TODAY'S TOP STORY: The fate of Fabric will be decided today, when Islington Council gets round to holding the licence review that has kept the venue closed for the last month. Optimistically, none of this weekend's events has yet been cancelled although, speaking to The Guardian yesterday, co-founder Cameron Leslie remained uncertain about the outcome. "I can't say... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Over two albums - 2011's 'Money' and 2014's 'Big Boy Baller Club' - Baby Baby have forged what they bill as 'fun rock', a blend of riffs and optimism designed to get you up out of your seat and dancing. It worked very well, but on third album 'Semi-Famous' - due out on 16 Sep - the mask slips slightly, revealing a bit of anger and frustration that breathes new life... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Ruling on Fabric licence expected today
LEGAL Eventbrite sued by ticketing rival over recent hires
DEALS Universal's Capitol US set to sign 1D's Niall Horan
FUGA signs new label deals
LABELS & PUBLISHERS BPI appoints Chief Operating Officer
LIVE BUSINESS German court rules print at home ticket fees illegal
ARTIST NEWS Ice Cube comments on passing of former NWA manager
RELEASES Jon Hopkins releases new video for 2001 track Cold Out There
ONE LINERS Lewis Watson, O2 Arena, Nicki Minaj, more
AND FINALLY... Asteroid renamed in Freddie Mercury's honour
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Ruling on Fabric licence expected today
The fate of Fabric will be decided today, when Islington Council gets round to holding the licence review that has kept the venue closed for the last month. Optimistically, none of this weekend's events has yet been cancelled although, speaking to The Guardian yesterday, co-founder Cameron Leslie remained uncertain about the outcome.

"I can't say I can give you confidence", he said. "I'm hopeful. But this is a real complex challenge. Look at the picture of London in 2006 then in 2016, and just take that as a snapshot. This is not a thriving industry. If we close I think it would be a rather damning testament to exactly where we are at the moment".

As previously reported, the London club initially closed as police launched an investigation into two recent drug-related deaths there. Police also requested that Islington Council suspend Fabric's licence, pending a review, leaving the venue in limbo with fears over the outcome. There has meanwhile been a huge amount of support for the club, with an online petition calling for the venue's licence to be restored now carrying over 120,000 signatures.

Last week, London mayor Sadiq Khan responded to calls for him to intervene, saying that he was "urging" Fabric, the police and the council to find a resolution that would keep the venue open, but adding that "City Hall does not have the power to intervene in licensing cases like the current situation with Fabric".

MP for Islington South and Finsbury Emily Thornberry has since lent her support for the venue, saying in a Facebook post: "As the club's local MP, I have today written to the licensing committee defending Fabric as one of the great cultural institutions in our borough, and expressing my strong view that it must remain open ... As a parent, my heart goes out to the family and friends of anyone who has lost loved ones at such a young age, with lives ended before they have even begun. But we must guard against the assumption that dangerous drug use would cease simply if we were to close a nightclub like Fabric".

Commenting on the club's existing drug safety procedures, she explained: "For many years now [Fabric] has led the way for other nightclubs in terms of drug prevention measures. Indeed, just seven months ago a judge referred to Fabric as a 'beacon of best practice'. It has two on-site medics, the highest ratio of security guards to patrons of any nightclub in the UK and a pioneering drug seizure programme, which ensures that every visitor is searched, and any drugs that are found are confiscated and logged".

"Given this drug seizure programme was apparently developed in conjunction with the police, it is all the more shocking to discover that the logs of these confiscated drugs are now to be used as evidence against Fabric at the licensing committee", she added.

Further commenting on the police's part in this story, she said: "I was also extremely concerned to learn that - despite being sent weekly reports by the management of Fabric detailing the times, locations and descriptions of those dealing drugs in the area around the club - even when the police have arrested suspects as a result, prosecutions have been dropped".

"I appreciate the licensing committee has a very difficult decision to make on Tuesday", she concluded. "But whilst the question of safety must remain paramount, I sincerely believe that the closure of Fabric cannot be the answer. It may be easy and, in some quarters, it may be popular, but that does not make it right".

Echoing that sentiment, Night Time Industries Association Chair Alan Miller told The Guardian: "It's obviously very sad people died, but to isolate it and say it's down to the responsibility of the nightclub [is wrong]. If you close Fabric, you'll have to close every nightclub in Britain, because no one has the due diligence, extra staff and safety measures they employ".

The last review of Fabric's licence took place last year, again prompted by police complaints about drug-related deaths. This resulted in a successful court appeal by the club, in order to overturn orders from the local council to implement what it saw as unworkable new security measures.

The latest decision on Fabric's licence is expected later today.

Eventbrite sued by ticketing rival over recent hires
So, when Eventbrite boosted its dance music credentials by hiring the founder and CEO of American clubbing-focused ticketing platform Wanttickets.com back in July, what did Wanttickets.com think about all that? I think it's fair to say it wasn't impressed.

So much so, it turns out the whole thing went legal last month, with litigation now pending against both Eventbrite and the two former Wanttickets execs it hired, Barak Schurr and Diego Carlin.

