TODAY'S TOP STORY: M People's Mike Pickering has hit at the use of his band's track 'Moving On Up' as the walk-on music for Prime Minister Liz Truss's keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham yesterday. The band's members are "upset" and "livid" that their hit soundtracked the key moment of this year's big Tory conference, he said, adding that many artists now "fear that these freaks are going to use [their] music"... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES M People hit out as Liz Truss walks on stage to Moving On Up
DEALS Adam Lambert signs to Warner UK's EastWest Records
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Spotify acquires harmful content identification service Kinzen
MEDIA Europe's Biggest Dance Show to add Ukraine to the mix for 2022
EDUCATION & EVENTS BBC Music Introducing Live to take place across the UK next month
RELEASES Aidan Moffat announces second Nyx Nótt album
ONE LINERS Ty Dolla $ign & Mustard, Måneskin, Fever Ray, more
AND FINALLY... Korn's Jonathan Davis to launch pet accessory brand, Freak On A Leash
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M People hit out as Liz Truss walks on stage to Moving On Up
M People's Mike Pickering has hit at the use of his band's track 'Moving On Up' as the walk-on music for Prime Minister Liz Truss's keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham yesterday. The band's members are "upset" and "livid" that their hit soundtracked the key moment of this year's big Tory conference, he said, adding that many artists now "fear that these freaks are going to use [their] music".

In a tweet shortly after Truss's keynote speech, Pickering wrote: "So apparently we can't stop Truss walking out to our song, very weird! So sad it got used by this shower of a government".

Referencing the fact that the Labour Party made use of the track back in the 1990s, his tweet went on: "[By the way] Truss, Labour used it with permission in [the] 90s. I don't want my song being a soundtrack to lies".

Of course, there is a long history of artists getting annoyed when politicians make use of their music at political events. Generally it's the use of music by right-wing politicians and political parties that results in angry statements being issued, usually by artists with very different political world views.

Whenever this happens, there is usually some discussion about whether or not there is anything musicians can do to stop politicians from using their music at political gatherings. After all, songs and recordings are protected by copyright, and copyright provides creators and their business partners with certain controls over what happens to their music.

However, those discussions often conclude that - because the venues that usually host these events have blanket licences from the music industry's collecting societies, allowing them and the events they host to make use of pretty much any music - the politicians are covered copyright-wise, and all the musicians can do is moan after the fact.

But, it turns out, the main licence issued to such venues by the UK music industry - via the PPL/PRS joint venture - contains some exclusions, ie scenarios where the licence does not actually apply. And that includes "any playing or performance of music as an introduction to, during or otherwise closely connected with the presentation of any political announcement, including keynote speeches during political party conferences and campaigns".

This means that music cannot be legally used for a politician's walk-on music at a party conference under that licence. Such usage is only allowed, the licence document adds, if an event organiser has "obtained in advance the written permission of all relevant rightsholders".

Now, usually in the music industry - whenever collective licensing does not apply - it is record labels and music publishers that issue the licences, in relation to recordings and songs respectively.

Those labels and publishers might actually own the recording and song copyrights being exploited, or they might manage and control them on behalf of the artists and songwriters. Whether the label or publisher needs to consult the artist or writer before issuing a licence depends on the specifics of the deals they have done with the music-makers.

However, most labels or publishers would probably not want to issue a licence for the use of any music they control by a controversial politician without getting the consent of the artist or writer first, even if such consent was not required under a record or publishing contract.

The amount of money on table from such a licensing deal is unlikely to be significant, and few labels or publishers would be in any mood to court such controversy.

According to the BBC, when asked if the Conservative Party had made any efforts to secure permission to use 'Moving On Up', Truss's Press Secretary said that the Prime Minister had picked the track herself from a "range of options", but that he didn't know if any specific permission had been sought, adding that he didn't have "detailed knowledge of how the licensing of this stuff works".

We have also asked the party's Press Office whether any licence was secured for the use of 'Moving On Up'. Although given that we're still waiting - twelve months on - for an answer to basically the same question but in relation to the use of Friendly Fires track 'Blue Cassette' as Boris Johnson's walk-on music a year ago, I'm not super confident we'll get any further clarity from that department.

There's a very high chance that everyone involved the party conference just assumed - or pretended - that they were covered by the venue's PPL/PRS licence. After all, plenty of people in the music industry have generally assumed that is the case too.

If no licences were secured for the use of 'Moving On Up', then the copyright in the song and the recording have likely been infringed. If so, whoever actually owns those copyrights - very possibly the label and the publisher - could sue for copyright infringement. Although, under the UK system - where we don't have US-style statutory damages of £150,000 per infringement - the amount of damages that could be won via such litigation probably aren't worth the hassle.

