An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 21 February 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Following this week's stats from the BPI confirming that half of the UK music industry's recorded music income now pretty much comes from digital, let's have some details about the second CMU Insights-programmed convention strand taking place at The Great Escape in Brighton this coming May: Global Digital Markets. This half-day session will explore how digital is performing in all the key markets... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: The Tru Thoughts label celebrates its fifteen years in the game this Saturday with a night of live and DJ sets from some great names from its roster. These include the UK queen of soulfulness Alice Russell, Rodney P, the hugely underrated Ty, CMU favourite Wrongtom with the awesome Ragga Twins, and label head honcho Robert Luis. Says Luis about the night: "As we kick off our birthday celebrations... [READ MORE]
BEEF OF THE WEEK: If there's one thing Scots don't like, it's being told to "stay with us" by an English man who has lived in the US for several decades. Especially when that message is delivered by proxy through the drunken mouth of Kate Moss. Yeah, so David Bowie won the Best British Male trophy at Wednesday night's BRIT Awards (it turns out he IS better than Jake Bugg). After reading out the name, the award's... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Global Digital Markets strand added to The Great Escape, Dan Le Sac and CMU to survey artist community on all things digital
LEGAL 19 Entertainment sues Sony over royalties
Raid on Dotcom's Mega home legal, says New Zealand appeals court
Labels accuse Grooveshark of evidence tampering
Conor Oberst sues over rape claims
DEALS 50 Cent leaves Interscope, goes independent
Interscope signs 'viral teen sensation' Pia Mia
Robyn says Konichiwa to Zhala
LIVE BUSINESS Live Nation denies Miley Cyrus tour cancellation rumours
MEDIA Bastille drummer turns football commentator
ARTIST NEWS There is no new Outkast LP, OK?
Fiona Apple wins role in superhero TV show
RELEASES Lorde and Disclosure release BRITs mash-up for charity
Release Round-Up: Amen Dunes, Florrie, Sean Nicholas Savage and Fabienne
AWARDS BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards presented
IMPALA hands annual award to Armin Van Buuren
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #194: Pop v Scotland
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This two-hour session provides a beginner’s guide to the role of social media tools in building, engaging and understanding core fanbase.

For more information and to book click here.
The Academy Of Contemporary Music (ACM) in conjunction with its strategic partner Metropolis Studios London has an exciting new opportunity for a Music Co-ordinator. This is a new and exciting position within a vibrant music office housed within ACM in Guildford.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
A well known summer music festival wishes to appoint a Marketing Co-ordinator to join their friendly team and to implement and manage the delivery of their Marketing Plan. This role will suit an ambitious marketing/sales/PR professional with at least two year's experience in a music/arts/entertainment environment. The successful candidate will have proven ability to co-ordinate and contribute to successful target driven strategic campaigns and promotions.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for three on line Editors to form a new team working on one of the following websites - TeamRock, Metal Hammer or Classic Rock. The focus of each role will be to plan, produce, edit and publish on line content to tight deadlines for a specific brand. You will work in close collaboration with all of those within our business who can generate stories or messages about our brands.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
TeamRock are looking for a Deputy Art Editor for Metal Hammer magazine. You will be an experienced commercial designer whose current role will include cover design, page concepts and layout, and ideally some experience of digital publishing. You will excel in making old stuff look really vital and exciting and feel comfortable commissioning and directing photographers.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for someone to commission and contribute to the magazine's front section, The Dirt, to assist in commissioning and writing features, and aid the Deputy Editor and Editor. You must be able to demonstrate an indepth knowledge of our brand and apply this to the delivery of high quality, in depth articles and reports. You will be able to work independently to produce relevant and appropriate work.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
The main purpose is to undertake all the regular tasks of a Production Editor plus additional editorial and admin duties. The job is to organise workflow around the magazine team and contributors; sub-edit copy to house style.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) is the world's leading entertainment and sports agency, with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, and Beijing. Founded in 1975, CAA represents many of the most successful professionals working in film, television, music, theatre, video games, sport, and digital content, and provides a range of strategic marketing and consulting services to corporate clients. The London office is seeking highly organised and motivated people for Internship positions in both the Music and Sport Departments.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
We are looking for an exceptional, sales focussed account manager to join our ticketing team. In order to be considered for the role you will need to have an in-depth understanding of Electronic Music relevant to RA's core audience, both in the UK and internationally, and ideally will already have relationships with some of the key players in our industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
Intern wanted for busy independent record label based in London. The successful candidate will be a hard working, organised and enthusiastic with a genuine passion for live music. Day-to-day duties will include; artist diary management, liaison with promotional team, ticket ordering, assisting marketing & international staff with admin, and general office duties.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email

