|TUESDAY 5 JULY 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The BBC has revealed that it is now aware of six formal complaints accusing DJ Tim Westwood of inappropriate behaviour while he was working for the broadcaster, one of which resulted in management speaking to the presenter, and one of which was referred to the police... [READ MORE]|
BBC confirms it received complaints against DJ Tim Westwood prior to April documentary
Back in April, seven women made allegations of sexual misconduct against Westwood in a BBC Three documentary that followed a joint investigation by BBC News and The Guardian. That resulted in Westwood stepping down from Capital Xtra, the station where he was then presenting shows.
Three of the accusers said that, after they agreed to meet with the DJ to discuss their careers in music, he had pressured them into sex. The other four said Westwood had groped them as they posed for photographs at events.
Responding to those allegations at the time, BBC boss Tim Davie - who previously headed up the Corporation's radio output while Westwood was still working for Radio 1 and 1Xtra - said the allegations were "shocking" and "appalling". But, he added, he was not aware of any formal complaints having been made against Westwood while the DJ was presenting shows for the BBC.
The BBC Director General told The Guardian: "I've seen no evidence of [earlier] complaints [to the BBC]. I've asked and we looked at our records and we've seen no evidence. Every complaint has to be taken seriously. If anything comes up we will investigate it fully".
However, while some of the six formal complaints that were confirmed yesterday have been made since the airing of the BBC Three documentary, some seemingly pre-date the programme and were found in the BBC's files. That includes the complaint that led to BBC execs speaking to the DJ and the one that was referred to the police.
In terms of that latter complaint, the broadcaster hasn't given much information regarding what it specifically involved or why bosses felt it should be passed on to the police, except to say: "It did not relate to conduct at the BBC, BBC premises, or conduct towards a BBC staff member, nor was it an accusation of physical assault".
Across the six complaints, a BBC spokesperson has confirmed, Westwood was accused of bullying and sexual misconduct, with some of the alleged incidents occurring outside of the BBC itself.
The Corporation now has its own investigation underway regarding the allegations made against Westwood - and what, if anything, BBC management knew of those allegations at the time they were made - and the spokesperson said that more information regarding the specifics of the complaints might be made public once the investigation is complete.
The new information regarding past complaints against Westwood comes after one of the BBC's own journalists, Chi Chi Izundu, challenged the Corporation's response to a freedom of information request that was made by BBC News and The Guardian last year in relation to their joint investigation.
As a publicly funded organisation, the BBC is subject to the Freedom Of Information Act. However, it initially declined to say anything about Westwood, and refused to confirm or deny whether it had any information regarding the DJ's past conduct in its files. The BBC's position seemingly changed following the airing of the documentary in April.
Regarding Davie's comments following the broadcast of that programme - to the effect that he wasn't aware of any previous complaints - the BBC has said that the Director General was simply setting out the Corporation's position as he understood it at the time. The DG's April statement did also encourage anyone with new information regarding the Westwood allegations to come forward, adding "we will follow up anything and we will dig and dig and dig".
Noting that, the BBC's spokesperson added yesterday: "As we have said, if people have things that they want to raise with the BBC, then they should do so. People have now done so and we will continue to investigate. We also said that we would dig into what happened in the past. We are doing that with great care. All of that work hasn't concluded and is ongoing. We said we would take this seriously, and we are. When that work has concluded, we will say more".
For his part, Westwood continues to deny all the allegations that have been made against him. In a statement issued in April, a rep for the DJ said: "Tim Westwood strongly denies all allegations of inappropriate behaviour. In a career that has spanned 40 years, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially. Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing".
Court order in US web-blocking case likely to be stripped back
The court order was secured as part of a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a group of Israeli movie and media companies against piracy sites Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv. As well as ruling against those three sites, the judge overseeing the case also ordered internet companies to stop providing any services to the people and companies that operate them, and told internet service providers to put in place some web-blocks.
Although web-blocking - where ISPs are told to block their users from accessing copyright infringing websites - has become a routine anti-piracy tactic in many countries around the world, the practice hasn't generally been available to copyright owners in the US, because when politicians proposed putting specific web-blocking provisions into copyright law it proved very controversial indeed.
That made the ruling in this case very interesting. Although, shortly after the court order had been issued in relation to Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv, the movie and media companies that pursued the case told the judge they probably didn't need to the web-blocks.
However, they did seem to be enforcing other elements of the court order that said US internet companies shouldn't provide any services to any people or companies linked to the three piracy sites. So much so, the plaintiffs returned to court asking the judge to hold one of those internet companies - Cloudflare - in contempt of court, for allegedly not doing enough to ensure all services had been cut off to the three piracy sites.
