WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: London nightclub Fabric's licence has been revoked, following a hearing of Islington Council's Licensing Sub Committee that stretched into the early hours of this morning. As previously reported, the venue was temporarily closed last month, pending a review of its licence following two recent drug-related deaths on the premises. Ahead of the... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Back with their first new music since 2014, synth-pop duo Empathy Test return with new double A-side single 'Demons/Seeing Stars' this week, providing the first taste of their forthcoming debut album. Lead track 'Demons' is in-keeping with the 80s sci-fi sound that has run through all of their music - they take their name from 'Blade Runner' and... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Fabric closed
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LEGAL Live Nation announces new joint venture to manage two arenas in Qatar
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MEDIA BBC announces Terry Wogan tributes and Westminster Abbey memorial service
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ARTIST NEWS Zayn Malik cancels Dubai show due to "extreme anxiety"
Kylie Minogue's recorded a new duet with Robbie Williams for something or other
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RELEASES Mötley Crüe's final show to be screened in cinemas
Slayer release Pride In Prejudice video
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AWARDS AIM Awards presented
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ONE LINERS Meat Loaf, Sia, Beyonce, more
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AND FINALLY... Jeremy Corbyn courts youth vote by hanging out with UB40
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Fabric closed
London nightclub Fabric's licence has been revoked, following a hearing of Islington Council's Licensing Sub Committee that stretched into the early hours of this morning.

As previously reported, the venue was temporarily closed last month, pending a review of its licence following two recent drug-related deaths on the premises. Ahead of the hearing, the club issued a statement thanking its supporters, including the almost 150,000 people who signed a petition calling for the venue to be allowed to reopen.

Once it was under way, evidence was presented at the hearing stating that the two men who died were able to smuggle ecstasy into the club, as well as buy MDMA once inside. Police said that undercover officers had found in early July that door searches had been "inadequate" and that people in the smoking area were buying and selling drugs within earshot of security staff.

Police also said that many in the club were visibly under the influence of drugs, and that because of "clear intoxication that isn't acted upon by the staff ... this helps create the perception of an environment tolerant of drugs".

Many of those speaking up for the club, including local residents, attendees and industry reps, said that closing the venue was simply not the answer. Searches of clubbers entering the venue have always been thorough, the hearing was told, and a venue of cultural significance such as Fabric should be supported by local authorities.

Reviews from Trip Advisor in which people complained about the strictness of door searches were submitted as evidence, while the venue talked up its staff training, which included advice on how to spot people under the influence of illegal drugs, and the systems in place to get medical attention for those in distress.

Alan Miller from the Night Time Industries Association also noted that closing venues does not stop people from taking drugs, saying that after The Arches in Glasgow was closed down last year "there was a proliferation of [drug related] incidents in the area". Others concurred, arguing that closing one single venue would have no impact at all on ecstasy use in London, and could in fact put users in danger.

Fabric co-founder Cameron Leslie gave an impassioned speech, saying that it was "frankly insulting" to be told that the venue had not done enough to combat drug use, given the efforts made in recent years to strengthen security - policies that were described as "a beacon of best practice" by a judge just last year.

He accused the police's triggering of the licence review of being a "premeditated exercise", and also noted that of the 80 drug dealers arrested in the venue over the last few years, only one has actually been prosecuted.

Still, the venue was willing to make further changes if necessary, the hearing was told, with Leslie insisting that his aim was to pursue a "gold standard" for clubbing safety.

However, once the committee had left the public meeting and moved behind closed doors for its deliberations, officials returned to announce that the decision had been made to revoke Fabric's licence.

Islington Council's Flora Williamson said, in summary: "The following facts were found to have occurred, two patrons have died at the venue this year, after purchasing drugs inside the nightclub. People entering the club were inadequately searched, and it was abundantly obvious patrons were under the influence of drugs".

"Deaths at the club have involved people that are very young, with numerous breaches of the licensing agreement, as a culture of drugs exists at the club which management cannot control", she continued. "The Licensing Sub Committee has considered adding more conditions, but it does not feel these would be adequate in tackling the issue. We therefore decided that a revocation of the license is appropriate in that regard".

In its full decision, the committee said that six conditions of the licence had been breached, and that "the problems that manifested themselves at [the previous] review have not been addressed adequately resulting in further tragedy and crime.

Following the announcement, among the flood of criticism of the decision from the music and clubbing communities, DJ Mag editor Carl Loben said: "This is a catastrophic decision, hugely short-sighted on the part of the authorities. Fabric is not just any old club - as DJ Sasha said, it is the jewel in the crown of UK nightlife. This is a huge blow for the dance music industry, and the wider entertainment sector at large".