Global Digital Markets strand added to The Great Escape, Dan Le Sac and CMU to survey artist community on all things digital
Following this week's stats from the BPI confirming that half of the UK music industry's recorded music income now pretty much comes from digital, let's have some details about the second CMU Insights-programmed convention strand taking place at The Great Escape in Brighton this coming May: Global Digital Markets.

This half-day session will explore how digital is performing in all the key markets around the world, with insights on what kinds of digital services - download v streams, subscription v ads, web v mobile - are making an impact where, in terms of both users and revenues. A focus will also fall on two of the big questions of the moment: 'Are streaming services simply too expensive to go mass market?' and 'What do artists really think about digital?'

To answer the latter question, CMU Insights is teaming up with artist and producer Dan Le Sac to conduct an exclusive survey on the UK artist and manager community over the next two months, questioning creators about royalties, upsell and other digital matters. Le Sac will then present the findings as part of the Global Digital Markets strand in May.

Says Le Sac: "Whether or not you agree with Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, the debate they initiated in the artist community about Spotify et al has been an important one. As new digital services rush to sign up labels and publishers, the artist community often gets left out of the conversation. I look forward to finding out what digital issues concern artists and managers in 2014, and where the artist community sees the opportunities as digital becomes the primary way we distribute our music".

Leading the debate on whether streaming can now go mass market will be the founders of two digital services who reckon their alternative approaches have more mainstream potential, Oleg Fomenko, founder of, and Chris Gorman, founder of O2 Tracks operator MusicQubed. After which a panel of experts from across the music community will discuss the digital challenges and opportunities they anticipate in the next five years.

Officially announcing the latest convention strand, TGE Director Kat Morris told CMU: "In the eight years since The Great Escape launched, digital music has evolved rapidly, those changes being documented each year in our convention. With digital now accounting for half of the record industry's income in the UK, and even more in a number of other markets, we look forward to discussing where it's all heading next this May, and in ensuring artists are part of that debate".

As previously reported, CMU Insights will present six half-day strands as part of this year's TGE Convention, including the already announced Maximising Music Rights, supported by PPL and PRS For Music. On top of that there will be a programme of conversations and networking events, plus, of course, the small matter of the parties, showcases and 400+ great new bands that will play in Brighton over three days. A delegates pass getting you entry to all this is currently available at the special early bird rate of £145, but not for much longer, so get yours today here.

19 Entertainment sues Sony over royalties
The owner of the 'American Idol' franchise is going to battle with its original record industry partner Sony Music in a $10 million lawsuit. 19 Recordings alleges that the major has short-changed both it and those 'Idol' champions signed by the label by underpaying royalties and adding too many deductions.

The claims made by 19 are pretty standard royalty gripes really (and include the increasingly common squabble over what cut artists should get on streaming income), though them being made by a high profile entertainment firm rather than individual artists makes this a bigger case, as does the fact some of the recordings on which royalties have been allegedly underpaid were the major releases to stem from the 'Idol' phenomenon.

According to The Tennessean, 19 claims that it discovered what it calls "systemically incorrect calculations" on royalty payments during two separate audits, though adds that it is yet to fully audit the income of all the recordings in which it has a stake because Sony has allegedly not given them access to the files.

19 insists that it has tried to reach a deal with the major on these issues, but that the record company won't negotiate. 19 Entertainment's Worldwide Head Of Music Jason Morey says: "We did not want to have to file this lawsuit, but Sony left us no choice, so this became necessary to protect our artists. Our complaint lays out the claims in great detail. Everything we have to say about the case is set forth in it".

Originally founded by 'Idol' creator Simon Fuller, the 19 Entertainment business is now owned by the Core Media Group. And since 2010 the 'Idol' franchise's record label partner has been Universal rather than Sony, which, of course, owns a slice of the rival 'X-Factor' brand via its stake in Simon Cowell's Syco business.

The major is yet to respond to the 19 Entertainment lawsuit.


