An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Friday 4 Jul 2014

TODAY'S TOP STORY: Crawl Promotions, the company behind North London's long-standing multi-venue music festival The Camden Crawl, has been put into liquidation by its organisers a week and a half after the event's 2014 edition. And not just because they realised that the festival's new name, CC14, wasn't going to work next year. Amongst the creditors who seemingly stand to lose out are many of the bands... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: We're off up to Shoreditch this week for a special Independence Day club tip. Well, it's not really special for Independence Day, but it's nice to have a sense of occasion when Justin Robertson is DJing. Robertson, the man behind Lionrock and The Deadstock 33s, will be headlining The Horse & Groom in Hoxton with a balearic set. He'll be hitting us with some White Isle bangers past... [READ MORE]
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Did you see the PR disaster on Twitter this week? Oh, everyone was talking about it. A right disaster, it was. It turns out that, despite 'Blurred Lines' being the most popular song of 2013, some people don't think it - or its singer Robin Thicke - are all that great. Of course, this isn't news to anyone, really. The lyrical content of 'Blurred Lines' was subject to much criticism, and was banned... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Camden Crawl goes into voluntary liquidation
Mike Weatherley to stand down as MP at next election
LEGAL Pirate Bay founder requests jail move
LABELS & PUBLISHERS YouTube to postpone indie block while licensing talks continue
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Sister Ray Records opening Ace new hotel shop
LIVE BUSINESS VMS Live takes on management for three more venues
MEDIA Cheryl Cole says X-Factor USA sacking was "right"
ARTIST NEWS Death Grips split, Trent Reznor and Fun Fun Fun Fest respond
There is no Minaj v Azalea beef and everyone is happy
RELEASES Craig David releases new track, Cold
Anand Wilder and Maxwell Kardon stream lead Break Line single
GIGS & FESTIVALS Sick Drake cancels Wireless date, Kanye steps in
Savages and Bo Ningen announces dual performance
AWARDS Commercial radio sector awards dished out
AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #213: Twitter v Robin Thicke
Happy Independence Day!
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Camden Crawl goes into voluntary liquidation
Crawl Promotions, the company behind North London's long-standing multi-venue music festival The Camden Crawl, has been put into liquidation by its organisers a week and a half after the event's 2014 edition. And not just because they realised that the festival's new name, CC14, wasn't going to work next year. Amongst the creditors who seemingly stand to lose out are many of the bands who performed this year.

An official statement issued via the Camden Crawl website this morning reads: "Due to ticket sales falling far short of expectations for this year's event, Crawl Promotions Ltd, the Company which promotes the Camden Crawl, is unable to pay its debts in full to any suppliers, staff or the Company's directors and shareholders. As it stands the total debts substantially exceed the value of the assets of the Company".

"Because of this completely unanticipated situation and after nearly ten years of successfully promoting the Camden Crawl festival, it is with great regret and sadness that there has been no other option than to convene meetings for the purpose of placing the Company into Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation".

It continues: "An Insolvency Practitioner has been appointed to assist in this process. The Meetings of Shareholders and Creditors are scheduled for the 11 Jul 2014 and notices have duly been despatched to all concerned parties. Once the Company is in Liquidation and a Liquidator is appointed, the Liquidator will realise all assets, try and agree all creditor claims and if possible make a distribution (paying a portion of the debts due to all creditors)".

Camden Crawl co-founder Lisa Paulson added to CMU this morning that the liquidation was "very upsetting news for all concerned".

Prior to the formal announcement this morning, those owed money started to find out about the liquidation yesterday, when emails to the festival started returning an 'out of office' message, which read: "It is with great regret that the Board has decided that there is no option but to place the Company into Creditors' Voluntary Liquidation. The Board has instructed an Insolvency Practitioner to assist in this process".

With the liquidator at that point still to be announced, the 'out of office' update did seem to be a little premature, in that there was no formal system to manage communication with debtors about the liquidation. And as a result a number of the bands who now stand to lose out took to Twitter to express their anger.

