequent Royal Divorce mixtape, currently scheduled for release in 2019.

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UNKLE have announced that they will give away free flexi-discs to the first 500 people through the door at their upcoming Brixton Academy show on 1 Apr. The record will feature two tracks, 'When The Lights Go Out' and 'We Own The Night', which are both taken from the duo's forthcoming album 'Where Did The Night Fall: Another Night Out'.

So, that's quite exciting, isn't it? While you're waiting to force yourself to the front of the queue, have a listen to this playlist from UNKLE's James Lavelle.

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Gig promoter The Playground will be at Koko on Friday and Saturday this week for the first Playground Weekender, which features an impressive line-up of electronic artists over the two nights.

San Francisco's oOoOO will headline Friday night with their first ever UK performance, alongside the Brainfeeder label's Jeremiah Jae and Teebs, plus Dimlite, Becoming Real, Breton, D/R/U/G/S and Anxst.

If you can cope with all the excitement of the first night, you can head back on Saturday for a headline slot from French popster Yelle, along with fellow Kitsuné acts In Flagranti, Punx Soundcheck and Waylayers, plus Delooze, Tiger Love, The Coolness and Douce Angoisse.

The Playground's head Warren Morris told CMU: "We're extremely excited to once again present some of the most interesting and edgy music out there. Watching underground acts like oOoOO and Dimlite, and labels such as Brainfeeder, put out fresh music which references electronica, hip hop, experimental and gothic genres, and then seeing media outlets including The Guardian, Supersuper, FACT and Pitchfork embracing them, really reinforces The Playground's mission for our events. Alongside our continued support for electro and dance it only made sense that we put on an event that presents both the darker and upbeat styles we love in a central London location".

For more info, head over to www.theplayground.co.uk.

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CAMDEN CRAWL, various venues, London, 30 Apr - 1 May: Razorlight, Guillemots and Miles Kane are brand new additions to the sprawling Crawl roster, which features such already-confirmed acts as Lethal Bizzle, Villagers and Little Comets. www.thecamdencrawl.com

DOUR, Belgium, 14-17 July: Things are really hotting up over at the Belgian Dour headquarters, with busy reunitees Pulp set to appear alongside fellow line-up newbies Klaxons, Blood Red Shoes, Dananananaykroyd and Architecture Helsinki, and old hands like House Of Pain, Cypress Hill and Pendulum. www.dourfestival.be/en

GET LOADED IN THE PARK, Clapham Common, London, 12 Jun: The all-new and possibly improved Razorlight get a second mention as so far the sole act to be announced for this London-based one-dayer, which is returning this year after a hiatus. www.getloadedinthepark.com

INDIETRACKS, Midland Railway Centre, Ripley, Derbyshire, 29-31 Jul: Anti-folk anti-hero Jeffrey Lewis, Sweet Nothings, and Canadian rockers The Hidden Cameras are amongst the first crop of acts unveiled for this intimate three-day bash, which is held in aid of the Midland Railway Trust. www.indietracks.co.uk

LA LINEA: LONDON LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL, various venues, London, 6-19 Apr: Held across a series of special nights celebrating all things Latin music-related, this year's La Linea will play host to hotly-tipped flamenco chanteuse Yasmin Levy and Barcelona-based group Ojos de Brujo, who will mark their tenth anniversary with a special performance. Twelve-piece Afro-Cuban stars Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club will also appear at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the festival. www.comono.co.uk/lalinea11.php

LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY, Various Venues, Liverpool, 19-21 May: Newly introduced to the Sound City bill is an array of acts including The View, Smoke Fairies, Cults, Mazes, The Good Natured and Dinosaur Pile-Up. Radiohead drummer Philip Selway will headline the Bella Union showcase, with other label-hosted events due to take place courtesy of Moshi Moshi and Young Turks. The existing line-up is topped off by Black Lips, Jamie xx, Frank Turner and Yuck. www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

RELENTLESS BOARDMASTERS, Watergate Bay, Cornwall, 10-14 Aug: Organisers have booked nu-ravers Klaxons to head up proceedings at this sun, sea and surf celebration, despite the band having just cancelled their US tour. The brilliant Bombay Bicycle Club, Breakage and The King Blues are also amongst the latest additions to a bill that already featured Sub Focus, Eliza Doolittle, Andy C and Willy Mason. www.relentlessboardmasters.com

