19 JUL 2013

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Well, it's been quite a week, hasn't it? I know you're all expecting me to pick the most interesting, funny or ridiculous music-based tête-à-tête of the last seven days, but how do you choose in a week when amazing disputes just keep pouring out into the world? So, for one week only (until next we have a flash of indecisiveness), we're pulled together five beefs of the week for the price of one more>>
RvS Music hosts another party at Dukes with a solid line-up including the Spanish brothers who go by the Japanese name of Kyodai. The boys are jetting in from Berlin to headline and play live in the house basement. Support comes from the inimitable Soulsonic veteran that is Stuart Patterson and RvS head honcho Asad Rizvi - aka Asadinho - fresh from his Lana Del Rey and Phoenix remixes more>>

- Vivendi knocked back $8.5 billion bid for Universal Music
- John Lydon to receive BMI Icon award
- Backstreet Boys sign with BMG
- Imagem sign Counting Crows
- Courtney Love talks Hole LP
- Kings Of Leon share new single, Supersoaker
- Omar Souleyman releasing new LP Wenu Wenu
- London Grammar dot I's and cross T's on first LP
- Yuck give away track
- Festival line-up update: Dimensions, Incubate, Lowlands and more
- Essential announces Proper partnership
- Napier-Bell launches artist management consultancy
- Live Nation appoints new MD for China
- survey says lower-cost streaming services needed
- Atoms For Peace to sell live videos through Soundhalo
- rounds up new releases on Spotify
- One Direction boy saves Harry Styles from on-stage burn
Liverpool-based digital distributor Ditto Music is seeking an experienced Digital Content/Label Manager to join our team. The role will feature a wide range of duties including digital content delivery, liaising with retailers, customer support for artists and record labels, co-ordinating promotional campaigns with online stores and working alongside our offices in Nashville and Melbourne to provide an award-winning service.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Liverpool-based digital distribution company Ditto Music is looking for an Online Marketing Specialist with experience in planning, executing and optimising digital marketing campaigns, including paid search, display advertising, blogging, SEO and especially email marketing, to increase brand awareness and drive revenue.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We’re looking for a driven music publicist with a minimum of two years print and online PR experience to join our team in Cambridge on a temporary basis. Candidates will be results driven, able to work to deadlines, and be enthusiastic about a wide range of genres. A network of contacts across print and online media is essential. Radio contacts a plus.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Rood Media is predominantly a boutique music PR agency, handling specialist radio, online and print on a global scale for some of electronic music's most respected and popular artists and labels. Recent projects include Disclosure, Cyril Hahn, Bromance Records, Felix Da Housecat and Yuksek/Partyfine. We are looking for a Freelance PR who has a keen interest in all that we do.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Management Assistant required for London-based, established artist management company. Suitable candidates must have a minimum of three years management or related experience. Knowledge of release campaigns, promotion and touring required. Candidates must be super organised, capable of multi-tasking and possess a good knowledge of the music industry. Role will include providing support to artist managers, co-ordinating day to day activities for artists including general administrative duties and personal assistant duties.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Partisan PR and Konkz are seeking to appoint a Social Media Manager to work across key client accounts. The candidate must have experience in devising and implementing digital campaigns for a broad range of artists. Experience of working at a record company or digital agency is preferred.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
WANTED: Experienced Communications Officer! We are seeking a self-motivated, proactive individual to take a key role in further developing our PR and communication strategies. The successful candidate will have strong artist and industry knowledge, first class experience in social media and excellent relevant PR experience.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
MAMA & Company are looking for dynamic, experienced General Business Managers, Assistant General Managers & Bar Managers with a proven track record within a live music operation. This is a fantastic opportunity to work and grow with an exciting company at some of London's most established venues. Based in London, closing date for applications is 6pm on Wednesday 24 Jul 2013.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
£600 per calendar month

Come and share our lovely office in Camden NW1, which is available from the beginning of July 2013

Situated in a 620 sq ft former photographic studio, up to four of you will be sharing with us - a music PR company. One third of the office is available in a friendly, spacious, airy, media environment. The space offered is partially separated from the main room and currently acts as our meeting / ping pong room! Individual desk spaces may also be considered.