But Cloudflare - supported by the likes of Google and the Electronic Frontier Foundation - pushed back, arguing that those elements of the court order targeting hosting companies, domain registrars and businesses like Cloudflare were also too wide-reaching.
Seemingly not too keen to go to battle with every internet services company in America, the plaintiffs in the case have been negotiating with Cloudflare et al regarding how the court order in their case could be revised so to be narrower in scope but more easily enforceable.
And, according to Torrentfreak, a proposed revised court order has now been submitted supported by the plaintiffs and those affected by said order, which is now awaiting judicial approval. The obligations of Cloudflare et al are greatly reduced in the revised order while the web-blocking elements are removed entirely.
It remains to be seen if the judge gives the proposal the green light, but it does seem that the impact of this case on the wider fight against online piracy in the US is now going to be pretty limited.
Aitch and Relentless offer young people free train travel to festivals and events
The official blurb for the initiative reminds us that Aitch is from Manchester, adding that the rapper "is passionate about regional scenes, talents and cultures" and that the free travel scheme aims "to help rebalance cultural accessibility outside of the M25 and spotlight bubbling music scenes across the UK".
It goes on: "With the return of music events and festivals also coinciding with the rising cost of transport and living, the initiative hopes to make a difference by removing some of the financial barriers that might restrict people from making the most of the first summer since the lifting of [COVID] restrictions".
Aitch himself says of the scheme: "I'm really excited to launch The Aitch-S2 with Relentless - there's so much amazing culture around the UK, but for young people to experience it, they need to break out of their city limits, which is hard to do when its so expensive to travel outside your hometown. I don't want anyone missing out on what is going to be a summer to remember, so this initiative will help young Brits get back out there and have fun, no matter the location".
To be in with a chance of getting some free travel, young people aged 18 to 25 can apply via aitch-s2.com, with those getting the rail vouchers picked at random each Friday.
BBC podcast charts the rise and fall of T In The Park
The four part series is hosted by Radio 1 DJ Arielle Free, who says: "Like so many Scottish teens, I remember experiencing T In The Park and having an unforgettable weekend. I can't wait to take Radio 1 listeners back to the heyday of the festival and relive its illustrious 22 years as I reveal behind the scenes secrets and uncover the real reason why T In The Park is no longer around".
The latter part of T In The Park's history was dominated by its move in 2015 to a new site at the Strathallan Estate, which proved both challenging and controversial, and contributed to the decision to put the annual event on hold after its 2016 edition. The podcast series looks at those events, but also the two decades of successes that preceded them.
The official blurb states: "'The Rise And Fall Of T In The Park' will transport listeners back to the early days of the festival as Arielle hears from the people that were there living it: the artists, the vendors and the punters who made the annual pilgrimage to watch some of the biggest acts in the world. The series will then delve into the decline of the festival, as Arielle asks the organisers and the team behind it to bust the myth on its ending and discover what happened to a festival that was believed would live on forever".
Bauer launches new Mojo podcast
More specifically, The Mojo Record Club podcast will see the magazine's Senior Associate Editor Andrew Male and guests talk about music old and new, putting the spotlight on both new releases and "undiscovered gems", while also reassessing classic albums. It's the second podcast spin-off from the music mag, which previously ran a series of programmes in 2019 under the banner The Mojo Innovators.
Confirming the new podcast, Mojo Editor John Mulvey says: "A proper Mojo podcast is something we've been working on for a long time. It's another great way to talk to our expanding international audience of music obsessives, as we connect with them across more and more platforms".
"Our host will be Mojo's Senior Associate Editor Andrew Male", he goes on, "who'll bring together our extended family of writers, musicians and fans to discuss great records old and new, beloved and obscure, and much more".
The first edition of The Mojo Record Club will go live on Friday.
Entries open for 2022 Oram Awards
A partnership with the PRS Foundation and Radiophonic Foundation, the awards are named after Daphne Oram, one of the founding members of the original BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Originally focussed on celebrating women in music, the event has more recently been opened up to trans and non-binary artists too, aiming to improve representation in the electronic music community.
Two winners receive special commendations and development bursaries of £1500 from the PRS Foundation, while four others receive bursaries of £500. All six are also granted access to the Oram Awards Mentoring Programme.
Last year's winners were Magz Hall, Vivienne Griffin, Lia Mice, Lou Barnell, Maria Sappho and Venus Ex Machina, and were announced during an online event in partnership with Birmingham-based experimental festival Supersonic. This year the presentation of the awards will return to being an in-person event, taking place at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
The last year has been "hugely successful" for the awards, says Lead Producer Karen Sutton, who notes how "another six outstanding women and non-binary artists" were added to "the growing community of winners".
