26 SEP 2013

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Hey everyone, it's time to slow things down again, stem the constant flow of new music rushing towards us and relax with ten of our favourite artists to appear in the CMU Approved column in recent (and in at least one case not so recent) months. This time around we look back through instrumental hip hop, Faroese pop, warped disco, crunchy punk and more. So, make yourself a cup of tea, set your chair to mild recline and press play more>>
Axel Willner's second album as The Field, 'Looping State Of Mind', released by Kompakt in 2011, demonstrated wonderfully what can be done with the most minimal of tools. Next week, new album 'Cupid's Head' is released, again via Kompakt, which sees Willner delve again into this vast world defined by the limitations placed on the project. And it's those limitations which account for the two year gap between albums, according to the producer more>>

- "It was his money, his doctor, his choice": Jacksons v AEG update
- Select committee calls on government to do more on copyright protection, and hits out at Google
- Pirate Bay founder has hacking charges sentence cut in half
- Diddy tops Forbes' hip hop rich list
- Robert Fripp confirms King Crimson return
- Sub Pop signs Thumpers
- Lily Allen talks sweary feminist LP
- Mastodon make start on long player
- Loop add post-ATP shows
- Gervais teases David Brent gigs
- Charlotte Church to deliver John Peel Lecture
- Copyright Licensing Steering Group issues progress report
- Napster partners with SFR mobile network in France
- Shift to digital radio slowing down
- Payne driven insane by snakes on a plain
This in-depth half-day course on Wednesday 2 October (2-6pm) provides an overview of how music rights work, with a beginners guide to copyright law, what enjoys copyright and how ownership works. It looks at how music rights are monetised, why both direct and collective licensing exists, and how the collective licensing system works in the UK.

For more information and how to apply click here.
An opportunity has arisen for a PA/Booking Assistant to join Nomanis, a busy independent music booking agency based in Bethnal Green, London. The applicant must be extremely organised with meticulous attention to detail.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
DHP Family is currently recruiting for a full time Production Rep based in London. The qualities needed to make this role a success are communication, organisation and experience. Ideally the successful candidate will have a minimum of two years practical experience working in the live music industry. You will be responsible for advancing events allocated to you and acting as a promoter representative on site where required.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The Bodega is a 330 capacity venue, club and bar in Nottingham city centre serving a music and fashion aware profile of customer. The venue has a cool and underground profile with both students and locals. It has a reputation for catching live acts at the beginning of their career and is stylish watering hole and atmospheric club venue with a diverse programme of events. It has a mixture of in house and third party club nights, with the live gigs booked through the Concerts team at DHP Family.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Entry level radio promotions role in small boutique company - must have passion for alternative music. You love discovering new bands and going to gigs, and are actively intrigued and up to date with technology and social media. The ideal candidate is articulate, organised, self motivated and able to work under pressure to deadlines as well as keeping up to date with current A&R developments.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
UnLimited Creative is looking for a part-time Website Editor to edit and manage the website of Creative Skills For Life, a social venture that aims to leverage digital technologies and social media to enable young people living with cancer and other long-term life-threatening conditions to explore their creative potential as a catalyst for healing and personal development. Working 8-10 hours each month, this freelancer will write news stories, edit blog posts, create images and generally keep the website up to date plus manage the CSL Twitter account.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The role holder's prime responsibilities are to manage a portfolio of Concert Sales Centre accounts in order to achieve all the set targets and to also maintain a healthy customer satisfaction for both internal and external customers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The role holder's prime responsibilities are to manage a portfolio of Corporate accounts in order to achieve all the set targets and to also maintain a healthy customer satisfaction for both internal and external customers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The role holder will have ultimate responsibility for the control of royalty examinations via the day to day administration of the MCPS and PRS audit programmes, including responsibility for the delivery of the departmental Monitoring targets, pressing plant liaison and other revenue assurance outputs. These programmes ensure the department maximises PRS and MCPS member distributions through audit and monitoring processes.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Cooking Vinyl is looking for a digital savvy and passionate music lover with at least two years previous experience of planning and managing high profile artist campaigns. The ideal candidate must be up to date with the current digital landscape and have a creative and innovative approach. You will be responsible for developing commercial, promotional and social strategies across all platforms.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
London-based music promotions company Listen Up is recruiting for an experienced online and print press officer to join the expanding company. The ideal candidate should have at least two years experience in a similar role with a thorough knowledge of online and print portals across music, culture and lifestyle.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are growing our field presence and as part of this expansion we are recruiting for a Regional Sales Manager to cover the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The role is responsible for maximising revenue and overseeing the field force in their geographic area.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
INgrooves provides clients customized marketing, promotion, sync licensing and administrative support to help maximize the earnings potential of specific music and video releases or catalogues. Operations Associate will be client facing, assisting the Client Services department with content ingestion, catalogue changes requests and other operational activities.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
MAMA and Company is a leading independent live music business. We are looking for a talented web developer who is passionate about technology and wants to be an integral part of a dynamic and innovative digital team. If you want to build & develop some of the industry leading websites, work with cutting edge digital technology and make a difference in the music industry whilst reaching music fans worldwide, this is the job for you.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Union Square Music, one of the UK's most successful reissue and compilation specialists, is looking for an experienced in-house designer. Working collaboratively with the marketing team you will primarily be responsible for the concept, development and design of CD and digital covers, as well as the design of marketing and PR campaign materials, promotional materials, on-line advertising and the USM website.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
A superb opportunity to join Anjunabeats, a London-based independent record label with a worldwide reputation for releasing the best in dance music and home to Above & Beyond, Andrew Bayer, Dusky, Mat Zo, Norin & Rad and more. We’re looking to recruit a front-end web developer as part of a small yet powerful tech team. If you want to develop some of the finest websites and social apps in the industry and reach millions of fans worldwide, this is the position for you.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.

