|MONDAY 7 OCTOBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Rapper Krept of Krept & Konan has assured fans that he is "good" after being assaulted backstage at a BBC Radio 1Xtra Live event in Birmingham on Saturday. The show, which was being broadcast live on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, was brought to a close earlier than intended following the incident... [READ MORE]|
Krept recovering after being "slashed" at BBC Radio 1Xtra show
In a statement, police said that the rapper had "sustained a slash wound during an assault at around 10pm". He was treated by onsite medical staff and did not need to go to hospital. As yet no arrests have been made and police are appealing for witnesses.
The sold out show at Arena Birmingham was set to be headlined by Wizkid, but his set and a performance by French Montana were cancelled when the event was ended early, just after a surprise appearance by AJ Tracey. Other performers who did appear included Ms Banks, Headie One, Stylo G and DaniLeigh. Krept was not actually billed as a performer at the show.
A statement from the BBC announcing the cancellation said: "Following an isolated serious incident, we have had to stop 1Xtra Live in Birmingham. We are co-operating fully with the police to establish what has happened".
A second statement later added: "We're sorry to everyone who attended 1Xtra Live in Birmingham for the early finish; however, the health and safety of everyone involved is always our top priority. We are upset and saddened that something like this should happen to a guest at one of our events and we remain in close contact and continue to offer our full support".
In his own statement in the early hours of Sunday morning, Krept wrote on Twitter: "My people, thanks for the messages. I'm good, I'll be back in no time. God was with me, trust me. Can't keep a good man down".
He later added on Instagram: "Was really looking forward to this week, so I'm keeping the same energy I had. It's gonna be a good week. Thank you for all the messages. I'm good, truss me. Could have been a lot worse. Stay positive, my people".
Krept & Konan have recently used their public profile to speak out against legal action that has been pursued against certain artists in certain genres - in particular against rappers on the UK drill scene - who they feel are being unfairly targeted by police and the courts because of links between their scene and the recent rise in gang violence and knife crime.
Arguing that encouraging participation in music is, in fact, a good way to steer young people away from gangs, the duo released a song and launched a petition protesting the use of the Serious Crime Act to silence drill acts. In June, they also spoke at a parliamentary debate, alongside Skengdo & AM, who earlier this year were jailed for breaching an injunction that barred them from performing their track 'Attempted 1.0'.
According to BBC News, security had already been doubled prior to the 1Xtra event on Saturday due to safety concerns. Those backstage were put through the same airport-style checks as members of the public entering to watch the show.
In a separate incident, a man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a knife at one of the main doors into the venue.
The BBC has said that security was the responsibility of the venue. Arena Birmingham has not commented, although a notice on its website states that its "security measures ... are under constant review".
Universal close to settlement with Spinal Tap, though wider Vivendi case continues
It was Harry Shearer who initially went legal against StudioCanal and its owner Vivendi back in 2016, accusing the movie studio and its parent company of misreporting financial information about the film and its spin offs in order to under-pay him royalties due from the franchise. His Spinal Tap co-creators Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Rob Reiner subsequently came on board as co-plaintiffs.
Through a series of mergers and acquisitions back in the day, the two Vivendi companies - StudioCanal and Universal Music - ended up respectively controlling the 'Spinal Tap' movie and soundtrack rights. Although the Universal music firm was mentioned in the original lawsuit against Vivendi and StudioCanal, it was then formally added as a defendant in its own right in 2017 when Shearer et al added to and expanded on their list of allegations.
It's the specific dispute with Universal that seems to be close to an out of court settlement. According to Bloomberg, a legal filing last week from lawyers working for both sides stated that: "The parties appear to have reached a resolution in principle of the single remaining issue, subject to completing the documentation". That settlement should be concluded by 11 Nov.
However, that settlement won't seemingly affect the bigger dispute with StudioCanal and Vivendi at large. It remains to be seen if a similar settlement can be reached on that side too.