The office is tastefully designed, has ample storage and is based in Camden close to all the amenities. The space would suit music professionals, designers or architects or a small company involved in the creative arts.

The studio has excellent security and is situated in a private yard off the street. It is 5 mins walk from Chalk Farm tube and Kentish Town West Overground stations. It is equally close to Camden Lock and Market with its numerous shops, restaurants, bars, cafes and a short journey on bus or tube will take you into the west end quickly.

There's a kitchenette, with sink for tea/coffee, microwave and fridge. The studio is situated on the lower ground floor of the building with its own locked door, with 24 hours access.

The rental cost is for the space and includes all utilities but not telephone. Wireless high speed broadband (reasonable use) could also be shared.

A one month deposit would be required with a three-month minimum agreement, with one month written notice and rent to be paid monthly in advance by standing order.

Please contact for more details

The five biggest stories in the music business this week...

01: There was an awful lot of Spotify chatter. Which made a nice change from all the Pandora-dissing. It was all kicked off, of course, by Radiohead and Atoms For Peace collaborators Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich who announced that they were pulling content by their respective side-projects (ie non-Radiohead catalogue) off streaming services in protest at the tiny royalties they pay out to new artists (particularly focusing on Spotify). Streaming music platforms had been set up to mainly benefit the big rights owners, they argued. Cue everyone on the internet having an opinion about the state, growth, future and ethics of the streaming music market. Even after CMU Editor Andy Malt had clearly said all that needed to be said on the matter. Radiohead manager and Spotify fan Brian Message basically told the BBC that he and his most famous client might just have to agree to disagree on the matter. CMU reportCMU Editor's Letter

02: There were settlements in the digital royalties dispute domain. Both actually happened last week, but emerged in the last seven days. American rocker Eddie Money and Doobie Brother Michael McDonald had both sued their former labels - Sony and Warner respectively - for a bigger cut of digital royalties, part of an industry-wide debate on whether heritage artists should be paid a lower 'record sale' royalty or higher 'licensing/other revenue' royalty on download sales, when their record contracts make no specific references to digital. A stack of artists are suing on the issue after Eminem collaborators FBT Productions won a bigger cut from Universal Music. The majors do seem keen to keep this debate out of the courts, and both Money and McDonald settled their respective lawsuits in the last fortnight. Michael McDonald reportEddie Money report

03: Several US web giants made commitments regards advertising on piracy sites. AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google all signed up to a voluntary initiative to try to stop piracy websites from profiting from ads sold by the web firms' respective ad networks. The presence of advertising managed by the big ad networks on piracy sites has been a top gripe of the content industries in recent months. The US government welcomed the web company's new commitments in this domain, while the record industry said they were pleased with the development but would wait to see what results it delivered. The movie industry meanwhile moaned that the initiative still relied on the copyright owners spotting the ad-carrying piracy sites in the first place. CMU reportThe Inquirer report

04: A Rolling Stone cover caused controversy. The music magazine put a photo of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover with the headline "The Bomber: How a popular, promising student was failed by his family, fell into radical Islam and became a monster". The mayor of Boston called the move "at best ill-conceived", while others said the magazine was exploiting a tragedy to sell more copies. The music title's editors said they thought the article "falls within the traditions of journalism and Rolling Stone's long-standing commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage". CMU reportGuardian report