According to Wanttickets CFO Richard Blakely, his firm had been in talks to sell to Eventbrite, but the deal fell through. As another buyer was then found for the company, Blakely alleges, it was discovered that Schurr and Carlin had been working for and promoting Eventbrite, even while still being on the Wanttickets payroll. That discovery led to the two execs basically being fired, it's claimed.

But, as IQ notes, Schurr denies that version of events. He admits that his original conversations with Eventbrite were in relation to the proposal that it buy Wanttickets, but he says that this was because the latter's then owners had expressed an interest in selling the business. "At no time during this process was I moving business from Wanttickets to Eventbrite", he adds.

He then argues that the termination of his and Carlin's contracts with Wanttickets had nothing to do with any alleged misconduct, arguing that they were told by Blakeley himself that the company's new owners simply wanted to put in their own management. And it was after that development, Shurr goes on, that he and Carlin began speaking to Eventbrite about bringing their dance music expertise to that business.

Commenting on the dispute for their part, an Eventbrite spokesperson told IQ: "Due to pending litigation, I'm unfortunately unable to share any specifics about Barak and Diego, but what I can assure you is that competing fairly is of critical importance and central to our ethics at Eventbrite and we continue to operate as such".

Universal's Capitol US set to sign 1D's Niall Horan
Popular One Direction golfer Niall Horan is set to follow former group-mate Liam Payne to Universal Music it seems, wooed by the mega-major's undeniable style, charm and all round panache. Well, the undeniable style, charm and all-round panache of Universal Music's cheque book anyway.

Those keeping count will remember that early 1D drop out Zayn Malik, while not so loyal to the boyband itself, remained loyal to 1D machine operator Sony Music, signing to its RCA label. Meanwhile popstar-in-waiting-but-he's-currently-doing-some-acting Harry Styles is expected to work with Sony's Columbia Records.

But Payne shunned the home-of-One-Direction to sign to Universal's Capitol UK label back in July, and now Horan seems set to sign to the US wing of Capitol Records. And this despite - or possibly because - of 1D creator and Sony/Syco chief Simon Cowell's grand plan to turn Horan into "a Justin Bieber style artist" (says a source to The Sun).

Still, there's one more 1D boy still up for grabs. Perhaps Cowell could use his 'The Next Bieber' plan on him. Just as soon as anyone can remember who the fifth member of One Direction actually was.


FUGA signs new label deals
Digital distributor FUGA has announced new deals with Fire Records, Earth Recordings, V2 Benelux and Italian distributor Sounday.

"We're delighted to add Fire, Earth, V2 Benelux and Sounday to our growing client base", says FUGA CEO Pieter Van Rijn. "We are proud of our bespoke technology and dedicated services, and we are sure that our great new partners will greatly benefit from our intuitive, efficient and flexible service".

Who remembered that V2 was still a thing in the Netherlands and Belgium? Give yourself a moderate "woo" if you did. Fuga will now provide digital distribution for V2 Benelux and its associated labels.

Meanwhile Sounday represents more than 150 labels in Italy, and Fuga will provide digital distribution there too, as well as for closely allied UK indies Fire and Earth.

BPI appoints Chief Operating Officer
Record industry trade group the BPI has announced that MJ Olaore will take up the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer from 1 Nov. She joins from market research agency Firefish, where she has held the same title since 2011.

"I am delighted to be joining the BPI at such an exciting and interesting time for the organisation and the recorded music industry that it serves", says Olaore. "I know that [CEO] Geoff Taylor and [Chair] Ged Doherty have ambitious plans to continue to develop the role of the BPI in promoting British music; I am looking forward to helping advance these, working with the whole BPI team to bring them to fruition. It is an amazing opportunity".

The very same Geoff Taylor mentioned there said: "We welcome MJ to the BPI family and are confident that we will benefit hugely from her extensive senior level experience and from a broad range of skills honed across the media and entertainment sectors. We are absolutely committed to helping both independent and major labels in the UK to grasp the opportunities that the next few years will offer and to promoting their artists and their achievements at home and around the world. MJ's arrival will enable us to pursue that agenda more effectively on behalf of our all our members".

Olaore has previously held roles at Price Waterhouse, ITN, LBC Radio, Virgin Radio and Absolute Radio. Busy busy.

German court rules print at home ticket fees illegal
Here's a fun story for anyone who's ever shouted "FUCK OFF" at a computer screen when they've been charged a fee to print out their own tickets for an event. A German court has delivered a preliminary ruling that such fees should not be allowed, in a case brought against ticketing firm CTS Eventim by consumer rights group Verbraucherzentrale NRW.

In a press release, Verbraucherzentrale NRW said that the ruling, although not yet legally binding, could pave the way for similar action against other ticketing agencies which charge similar fees, including big bad Ticketmaster. The court said that if a fee was charged, then the provider was contractually bound to send out actual tickets.

