FRIDAY 15 JANUARY 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: In case you're wondering, yeah, YouTube's still evil. That hasn't changed. It still practices the dark arts, freezes your laptop when you're in a rush, mysteriously ramps up the volume when you accidentally open a NSFW video in a busy workplace, hides your keys, jams the roads, floods Leeds, finishes the milk before you've had your morning coffee, talks during gigs... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: It's the second CMU mention for Frankfurt's Robert Johnson club this week (the first via a release on its spin-off record label Live At Robert Johnson) as the Tip goes continental. Celebrating a decade in the game, Dolan Bergin's Electric Minds label and night kicks off a series of events to mark this auspicious year in the German city. The London label's head honcho... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: So you want to pay tribute to the world's most successful metal band? Well you MetalliCAN'T. Actually, you Metallican, but that's not quite so punchy an intro, is it? You might think most people would like to be tributed. But assume nothing. Not every tribute passes without controversy. As Metallica tribute band Sandman found out this week, when they were handed a cease... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the week in music and the music business, including David Bowie, Universal finally doing a licensing deal with SoundCloud, Spotify's mechanical royalty disputes in the US, and Songkick suing Live Nation. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital.... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES The love/hate relationships continues as PRS renews its deal with YouTube
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LEGAL Warner sues after Avenged Sevenfold uses 'seven year rule' to bail on record contract
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DEALS Concord Bicycle bags itself two more recording catalogues
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LIVE BUSINESS Former Police Scotland officers join T In The Park team as part of operational rejig
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MEDIA UTV confirms its local radio review is complete
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ARTIST NEWS Ghost Inside drummer lost leg in bus crash
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RELEASES Benga returns with new EP
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Trivium announce tour of UK provincial towns
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AWARDS BRIT nominees unleashed - didn't they all do well?
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #289: Metallica v Not Metallica
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Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
 
 
INDIGO AT THE O2 - ASSISTANT TECHNICAL MANAGER (LONDON)
Indigo are hiring an Assistant Technical Manager, to assist the Technical Manager in all aspects of the technical operation at Indigo. The successful candidate will provide effective communication of event requirements relevant parties, ensuring the technical expectations of the hirers of Indigo are met and managed effectively.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
JUNO RECORDS - SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONTENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Juno, the world’s largest online dance music and DJ and studio equipment store, is looking for an enthusiastic social media and content assistant to help expand its fast-growing social media and marketing activity, on and offline.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SECRETLY DISTRIBUTION - PROJECT MANAGER, EUROPE (LONDON)
Secretly Distribution is seeking a full-time Project Manager - Europe for our extensive family of distributed labels. Join Secretly Distribution’s growing international team. The ideal candidate is a skilled writer and communicator with at least three years' professional experience related to product management, artist relations, marketing and/or promotions in the music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KILIMANJARO LIVE - PAID INTERNSHIP (LONDON)
Kilimanjaro Live are starting a year-long paid internship programme to give individuals an opportunity to learn the various elements of concert and festival booking, promotion and production with a view to establishing a career in the live music industry.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
CR2 RECORDS - DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for an experienced Digital Content Manager to manage the scheduling and delivery for digital releases to all retailers ensuring quality control and accurate, timely delivery. The applicant will also be responsible for producing sales data and also registering all repertoire with relevant collection societies for both copyright and publishing.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SIX07 PRESS - SENIOR PRESS CONSULTANT (LONDON)
Six07 Press is looking for an experienced music PR to join us as a Senior Press Consultant. It is vital that applicants have two to three years’ experience in national UK print PR, as well as online PR campaign management. We are looking for someone who is self-motivated, flexible and has initiative.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KINC - MUSIC MARKETING COORDINATOR (LONDON)
KINC is a communications agency that specialises in music, sports and entertainment. We have an exciting new role that has become available working across all of our music clients. It is a full time role in Islington, London starting in February 2016.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NEW CROSS INN - LIVE BOOKINGS MANAGER (LONDON)
As a member of our live events team you will be responsible for the booking, programming and promotion of our live music calendar alongside the current events manager. You will have experience booking and contracting live acts and will have a strong network of contacts to draw on.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MANNERS MCDADE - COPYRIGHT & ROYALTIES MANAGER (LONDON)
We are an independent music publisher based in Central London, specialising in indie-classical and electronic music. We also manage the rights of the media composers managed by our sister company, Manners McDade Artist Management. Due to expansion we are recruiting an experienced Copyright & Royalties Manager to work with our International catalogue.