Michael Jackson caused the death of Michael Jackson, is the very short summary of Marvin Putnam's closing arguments at the long running Jacksons v AEG Live trial yesterday. Though that's what he said way back at the start of the court battle too. But Putnam, representing live giant AEG, will be hoping that during the 83 days of testimony that have occurred since that he has convinced jurors of that fact. The Jackson family want AEG held liable for their famous son and sibling's death, but Putnam wants jurors to rule otherwise.

He says that Michael Jackson had a long history of prescription drug dependency and doctor shopping, and of keeping his health problems and drug use a secret. That it was Michael Jackson who insisted that Dr Conrad Murray be hired as his personal medic for the 'This Is It' venture AEG was promoting. And that while, with hindsight, Murray's financial affairs and Jackson's ailing health during the 'This Is It' rehearsals were warnings that something wasn't right, AEG couldn't have been expected to spot them at the time.

Murray, of course, was jailed for causing Jackson's death through negligent treatment. The core question for the jurors as they begin their deliberations, probably tomorrow, is did AEG hire the doctor? Putnam is adamant they did not. According to CNN, he said yesterday that Jackson had simply told AEG bosses "we're bringing this doctor", and that when his client's reps suggested to their star that it would be more sensible to hire a British medic for his planned London residency: "Mr Jackson was undeterred. Ultimately, it was his money, his doctor, his choice. He certainly wasn't going to take 'no' for an answer".

As part of AEG's commitments to Jackson, it would have paid Murray's mega $150,000 a month fees, though the live firm says that would have basically been an advance from the king of pop's cut of the profits it was hoped 'This Is It' would generate. And besides, the contract that set all this out remained unsigned by AEG and Jackson when the popstar died (though lawyers for the Jackson family say an oral agreement had been reached, and that Murray's actual employment began weeks before Michael Jackson's untimely death).

Tackling claims by the Jackson team that AEG was negligent for not first investigating Murray's background - he was facing major financial problems which, arguably, made him susceptible to giving his patient whatever he wanted rather than risk losing the highly paid gig - Putnam argued that the medic was fully licensed and "all AEG Live knew was Dr Murray was Mr Jackson's longtime doctor". Jackson and his children had used Murray's services while living in Vegas.

