THURSDAY 14 JANUARY 2021 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: UK Prime Minister 'Boris' Johnson has committed to organise a meeting with MPs to discuss the post-Brexit issues facing musicians touring Europe and how those issues might be overcome. And with the PM now taking an active interest in this issue, what can possibly go wrong? There'll probably be an all out ban on British musicians touring Europe by next Tuesday... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES UK Prime Minister commits to meeting to discuss the post-Brexit visa problem for touring musicians
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DEALS Jamie Cullum signs to Sony/ATV
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LIVE BUSINESS Manchester promoters launch new company, Luminescent
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BRANDS & MERCH Liam Payne presents new football podcast
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MEDIA Radio 3 launches mood-based shows with Jorja Smith and Celeste
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EDUCATION & EVENTS Skunk Anansie's Skin named Chancellor of Leeds Arts University
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ONE LINERS Billy Duffy, Corey Taylor, Travis, more
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AND FINALLY... Def Leppard launch "first ever digital rock n roll museum"
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A ten step guide to the collective licensing system
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UK Prime Minister commits to meeting to discuss the post-Brexit visa problem for touring musicians
UK Prime Minister 'Boris' Johnson has committed to organise a meeting with MPs to discuss the post-Brexit issues facing musicians touring Europe and how those issues might be overcome. And with the PM now taking an active interest in this issue, what can possibly go wrong? There'll probably be an all out ban on British musicians touring Europe by next Tuesday.

The UK and the EU both continue to blame each other for the lack of any provisions in the post-Brexit UK/EU trade deal to ensure visa-free touring for British artists around Europe.

With no such provisions in place, British musicians seeking to tour the EU must now adhere to the entry rules of each individual country, some of which require artists and their crews to secure travel permits and/or equipment carnets. It's feared that the extra cost and hassle that involves will make some tours unviable.

Having previously received assurances that, providing a trade deal was agreed, Brexit would not affect musicians in this way, the UK music community was quick to criticise the government as soon as said trade deal was published.

Ministers responded by saying that they'd tried to ensure that touring musicians wouldn't face any new bureaucracy post-Brexit, but that EU officials had knocked back their proposals. Sources at the EU then told The Independent that this claim was not true, and that - in fact - it was UK officials who knocked back EU proposals that would have ensured artists could still tour Europe visa-free.

That blame game has continued this week. UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden yesterday told NME that there had been lots of speculation and inaccurate reporting on the new visa requirements facing musicians, insisting that the British government "fought to get a good deal for British music precisely because we recognise how valuable this industry is to the country".

He went on: "Some reports have suggested we turned down a bespoke arrangement from the EU to allow musicians to work and perform across the bloc. In reality, it was the other way round. As negotiations began, we consulted extensively with the sector to find out what they needed from the negotiations. We sought a mutually beneficial agreement that would have allowed performers to continue working and perform across the continent without the need for work permits".

"Musicians, artists, entertainers and support staff would have been captured through the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors", he explained. "This was a straightforward solution for our creative industries which would have benefited all sides. But the EU turned it down, repeatedly. It did not propose and wouldn't accept a tailored deal for musicians and artists. I'm afraid it was the EU letting down music on both sides of the Channel - not us".

EU sources have said that the main problem in this domain during the deal negotiations was that the UK government wasn't willing to offer European artists the same level of visa-free access to the UK as the EU was proposing to offer British artists in Europe, and that any deal needs to be reciprocal.

However, Dowden insisted to the NME that "the UK remains open for musicians to tour here, as it has always been". Clarifying, he went on: "Artists, musicians and entertainers from the EU don't need a visa to give performances [or] take part in competitions or promotional activities. If they get paid, they can stay for up to one month, and if they are only claiming expenses or prize money, they can stay for up to six months".

"Though the situation has changed", he went on, "we're trying to make it as straightforward as possible for UK artists to continue putting on performances across the continent. Some EU member states, such as France, already allow musicians from outside the EU to perform in their countries with minimal bureaucracy and those rules will apply to UK musicians as well".

After NME had published Dowden's remarks, a spokesperson for the European Commission hit back, again insisting that the lack of an EU-wide visa-free provision for touring artists was the fault of UK ministers.

