Arab Strap announce Philophobia 25th anniversary tour

Artist News Gigs & Festivals

By | Published on Friday 31 March 2023

Arab Strap

Arab Strap have announced a series of shows to mark the 25th anniversary of their second album ‘Philophobia’. Billed as ‘Philophobia Undressed’, the shows will see the duo perform a stripped back version of the full album, featuring “a guitar or two, some drum machines and probably a digital Mellotron”.

“With a new album about halfway ready for release next year, we thought we could easily ignore our second album’s 25th birthday”, they say. “But we find it hard to say no to ‘Philophobia’”.

“If our first album [1996’s ‘The Week Never Starts Round Here’] was a ramshackle oddity filled with in-jokes and formerly private tape moments that we never expected to bother many ears”, they go on, “it was ‘Philophobia’ where everything started to come together, when we began to realise making music might have a future for us, and the Arab Strap sounds and themes began to take shape”.

“If you’ve seen us play in the past few years, you’ll know we still include quite a few of its songs in our setlists”, they add. “These tunes seem to have endured, and it’s probably the only album we’d ever consider performing all the way through”.

Eight shows have been announced so far, with more set to be revealed in the coming weeks. Here’s what we have so far:

8 Jun: Carlisle, Brickyard
9 Jun: Birkenhead, Futureyard
11 Jun: Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
12 Jun: Bristol, Fleece
13 Jun: London, EartH
14 Jun: Brighton, Chalk
15 Jun: Manchester, Yes
16 Jun: Gateshead, Sage 2


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One Liners: Metallica, McFly, Professor Green, more

Artist News Business News Deals Gigs & Festivals Industry People Labels & Publishers One Liners Releases

By | Published on Friday 31 March 2023



Hipgnosis has acquired the catalogue of ‘Despacito’ co-writer Erika Ender. “I am very excited about this partnership with Hipgnosis”, she says. “I’ve always believed that music is eternal. I’m confident my songs are in good hands with Merck [Mercuriadis] and his team, and they will do their best to keep my catalogue active, present and alive, as they honour and recognise that the songs are the seeds to the entire music industry, the message that touches and marks people’s lives and where it all begins”.



[PIAS] has appointed Tom Keil as Global Head Of Dance & Electronic and EVP A&R. He joins from Ultra Music. The label has also announced the launch of new electronic music division [PIAS] Électronique. “I am very happy and proud to be joining [PIAS] and am very grateful to [co-CEO] Kenny Gates and the whole team for this great opportunity”, he says. “Besides signing new and exciting artists it is going to be an amazing experience to be working with the great catalogue that [PIAS] has built over four decades. It makes me feel like a kid in the candy store!”



Metallica have released ‘72 Seasons’, the title track of their new album, which is out on 14 Apr.

McFly have released new single ‘Where Did All The Guitars Go?’, the first from new album ‘Power To Play’, which is out on 9 Jun. “On every album, there’s a song which becomes a foundation, a lightbulb moment, and this was it”, say the band. “Guitars, honesty, energy, all these personality traits are what give us the band’s identity. We want to reach that kid with long hair, get them excited about music and make them want to pick up a guitar and jump on their bed. That’s what this record is about”.

Professor Green is back with new track ‘Pop Shxt’, taken from an EP of the same name which will be out later this year. He’s also announced a new record deal with Cooking Vinyl, saying: “To join a label so renowned, offering me the freedom to release music at the momentum I’ve been itching to tickles me in all the right places. No more major label bureaucracy and red tape, just enthusiasm and aligning values”. Tour dates are also coming up next month.

French The Kid has released new single ‘Quiet Kid’. “After hearing the beat I felt like it needed some emotion to the verse, as the chorus is so strong”, he says. New mixtape ‘No Signal’ is out on 14 Apr and he will be touring in May.

Felicita has released new single ‘Spalarkle (Alys)’, featuring Caroline Polachek. The track is taken from new album ‘Spalarkle’, which is out on 5 May.

