TODAY'S TOP STORY: Anti-ticket-touting campaign group FanFair has welcomed a change in Google's advertising policies which should regulate the way ticket resellers run ads on the web giant's search platform, forcing sellers to provide more information about tickets they are selling and to better distinguish between primary and secondary ticketing platforms on the search engine... [READ MORE]
As the UK's Music Managers Forum publishes two new guides as part of phase three of its 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' programme, CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the project so far in 30 points - ten from part one, ten from part two, and ten from the new guides. Along the way we cover digital licensing, all the key issues with the current streaming business model, and what you need to know about label deals and transparency in the streaming age. [READ MORE]
There has been lots of debate around the music rights data problem in recent years, and a number of initiatives are underway to tackle the issue. Though Spotify's mechanical royalties dispute and the lack of songwriter credits on the streaming platforms shows the problem persists. As Music 4.5 puts the spotlight back on all things data, CMU Trends reviews discussions to date, challenges to be met, and where progress is being made. [READ MORE]
Copyright provides creators with control over that which they create, but what happens when the creators themselves don't own the copyright in their work? Artists and songwriters who are no longer in control of their copyrights do still have some rights, sometimes by contract, and via performer and moral rights. CMU Trends considers what the law says about the rights of artists and songwriters after their copyrights have been assigned. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES FanFair welcomes Google's new policies on ticket tout ads
LEGAL Guvera fails to overturn ruling in dispute with former Blinkbox employees
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Scooter Braun feels he "failed" Justin Bieber during his "dark" period
MEDIA Nile Rodgers to play in the new year on BBC One
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Boss of US music lobbying group resigns over sexual harassment allegations
ARTIST NEWS Nick Carter denies rape allegation from Melissa Schuman
Stormzy apologises for past homophobic tweets
RELEASES Listen to Death Cab For Cutie's first live show in 1997
ONE LINERS Sia, NERD, The Vaccines, more
AND FINALLY... Noel Gallagher denies coinciding new album release with Liam's
Sentric Music is looking for a Senior Catalogue Administrator to join the Rights Management team based in its Liverpool office where they will play an integral role in managing the catalogue of a key client.

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Sentric Music is looking for a Catalogue Administration Assistant to join the Rights Management team based in its Liverpool office where they will play an important role in the administration of a key clients’ catalogue.

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Kilimanjaro Live is working with Dinosaurs In The Wild to bring its amazing adventure to London in 2018 for a long term run. We are recruiting a Venue Manager, Assistant Venue Manager and Box Office Managers to manage the venue operations.

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VMS Live is looking for an experienced promoter to work in our expanding events team. Based in one of our UK offices the successful candidate will be work alongside existing staff to book and promote artists/events into our existing partner venues estate around the UK, as well as delivering shows in our own right as VMS Live.

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VMS Live is looking for a Junior Booker to work in our expanding events team. Based in one of our UK offices the position will be working alongside our existing staff to book and promote artists/events into our existing partner venues estate around the UK, as well as delivering shows in our own right as VMS Live.

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13 Artists are looking to recruit a Senior Booking Assistant who, among other things, will liaise with agents, management and labels on touring periods, financial and logistic requirements; negotiate routing and arrange dates with promoters and venues; and analyse costings for shows to get the best deals for artists.

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The Rest Is Noise is a music specialist communications agency that look after a range of PR campaigns. The role is for an experienced PR to join our tight­knit team, delivering high impact PR campaigns within our events arm.

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Domino seeks a Paralegal / Business Affairs Assistant to join its Business Affairs department working across both the record label and publishing company.

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As Client Administrator at Entertainment Intelligence, you will manage primary communication between the client, and both our software development team, and sales team, reporting to the company directors.

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As Campaign Manager at independent full service advertising agency Sold Out, you will be the lead person responsible for all elements of online marketing and be supporting the business through effective implementation of social media campaigns, campaign planning and buying, implementation and reporting for a variety of clients across the entertainment market.