"Our partnership with Supersonic Festival, Birmingham, for the 2021 online awards event and podcast has been brilliant", she goes on. "It was such a breath of fresh air working with such an organised and committed team who really understand the aims and ambitions of The Oram Awards and the artists we support. 2022 is shaping up to be another busy year ahead and [we are] excited to bring The Orams to Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in November 2022".
To be eligible for consideration, entrants must be over eighteen; female, trans or non-binary; create high quality original new music and sound; innovate in sound, music and associated technologies; and have demonstrated that they are "deserving of increased recognition".
If that sounds like you or someone you know, applications are now open until 15 Aug. Find out more and apply here.
New central London venues Here and The Lower Third - part of the Outernet complex next to Tottenham Court Road station - have confirmed Dice as their primary ticketing partner. Dice's Global Head Of Music Andrew Foggin is "THRILLED to partner with Outernet and their cutting edge venues", whereas Outernet Live's Karrie Goldberg is "THRILLED that Dice have come on board as the primary ticketing partner for our live events". So everyone's "THRILLED". Good.
Music NFT marketplace Serenade has announced the members of a UK advisory board, who are as follows: Darcus Beese from Darco Recordings; Sammy Andrews from Deviate Digital; Dan Sanders from Atlantic Records; Phil Christie from Manifest Publishing; Oliver Sasse from Nerve Management; promoter Toby Leighton-Pope; musician Fay Milton; songwriter and A&R Jin Jin; and broadcaster DJ Target. Iain Watt, formerly with management firm YMU, will chair the committee that will "offer opinions, guidance and insight into key issues relating to the company's UK presence".
Stepping away from Run The Jewels for a moment, Killer Mike has released his first solo track for a decade, 'Run', featuring Young Thug and Dave Chapelle, and produced by No ID.
Loyle Carner has made a striking return with new single 'Hate'. It is, he says, "one of the few [of my] songs made from a hateful place. I was angry at the world, frightened and overwhelmed. It's unfiltered. Really just a stream of consciousness that builds to an understanding that hate is rooted in fear. It reminds me of times the red mist takes over, and how alone you feel when [it] passes. Arrogant and self-righteous but at the same time vulnerable and somber. I listen to this one in my car, at night. Especially after an argument when you need to get space and take a breath".
Rae Morris has released new single 'A Table For Two'. "On 'A Table For Two' I imagined making a reservation at a celestial restaurant for [partner] Ben [Garrett, aka Fryars] and me", she says. "And whoever dies first will just wait there with a drink for the other one. No matter how long".
Kokoko have released two new tracks, 'Polo Muneni' and 'Nasali Nini'.
Batts has released new single 'Call It What It Is'. "I find moving and dancing to be so healing", she says. "I really wanted to create a song that hits you right in the chest and makes you want to move every part of your body. This song feels like a fierce sort of movement, like you really need to move to the sounds". Her second album, 'The Nightline', is out on 14 Oct.
GIGS & TOURS
Stereolab have announced UK shows in November and December this year. They'll finish with two shows at EartH in London, the second of which will also have an after party, with DJ sets from band members until 3am. Tickets go on sale on Friday. New album 'Pulse Of The Early Brain' is out on 2 Sep. Here's recent single 'Robot Riot'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes launch card game on Kickstarter
The pair apparently devised the game on a flight to Ireland during their band's first tour in 2016 and have been developing it ever since. The aim of the game is to guess the word on your opponent's card, while stopping them from guessing what's written on yours. Other cards can be used to "deceive, disrupt and derail your opponents" in this process.
"We sat next to each other on the plane and by the time we landed, we had drawn most of what the game is now", says Richardson, who also works as a graphic designer. "So then we went into WHSmiths at the airport, bought a deck of actual cards, some kids coloured stickers and a Sharpie, and just got full tunnel vision".
"I would say 90% of what is in the game now came from that one flight", he adds, "which is quite a common thing for mine and Frank's partnership. There's these moments where a lot comes, and then a lot longer trying to piece that into something that can be put out into the world".
"It was design and tattooing that brought us together, so that creativity is so integral to all our work", he continues. "Our biggest challenge is probably limiting how big the ideas get; that seems to be what gets in the way. But of all the ideas, we knew as soon as we played Halves that we had to get it out into the world".
Six years later, they're now hoping to share the game with that very world and, to that end, have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the £15,000 needed to put it into production.
"Halves has been a labour of love for the past six years", says Carter. "We conceived the idea of the game on a flight when we were touring and as soon as we made the first prototype we fell in love with the way the game played. To finally release it on Kickstarter is an absolute dream; I would love to hit our goal early and get things moving with production. We love the game and can't wait to hear what everyone thinks of it".