As for the line of witnesses presented by the Jacksons who worked with the king of pop on the 'This Is It' rehearsals and described all the concerns they expressed at the time regarding the singer's health (with hindsight the result of Murray pumping the singer with propofol every night), Putnam said "everyone believed at the time that a 50 year old man, who hadn't performed in a decade was tired, out of shape and very nervous. That's what they believed at the time and it makes sense".

Of course if Putnam fails to convince the jurors that AEG was not in any way liable for Jackson's demise (Jackson family lawyer Brian Panish said on Tuesday "it's about shared responsibility"), then the issue of damages will need to be tackled. And although Team Jackson have distanced themselves from those reports that circulated earlier this year that the family would seek $40 billion in damages, Panish has indicated that he'll be pushing for a pay out of between one and two billion.

But something closer to $21 million would be more reasonable, Putnam claimed yesterday, suggesting that the expert analysis of Michael Jackson's potential future earning power presented by Panish was misleading, as it ignored the risks associated with the 'This Is It' venture, Jackson's tarnished reputation and unpredictability, and the fact that the singer was facing massive debts at the time of his death that - without the 'This Is It' venture - could have led to the forced sale of his stake in Sony/ATV.

And even if Jackson had earned big again post-'This Is It', he was very expensive to run, and much of his earnings would have gone on his lavish lifestyle. The £21 million, Putnam argued, was much closer to what Jackson's mother and children would have actually received from the star had he lived.

Panish will have the opportunity to deliver a rebuttal to AEG's final arguments today before the jury deliberations begin.

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Parliament's Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee has, perhaps unsurprisingly considering its remit, come out strongly in support of the creative industries' ongoing efforts to crack down on piracy, criticising the government for ploughing ahead with new fair dealing exemptions while letting the piracy portion of the 2010 Digital Economy Act sit in limbo. Though the real harsh words are reserved for Google, with the committee endorsing the music industry's favourite piracy gripe of late, the continued presence of links to vast amounts of unlicensed content on search engines.

In a new report the committee commends "the extraordinary success of the UK's creative industries" and the individuals and organisations that "contribute over £36 billion annually to the UK economy", but says this success is now jeopardised by a "dilution of intellectual property rights and the failure to tackle online piracy". A string of subsequent recommendations include a proposed increase in the sentences for serious online IP theft, more scrutiny on the planned introduction of more copyright exceptions (as proposed by the Hargreaves Review), and tax reforms to "adequately recognise the freelance nature of much creative work".

Launching his report, the committee's long-standing chair John Whittingdale told reporters: "Britain's creative industries are of huge importance to our economy and as successful as any in the world. We are blessed in the UK with extraordinary creativity which is backed up by superb training in technical skills and a supportive tax regime. However, all this will be put at risk if creators cannot rely on a strong framework of intellectual property rights which are robustly enforced. The delays in implementing measures to prevent piracy in the Digital Economy Act are costing the creative industries millions of pounds with serious consequences for the wider economy".

He goes on: "We very much welcome recent moves to obtain a voluntary agreement between rights owners and internet service providers to take measures to deter illegal file-sharing. However, if this fails to materialise, the government must use the powers given to it by parliament in the Digital Economy Act. In addition, we are very concerned that the Hargreaves' proposals to introduce certain copyright exceptions may create loopholes and dilute the protection of intellectual property rights. We are unconvinced of the claimed benefits that will result and believe that at the very least they require much closer scrutiny with clearer definitions and more evidence in support".

And as for big bad Google, well: "We are also unimpressed by Google's continued failure to stop directing consumers to illegal, copyright infringing material on the flimsy excuse that some of the sites may also host some legal content. The continuing promotion of illegal content through search engines is simply unacceptable, and efforts to stop it have so far been derisory. There is no reason why they cannot demote and ultimately remove sites hosting large amounts of illegal material from search engine results".

He goes on: "Google and others already work with international law enforcement to block, for example, child porn from search results and it has provided no coherent, responsible reason why it can't do the same for illegal, pirated content. Copyright infringement is a serious crime that threatens our economic future".