"Fabric had one of the best reputations when it comes to the safety of music fans - it was just unfortunate that these young clubbers died as a result of smuggling in strong drugs, through no fault of Fabric", he continued. "Fabric's door searches have always been thorough, and as has been pointed out elsewhere - you can't even keep drugs out of prisons".

He concluded: "The council's licensing committee should've given Fabric a reprieve, with certain new conditions. Callously shutting down a cutting-edge UK venue, with no recourse, is frankly a scandal. There are going to be a lot of angry dance music fans all around the world right now".

Fabric itself has not yet issued a statement, though it does have the option to appeal. As previously reported, it did successfully appeal a previous ruling by the council on its licence, leading to the aforementioned judicial approval of its security operations.

Noting that in an interview prior to the hearing yesterday, Leslie told The Guardian: "Only eight months ago, a judge tested all our systems and said we're a beacon of best practice. Eleven weeks ago another licensee, from a venue that had a death, was sent to visit us to see how we managed things. How can this suddenly have changed overnight in such a damning way?"

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who had previously supported Fabric remaining open, but said that it was not within his power to intervene in the licence review, this morning issued a statement.

“London’s iconic clubs are an essential part of our cultural landscape”, said Khan. “Clubbing needs to be safe but I’m disappointed that Fabric, Islington Council and the Metropolitan Police were unable to reach agreement on how to address concerns about public safety. As a result of this decision, thousands of people who enjoyed ‎going to Fabric as an essential part of London's nightlife will lose out. The issues faced by Fabric point to a wider problem of how we protect London’s night-time economy, while ensuring it is safe and enjoyable for everyone”.

Read more from the full hearing on DJ Mag's live blog.

Live Nation announces new joint venture to manage two arenas in Qatar
Live Nation has announced a joint venture with Qatari state-owned entertainment and advertising firm the Elan Group which will be known as Elan Live Nation. The main job of the new company will be to operate two arenas in the country, the Lusail Multipurpose Arena Ali Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah Multipurpose Arena, both of which - as I'm sure you all remember - were built for last year's IHF World Men's Handball Championships.

These venues are "among the best arenas in the region", according to Jaber Al Ansari, CEO at ELAN Group, who added that he was "honoured that the [Qatari] Ministry of Culture And Sports put their trust in us to operate them".

He went on: "We are confident that our solid experience, combined with Live Nation's expertise in the live events industry, will take entertainment in Qatar to a new level".

Speaking for his side of the joint venture, the MD of Live Nation Middle East, James Craven, told reporters: "Live Nation, in partnership with Elan Group, will bring global experience in venues, live events and ticketing management to ensure these venues embody the highest of operational and production values. There is also a great opportunity to grow the Qatari venue management industry and develop local talent within the business".

On the local live entertainment market, he added: "We see huge potential in the Qatari market and will work with local and regional promoters to ensure the venues are suitable for a wide variety of new and exciting content. In particular, the family entertainment business is developing fast in the region and having such high class venues suitable for hosting content will enhance the entire experience for the local audience".

BBC announces Terry Wogan tributes and Westminster Abbey memorial service
The BBC has announced a number of programmes on BBC One and BBC Radio 2 paying tribute to Terry Wogan, who died earlier this year. The shows will coincide with a memorial service at Westminster Abbey on 27 Sep, marking the 50th anniversary of his first radio broadcast for the BBC.

"Terry Wogan was one of the nation's most loved presenters", says BBC Director General Tony Hall. "He had a unique and welcoming style combined with a mischievous sense of humour and his personality will shine through in these programmes".

The snappily-titled 'A Service Of Thanksgiving For The Life And Work Of Sir Terry Wogan KBE DL' will be broadcast between 12-1pm on Radio 2, followed by a special edition of the Jeremy Vine show. The radio station will also broadcast 'Thank You For Being My Friend - A Tribute To Terry Wogan' over two nights on 26-27 Sep.

Meanwhile, BBC One will air 'Sir Terry Wogan Remembered: 50 Years At The BBC', broadcast details for which are still to be announced.

  Approved: Empathy Test
Back with their first new music since 2014, synth-pop duo Empathy Test return with new double A-side single 'Demons/Seeing Stars' this week, providing the first taste of their forthcoming debut album.

Lead track 'Demons' is in-keeping with the 80s sci-fi sound that has run through all of their music - they take their name from 'Blade Runner' and wear this influence proudly on their sleeve. A bold, dark pop song, it also marks a step up in both their songwriting and production, suggesting that the time since their last EP release has not been spent idly.