News of the development was broken first by a tweet from the band Johnny Foreigner yesterday morning, who wrote: "So Camden Crawl just went into voluntary liquidation. Before the bands got paid. YOU POINTY SHOED SCAMMY BASTARDS".

Others were similarly unimpressed, including Invada Records, the label owned by Portishead's Geoff Barrow. Two bands signed to the label, The Fauns and Thought Forms, performed at the event and have seemingly not been paid. The label tweeted: "Camden Crawl [has] gone under without paying two Invada bands. They point blank refused to pay advance deposits and used the 'trust us' mantra throughout".

Meanwhile Jack Cooper from Mazes, another band who performed at CC14, tweeted "So Camden Crawl? Did you really just go into voluntary liquidation without paying us or anyone else?" A later post on his band's Twitter feed then noted: "Cause and effect of Camden Crawl not paying us is that we're broke enough now to finally have to give up our rehearsal space".

A source close to the festival, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed this morning that the event's debts were not just limited to the bands who played.

They said: "No one's been paid. No venues, no suppliers, no staff. In some cases we're owed more than the bands. I've been told to write the money off, to not expect it. I might get 10% of what I'm owed. Think about how many bands there are, that's a significant number of debtors alone. The prospects of getting paid are minimal".

The insider added that many of the venues involved in this year's festival lost out further because they were not informed ahead of the event that ticket sales had been lower than expected.

"Ticket numbers were low and the venues weren't warned", they explained. "The venues put on staff for a busy night, based on what they would have expected in previous years. So the venues lost money during the event too, and they could have done something about that, had they been told what sort of numbers to expect".

Of course, the independent festival game is a risky business, events routinely run to very tight margins meaning just one bad year can cause collapse. Though it does seem that communication of the problems facing The Camden Crawl this year were not great from the offset.

Originally launched by a group of friends in 1995, The Camden Crawl had found itself in an increasingly competitive marketplace in more recent years as its model - ie one wristband gets you into a multitude of venues in close proximity - was adopted by rival events around the UK, competing for the same bands even if not punters. And of course the number of festival-style events within London has greatly increased in the last decade too.

After taking a year off in 2013 (though a Dublin spin-off did go ahead that summer), moving from May to June, and rebranding as CC14, this year's event was an attempt to regain some lost ground.

In an article for the Kentish Towner back in March Paulon said that a review of the event during its year off had resulting in the conclusion that "we needed significant change to reinvigorate the event, move away from the recent horde of copycats and address a host of other issues. We feel we have done that now and are very happy to be back with what we're calling CC14".


Mike Weatherley to stand down as MP at next election
Mike Weatherley MP, who has been particularly vocal on music business and intellectual property issues in his time in parliament, has announced he will not re-stand at next year's General Election.

The member of parliament for Hove and Portslade, Weatherley worked in both the music and film industries before entering politics, making him an ally for the entertainment business in Westminster. He has been very involved in the All Party Parliamentary Groups on music and ticketing, and last year became IP Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Confirming his decision, Weatherley said yesterday: "This has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make. It has been a remarkable opportunity to represent the wonderful residents of Hove and Portslade in parliament and I look forward to continuing to do this until the election near year."

Meanwhile in a letter to Cameron confirming his intent to step down, Weatherly noted: "I have taken immense pride in serving as your Intellectual Property Adviser. I am sure that you will agree that we have made huge steps towards really getting politicians and industry talking - which is key to making the most of our country's wealth of creative talent. It would be a privilege to continue offering my assistance in this regard".

Pirate Bay founder requests jail move
Recently jailed Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has written to the Swedish probation board asking that he be moved to a jail more appropriate to his crime, which presumably would be a prison ship.

As previously reported, Sunde was one of four men handed jail terms for their role in setting up and running the controversial file-sharing website, and in doing so enabling and encouraging mass copyright infringement. His prison sentence was initially postponed while he exhausted all possible appeal routes, and then further because Sunde avoided the Swedish jurisdiction. But then last month he was arrested while in the country.