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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
 
A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
 
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminars: How The Music Business Works Programme
CLICK FOR INFO
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
CLICK FOR INFO
25 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
CLICK FOR INFO
1 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
CLICK FOR INFO
8 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
CLICK FOR INFO
15 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Live Sector, Brand Partnerships & Fan Services
CLICK FOR INFO
17 Feb 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
22 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
29 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Mar 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
16 Mar 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
13 Apr 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
6 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
19-20 May 2016 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
 

The love/hate relationships continues as PRS renews its deal with YouTube
In case you're wondering, yeah, YouTube's still evil. That hasn't changed. It still practices the dark arts, freezes your laptop when you're in a rush, mysteriously ramps up the volume when you accidentally open a NSFW video in a busy workplace, hides your keys, jams the roads, floods Leeds, finishes the milk before you've had your morning coffee, talks during gigs, cuts you off in busy traffic, gives you socks for Christmas, ensures your local Pret is always sold out of your favourite soup and never has its ticket ready at the barrier. And let's face it, David Bowie never died when there was no YouTube.

YouTube? PooTube I say. What about the "value gap"? Please, why won't you people remember the "value gap"? Look, it's right there. See that gap. Big innit? A big gaping chasm of emptiness, big enough to take all the water YouTube unleashed on Leeds and a very big boat too. One of those big cruise ships. That's how big that gap is. And that's the "value gap". See, that's the problem people. Say after me: "Safe harbours, safe harbours, safe harbours, safe harbours". You know where's got a nice harbour? Whitby.

Anyway, the one thing we all know as we enter this brave new world that the kids are calling 2016 is that the music industry hates YouTube. HATES IT. It's like PRS boss Robert Ashcroft said just the other day, "on behalf of our members, we are pleased both to extend and expand our licensing relationship with YouTube". Oh. Hang on. What's that? What about the "value gap" Bob? "PRS for Music was the first copyright society to sign a licensing agreement with YouTube back in 2007 and both parties have since worked closely together to improve the value that creators derive from the platform". Oh.

So, yes, PRS has extended its licensing deal with the YouTubes. Because we don't like these free-to-access opt-out streaming services, see, but YouTube's billion monthly users and big fat pile of ad revenues, yeah, we like those.

In case you thought PRS had forgotten the "value gap" - caused, many labels and publishers reckon, by opt-out services like YouTube exploiting 'safe harbours' in copyright law to strengthen their negotiating hands when it comes to licensing deals - don't worry, the collecting society has thought of that. "This deal drives improved value across the PRS and MCPS membership", it says. And given that I'm yet to meet anyone in the entire publishing sector or songwriter community who understood how the last PRS/YouTube deal worked, I guess we'll just have to take the collecting society's word for that.

"[The deal] ensures members can continue to reach new and existing fans on YouTube", continued Ashcroft. "While YouTube's users will continue to enjoy their favourite video content, when and how they want it. This latest agreement ... ensures continued growth in royalties for our members from one of the world's leading video platforms. PRS For Music fully recognises the breadth of opportunity on the horizon with YouTube and other open platforms and is committed to achieving fair remuneration for rightsholders and a level licensing playing field".

The deal covers all PRS repertoire not subject to direct dealing by the big five publishers - and the accompanying mechanical rights controlled by MCPS and IMPEL - in 130 territories in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with a framework in place to extend it further into other markets. In the UK and Ireland much repertoire repped by PRS through reciprocal agreements with other societies elsewhere in the world is also part of the deal.

The new arrangement also covers YouTube Red, the video platform's new subscription service, which launched in the US last year and should arrive over here sometime in 2016. YouTube Red removes the ads from all videos - and gives users access to some priority original content - for $10 a month, with royalties for content owners working more like Spotify than the conventional YouTube model, though shared with all content owners of course, not just music.

It still remains to be seen how many paying users YouTube can sign up. Though, if successful, Red could overcome some of the hate that the video site has received from the music community in the last couple of years.

Labels and publishers don't like the fact that YouTube is responsible for such high consumption of music, but pays relatively low royalties compared to Spotify-type services. The problem is that YouTube is such an important marketing platform these days, and the aforementioned safe harbours mean that if a label or publisher pulls from the service, the rights owner has to take on responsibility for ensuring user-uploaded content using their recordings or songs are removed.