Raid on Dotcom's Mega home legal, says New Zealand appeals court
The New Zealand Court of Appeal has reversed a lower court ruling over the dramatic 2012 raid on the home of MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom, which occurred in the country as the US authorities were busy shutting the controversial file-transfer company down.

Since the MegaUpload shutdown, Dotcom has been fighting legal battles on various fronts (while also launching two new digital ventures, Mega and Baboom). The US authorities still want to extradite him to face charges of racketeering and copyright infringement in relation to the MegaUpload business.

Back in New Zealand, though, Dotcom's legal team alleged that the raid on his home was illegal because the authorities there got the wrong kind of warrant. And in June 2012 the courts agreed with that argument. But the matter subsequently went to the Court Of Appeal, which this week did not concur, ruling that - while it was true the warrants used in the raid were "defective" in some respects - the issues were not sufficient to deem the paperwork invalid.

The appeal judges said in their ruling: "We are satisfied that the defects in the search warrants have not caused any significant prejudice to the respondents beyond the prejudice caused inevitably by the execution of a search warrant".

The appeals court did, however, uphold the high court's decision regards the sharing of digital evidence grabbed in the raid with the US authorities. Said data should not have been taken out of the country according to New Zealand law, the appeal judges confirmed. Prosecutors from the States took copies back home with them.

Dotcom has already said he plans to appeal the appeal ruling, while continuing to fight extradition attempts by the US.


Labels accuse Grooveshark of evidence tampering
The major labels have accused often controversial streaming music service Grooveshark of destroying key evidence for one of their legal cases against the digital firm.

As previously reported, although Grooveshark has been accused by multiple players in the music space of operating a copyright infringing streaming service - by allowing users to upload all and any audio content - it has always maintained that it operates a takedown system just like (if by no means as sophisticated as) YouTube.

Which means, the argument goes, it is protected from infringement claims, in the US at least, by the same American laws utilised by the Google-owned video site (although YouTube has licensing deals with many rights owners, it is protected if a user uploads a bit of content not covered by those agreements by having a process for the rights owner to have that song or track removed).

While many labels and publishers argue that Grooveshark operates a shoddy takedown system, and should therefore not get the protection of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it's not clear if that argument would stack up in court. So instead Universal, Sony and Warner have accused Grooveshark employees of also uploading unlicensed content to its servers, something that would sit outside of DMCA protection.

Grooveshark denies that is the case but has so far failed to have the majors' lawsuit dismissed. And now the record companies are claiming that the digital firm - while this case has been going through the motions - has destroyed stacks of data and source code which would have allegedly proven unlicensed uploading was occurring within the streaming service's offices.

According to Law360, the music firms are calling for evidentiary and monetary sanctions to be issued against Grooveshark "for the repeated, wilful spoliation of multiple categories of key evidence". Legal papers filed this week add: "Had defendants not destroyed this evidence, it would have further demonstrated defendants' liability for copyright infringement and exposed them to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional damages".

Grooveshark is yet to respond to the latest claims against it.


Conor Oberst sues over rape claims
Conor Oberst is suing for defamation a woman who claimed he raped her in 2003, when she was sixteen.

The claims were made in a comment on the xoJane website in December, but later deleted. However, online discussion resulted in a statement being issued by Oberst's publicist, saying that the claims were "absolutely, unequivocally false" and indicating that legal action was being considered.

In a statement earlier this week, a spokesperson for Oberst confirmed that he was now suing the woman who made the claim for $1 million. The statement said that she has a "history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention" and noted that after making the claims, she has subsequently written positively about the last time she saw Oberst's former band Bright Eyes perform.

It continues: "Oberst is seeking to promote the truth and repair the distress this has brought upon him and his family". Any damages awarded to him, the statement went on, will be donated to charities "benefiting the victims of violence against women".

50 Cent leaves Interscope, goes independent
50 Cent's relationship with Universal/Interscope has been so fractious over the years that it has appeared in the CMU Beef Of The Week column not once, but twice. But yesterday he confirmed that he has now departed the label for good. He will release his new album independently though his own existing G-Unit label in June, with distribution handled worldwide by another Universal division, Caroline International.

This also, of course, means leaving behind the Interscope-controlled imprints of mentors Eminem and Dr Dre - Shady and Aftermath, respectively - to which he was officially allied.

