|WEDNESDAY 30 JANUARY 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: It has been confirmed that the Common People festivals that previously took place in both Southampton and Oxford will not take place this year. The two events were sister festivals to Bestival and Camp Bestival, and the Common People company has followed the Bestival business into administration. Administrators have now said that, with no buyers coming forward, the two companies set up to run Common People are in liquidation... [READ MORE]|
Company behind Bestival's sister festivals wound up
The Bestival Group was forced into administration by one of its money-lenders last year. Said money-lender then acquired the rights to the Bestival events, but almost immediately sold them on to Live Nation, which had entered into a joint venture with the festival's founders Rob and Josie Da Bank. That new joint venture has already confirmed that Camp Bestival 2019 will go ahead, although there has been no word on the main Bestival bash.
It seemed likely that the collapse of Bestival would also mean that the Common People festivals would not go ahead. The city council in Oxford has now confirmed that is so, in part responding to that news that the companies set up to run the Common People festivals are in liquidation with debts of more than £500,000.
A member of the executive board of the city's council, which itself is owed in the region of £7000 by the festival, told the Oxford Times: "Everyone at Oxford City Council is absolutely gutted that Common People Oxford will not be returning. We spent many years building the relationships that enabled us to bring the organisers of Bestival to Oxford and we have been proud to host them in South Park over the last three years".
She went on: "The city council is committed to bringing another annual festival that celebrates Oxford's culture and diverse communities to South Park as soon as possible, and we're in discussions with other festival organisers about this".
Team Bestival launched Common People in Southampton in 2015 with a second Oxford edition subsequently being added. Although popular with the local music communities in both cities, Rob Da Bank did admit that he was disappointed with attendance at last year's Oxford event, telling a local newspaper at the time that he felt poor - and, as it turned out, incorrect - weather forecasts had hit walk-up trade, negatively impacting on turn-out overall.
Confirming the Common People companies were now being wound up, a spokesperson from liquidator Begbies Traynor told reporters: "Common People (Oxford) Limited and Common People Festival Limited went into liquidation and the business and its assets were not bought by any other company. As a result there will be no Common People festival in 2019. We are unable to make any further comment".
Benji Rogers returns to PledgeMusic as company attempts to resolve financial issues
It emerged last week that PledgeMusic was still struggling with financial issues that began last year, leading to artists who had run campaigns on the platform not being paid. An executive rejig and new finance system introduced last October was meant to have resolved these issues, but last week a number of artists reported they were still awaiting payment.
As the company issued a statement about the ongoing problems last week, so too did Rogers, who left Pledge a year ago after previously reducing his role there in 2016. In that statement, Rogers said that he had offered the current management team assistance "both strategically and practically". Help which has now been accepted.
"I have agreed, on a short-term basis, to return to PledgeMusic as a volunteer strategic advisor and observer to the board", says Rogers in a new statement. "I have been in discussions with the management team and board of Pledge over the last few days and I am convinced that they are committed to fixing the artists payments situation as their first priority. I have seen first hand how tirelessly the team, management and board have been working to right the ship and that is why I have agreed to help where I can".
PledgeMusic has already said that it hopes to have caught up with late payments to artists within 90 days. Rogers does not give an exact time-frame, but promises that "the first priority for the company is to sort the back payments issue as every penny that is owed to artists needs to get to them in the fastest possible time". A detailed plan for this, he adds, will be published shortly.
He then says that, in order to avoid situations such as this moving forward, all funds raised through campaigns on the platform in the future will be held by a third party. This, he says, will "ensure that all campaigns that launch going forward, will be paid upon their campaign milestones being reached".
Also giving no indication as to how long he may be in this temporary role, he finishes: "I will do all in my power to help the team bring this to a successful conclusion for the artists and fans as quickly as is possible. I am deeply sorry to those of you who have been affected by this".
While doing all of this, Rogers will also remain full time in his post at his current company, music data start-up Dot Blockchain Media.
These New Puritans announce new album, Inside The Rose
"The songs are about beauty, transcendence, desire, oblivion, ecstasy and eyes", says the duo's Jack Barnett of the new album. "I want to go beyond myself and my time. That's the art I like. Whether it's Francis Bacon or William Blake. You fail, inevitably, but that's the challenge".
But will there be tour dates? Yes, there will be tour dates:
10 Apr: Manchester, Yes
Chai announce second album, Punk
"Compared with our first album, 'Punk' represents a more concentrated version of all of our individualities", says drummer Kuna.
Bassist Yuuki then adds: "'Punk' was what we had been doing all along - not caring about what people think and instead showing everyone who we are and what our music is. That's 'Punk'. This whole time our concept of your 'complexes being art' and 'changing the norm' was 'punk' all along".
UK live shows are expected to be announced soon. Here's the first single from the album, 'Fashionista'.
Nitin Sawhney to play Beyond Skin 20th anniversary show
"In this year where Brexit negotiations, political turmoil and chaos have brought issues of identity, nationality, race and religion into focus once more, the themes of 'Beyond Skin' are more relevant than ever", says Sawhney. "Featuring a host of talented musicians and guests, the show will seek to not only recreate and reflect upon the journey of the album, but also forge an unforgettable live event that marks Britain's most culturally challenging year for decades".
RAH Artistic Director Lucy Noble adds: "We're very proud and excited to welcome Nitin to the Hall for this anniversary performance of 'Beyond Skin' - an urgent, arresting and unforgettable creative statement that sounds as fresh, timely and vital as it did 20 years ago. This special, one-off show is a unique chance to see one of the most important musicians of his generation recreating the dazzling artistic achievement that made his name: live and in full for the very first time".
The show will take place on 26 Sep. More information here.