Although we await a specific response regards Whittingdale's remarks, Google frequently claims that it is going above and beyond its duties to help copyright owners protect their rights, publishing regular reports that hone in on the potential of the Google Play platform, the ContentID system on YouTube, it's search link takedown operation, and changes to the Google search algorithm to prioritise legit content (even though content owners claim those changes did little). The web giant also regularly insists that the copyright industries should be going after the operators of profitable piracy sites by cutting off their revenue streams. Presumably a similar list will appear in any new response to Whittingdale.

Meanwhile Jo Dipple, CEO of the music industry's cross-sector trade group UK Music, welcomed the select committee report, telling CMU: "The committee is right to say that the continuing promotion by search engines of illegal content on the internet is unacceptable. Google has to stop feeding up unlicensed free content. Google has to start acknowledging the responsibility it has to the consumers it serves. It is very un-British to ride so roughshod over our customers. It has to stop".

"The report is also right to say that hasty legislation in this area might compromise new business-to-business deals and, ultimately, ministers might regret interfering in these markets. I intend to discuss the findings in this report next week with Secretary Of State Maria Miller when we host a panel with her at the Conservative Arts And Creative Industries Networking event in Manchester".

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The Pirate Bay co-founded jailed for two years back in June over various hacking charges has had his sentence cut in half on appeal after judges ruled that some of the hacking claims made against him couldn't be proven.

As previously reported, Gottfrid Svartholm was the Pirate Bay founder who, after being found guilty in the Swedish courts of copyright infringement for his role in setting up the controversial file-sharing site, went missing. But he was extradited back to Sweden last year on the back of the hacking allegations, and has since been serving jail time for both his Pirate Bay involvement and the other charges.

In the hacking case Svartholm was accused of staging a data grab after hacking into the servers of services firm Logica and of making illegal cash transfers after hacking into the IT systems of Nordic bank Nordea. But the Svea Court Of Appeal this week dismissed the latter charges saying that another party could have remotely used the defendant's computer to hack into Nordea's servers, and that it couldn't be proven Svartholm himself was behind the hack.

The ruling means that Svartholm will now only have to serve a one year jail term in relation to the hacking case, in addition to the year relating to the Pirate Bay conviction.

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Ah brilliant, Forbes has made another of its rolling rich lists, this one a ranking of statistical 'Cash Kings', aka 2013's 20 highest paid hip-hop artists.

Top is P Diddy, who has his many brands - like the Sean John clothing line and Bad Boy label - as opposed to his raps to thank for a cool $50 million mint made over the past twelve months. Jay 'no hyphen' Z dogs him with $43 million, whilst "vaulting" in at fifth place, it's Kanye West. Alas, he might've vaulted higher if only maniacal bravado was quantifiable.

Have a look at the list, which also names Dr Dre, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar, at this link.

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Robert Fripp has announced that King Crimson will return next year for live performances with a new line-up. As well as founder member Fripp, the new version of the band includes multi-instrumentalist Mel Collins, returning for the first time since 1972, and longtime bassist Tony Levin.

Fripp told Uncut: "The first performance will take place in either North or South America. There will be rehearsals primarily in England, and the final batch of rehearsals will most likely be in America in August or September 2014. There is a plan to include the UK in the tour dates, but it depends on a number of circumstances. Right now the primary geographical focus is the United States".

The reunion comes after Fripp's long running legal dispute with Universal was finally resolved last year. Prior to that, Fripp told the Financial Times in an interview that he had all but given up music, saying: "My life as a professional musician is a joyless exercise in futility. I couldn't concentrate on music. So I made the choice to give up my career as a musician in the frontline to deal with the business. It's too debilitating".

Apparently it's all alright now. Hurrah!

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Sub Pop has signed a transatlantic deal with alt-pop co-op (and Pull Tiger Tail spin-off) Thumpers, aka Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. The band, who say they're "over the moon" to be signed by the Seattle-based label, will release a new single in 'Sound Of Screams' on 21 Oct, and have an LP in waiting for the New Year.

Give album track 'Unkinder (A Tougher Love)' a play here.

