|WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: As further dramas unfolded in Westminster yesterday - with those MPs who oppose a so called no-deal Brexit seeking to constrain Britain's Bullshitter In Chief and no-deal fan 'Boris' Johnson - the boss of UK Music, Michael Dugher, outlined some key concerns for the music industry regarding the UK exiting the European Union with no deal in place... [READ MORE]|
UK Music outlines live sector's key no-deal Brexit concerns
Those concerns were set out in a letter sent by the cross-sector trade group to new Home Secretary Priti Patel. It mainly focused on the impact new immigration and export rules could have on the UK's live music industry.
Of particular concern is the fact that, since Johnson's new minority government was installed, there has been mixed messaging about what will happen to the free movement of people between the UK and the rest of the EU if a no-deal Brexit does occur on 31 Oct.
Dugher writes: "UK Music is deeply concerned about conflicting reports from the Home Office in recent weeks regarding the possibility of the immediate ending of freedom of movement in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit this autumn. Such a policy would cause considerable disruption to the international live music touring industry, in terms of UK artists travelling to the EU for concerts and vice versa".
Noting that an immediate end to freedom of movement on 31 Oct is actually contrary to current government guidance on a no-deal Brexit, Dugher then states that if that policy was implemented "it could result in retaliation from EU member states, requiring UK musicians to apply for expensive and bureaucratic visas and work permits in order to continue to tour the EU, severely harming our ability to enhance our export potential following recent year-to-year growth of 7%".
Recent media reports suggest that the new regime at the Home Office has already backtracked on its plan to immediately end freedom of movement on the day a no-deal Brexit occurs. But, Dugher goes on, "without a clear and unambiguous commitment from ministers [on this point] this only adds to the uncertainty that the music industry is currently experiencing".
The government has been pushing out advice on what might happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit for quite some time now, and UK Music recently aggregated all the advisory documents relevant to the music industry. But, while the total word count of all that advice is now pretty impressive, the substance of many of those documents is less so.
"The current information provided by the government to companies for 'no-deal' is worringly inadequate when preparing the industry for the possible changes ahead", Dugher writes.
He then focuses on one particular potential negative impact of a no-deal Brexit which has become a talking point of late especially in the grassroots music community - those artists whose profit-margins when touring are incredibly tight and who usually rely on merchandise sales as well as ticket money to break even.
Writes Dugher: "We are also concerned about the impact that a 'no-deal' Brexit could have on the ability of the UK music industry to sell merchandising and move equipment when they are touring in mainland Europe. According to government guidance, in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit anyone bringing goods into or taking goods out of the UK in baggage or a small motor vehicle which they intend to use for business will be forced to 'declare your goods and pay import duty and VAT before you move them across the border'".
This, he points out, "could have a drastic impact on our members to sell merchandise and transport equipment on European tours and result in a loss of income of up to 40%, threatening the viability of future tours and damaging Britain's export earnings".
Concluding, the UK Music letter states: "We ask you for urgent clarity over the government's advice to industry concerning a 'no-deal' Brexit in relation to live music and to establish a policy framework in relation to immigration that will enable our sector's growth to continue to thrive".
Of course, in the current political climate in the UK, the problem with writing to ministers is you're never sure they'll still be in the job by the time you get your reply. And while there is now a little more unity in government around the kind of Brexit that should be pursued, that has resulted in even less unity in Parliament.
Plus, even in government, when it comes to proper detail, there is still plenty of mixed-messaging from ministers and officials. And where the messaging is more consistent, when you pull that message apart, it's often just a waffley way of saying "we don't really know".
So fun times for everyone! Maybe now's the moment for artists to shift over to having holograms tour on their behalf.
Ariana Grande sues fashion firm for using lookalike model in social media marketing
The multi-million dollar lawsuit primarily accuses Forever 21 of infringing Grande's publicity rights, a principle that exists in the US - but not the UK - which allows people to stop the commercial use of their name or likeness by other parties. Though the lawsuit also includes some claims under trademark and copyright law too, just for fun. It also reckons that a single post on Grande's Instagram feed can be valued at "well into the six figures".