Be Your Own Pet have released their first new song for more than fifteen years, titled ‘Hand Grenade’. Says vocalist Jemima Pearl: “‘Hand Grenade’ started out as a threat to the people who harmed me, that I will make them suffer as I have suffered. But the song grew like a mirror to my own grief process, through anger, denial, sorrow. In the end I gain my power back not through violence, but through self acceptance and rejection of the labels others might put on me. I define myself, no one else”. The band will play London’s Moth Club on 6 Jun.



Brix Smith will tour the UK in May, finishing with a show at The Lower Third in London on 28 May. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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Owen Wilson reveals his ‘lifetime’ Rolling Stones backstage pass was revoked after one show

And Finally Artist News

By | Published on Friday 31 March 2023

The Rolling Stones

Actor Owen Wilson has revealed that he was once the owner of a lifetime access all areas pass for Rolling Stones shows. How can you have once been the owner of something granted for life while you are still very much alive? Well, it takes a certain amount of effort.

“I went to see the Rolling Stones in Argentina, and I was kind of friendly with some of the band, and then my friend was really good friends with Mick Jagger, and we got these special laminates, kind of all access [passes] that were good for the rest of your life”, he explained on ‘The Late Late Show With James Corden’.

“It was so exciting”, he went on, thinking back to receiving that pass. “Then that night at the concert I’m wandering around testing it out, like, ‘I’m gonna walk over here and see if anybody stops me’. And no one would stop me any place”.

He said that he ended up standing on a platform with a very clear view of Jagger during the show. But then, he recalled, “all of a sudden he bolts during ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ and comes running down… and it turns out where I was was kind of part of the stage”.

“I just sort of froze and tried to be inconspicuous and he kind of came down and then left,” said the actor. “And then someone came running over, [screaming] ‘Get out of here! Move! You’re not supposed to be here!’ And I said, ‘I didn’t know! I’m so sorry!’”

“Then I get a call the next morning, from Mick’s security team, asking, ‘Do you have that laminate?’ ‘Yes I still have it’. ‘Okay, we’re going to come over and pick it up’”.

He added that he was dressed all in white on the night of that show and realised afterwards that, as well as getting in Jagger’s way, he would also have been fully visible to the entire audience.

As a result, he said he understood why his ‘lifetime’ pass was revoked – it having actually only been in his possession for less than 24 hours.

Watch the full interview here:

[embedded content]


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Warner Music announces downsizing as new boss Robert Kyncl puts focus on new tech

Business News Digital Industry People Labels & Publishers Top Stories

By | Published on Thursday 30 March 2023

Warner Music

The new boss of Warner Music has told his staff that the major plans to downsize its global team, with around 270 roles – about 4% of the current workforce – set to be cut. It’s part of a mission to position the Warner Music Group at the “intersection of creativity and technology”.

It’s no secret that new CEO Robert Kyncl, with his background at YouTube, is particularly interested in pushing ahead with a number of new tech initiatives at Warner to capitalise on new opportunities he sees ahead as the digital market continues to evolve. The revamp and cutbacks outlined in a memo to Warner staff yesterday seem to be part of that plan.

“The music business is filled with new possibilities”, he wrote, “more fans are engaging with artists and songs than ever, our reach is enormous, and new business models are constantly emerging. WMG is positioning itself for this new phase of growth at the intersection of creativity and technology”.

“In my discussions with our leaders across the company, many of them came to the same conclusion – that to take advantage of the opportunities ahead of us, we need to make some hard choices in order to evolve”, he then added.

“Consistent with this direction, we’ve made the tough decision to reduce our global team by approximately 270 people, or about 4%. At the same time, we’re reallocating resources towards new skills for artist and songwriter development and new tech initiatives. We’re also reducing discretionary spending and open positions to provide us with additional flexibility for our future”.