According to Torrentfreak, Sunde is currently incarcerated in a Swedish jail called Västervik Norra, which is a mid-level facility under the country's three-level prison system. But the former Pirate Bay spokesman reckons that he should qualify for a lower-level prison because he poses a low risk. In his letter to the authorities Sunde adds that his current situation is having an impact on his health.

He writes: "I hereby appeal the placement decision regarding the institution I am in. I believe that the safety class is too high for the crime I have been convicted of. I'm suffering tremendously - socially, physically as well as psychologically - by the shortcomings of Västervik".

Since Sunde's incarnation, only one of the so called Pirate Bay Four has yet to begin serving his time. It's thought Fredrik Neij is currently living somewhere in Asia.

YouTube to postpone indie block while licensing talks continue
YouTube has postponed plans to block the indie labels from its video platform as talks continue over the Google-owned subsidiary's bid to launch an audio streaming service.

As previously reported, indie label trade bodies from across the world hit out in May after YouTube threatened to block them from its market-leading video streaming site if they didn't sign up to the firm's in-development Spotify competitor.

Although the exact meaning of 'block' remains unclear, it is likely that indies not on board for the new audio service would not be able to monetise their videos on YouTube by allowing the site to put ads next to their content.

The indies, led by global trade group WIN, said that YouTube was offering below-market rates for its streaming service, that would give it an unfair advantage over Spotify et al. It's also suspected that the three majors received sweeteners to secure their involvement, which were not being offered to the independents.

WIN added that the threat to block the indies from the YouTube video service, a crucial promotional platform and double revenue stream for the labels (they can earn ad revenue from their own videos and user-generated content using their music), was an attempt to strong arm the independents into a bad deal on the audio set-up.

Pan-European trade body IMPALA then reported YouTube to the European Commission, arguing that those negotiating tactics constituted an abuse of market dominance, with EC competition law over-seer Joaquín Almunia confirming his people could investigate the Google firm over market dominance abuse claims earlier this week.

For its part, YouTube insisted that its new audio service and existing video platform were two parts of the same thing, making opting into just one impractical. It also insisted that many indies were actually signed up to the new service, either because they are distributed by a major, or because they are allied to one of the three big indie label distributors which have done deals: The Orchard, INgrooves and Believe.

But there have been mixed signals coming out of YouTube on the unofficial grapevine, some insiders insisting YouTube Audio was ready to go with the deals it had place and that the remaining indies would indeed be blocked, others seemingly admitting that the firm had screwed up its negotiations with the independents resulting in an embarrassing squabble in the public domain.

Either way, according to the Financial Times any blocking of the indies has been put on hold, albeit temporarily, while talks continue to try to placate those labels not on board, many of which are represented by the Merlin organisation in the digital dealing domain. It's not clear whether the embarrassment of a very public dispute or the threat of an EC investigation has played a role in securing the block postponement, though Google won't be too keen on either.

Listen to our recent debate on the YouTube dispute at the CMU Podcast: Live here, featuring Cooking Vinyl's Sammy Andrews, Songdrop's Brittney Bean and Music Managers Forum's Jon Webster.

Sister Ray Records opening Ace new hotel shop
Soho's Sister Ray Records is to open a new vinyl-only store right inside that Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, East London. Fancy, huh?

Launching on 29 Jul with a party featuring live bands and DJs, the shop will carry all the usual bits, stocking recent and less recent releases, and providing listening posts. And hey, guess what, many of the Ace's rooms are fitted with Rega decks to spin all that rad wax on, so that's ideal, really.

And another thing. As it expands into Shoreditch, Sister Ray has a new investor and general advisor in the form of ex-EMI UK boss Tony Wadsworth, who will presumably have a bit of time on his hands to give to the now extended record retailing company once he steps down from his long-time position as BPI Chairman later this year.

Sister Ray owner Phil Barton says: "I've known Tony since we worked together at Parlophone and our paths have crossed many times since. He has always liked the Sister Ray shop and the new store opportunity seemed to be the natural moment to get him involved in the business. Sister Ray can be more than just a great retailer and Tony can make things happen".