Noting that Forever 21 had approached Grande about a possible brand partnership deal around the release of her recent album 'Thank U, Next', the legal filing says that, when she chose not to do that deal, "defendants did not simply use a model with a similar look and hairstyle; they used a model who looks strikingly similar to Ms Grande, wearing a similar hairstyle to the one Ms Grande wore in [the video for a recent single], dressed in a top designed to look like a top worn by Ms Grande in numerous well-known photographs".
It then goes on to talk up the value of social media for brands like Forever 21, it being the forum of the alleged publicity right violations. "The importance and influence derived from social media marketing to consumers in today's market cannot be overstated", it says. "Indeed, platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are premiere forms of marketing for most companies today, and paying influential celebrities with large social media followings such as Ms Grande is the modern-day equivalent of buying television ads 20 years ago".
With all that in mind, Grande would like $10 million to compensate her for the all damage she suffered when a lookalike flogged some shitty clothes on Facebook.
For its part, Forever 21 was pretty diplomatic in its response to the lawsuit, it having worked with the pop star's licensing company in the past and seemingly hoping it can still secure new partnership deals with her in the years ahead. A spokesperson told Law360: "We are hopeful that we will find a mutually agreeable resolution and can continue to work together in the future".
Sony's Arista launches new dance music focused imprint
The new imprint will be headed up by Arista's SVP of A&R Matt D'Arduini and will launch with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Dom Dolla, Dynamo and Sigala on its roster.
Overall Arista boss David Massey says: "I am very excited that Arista is expanding with a new label whose roster represents a diverse and unique array of artists within the electronic space. Similar to our distinctive approach at Arista, Last Nite is laser-focused on artist relations and development".
So that's nice. For his part, D'Arduini is "thankful" for the new gig and the "opportunity to establish an innovative new electronic label".
Dua Lipa says social media breaks help her mental health
She told the magazine: "I've learnt to do social media in bite sizes. Social media has always been around for my generation, so for me it's really fun to post pictures, tweet and update. But I've also received a lot of backlash for talking about political things close to my heart. I'm not one to say sorry, I like to stand by things I believe in, so sometimes I delete the app so I don't start second guessing myself. Trolls can very easily give you anxiety".
"The thing that keeps me on social media - and this is more Twitter than Instagram - is my connection with my fans", she adds. "They're the reason why I download the app again, so I can talk to them. It's the foundation that we've built everything on".
She adds that those fans are supportive when she does take a step back from all things social, saying: "My fans know me so well now that I get messages saying, 'we know you need some time out from Twitter, we just wanted to tell you we missed you'. It's like everything in life; it's about finding and maintaining a healthy balance. You can't always get it right, but you have to try".
Currently working on her second album, she promises the new songs are happier than those on her first. "For the first record all I could do really was a lot of dance-crying", she says. "It was so much easier for me to write things that made me unhappy because they were things that stuck in my mind the longest".
The new album is "like a dancercise class - it's just fun", she goes on, adding that its sound is more "mature" and "conceptual".
Bombay Bicycle Club announce first album since 2014
Referencing the record's doom-laden title, the band say: "This is an album for anyone who's ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political. It's about the solace one can get from listening to music or playing music when everything else has gone wrong. It's about finding kernels of hope and renewal in dire situations".
The album, produced by John Congleton, is the band's first since 2014's 'So Long, See You Tomorrow'. The LP announcement comes accompanied by the video for new single 'Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)'. They have also announced new UK tour dates, in addition to those they're about to embark upon later this month.
"Playing together again is such an unexpected surprise for the four of us", says frontman Jack Steadman of recent shows. "And yet from the first moment we started rehearsing it felt as natural as if we'd played a show the night before. We feel a freshness playing live and in the studio that I think can only come from having taken a step back and now we just want to play these new songs to as many people in as many countries as we can".