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Lily Rose Cooper Allen's new LP - which may or may not be advancing at a snail's pace towards a March 2014 release - will feature:

a) feminist vibes
b) a bit of swearing
c) key changes here and there

And that's it, essentially. It's as Allen said earlier this week via celeb mag Hello: "It's not an earnest 'I'm a mum' kind of record; it's empowering. There's some feminist vibes going on. It's the same old me with a bit of swearing going on. Good choruses, key changes here and there - that's it!"

It isn't really it, because Lily added: "I'm really nervous because I haven't been on stage for a really long time. I'm actually really scared. The music thing is great - creating is what I do. But being catapulted back into the limelight is something I'm anxious about, mainly because I've got two children now. It's not just me - I've got family to think about".

And that, really this time - since Lily is still to release a single or even reveal the LP's title, dammit - is it.

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Atlanta metal gods Mastodon are finally on the case of an LP to follow 2011's 'The Hunter', or so the band confirmed the other day in a Facebook post.

Aiming to start making the TBA title in November, with a mind to finish by the end of the year, they say: "We've been busy jamming everyday writing and arranging the next studio album. We have quite a few songs and ideas that are taking some time to nail down what we think will make it to the next full length".

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Exactly as Television did last week, alt rockers Loop have released a list of live dates they'll be playing in the same ballpark time-wise as ATP's End Of An Era festival. Loop's shows follow the fest's final weekend (29-30 Nov), which they reunited especially to play.

The band's Robert Hampson says: "We are very happy to be playing a series of shows in smaller venues to start the reformation of Loop. Next year, it will be on a bigger scale, so this is brilliant opportunity for us to play a number of intimate concerts to stretch our legs after 23 years of being away..."

2 Dec: Bristol, The Fleece
3 Dec: Leeds, The Brudenell
4 Dec: Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms
5 Dec: Brighton, Concorde 2

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With a David Brent LP and film both potentially in the offing, it looks as if Ricky Gervais is also going to play live, like on a stage, as his oily 'The Office' cash cow, so that's nice.

Having hinted last week at a few "very cheap, very low key warm up gigs" he/Brent have planned, with Brent's fictional backing band Foregone Conclusion, Gervais has since released a flyer for the 'work-in-progress' shows, which are promoted by Live Nation. As per his initial tweet, they'll apparently take place in London next month.

Now I'm going to close my eyes and hope this all goes away. Unless it turns out to actually be good, in which case I'll shut up.

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Having been delivered by Pete Townshend and Billy Bragg in previous years, the third John Peel Lecture will be delivered by someone who is neither old nor a man, which is nice. Charlotte Church will take to the stage for the annual event at the Radio Festival in Salford next month, with the talk also broadcast on BBC 6music.

While her predecessors have focussed on how new artists should be supported, Church will focus on the issues faced by women in the music and other entertainment industries. She said: "Music is a big part of part of my life. I've had some interesting times during the past fifteen years, facing the same problems that many other women face when trying to forge their way in the music and entertainment worlds. I'm looking forward to encouraging a healthy debate around this important topic".

Her speech will be broadcast live on 14 Oct, and will be made available as a free download afterwards. Church will also appear on a special edition of 'Women's Hour' on BBC Radio 4 on 12 Oct, discussing the role of women in music.

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The rivetingly-named Copyright Licensing Steering Group, the body that stemmed from Richard Hooper's 'Copyright Works' report, which in turn was motivated by Ian Hargreave's government-backed review of copyright law, yesterday published a progress report telling us all just how well things are going. So that's good news.

The Group, as you may remember, is aiming to streamline the licensing processes operated by copyright industries, like the good old music business, as well as educating the world at large on how copyright and licensing works. As part of all this, and with some government funding, the organisation launched a website called the Copyright Hub earlier this year, which is undeniably a thing.

Aside from the Hub project, the Group's report also reported on other ventures it has been involved in over the last twelve months, including the publication of a Voluntary Code Of Practice for creating and retaining metadata in images, the development of a range of initiatives to streamline the licensing landscape for educational establishments, new digital music licensing initiatives for start-ups and app developers, and the introduction of two new joint licences from the music industry's two UK collective licensing agencies, the music publishing sector's PRS For Music and the record industry's PPL.