US lawmakers approach Spotify about its Apple gripes
According to Reuters, Congress members have approached Spotify as part of their ongoing investigation into allegations of anti-competitive conduct that have been levelled at Apple, and other tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Spotify went big when it filed its competition complaint with the European Commission in March, launching a whole website to accompany it. A long time coming, the complaint listed various gripes about the way Apple controls access to customers who stream music via an iPhone or iPad, though the biggest moan was about the so called Apple tax.
That's the 15-30% fee that Apple charges on digital subscriptions collected through an iOS app. It means that if companies like Spotify allow users to subscribe through their app, they have to pay 15-30% of any subscription money to Apple. With streaming music firms operating on such tight margins, they have to add this extra charge on top. Which then makes Spotify seem like it is more expensive to access than the Apple Music streaming service.
While Spotify can just not accept subscriptions via its iOS app - instead sending iPhone owners to its website to actually sign up - Apple rules say that it can't overtly do that within the app itself. So Spotify just has to turn off premium sign-up functionality on the iOS platform and hope that users will realise they have to go to spotify.com to upgrade to premium.
Apple has been pretty forthright in its response to Spotify's EC complaint. It basically accuses its rival of wanting to build a music service on the back of its infrastructure, but not pay for the privilege. It also points out that the vast majority of iPhone owning Spotify subscribers did not sign up via the app, so are paying nothing to Apple. The tech giant also doesn't ask for a cut of ad income for those iPhone owners using Spotify's free option.
Reporting on US lawmakers taking an interest in Spotify's Apple gripes, Reuters says that the "judiciary committee reached out to the music streaming service with broad requests for information, according to one source, who added the request to the company was narrowed in follow up telephone calls".
The Congressional committee is not the only US entity looking into allegations of anti-competitive conduct against Apple, with Reuters adding that Spotify reps have also spoken to investigators at the US Department Of Justice and members of a 'technology task force' set up by the Federal Trade Commission.
Iceland to offer subsidy for international artists recording in its studios
The initiative is called Record In Iceland, and the boss of Iceland Music, Sigtryggur Baldursson, explains: "Because of our glorious isolation, Iceland has nurtured quite a unique music culture. But as well as developing a nation of poets and musicians, we also have a network of first class recording studios, each with their own idiosyncrasies".
"Until now", he goes on, "these studios have been something of a hidden secret, but our aim with Record In Iceland is to open these facilities to a far wider range of international artists and businesses, and to make them a compelling commercial proposition".
The official blurb notes: "Reimbursement involves a short and straightforward application process, and Record In Iceland is open for music made for TV and film soundtracks as well as artist recordings. The flexible scheme will also incorporate rebates for foreign partnerships, where projects are part-recorded in multiple territories".
The whole thing will be formally unveiled at next month's Iceland Airwaves showcase festival, which also has an Airwaves Pro conference again this year. Industry people attending the event can opt-in for a tour of some of the participating studios.
White label auction raises £25,000 for BRIT Trust
The term 'white label', of course, is traditionally used to describe the small number of vinyl records often pressed prior to release, either for testing purposes or to provide to DJs for early promo. As the artwork that will accompany said release isn't usually ready at this point, the vinyl has a simple white label stuck in the middle of it, hence the term.
It was Universal's Catalogue A&R Director Johnny Chandler who had the idea of exploiting the good old vinyl revival to raise money for the BRITs charity by auctioning off an assortment of white label records donated by artists and record companies. The test pressing of Arctic Monkeys' 'Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino' secured the highest bid of £1300, while a white label version of the recent 50th anniversary reissue of The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' brought in £850.
Says Chandler: "This is such a brilliant result made possible by the generosity of all the labels who donated test pressings and the artists and managers who gave their blessings. I'd like to thank them all along with the BPI, Omega Auctions and the fans and collectors who went online to bid. The money raised will be put to great use by The BRIT Trust, and hopefully we have planted the seed for something that's a little bit different that can become an anticipated annual event".
National Album Day, in case you'd forgotten or never knew or didn't previously care, is this coming Saturday.
Bauer Radio creates network-wide social media strategy role
The first person to take on the role is Charlotte Greenman, who joins from the BBC having also previously worked on social media activity for Vevo. Bauer says that in her new role Greenman will be "responsible for elevating the social output from our stations, including studio videos, celebrity interviews, competitions and showcasing commercial partnerships".