Whether the artist could sue themselves would depend on the deals they have done with their label and publisher back in the day. In theory an artist that didn't own the copyrights could still pursue a moral rights case by arguing that Truss marching on stage to their music constituted a "derogatory treatment" of said music.

That said, moral rights aren't particularly strong under the UK copyright system, and are often waived in record and publishing deals.

So what else? Well, left-leaning artists whose music is used by right-wing politicians in a high profile way do usually get a few minutes on the airwaves to explain just how dreadful that politician and their policies are.

"It's the worst government in my lifetime, and my lifetime is quite long as you've probably worked out", Pickering told LBC's James O'Brien yesterday. "I think they're despicable, I can't stand them. From a personal point of view, being a northerner, there is no such thing as levelling up - they're making the gap bigger, or trying".

"There's no trains running to the north of England at the moment", he added. "They all lied about Partygate. They've lied about everything, and how can you trust them?"

The son of M People vocalist Heather Small, meanwhile, is a Labour Party councillor. He honed in on the song's key lyric "cause I'm movin on up, you're movin on out", and concluded that the track was actually a very apt choice for Truss and her party.

"This tired and out of touch Tory government is indeed moving on out", he tweeted.

So there you go. See you all here same time next year to hear from whichever artist unwillingly soundtracks the on-stage arrival of the Tory party leader - whoever it is by then - at the 2023 party conference. Assuming they don't suddenly decide to do the right thing and get the artist's permission next time. And assuming there is still a Conservative Party to have a conference by then, I guess.


Adam Lambert signs to Warner UK's EastWest Records
Adam Lambert has signed one of those record deals with Warner Music UK, specifically EastWest Records, if you're here for the specifics, which I suspect you are. Specifics nerd!

Lambert, you might remember, isn't just that guy who sings with Queen. Oh no, he does lots of other super singing stuff too. Like, well, for example, covering Noël Coward's 'Mad About The Boy' to feature in 'Mad About The Boy - The Noël Coward Story', a new documentary produced by Warner Music's telly programmes division.

But that's just one example that happened to come to mind. There are many more. They're not currently coming to mind, admittedly, but they exist and are super, that much I do know. And, I was so specific in that first paragraph, I don't see why you need yet more specificity down here in the third paragraph.

"Working alongside the team at Warner Music UK, I'm excited to embark on this next stage of my career", says Lambert, specifically. "I've been working on some great new music which I can't wait for my fans to hear. I'm also looking forward to sharing my cover of the great Noël Coward's 'Mad About The Boy' - it's an honour to be able to put my own spin on such a classic song".

"Adam is a true modern day icon who has been at the top of his game for more than ten years", adds Myn Jazeel, SVP of Rhino UK, which is also a Warner Music division, in case you wondered why he'd popped up all of a sudden.

"We're excited to work with him on his new music", Jazeel goes on, getting into the specifics, "which will delight his passionate fanbase, while showcasing what an incredible vocalist and performer he is to a new audience".

Good times.


Spotify acquires harmful content identification service Kinzen
Spotify has acquired Kinzen, a Dublin-based company that has been helping to identify harmful content on the platform since 2020.

"We've long had an impactful and collaborative partnership with Kinzen and its exceptional team", says Dustee Jenkins, Spotify's Global Head Of Public Affairs. "Now, working together as one, we'll be able to even further improve our ability to detect and address harmful content, and importantly, in a way that better considers local context".

"This investment expands Spotify's approach to platform safety, and underscores how seriously we take our commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable experience for creators and users", she adds.

Spotify has made a number of attempts to deal with problematic content that is uploaded to its platform, of course. In 2018, the company launched a 'hateful conduct' policy, formalising its strategy for removing content containing hate speech and introducing new rules regarding the conduct of artists outside of their music.

That proved controversial though, with CEO Daniel Ek admitting that the policy had been badly implemented, resulting in the streaming service revoking it after a month.

Spotify has since continued to work on better systems for dealing with offensive, misleading and other harmful content on its platform - such systems becoming all the more important as podcasts have become a bigger part of the streaming service's offering.

Those systems came very much into the spotlight earlier this year following accusations that the Joe Rogan Experience - the podcast for which Spotify had paid big money to secure the exclusive rights - was accused of spreading COVID misinformation.

In the wake of that, the streaming firm launched a Safety Advisory Council in June this year - a group of third party experts to "help Spotify evolve its policies and products in a safe way while making sure we respect creator expression".