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Kobalt is looking for a VP Digital Marketing, UK & International to join the Kobalt Music Recordings team and work with our growing roster of emerging and established artists from all over the world.

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TuneCore is looking for a UK Brand Manager to be responsible for the development of its brand and customer base across the UK. The Brand Manager will have a deep understanding of, and an extensive network in, both the UK music market and the indie scene, and direct experience working in the independent music industry.

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Eventbrite is looking for someone to help build a world-class business development team focused on music in Europe that consistently exceeds business targets, partners cross-functionally with our global teams, and helps write the playbook for our European market.

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These are sessions that we run in-house at music companies or companies working with music. As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data.

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FanFair welcomes Google's new policies on ticket tout ads
Anti-ticket-touting campaign group FanFair has welcomed a change in Google's advertising policies which should regulate the way ticket resellers run ads on the web giant's search platform, forcing sellers to provide more information about tickets they are selling and to better distinguish between primary and secondary ticketing platforms on the search engine.

It has long been argued that online touts selling tickets at marked up prices benefit from consumer confusion over the difference between primary and secondary ticket sellers. This means people might buy tickets at a higher price on the secondary market even when face value tickets are still available via primary sellers. It also means gig-goers don't necessarily realise they have bought a touted ticket that could be cancelled by the promoter.

Various factors contribute to this confusion. For starters, the fact that flagship ticket resale websites are owned and therefore badged by eBay and Live Nation's Ticketmaster. This means consumers see brands they recognise and therefore might assume they are buying from official ticket sellers, rather than touty resellers.

Secondly, there is the use of Google advertising by secondary sites to push their ticket listings to the top of search result lists. Those listings often read like they are from official sellers, not least because Viagogo sometimes uses the word "official" in its ads. Many consumers, unaware of the difference between paid and organic search listings, will also assume that whichever seller comes top is probably the most legit.

FanFair put the spotlight on this latter issue back in July after surveying how touted tickets were being listed by Google in the UK.

The organisation's Adam Webb said at the time: "If you're looking to attend a gig or festival, you'd probably expect a search engine to act as a trusted guide and direct you to the legitimate ticket seller. However, we consistently see secondary ticketing platforms, led by Viagogo, using paid search to dominate search rankings and even masquerade as 'official' sellers - causing considerable confusion in the process".

The campaign group was not alone in raising concerns about how secondary ticketing platforms were using Google advertising to potentially confuse consumers. Concerns weren't limited to the UK either, with the issue being raised in both Ireland and Australia, among other places.

This might be why Google has decided to alter its advertising rules so that, from next year, ticket resellers will need to be certified before using its AdWords platform.

In an update yesterday, Google explained: "To be certified, resellers can't imply that they are the primary or original provider of event tickets and must disclose to customers that they are a reseller. Resellers must also tell customers that prices may be higher than the face value. Prices must be broken down to show the values of included fees and taxes during checkout and before the customer provides payment information".

The web giant added that, from March next year, certified resellers will also have to "post the face value of the tickets along with the reseller's price (and in the same currency)".

In a statement this morning, FanFair welcomed Google's new policy. It said: "This is a very welcome development, with potential to make the ticket-buying process far less complex for consumers".

Explaining why these changes are necessary, it noted how the previously reported 'Ticked Off' report "highlighted that a significant proportion of would-be ticket buyers use Google as their first port of call, while FanFair's own research has illustrated the extent to which secondary ticketing platforms use paid search to dominate Google rankings. As a result, fans have been systematically directed towards touted tickets, even when primary inventory is still available from authorised ticket sellers".

Concluding, FanFair stated: "We are pleased that Google have listened to concerns on this issue, and have acted in an assertive manner and on a global basis. We look forward to seeing further details - but this move should be a major step forward in cleaning up the secondary market, and we anticipate more regulatory and legislative action to come".


Guvera fails to overturn ruling in dispute with former Blinkbox employees
Defunct streaming service Guvera has failed in its bid to overturn the ruling in its legal battle with the former employees of Blinkbox, the British digital music company it acquired but then pretty much immediately shut down.

