FRIDAY 16 SEPTEMBER 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: US streaming firm Pandora has, as expected, launched a revamped version of its existing premium tier, ahead of unveiling its planned fully on-demand paid-for service later this year. For $4.99 per month, users will get access to ad-free personalised radio, with more skips, replays and offline listening. Roll up everybody, roll up. Pandora has long offered... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: This day and night party at Brixton Jamm sees 20 DJs and live acts kicking out twelve hours of music in three spaces - two indoor and one terrace. Hosted by what I am reliably informed is one of Europe's greatest ski parties, the Horizon Festival, this mountain-less event features Zed Bias, Hybrid Minds, CMU fave DJ Format, Uncle Dugs and a whole load more... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: For the vast majority of us, the song 'Agadoo' doesn't play any great part in our daily lives. In fact, it seems likely that a portion of you reading this have never even heard of it or the band Black Lace who released it. Such is the joy of being young(er). Never did you have to suffer a school disco at which the three Black Lace hits 'Agadoo', 'Superman' and 'Do The Conga'... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from this summer, including the closure of Fabric, the launch of the FanFair campaign against secondary ticketing, and Frank Ocean's two new albums and how they contributed to the debate over streaming exclusives. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [READ MORE]
 
CMU TRENDS: Based on the keynote he delivered for Music Estonia last week, CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke considers the state of the music industry in 2016, and where the opportunities lie in the near future. As the streaming sector rapidly evolves, where next for recorded music, artist deals and direct-to-fan? CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Pandora revamps premium radio offering, confirms Warner Music deal
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LEGAL French court gives prison time to both operator and users of OMGTorrent
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Ole gets itself a $500 million credit facility
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LIVE BUSINESS T In The Park promoter's profits slip in tricky site-shift year
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Crowdmix overheads topped £2 million a month before administration, and not even Patsy Palmer could save it
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ARTIST NEWS Bolt Thrower announce split
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RELEASES Shirley Collins to release first album for 38 years
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AWARDS Skepta wins Mercury Prize
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ONE LINERS Troy Miller, The Beatles, Catskills Records, more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #323: Prison v Agadoo
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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.
 
 
YOUR ARMY - CLUB PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Your Army is looking for someone with a broad understanding of electronic dance music to be Club Promotions Assistant. Your role will involve researching and building relationships with tastemaker DJs, database management and reporting back to a wide range of labels and artists.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KARTEL MUSIC GROUP - PROMOTIONS EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
Kartel Music Group is a global, independent label services company representing an internationally acclaimed roster of labels and artists. The role we are seeking to fill is a Promotions Executive within our in-house Promotions Department.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NOTTINGHAM TRENT STUDENTS' UNION - ENTERTAINMENTS SUPERVISOR (NOTTINGHAM)
Nottingham Trent Students' Union is recruiting for an enthusiastic individual to join its entertainments team. The Union operates across three campuses running a busy schedule of activity in its diverse venues. The Entertainments Supervisor will play a key supporting role in the programming and delivery of a wide range of entertainment.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NAME PR - ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
Name PR is looking to hire an Account Executive. This is a fantastic opportunity for a bright individual with exceptional writing ability and a good grasp of the music business to work on some of the UK and Europe's most interesting music issues.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
EINSTEIN'S GARDEN / GREEN MAN - MARKETING ASSISTANT (LONDON)
We are looking for a creative and motivated Marketing Assistant to join our friendly team, which organises events across the country including Wales’ largest music, arts and science festival, Green Man.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
YOUTH MUSIC - PA/ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
We’re Youth Music. We're a national charity investing in music-making projects for children and young people facing challenging circumstances. The PA/Administrator will be responsible for managing the CEO’s diary, co-ordinating and administrating trustee meetings and ensuring the smooth running of Youth Music’s office on a day-to-day basis.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ANJUNABEATS & ANJUNADEEP - MARKETING MANAGER (LONDON)
Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep are looking for an experienced digital marketer to join our growing team in London. You will execute digital marketing campaigns for our releases, streaming playlists and tours with a specific focus on leveraging our social media network to drive results.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
INVOLVED MANAGEMENT - MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Home to Above & Beyond, Dusky, Lane 8 and Yotto (among others), Involved Management is looking for a motivated and proactive management assistant to work across two of our highest profile acts and our broader roster.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
INVOLVED GROUP - OFFICE MANAGER & PA (LONDON)
Involved Group is looking for an enthusiastic, highly organised and proactive individual to take on a new, wide-ranging office manager role within our growing operation. The successful candidate will have a can-do attitude, excellent attention to detail and experience implementing and managing office systems.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
ERASED TAPES - MARKETING & PR MANAGER (LONDON)
Erased Tapes is currently seeking a dedicated and highly creative Marketing & PR Manager to collaborate with both our in-house creative team and external PR partners. Core tasks include overseeing social media management, advising on overall business and product marketing strategies, special event planning, brand partnerships, and fostering relationships with online and print press partners.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NINJA TUNE - SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Ninja Tune requires a Social Media Assistant to work on the planning and execution of of compelling content across the label's social channels, working closely with the Social Media Manager and Digital team.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
RESIDENT ADVISOR - SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER (LONDON)
Resident Advisor is seeking a digital media expert to manage our social media strategy. With more than one million fans across all platforms, a huge opportunity exists for an ambitious, quick-thinking person to directly shape the company’s social media agenda.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
9PR - ONLINE PUBLICIST (LONDON)
9PR is looking for an account manager with at least one year's experience in online press. Our campaigns range from up-and-coming-talent, established acts, catalogue releases and events across a variety of genres.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
YOUR ARMY - PROMOTIONS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Your Army is looking for a Promotions Co-ordinator to work across its raio and TV departments. The position is ideal for someone with excellent administration and time management skills.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
YOUR ARMY - ARTIST MANAGER (LONDON)
Your Army are a developing media company known for promoting the likes of Disclosure, Christine & The Queens, Major Lazer and Duke Dumont, with offices in London and Los Angeles. They are looking for an Artist Manager to join their growing Artist Management Division. The ideal candidate will have at least two years experience of working within a management company, or a proven track record working independently, and have been managing a 'dance' act.