CTS Eventim has told IQ that it intends to appeal the ruling. If it is upheld, it will still have to go to a higher court to be made legally binding. But if this happens, the company may be forced to reimburse fees deemed improperly charged to customers in the past.

  Approved: Baby Baby
Over two albums - 2011's 'Money' and 2014's 'Big Boy Baller Club' - Baby Baby have forged what they bill as 'fun rock', a blend of riffs and optimism designed to get you up out of your seat and dancing.

It worked very well, but on third album 'Semi-Famous' - due out on 16 Sep - the mask slips slightly, revealing a bit of anger and frustration that breathes new life into the band.

First single 'Serge' sets that new tone, a plea for people to get up, but on this occasion frontman Fontez Brooks calls on people to leave the dancefloor and protest against the powers that be. 'Hang In There', meanwhile, is the band slipping into upbeat jangly pop mode, with an ode to not letting the bastards grind you down.

The album as a whole still fits into the 'fun rock' mould, but it's more cathartic fun than before. As a means of keeping the band fresh, it works very well.

Watch the video for 'Hang In There' here.

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Ice Cube comments on passing of former NWA manager
Ice Cube has commented on the death of Jerry Heller, the former manager of NWA, who died on Friday aged 75.

Heller, of course, had a fractious relationship with the hip hop group he helped launch, and those tensions boiled over again last year in the wake of the release of the NWA biopic 'Straight Outta Compton'. Heller sued pretty much everyone involved in the movie, claiming his portrayal in the film constituted defamation.

Some of those close to the former manager now say that the stress caused by the biopic contributed to his ill health and, ultimately, the heart attack that caused to his death last week. His lawyer Mickey Shapiro told TMZ: "Jerry Heller would be alive today if not for that movie". While not commenting on those claims, Ice Cube conceded that Heller's passing provided a time for reflection.

He told Detroit's Local 4: "It's just ironic that I'm here tonight with [fellow former NWA members] MC Ren and DJ Yella. We've come a long way, and you know, the passing of Jerry Heller is a thing, that's a part of life. You know, you come here to pass away. We're all going to definitely reflect on our time with Jerry, our ups and our downs."

Jon Hopkins releases new video for 2001 track Cold Out There
Jon Hopkins has shared a new video for 'Cold Out There', from the fifteenth anniversary reissue of his debut album 'Opalescent'.

Commenting on the video, director Dan Tombs says: "I took a camera-equipped drone out to a remote and deserted part of the Norfolk coast and let it gracefully ascend to several hundred meters. The aim was for the landscape to evoke an otherworldly nature - both familiar and uncertain. The melody coincides with flashes of colour that offer a glimpse of imaginary celestial bodies moving through time and space".

Out now digitally and on CD, the reissue of 'Opalescent' will be made available on vinyl later this month. Watch the video for 'Cold Out There' here.

Lewis Watson, O2 Arena, Nicki Minaj, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Singer-songwriter Lewis Watson has signed a worldwide services deal with Cooking Vinyl. Is he "absolutely THRILLED" about it? Absolutely.

• If you dreamt last week that Director Of Live Entertainment at the SECC in Glasgow, John Langford, is about to become VP and General Manager of AEG's O2 tent, well, that's a weird thing to dream about. Even if it's accurate.

• Nicki Minaj has released a new track, 'The Pinkprint Freetyle'. Here it is.

• Pixies have release the video for new single 'Tenement Song'. As well as releasing their new album later this month, they'll be touring the UK in November and December.

• AlunaGeorge have a new track out, called 'Mediator'. New album 'I Remember' will be out later this month.

• Elle Exxe has released new single 'Sick', taken from her debut album, 'Love Fuelled Hate', which will now be released on 7 Oct.

• C Duncan has released the video for 'Wanted To Want It Too', the new single from his forthcoming new album.

• Spring King have released the video for 'Detroit'. They also begin a UK tour this week, which will take them all the way to the end of next month, with a show at Koko in London on 28 Oct.

• Keane's Tom Chaplin will be going on a solo tour next month, finishing up at Islington Assembly Hall on 31 Oct.

• Having announced that they will go their separate ways after they've finished promoting their new album, The Dillinger Escape plan have announced that they will be touring the UK in January. Dates include a show at The Forum in London on 25 Jan.

Asteroid renamed in Freddie Mercury's honour
Freddie Mercury had a blue plaque attached to his childhood home last week, and now he's got an asteroid named after him. Though I don't think they'll be putting any blue plaque on that. Previously known as plain old Asteroid 17473, the lucky lump of rock was given a more rock n roll name to mark what would have been the Queen star's 70th birthday yesterday.

The asteroid was formally granted its new moniker, Asteroid Freddiemercury, at an event in Switzerland. Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute said: "Freddie Mercury sang, 'I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky', and now that is even more true than ever before. But even if you can't see Freddie Mercury leaping through the sky, you can be sure he's there - 'floating around in ecstasy', as he might sing - for millennia to come".

Queen guitarist Brian May, who was also at the event, posted a video on YouTube to announce the new name. Watch that here.

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.
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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
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