Wadsworth adds: "Vinyl has become the format of choice for real music fans and the timing is right for a trusted guide such as Sister Ray to open a second store, dedicated to this most cherished of sound carriers! Phil has been at the forefront of the resurgence of the independent record store in recent years and I'm looking forward to working with him on this and future projects".

VMS Live takes on management for three more venues
Live firm VMS Live has confirmed that it has recently added three more sites to its venue management business, with deals that see the company expand its operations in the university venue domain. VMS already oversees the management of the University Of Manchester's Academy venue, and will now provide similar services for the University Of East Anglia, Glynd_r University in Wrexham, and the University Of Warwick Students' Union.

Confirming the new clients, VMS Live's Operations Director Richard Maides told CMU: "We are still a relatively small but rapidly expanding organisation that offers what we believe are a unique set of services to each client. What we attempt to do is the exact opposite of the 'one size fits all' policy. During the negotiation process we have listened carefully to what each site required and worked with them to provide a service specifically tailored to their needs".

To that end, Maides adds, VMS's service provision complements each client's in-house resources, and is therefore different from venue to venue.

VMS has also announced a new recruit in the form of Joff Hall, who joins the firm's booking team. Hall has previously booked gigs at various regional venues, for the Galtres Parklands Festival, and via his own company HD Concerts.

Confirming the appointment, VMS Live MD Steve Forster, said: "As VMS expands it is important to us that we carefully choose both the clients we work with and the staff that work for us and on our behalf. With this in mind we are delighted to bring Joff Hall into the VMS team. We are convinced that bringing Joff on board will better help us to serve the needs of our existing client base as well as opening new opportunities for us to explore".

Cheryl Cole says X-Factor USA sacking was "right"
Cheryl Cole has given a fairly unflinching interview this week in which she reveals what it felt like to be fired from 'The X-Factor USA' back 2011. Basically and unsurprisingly, it sucked.

Telling it straight via Elle Magazine, Chez claims she "wasn't well in the head" at the time of her brief time working on the show, adding that Simon Cowell was "right to get rid of me".

She says: "I can talk about this because I'm OK about it now. But I went through hell and it literally drove me mad. I became so desensitised, you could say terrible things to me and I wouldn't even think about it. I'd read awful stuff about myself and [didn't] blink. I shut down because I didn't know what else to do".

She continues: "I wasn't well in the head when that was going on, so it wasn't going to work. But he wasn't right not to tell me to my face. It only hit me at the beginning of 2013 that I'd completely lost myself. I'd look in a mirror and think: 'Who the hell is she?' I didn't know what I thought or felt about anything, couldn't make decisions - I didn't even know what to eat or drink. Something was seriously wrong: it felt like a nervous breakdown".

"I had to stop" she adds, "get out of my life I'd been living and find myself again. The consequences if I didn't were just too frightening".

As previously reported, Cole was wiped from 'X-Factor USA' after filming only one episode, apparently because the show's makers were afraid her accent wouldn't make sense to American viewers. Years down the line, her all-new accepting stance over the incident may relate to the fact that she reached an out-of-court settlement with 'X US' producer Blue Orbit in late 2013, having sued the company for lost earnings and expenses earlier that year.

That, and the additional point that she's now 'riding high' again, with a new LP on its way, a chiseled French lover who brings her roses, and her prime place back at the British 'X-Factor' table. Plus, she doesn't "give a fuck what people think any more". Which always helps.


Vigsy's Club Tip: Memory Box at The Horse & Groom
We're off up to Shoreditch this week for a special Independence Day club tip. Well, it's not really special for Independence Day, but it's nice to have a sense of occasion when Justin Robertson is DJing.

Robertson, the man behind Lionrock and The Deadstock 33s, will be headlining The Horse & Groom in Hoxton with a balearic set. He'll be hitting us with some White Isle bangers past and present for this Memory Box summer special (I knew it was some sort of special) followed by the night's founder Robin Ball.