As previously reported, in January 2015, with global expansion very much on its agenda, Australia-based Guvera bought the music side of UK digital content platform Blinkbox from supermarket Tesco. Blinkbox Music had begun life as We7 and - like Guvera - had evolved its business from ad-funded downloads to ad-funded streams.

Despite expectations that Blinkbox would rebrand and become the UK outpost of Guvera, in June 2015 the British business fell into administration, laid off its staff and ceased operations. And Guvera never did launch in the UK.

Blinkbox employees subsequently took legal action against Guvera, with a legal rep declaring at the time that "at the point of the acquisition the employees received a written assurance from Tesco and Guvera UK that they would receive redundancy payments if cut backs were required - this agreement was not honoured".

The former employees won their legal action. Aussie newspaper The Courier-Mail then published details of the judgement back in July, following the collapse of the entire Guvera company in May this year. Paperwork from the legal battle revealed inner turmoil within the Guvera management team back in 2015, and confusion between directors as to whether the company was actually buying Blinkbox Music or not.

Guvera appealed the ruling, but the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal has now seemingly declined to overturn the earlier judgement. In its appeal, the digital company argued that, before making the original ruling in the case, the court hadn't properly considered issues of control at Blinkbox or when ownership of the UK entity had actually transferred to the Australian firm.

Commenting on the latest decision, Darren Herft, the Guvera co-founder left overseeing the company's affairs since its collapse earlier this year, told The Courier Mail that the firm will now seek legal guidance in the UK as to what it might do next in its ongoing battle with the former Blinkbox employees.


Scooter Braun feels he "failed" Justin Bieber during his "dark" period
Artist manager Scooter Braun has said that he feels he "failed" his client Justin Bieber during a troubled few years in the musician's life, which came to a head in 2014.

Speaking to Complex in an interview for the magazine's Blueprint video series, Braun said that he felt unable to help Bieber during that period. He added that for a time he had been scared that the singer would die.

"When he turned eighteen, we had a rough patch", he says. "I think that's his story to tell, and I think that at the right time he'll tell the complete story. [Though] I think his perspective, and [that of] some of us who were there, are going to be very different, because a lot of it he doesn't remember. It was just a very tough time. What I can tell you is, I learned a lot at that time about patience. I learned a lot about dealing with someone else who's going through that".

"At the end of the day, I failed", he continues. "Because if it was up to me, for a year and a half none of that would have happened. But for a year and a half I tried everything, and I failed because he was still in that dark place. It wasn't until one day something happened, he called me and he said, 'this happened and enough is enough, I need to make a change', and he asked me to help him with that change".

He could then help, he added, "because I'd been doing the research and I had the resources to do so. And I helped, but what you learn in that process is that you can help someone as much as you want, but they have to make the conscious decision that they want to make a change".

Asked if there was any point during that time that he thought his professional relationship with Bieber might end, he said: "To me, the only point I had where [I thought] 'is it over?', wasn't a scary '[is my] career over?', I thought I was gonna lose him. I thought he was gonna die. That was the scariest thing, because he's an adult, so he could go away from me. I couldn't force him to stay next to me. There were points where I didn't know if in the morning he was going to be there. I was petrified. I was doing everything I could, and I think he knows that. And at the end of the day, for him to come out of that and be where he is today is a testament to his strength".

Watch the full interview, in which Braun also discusses his management career from its beginnings to the present day, and the One Love Manchester concert staged in the wake of the terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande show earlier this year, here.


Nile Rodgers to play in the new year on BBC One
Nile Rodgers and Chic will occupy the now traditional new year music slot on BBC One this year, performing before and after the midnight fireworks display on 1 Jan 2018.

They will run through a greatest hits set, made up of songs written for both Chic and other artists, such as David Bowie, Daft Punk, Diana Ross and Sister Sledge. This follows BBC Four's recent three part documentary on Rodgers, which I hope you watched because it was very good.