With the Kinzen deal now done, Spotify's Head Of Trust And Safety, Sarah Hoyle, comments: "The combination of tools and expert insights is Kinzen's unique strength that we see as essential to identifying emerging abuse trends in markets and moderating potentially dangerous content at scale. This expansion of our team, combined with the launch of our Safety Advisory Council, demonstrates the proactive approach we're taking in this important space".

Of course, how successful Spotify's relationship with Kinzen has been to date is a matter of debate. Last month the US-based Anti-Defamation League criticised Spotify for carrying music by white supremacist artists, arguing that the streaming firm is not effectively enforcing its own anti-extremism policies.

"Music has long been an effective way to radicalise extremists, allowing artists to both entertain and indoctrinate vulnerable listeners", it said in a blog post. "At a time of increasing hate-motivated extremist violence, Spotify is not only allowing the racism and incitement of white supremacist music, it is actively promoting that content on its own playlists".

Responding, Spotify's Adam Grossberg said that the company takes harmful content very seriously, adding that this year alone it has taken down "more than 12,000 podcast episodes, 19,000 playlists, 160 music tracks and nearly 20 albums".

Spotify wasn't Kinzen's only client prior to this acquisition. It is currently not clear whether the service will now be withdrawn from those other users moving forward.


Europe's Biggest Dance Show to add Ukraine to the mix for 2022
BBC Radio 1's annual 'Europe's Biggest Dance Show' event is set to return again later this month, with Ukraine's Radio Promin taking part for the first time.

The show will see eleven radio stations from across Europe partner for a simulcast showcasing the best dance music from each country involved. The stations joining the party this year, other than Radio 1 in the UK obviously, are Norway's NRK mP3; 1Live and Fritz in Germany; Ireland's RTÉ 2fm; Belgium's Studio Brussel; Radio FM4 in Austria; YleX in Finland; Sveriges Radio P3 in Sweden; NPO 3FM in The Netherlands; and - as previously mentioned - Ukraine's Radio Promin.

"We launched 'Europe's Biggest Dance Show' in 2019 in the hope that we would unite listeners around the world and celebrate Europe's incredible dance scene", says Head Of Radio 1, Aled Haydn Jones.

"I'm extremely proud", he continues, "that this year it is returning bigger and better than ever before with ten countries taking part who will be passing the dance baton around Europe, starting in London and ending in Kyiv. I'd like to welcome Ukraine who we are partnering with for the first time during what we know is such a challenging time for them".

Host of the UK leg of the show, Danny Howard, adds: "Dance music is all about creating moments whether that's on the dance floor at a festival or on the radio. There isn't a bigger coming together than the whole of Europe on a Friday night celebrating the genre we love".

"'Europe's Biggest Dance Show' is special", he goes on, "because it's so exciting to hear what the other countries have to offer from their respective scenes and artists. It's truly inspiring and it's also a privilege to showcase the UK sound with our friends across the continent, this really will be one of those moments you don't want to miss".

The whole thing will kick off at 6pm UK time on 14 Oct, and will be available on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Sounds for UK listeners.


BBC Music Introducing Live to take place across the UK next month
BBC Music Introducing Live is set to return next month, and this year - rather than one big event in London - there will be many smaller events all around the UK, involving the local BBC Introducing teams, plus venues and other organisations that support various local music scenes.

As well as gigs from emerging artists, there will be masterclasses, practical workshops, talks and Q&As for anyone looking to make their way in the music industry.

"BBC Music Introducing Live is one of the fastest growing and most exciting events in the calendar for any young artist or creative, and I am so proud to be taking it right across the UK this year", says BBC Introducing Editor Kelly Bett.

"Our goal with BBC Music Introducing Live is to provide unrivalled access for anyone aspiring to make their way in to the business and to give emerging homegrown talent across the nation the opportunity to build profile and awareness as they take their next step in their careers".

BBC Introducing Live will take place from 3-5 Nov. Find out what's going to be happening near you here.


Approved: Thallo
Set to release her latest EP, 'Crescent', later this month, Thallo - real name Elin Edwards - has put out its opening track 'Pluo' - its title a Welsh word meaning "lightly snowing" and directly translating as "feathering".

A pop song with elements of jazz and classical music, its lyrics deal with seeing the world emerge from lockdown while she remained housebound due to a sudden illness that left her with chronic knee pain - a period she describes as her "own personal lockdown".

"I felt so stuck, unable to return to my normal life", she says. "But most of all, the song is a cry of fear for the loneliness and hopelessness of being left behind whilst everyone else moves forward".

Although delivered in Welsh, Edwards' voice perfectly conveys the emotion of the song to anyone who - like me - doesn't understand a single word. So much so that it almost feels like it would detract from the song if it were sung in English. That language barrier perhaps adding to that feeling of isolation.