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.
 
26 Sep 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Music Business Explained – For Start Ups & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
27 Sep 2016 CMU Insights @ Music 4.5: The Politics Of Licensing
CLICK FOR INFO
Oct/Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminars Programme: How The Music Business Works
CLICK FOR INFO
3 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
CLICK FOR INFO
10 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
CLICK FOR INFO
17 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
CLICK FOR INFO
24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: From Napster To Now – The Battle With Music Piracy
CLICK FOR INFO
24 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
CLICK FOR INFO
31 Oct 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Merch, Live & Brands
CLICK FOR INFO
7 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
14 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Digital Deals, Dollars And Trends – Explained!
CLICK FOR INFO
21 Nov 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
 

Pandora revamps premium radio offering, confirms Warner Music deal
US streaming firm Pandora has, as expected, launched a revamped version of its existing premium tier, ahead of unveiling its planned fully on-demand paid-for service later this year. For $4.99 per month, users will get access to ad-free personalised radio, with more skips, replays and offline listening. Roll up everybody, roll up.

Pandora has long offered a paid-for option, the removal of ads and increased track skipping being the main sell. However, the vast majority of the company's subscribers use the free version of the service. But Pandora, of course, is keen to diversify its revenues, seemingly convinced that relying on advertising money alone is not a sound business model.

Part of that plan involves launching the Spotify-style fully on-demand set up, which is more expensive to run, but where the standard price point is $10 a month. But that will involve going head to head with Spotify and Apple Music, and even the successful on-demand streaming services are yet to reach sufficient scale to be profitable. Therefore, a more sophisticated personalised radio service at a lower price point might actually have more potential, possibly being attractive to a whole different demographic.

Though Pandora hasn't done a particularly good job in selling that very product to that whole different demographic in the past, so the question is, will this revamp and renewed marketing push help secure the firm loads of extra sign-ups? Rebranding what was Pandora One as Pandora Plus, that'll help, right?

"We're always delighting our listeners through continuous innovation and a relentless focus on simplicity and ease of use", said Pandora's Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips while confirming the revamp of the $5 a month service yesterday, with the new offline listening functionality at the top of his innovation list. "For example, our new predictive offline mode automatically detects when you lose signal and switches to one of your top stations that Pandora knows you love. No effort required. It just keeps playing".

Noting all those fun time changes, plus the introduction of video ads on the free level, because that's what ad agency twonks like, Pandora boss Tim Westergren said: "We're methodically and passionately developing the world's most personal music experience. And that includes flexibility in how you listen and what you pay for it. Whether a listener wants to take advantage of our enhanced ad-supported experience, our groundbreaking subscription radio service, or our fully interactive on-demand option coming later this year, we have a solution tailored for you at a price point you can afford".