In a statement, the rapper said: "I have had great success to date with Shady / Aftermath / Interscope and I'd like to thank Eminem and Dr Dre for giving me an incredible opportunity. I've learned so much from them through the years. I am excited to enter this new era where I can carry out my creative vision".

Meanwhile, Eminem commented: "Both myself and Shady Records are grateful to have had the chance to play a part in 50's career. Shady simply would not be what it is without 50 Cent. I've developed a great friendship with 50 over the years, and that's not going to change. We know 50 will have success in his new situation, and we remain supporters of both him and G-Unit".

As part of 50 Cent's alliance with Interscope, the Universal division has previously distributed most G-Unit releases in the US, with Polydor doing the same in the UK. Though the imprint has used other distributors for some releases in some territories, including EMI Label Services and [PIAS].

On his division's new partnership with Fiddy, Caroline President Dominic Pandiscia said: "We are thrilled to welcome 50 Cent and G-Unit to our family. 50 is simply one of the most accomplished and creative artists, and his plans for the future are as exciting and innovative as you can imagine. I deeply thank him for his belief in our team and what we can do to help support his creative vision in the years to come".

50 Cent's new album, 'Animal Ambition', is due for release on 2 Jun.


Interscope signs 'viral teen sensation' Pia Mia
As 'discovered' Justin Bieber-style on YouTube, Pacific Island singing sensation Pia Mia has signed with Universal's Interscope Records, who'll primp a re-release of the R&B teen's first EP, 'The Gift', on 25 Feb.

Joie Manda, Interscope's Urban President, says: "When I met Pia and heard her sing I was floored. Artists of her magnitude come along very rarely. We are truly excited to help her become a global superstar".

Whilst Pia says: "I want to show everyone that people from small places can achieve their dreams no matter how big they are".

Aww. In the meantime, hear the 2013 edition of 'The Gift', which features Mia's self-written viral hit 'Red Love', and her spin on Drake's 'Hold On, We're Going Home', here.


Robyn says Konichiwa to Zhala
Robo pop-star Robyn has scooped Stockholm-based artist Zhala as the first signing (besides herself) to her label, Konichiwa Records.

Says Robyn: "Zhala makes the most interesting music that takes you on a ride with each song. It's so broad and has so much integrity at the same time. When Zhala sings the heavens open and the stars come down to hover over my head and I feel like anything is possible. I'm so happy to be a part of taking her music to a new audience".

Blimey. Zhala herself added: "It feels right to release my music on Konichiwa Records. This EP, 'Prophet' is religious rave music. With Konichiwa, there's a deep understanding and vast knowledge of music and the industry since Robyn is an artist herself. I really like that".

The pair appeared together at the Grammis (ie Swedish Grammys) earlier this week, singing Zhala's 'Prophet' live (ish) at the awards. Let me set the scene: imagine Robyn and Zhala, having an acid rave in a kind of desert souk, with the cheerleaders off of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. And like that image or not, I'll take it over that bland Bastille kid banging on a snare at the BRITs any day.

Live Nation denies Miley Cyrus tour cancellation rumours
Live Nation has denied rumours that US venues are cancelling (or threatening to cancel) performances by Miley Cyrus due to complaints about the raunchiness of her 'Bangerz Tour'.

The claims stem from a NineMSN report earlier this week, in which a definitely real unnamed source said: "Miley's management have been flooded with complaints, mainly from parents, since her tour began last week in Canada with calls for the entire tour to be axed. Her team, including management, record label execs and the entire tour staff including the director, costume department and choreographers - have been called for an emergency meeting as arenas across the US threaten to pull out of the show".

But in a statement to E! Online, Live Nation responded: "There is no truth whatsoever to any stories or rumors of venues pulling out of the 'Bangerz Tour'. Miley has created a tour that's big, spectacular, entertaining and everything you would expect from Miley Cyrus. Reviews have been amazing and most important, fans are loving the show and having a great time".

The controversial, or not, show features such Mileyness as twerking (obviously), simulated fellatio on a Bill Clinton lookalike and a striptease to an Alt-J song. Yeah, all of that.

Unable to get Miley on the phone for an interview, GQ instead spoke to Alt-J drummer Thom Green about the tour. On the use of the band's song 'Fitzpleasure' in the show, he said: "Straightaway I thought, 'Wow, that's weird, she's a huge celebrity!' Then I thought, it's not actually that weird. I knew she'd tweeted about us in the past and just because she's hugely famous it doesn't make it any different from anyone else liking it".

