WEDNESDAY 27 NOVEMBER 2019 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Pan-European indie label trade group IMPALA yesterday confirmed that it's planning to oppose Vivendi's deal to sell a 10% stake in Universal Music to Tencent. The indie labels say that the Chinese web giant taking even a minority stake in the mega-major is a concern because of its various interests in the digital music sector, particularly in the key emerging market of China, but elsewhere too, including its alliance with Spotify... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES IMPALA gearing up to oppose Tencent's bid to buy 10% of Universal Music
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LEGAL Slipknot's dispute with former percussionist arrives in New York court
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS Billboard updates album chart bundling rules following criticism
New American collecting society announces initial partners, including HFA
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LIVE BUSINESS Viagogo has Google Ads ban lifted
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INDUSTRY PEOPLE Robert FX Sillerman dies
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ONE LINERS BRITs Rising Star Award, Ash, Avey Tare, more
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AND FINALLY... Michael Gove quotes Stormzy in Labour MP tweet battle
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Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060.
   
JON CHILD & CO - FINALIST/QUALIFIED ACCOUNTANT (MANCHESTER)
Jon Child & Co seeks an experienced practice accountant, likely in the range from finalist up to five years newly qualified to join its accounting team, to contribute to the ongoing significant growth at this specialist music chartered accountancy practice.

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UEA(SU) - HEAD OF EVENTS (NORWICH)
The LCR is an iconic venue in the heart of the UEA campus. It hosts 50 live shows a year, over 60 student clubs events, three balls and a host of student led events. This role will be the operational lead, responsible for programming and event delivery, an expert risk management and compliance, focused on customer service and inclusivity.

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UEA(SU) - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE, VENUE (NORWICH)
uea(su) runs the two best venues in Norwich; the LCR and The Waterfront. These venues host approximately 200 live shows a year across a capacity range of 200-1550. This role will lead the delivery event delivery teams, devise our business plan and strategy for the venues.

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NINJA TUNE - COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATOR (LONDON)
Ninja Tune is hiring for a full-time copyright administration position within the record label and publishing company, based in its London office.

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SENTRIC MUSIC - SYNC ASSISTANT (LIVERPOOL)
Sentric Music is looking for a dedicated and diligent Sync Assistant to support the catalogue administration for selected sync clients, act as a first point of contact for artists utilising Sentric Music's publishing platform, and administer the Sync Services team's digital platforms.

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MERLIN - MEMBER SERVICE COORDINATOR (LONDON)
Merlin is looking for an enthusiastic and passionate person to join its London Member Services team as Member Service Coordinator. The role will involve working with record labels and distributors from across the globe who are seeking to join Merlin as well as working with existing members and DSPs.

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SOLD OUT - RADIO BUYER (LONDON)
The successful candidate will be looking to establish themselves within an agency environment and who has a gift for organisation and effective time management. The role is people-centric and we are looking for somebody who enjoys building relationships with staff, clients and media contacts.

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SUPERNATURE - ARTIST MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Supernature is looking for an organised, proactive Artist Management Assistant to work full-time from its London office in Elephant & Castle. Working in a small team, you would be expected to provide organisational support and structure to the artist management arm of the business. You would be responsible for key aspects of day-to-day management across the whole roster.

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DOUBLE SIX RIGHTS MANAGEMENT - REPERTOIRE AND DATA ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Double Six Rights Management is seeking a self-motivated and driven individual to support with the day-to-day operation of the company and to help maximise revenue for both label and performer clients.

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BLUE RAINCOAT MUSIC - SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER (LONDON)
Blue Raincoat Music is seeking a Social Media Manager to implement world class social media campaigns for its management, publishing and record label clients.

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IDOL - UK DIGITAL KEY ACCOUNT MANAGER (LONDON)
Based in our London office, your main role will consist of promoting IDOL’s labels and projects within our network of partners: audio streaming services, download platforms and launch creative and innovative release campaigns to achieve commercial goals.