Hey, so that's a proper confirmation of the on-demand thing. As previously reported, getting that off the ground has required Pandora to do direct deals with the record companies, rather than relying on the American compulsory licence administered by SoundExchange, which doesn't apply to fully on-demand streaming. The firm confirmed it now had Sony Music, Universal Music, Merlin and a bunch of indie label distributors on board for all that earlier this week, and yesterday it was announced hold-out Warner Music was now also on board.

Meanwhile, all that upgraded personalised radio stuff is available for each and every personalised radio fan in the US right now. Users in Australia and New Zealand will have to wait until next year I'm afraid, because they're a long way away and all the refinements are currently in a boat heading south. As for the rest of us? Well, who knows when we'll get some Pandora goodness? But won't it be a jolly jape to wait and see?

French court gives prison time to both operator and users of OMGTorrent
The former operator of French-based torrent site OMGTorrent has been jailed for a year for running the piracy service, and also faces a five million euro fine. Meanwhile a moderator on the torrent site got a four month suspended sentence, and four prolific users of the service each face a month in jail and substantial damages payments.

In the early days of the battle against online piracy, most of the attacks against file-sharing set ups were civil lawsuits, though in more recent times there have been some criminal actions against those running file-sharing sites. The legal basis for such prosecutions varies from country to country, though prosecutors often need to show that those running online piracy platforms are profiting from the venture in order to secure a conviction and a custodial sentence.

On the copyright owners' part, there is a hope that some high profile convictions of those running piracy sites will be a deterrent for others operating file-sharing platforms. The threat of mega-bucks damages in civil cases was also meant to be a deterrent of course, though often, if you haven't really got any money, the thought of being ordered to pay millions to rights owners by the courts just seems a bit comical. Prison time, however, might make people think differently.

Perhaps the stand out element of the OMGTorrent case is the fact that four users of the site have also received one month sentences, such actions usually targeting those who actually run file-sharing services, or who provide a steady stream of uploads. It seems police were able to identify four particularly prolific downloaders who used OMGTorrent after seizing servers from its operator last year.

Following a hearing back in March, the six accused were sentenced at the Criminal Court Of Chalons-en-Champagne this week. The sentences were arguably a win for the anti-piracy group that initiated the investigation into the piracy site, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance. Though whether the sentences will actually prove to be a deterrent for others - including those who set up a new file-sharing site under the OMGTorrent name - well, that's more debatable.

Ole gets itself a $500 million credit facility
Canadian music rights firm Ole has secured itself a $500 million credit facility. Hey, they could run a streaming service with that kind of money. For a few months, anyway.

The new cash pile is being provided by a consortium of twelve US and Canadian banks, with the financing being led by the LA-based City National Bank. The music firm set out to secure a $400 million facility apparently, but all the wanker bankers were so keen to join the party that it just had to accept the extra $100 million, because you don't want to upset the wanker bankers. I mean, they might go off and destroy your economy.

"We believe the overwhelming demand for the facility speaks volumes to Ole's track record of execution and success", said the music company's boss bloke Robert Ott. "We look forward to finding new opportunities to continue to scale in existing and complementary verticals as well as to further enhance our technology and data management assets".

Ah, complementary verticals. I may be a bit old fashioned here, but they're my very favourite kind of verticals.

"We are pleased to have the financial backing, expertise and support from City National Bank and our other financial partners", Ott concluded.

"We've been supporting the entertainment industry for over 60 years", said one of those partners, the chief dude at City National, Russell Goldsmith. "We see great potential in Ole, which has earned a premiere reputation not only in the music industry, but in film and television as well. City National's lead role in this significant credit facility is possible in part because we are now an RBC [Royal Bank Of Canada] company and it highlights our ever-growing commitment to serving the broad financial needs of the music industry".

To celebrate all that new cash, Ole blurted out a bunch of stats, like how it had now completed $520 million in entertainment acquisitions since launching twelve years ago, and how that meant it now controlled 50,000 songs and 60,000 hours of telly and movies, making it one of the "largest independent rights management companies in the world".

Which is kind of like saying "we're one of the largest providing you don't count all the largest", but hey, these guys have access to half a billion dollars, so this is no time to pick holes. Ole, fucking genius I say. I'll have a steak dinner please.