05: A privacy group hit out at Jay-Z's Samsung app. It followed criticism by some fans that the app, which gave Samsung phone owners free access to the rapper's new album 'Magna Carta Holy Grail', asked for too much personal information. The Electronic Privacy Information Center asked the FTC to investigate, saying the app "deprived users of meaningful choice regarding the collection of their data, interfered with device functionality, and failed to implement reasonable data minimisation procedures". Samsung denied any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Jay-Z (or Jay Z now, apparently, according to Billboard editor Joe Levy), topped the Billboard albums chart and scored the highest number of Spotify streams in a week, despite giving his new record away to a million data-sharing Samsung customers. CMU reportBBC report

On the CMU this week, we chatted to Live Nation COO Paul Latham about the recently launched UK Music Skills Academy, and to the main man Avicii. As I said, CMU Editor Andy Malt pondered on the Spotify debate, while Team CMU got about with approving in a groovy fashion Paula, Oh Land, Mazzy Star and Emilie Nicolas. And at CMU HQ, the air conditioning unit struggled to keep up.

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A Japanese telecoms group called SoftBank recently made a bid for the Universal Music Group, it has been revealed, but the mega-major's current owners, French firm Vivendi, said "no, no, no". Or "non, non, non" presumably. Or possibly "いいえ, いいえ, いいえ". According to the Financial Times, SoftBank offered a neat $8.5 billion for the world's biggest music rights company, which would buy you an awful lot of Justin Bieber records.

It's thought the telecoms giant was attracted to Universal because of the increasing importance of music services in the mobile market. Even though it's debatable whether acquiring even the biggest music rights firm would actually help a SoftBank compete in the mobile music space. Not least because it might put off other labels from participating in any music venture, and you can have as much Bieber as you want, but will your pop service work without Beyonce and Buble?

But either way, $8.5 billion was a generous offer, with most analysts valuing the music major a good $2 billion less than that, even after last year's acquisition of the EMI record company. A fact the will likely make some Vivendi shareholders question the company's board and their decision to knock back the offer, even if UMG is a key part of the French firm's plan to move away from the telecoms market and focus on its entertainment assets.

Interestingly, the $8.5 billion figure is similar to that being bandied around when live music and entertainment firm AEG was up for sale earlier this year. Though, of course, that sale didn't go ahead, possibly because current owner Anschutz Inc was too ambitious in its asking price.

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John Lydon will receive this year's BMI Icon Award, it has been announced. The former Sex Pistols frontman will be handed his trophy at a ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel in London on 15 Oct.

Says BMI President Del Bryant: "John Lydon is a true icon whose influence on music, fashion and art has been felt around the world. We are very pleased to recognise his impact on popular culture and his outstanding musical contributions with the BMI Icon Award".

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Backstreet Boys, the "best-selling boy band of all time" according to this here press release, have announced an alliance with BMG, which will represent the pop group in both the publishing and recordings domain on their upcoming album 'In A World Like This'. It's a global deal excluding Japan.

In a statement, the group's management team at Prospect Park said: "Backstreet Boys' new deal with BMG represents the "best of both worlds" for the artist. BSB gets to own their album while at the same time they have a real team behind the marketing and promotion of their music. It's a win-win for both teams".

Meanwhile BMG's Richard Blackstone told CMU: "Having worked with the Backstreet Boys over 20 years ago, it is of great personal satisfaction to be working with them again. Their careers are quite remarkable and it is probably safe to say that they have claimed their place in history as the greatest male pop group of all time. Moreover, these guys remain just as ambitious and passionate as the day they started and we are so proud that they have put their trust in BMG".

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The US division of independent music publisher Imagem has signed Counting Crows to a multi-year worldwide administration deal.

Confirming the new agreement, Imagem Music President Rich Stumpf told CMU: "I remember hearing the Counting Crows on radio for the first time when I was just starting out in the business. Anchored by Adam [Duritz]'s amazingly distinct voice I was blown away by their story telling, musicianship and vocal harmonies. It is an honour to welcome them to the Imagem family".