Currently touring, you can catch Empathy Test at Café 1001 in London this Friday, as well as Bristol, Sheffield and Glasgow later this month. Following a run of dates in Germany, they'll be back in London on 2 Oct, supporting Mesh at The Garage.

Listen to 'Demons' here.

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Zayn Malik cancels Dubai show due to "extreme anxiety"
Zayn Malik has cancelled an upcoming performance in Dubai, citing his ongoing "extreme anxiety around major live solo performances".

As previously reported, Malik cancelled an appearance at this year's Capital Summertime Ball, saying that "anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me".

In a statement about the Dubai show yesterday, he said: "I have been working over the last three months to overcome my extreme anxiety around major live solo performances. I feel I am making progress but I have today acknowledged that I do not feel sufficiently confident to move forward with the planned show in Dubai in October".

Thomas Ovesen, CEO of promoter 117Live, added: "Whilst disappointed not to be hosting the planned 7 Oct Dubai concert, we appreciate Zayn's honest apologies and wish him all the best for the future. We will be looking forward to sharing more of Zayn's plans with his Middle East fans when we have such information".

All tickets for the show, which had been due to take place at the Autism Rocks Arena, will be refunded.

For more information on anxiety and panic attacks, read Mind's guide here.

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Kylie Minogue's recorded a new duet with Robbie Williams for something or other
Kylie Minogue has recorded a new duet with Robbie Williams, although she's not sure where it will appear yet. Not on her planned second Christmas album apparently, although she is releasing an expanded version of that with yet more festive collaborations. So that's something for you all to look forward to right there.

The singer revealed that she had recorded a new song with Williams, who she last worked with on 2000's 'Kids', in an interview with News.com.au. "Where it's going to go I couldn't tell you, but it's very good", she said. It's probably going to be on Robbie's next album, so there you go.

As for what else she's got coming up, she said: "I'm working on various things. I've got some really really good new additions to the Christmas album for this year. I have started work on new material [too, though] the way the year's panned out I won't have that much time to work on it, but my brain's working overtime. I'm so keen to get what's in my brain out and turn it into what I hear in my head, make that a reality. So new music is really, consistently on my mind".

What about a duet with fiancé Joshua Sasse? "Yeah", she didn't actually say, but it would really help the flow of this paragraph if you imagined she did. "That's how we met, singing together on [US TV show] 'Galavant'. Why not? A Christmas album would be a good format [for that]. Don't hold your breath, nothing's happened yet, but I don't see why it shouldn't happen".

Me neither. Duets with everyone, I say.

Mötley Crüe's final show to be screened in cinemas
Mötley Crüe's last ever ever ever live show will be broadcast in cinemas on 13 Oct, along with some extra documentary type stuff to bulk it out.

As previously reported, the band announced that they would stop touring after one final tour, signing a "cessation of touring" agreement, in January 2014. Just shy of two years later, that final tour came to an end, with a sold out performance at LA's Staples Center on 31 Dec 2015.

'Mötley Crüe: The End', featuring footage of that show, will be show in cinemas around the UK on 13 Oct. Details can be found here. Though personally I'm waiting for the movie of the reunion gig and the documentary covering some fan testing that no-more-touring-pledge in court.

Watch a trailer here.

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Slayer release Pride In Prejudice video
Slayer have released the video for new single 'Pride In Prejudice', completing a trilogy of videos for songs from the band's last album 'Repentless' by director BJ McDonnell.

"I'm particularly excited about this third video because we played with stylistic differences with the trilogy", says McDonnell. "Where one video plays like an action film, this third one is more of a dramatic piece. The final story takes us into a world that is especially sinister in tone, with the dark and the light colliding. The conclusion is visually cinematic and harsh, with Slayer conducting us through it all with 'Pride In Prejudice'".

Slayer guitarist Kerry King adds: "It was a pleasure working with BJ on this project. Slayer is notorious for letting the artist be the artist, the producer be the producer, and the director be the director, etc. By doing this we get a completely unique perspective that never really strays far from our own. Get ready for video three. It's my favourite!"

Well, are you ready? Doesn't matter, I'm putting it here anyway.

AIM Awards presented
So, that there Association Of Independent Music that you all like so much hosted its annual gong-giving shindig in London last night and a fun time was had by all.

Though obviously, on leaving the venue anyone crossing the road immediately entered Islington Council's jurisdiction, where fun is famously outlawed, so we assume everyone remembered to have an utterly miserable walk home.