"The UK has chosen to no longer allow the free movement of EU citizens to the UK", the spokesperson told NME. "It also refused to include a chapter on mobility in the agreement. These choices inevitably mean that travel between the EU and the UK – including for business purposes – will no longer be as easy as it was while the UK was a member state".

"The UK refused to include a commitment on visa-free short stays in the Trade And Cooperation Agreement", the spokesperson went on. "Such types of commitments in the EU's international agreements are usually accompanied by a joint declaration explicitly excluding certain categories - for example, sportspersons, artists and journalists - from the requirement to have a visa. As a result, it is now up to each member state to determine if a visa is required for short-stay visits for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity. This is fully in line with EU law".

Although representatives for the music industry have asked for full transparency over exactly what was discussed regarding touring artists when the UK/EU trade deal was negotiated, at the same time the main priority for the music community now is getting UK and EU officials back around the negotiating table. Given that both sides insist that they want a simpler system for UK artists touring the EU, and EU artists touring the UK, industry reps argue that both UK and EU officials should be up for such discussions.

Dowden confirmed in his statement to NME that the UK government's "door is still open" if the EU is up for negotiating a better system. "The treaty we negotiated has a review clause that allows us to revisit the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors", he said, "but we shouldn't have to wait for that if both sides can agree sooner to do the right thing for our talented artists. I'll be making that point to my counterparts in Europe and I hope they change their minds".

It was in a bid to ensure that such negotiations definitely now take place - sooner rather than later - that Kevin Brennan MP yesterday requested that Boris Johnson convene a meeting on the matter.

During Prime Minister's Questions in Parliament, he stated: "There is a real disappointment that a reciprocal work permit free deal for touring musicians and performers has not been agreed with the EU. No one is interested in a blame game, it's clearly fixable, and in Britain's economic and cultural interest to do so quickly, but it needs leadership from the top".

"So will the Prime Minister meet on this with a small group of MPs, including the Conservative Chair of the Culture Select Committee? We are all singing from the same song sheet, will he please say 'yes' to the meeting?".

Johnson responded: "I will of course ensure that there is a proper meeting with the honourable gentleman and his colleagues on this subject, which is extremely important, and I know that our friends in the EU will be wanting to go further to improve things, not just for musicians, but for business travellers of all kinds, because there is a mutual benefit".

Among those welcoming the commitment of Dowden and Johnson to actively seek to address this issue was David Martin, CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition.

He said last night: "It doesn't matter to artists or the music industry who said what during the Brexit negotiations. What matters is that the situation is rectified. I am happy to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary Of State Oliver Dowden explicitly announce that there is the will within government to find a solution to this impasse".

"The current rules will see the UK performers subject to 30 different sets of regulations in the EU and EEA, and artists from across Europe subject to one of three modes for entering the UK, which they were not previously required to navigate", he added. "In both directions, this will add cost and bureaucracy, which is to neither the UK nor the EU's benefit".

"I note Mr Dowden's comments that nothing has changed for European artists entering the UK", he went on. "I would welcome further clarification on this claim given that European performers now have third-party national status when working in the UK".

Concluding, Martin stated: "As always, the FAC and our colleagues across the industry are ready to work with Mr Dowden's department and others in government, to ensure a simple and effective solution is put in place, allowing performers across the whole of Europe to travel easily and ensuring fans across the continent are not disappointed".

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Jamie Cullum signs to Sony/ATV
Sony/ATV has signed Jamie Cullum to one of those global publishing deals everyone's talking about.

"Whilst I have had a long and interesting journey as a songwriter, I do feel like I'm entering a new phase in the body of work I'm creating", says Cullum. "I know and respect the team at Sony/ATV and I'm excited to explore with them the possibilities of where we can use my songs not only within my own recorded output but also for other artists, and in film, theatre, computer games and beyond".

Sony/ATV UK's co-MDs David Ventura and Tim Major add: "Jamie is a class act in every way – as a songwriter, a musician, a voice and as a person. We're absolutely THRILLED that he has chosen to work with us on this exciting next phase of his career".