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Grunge grand dame Courtney Love is in the midst of making a new Hole LP, it transpires, so that's nice. Provisionally titled 'Died Blonde', it'll follow Love and band's last LP, 2010's 'Nobody's Daughter'. The idea is to release it at Christmas, at the same time her previously reported autobiography 'Last Bitch Standing' is published by Harper Collins.

Sharing a cautious (not) appraisal of the LP with Canadian site Jam, she says: "It sounds epic. It's amazing. It's great. But it's really hard work".

As for what it's like to write a book, Love adds: "Well, I have a co-writer now so it's actually much easier. I think his name is going to be on it but, I don't know, if I can avoid his name being on it I will happily do that. Basically he sits there and I talk and then somebody transcribes what we talk about and then I go attack what's on the written page and make it more literate".

That man definitely deserves a writing credit, if not a medal.

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Kings Of Leon have let fly a new single titled 'Supersoaker' as a preview of their sixth LP, 'Mechanical Bull', which is released on 23 Sep. The track is priced on iTunes at 99p - what a steal.

Here it is

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Syrian artist Omar Souleyman is to release a new LP called 'Wenu Wenu', all of it mixed by Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet, on 22 Oct.

The singer's first to be made, in the main, in a studio (he's famed for taping tracks live on location, at weddings and the like), it's a collaboration with his long-time synth player Rizan Sa'id.

Take in its tracklisting below, and trailer here.

Wenu Wenu
Ya Yumma
Warni Warni
Mawal Jamar

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Alt-pop trio London Grammar have fixed various vital stats to their very first LP, 'If You Wait', primarily a release date (9 Sep) and a track allocation (eleven).

Said allocation features the band's first official single 'Wasting My Young Years', and a new track, 'Strong', that they'll release on 1 Sep. Take a look through the 'If You Wait' tracklisting below, and play 'Strong' here.

Hey Now
Stay Awake
Wasting My Young Years
Metal & Dust
Interlude (Live)
If You Wait

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Yuck, who lost their ex-lead singer Daniel Blumberg to his CMU approved solo priority Hebronix earlier this year, are back.

The band's aptly titled new track 'Rebirth', the first sign of a first post-Blumberg LP that's still TBA, finds guitarist Max Bloom taking over vocals. It's available to download via

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Ah, Bestival's application to increase its Isle Of Wight-based site's max capacity from 50,000 to a bizarrely exact 79,999 has been approved by the authorities-that-be, and I wish it well with that.

Speaking of festival expansions, Netherlandic alt-fest Incubate has adding Gang Of Four to its wide-ranging listings (I Am Kloot, CocoRosie, Immortal Willis Earl Beal, Anna Von Hausswolff), a happy acquisition that Incubate AD Vincent Koreman vocalises thus: "We're extremely proud that Gang Of Four will perform at Incubate this year! Because of their major influence on a lot of the bands in the line-up, because of their social-political lyrics and because they're still a kick-ass live band. In combination with the acid house line-up that we have that night in the 013 venue with 808 State and A Guy Called Gerald, they fit perfectly into our programme".

Moving over to the programme at large at Croatia's Dimensions, and Bonobo is revealed as headliner at the festival's 4 Sep launch party (not technically part of the main event, since it's separately ticketed), as will also feature pre-existing Dimensions highlights Mount Kimbie, Portico Quartet and Andrew Ashong.

Those highlights noted, I'll finish with lists of additions to the following...

BINGLEY MUSIC LIVE, Myrtle Park, Bingley, West Yorkshire, 3- Aug - 1 Sep: Katy B, Tinchy Stryder, The Neville Staple Band.

DIMENSIONS, Fort Punta Christo, Croatia, 4-9 Sep: Bonobo.

DOUNE THE RABBIT HOLE, Cardross Estate, Stirlingshire, Scotland, 22-25 Aug: Venetian Snares, Samba Sene & Diwan, Trembling Bells, Miaoux Miaoux, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, John Knox Sex Club, Bar Room Crawl, Low End Collective, DJ Rebecca Vasmant, Hector Bizerk, Argonaut Sounds, Orkestra Del Sol.