"It's been an incredible year for Chic in the UK", says Rodgers. "From playing in to 200,000 plus people at Glastonbury to our recent sold out arena shows in London and Liverpool. This is a great way to end our 40th year in a spectacular fashion and kick off a new year that will start with the release of the first new Chic music in years and the new album. Good Times are coming in 2018!"

The BBC's Special Events Editor Guy Freeman adds: "I am over the moon that Nile and Chic will be heading up our New Year's Eve celebrations. With a host of timeless disco party classics on their setlist, I am sure that living rooms up and down the land will be boogieing along until the wee small hours!"

Rodgers joins Gary Barlow, Queen + Adam Lambert, Bryan Adams and Robbie Williams in giving viewers something to switch over to when there's a shit bit on Jools Holland's 'Hootenanny'.


Boss of US music lobbying group resigns over sexual harassment allegations
The boss of US music industry lobbying organisation the Content Creators Coalition, aka C3, which has been pushing for copyright reforms Stateside, has resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.

Jeff Boxer, an attorney by trade, announced his resignation after American musician Rosy Nolan published a blog post on Tuesday making accusations against the C3 chief.

In the piece, posted on Medium, Nolan wrote that last year she arranged to volunteer at the Americana Fest festival and conference in Nashville via C3. As part of that arrangement, she was told that Boxer would find her a place to stay but that, on arrival, she discovered that meant "a foam mattress on the living room floor of HIS Airbnb".

Nolan writes: "Upon landing in Nashville, I was surprised that he personally picked me up at the airport and told me that he had made plans for 'us'. He took me to dinner and a concert but it felt increasingly odd to me with each passing hour, like we were on a date, not at all like we were friendly colleagues hanging out".

Eventually she found out about her accommodation. "It became irrefutably clear that I'd been duped and manipulated", she says.

"My trip was a complete bust. Jeffrey Boxer had lied to me and I was in an extremely vulnerable position. There had been months for these accommodations to be arranged and he had assured me that they had been. I quietly gathered my things and crept out of the apartment in the middle of the night, afraid that he would hear me leaving".

Nolan continues: "The next morning, I immediately reported everything that had happened to Chelsea Crowell. Ms Crowell is the only female employee in the entire organisation of C3. She was incredibly sympathetic and utterly shocked to hear Jeff failed to provide me with my own accommodations as he had promised".

But the organisation's official response was not so helpful. The musician says that she was subsequently told, via email a year later, that an investigation had been undertaken. But, she adds, she was not consulted as part of this investigation. Concluding, she writes: "After fourteen months of making my sexual harassment report to C3, Jeffrey Boxer still holds his position at the organisation and no action has been taken to prevent him from doing this again that I'm aware of".

Responding to the blog post, the board of C3 yesterday issued the following statement. "The executive board of Content Creators Coalition is deeply troubled by reports of sexual misconduct by our Executive Director, Jeff Boxer. We convened an emergency board meeting today, and have accepted Mr Boxer's resignation".

The board then also confirmed it had received complaints about Boxer from two other women, including the aforementioned Crowell. Its statement continued: "C3 exists to advocate and champion fair treatment, empathy and respect for artists, and that advocacy extends to all human beings. We offer our most sincere apologies to the three women who came forward with their stories. We deeply regret their suffering. We should have done better in listening to them and championing them. We will do better. We take this opportunity in the young life of our organisation to re-commit to our ideals of respect, compassion, equality and transparency".

Following the board's announcement, Boxer also issued a statement. He said: "It is with great regret that I announce my resignation today as Executive Director of the Content Creators Coalition. While I never intended to make anyone uncomfortable and believed I was acting professionally at all times, I recognise that was not the case".

"To Rosy Nolan, Tessa Lena, and my former colleague Chelsea Crowell, I am deeply sorry for making you feel personally uncomfortable and professionally unappreciated. I respect your choice to speak out, just as I would encourage any woman or man who has felt mistreated to step forward. My decades fighting for working people and workplace justice requires nothing less, even in these circumstances".

He concludes: "At this point, I refuse to become a distraction or drain on the efforts of C3 and all its members to fight for artists' rights and fair treatment for all music creators. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as Executive Director of this great organisation".