Trade bodies for the labels and publishers - and collecting societies like PRS - want safe harbour rules to be rewritten, to put more of that responsibility onto YouTube. The Google-owned company will fight that proposal full-on, of course.

In the meantime - away from the lobbying brigade - artists and labels, and other music stakeholders, still have much to gain by better using YouTube as a fan engagement platform, an upsell platform and an ad platform, while if Red was to work, that arguably attracts a mass market consumer who realistically is never going to pay ten pounds a month for a standalone music service. So, YouTube is possibly the most important digital partner for music long-term, despite it not being so lucrative today as the standalone digital music set-ups.

But it's still evil, OK? I was in a rush at that tube station. And I really wanted that soup. And I don't need socks. And driving that day was stressful enough already. And it totally ruined that gig for me. And I really needed that cup of coffee. And my sister lives in Leeds. And my Uber bill is going to be huge. And where oh where oh where are my fucking keys. Value gap, value gap, value gap. Safe harbours, safe harbours, safe harbours.

Warner sues after Avenged Sevenfold use 'seven year rule' to bail on record contract
Warner Music is suing Avenged Sevenfold because, well, why the hell not, I say. It's 2016. These are dangerous times, and if in doubt, sue.

The legal action relates to attempts by the Californian band to get out of their current contract with the major, using the so called "seven-year rule" that exists in their home state's employment laws. The rule allows people to leave personal service contracts, in certain circumstances, seven years after a deal is done. It crops up from time to time in fall-outs between artists and labels in California, always posing interesting questions, because record deals are normally based around number of albums rather than number of years.

Confirming that the band - who seemingly owe one more long player under their most recent Warner deal - had decided to terminate their alliance with the record company, their lawyer Howard E King told reporters: "Avenged Sevenfold recently exercised the rights given them by this law and ended its recording agreement with Warner Bros Records. [Since doing the 2004 record deal, Warner] underwent multiple regime changes that led to dramatic turnover at every level of the company, to the point where no one on the current A&R staff has even a nodding relationship with the band".

In litigation filed on 8 Jan, Warner raises various arguments as to why the band shouldn't be allowed out of their contractual commitments under the seven year rule. That includes the fact it has already invested significant funds into new recordings and that it had been led to believe the label's agreement with the band would continue for another album, and it's therefore jolly unfair for them to decide to bail at this juncture.

It remains to be seen how the band respond to the specific arguments in the lawsuit, though for now King says his clients are looking forward to building a relationship with a brand new label. Though maybe only for the next seven years.

Concord Bicycle bags itself two more recording catalogues
Increasingly acquisitive Concord Bicycle Music has announced another bloody acquisition. Actually, two. First, the catalogue of Americana, folk and blues label HighTone Records, which it's bought off Shout! Factory. And second the recorded music assets of Bandit Records, the label of late country singer George Jones.

And if you're now expecting a quote from Concord Bicycle about all this, well, you were nearly right. Two deals, so two quotes, obviously.

Says Chief Corporate Development Officer Steven Salm: "Concord Bicycle Music is proud to be the new home for these fantastic and historic recordings. HighTone and Bandit represent an important niche in the American independent music culture and fit perfectly within our existing catalogue".

Adds SVP Catalogue Management & Development Sig Sigworth: "The HighTone and Bandit catalogues exemplify a deeply rooted and evocative part of America's musical heritage. We're proud to add these stellar works to Concord Bicycle Music's already extraordinary collection of country, folk, blues and Americana master recordings".

Former Police Scotland officers join T In The Park team as part of operational rejig
T In The Park operators DF Concerts have made a number of new appointments as part of plans to address "teething issues" that occurred during the Scottish festival's first edition at its new site, Strathallan Castle, last summer.

The event's move to the Strathallan estate was controversial from the start, of course, though it went ahead last July. Acknowledging that the 2015 outing of T was a learning experience, DF is now working on a "full improvement plan" ahead of its 2016 edition to overcome any problems that occurred last July.

The two new hires on the operational side of the festival both come Police Scotland, with former officers who have worked on T In The Park - and other major Scottish events - from that side of the fence, taking on the festival's security and traffic management. Colin Brown becomes Security Manager while Ian Martin becomes Traffic Manager. DF has also confirmed the appointment of APL Events to look after site management.