INCUBATE, Tilburg, Netherlands, 16-22 Sep: Gang Of Four, Jesu, Smith Westerns.

LOWLANDS, Evenemententerrein Walibi World, Biddinghuizen, Holland, 16-18 Aug: AlunaGeorge, AraabMuzik, Austra, Baauer, Black Sun Empire, Bonobo, Buraka Som Sistema, Calyx & Teebee, Charanjit Singh, Chvrches, Dizzee Rascal, Evian Christ, Factory Floor, George Fitzgerald, Guerilla Speakerz, James Blake, Jameszoo, Job Jobse, Julio Bashmore, Just Blaze, Kate Boy, Know VA, DJ Lefto, Matias Aguayo & Mostro, Marcel Fengler, Midland, MMM, Mmoths, Peace, Rainbow Arabia, Sadar Bahar, Sandrien, Seeed, Siriusmo, Sir Yes Sir, Theme Park, TNGHT, Tokimonsta, William Kouam Djoko, xxyyxx, Young Marco.

SUPERNORMAL, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire, 9-11 Aug: Comanechi, Feature.

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Essential Music & Marketing has announced an alliance with Proper Music Distribution, creating what the two firms are dubbing "a new UK powerhouse for independent music". The new deal follows an announcement by Gem Logistics, which is currently Essential's partner on logistical matters, that it is moving away from the music space.

Confirming the alliance, Proper MD Drew Hill told CMU: "We are delighted to be starting what will hopefully be a fruitful, long-term partnership with Essential, which is, like Proper, a company that is passionate about music from top to bottom. The synergies between the two companies will only serve to strengthen what Proper and Essential can offer to their existing clients, both labels and retailers, as well as being able to offer THE go-to solution for artists and labels looking for a truly independent distribution or label services deal".

Mike Chadwick, Managing Director at Essential says: "Gem Logistics has been a great partner, and it's a shame that the company is leaving the music space. [But] Proper has a great reputation within the industry, especially for its support of independent retailers. The people at Proper intimately understand physical music products and the needs of a company like Essential".

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Veteran artist manager Simon Napier-Bell has commented on the new consultancy business he launched with Björn de Water, another manager, last month. The company, called Snap-B Music, will provide advice and expertise on artist management, promotion and development, as well as music publishing and record production services.

Speaking to Music Week, Napier-Bell said: "It's impossible to be in management as long as I have without wanting to share the experiences and knowledge I've gathered. I can't manage every artist I see who's worth helping, the job is too time consuming, but I can share my expertise with other managers and tailor advice specifically to the needs of their particular artist".

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Live Nation has announced the appointment of Robb Spitzer to the role of MD for the live giant's Chinese division. In the new role, Spitzer, who has worked within the Chinese music industry since 2003, will oversee Live Nation's existing partnership in the region with the Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, and well as looking for new partners to stage tours involving both international and regional talent.

Confirming the new appointment, Live Nation top bloke Michael Rapino told CMU: "We continue to expand our worldwide network as global tours are rapidly including many new core markets. Building our presence in China is a key step in this expansion".

Spitzer himself added: "I see tremendous potential for the development of the touring business in China and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Live Nation to realise this potential".

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The big legal music services are not yet appealing to all consumers, or so says a new bit of research conducted by previously reported newish streaming music set-up

And while some of the conclusions of the new survey of just under a thousand consumers do rather conveniently back up the approach is already taking to streaming music, the research does throw some interesting points into the debate about where the streaming market is headed, a debate that has been a hot topic again this week.

Just under half of those surveyed by admitted to accessing music from illegal sources in the last month. Two key reasons given by respondents for going that route, rather than tapping into one of the plethora of licensed download and streaming services that are now available in the UK market, was catalogue gaps and price point.