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ISOBEL GRIFFITHS - ADMIN AND ORCHESTRA CONTRACTOR SUPPORT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Isobel Griffiths Ltd is looking for an admin assistant to support the Fixing Team of three Orchestra Contractors in a small but hectic office of seven staff based in the Chelsea Harbour area of SW10. Experience in an administrative role with some knowledge of orchestral music and instruments is desirable.

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DOMINO - PA/A&R COORDINATOR (LONDON)
This combined and challenging role is two thirds A&R Coordinator and one third Personal Assistant. The purpose of this role is to ensure that the recording commitments of Domino artists are organised to the highest level so that albums are delivered in a timely manner and within budget.

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ANJUNABEATS - PRODUCTION MANAGER (LONDON)
As the Production Manager you will be responsible for overseeing and implementing physical manufacturing through the entire supply chain. Devising and delivering release timelines for albums; liaising with artists and management and ensuring logistical release processes run smoothly and effectively.

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ANJUNABEATS - PRODUCT MANAGER (LONDON)
Working alongside the label and relevant teams you will be the point person for your designated artists and their management teams. You’ll be responsible for creating and delivering products and assets ensuring everything is delivered on time, on spec and within budget.

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PATTERNS - PROGRAMMING AND PROMOTIONS MANAGER (BRIGHTON)
This role will programme, maintain and promote an originaland exciting program of music led clubbing events for Patterns, overseeing the overall creative direction of the venue and managing key relationships with external and internal stakeholders.

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BIMM INSTITUTE - TALENT MANAGER (LONDON/BRIGHTON/REMOTE)
The Talent Manager will screen and support students throughout their recruitment experience with industry employers, and also be responsible for providing recruitment service to all employers and industry partners.

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GRAY MATTER - AGENT ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Gray Matter Agency is looking for a Music Assistant/Agent Assistant. Key resopnsibilities will include Booking and arrange logistics, managing and updating artists’ social media profiles, updating schedules for artists on relevant websites and platforms, and more.

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ROCK SOUND - ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
As Advertising Executive you will be connecting labels, promoters and brands with their target audience in order to drive results for Rock Sound’s partners whilst maximising advertising and sponsorship revenues.

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IMPALA gearing up to oppose Tencent's bid to buy 10% of Universal Music
Pan-European indie label trade group IMPALA yesterday confirmed that it's planning to oppose Vivendi's deal to sell a 10% stake in Universal Music to Tencent. The indie labels say that the Chinese web giant taking even a minority stake in the mega-major is a concern because of its various interests in the digital music sector, particularly in the key emerging market of China, but elsewhere too, including its alliance with Spotify.

Vivendi announced in August that it was planning to sell a 10% stake in its Universal Music business to Tencent. The Chinese company will also have the option to buy another 10% down the line. Vivendi has previously said that it could sell up to 50% of the Universal Music Group and indicated last month that it was still talking to other possible buyers.

In its statement yesterday, IMPALA said that the alliance of Universal and Tencent would "change the whole music ecosystem and smaller companies will be the first to lose out".

Universal, of course, is the biggest music rights company in the world, owning the biggest record company and merchandise business and the second biggest music publisher.

Tencent is the biggest player in digital music in China, now the seventh biggest recorded music market overall. It owns three streaming services in the country - QQ, Kugou and Kuwo - as well as the more lucrative karaoke app WeSing. Says IMPALA: "Tencent currently owns four out of five of the leading music apps and has an estimated 90% market share in the growing Chinese market for the retail of digital music".

Tencent also has music interests beyond its main streaming services and beyond China. It also owns the streaming app Joox, which has a solid userbase in some key Asian markets and clear ambitions in Africa. And in 2017 it announced an equity swap with Spotify, giving it an interest in the biggest premium streaming company of them all.

Meanwhile, back in China, it acts as a music distributor via its sometimes controversial exclusivity deals with the majors, meaning that rival streaming services need deals with Tencent to access that catalogue. Those arrangements have at times been controversial even within China, and in August Bloomberg reported that Chinese competition regulators were investigating.

IMPALA referenced that investigation yesterday, reckoning that competition regulators around the world, including in Europe, should likewise be looking into Vivendi's plan to bring Tencent in as a shareholder in Universal.