On the event's operational rejig, T In The Park Event Manager Colin Rodger told reporters: "We've had a full de-brief on the 2015 festival with all relevant agencies, including Police Scotland, Traffic Scotland and Perth And Kinross Council, as well as festival goers and local residents. We have listened to every single comment and we thank everyone for their valuable input. We're now focused on delivering the 2016 festival and we know where we need to improve. By restructuring the management of key areas, such as the site and security, we will solve issues from last year's event".

Meanwhile, on the new recruits, Rodger added: "Colin and Ian are very well-respected and highly experienced professionals and both have worked on T In The Park in their former Police Scotland roles, so understand the festival. APL Events are leaders in their field and have run some of the most popular festivals in the UK. We're constantly moving forward and putting measures in place to make T 2016 memorable for all the right reasons".

UTV confirms its local radio review is complete
Media firm UTV has completed its review of its local radio stations in the UK, and seemingly won't be selling any more off, having flogged its FM licence in Merseyside, previously used for Juice, to Global Radio, which its using it for a new Capital outpost.

UTV is also selling its TV business, of course, which means it needs to find itself a brand new name. Once that is above its door, the all-new company will be very much focusing on radio, looking to maximise the revenue potential of its twelve local stations in England and Wales, and its Irish local radio business, while also launching three new national channels in the UK: Talkradio, Talksport 2 and Virgin Radio.

Those stations will appear on the UK's new second national digital radio network in which UTV is a partner. That 'talk' brand seems to be a high priority for the streamlined media company, with plans to grow its sports service internationally.

In a statement to investors, the firm said a key objective was "to consolidate Talksport's position in the UK as the premier sports radio station, while leveraging its strong brand identity in the market to promote its new sister stations on D2", and "to further develop Talksport International by expanding its geographical footprint, by broadening its
broadcaster base, and by creating attractive packages for sponsors and advertisers as the appeal of the Premier League increases globally".

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Electric Minds at Robert Johnson
It's the second CMU mention for Frankfurt's Robert Johnson club this week (the first via a release on its spin-off record label Live At Robert Johnson) as the Tip goes continental. Celebrating a decade in the game, Dolan Bergin's Electric Minds label and night kicks off a series of events to mark this auspicious year in the German city.

The London label's head honcho himself will be on the decks, as will ambient techno producer Move D. This is the first of a series of tenth anniversary celebrations, with some back on home turf later this year if you can't make this one. But if you can, I'd highly recommend making the trip.

Saturday 16 Jan, Robert Johnson, Nordring 131, 63067 Offenbach Am Main, Frankfurt, Germany, 10pm-whenever, 12 euros. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Ghost Inside drummer lost leg in bus crash
The Ghost Inside's drummer Andrew Tkaczyk has confirmed that his right leg was amputated following the bus crash the band were involved in late last year. However, he has insisted that this does not mean the end of his drumming career.

Posting on Instagram, Tkaczyk wrote: "So the rumours are true everyone! Unfortunately I did lose my leg in this accident. This is one injury among many others such as fractures in my ribs, spine, and hip along with some ligament tears in my rotator cuff and labrum".

Despite this, he continued: "I have remained in positive and good spirits since I woke up from a ten day coma in November to the sight of my missing leg. Not going to let it stop me. I don't care what anyone says. It's a long road ahead, but I WILL play drums again. Can't wait to get back on the kit".

As previously reported, the band's bus collided with a lorry outside El Paso in Texas, killing the drivers of both vehicles. A number of crowdfunding campaigns were set up following the accident to help raise money for medical treatment. Also, Epitaph Records has since said that it will pay 100% of all profits for their releases directly to the band.

Benga returns with new EP
Benga has made his return to music official with the announcement of new EP 'Future Funk', which is due for release on 26 Feb via his own Benga Beats label.

Commenting on the release, the producer says: "It's been two years and I have grown a lot, and I now know what's important: music. I'm back and I think my sound is the most 'me' it's been since [2008 album] 'Diary Of An Afro Warrior' and I'm super excited to play it and reconnect with all of the people who have supported me".

Last year, following his 2014 retirement, Benga spoke openly about the struggles with his mental health that led to him putting his music career on hold. He has since called for more discussion and awareness of mental health issues in dance music.