T In The Park promoter's profits slip in tricky site-shift year
Scottish live music business DF Concerts, best known as promoter of T In The Park, saw its pre-tax profits fall 42% last year, according to IQ, which has been delving into the firm's latest filing with Companies House.

2015 was a challenging year for DF, of course, because of the relocation of T to a new site at Strathallan Castle. There were problems in the run up to the first event at the new location, in no small part caused by the local osprey population, while the event itself suffered from various logistical issues once up and running at its new home.

"It's probably obvious to observers that moving site for one of the world's biggest music festivals would cost significant amounts of money", DF boss Geoff Ellis says about his company's challenging 2015. "We were clear about this at the time of the move, and it's why we asked for help".

That help came in the form of a subsequently controversial £150,000 grant from the Scottish government. Though it was the ospreys rather than the controversy around the state funding for a pop festival that caused the bigger headache.

"The already high costs of the move were further, and significantly, increased by the late discovery of an unregistered osprey nest", Ellis adds. "Which in itself has brought about an annual increase in operating costs of around £1 million per annum. It is ridiculous that these additional costs are due to the fact that we are constrained by and required to comply with onerous, inflexible full planning conditions - most of them not relating to the ospreys, but that are only necessary because of the ospreys. It really does beggar belief".

Wow, that's a lot of money because of the presence of ospreys. I hope the birds appreciate it. I bet they don't. Bloody ospreys.

As previously reported, lots of changes were made ahead of this year's edition of T In The Park, to overcome the various logistical problems in 2015, and to convince the local council that it should still have a licence to stage its big show on the Strathallan estate. DF is majority owned by Live Nation, and Melvin Benn from another Live Nation festival maker, Festival Republic - more experienced than most in placating concerned licensing committees - worked with Ellis to overcome the issues with the new site.

As a result, T In The Park is "back on track", Ellis reckons, and as a result maybe the slip in profits at DF was a mere temporary wobble. Tennents Specials all round I say.

Crowdmix overheads topped £2 million a month before administration, and not even Patsy Palmer could save it
Further evidence for those who believe that Crowdmix was some kind of genius avante garde comedy project now. An administrators' report about the collapsed start-up reveals that, not only was the firm spending £2 million a month earlier this year despite never properly launching its product, but 'Eastenders' actress Patsy Palmer was brought in as a last ditch attempt to save the company. Which explains all her mysterious tweets about the service.

Business Insider reports that the bulk of Crowdmix's mega outgoings were staff costs, which topped £1 million per month for 160 employees. Rent on its office, meanwhile, came to more than £1 million per year. And all the while the company never quite got round to launching its 'social media for music' app and so therefore had no revenues whatsoever. An invite-only version of Crowdmix was put live on Apple's App Store in May, but had only attracted 2000 users by the time the company went bust.

Having tapped up various big hitters in the City for the £15 million of investment that got the venture to its little-used beta phase, a final funding round to raise another £20 million fell through in June, leading to the administration. According to The Evening Standard, a last ditch effort to save the company involved drafting in former 'Eastenders' actress Patsy Palmer to rally celebrity friends to invest.

Palmer, it turns out, is a neighbour in LA of former Universal Music exec Rob Wells, who joined the company in 2015, and she apparently "had surprisingly good contacts". Though not sufficiently surprising to stop the company going under.

Crowdmix was bought out of administration in August by its main backer, property tycoon Nick Candy, who apparently still hopes to get the whole flim flam off the ground. He agreed to pay £6.75 million for it, documents show, though the final sale figure was £675,000, after being offset against debts the company already owed him. Two other offers for the company (or parts of it) were rejected.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Horizon Festival London Reunion at Brixton Jamm
This day and night party at Brixton Jamm sees 20 DJs and live acts kicking out twelve hours of music in three spaces - two indoor and one terrace.

Hosted by what I am reliably informed is one of Europe's greatest ski parties, the Horizon Festival, this mountain-less event features Zed Bias, Hybrid Minds, CMU fave DJ Format, Uncle Dugs and a whole load more.

Kicking off at 4pm, there'll also be a quiz, prizes, hot food and cocktails to warm things up for next year's main event in the snow.

Saturday 17 Sep, Brixton Jamm, 261 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6LH, 4pm-4am, £15. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Bolt Thrower announce split
Death metal band Bolt Thrower announced this week that they have split up, a year to the day after the death of drummer Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns. The musician died suddenly shortly before the band were due to tour Australia last year.