"This type of creeping influence will not escape regulatory scrutiny", it said. "The fact that the Chinese competition watchdog is already looking into Tencent Music's licensing deals with the majors underlines the importance regulators attach to ensuring fair play, and other regulators have raised the alarm about the power of online services and media giants".

IMPALA chief Helen Smith added: "Even at a low level of shareholding, we believe the risk of harm for consumers and competitors from such a transaction would be a concern because of the impact in both the digital market and the music sector, with independents being squeezed further and artists also losing out".

Confirming that IMPALA was also closely monitoring Vivendi's other negotiations regarding the sale of Universal stock, Smith concluded: "We also need to see how the plan to sell the rest of the UMG shares available plays out. There could be any number of outcomes".

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Slipknot's dispute with former percussionist arrives in New York court
The ongoing legal dispute between Slipknot and their former percussionist Chris Fehn was in court in New York yesterday. The focus was on whether or not the band's business manager Robert Shore should also be a defendant on the lawsuit.

Fehn exited Slipknot earlier this year after two decades with the band. Shortly before his departure was confirmed, he sued his bandmates overly allegedly diverted monies.

He claims that he was previously led to believe that all of the band's touring and merch income was channelled through one company which was then shared out between the members. However, earlier this year, he says, he discovered that some of his bandmates had set up other companies to receive some of this money, meaning he was denied his cut.

Business manager Shore is listed as a defendant on Fehn's lawsuit, but has been busy trying to get himself removed from the litigation. Fehn argues that Shore and his company had fiduciary obligations to him personally, as well as to Slipknot as a group, and that he failed to meet said obligations when setting up systems that favoured other members of the band, depriving him of his share of all the money.

According to Metal Sucks, both sides presented their respective arguments regarding the liabilities, or not, of Shore in court yesterday. By the end of the proceedings it seemed that the judge had concluded that Shore should definitely not be listed as a defendant in a personal capacity. However, his company, Rob Shore & Associates, possibly should be.

The judge said that she'll rule on whether RSA should remain as a defendant at the next scheduled hearing on 3 Jan next year. That session will also consider the band's bid to get the case dismissed, partly on jurisdiction grounds, and partly on the basis that Fehn's lawsuit fails to "state a cause of action".

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Billboard updates album chart bundling rules following criticism
Billboard has announced yet another update to its chart rules, this time on album bundles. That being when artists and labels sell new records as part of bigger packages that include other products like tickets and merch. The changes, says the company, are an attempt to overcome criticism that current rules too readily allow the counting of bundled packages that "do not reflect customers' true interest in purchasing the album".

Set to go into effect on 3 Jan, the new rules place more restrictions one what album-bundling packages can be counted towards the US album chart. Only bundles sold through an artist's own direct-to-fan channels will be counted and any merchandise included alongside the record must also be available for sale on its own at a lower price. The bundles must cost at least $3.49 more than the merchandise alone, that being the minimum price for an album to count as a sale in the chart.

Album sales will also only be counted when a physical item ships or a download is redeemed by the buyer. All of which should ensure that sales aren't counted when the fan wasn't really particularly interested in owning the album at all.

In the case of ticket and album bundles, the price of the album may still be included as part of the ticket price, so long as its inclusion in the package is promoted up front. Again, a sale will only be counted towards the artist's chart position once the album has been redeemed by the fan.

Billboard says of the rules update: "The changes come as bundles have been at the centre of a public debate around the Billboard albums charts, with many arguing these bundled album sales do not reflect customers' true interest in purchasing the album, but, rather, the merchandise it's packaged with. The new rules look to address that concern, by offering customers the option to purchase the merchandise with or without the album".

One of the most vocal critics of how bundle sales have been counted towards the charts up to now has been Nicki Minaj. In 2018, she said she felt that her 'Queen' album had been unfairly denied the number one position due to the way Travis Scott - who beat her to the top with his album 'Astroworld' - had been selling his record with other goodies.

"When you have a number two album to someone who's selling shirts, and merch, and passes for a tour that's not even announced yet, it feels like you're being tricked", she said on the 'Ellen' TV show. "It feels like you're playing a game and someone is beating you at a game, as opposed to selling music".