Here are the new UK dates:
20 Jan: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
Idles and Dave are both double winners at AIM Awards
And by that he means "artists and labels who are unafraid to push the boundaries and take risks to produce some of the UK's most cutting-edge cultural output". He then added: "As we celebrate AIM's 20th year championing independence, it's amazing to see that creative spirit celebrated in this way at a venue like the Roundhouse".
Oh yes, the awards were at The Roundhouse by the way, this year being followed up by a live show headlined by Johnny Marr, who was also handed the Pioneer Award.
Other career achievement prizes went to Blondie and, on the industry side, veteran artist manager and Eleven Seven Records boss Allen Kovac and outgoing Merlin chief Charles Caldas. In the more conventional categories, both Idles and Dave were double winners.
But enough of all this waffle, you want a full list of the honoured don't you? I couldn't make it myself this year because I had to attend an important meeting with a magician. But we had seventeen spies on the ground who all confirmed the following as the prize recipients...
Best Independent Label: Partisan Records
UK Independent Breakthrough: Idles
Best Independent Album: Dave - Psychodrama
Pioneer Award: Johnny Marr
Innovator Award: Allen Kovac
R Kelly has been released from what may or may not have been solitary confinement, depending on who you speak to. The incarcerated pop star is now among the general population of the federal jail in Chicago. His legal team now hope to secure his release from jail entirely by seeking bail at a hearing this Friday. The musician has been held in custody since his latest arrest in July.
Music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins has named Sandra Schembri as its new CEO. She takes over from Julie Whelan, who retires later this year, officially starting on 7 Oct. "As someone who's always had a love of music, I'm really excited by the prospect of leading a charity that champions the positive impact it has on people's health and wellbeing", says Schembri.
Arena owner SMG Europe has hired Ade Dovey to join its event programming team. He was previously Head Of Programming at Mission Mars Group. "We're delighted", says EVP European Operations John Sharkey.
Hot Chip have released the video for the title track of their recent 'Bath Full Of Ecstasy' album. The promo invents a late 80s video game with the same title. "The video consists of a YouTube-style review and demonstration of the game, which features each band member on their path to save the cursed kingdom, aiming to return melody and colour, and bringing back joy, with the help of the Bubblebath Fairy, a microphone and some friendly strangers", say the band.
Metronomy have released new single 'Wedding Bells'. New album 'Metronomy Forever' is out on 13 Sep.
One True Pairing - aka Tom Fleming, formerly of Wild Beasts - has released new single 'Dawn At The Factory'. His debut album in this guise is out on 20 Sep, which he describes as "the angry northern Springsteen record that I'd always wanted to make".
Denzel Himself has announced that he will release new EP, 'Gotha', on 27 Sep. From it, this is new single 'Birdie'.
Broen have released new single 'Strings', taken from upcoming album 'Do You See The Falling Leaves?' They've also announced that they will play the Shacklewell Arms in London on 6 Nov.
Tennin has released new track 'Heal You'. The track is a collaboration with Tricky for new compilation 'Test Of Time', on his False Idols label.
Church & AP have released the video for recent single 'Roulette'.
GIGS & TOURS
AJ Tracey has announced that he will play his biggest headline show to date at Alexandra Palace in London on 9 Nov. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.
Lamb Of God have announced their first UK headline tour since 2014. They'll kick things off at Bristol Academy on 21 Apr, finishing at London's Brixton Academy on 25 Apr. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Tinder and Live Nation hook up for cheap gig tickets
Tinder and Live Nation first collaborated on the app's 'festival mode' earlier this year, which helped users meet others at various festivals. Now they're teaming up to offer $30 tickets to twelves shows in selected cities in the States, headlined by artists including The Chainsmokers, A$AP Ferg, Logic, Future, Young Thug and Gesaffelstein.
To access the promotion, Tinder users just need to swipe right on the featured tour profiles when they pop up, as if they actually wanted to date the concert. Once you've bought tickets, you don't even have to take a date. You could take a friend who doesn't use Tinder and doesn't know what a cheapskate you are.