But still, on the fun side of Chiswell Street everyone had a lovely time, and especially this little lot, aka the winners...

Hardest Working Band Or Artist: Darren Hayman
Independent Breakthrough Of The Year: Christine And The Queens
Best Live Act: Babymetal
PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Act: Sigala

Independent Track Of The Year: Adele - Hello
Independent Album Of The Year: Little Simz - A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons
Independent Video Of The Year: Oscar - Sometimes
Best Difficult Second Album: Daughter - Not To Disappear
Special Catalogue Release Of The Year: Slade - When Slade Rocked The World

Best Small Label: Numbers
Independent Label Of The Year: Epitaph/Anti
Golden Welly Award For Best Independent Festival: Brainchild Festival

Indie Champion Award: Jon Tolley - Banquet Records
Innovator Award: Stormzy
Outstanding Contribution To Music: Roisin Murphy
Pioneer Award: Richard Russell, Xl Recordings

Meat Loaf, Sia, Beyonce, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Meat Loaf's 1977 album 'Bat Out Of Hell' is being made into a musical to mark its fortieth anniversary, which figures. The record's writer Jim Steinman is scripting the stage show, which is set to open in Manchester. Meat Loaf himself is seemingly not involved.

• Sia has released a new track, 'The Greatest', featuring Kendrick Lamar. If you'd prefer to hear it without Kendrick for some reason, here's the video.

• Craig David has shared the video for new single 'Ain't Giving Up', so you can stop worrying about that now.

• Beyonce has postponed a show in New York tonight after been told by doctors to rest her voice. The performance at MetLife Stadium will now take place on 7 Oct.

• Green Day have announced three UK shows for next February. They will play Leeds' First Direct Arena on 5 Feb, the Manchester Arena on 6 Feb, and then the O2 Arena in London on 8 Feb. Tickets on sale on Friday.

• High Contrast will headline Together Halloween at Brixton Academy on 28 Oct. Also on that bill are Sigma, Sub Focus, Camo & Krooked, Dimension, 1991 and a Pendulum DJ set.

Jeremy Corbyn courts youth vote by hanging out with UB40
Some people have accused Jeremy Corbyn of being stuck in the early 1980s and out of touch with what's going on in Britain today. Luckily, he fought off those claims yesterday by holding a press conference with UB40.

Corbyn appeared with the band to trumpet their support of the Labour leader, who is currently battling (successfully, it seems) to maintain his position atop the political party.

"I am delighted to receive the endorsement of UB40, one of the most successful British reggae acts of all time", said Corbyn ahead of the event. "UB40's story was and remains inspiring; people from across cultures and backgrounds coming together and combining their talents - in a time when prejudice was more prevalent - and creativity to produce music that has endured across decades".

Then, the next day, proving that that wasn't all some kind of a weird dream, Corbyn and UB40 did indeed appear together at a press conference, with a backdrop displaying the world's most unwieldy hashtag, "#UB4Corbyn".

UB40 frontman Robin Campbell said at the press conference: "Jeremy has re-ignited an interest in politics for people who no longer felt included, and engaged and inspired a new generation of young voters who, for the first time, believe that they have an incorruptible politician who truly represents them. For these reasons he has our full support as leader of a genuine, believable Labour Party".

"We support Jeremy Corbyn because he is the only one willing to speak up for working people, who have been badly treated by successive governments, including New Labour, in recent decades", added drummer Jimmy Brown. "He is the only leader offering something different to business as usual. Westminster needs big change, and Jeremy is the man to do it".

Corbyn also did a weird Q&A with the band, in which his opening gambit was to switch the conversation to classical music, before moving on to complain about the motorways around Birmingham being closed down, or something.

Of course, that gag about being stuck in the 1980s isn't the only one to come out of this slightly bizarre stunt. Like the current Labour Party, UB40 have been divided by in-fighting in recent years, causing a split that means there are now two bands trading as UB40 - the other, for legal reasons, officially known as UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell, Astro And Mickey Virtue.

And making sure this metaphor ran to its logical conclusion, that version of UB40 does not endorse Jeremy Corbyn. In a statement, they said: "Ali, Astro and Mickey have always been great supporters of the Labour party, and they look forward to the new leader taking the Labour party back into government at the earliest opportunity".

The irony of all this was not lost on another 80s popstar, Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, who tweeted: "Jeremy Corbyn has much in common with UB40. They are currently as divided as his Labour Party".

Aswad have not yet commented.

 
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)
   
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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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