Meanwhile, earlier this year DJ Khaled threatened to sue Billboard after his album, 'Father Of Asahd', went in at number two, behind Tyler, The Creator's 'Igor'. In that case, Billboard apparently decided not to count some sales of Khaled's album where they were bundled with energy drinks, despite previously indicating that they would be.

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New American collecting society announces initial partners, including HFA
America's all-new mechanical rights collecting society, the MLC, has announced the appointment of a number of partners to help it set up a new system for processing the mechanical royalties paid to publishers and writers by streaming services. At least one those partners has already been criticised by some in the songwriting community.

The new society was instigated, of course, by last year's Music Modernization Act which sought to address issues with the way the mechanical rights in songs are licensed in the US. The lack of a collecting society in America able to issue a blanket licence to streaming services for those mechanical rights in songs had caused all sorts of issues, with songwriters going unpaid and streaming services getting sued.

By creating the MLC the US basically brings its licensing framework more in line with most other countries where there are collecting societies able to provide blanket licences for both the performing and mechanical rights in songs - both of which are exploited by the streaming services.

While many publishers nevertheless license their Anglo-American repertoires through direct deals in some markets, the societies still provide the streaming services with a mop-up licence covering any gaps not covered by their direct deals.

So that's a good thing. Although many of the collecting societies offering that mop-up licence elsewhere in the world have faced the same issues that the streaming services - and their agents - faced under the old system in the US.

Which is, how do you know what songs are contained in what recordings, and how to you work out who controls what stake of each song in each country? Tackling that challenge means building a shit hot database and then having some nifty tech and a team of savvy musical detectives to match new recordings to the songs they contain.

Societies around the world have met that challenge with mixed success. The MLC must build a system capable of doing all that from scratch. Starting anew does actually have some benefits, but it is - nevertheless - a big ask.

As the chair of the MLC board, Alisa Coleman, said yesterday: "Creating a single platform capable of handling a blanket mechanical license that will pay royalties to all songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers is a monumental effort that has never before been undertaken in the United States".

Coleman's board hopes that the people and companies it has now hired will be up to the job. That includes Richard Thompson, who formerly worked with Kobalt and chaired the music data standards organisation DDEX, who becomes the MLC's Chief Information Office. Thompson has already been consulting for the new society since February.

"To help guide this initiative, the board takes great pleasure in formally appointing Richard Thompson as CIO", Coleman added. "Richard's impressive experience in building the technology behind Kobalt, as well as his past role as chair of DDEX and his participation in the international music metadata standards group for nearly a decade, make him the ideal person to drive the development of the MLC's platform".

The external companies hired to help get the MLC's operations up and running include consulting firm Prophet, tech outfit ConsenSys and music licensing set up the Harry Fox Agency. It's the latter that is likely to prove controversial.

Under the old licensing system in the US labels and - in the streaming domain - digital platforms hire agencies to work out what songs have been used and who owns those songs, and to then get the right copyright owners paid according to the rules of the compulsory licence that covers mechanicals Stateside. HFA is one of those agencies, previously owned by the music publishing sector's trade body, but since 2015 in the hands of private equity.

Among HFA's clients is Spotify. Which is to say, the streaming service sued for billions for failing to properly identify all the songs streaming on its platform, meaning that loads of works went unlicensed. So, arguably Spotify's failure in that domain was really HFA's failure.

That is something noted by activist songwriter David Lowery, whose lawsuit against Spotify over unpaid mechanicals helped provide the momentum that forced the big music publishers and the digital services to come together to create a better licensing system centred on a new collecting society.

Lowery writes on the Trichordist website: "HFA did not properly do their job leaving streaming services exposed to massive copyright infringement lawsuits (from people like me). They created the problem that led to the creation of the MLC. Now they are rewarded with the contract to run the matching of musical works and paying artists".

"Didn't they just fail spectacularly when asked by Spotify to do this job?" he goes on. "Didn't the Spotify class action and the four other private lawsuits prove they were incapable of doing the job?"