In a statement on their website, Bolt Thrower said: "On behalf of ourselves and Kiddie's family, we would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and support over the last twelve months. Together with Kiddie's family we made the conscious decision to keep his unexpected death a private matter, and to take time out to deal with it all".

"When Kiddie joined us back in 1994, although he was only seventeen, he instantly improved Bolt Thrower as a live band, and no one was more loyal to, and prouder to be in Bolt Thrower than him. We spent over 20 years together, touring the world, with three different vocalists, but he was so much more than just a drummer to us. So when we carried his coffin to his final resting place, the Bolt Thrower drummer position was buried with him. He was, and will now forever remain THE Bolt Thrower drummer".

Bolt Thrower formed in 1986, with Kearns initially a member from 1994 to 1998, before returning in 2000 and staying with the band until his death.

Shirley Collins to release first album for 38 years
Following on from the release of a tribute album in her honour last year, folk musician Shirley Collins has returned to the studio herself to record her first LP for 38 years. Released on 4 Nov through Domino, 'Lodestar' is a collection of songs dating from the 1950s all the way back to the sixteenth century.

Discussing first single 'Cruel Lincoln', Collins says: "This is an ancient ballad, found only rarely in England. The theory is that Cruel Lincoln was a mason who was not paid for the work he did for 'the Lord of the Manor' and so extracted a terrible revenge".

Sleeve notes for the new record have been written by the comedian Stewart Lee, who contributed a track to that aforementioned tribute album. He says of Collins: "Shirley is a time traveller, a conduit for essential human aches, one of the greatest artists who ever lived, and yet utterly humble".

Listen to 'Cruel Lincoln' here.

Skepta wins Mercury Prize
Well, let's all breath a sigh of relief that they didn't give it to Bowie, eh? What a waste of everyone's time that would have been. I mean, he didn't even show up to collect his BRIT Award back in 2014, and that was before he had the excuse of being dead. Don't give any more awards to Bowie I say. Skepta though? A great choice. Well done everyone. You did good.

Yeah, so, Skepta won this year's Mercury Prize for his latest album 'Konnichiwa', picking up a cheque for £20,000 and the promotional blip that the award brings. "This is such a great record", said the judges in unison. "Confident, funny, clever, scary, personal and political. Skepta makes music for our times".

Indeed he does. And Skepta can also surely take a sizable chunk of the credit for grime's current resurgence, which in itself is worthy of something, though this award is meant to be all about the record itself remember, so that's not what this prize is for. Someone else has to give him a prize for that.

Accepting the Mercury, Skepta said: "I'm just so thankful. I've been trying to do this music stuff and work it out for so long. I was like 'let's do it for ourselves'. All these songs, we've travelled the world - no record label, nothing. We just did this for us but the love is very appreciated. We all won today. Konnichiwa!"

Oh yeah, the whole DIY ethos reinventing how an artist business can work, that needs an award too. But this award is meant to be all about the record itself remember, so that's not what this prize is for. Someone else has to give him a prize for that. Will someone else give him a prize for that?

Though thinking about it, stopping giving prizes to Skepta will you? What about poor old Bowie? And why aren't any white middle class indie pop boys winning Mercury Prizes, that's what I want to know. I expect a complete rethink of the Mercury judging panel forthwith.

Troy Miller, The Beatles, Catskills Records, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Bucks Music has signed an exclusive worldwide publishing deal with producer, songwriter and drum hitter Troy Miller. He was producer and co-writer on Laura Mvula's two albums. If only 'The Dreaming Room' had won the Mercury, this deal could have been extra-newsworthy. Bloody Skepta, ruining everyone's hopes and dreams.

• With Beatles documentaries in the news this week, what an opportune time for US collecting society ASCAP to announce it has renewed its deal with Paul McCartney to represent his performing rights Stateside.

The Sun reckons Adele will not go on another world tour for the next ten years. And I would just like to take this opportunity to confirm that I will not either. Not even with my acclaimed Adele tribute act.

• To mark its 20th anniversary, Catskills Records is releasing a compilation called '20 Years Of Victory!' on 25 Nov. Here's a previously unreleased Husky Rescue track that will feature on it. There will be free parties in Brighton and London to coincide with the release.