Listen to 'Make Moves' from the EP here.

Trivium announce tour of UK provincial towns
Trivium have announced a UK tour, with the metal band shunning the usual big cities and opting for more unusual places. Like Norwich. Actually, all the cities and towns on the list were chosen because they were the ones where fans complained most about the lack of shows on previous tours.

Frontman Matt Heafy says: "The UK was the first place to ever truly embrace Trivium and make us feel at home. I feel now - at this very moment in time - Trivium is a better live band than we have ever been. For us to pay true homage to the place who took us in first, we can now give them the Trivium they have always deserved".

Tickets are now on sale, and here are all the dates:

20 Mar: Norwich, UEA
21 Mar: Ipswich, Corn Exchange
22 Mar: Portsmouth, Pyramids
23 Mar: Bristol, Academy
25 Mar: Oxford, Academy
26 Mar: Lincoln, Engine Shed
27 Mar: Leicester, Academy
29 Mar: York, Barbican
30 Mar: Middlesbrough
31 Mar: Kilmarnock, Grand Hall
1 Apr: Aberdeen, Beach Ballroom

BRIT nominees unleashed - didn't they all do well?
So, are you nominated? Well, are you? I'm not. But I didn't want to be nominated. This is 2016. Not being nominated is the new being nominated. Everyone knows that. So well done to all you artists who managed to avoid the shame of being shortlisted for a BRIT Award this year.

Some of you achieved it through inactivity of course, and that doesn't really count. These congratulations are really reserved for those who got very busy releasing music in 2015 but still managed to avoid the BRIT nominations quagmire. Perhaps you achieved that by creating something far too magnificent for the populist BRITs Academy to select. Or perhaps you went for the option of putting out something shit instead. Some people say that's the easy option, but I'm not so sure. So a round of applause please for all the shit music makers.

But back to the noms. We all know British music has been punching above its weight in recent years, and that's confirmed once again in this latest batch of BRIT shortlists. 100% of the nominations for British Male, British Female, British Group, British Breakthrough, British Single, British Album, British Producer and British Video are for British talent. Proof, once again, that the UK record industry is ahead of the game, and delivering top value for the British economy. UK Music should put that in an infographic.

Calvin Harris, James Bay, Aphex Twin, Mark Ronson and Jamie XX are all celebrated for their male-ish-ness in the BRITs lists this year, so well done them; while Adele, Jess Glynne, Laura Marling, Florence And The Machine and Amy Winehouse have been indentified for their top skills in being female. Or having been female in Winehouse's case, I guess. She's not the only posthumous nominee, by the way, because One Direction are up for Best Group. And we all know they're dead. Hiatus indeed!

Anyway, enough expert analysis, here are your BRITs shortlists. And before you start dissing the BRITs Academy of pundits and industry types who vote each year, take a look at the shortlists for Best Single and Best Video. Yeah, those are based on record sales and YouTube plays, and look how that turned out. All hail the Academy I say. The 2016 BRITs occur on 24 Feb in Britain. Yes! The UK even secured the rights to host this year's BRIT Awards. There's just no stopping you guys.

British Female: Adele, Amy Winehouse, Florence And The Machine, Jess Glynne, Laura Marling.

British Male: Aphex Twin, Calvin Harris, James Bay, Jamie XX, Mark Ronson.

British Group: Blur, Coldplay, Foals, One Direction, Years & Years.

British Breakthrough: Catfish And The Bottlemen, James Bay, Jess Glynne, Wolf Alice, Years & Years.

British Producer (also part of the MPG Awards): Charlie Andrew, Mark Ronson, Mike Crossey, Tom Dalgety.

International Female: Ariana Grande, Björk, Courtney Barnett, Lana Del Rey, Meghan Trainor.

International Male: Drake, Father John Misty, Justin Bieber, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd.

International Group: Alabama Shakes, Eagles Of Death Metal, Major Lazer, Tame Impala, U2.