SUNSPLASH ANTALYA, Turkey, 22-29 May: Heading to what is billed as an 'achingly chic' beach location on Turkey's Riviera will be a host of DJ-types led by Radio 1's Giles Peterson, with jazzman Jose James, house bloke Norman Jay, Theo Parrish and Mad Professor also set to spin some tunes. With these sweaty, dancey vibes set amidst a venue that features a spa and yoga classes for that post-set chilldown, this may just be the festival season's oddest and best kept secret. www.sunsplash-antalya.com

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SINGLE REVIEW: Rival Schools - Wring It Out (Atlantic/Photo Finish)
'Wring It Out' is the second single to be taken from New York post-hardcore outfit Rival Schools' new album 'Pedals', their first release in almost ten years.

It's a strange thing, to disappear for a decade after the release of one incredibly influential album - it's like, 'bang, this is us, goodbye!' - and the departure of Ian Love near destroyed all hope of album number two. But here they are, after a couple of years of festival spots and shows, with that promise of new music.

The question is: is it any good? I so want to say 'yes, of course it is', but the sound that leaves my mouth instead is a hesitant '...nyeh'. They disappeared for ten years, but I had no idea they were stuck in a time capsule for the duration.

The so-so, fairly forgettable 'Wring It Out', and the album that calls it home, are both equally nyeh-ish in their delivery. There are some nice riffs in there, but I can't help but feel the whole thing is teen soap fodder. TW

Digital release: 6 Mar

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The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors has announced that it will opens up its events to non-members over the next eight months, the first of which is entitled 'Soundalikes, Parody and Plagiarism' and will take place on 31 Mar.

On the panel will be Neil Innes (who amongst many things was, of course, responsible for Beatles parody The Rutles), 'Spitting Image' writer Philip Pope, Bath Spa University's Joe Bennett and TV composer Alan Parker, who will discuss the perils of writing 'soundalike' music for TV, advertising and film productions.

The seminar will take place in the PRS For Music HQ in London, and will cost non-members £30. If you would like to attend, email [email protected].

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MusicTank has announced a new six session training course on all things live music to be led by Andy Inglis, who created and managed London's recently closed Luminaire venue.

The course will include a review of the live sector, tips on marketing and ticketing, important information on licensing, analysis of where the live sector is going, and discussion as to whether bigger agents and promoters have become too powerful, and how independents can better compete.

Joining Inglis during the course will be Dominique Czopor, founder of Guildford venue The Boileroom, who will offer expertise on licensing issues, plus Dave Newton of WeGotTickets, Howard Monk and Paul Hutton of promotions companies The Local and Metropolis Music, Andy Duggan of live music booking agency Primary Talent and David Phillips, manager of London venue Koko.

Commenting on the course, Inglis told CMU: "I have 21 years experience in the music industry and co-founding and running The Luminaire has been, by turns, a hugely rewarding and massively frustrating experience. If I can't illuminate the mistakes I made and stop others from making them, then what the hell. At least I got to hang out with Wanda Jackson".

The course takes place over six sessions beginning on 4 Apr and is £150 for MusicTank members, and £199 for others. For more info and such like check www.musictank.co.uk/events/courses/live-industry-course

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EMI-signed popster Eliza Doolittle is to front a new Max Factor campaign encouraging women to put on make-up when they go out. Colourful make-up, mind. You know, eye shadow, lipgloss, nail polish, that sort of thing. I'm not entirely sure what she'll be doing, but she played a gig recently where she debuted a 'look' created by Max Factor make-up artist Caroline Barnes, so that's fun.

Barnes explained that the new line of make-up products "offer girls a colourful splash of inspiration for their everyday looks".

Doolittle told CMU: "I'm so excited to be working with Max Factor. I love experimenting with my make-up and creating different looks using lots of colour - so this new range is perfect for me".

Yes, that is handy. Rafael McDonnell, EMI Music's Senior Vice President Brand Partnerships, Licensing & Synchronisation for Europe & Rest of World added: "This is a fantastic partnership as Eliza really embodies the essence of a Max Colour Effect girl through her colourful songs and personality, and of course love for make-up. We are delighted to be collaborating with Max Factor to share Eliza's talents beyond her music".

