TODAY'S TOP STORY: The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has announced it is removing its active sanctions against Viagogo. The move comes after the often controversial secondary ticketing website changed the way it publishes prices... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Ad industry regulator drops sanctions against Viagogo ahead of select committee hearing
MANAGEMENT & FUNDING Artist manager Paul Allen joins The Weird & The Wonderful
ARTIST NEWS Aretha Franklin's family criticise pastor over politically charged eulogy
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds pianist Conway Savage dies
GIGS & FESTIVALS Lana Del Rey cancels Israel show
Ozzy Osbourne announces UK & Ireland farewell shows
ONE LINERS Eminem, Eliza Shaddad, Tyler, The Creator, more
AND FINALLY... Abba's immersive theatre and dining sensory overload experience coming to London
Check out all the latest classified ads with CMU Classifieds. To advertise here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
Cooking Vinyl is pleased to offer a newly refurbished office space in Acton, West London. Ideal to share with other likeminded creatives in a hot desk environment, or alternatively to rent the space as a whole, comfortably fitting 30+ desks.

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Domino seeks a Product Manager to join its London team. Product Managers at Domino are in charge of running artist campaigns inside the company.

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Proper is pleased to announce its first internship opportunity within our newly created Press & Promotions department. Lasting for six months, this paid internship will provide the successful applicant with invaluable experience in a busy PR department in the music industry.

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Fourteen Ten is looking for a highly competent and organised publicist with a love of music and food to join in a brand new Publicist & Content Producer role at this busy independent PR agency.

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The Music Publishers Association Group of Companies is recruiting a Chief Executive Officer to run its three companies – the MPA, the MCPS and PMLL. This is one of the most important positions in the UK music industry and comes at a time of great opportunity and significant change.

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Kobalt is looking for someone to be responsible for the day to day management of the UK AWAL Label Management team. You’ll be looking after a small roster of the higher profile clients while also managing the label managers.

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Ad industry regulator drops sanctions against Viagogo ahead of select committee hearing
The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has announced it is removing its active sanctions against Viagogo. The move comes after the often controversial secondary ticketing website changed the way it publishes prices.

The ASA is one of three UK regulators that has hit out at Viagogo in the last year. The ad industry body initially criticised all secondary ticketing websites for not declaring the total price of tickets - including VAT and booking fees - upfront on their sites. Then in May, it confirmed that Viagogo was the only site to not subsequently comply with its demands to ensure total prices were displayed at the start of the transaction process.

However, this morning the ASA said: "We have secured changes to the pricing information appearing on the website of secondary ticketing provider Viagogo, so that consumers aren't misled. As a result of our work, pricing information will now be made clear with one single price, containing both VAT and the compulsory booking fee, quoted upfront at the start of the consumer journey".

The regulator added: "We can confirm we are now satisfied that Viagogo's pricing information follows the advertising rules. Consequently, due to the significant changes that have been made, we've removed all active sanctions we had in place, including withdrawing our referral of Viagogo to National Trading Standards".

Commenting on this development, anti-tout campaigner Sharon Hodgson MP said this morning: "It is extremely interesting, in light of all the developments over the last few weeks in the ticketing world, that ASA have now found Viagogo to be complaint with consumer protection regulations. I suppose it's better late than never, but what about all those victims of Viagogo that have been ripped off and misled in the meantime?"

The news follows confirmation from Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media And Sports Select Committee yesterday that Viagogo plans to send a representative to a public session tomorrow looking at the live music industry in general and the secondary ticketing market in particular. The firm's Head Of Business Development Cristopher Miller will sit alongside Wayne Grierson, UK MD of eBay's StubHub, to represent the resale sector.

The culture select committee previously put the spotlight on the secondary ticketing market in spring 2017. It was during that investigation - ultimately cut short by last year's General Election - that Viagogo infamously refused to attend a public discussion about secondary ticketing. Those who did show up to defend the resale market - StubHub and Ticketmaster - didn't come across especially well.

Ticketmaster returns for tomorrow's session, but this time on the other side of the debate. The Live Nation ticketing company's UK MD Andrew Parsons will sit alongside long-time critics of online touting - including Adam Webb from FanFair and Stuart Galbraith from Kilimanjaro Live - following the company's decision to shut down its resale sites in Europe..

Although the live music giant will continue to operate ticket resale platforms elsewhere in the world - principally in the US - Ticketmaster UK recently told its customers in a blog post: "We've listened and we hear you: secondary sites just don't cut it anymore and you're tired of seeing others snap up tickets just to resell for a profit".

Assuming Viagogo defender-in-chief Miller shows up, he will face questioning from MPs days after the news that the UK's Competition & Markets Authority is taking the company to court for various breaches of consumer rights law. The CMA's legal action mirrors that being pursued by similar regulatory bodies in Australia and New Zealand.

The committee is also publishing evidence that has been submitted to its ongoing inquiry into live music and the ticketing business. It said yesterday that "nearly one-third of the written evidence the committee received was from individuals expressing dissatisfaction with their experiences of secondary ticketing sites - principally Viagogo".