Fran Malyan, Sony/ATV's SVP Catalogue, chips in: "I've worked with Jamie from the beginning of his amazing career, so I'm more than THRILLED that he's returning to his original home. His new album is a masterpiece full of brand new songs that sound like standards".

Oh yes, Cullum signed his first publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing in 2003. That company was then absorbed by Sony/ATV, of course. So I guess it's sort of a return to where he started. If you squint a bit.

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Manchester promoters launch new company, Luminescent
Manchester-based promoters and venue programmers Ben Taylor and Ade Dovey have announced that they are teaming up to launch new live music company Luminescent.

"Throughout 2020, after a range of unforeseeable changes, both personal and professional, it just made sense for us to join forces", says Dovey. "We had both hit the ceiling pretty hard with our ongoing commitment to running music venues over the years. We have been friends - and competitors! - for ten years, so when COVID-19 flipped the world upside down we just kept in touch and realised we have an opportunity to do something together, something creative and fulfilling, something we had both missed for a long time in our previous roles".

"After some serious soul searching - the concern of 'what venues are going to employ us now?' and the music industry on its knees due to the pandemic - Ben and I realised that this potentially gave us an advantage and it was time to get our ducks in a row", he goes on. "We've had time to reflect and develop this new venture and the feedback we've had from industry professionals has already been overwhelmingly positive".

Taylor adds: "I'm a firm believer of things happening for a reason. With the journey we have both been on, juggling and wrestling shows between ourselves in Manchester, it seems fitting that we'll now be working together to bring some very exciting shows to the table. Ade's a great friend and superb promoter. I've been a big fan of what he's produced over the last few years. As soon as the idea of us joining forces was born, I was in".

"We just can't wait to build on Luminescent, work with artists and individuals that we both love and creatively respect, support the music community, be sustainable and do it our way", he concludes.

Between them, Taylor and Dovey have worked at Manchester venues including Albert Hall, Gorilla, The Deaf Institute, Sound Control, Night & Day Café, Roadhouse and Manchester Arena.

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Liam Payne presents new football podcast
Liam Payne has announced that he is releasing... a podcast, obviously. Only losers put out music these days. It's not just any old podcast though. This is a football podcast. It's going to be called the FIFA PlayOn Podcast.

It's part of FIFA's new FIFA Sound initiative, which aims to "create innovative and meaningful connections between football fans, music enthusiasts, players, artists, and the game and songs they all love". I'm not sure how many times you can discuss the cultural significance of 'Vindaloo'. I guess it's possible they'll find something else to talk about eventually.

Payne has been drafted in because the whole thing is being put together by Universal Music Group For Brands - a division of Universal that does music stuff for brands. As you may have guessed from the name. I know I did. And Payne, of course, is signed to Universal's Capitol label.

The PlayOn Podcast will see Payne and co-host Jaydee Dyer talk to a footballer and a musician who has inspired them. They'll then try to find some sort of common ground between the sporty and musical guests. Hopefully there'll just be 30 awkward minutes of a musician trying to find different ways to say, "I don't really like football".

If that is the case, Payne isn't letting on. Announcing the show, he says: "I can't wait for everyone to hear what we've been working on with FIFA. The PlayOn Podcast has been such a journey – it's been awesome having these incredible players and special guests come together and exchange life experiences from both on and off the pitch, all through the lens of music".

Olivier Robert-Murphy, Executive Vice President of Universal Music Group For Brands, adds of the wider FIFA partnership: "We're delighted to be able to launch this collaboration between FIFA and Universal Music Group, which brings together two of the world's biggest and most influential passion points – football and music – to create a series of unique fan experiences".

"Starting with the launch of the PlayOn Podcast series", he goes on, "these initiatives will showcase the symbiosis and shared bonds between the world's best footballers and musicians alongside the fans that idolise them globally".

PlayOn is available from wherever you normally get podcasts, or by screaming "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL!" at a One Direction poster.

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Radio 3 launches mood-based shows with Jorja Smith and Celeste
Given we're all now meant to navigate music by 'mood' rather than 'genre', BBC Radio 3 has recruited Jorja Smith and Celeste to host weekly radio shows where things will be rather eclectic genre-wise, but diligently curated by their chosen moods.