Approved: Thunder Jackson
"What exactly is a Thunder Jackson?" So asks a quizzical voice at the beginning of the debut single by Thunder Jackson, 'Guilty Party'.

As much as I know is that Thunder Jackson are a duo - one from Oklahoma City, one from Cardiff - who met by accident in an LA taxi. Whether that could be said to be A Thunder Jackson, I don't know. But as the New York restaurant they share their name with seems to have closed down, I guess they are now THE Thunder Jackson.

Anyway, I feel like we've got caught up in details when we could - as I assume they would prefer, by being all mysterious and that - just focus on the music. OK, guys, we'll play it your way. 'Guilty Party' is an impressive debut. It has a retro feel, without drifting into pastiche, and lightly applied pop production that doesn't bludgeon you into submission, but which is - nevertheless - instantly arresting.

Watch the video for 'Guilty Party' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Nick Carter denies rape allegation from Melissa Schuman
Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter has denied a rape allegation made against him by Melissa Schuman, a former member of girl group Dream.

In a detailed blog post published last week, Schuman wrote that Carter raped her when she was eighteen. The two had both been cast in a TV movie - 2004 horror film 'The Hollow' - and he had invited her to hang out with him and a friend on a day off from shooting.

She later signed a management deal with Kenneth Crear, who also represented Carter. In an attempt to boost her aspiring solo pop career, Crear set up a duet for her with Carter - with their parts on the song recorded separately, she notes. She added that the next time she saw Carter was at a showcase for a major label, where they performed the song together - she implies that the awkwardness this resulted in was partly to blame for the showcase not resulting in a deal, and Crear subsequently dropping her.

Schuman adds that she did try to come forward with this story several years ago, initially intending to go to the police, but for various reasons chose not to take it further.

"A short amount of time passed after the incident", she writes. "I confided in my then manager, Nils Larsen, that I wanted to come forward. He heard me out and said he would do some investigation and would try to find me a good attorney as I intended to press charges. He later informed me that [Carter] had the most powerful litigator in the country".

"He was right", she goes on. "I didn't have the money, the clout or access to an attorney who was powerful enough to stand up against my abuser's legal counsel. I was told I would likely be buried in humiliation, accused of being fame hungry, and it would ultimately hurt me professionally as well as publicly".

Her motivation for coming forward now, she says, was seeing the response to a claim by an anonymous Backstreet Boys fan who said that she was assaulted by Carter. In particular, comments under a RadarOnline article accusing the alleged victim of lying about the incident to get famous.

"Victim shaming is a core reason why victims don't speak out", writes Schuman. "Let me ask this simple question: Who the hell wants to be famous for being raped?"

In a statement responding to Schuman's accusation, Carter says: "I am shocked and saddened by Ms Schuman's accusations. Melissa never expressed to me while we were together or at any time since that anything we did was not consensual. We went on to record a song and perform together, and I was always respectful and supportive of Melissa both personally and professionally".

"This is the first that I am hearing about these accusations, nearly two decades later", he continues. "It is contrary to my nature and everything I hold dear to intentionally cause someone discomfort or harm".

Schuman previously published another blog post, recalling experiences of sexism during her time in the music industry.


Stormzy apologises for past homophobic tweets
Stormzy has apologised for past homophobic tweets, which were recently collated by Pink News.

Going through the British rapper's Twitter timeline, Pink News found nineteen tweets, posted between 2011 and 2014, in which he used homophobic language. In the various tweets, Stormzy refers to other Twitter users, other performers and TV characters in derogatory terms.

Responding to criticism of his old tweets, Stormzy said in a series of new tweets: "I said some foul and offensive things whilst tweeting years ago at a time when I was young and proudly ignorant. Very hurtful and discriminative views that I've unlearned as I've grown up and become a man".