Which is probably not the sensational quote anyone was looking for. Miley, meanwhile, provided the perfect closing line for this article by tweeting: "You can't say I didn't warn you. Now sit back relax and enjoy the show. Save your complaints for the McDonalds drive thru when they forget the 'fries with that'".

Bastille drummer turns football commentator
Yeah, so winning a BRIT Award is all great and stuff, but fame and fortune don't last forever. Everyone needs something to fall back on. Luckily for Bastille drummer Chris Wood, he's just scored a new job as a football commentator on BBC Radio Devon. Unfortunately, he's only been booked to appear once, so I guess he'll have to return to touring the world as a musician and just hope that works out after all.

Wood will appear on the station to commentate on his team of choice Plymouth Argyle's match against Dagenham & Redbridge this Saturday, alongside regular football talker Gordon Sparks.

Sparks said of his upcoming shouting engagement with a popstar: "I have been fortunate enough to have managers and players (including internationals) alongside me, but it will be a first to have someone from the world of entertainment - especially given the popularity of Bastille. Him being an Argyle fan is a bonus. I'm sure Woody will fit in well".

Wood meanwhile commented: "Having grown up going to Argyle with my family since I was a young boy, I jumped at the chance to get involved with the team and the broadcasting legend that is Sir Gordon Sparks. This will be a dream come true".

So, if football and talking are things that interest you (I can take or leave both, to be honest), tune in to BBC Radio Devon for kick-off at 3pm this Saturday.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Tru Thoughts Fifteenth Birthday at Koko
The Tru Thoughts label celebrates its fifteen years in the game this Saturday with a night of live and DJ sets from some great names from its roster. These include the UK queen of soulfulness Alice Russell, Rodney P, the hugely underrated Ty, CMU favourite Wrongtom with the awesome Ragga Twins, and label head honcho Robert Luis.

Says Luis about the night: "As we kick off our birthday celebrations, toasting fifteen years of being an independent label, I am looking forward to bringing together both the new and established artists on Tru Thoughts for a show packed with a real variety of top quality music. The last sold out shows we did at Koko were so enjoyable and brought many great memories, and I am sure this one will be another special night".

Also on the bill are Nostalgia 77, Harleighblu, Anchorsong, Titeknots, and Werkha. Should be a great one.

Saturday 22 Feb, Koko, 1a Camden High Street, London, NW1 7JE, 9pm-3am, £15.50-£17.50, more info here.
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There is no new Outkast LP, OK?
Big Boi has shot down rumours that an Outkast LP is on its way, so you can all just give up, calm down, go home, and stop talking about it.

Though it is a fact that BB and his Outkast partner Andre 3000 are doing a 20th anniversary world tour of various international festivals, not least Wireless and Bestival in the UK... um, that's it. It's just the tour. No album. No, no, no.

Talking to Revolt TV on the matter, Big Boi spoke thus: "No, no, no. We're just doing the tour only, just for the fans. That's all it is, just the tour. It's just the Outkast 20th year anniversary, just a way for us to celebrate with our fans, but there's no album in the works, no".

Note: that's four 'nos'. Which all in all adds up to one large, quadruple 'no' on the Outkast LP front. On the Big Boi solo front, though, the rapper does have a third solo LP on the go, so that's something.


Fiona Apple wins role in superhero TV show
Hardcore pop artist Fiona Apple is going to play a hostage at a nuclear plant in 'H-Man', a superhero TV show made in France. As you do.

Apple will appear as a beret-wearing activist named Feux Verts, who I'm guessing gets saved from her predicament by the titular H-Man.

The show is made by Joseph Cahill, who did the vid for Fiona's 2012 single 'Every Single Night' (the octopus one), and he bills it as "a series of delusions influenced by many American blockbusters".

Anyway, it's all very weird, and very French, and premieres (in France) in March. Check a pic of Apple 'in character' here via Teco Apple, and see 'le teaser' for the series here.

Lorde and Disclosure release BRITs mash-up for charity
Lorde and Disclosure's rough-cut BRITs mix of 'Royals' and 'White Noise', the one off the 2014 BRITs featuring Aluna Francis, is up for sale now on iTunes. It isn't quite priceless, though, because it's a charity single, so it has a price, from which profits go to War Child.