The former issue is frequently raised by those accessing music illegally - with brand new music often missing on legal platforms because of the release window (where music goes to radio before streaming services) and old music because many labels are yet to fully digitise their archives. And, of course, some artists pull their content (mentioning no names). Respondents said that when they find their favoured artists missing from a service they might pick another act, but might equally head to YouTube or an illegal site where the content is much more likely to be available.

The price point issue - 84% said £10 a month for a mobile-compliant streaming service was too pricey - is interesting in a week when some artists have been insisting that the royalties they receive are already woefully low. Loss-making streaming services would struggle to increase royalty payments without increasing subscription fees.

Though, says's report, 81% of those surveyed said they listened to less than 200 different tracks in any one month, meaning the all-you-can-eat approach of most on-demand streaming services is unnecessary, and maybe costs savings could be made, and passed onto the consumer, by offering access to less tracks. Which, of course, is one of the options offers.

The streaming firm's founder Oleg Fomenko told CMU: "This survey shows that if the music industry is to encourage a generation back into paying for music then cheaper services are needed. The hardcore music fan is already well catered for by existing £10 a month services, including's top tier, but casual listeners need to be convinced of the value of streaming services".

He added: "That's why's £1 a month subscription [offering access to a limited number of tracks] has a vital role to play. We have seen that once listeners begin paying and see what can offer, they often increase their subscription level to take advantage of more features but they need an affordable place to start".

On the catalogue gap point, he went on: "All this can be done only if record labels and licensing agencies make their full catalogues available. Incomplete catalogues will harm the missing artists, who will lose listeners, and drive consumers to free alternatives such as YouTube or even to illegal services. Services have to be designed with convenience in mind; nobody wants to go to multiple places to get their music".

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It's alright, everyone. Atoms For Peace have found a business model that works for them. The supergroup made up of Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco have announced a hook up with gig video-selling app Soundhalo.

As previously reported, the app, launched at an Alt-J show in May, allows users to download audio and video from gigs almost in real time (they have to wait for the song to finish, but otherwise it's pretty instant). This means fans not at the shows can feel more involved, and those who are there shouldn't feel the need to hold their phones up in the way of everyone else like a bunch of dicks.

Godrich told The Guardian: "Part of the reason Soundhalo was interesting to me was that I found myself wondering why, whenever you go to a gig, the next day there are a million shaky, horrible sounding YouTube videos already online. But you go and look because you want to see something of your experience. Soundhalo provides something really functional - an experience that you want to remember in front of you as soon as the concert has happened. To be able to relive that is a really great thing".

The app will be available to use at Atoms For Peace's two shows at The Roundhouse in London next week.

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Discovery is the thing we're missing with online music, so we're often told. And Spotify's new Discovery tab is a good attempt at rectifying that. But what if you just want to know what new albums are out and available via the streaming service in any given week? That information is not quite so easy to find out.

This week, - which recently changed its name from - has added a New Releases page to its site. Founder Kieron Donoghue told CMU: "As a music fan it's actually very difficult to find a central resource for new releases each week. The New Releases section solves this problem is designed for our users to access the latest music with just one click, straightforward and simple".

Check out this week's new album here.

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Oh, watch your hair Harry Styles, you'd be nothing without all that hair. Unless you're trying to ape the career of that frequent-idol-of-boy-band-stars Michael Jackson a little too closely, with a pain-killer-addiction-inducing pyro-plus-hair accident. But fear not, bandmate Zayn Malik's got your back. Because he knows that 1D would be nothing without all that Harry Styles hair.

Yeah, 1D boy Styles nearly walked into a flame-throwing device onstage this week, becoming too distracted by the need to towel off the sweat on his head. But, in a bit of quick thinking, the hero boy Malik leaped to the rescue, with no fear for his own safety, and pulled his good friend away from the clutches of a certain firey death.

Which is a description that will make this fan-shot video of the incident something of an anti-climax.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 1, 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email or

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