The new role, the company adds, "ensures that Bauer Radio's portfolio of award-winning brands are underpinned with an aligned strategy offering benefits to our commercial partners as well as increasing audience engagement".
Confirming her new gig on Friday, Spencer said: "There's an incredible opportunity at Bauer Radio to build on the great work that the stations have been doing individually and to develop a cohesive social strategy across the radio portfolio. I'm so THRILLED to join this group of exciting and passionate people and can't wait to get started".
Ginger Baker dies
Born Peter Baker in Lewisham, South London in 1939, Baker was nicknamed Ginger for his hair colour. He began playing drums as a teenager, after hopes of becoming a professional cyclist were dashed by a traffic accident. Claiming to have been a natural from the first time he sat down behind a drumkit, he went on to become one of rock's most influential drummers.
Initially finding work in jazz bands, he eventually moved over to London's burgeoning blues-rock scene, to which his powerful style was more suited. After a stint in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, he joined the Graham Bond Organisation, which teamed him up with bassist Jack Bruce for the first time.
Despite an extreme clash of personalities, Baker and Bruce had an undeniable musical chemistry and subsequently formed Cream with Eric Clapton. Baker's fiery temperament also led to arguments with Clapton, at times becoming violent, both on and off stage. The band split after two years and four albums, but left a huge influence on rock musicians who followed them.
Baker left the UK in the early 70s to open a recording studio in Lagos, Nigeria. While living there he collaborated with Fela Kuti, and Wings recorded their 'Band On The Run' album at the studio. Financial issues eventually meant he lost the studio business, though.
In 2012, documentary 'Beware Of Mr Baker' was released to great acclaim. It showed Baker as a difficult man (opening with him attacking director Jay Bulger with a metal cane) who commanded huge respect from his contemporaries as a musician, but less so as a person.
Baker continued to tour until 2016, when health problems forced him to stop. He had also developed a love of polo, using much of the money from an aborted Cream reunion in 2005 (his clashes with Bruce again spilling onto the stage) to build his collection of ponies. His numerous injuries sustained while playing the sport also added to his health issues.
Following the announcement of his death yesterday, numerous other artists, including Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney, paid tribute. In a statement, his family said that he had "passed away peacefully".
Why was the Five Star 'apology' so fucking crap?
These recent events all began when Five Star's Doris Pearson tweeted that she'd quite like to meet the boy who called in that time to berate her and her siblings on the popular Saturday morning kids show. Later someone claiming to be that person - who had been gleefully tweeting as such for several years - came forward to say sorry, although they refused to meet with Pearson to deliver any apologies face to face.
But not long afterwards, others began claiming that they were in fact the real Eliot Fletcher. And not just other Eliot Fletcher accounts on Twitter either, but also some non-Eliots who claimed that they had given a false name when they got through to the 'Going Live' switchboard.
BBC reporter Mark Savage - having first written up a report on the original 'apology' - has been fielding many of these subsequent claims and digging deeper.
It now seems that the Eliot Fletcher account on Twitter that delivered the apology - which has now fallen silent - is absolutely not operated by the real caller. Savage has, however, identified a more likely contender - someone with a cassette recording of the call from the caller's end with extra swearing that was cut off on TV when producers quickly faded out the shouting.
This person says that they were actually a big fan of Five Star, but that they had become disillusioned with the group after they had, as he saw it, "sold out". He also claims to have written a half-hearted apology to the BBC afterwards at the insistence of his mother. As for whether he'd apologise directly to Five Star now, he says: "No. No apologies. What's done is done. As an adult you kind of feel slightly different about it, but the child in me is like, 'No'".
Whether or not this person is indeed the real 'Eliot Fletcher' is something we're unlikely to ever know for certain. Already there are others lining up to call this second Eliot's authenticity into question. Because it seems like a lot of people out there want to be Eliot Fletcher. And who can blame them? Who wouldn't want to be given the credit for one of the most significant events in human history?
Maybe it doesn't matter who the real caller that day was though. In many ways, we are all Eliot Fletcher. And it's unlikely we'll ever all be sorry.