A nice little venue slightly removed from the madding crowds of central Shoreditch this top rate disco pub is set to deliver as ever.

Friday 4 Jul, The Horse & Groom, 28 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, EC2A 3NZ, 9pm – 4am, £3-5, more info here.

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Death Grips split
Death Grips have split up then. They will still release their previously reported new album later this year, but will not appear at any of their scheduled live dates, including a planned US tour with Nine Inch Nails in July and August.

Posting a photograph of the announcement written on a napkin to their Facebook page, the hip hop outfit said: "We are now at our best and so Death Grips is over. We have officially stopped. All currently scheduled live dates are canceled. Our upcoming double album 'The Powers That B' will still be delivered worldwide later this year via Harvest/Third Worlds Records. Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision. Above and beyond a 'band'. To our truest fans, please stay legend".

Responding to the news, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor tweeted: "Sorry everyone... why would I have ever thought those dudes could keep it together?"

Though the winner of the award for best response goes to Austin's Fun Fun Fun Festival, which finds itself stood up by Death Grips for a second time. The event also posted its statement using the tried and test Facebook/napkin combo, saying: "We are now at our super best and so our relationship with Death Grips is finally over - we have decided to consciously uncouple forever. After being stood up twice at the altar, we had to look deep into our soul and ask if Death Grips really loves us, or is capable of loving anyone, and the unfortunate answer is no.

The note continued: "We are better than that. So we have officially stopped following Death Grips on Twitter out of fear of seeing them at another show or with other fans - it's just too soon. Our upcoming fest in November will still happen, and with a replacement that loves you and us for who we really are. FFF was and always has been a full on metal, physical and cerebral sensory overload fiesta of delight anchored by butt shaking head banging good times. Above and beyond a 'fest', we deserve really love, and so do you. To our truest fans, please stay epic".


There is no Minaj v Azalea beef and everyone is happy
Nicki Minaj has responded to reports that she has a beef with Iggy Azalea. And Iggy Azalea has responded to Nicki Minaj's response. And now if the bloody media could just leave it alone, everyone would be happy.

The alleged beef 'emerged' at the BET Awards last week, when Minaj was seen apparently dancing sarcastically during Azalea's performance of 'Fancy' at the event. Then, when she, and not Azalea, won the award for Best Female Hip Hop Artist, Minaj said in her speech: "What I want the world to know about Nicki Minaj is when you hear Nicki Minaj spit, Nicki Minaj wrote it".

Ouch, clearly a dig at Azalea and her songwriting abilities there, right? An open and shut case, you might think. Many did. But apparently not. In a series of tweets, Minaj wrote: "The media puts words in my mouth all the time and this is no different. I will always take a stance on women writing because I believe in us! I believe we're smart enough to write down our own thoughts and perspective, just like the men do. I've been saying this for FIVE YEARS".

She then continued: "I fell in love with Lauryn Hill because I knew she was the author behind those amazingly profound and articulated songs on 'The Miseducation'. I wondered how Lauryn tapped into my brain and wrote an album on love, betrayal, passion, pain, triumph, brokenness... Did she read minds? It's the same reason I have a different level of respect for Missy. I know she's a writer and a producer. Women MUST aspire for more".

Finally, she commented on Azalea directly, saying: "I've congratulated Iggy on the success of 'Fancy', publicly. She should be very proud of that. All the women nominated should be proud. That will never change my desire to motivate women to write. Our voices have to be heard. I hope I inspire up and coming females to do that".

Azalea responded on Instagram, saying: "I have to say the general explosion of pettiness online in the last few days is hard to ignore, and honestly... lame. If I had won the BET award that would've been great but it wasn't my year and I don't mind - so you shouldn't either. Generally speaking I'm unbothered by anything that 'happened' at the BET Awards and just feel worn out by everyone trying to make me have wars with people all the time".

So everyone, shush now.

Craig David releases new track, Cold
Celebrity realtor and meathead Craig David has shot back to the topmost half of the proverbial 'hot'-ometer with a cool solo single titled 'Cold'.