Jorja Smith will host 'Tearjerker', described as an hour of "healing, emotional music". Celeste, meanwhile, will present 'Downtime Symphony', an hour of "wind down music". Classical, jazz, choral, piano, pop, house and hip hop are all expected to feature across the two programmes.

Says Smith about 'Tearjerker': "It's important to try and find time to just let go and let music take you to a different place. I hope the music in my new series - from strings and piano to songs and soundtracks - will help you whatever you're feeling, bring out different emotions and make you feel a little better".

And on 'Downtime Symphony', Celeste adds: "Separating work and relaxation is so important for creativity and wellness, now more than ever, so I'm delighted to be presenting a series which spotlights the best music for slowing down, filled with musical nostalgia and discovery".

Announcing the two new programmes, Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey comments: "We know that younger audiences are discovering orchestral and instrumental music through streaming cross-genre playlists and find it not only enjoyable and enriching, a time for discovery, but also relaxing and calming and helping to manage their moods".

"We hope that this new series", he goes on, "enables us to provide a rich array of sounds for audiences with a growing appetite for music that help us to connect with our emotions, improve our sense of well-being, and be better in touch with ourselves and others".

The first edition of 'Tearjerker' goes out this Saturday, with 'Downtime Symphony' launching the following weekend. They will air super early on Saturday mornings, but Radio 3 assumes its target audience will tune in on demand via BBC Sounds.

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Skunk Anansie's Skin named Chancellor of Leeds Arts University
Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin has been announced at the first Chancellor of Leeds Arts University. Having existed in various forms since 1846, the specialist educational establishment was granted university status in 2017.

"I am absolutely delighted and honoured to accept the role as the first ever Chancellor of Leeds Arts University, which is the only specialist arts university in the north of England", says Skin. "I visited recently, met lots of the staff and I was just really impressed with the students and the set up. I'm looking forward to supporting everybody in their creative talents".

The university's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Simone Wonnacott, adds: "It is a great pleasure to announce that Skin will be Leeds Arts University's first Chancellor".

"Skin has an ongoing relationship with the university", she goes on. "Her visit in 2019 as a part of our Creative Networks events programme and masterclass was an inspiration to all our students. Skin's creative background spans many areas of the creative industries including music, fashion and art, and makes her uniquely qualified to undertake the post of Chancellor".

In case you wondered, as Chancellor, Skin will be the ceremonial head of the university, acting as an ambassador and figurehead for the institution.

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DEALS

Round Hill Music has acquired the publishing catalogue of The Cult's Billy Duffy. "We jumped at the chance to work with Billy Duffy when we heard he was looking for new home for his catalogue", says Round Hill CEO Josh Gruss. "He has built such an amazingly rich and enduring body of work over the last four decades and is still full of creativity and energy, it's inspiring".

Universal Music Publishing has signed songwriter and producer Louis Bell to a global publishing deal. His credits include Post Malone's 'Rockstar' and Camila Cabello's 'Havana'. "I am THRILLED to welcome Louis Bell to the UMPG family", says CEO Jody Gerson. "He is not only an immensely talented songwriter and producer for the some of the biggest artists in the world; he is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I know".

Downtown Neighbouring Rights has signed a deal to represent the estate of Ella Fitzgerald and will collect performance royalties for the jazz star's recordings outside of the US. "Without question, Ella Fitzgerald is one of the world's most beloved vocalists", says DNR GM Dean Francis. "To represent the performance rights of her impressive recording catalogue is a true honour,".

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LEGAL

The next oral hearing as part of the UK parliament culture select committee's inquiry into the economics of music streaming will take place next Tuesday, 19 Jan. This time the bosses of UK collecting societies PRS and PPL - and of the UK divisions of all three major record companies - will be answering the questions of MPs. Should be fun.

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APPOINTMENTS

Recently launched talent agency Arrival Artists has hired Ryan Farlow to join its team of agents. "I'm THRILLED to have Ryan joining us at Arrival", says co-founder John Bongiorno. "If there is any agent who exemplifies what Arrival stands for, it's Ryan. He is a true agent who books career artists, thrives in a team setting, is as creative as they come, and whose clients love him".