British Single:
Adele - Hello (Beggars/XL Recordings)
Calvin Harris & Disciples - How Deep Is Your Love (Sony/Columbia)
Ed Sheeran & Rudimental - Bloodstream (Warner/Asylum)
Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do (Universal/Polydor)
James Bay - Hold Back The River (Universal/Virgin EMI)
Jess Glynne - Hold My Hand (Warner/Atlantic)
Little Mix - Black Magic (Sony/Syco Music)
Olly Murs ft Demi Lovato - Up (Sony/Epic)
Philip George - Wish You Were Mine (3 Beat Productions)
Years & Years - King (Universal/Polydor)

British Album:
Adele - 25 (Beggars/XL Recordings)
Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams (Warner/Parlophone)
Florence And The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Universal/Island)
James Bay - Chaos And The Calm (Universal/Virgin EMI)
Jamie XX - In Colour (Beggars/Young Turks Recordings)

British Video:
Adele - Hello (Beggars/XL Recordings)
Calvin Harris & Disciples - How Deep Is Your Love (Sony/Columbia)
Ed Sheeran - Photograph (Warner/Atlantic)
Ellie Goulding - Love Me Like You Do (Universal/Polydor)
Jessie J - Flashlight (Universal/Republic)
Little Mix - Black Magic (Sony/Syco Music)
Naughty Boy feat Beyonce & Arrow Benjamin - Runnin (Lose It All) (Universal/Virgin)
One Direction - Drag Me Down (Sony/Syco Music)
Sam Smith - Writing's On The Wall (Universal/Capitol)
Years & Years - King (Universal/Polydor)

CMU Beef Of The Week #289: Metallica v Not Metallica
So you want to pay tribute to the world's most successful metal band? Well you MetalliCAN'T. Actually, you Metallican, but that's not quite so punchy an intro, is it?

You might think most people would like to be tributed. But assume nothing. Not every tribute passes without controversy. As Metallica tribute band Sandman found out this week, when they were handed a cease and desist letter ordering them to stop using Metallica's name to promote shows where all they do is play covers of Metallica songs.

The Canadian tribute band - who bill themselves as "Canada's Number One Tribute To Metallica" and use a logo based on Metallica's own - showed up to a gig this week and had a 41 page letter thrust under their noses.

"We are writing to kindly request that Sandman stop using the name Metallica [or] the phonetic equivalent of Metallica to identify or promote live musical performances through Facebook and YouTube pages", it cheerily began.

See? They'd really thought ahead. Sandman were even blocked from making YouTube videos announcing their upcoming shows as a Metal Licker tribute act. People get paid to pre-empt that sort of thing. That's an actual job.

You can see how this might be a problem, I'm sure. It's going to be hard to convince people to come and see your act if you can't tell them what your act does. And some people might show up to shows and be confused as to why you're only playing Metallica songs.

"Why didn't you say you were a Metallica tribute act?" people might ask you afterwards.
"We are not allowed to", you'd reply glumly. "We were hoping it might be fun for people to guess".

The tribute act industry is a long established one, of course, generally left to its own devices. So what the hell were Metallica thinking? Are they worried that people might get confused and think the actual Metallica are playing in a bar down the street? Or were they just annoyed that some people were earning upwards of very little money playing their songs?

They are not questions you need concern yourself with, however, because this beef is not actually between Metallica and Sandman at all. It is between Metallica and their own lawyers.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Metallica blamed "a very overzealous attorney" for the incident and denied any knowledge of the letter prior to it appearing online.

"We hear that a Canadian Metallica tribute band is a little upset with us and with a little digging, figured out why", they said. "It turns out that a certain letter was delivered to the band Sandman that neither we nor our management were aware of until it surfaced online. Lucky for us, the band was kind enough to post it for us to see, and it turns out that we have a very overzealous attorney who sent this letter without our knowledge".

They continued: "We have a long history of not only enjoying tribute bands, but we started as one. Heck, we even recorded a two-disc album of covers! We will always remember those days and continue to enjoy tribute bands, even inviting them to support us on various tours over the years".

"Sandman should file the letter in the trash", they ruled. "Keep doing what you're doing... we totally support you! And in the meantime, our attorney can be found at [San Francisco International Airport] catching a flight to go permanently ice fishing in Alaska".

Well that's nice of them to let the lawyer have a holiday, rather than punishing them in some way.

Sandman guitarist Joe Di Taranto also spoke to Rolling Stone, saying that Lars Ulrich had called him to personally apologise: "He gave me and the band his full blessing to continue on as we were. They want us to continue paying tribute to Metallica with their full blessing and approval. We will continue to fly the Metallica flag, loud and proud!"

Great stuff. See you in court.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
Email sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of 3CM UnLimited she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

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