"The comments I made were unacceptable and disgusting, full stop", he continued. "Comments that I regret and to everyone I've offended, I am sorry, these are attitudes I've left in the past. The homophobic language I used was, embarrassingly, a part of my vocabulary when I was younger and ignorance made me feel comfortable to use them whilst not understanding the hate and the ramifications they carry".

"That isn't an excuse" he added. "I take responsibility for my mistakes and hope you can understand that my younger self doesn't reflect who I am today".


Listen to Death Cab For Cutie's first live show in 1997
Marking their 20th anniversary, Death Cab For Cutie have released a recording of their first ever show in 1997.

The show was recorded on a Dictaphone in the living room of a friend, Trevor Adams, on 22 Nov 1997. The house gig took place after recording had been completed on a demo album for what was then a solo project for Ben Gibbard.

"Sprawled across couches and sitting crosslegged on the floor were 25 of our closest friends and fellow musicians", recalls Gibbard. "Everyone played acoustic or semi-acoustic with no PA. Trevor made and passed [around] bowl after bowl of microwave popcorn because he was (and I assume still is) a great host".

He continues: "Chris Walla and I had just finished the 'You Can Play These Songs With Chords' cassette and we thought it would be fun to play a few shows around Bellingham to celebrate the release. We recruited Nick Harmer to play bass and Walla's childhood friend Nathan Good to play drums. None of us thought we were starting a band nor did our ambitions for DCFC extend very far past this particular evening. We simply thought it would be fun to play these songs for our friends before moving on to other things".

"I remain forever grateful to Trevor for inviting us to play in his living room 20 years ago today", he concludes. "It was one of the greatest nights of my life at the time and its significance has only grown since".

All proceeds from the sale of the recording will be donated to Seattle-based homelessness charity The Aurora Commons.

Stream and download the show here.


Sia, NERD, The Vaccines, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Sia has released the video for 'Santa's Coming For Us'. Just in case you're feeling Christmassy (which you shouldn't be yet, so stop it).

• NERD have confirmed that their new album, 'No One Ever Really Dies', will be released on 15 Dec. Look at its cover art here, if you want.

• The Vaccines will release a new album, 'Combat Sports', on 30 Mar. They'll also be touring the UK in April next year. Here's a trailer.

• Redlight is releasing new single 'Zum Zum', featuring Sweetie Irie.

• Rapper Jeshi has released new Mura Masa produced single 'Paranoid'. He'll release new mixtape 'The World's Spinning Too Fast' on 1 Dec.

• Gwenno has announced that her new Cornish language album 'Le Kov' will be released on 2 Mar. She will also tour the UK in the same month, followed by a stand-alone show at Hoxton Hall in London on 12 Apr.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Noel Gallagher denies coinciding new album release with Liam's
Noel Gallagher has denied the suggestion that he and brother Liam co-ordinated the release of their new albums in order to boost publicity.

In an interview with Vulture, the journalist noted how the two records ended up being released quite close to each other, and added "if you didn't co-ordinate this with Liam, it was pretty lucky timing" adding that "you two have a pretty good racket going, publicity-wise".

"It's actually not [a good racket], not for me anyway, no", replied Noel. "It's slightly annoying. My shit is not reacting. It's not reactionary on that level to anybody's. When your record's ready, it goes, and that's the end of it, and if it's near to the other fellow's, then that's it. I don't give a fuck whether he puts his album out the same day as mine. I will thank him for promoting my record, though, and it's not even out yet".

Technically Noel is denying there that he wrote an album in reaction to Liam writing one, which isn't what anyone said. And given that earlier in the interview they discuss his recent comment that his brother sounds like "Adele shouting into a bucket" on his new songs, it's hard to claim that he's not reacted since.

Liam isn't the only person involved in his record to get a dressing down either. Asked what he thinks of Greg Kurstin, who has written and produced numerous hits, and worked on several songs on Liam's 'As You Were' album, Noel said: "If Greg Kurstin ever needs me to teach him how to write a fucking song, he should give me a call, because what I've heard's embarrassing".

For balance, it's worth noting that everything released off the new Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds album so far is fucking dreadful.


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.
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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.
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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.
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