Set to appear on his sixth LP, 'Following My Intuition', which is arriving later this year, the track finds David shaking his head in disbelief over a girl who's "cold-hearted and deranged, like a killer chick from a movie".

Then he says: "This girl's an instant lover, like a hit of MDMA".

Then he remembers the way they met. It started with a kiss, possibly on a Monday. Then it's on to the main hook, which is essentially: "She's cold, cold cold cold. She's cold, cold cold cold. So cold, cold cold".

Then a robot voice reiterates: "Yeah this girl, yeah this girl's so cold".

Someone bring this girl a fan heater and a pair of mittens. And a loose-fitting t-shirt for Craig while you're at it, please. He's starting to look like a slab of peanut brittle.

Anyway this here is 'Cold':


Anand Wilder and Maxwell Kardon stream lead Break Line single
Yeasayer's Anand Wilder and his pal, Maxwell Kardon, have shared the lead single off their two-way LP, 'Break Line', a collaboration that's now ten years old.

Created by the pair and a circle of friends on-and-off over a decade, 'Break Line' is inspired by rock operas and concept records of the 1970s, and is set in Greenbelt, a fictional coal-mining town, following the lives and dramas of its inhabitants.

Yeasayer bassist Ira Wolf Tuton and singer Chris Keating, K Ishibashi aka Kishi Bashi, Haley Dekle of Dirty Projectors, Man Man's Ryan Kattner and Chris Powell and Chairlift engineer Britt Myers have all been involved in making the record, which is released on 14 Jul.

And, MGMT's James Richardson plays guitar on lead single 'I'm To Blame'. Stream it here.

Sick Drake cancels Wireless date, Kanye steps in
Well here's the saddest headline ever. Dribbly Drake has cancelled on this weekend's Wireless Festival because he is too ill to get on a plane (or, for that matter, rap and/or sing live on a stage), and his heart is breaking because of it. As is mine.

Canning twin appearances at Wireless events in London and Birmingham, Drake shared this sick note via the festival's website: "To my beloved fans, it truly breaks my heart that I won't be able to perform as planned at Wireless this weekend. I got sick a few days ago and although I am on my way to bouncing back, my doctors have made it clear that I am not physically fit to fly or deliver the performance my fans expect and deserve from me. I will be focused on resting for a quick recovery. I have the best fans in the world and I can't wait to come back to make more incredible memories together".

Just hold on though, it's all OK-ish, for good ol Live Nation have confirmed that Wireless co-headliner Kanye West will now play an additional show in London on 5 Jul, in place of Drizzy's set. Also, Rudimental will sub in for Drake in Birmingham on 4 Jul with an extended set, with extra guests still TBA, and Birmingham fans will be given £20 of 'Wireless Credit', which is redeemable anywhere on site, on entering.

That or you can just ask for your money back.


Savages and Bo Ningen announces dual performance
Savages and Bo Ningen have announced plans to reprise their 'Words To The Blind' dual performance, premiered at Shoreditch's Red Gallery in May last year.

Taking place at the Oval Space in East London on 19 Nov, the show sees the two bands play head-to-head on a U-shaped stage. It is "a unique experiment inspired by the Dadaist concept of simultaneous poetry - when poems were being recited at the same time in different languages, adding up to a powerful overall effect", says the press blurb.

Tickets went on sale this very morning, and can be purchased here. But while you're still here, why not have a watch of this trailer for the event?

Commercial radio sector awards dished out
So, it was the commercial radio sector's big annual awards bash last night, aka the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, and what a night it was, people! What a night. People ate food. Awards were presented. Speeches were given. At least five people shouted "woo" at appropriate moments. Margaret Thatcher won a prize for having a marvellous funeral and Heinz scored themselves the all important Advertiser Of The Year accolade. Good times.

For those of you who missed all this revelry, here is a list of winners. And don't worry, despite all the wondrous eating and presenting and speeching and wooing, the revealing of this list was the most exciting bit. So you can feel part of it all too.