But seriously, you should buy a copy, if only as a souvenir 'good bit' of this year's BRITs. Because let's face it, there weren't many.


Release Round-Up: Amen Dunes, Florrie, Sean Nicholas Savage and Fabienne
So, Sacred Bones affiliate Damon McMahon, aka Amen Dunes, has dusted off his third LP, a Godspeed You! Black Emperor production titled 'Love', which will come out on 12 May.

Its topmost single, earthen 'Love' song 'Lonely Richard', has Iceage's Elias Bender Ronnenfelt singing on it, and runs thus.

Next is singer Florrie, who despite being really great has always been the bridesmaid, never the bride, in the pop-chart nuptials. Well, that's set to change with the end-of-March release of her EP, 'Sirens', which she recently previewed via a trailer featuring clips of its three tracks. Preview away here.

This Round-Up's third soloist in a row, it's prolific Canadian songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage, who has an LP of his own landing via Arbutus Records on 13 May. The paradisiacally-titled 'Bermuda Waterfall' features 'Naturally' as its first single, naturally, and is, says Savage, "full of yin and yang, and just sitting back and taking a look at my life, something I'm happy with, and came naturally in the words of which I intended for the first time nothing". He adds: "I'll have to wait a few years before I understand exactly what's going on in the record, in this time in my life, and I'm alright with that, cos I'm into mystery". Aren't we all. Test the 'Bermuda' waters by streaming 'Naturally' here.

And finally, rising R&B hitmaker Fabienne, who, though her name looks French, is really a Leeds girl, has shared a new track from her future debut EP 'City Of Shadows', which is due 24 Mar on Super Recordings. Listen to one of its songs, 'Smokescreen', which is as warm and sun-splashed as outside isn't those things right now, on this SoundCloud box.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards presented
So, while you were all watching the BRITs on Wednesday night (or perhaps you weren't, given that the average audience of the TV broadcast was two million down on last year), real music aficionados were tuning into their radio sets for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014. There were performances galore during the show, which was hosted this year by Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis, including a finale from Peggy Seeger, who led a tribute to her late half-brother Pete, who died last month.

Commenting on the bash, Radio 2 boss Bob Shennan told CMU: "Congratulations to everyone who won an award. It was a wonderful celebration and a reflection of just how vibrant the UK folk music scene is. As a genre, folk continues to be an important part of Radio 2's schedule and we remain committed to broadcasting distinctive and specialist music content".

Meanwhile, here's a list of winners...

Folk Singer Of The Year: Bella Hardy
Best Duo: Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
Best Group: The Full English
Musician Of The Year: Aidan O'Rourke
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award: The Mischa Macpherson Trio

Best Album: The Full English - The Full English
Best Original Song: Lisa Knapp - Two Ravens
Best Traditional Track: Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer - Willie Of Winsbury

Horizon Award: Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
Lifetime Achievement Award: Martin Carthy & Clannad
Good Tradition Award: Cambridge Folk Festival
Hall Of Fame: Cecil Sharp


IMPALA hands annual award to Armin Van Buuren
In a busy week for prize giving, pan-European indie label trade body IMPALA announced the winner of its annual Outstanding Contribution Award earlier this week, and this time it went to Armin Van Buuren, mainly in his guise as co-founder of Dutch EDM label Armada.

Announcing this year's winner, IMPALA boss Helen Smith told CMU: "This award underlines the exceptional achievements of Armada Music and Armin. Armada's essence as an independent record label: dynamic, creative, flexible and innovative, was recognised as outstanding. This award is unique as the jury is made up of other independent label leaders across Europe".

Then Van Buuren himself added: "What an honour to receive this award! It is truly amazing and I'm so proud of what we have achieved as an independent label in this genre over the past ten years. I believe that a healthy independent music scene in Europe will guarantee a constant flow of variety in musical culture".

CMU Beef Of The Week #194: Pop v Scotland
If there's one thing Scots don't like, it's being told to "stay with us" by an English man who has lived in the US for several decades. Especially when that message is delivered by proxy through the drunken mouth of Kate Moss.

Yeah, so David Bowie won the Best British Male trophy at Wednesday night's BRIT Awards (it turns out he IS better than Jake Bugg). After reading out the name, the award's presenter Noel Gallagher laughed openly at the people in the audience who seemed to think that The Thin White Duke might be there to pick it up. Then Kate Moss staggered onto the stage wearing one of Bowie's old stage outfits to deliver an acceptance speech he'd emailed over.