'Crescent' is out on 28 Oct. Watch the video for 'Pluo' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Aidan Moffat announces second Nyx Nótt album
Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat has announced the second album from his Nyx Nótt solo project, 'Themes From', which is set for release later this year.

"The plan was to make 20 90 second tracks designed as TV themes", he says of the original inspiration for the instrumental album. "But it wasn't a satisfying listen, it was too gimmicky and silly".

So he reworked and expanded the songs "making some of them quite long and dramatic, with the odd swift turn here and there", he goes on. "The focus then turned to making a proper album out of these modern library sounds. I decided to stick with the 'Themes From' title and named the tracks after the sorts of shows they made me think of when I listened back".

"Each track has its own individual feel", he says. "The idea was to sound like a different composer and band throughout. There's a few more jazzy elements here. Although I'm not quite sure where that came from".

"Although, like everyone else, I've had plenty of time to be introspective recently", he adds, "so I decided the next Nyx Nótt album should be more upbeat and encourage some occasional foot-tapping. If the first Nyx Nótt album was like looking out on dark prairies before dawn, this is more like a walk through a neon Soho after a few cocktails".

Arab Strap fans also shouldn't necessarily expect to find any familiarity in this project therefore, he explains. "I approach them in completely different ways and with a different purpose in mind. I don't think Nyx has ever heard of Arab Strap, and certainly doesn't own any of their albums".

'Themes From' is set for release on 2 Dec. You can watch the video for new single 'Thriller' here.



Reservoir has hired Russell Hunt as Senior Creative Manager. He joins from Tigerspring. "I am incredibly excited to be working alongside Reservoir's exceptional creative team and roster", he says. "It's an honour to be a part of such an ambitious and well-respected company, and I am determined to contribute to their ever-growing success".



Ty Dolla $ign and Mustard have paired up again for new single 'My Friends', which also features Lil Durk. "Every time my brother Mustard and I link up, we make history; 'Paranoid', 'Or Nah' and now 'My Friends'", says Ty. "What's success and fortune if you ain't getting it with your day ones? Big shout out to Durk for being a part of this song". The track will appear on a forthcoming collaborative album.

Fever Ray has released her first new single for five years, 'What They Call Us' - co-written and co-produced by her brother and the other half of her former duo The Knife, Olof Dreijer.

Bicep have released new single 'Water', featuring Clara La San. "There was no outright idea when we started, but the original 'Waterfall' was born out of experimentation with an instrument called the MEGAfm", say the duo. "It's a new synth but has chips inside which formed the sounds of the SEGA Megadrive/Genesis games consoles. Weirdly it got more computer game sounding when we developed it into 'Water', speeding up and slowing down the lead line and LFOs to give that classic low-bit sound effect".

Sweet Baboo has released his first single for five years, 'Good Luck', written by H Hawkline. The track is taken from new album 'The Wreckage', which is out on 27 Jan. "I asked my friend H Hawkline to write me a song for the album as I thought it would be interesting to have another lyrical voice to contrast with mine", he says. "Little did I know he was going to write the most radio-friendly song on the album". He'll also be touring the UK in February and March.

Girlpuppy has released new single 'Teenage Dream'. "The song's about a guy I lead on who looks like Keanu Reeves, and it's the first one we made for the album", she says. "The chorus lyrics to teenage dream don't make much sense, but I do enjoy singing them. An important detail: I'm talking to my puppy Obi at the beginning, and you can hear him barking at the end". Her album, 'When I'm Alone', is out on 28 Oct.



Måneskin will play a free show at The Underworld in London tonight. Tickets will be available from the venue's box office from 6pm.

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


Korn's Jonathan Davis to launch pet accessory brand, Freak On A Leash
Dolly Parton recently launched her own line of dog clothing, which is great if you want your dog to look like Dolly Parton (complete with blonde wig). But what if that's not your thing? What if you want your dog to look more METAL? Don't worry, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis has you covered. Or your dog covered, rather.

Davis is calling his new pet accessory brand Freak On A Leash - named after the Korn song - and those accessories are set to officially go on sale later this month.

If you want a sneak peak though, all you need to do is get yourself to the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California this weekend. Items from the range will be available from a tent hosted by animal rescue organisation Take Me Home on Saturday.

"These premium products are created for all, paying homage to the horror and rock music we love", says Davis. "This first collection, designed exclusively by me, contains all custom products made with high-quality gunmetal hardware, leather, nylon, and plushies that will set your pet apart from the pack".

Yes, but will there be wigs? Anyone who can't make it to California at short notice will have to wait until 28 Oct to find out when it all goes live on the Freak On A Leash website.


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.
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CHRIS COOKE | Co-Founder & MD
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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.
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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.
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