Presenter Of The Year (Under Two Million TSA): Steve & Karen, Metro Radio
Presenter Of The Year (Over Two Million TSA): Christian O'Connell, Absolute Radio
Programmer Of The Year: Chris Pegg, Metro Radio
Unsung Hero Of The Year: Emma Oxborrow, Classic FM
Journalist Of The Year (Ali Booker Memorial Award): Michelle Livesey, Key 103

Breakfast Show Of The Year (Under Two Million TSA): Capital Breakfast with Matt, Polly & Geraint, Capital South Wales
Breakfast Show Of The Year (Over Two Million TSA): The Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show, Absolute Radio
Specialist Programme Of The Year: The Sunday Roast with Caroline, 106jackfm (Oxfordshire)

News Coverage Of The Year: The Clutha tragedy, Radio Clyde News
Single Programme Or Broadcast Of The Year: The funeral of Margaret Thatcher, LBC
Feature(S) Of The Year: Christian O'Connell's 40 List, Absolute Radio
Social Action Initiative: Slavery On Our Streets, LBC

Station Imaging Award: Captial Xtra Launch
Marketing Award: The Kiss At The Kiss With Cheltenham Art Gallery, Heart Gloucestershire
Radio Station Event Of The Year: The Absolute Radio Sessions, Absolute Radio

Local Sales Team Of The Year: Global Radio Manchester
National Sales Award: Begin With A Bulmers, Xfm
Advertiser Of The Year: Heinz
Media Agency Of The Year: PHD

Breakthrough UK Artist Of The Year: Naughty Boy
Most Played UK Artist On Commercial Radio: Olly Murs

Station Of The Year (<500,000 TSA): Free Radio (Herefordshire & Worcestershire)
Station Of The Year (500,000 To Two Million TSA): Hallam FM
Station Of The Year (Two Million + TSA): LBC

Chairman's Award: Dianne Thompson
Special Award: Phil Riley
Lifetime Achievement Award: Grae Allan

CMU Beef Of The Week #213: Twitter v Robin Thicke
Did you see the PR disaster on Twitter this week? Oh, everyone was talking about it. A right disaster, it was. It turns out that, despite 'Blurred Lines' being the most popular song of 2013, some people don't think it - or its singer Robin Thicke - are all that great.

Of course, this isn't news to anyone, really. The lyrical content of 'Blurred Lines' was subject to much criticism, and was banned in several British student unions entirely, on the grounds that its lyrics seemed, at best, like a celebration of rape. But Thicke always maintained that the song was about his wife, Paula Patton. Because that, apparently, was supposed to make it better. Then his wife left him, and suddenly he was forced to change tack.

This week, Thicke released his new album, 'Paula', a fourteen track attempt to win his wife back. It features songs such as 'You're My Fantasy', 'Still Madly Crazy', and the single, 'Get Her Back'. So far, it's not worked, and Patton remains estranged. And now Thicke can't really give winning her back his full attention, because he's got this bloody album to promote. One of the things he did to promote it this week was a Q&A session via VH1's Twitter feed.

"Have a burning question for @robinthicke? Submit your ?s for tomorrow's Twitter Q+A using #AskThicke!", came the call on Monday.

And then Twitter went a bit nuts. We witnessed the classic three stages of a hashtag hijack.

1. People tweeting that this hashtag was a bad idea
2. People tweeting angry responses to the hashtag
3. People tweeting ridiculous responses to the hashtag

Classic. And the tweets came in their droves. Some were poignant, some were funny, some, you could even argue, were important. Certainly, people took notice. It seemed that every media outlet with any sort of online presence was creating an article collating the best responses and proclaiming the whole thing to be a 'disaster' for Thicke and his team.

I think calling it a disaster was always going to be a bit of an overstatement, but it really was everywhere. Surely it would cause Thicke to finally properly face up to the very real, very serious criticism of the lyrics in 'Blurred Lines', which to date he has either ignored or rejected.