Viagogo has adopted a wall of silence strategy for years now, with its once chatty founder and boss man Eric Baker having become something of an enigma. So it will be very interesting indeed to see how Miller defends his company.

While many other criticisms of the firm, including most of those listed by the CMA on announcing its legal action last week, still stand - Miller will at least be able to show up with today's ASA announcement in hand. "See, we sometimes play ball", he might say. Yeah, sometimes. By which we mean one time.

Commenting on tomorrow's session, which takes place at 2.30pm and will also hear from Islington Assembly Hall's Lucinda Brown, the Chair of the select committee, Damian Collins MP, said: "Live music is an incredibly important part of the UK's culture. With thousands of music fans experiencing both the perks and the frustrations with buying tickets on these sites, the secondary ticketing market urgently needs a spotlight shone on it".

He added: "The committee has previously looked at abuses in the secondary ticketing market, and how these have led fans to be ripped off when trying to get to see their favourite acts. We want to look at the progress that has been made in reforming the ticketing industry over the last eighteen months, and what more needs to be done".

Of course select committees don't have much actual power, their role being to scrutinise government, regulators and their regulations. However, the culture select committee's investigations into secondary ticketing have played a role in building support in the political community for the enhancement and enforcement of ticket resale regulation. That has been an important development, given that ten years ago UK politicians - even those concerned about the rise of online touts - were generally in no mood to regulate.


Artist manager Paul Allen joins The Weird & The Wonderful
UK artist management firm The Weird & The Wonderful has announced that electronic music-focused manager Paul Allen is joining the business.

Allen, who has previously managed artists through ALT Management and before that Anglo Management, will be joined by his existing colleague Lawrence Jones at The Weird & The Wonderful. He also brings with him his current roster of artists which includes Philip George, Emanuel Satie, Alex Niggemann, Third Son, DJ Deeon and Kincaid.

Confirming all this, Steven Braines, who heads up The Weird & The Wonderful with Sophia Kearney, said: "Paul has a great ear, a great work ethic and shares our collective values; Sophia and I have always enjoyed working on projects together with both Paul and Lawrence over the years so it felt like the logical next progression".

Allen himself added: "I'm very excited to be teaming up with The Weird & The Wonderful. Steven, Sophia and their team have built an incredibly exciting and varied roster and the passion and vision with which they approach their work is infectious and inspiring".


Approved: Albecq
Albecq is a new project from musicians Angus MacRae, James Jones and Thom Robson. Already prolific and accomplished artists in their own right, as a trio they formed to record an album of analogue, ambient music. That album, 'A Distant, Guiding Sun', is set for release this week.

With all three more used to having full control of their compositions for the classical stage, film or theatre, it's exciting to hear how well their different styles and approaches gel. The album is, they say, "a reaction against the perfectionism of modern production".

Aiming to "create music which celebrates the rhapsodic and the imperfect", they wrote and recorded the album in one day, allowing any perceived mistakes to remain as part of the finished work.

Using a mix of analogue synthesisers, vintage Rhodes keyboards, live percussion, harmonium, electric guitars and reel-to-reel tape, they create music that builds and snakes around imagined landscapes.

With the album out on Friday, the trio will play a launch show at Dalston's Servant Jazz Quarters the previous day. Listen to 'Lace' from the record here.

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

Aretha Franklin's family criticise pastor over politically charged eulogy
One of Aretha Franklin's nephews has criticised Rev Jasper Williams Jr over the eulogy he delivered at the late queen of soul's funeral last week. The comments by Vaughn Franklin follow a flurry of criticism online over the pastor's 50 minute speech.

Williams' comments on the Black Lives Matter movement caused particular controversy, as did his remark that children being brought up without a father at home constituted "abortion after birth". Many pointed out that the latter statement was particularly distasteful given Franklin herself was a single mother of four sons.

Subsequently defending his speech, Williams said that perhaps he didn't have time to properly explain his more controversial opinions. This despite him being given a 50 minute slot at the lengthy eight hour service honouring Franklin.

He told the Associated Press over the weekend: "I'm sure much of the negativity is due to the fact that they don't understand what I'm talking about". On his comments about Black Lives Matter, he said: "Anybody who thinks black America is all right as we are now is crazy. We're not all right. It's a lot of change that needs to occur".

"This change must come from within us", he then added. "Nobody can give us things to eliminate where we are. We have to change from within ourselves. It is ludicrous for the church not to be involved. The church is the only viable institution we have in the African-American community. We must step up and turn our race around".

Also speaking to the AP, Vaughn Franklin noted that - despite having 50 minutes for his eulogy - Williams didn't actually do a great deal of eulogising of his late aunt. The younger Franklin, who says his views reflect those of the wider family, told the news agency: "He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogise her".

He added that Williams had been picked to speak at the funeral because he had performed that role at previous family events. His aunt hadn't specifically asked for a eulogy from the pastor, she having said little about her funeral before her death.

The nephew also said that the political and controversial nature of Williams' speech had "caught the entire family off guard". He concluded: "It [was] very, very distasteful".


Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds pianist Conway Savage dies
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds pianist Conway Savage has died, aged 58, the band announced yesterday. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year.