Eliza's new single, 'Mr Medicine', is out now, and you'll be able to see her face all covered in brightly coloured make-up on her UK tour, which begins on 28 Mar.

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Alongside yesterday's Budget announcement, the dudes over in the Treasury also announced plans to launch a Creative Industries Council, which will provide a "voice for the sector with the financial community and coordinate action on barriers to growth".

Presumably that means high up the agenda will be measures to encourage the banking and investment sector to provide more support to small and medium sized companies in the creative industries, including music. All of which will please Feargal Sharkey's UK Music, which has been lobbying for both a high level platform for government interaction and investment support schemes for music SMEs.

Sharkey told Billboard he expects the new Council to have a board of representatives from each of the creative industries, adding that he hopes the new body will concentrate on finance, skills and copyright protection.

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Paperless ticketing company WeGotTickets has unveiled a new app which it is calling EASy which it says will make it easier for venues to check in punters with electronic tickets, speeding up the flow of gig goers into venues as a result.

The new service will also let tickets be marked as 'part redeemed' for when groups who paid for their tickets in one booking show up separately, or 'unredeemed' to track people leaving a venue. They will also be able to put notes next to bookings with door staff will be able to see.

Laura Kramer, Project Manager of WeGotTickets' EASy, told CMU: "Developing the EASy app has been in the pipeline for a while now and it's great to finally be issuing this out to clients in order to make their events even easier to manage".

She added: "For bigger venues and events, EASy takes the stress out of ensuring all customers gain entry as quickly as possible - less time queuing and more time enjoying events. We've kept our focus on making it really simple to use. Version two is now in development and will include new features to improve the app even further".

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According to data from research firm NPD Group, the number of US net users file-sharing fell by 3% in the last quarter of 2010 as LimeWire officially closed down its P2P service.

Although the LimeWire file-sharing software can still be used, and an unofficial new release is circulating online, it is possible the fact the P2P technology is no longer supported, or available from the LimeWire website, has had a tangible impact on the number of overall file-sharers. High profile coverage of LimeWire's defeat in court may also have had an impact.

That said, according to NPD data the percentage of American web users file-sharing has been declining for three years now, so the 3% drop could, in part, be simply a continuation of that trend.

The overall decline in recent years could be because of the rise in the number of legitimate digital music services, especially on-demand streaming platforms. Or it could be that a rise in the number of overall net users is skewing the percentages. Or it could be that newer kinds of file-sharing are harder for NPD to track. Depends whether the glass is half empty or full I suppose.

Nevertheless, NPD's Russ Crupnick reckons LimeWire's demise last year did have an effect. He told reporters: "Limewire was so popular for music file trading, and for so long, that its closure has had a powerful and immediate effect on the number of people downloading music files from peer-to-peer services and curtailed the amount being swapped".

He added: "In the past we've noted that hardcore peer-to-peer users would quickly move to other web sites that offered illegal music file-sharing. It will be interesting to see if services like Frostwire and BitTorrent take up the slack left by LimeWire, or if peer-to-peer music downloaders instead move on to other modes of acquiring or listening to music".

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Spotify playlist sharing website ShareMyPlaylists.com has announced two new features: lyrics and artist biogs.

Where available, lyrics for all tracks in a playlist will be displayed, as well as in a searchable lyrics database. Artist pages will also list all of an artists albums and tracks available on Spotify and give the option to create a playlist of the artist's music using the site's playlist generator.

ShareMyPlaylists founder Kieron Donoghue told CMU: "Hopefully all these features will increase user engagement and, of course, streams".

Check out CMU's profile on the site at sharemyplaylists.com/playlists/cmu

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NOFX frontman Fat Mike has turned a property he owns in Las Vegas into a holiday home "for adults that live like teenagers".

According to its website, the house sleeps ten people, features a games room, salt water pool cave hot tube, water slide, nine hole golf course, "a shitload of records", plus a museum featuring "a small collection of punk memorabilia and strange punk relics", though it adds of the museum: "there isn't much to it".

Sounds like the perfect place to have a massive blow-out, inviting everyone you bump into as you drunkenly stumble around the casinos of Vegas, huh? No. The website firmly states: "The Vegas Punk House is ideal for small groups of friends. It's not a location for big parties"

Book your crazy but small non-party at vegaspunkhouse.com

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Wyclef Jean
Left Hand Man

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