The key deal done between the music publishers and the streaming services that led to the MMA was that, if the latter paid for the running of the MLC, they could no longer be sued if and when songwriters didn't receive royalties even though their songs had been streamed.
So, moving forward, the Spotifys of this world will simply hand over some data and money to the MLC and then walk away.

If it works, the MLC system is a much better way of getting publishers and songwriters paid. But if it fails, writers still won't get their money, and won't be able to sue the streaming firms. Which is why the likes of Lowery are rightly scrutinising what happens at the new society.

After outlining some other grievances with HFA, his Trichordist piece concludes by addressing that new society directly about its decision to hire HFA. "This company was one of the main reasons songwriters didn't get their mechanicals for seven going on eight years", he says. "What the fuck were you guys thinking?"

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Viagogo has Google Ads ban lifted
It's been a big week for Viagogo. Having bought out its last remaining rival in the UK, the controversial secondary ticketing site is back on Google Ads too.

The company was banned from using Google's advertising platform in July following pressure from anti-touting campaigners. The US web giant had previously updated its rules for secondary ticketing adverts in 2018 to deal with concerns that resale sites deliberately mislead customers about the unofficial status of their sellers. A bought top ranking on Google further implies a tout is, in fact, an official seller of any one ticket.

The new rules were welcomed by those critical of the secondary ticketing market, though the web giant was initially criticised when it failed to enforce them on Viagogo, which campaigners said repeatedly breached the new restrictions.

When it finally came, the global ban of the site from Google Ads was seen as a big victory in the battle against for-profit online touting, and reportedly had a dramatic impact on the amount of traffic reaching Viagogo's website. It had been hoped that that ban would be enforced long term, if not permanently. However, four months later, Viagogo is back in the commercial slots at the top of some Google search lists.

A spokesperson for the secondary ticketing site told IQ that its advertising privileges had been reinstated last week, adding that "the company has worked closely with Google and is pleased with this outcome".

It is not back everywhere though. Google has seemingly only lifted the ban in territories where local authorities have confirmed that Viagogo is not in breach of local consumer rights law. This means it is currently still not allowed to use Google Ads in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Slovakia and Taiwan.

It's all go here in the UK though, where the government's Competition And Markets Authority dropped legal proceedings against Viagogo in July, just after the Google ban was enacted. The CMA continues to investigate the site's business practices, however.

A quick Google search for Little Mix tickets confirmed that Google UK is serving adverts for Viagogo. Its offer of tickets appears at the top of the page, above all primary sellers - even those paying for higher Google rankings.

Although at least Viagogo is no longer using the word "official" in its Google ads, as it once did. It previously dubiously claimed that the Google listing linked to the "official" page for any one artist on its own website. That, critics argue, was a key tactic employed by Viagogo to confuse customers into thinking that unofficial touts are official sellers.

A spokesperson for Google said: "Any advertiser can appeal a suspension and if we find that they have made appropriate changes to their account they may be eligible for reactivation. We still continue to enforce our policies and we will take action against ads or accounts that violate our policies".

While Viagogo may have dealt with some of the things its critics object to in order to get back into Google's good books, campaigners will argue that it still employs anti-consumer tactics, and by taking its advertising dollar Google is once again helping with that.

For example, while it may no longer be implying an official connection to Little Mix in its advertising for their tickets, Viagogo does still try to instil a sense of urgency in a bid to rush consumers into buying without further research, by using phrases such as "deals won't last long", "many people viewing" and "selling fast".

That urgency right now is unnecessary. Anyone who clicks through to Viagogo from Google today will find tickets available for Little Mix's 2020 summer tour available for upwards of £90 per ticket. However, those tickets do not go on general sale until tomorrow, suggesting some touts are still selling tickets they don't actually have yet or at least accessing them though pre-sales.

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Robert FX Sillerman dies
Prolific entertainment industry entrepreneur Robert FX Sillerman, who had a major impact on the American live sector in the late 1990s, has died from respiratory illness. According to Billboard, he passed away on Sunday, aged 71.