"Our beloved Conway passed away on Sunday evening", reads a statement on Nick Cave's website. "A member of Bad Seeds for nearly 30 years, Conway was the anarchic thread that ran through the band's live performances. He was much loved by everyone, band members and fans alike".

"Irascible, funny, terrifying, sentimental, warm-hearted, gentle, acerbic, honest, genuine - he was all of these things and quite literally 'had the gift of a golden voice', high and sweet and drenched in soul", the statement continues.

"On a drunken night, at four in the morning, in a hotel bar in Cologne, Conway sat at the piano and sang 'Streets Of Laredo' to us, in his sweet, melancholy style and stopped the world for a moment", it concludes. "There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Goodbye Conway, there isn't a dry eye in the house".

Fans noted Savage's absence from tour dates last year, prompting the band to reveal that he had been diagnosed with and undergone surgery for the brain tumour.


Lana Del Rey cancels Israel show
Lana Del Rey has announced that she will not now perform at the Meteor Festival in Israel this month. She said that she had made the decision because it had not been possible to schedule a show in Palestine.

In a statement posted on Twitter, she wrote: "It's important for me to perform in both Palestine and Israel and treat all my fans equally. Unfortunately it hasn't been possible to line up both visits with such short notice and therefore I'm postponing my performance at the Meteor Festival until a time when I can schedule visits for both my Israeli and Palestinian fans, as well as hopefully other countries in the region".

Del Rey addressed criticism of her decision to play the Israeli festival last month, saying that it was "not a political statement or a commitment to the politics" of the country. She later said that she would visit Palestine at the same time as playing Israel.


Ozzy Osbourne announces UK & Ireland farewell shows
Ozzy Osbourne's lengthy farewell tour will be rolling into the UK and Ireland early next year.

Announced last November, the world tour dates are set to run through to 2020, after which Osbourne will no longer tour. Although, he has been keen to stress, he will still perform live. This isn't like Black Sabbath's farewell tour.

Announcing next year's stint in the British Isles, Osbourne said: "I've been extremely blessed to have had two successful music careers. I'm looking at this final tour as being a huge celebration for my fans and anyone who has enjoyed my music over the past five decades".

Here are the dates:

30 Jan: Dublin, 3Arena
1 Feb: Nottingham, Motorpoint Arena
3 Feb: Manchester Arena
5 Feb: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena
7 Feb: Glasgow, Hydro
9 Feb: Birmingham, Genting Arena
11 Feb: London, O2 Arena


Eminem, Eliza Shaddad, Tyler, The Creator, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Given the antagonistic tone of Eminem's new album 'Kamikaze', we could be in for a lot of this: Machine Gun Kelly has released a diss track in response to comments made about him on the record. Meanwhile, 'Kamikaze' is set to become Eminem's ninth UK number one this week, beating the current record of eight he holds jointly with Abba and Led Zeppelin.

• Eliza Shaddad has released the video for new single 'This Is My Cue'. Her debut album, 'Future', is set for release on 26 Oct. She also has UK shows in London and Glasgow in November.

• Tyler, The Creator has released new track, 'Puff', a remixed version of instrumental track 'Blow My Load', from his 2015 album 'Cherry Bomb'.

• The Radio Dept have released new single 'Going Down Swinging'.

• New Order have announced that their only UK show in 2018 will be at Alexandra Palace in London on 9 Nov. So now you know.

• Charlotte Gainsbourg will play a one-off UK show at Koko in London on 11 Dec. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

• A few more AIM Awards winners have been announced ahead of the ceremony tonight. Sophie will receive the Innovator Award. Goldie will be named Pioneer for his Metalheadz label. And Outstanding Contribution will go to Tracey Thorn.

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


Abba's immersive theatre and dining sensory overload experience coming to London
First it was a song. Then it was a stage musical. Then it was a film. Then it was somehow another fucking film. Now you can experience 'Mamma Mia' while eating food! Abba's Björn Ulvaeus is bringing his 'Mamma Mia! The Party' experience to London.

Seriously, do you like eating food under bright flashing lights, while loud music is blasted around you and there's some half-baked story being told that you're supposed to be following? Then this is for you. So exciting it got Abba to reunite when it first opened in Stockholm in 2016, the whole dizzying spectacle of 'Mamma Mia! The Party' will open under the O2 Dome next spring.

The whole thing will take place in a room made up to look like a Greek taverna. A large Greek taverna mind, as there'll be space for up to 500 people to sit at tables. Guests will be served up Mediterranean food while the story of restaurant owner Nikos and his family unfolds around them. There will be many Abba songs. You will be encouraged to sing along with them. Someone might dance on your table. There'll be laughter, tears and other assorted empty emotions. Booze will be dished out to help you get through the ordeal.

I don't know how much this is going to cost, but in Sweden the cheapest ticket is £115 and it's been repeatedly sold out ever since it opened. For an extra 50 quid you get a welcome drink and a meet and greet with the cast. As I said, booze will help.

Whatever the London price, you can sign up to get access to tickets as soon as they go on sale via the show's website. Here's a trailer to show you what you're letting yourself in for.


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
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