Of course, this wasn't a live Q&A - VH1 was gathering the pick of the questions to ask, and wasn't going to start firing the harshest criticism at its guest. In fact, none of the questions posed by hashtag hijackers made the cut (SURPRISE!). But VH1, to its credit, did submit its own question to start proceedings, which at least acknowledged that there was something he should probably address.

"There has been a lot of controversy around your song 'Blurred Lines' and new album, 'Paula'", tweeted VH1 Music. "How do you respond?"

OK, great. That's done. He can't ignore that. He has to say something. He has to.

"What controversy?" Thicke responded, adding: "Hahaha".

Oh. That opportunity wasted, the rest of the Q&A discussed things like Thicke's influences, his favourite song on the new album, his writing process, and his hopes for getting back together with his wife. It was pretty much like, I don't know, a social-media-based artist/fan Q&A or something. A bit boring. It wasn't, despite Twitter's best efforts, thousands of people backing Robin Thicke into a corner and making him explain himself.

But it could have been. And it still can be. Because, yes, just for you Twitter, thanks to the magic of copy and paste, here are all of Thicke's answers from the Q&A, suffixed to the questions that VH1 refused to ask him. I'm sure you'll agree, it makes for much more insightful reading.

@angelacobb: "Beetlejuice called and he wants his outfit back! What's taking so long?"

Robin Thicke: "Because 'Beatrice' didn't have the same ring to it". [No Rob, she said 'Beatlejuice']

@LaurenHarsh1: "If one of your songs played in a forest and no one was around to hear it would it still be sexist and gross?"

Robin Thicke: "Yes, the most".

@PawBlakNme: "Apart from being a talentless misogynist, why are you just not very good?"

Robin Thicke: "Cause smart people know better :)"

@KittyKnits: "It might seem like some of the questions on this hashtag are cruel and abusive but Robin, I know you want it"

Robin Thicke: "I'm a big boy, I can handle it".

@RachelMcKibbens: "On a scale of R. Kelly to Phil Spector, how do you intend to 'Get Her Back?'"

Robin Thicke: "The Beatles".

@ProResting: "How many naked women did it take before you stopped seeing them as people and instead saw them as YouTube hits?"

Robin Thicke: "Two ... new videos today 'Still Madly Crazy' [and] 'Forever Love'".

@MsJoNeary: "I have a spare darning mushroom. Would you like it?"

Robin Thicke: "Too much upkeep".

@garwboy: "Does Pharrell Williams return your calls any more?"

Robin Thicke: "If you listen to the album you wouldn't ask that question".

@Jenny_Brammall: "Is your wife planning on writing an album called 'Robin' where she sings the fine print of a restraining order?"

Robin Thicke: "Yes because our child comes first". [I'm not sure it's appropriate for you to bring your child into this, Robin]

@Scriblit: "And when did you decide that the Creepy PE Teacher look was the style for you?"

Robin Thicke: "April 1st and most of the album was done in two weeks".

@Pundamentalism: "Once you've cracked 'hug me', any thoughts on what rhymes with 'misogynistic douchebag'?"

Robin Thicke: "Lock The Door".

@newageamazon: "Is the creepy stalking thing a sick publicity stunt at your ex's expense, or just a thoughtless grab for attention and relevance?"

Robin Thicke: "She's always been my muse only this time from a distance".

@MariaJPrice: "Did you really write a rape anthem as a love song for your wife and are you still wondering why she left you?"

Robin Thicke: "I have no idea. I just want the world to know how special she is".

Well, I think that's all we have time for. Do you have anything else to add, Robin?

Robin Thicke: "Thank you all for your time. I love you and hope the album brings you joy".

Thanks Robin! Bye!


Happy Independence Day!
Hey, it's the fourth of July. Happy Independence Day, Americans! We didn't want your smelly landmass anyway.

To mark the momentous occasion of the US of States having no boss for 238 concurrent years, here's Hyperdub-signed Fatima Al Qadiri with her rendition of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'.

Guaranteed to make your fireworks display more ghostly by a factor of four score and seven, grab some apple pie and have a listen.

You can download it too, if you like.

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