• Jenny Hval has put out a new single called 'Period Piece' through the Adult Swim Singles Club. It'll also feature on her new album, 'Blood Bitch'.

• Esben And The Witch have released the second track from their new album 'Older Terrors'. This is 'The Wolf's Sun'.

• Esther Joy Lane has released the first in a series of new tracks that will appear (and possibly disappear) on her SoundCloud profile between now and the end of the year. Her sound has developed a lot since we featured her in the Approved column last year, so check out 'I Hope' and see where she's at right now.

• Vanessa Anne Redd has released another track from her forthcoming 'Behind The Wall' album. Listen to 'Drones' here.

• Check it out, there's a new Yip Man single called 'Silver Wings'.

• FKA Twigs will be performing an "immersive and tactile" show called 'Rooms' as part of this year's Veuve Clicquot Widow Series. The show will take place on 27 and 28 Oct.

• Sting's gonna get a BMI Icon award at a ceremony on 10 Oct. So that's nice. For Sting.

CMU Beef Of The Week #323: Prison v Agadoo
For the vast majority of us, the song 'Agadoo' doesn't play any great part in our daily lives. In fact, it seems likely that a portion of you reading this have never even heard of it or the band Black Lace who released it.

Such is the joy of being young(er). Never did you have to suffer a school disco at which the three Black Lace hits 'Agadoo', 'Superman' and 'Do The Conga' - with their prescribed-by-law dance moves - were spread out across the mobile DJ's set as markers of the party's progress. Older readers may have also danced to said records as adults on a holiday in Spain. But I am willing to keep your secret on this occasion.

Anyway, I think it's safe to say that for all of us, those last two paragraphs were the most 'Agadoo' we've had in our lives for quite some time. But imagine if you were an actual member of Black Lace, still plugging away after all these years trying to make ends meet.

That's what Dene Michael has to contend with - a life filled with 'Agadoo'. And he wasn't even in the band when they released that single, arriving in 1986 as the outfit's success was waning. He still performs with Black Lace though (not to be confused with The Original Black Lace, a band that does at least feature one member who was in the band during their brief run of top ten singles), and last year he appeared singing that song in a Walkers Crisps advert.

You may also have seen him on 'The Voice' last year, attempting to be recognised as a solo artist. When he failed to make it through the blind auditions, he was nonetheless invited back to sing bloody 'Agadoo' with the judges. And earlier this year he appeared on ITV daytime legal show 'Judge Rinder' to tackle the serious business of being sued by his wife, only to have to answer questions about 'Agadoo' instead.

But despite all this, being the frontman of Black Lace in 2016 seemingly doesn't quite pay the bills. And so in June this year, Michael appeared in an actual, less jovial court, where he was jailed for six months for benefit fraud, having received £25,000 in benefits after claiming he couldn't walk. A condition somewhat disproven by him having recently appeared on TV several times standing, walking and dancing. I mean, who could have foreseen all that unravelling?

Presumably Michael wasn't too keen on going to prison, but one thing that might have gone through his mind was that at least it would be a fucking break from the world of novelty party songs. No such luck. Apparently everyone in prison has a deep knowledge of Black Lace's entire back catalogue, as Michael - now released back into the world with an electronic tag after ten weeks behind bars - told The Sun this week.

"It was very odd but when these terrifying criminals tell you to do something you do it, so we had a conga of convicts snaking around the jail", he said. "They all seemed to find it hilarious and everyone joined in. It lifted the gloom somewhat. All the murderers and drug dealers wanted to be my mate".

"It was all the time, everyone wanted to sing 'Agadoo' with me", he continued, only slightly unconvincingly. "It was surreal singing the party song about pushing pineapples and shaking the tree in such grim circumstances, but people were obsessed. At night when we were all in our cells, the entire wing was singing in chorus 'Agadoo doo doo'".

Imagine ten weeks of that. Who could cope? Not even many years hard labour as a member of Black Lace could prepare you for that kind of daily torture. I mean, I know people sometimes say prisons are like holiday camps, but I'm pretty sure that's not what they mean.

"No one was interested in my real name", added Michael. "I was just 'Agadoo'".

So there you go, far from escaping 'Agadoo', Dene Michael became 'Agadoo'. But now he's out of jail and can get back to normality and a nice quiet life. Which is all that Michael wants really. Oh, that and the opportunity to appear on 'Big Brother'. Glorious.

 
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.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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