Sillerman's original business was broadcasting, but in the late 1990s he rapidly moved into live entertainment, buying up an assortment of concert promoters and venues to quickly make his company, SFX Entertainment, a key player in the live market. He then equally speedily sold on that business via a multi-billion dollar deal with US radio giant Clear Channel, which five years later spun it all off as a separate entity called Live Nation.

With his next big venture, Sillerman moved back into media by acquiring Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment and, with it, popular TV formats like 'American Idol' and 'So You Think You Can Dance'. Though that company, called CKX, also got big into the exploitation of image rights, going into business with the estates of Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley.

After CKX, Sillerman set up another company called SFX. This one sought to capitalise on the EDM boom in the US by applying the same model he'd used in the rock and pop business in the 1990s, ie rapidly buying up an assortment of buzzy and successful independent companies so to become an overnight powerhouse within the sector.

Although he did successfully achieve that status, this time it didn't go so well. Having taken the business public in 2013, increased scrutiny fell on the firm's poor finances. Meanwhile, Sillerman's efforts to take the company back into private ownership proved controversial.

Ultimately, the second SFX business filed for bankruptcy, with Sillerman not involved in the entity that came out at the other end of that process, aka LiveStyle. Instead Sillerman was left fighting litigation launched by his former investors.

However, while his latter ventures did not enjoy the same level of success, Sillerman's early dealings in live entertainment had a big impact on the concerts business, especially in the US, which can still be seen in the industry today.

He is survived by his wife Laura Baudo.

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MME 4.5 on VideoVision is tomorrow
The next edition of MME 4.5 takes place tomorrow at the London HQ of Lewis Silkin, putting the spotlight on video, the video streaming sector, and where the audio-visual business is likely to head next.

CMU is a media partner of MME 4.5 and CMU's Chris Cooke sits alongside an assortment of music, media and legal experts on the programme's editorial board.

The regular half day MME 4.5 events put the spotlight on issues, trends and debates in the music, media and entertainment sectors, exploring how the different content businesses intersect with each other, and with innovators in the technology and investment communities. Each edition sees a series of experts deliver short ten-minute presentations, and then debate key points with each other and the audience.

Specific topics under the spotlight tomorrow include: 'Video as a medium for the next 1bn' (Ray Monner, Annie Stacks), 'Designing for addiction - feeding the fanbase' (Julia Hörnle, Queen Mary University of London), 'Niche SVOD Growth Hacks - where to focus' (Rich Bowdler, NextUp Comedy Ltd) and 'Co-creation strategies: creators of short-form video as brand ambassadors for acts and content' (Sam Proud, Play On Player).

For more information and tickets click here. A discount code is available to premium CMU subscribers - email publishing@unlimitedmedia.co.uk for more details.
 

RELEASES

Ash have released a new video for their 1994 single 'Petrol' as they continue to gear up for the release of new 25th anniversary compilation 'Teenage Wildlife', which is out on 14 Feb.

Animal Collective's Avey Tare has released new single 'Conference Of Birds'. It will arrive on vinyl, backed by another new song 'Birds In Disguise', on 5 Dec.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi has released the video for 'I Am Looking Forward', taken from his new mini-album 'Dissolution'.

Sasami has released a Christmas EP titled 'Lil Drmr BB'. Listen to it here.

Pictish Trail has released new single 'Bad Algebra', from upcoming album 'Thumb World'. He's also announced that he will be touring the UK in March next year.

Au Revoir Simone's Annie Hart has released new single 'Don't Breathe For Me'. Her new solo album, 'A Softer Offering', is out on 12 Dec.

Oh Land has released new festive single 'Wishes'. "I wanted to write a song that sonically got me in the right mood [for Christmas] but also had a message that is true to my reality", she says. "Which is that time seems to be the one thing that's most desirable and hardest to achieve enough of".

Douglas Dare has announced that he will release new album 'Milkteeth' on 21 Feb. Here's new single 'Silly Games'.

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AWARDS

The BRITs Critics' Choice... sorry, Rising Star Award shortlist has been announced. The three artists up for it are Beabadoobee, Celeste and Joy Crookes. The overall winner will be announced on 6 Dec. Joy Crookes please.