The speech went something along the lines of, "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea". I forget the exact wording. Bowie/Moss then signed off with the words, "Scotland, stay with us".

Now, he wasn't referring there to a worry that Scottish third channel STV might depart the BRITs telecast at any moment to put on a 'Taggart' rerun or something (though James Corden's last link at the awards show did plug the ITV2 BRITs after show programme, which STV hates, because while it operates the main ITV channel in Scotland, it doesn't have a stake in the UK-wide ITV2 digital station). No, Bowie was referring to the referendum on Scottish independence due to take place later this year. Well, I think he was. If it turns out he was talking about STV's programming policies then everyone's going to look very silly.

Anyway, a lot of Scottish people had rather strong opinions about those four words at the end of the Bowie speech - not least the much quoted Twitter comment that he should "fuck off back to Mars". But what about the non-Sots who were actually at The O2 to hear them delivered live thing? (Not that Scottish people aren't allowed into the BRITs - well, not yet - I mean, once they stop being BRITish that might change).

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner - a Northerner, which is almost Scottish - told BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme that if an artist feels strongly on a political matter, they should be allowed to talk abut it. Which is a fair point. Though dropping it into the end of an award acceptance speech you're not even delivering yourself is perhaps not the best time. Seemingly aware such topics aren't best dealt with by throw-away lines, Turner himself declined to discuss his views on the Scottish independent matter, saying that while he felt strongly, his opinions would perhaps be better saved for a "half hour special".

Elsewhere, a slurring Harry Styles off of One Direction said that Bowie is "a legend" who can "do no wrong", though he refused to comment on Scotland's political status himself. Let's just take that as a vote for retaining the union from Harry.

But what about the Scots? Well, let's turn to Twitter, where Glasgow band We Are The Physics tweeted in response to the speech closer: "David Bowie wants Scotland to stay in the union because he's never tried to spend a Scottish tenner in a London chip shop".

I'm not sure what that's got to do with it, but I sometimes have trouble understanding the Glasgow accent. Speaking of which, CMU approved comedian (also Glaswegian, and pro independence) Limmy tweeted his views, saying: "I don't understand why David Bowie wants Scotland to stay under the control of a Tory government it didnae vote for, I just don't get it".

Which sort of sums up the view of a plethora of pro-independence Scots (including the non-famous ones) shouting on the social networks since the BRITs on Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, Bowie himself hasn't responded to any of this, though his son, movie director Duncan Jones, did. Seemingly in agreement with Dad, he argued in response to Limmy's tweet: "When you're independent, and a vote doesn't go your way, are ya going to sub-divide the island again?"

Anyway, as you can see, there are strong opinions on all sides. These quotes definitely made that clear, right? But I must stress, that's not all that Scotland has had to contend with from the music world this week.

American rapper Danny Brown turned up at the Guardian's offices yesterday to partake in a Q&A for future publication. It did not go well. In fact Brown apparently walked out of the interview once it became clear that later in the chat - as part of a "British snack taste test" - he would be asked to eat a Scotch egg. He seemingly stormed out after making it very clear that he was not impressed by either the presence of the "Scottish egg", or the possibility of ingesting it.

Interviewer Paul MacInnes explained: "He was having difficulty getting into 'the zone' and was discussing his dislike of the egg. It occurred to me that some jokey 'banter' might loosen him up, so I said 'you can't come over here slagging off Scotch eggs', and things went rapidly downhill from there. I had intended, after discussing the Scotch egg, to give him a miniature bottle of Jack Daniel's from my booze collection as thanks. I went to grab it, and when I came back he was gone. I apologise whole-heartedly for any egg-related offence caused".

Now, it's one thing to have your democratic right to choose the constitutional status of your home country interfered with by an emigrated pop icon, but it's quite another for a man with a missing tooth to poo-poo your national cuisine (shush, yes it is). Some things just can't be debated. If anything, we should all be calling for independence from Danny Brown. And with immediate effect. And whatever David Bowie might think about the rapper.

I may not have thought this through.

Speaking of things that weren't properly thought through, here's how 'Newsnight' chose to illustrate the Bowie BRITs story last night.

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