Distributor and label services firm Ingrooves has promoted Lloyd Hummel to EVP Global Commercial Strategy. "I'm THRILLED to work with one of the best teams in the business and for the opportunity to expand my role within the organisation", he says.

Natalia Nastaskin is set to join Primary Wave Music as Partner and Chief Content Officer. She moves over from United Talent Agency. "I'm THRILLED to welcome my friend Natalia Nastaskin to the Primary Wave team", says the firm's CEO Larry Mestel. "Natalia is a proven music industry trailblazer, dealmaker and creative force, that will be an amazing new leader within our existing team".

Increasingly musical fitness firm Peloton has hired Nicole St Jean as Senior Director Of Music Partnerships. She joins from virtual entertainment company Wave. "Nicole has always worked in the intersection of talent, content and tech and she is an incredible producer", says Peloton's Head Of Music Gwen Bethel Riley. "I'm THRILLED to have her join us at such a critical time for our brand development and expansion".

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RELEASES

Corey Taylor has released the video for 'Samantha's Gone' from his 'CMFT' album. "The video for 'Samantha's Gone' served two purposes", says Taylor. "Making fun of so-called 'indie rock' bands and getting all my friends together to hang out and have a good time".

Travis has released the video for 'Nina's Song', using deepfake technology to turn it into a duet between Fran Healy and his cat Huey. "It's actually the first time a deepfake has been made between a human and an animal", says Healy. "The engineers had to push their technology to new places to achieve this. Very smart folk and a lot of fun to work with".

G Flip has released new single 'Queen', featuring Mxmtoon.

Noga Erez has released new single 'End Of The Road'. Her second album, 'Kids', is set for release through City Slang on 26 Mar.

James Yorkston And The Second Hand Orchestra have released new single 'There Is No Upside'. Their new album, 'The Wide, Wide River', is out on 26 Jan.

Murcof has announced that he will release new album 'The Alias Sessions' on 9 Apr through The Leaf Label. "This material is a bit more abstract than my previous works, with plenty of non-tonal sounds that sometimes take centre stage", he says. From it, this is 'Underwater Lament'.

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

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Def Leppard launch "first ever digital rock n roll museum"
Def Leppard have launched what they are calling the "first ever digital rock n roll museum", but which you might call "a website". Hey, maybe both can be right. It is, after all, a meticulous online archive of personal artefacts from the band's history.

The site allows you to peruse items including photographs, Def Leppard t-shirts from across the years, and jackets worn on stage and elsewhere by members of the band. There's also a section devoted to miscellaneous items from the band's tours, from stagewear to backstage passes, and tour itineraries to slippers worn backstage by band members. Many items also include audio clips of said band members discussing what is on display. Yes, even the slippers.

"After months of digging through our personal rock and roll closets - and warehouses, no less! - we present you our history", says vocalist Joe Elliott. "Our historic vault will continually be updated with instalments you may have seen [and] some gems I promise you've never heard or seen. It's a true backstage pass for any Def Leppard or rock n roll fan".

The project has been put together by US archival company Inveniem. CEO Brad Mindich says: "We are extremely honoured to be trusted by the band to help them find, curate, and present their expansive history to fans in this new, digital environment".

"Def Leppard's stories and artefacts are extraordinary, and their desire to want to create the Def Leppard Vault so they can share their legacy directly with fans reinforces why they have been so impactful on music and culture for more than four decades".

"The exciting part is that what fans will see starting today is just the beginning", he adds. "There is so much more being discovered from the band and fans alike that will be added to the Def Leppard Vault for months and years to come".

Not sure if they're taking wishlists, but I've browsed quite a lot of the Vault already and have only actually found two sets of slippers - those of Elliott and those of guitarist Phil Collen. Here's hoping many more can be discovered and added as the years go by.

I'm still not entirely convinced that this can really be the first time a band has put together an online archive like this. That said, I haven't found any other examples as yet. Many artists have massive archives of stuff they've used and acquired in the course of their careers, so it would make sense to do something with them like this, I guess.

You can check out the Def Leppard Vault here.

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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 consultancy unit 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 Insights 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
 
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