Commenting on the report, the CLSG Chair James Lancaster told CMU: "This report demonstrates the real progress that has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Hooper report. The work over the past year has demonstrated clearly the power of all parts of the creative industries working collaboratively together with the support of government to come up with pragmatic and workable solutions to the challenges of copyright licensing. I would like to thank all the individuals and organisations who have contributed to this report."

Meanwhile, with their joint licences getting a big name-check in the report, PRS boss Robert Ashcroft and PPL chief Peter Leathem issued a joint statement, saying: "We welcome the CLSG report, which clearly displays the progress that has been achieved by the creative sector over the last twelve months to streamline copyright licensing, while outlining a road map for future developments. This could only have been achieved through the collaborative spirit that Richard Hooper and [report co-author and CSLG leader] Dr Ros Lynch have so successfully instilled. Both PPL and PRS For Music are committed to working with the Copyright Hub, while at the same time exploring more ways that our two companies can work together to make licensing easier for users".

Download the report for some good times here.

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Napster, now the European arm of American streaming company Rhapsody of course, has announced a new partnership with SFR, the flagging French mobile network owned by Universal Music parent Vivendi (for now).

Asked how important deals such as these are to streaming services, Thorsten Schliesche, Napster Senior Vice President and General Manager Europe, told CMU: "Carrier deals are very important for our business in order to reach a broader audience and enable people to experience the benefits of music streaming. In general this type of deals do support our brand awareness in the market".

Similar to Spotify's hook up with Vodafone in the UK, Napster will be offered to SFR's 4G customers as a free content add-on. And whereas Spotify, a service that has a much lower profile amongst mainstream consumers than a lot of people seem to think, has to compete for love from Vodafone customers with that rather-easier-to-figure Sky Sports, the even lower profile (these days) Napster will sit alongside four other content options for SFR customers.

Though it will be the only musical option. Being the only music service on offer put the company in a good position, said Schliesche, explaining that he believed that this would be enough to convince many SFR customers to choose a Napster account over any of the other four possible extras on offer: "Music has a high importance to a huge percentage of consumers and in delivering a great music experience to them, we strongly believe that Napster can become the preferred choice of the extras".

As previously reported, Napster's US parent company Rhapsody recently announced a restructure following new investment, which will see it take on a new Prseident and lose 30 members of staff.

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The shift from FM to DAB continues to be slow going, according to a new report on the UK radio industry by media regulator OfCom.

As much previously reported, government and some major players in the radio business are still eager to get to the point where enough listeners are accessing radio primarily through the DAB digital network, that the FM network can start to be wound down.

But it's taking a long time to get to that point; though some argue that if the government set an unmovable deadline for FM's demise, as with the analogue TV network, then the industry would get there a lot quicker (the radio industry awaits with anticipation a government report on switchover plans in November).

According to the OfCom survey, although about 45% of homes now seemingly have a DAB set and a third of radio listening is now via digital platforms (so DAB or via a digital TV platform or online), sales of DAB radios have stalled, and about a half of those households still with no DAB receiver say they are not motivated to buy one anytime soon.

Whether that is actually enough to further slow down any moves to force a digital switchover in radio remains to be seen, though it does mean the government and pro-DAB radio industry has a PR challenge on its hands if deadlines are set - and probably needs something much better than the woeful Digital Radio UK body, which is supposedly promoting the medium, to handle that task.

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All One Direction's Liam Payne asks is that his fans stay away from wild snakes. Which isn't that big an ask, is it? Well yeah, it is apparently, especially when death by snake bite might mean a kiss of life from Harry Styles.

Warning a pack of distracted/naïve/silly Directioners waiting to catch sight of the band in Adelaide, Australia, via Twitter, a panicked Payne said: "Girls behind the hotel please get out [of] the fields, there's a huge sign saying snake habitat. It's just not worth it someone's gunna get hurt".

Hear that? Only a 'snake habitat', and a clearly labelled one at that. Irritated that the fangirls (fang-girls?) showed no sign of retreating, he added: "Are you not reading what I'm saying - it's a SNAKE HABITAT TURN AROUND".

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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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