Hologram Frank Zappa coming to the UK
"As a futurist, and hologram enthusiast, Frank fearlessly broke through boundary after boundary as an artist and in honouring his indomitable spirit, we're about to do it again, 25 years after his passing", says his son, Ahmet Zappa, who - by an extraordinary coincidence - also happens to be an exec at the hologram company behind the show, Eyellusion.
"This mind-melting show we're putting together celebrates the music, often surreal imagery and humour synonymous with Frank", he goes on. "We will be pushing the limits of what anyone has seen holographically on stage before in a live venue".
"Circumstances, objects, places and subject matter from Frank's songs and imagination will be brought to life for the first time on stage", continues Zappa Junior's big holographic sales pitch. "We are anthropomorphising Frank's music, so his own hand drawn illustrations, classic imagery from his album artwork and characters from his songs can all interact and perform on stage".
Laying the 'this is what he would have wanted, honest guvnor' rhetoric on little a bit thick, he then rambles on: "My father and I actively discussed 3D and 'holography' and it was a concept he actively engaged in. He actually devoted half a chapter of his 'The Real Frank Zappa Book' to this subject".
"This is a love letter and a journey celebrating the genius artistry of Frank Zappa", Ahmet concludes. "On a personal note, I feel like I am finishing something my father started years ago. And let's not forget, Frank himself will be rocking his fans, alongside his bandmates, like nobody's business".
Ahmet is possibly keen to stress just how much his dad would have loved this show because the whole hologram tour venture has proven somewhat controversial. Another of Zappa's sons, Dweezil, has openly denounced it. He's also used it to bring attention to his ongoing trademark dispute with the Zappa Family Trust.
But if you are willing to ignore Dweezil's denouncement and would rather buy into Ahmet's hyperbole - or if you just fancy seeing a 3D rendering of Frank Zappa appear on British stage - here are the dates:
9 May: Edinburgh, Playhouse
Joe Hammill, Warner Music, Sam Smith, more
Other notable announcements and developments today...
• Sentric Music and Strictly Confidential have renewed their global songwriting agreement with Joe Hammill. Hammill signed his initial deal with the two companies in 2011. "Working with people like Joe is what makes being a publisher such a joyous job", reckons Sentric's Simon Pursehouse. "He's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet", agrees Strictly Confidential's Thomas De Mot. We're not in this to make friends, guys.
• Warner Music has signed a new agreement with Turkish music company Doğan Group, which owns independent label Doğan Music Company and online video platform NetD. DMC will distribute Warner releases physically and digitally in Turkey, while NetD will host Warner music videos. The deal will "enable better representation of Warner artists" in Turkey, reckons DMC CEO Samsun Demir, which I assume is the point.
• Universal Music has announced a load of exec rejiggling in is classical and jazz division. Holly Adams becomes Head Of Soundtrack And Score, Global Classics And Jazz And Globe UK, which is a bit of a mouthful. Rachel Tregenza joins from Decca as Head Of International Communications And Artist Strategy, Global Classics And Jazz. Also a mouthful. And Anja Boenicke joins from Deutsche Grammophon as Head of Artist And Brand Partnerships, Global Classics & Jazz. Yep, another mouthful. "New appointments", says their boss, Dickon Stainer. He said more, but those job titles used up all the word count.
• Sam Smith and Normani have released the video for their single 'Dancing With A Stranger'.
• Jax Jones and Years & Years have released the video for their single 'Play'.
• Bryan Adams has released the video for his new single 'Shine A Light', which, like all songs these days, was co-written by Ed Sheeran. And whoever Ed Sheeran ripped off this time. Only joking!
• Health have released new track 'Feel Nothing' as part of the Adult Swim singles series. The track will appear on the band's upcoming new album 'Vol 4: Slaves Of Fear'.
• Heather Woods Broderick has announced that she will release new album, 'Invitation', on 19 Apr. Right now, here's new single 'Where I Lay', of which she says: "'Where I Lay' is really a poem about the impermanence of all things. So many of our questions will remain unanswered but if we slow down and appreciate things as they are it can provide a simplicity and an ease that inspires wonder amidst the chaos".
• Sacred Paws are back with new single 'Brush Your Hair'. Which reminds me, I must brush my hair.
• Ian Sweet has released the video for her single 'Holographic Jesus' ahead of UK tour dates next month.
• Norma has released the video for the title track of her debut album, 'Female Jungle', to mark her addition this year's SXSW line-up.
• Ozzy Osbourne has postponed his European tour in its entirety. Due to begin this week, the dates have been pulled at the last minute as the singer has come down with flu and bronchitis. Doctors are concerned it could develop into pneumonia if he performs at all. Osbourne says he is "completely devastated", but the shows have been rescheduled to September, with Judas Priest still on board as support act.
• Fat White Family will tour the UK in May, winding up at The Forum in London on 15 May.
• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Darude to represent Finland at Eurovision
The trance producer has teamed up with vocalist Sebastian Rejman for Finland's song for this year's Eurovision, which is set to take place in Tel Aviv in May. Or songs, rather, because he's written three. His trio of contenders will be released one per week in February, with public and jury votes deciding which will represent Finland at the actual contest.
"This is a huge challenge for me in many ways", says Darude. "When I was asked to represent Finland I felt a bit scared at first, but there was no way I could say no to my country! It is an honour to be part of this incredible experience and I only have positive expectations!"
Now, see, that's the sort of attitude you want. I bet this is giving Finland the sort of national boost we could really do with in the UK right now.
In the UK, of course, we also have three songs to choose from, and six different performers vying to perform one of them on the international stage. Not one of them has ever had a global trance hit though. But rather than dwelling on that, let's just watch this video of Darude talking some more about how amazing everything is.