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

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Michael Gove quotes Stormzy in Labour MP tweet battle
If there's one thing politicians can be relied upon for, it's quoting pop lyrics. And that's about it. The latest MP to feature in an episode of the long-running 'MPs quote pop' series is Michael Gove, who has been observed reciting Stormzy. Or at least writing the rapper's lyrics down.

This all started when Gove was asked on Talk Radio about Stormzy's recent support of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party over "sinister" 'Boris' Johnson and the Conservatives. "He is a far, far better rapper than he is a political analyst", said Gove.

Labour's Angela Raynor tweeted in response to this soundbite: "And Michael Gove is crap at both", to which Gove replied: "I set trends dem man copy". To be fair, that's pretty funny. Maybe this Gove guy's alright. You know, if you ignore everything else. He also chose a lyric from 'Shut Up', which sends a double message. Gove is a real double message guy. And presumably he managed this without consulting any experts.

In his Talk Radio interview, Gove also said: "I think we again know that Stormzy, when he took to the stage at Glastonbury wearing a stab vest, he made clear what his political views were then".

He's absolutely right about that too. Although I think what Gove is "clear" on and what everyone else understands might be different. Luckily for us though, Stormzy isn't exactly shy about saying precisely what his views are.

Earlier this week the rapper put his name to an open letter from various musicians coming out in support of the Labour Party at the upcoming General Election. Later he followed that up with a more blunt post on Twitter.

Urging fans to register to vote - which many apparently then did - he said: "In my 26 years of life I have never trusted politicians or relied on them to be the bearers of hope and righteous people that we've needed them to be. And for me, [Corbyn] is the first man in a position of power who is committed to giving the power back to the people and helping those who need a helping hand from the government the most".

"I think Boris Johnson is a sinister man with a long record of lying and policies that have absolutely no regard for the people that our government should be committed to helping and empowering", he added. "I also believe it is criminally dangerous to give the most powerful role in the country to a man who has said that the sight of 'a bunch of black kids' makes him 'turn a hair', compared women in burqas to letterboxes, and referred to black people as 'picaninnies' with 'watermelon smiles'".

I don't know about you, but Stormzy's political analysis actually seems alright to me. We just need to hear Gove actually deliver those lyrics out loud now to get a full comparison of the two men.

The rapper (Stormzy, not Gove) also recently hit out at Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg - who seems to have been shoved in a cupboard now that the election campaign is up and running - after he suggested that people who died in the Grenfell disaster did so because they lacked the "common sense" to escape.

As previously hinted, Gove's tweet is not the first time that a politician has quoted a rapper. It's not even the first time Stormzy has been quoted. Although it's usually Labour politicians who do it, Tories generally not having heard of rap. In 2017, Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones used her constituent's lyrics to remind colleagues that they would only keep their jobs as long as the people wanted them, saying, 'You're never too big for the boot'.

Later the same year, Fiona Onasanya responded to the government's new budget in Parliament by slightly misquoting Big Shaq's 'Man's Not Hot'.

If you want Conservatives quoting pop - and really, you don't - you need look no further than failed Prime Minister David Cameron, who often liked to claim a fondness for contemporary music, while also showing little to no understanding of it. A bit like current PM 'Boris' Johnson, in that regard.

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ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily, website and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and CMU Trends. He also leads the CMU Insights and CMU Pathways consultancy units and the CMU:DIY future talent programme, as well as heading up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (except press releases, see below)
   
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, and also heads up business development at CMU InsightsCMU Pathways and CMU:DIY.
sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 9060
   
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media as a Director of 3CM UnLimited, as well as heading up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supporting other parts of the business.
caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
CMU helps people to navigate and understand the music business.

We do this through our media, our training and our research, and at a range of music industry events.

CMU Daily covers all the latest news and developments direct by email.

Setlist is a weekly podcast dissecting the biggest music business stories.

CMU Premium gives you access to the CMU Digest and CMU Trends.

CMU Insights is our music business consultancy: supporting the industry.

CMU Pathways is our music education consultancy: supporting educators.

CMU:DIY is our future talent programme: supporting new music talent.



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