“I want to be clear”, he insisted, “that this is not a blanket cost-cutting exercise. Every decision has been made thoughtfully by our operators around the world, who considered the specific needs, skills, and priorities of each label, division, and territory, in order to set us up for long-term success. The leader of your division will either be holding a town hall or sending an email to explain more about this path forward”.

Most of those affected by the downsizing should know about it later today. “I’m acutely aware of how unsettling this can be”, Kyncl noted in his memo. “I know this transition will be tough, but we’re committed to supporting you during this process”.

Concluding, he stated: “I learned when I joined WMG that this is a gritty, incredibly resourceful, and highly impactful team that I want by my side every day of the week. We deliver for our artists, songwriters, and labels with laser focus, inventiveness, and care. And now, more than ever, we need to double down on that. Let’s support each other with empathy and integrity as we work through this process”.

As Kyncl told staff about his plans for global evolution at the major, Warner Music UK announced a revamp of its own which will see the company’s frontline labels – Parlophone, Warner Records UK, Roadrunner, FFRR and Elektra Entertainment – more closely aligned, sharing more support services than before, especially beyond A&R and marketing.

In terms of people, Isabel Garvey returns to Warner UK as Chief Operating Officer, and Jennifer Ivory moves over from the Warner Records label to become MD of Parlophone. Meanwhile, Parlophone Co-Presidents Nick Burgess and Mark ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, and General Manager Jack Melhuish, are all leaving the business.

“In the modern, rapidly evolving digital business, we’re always pushing for the most agile and forward-thinking ways to super-serve our talent”, says Warner Music UK boss Tony Harlow. “The market is increasingly fragmented, and it takes more expertise to service all channels and to serve them properly. Our artists need more specialists to explore every available opportunity”.

“With Parlophone and Warner Records UK coming together and drawing on the expertise of our new centralised coalition”, he reckons, “we will harness our collective firepower and lean on a wide range of proficient minds to take the company forward”.

“Isabel’s appointment signals our constant evolution, bringing her widely admired creativity, innovation and technological entrepreneurship to the service of our artists and their visions”, Harlow adds.

“Jen has been with us for over fourteen years and has grown into one of the most exceptional and influential voices at WMUK and one of our best marketeers. She supervised four number one albums last year alone. Under her leadership, Parlophone’s employees will be dedicated to signing and developing the next generation of outstanding talent”.

And on the exits, he says, “I’d like to thank Nick and Mitch for an outstanding job at Parlophone. They’ve been strong and thoughtful leaders in difficult times and, in partnership with Jack, have had a real impact that has been vital for Parlophone’s growth. We wish them well in their future adventures”.

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PRS reduces joining fee for younger music-makers

Business News Labels & Publishers

By | Published on Thursday 30 March 2023

PRS For Music

UK song rights collecting society PRS yesterday announced that it is reducing the joining fee for songwriters and composers who are under the age of 25 – from £100 to £30 – to remove a barrier that stops some younger music-makers from signing up.

PRS, of course, represents the performing rights of its songwriter and music publisher members, issuing licences and collecting royalties in most scenarios where songs are performed, broadcast, communicated to the public or made available online.

All songwriters – and especially unpublished songwriters – need to join in order to access the royalties owed to them in those scenarios.

However, the £100 joining fee has often deterred many early-career music-makers from becoming PRS members, even though they could potentially earn back the fee pretty quickly if they are regularly performing live or receiving airplay on major radio stations.

PRS Members’ Council President Michelle Escoffery announced the lower rate for younger songwriters yesterday, explaining: “I have consistently heard for some young writers that the cost of PRS membership has been a disincentive to join, and as such they haven’t had access to the support and systems essential to their career progression”.

“I am, therefore, delighted”, she went on, “that we have been able to introduce this new discounted joining rate to provide easier access for all music creators, irrespective of their circumstances or background”.

Although it’s obviously in the interest of any music-maker to join PRS, it’s also in PRS’s interest to have them as members.

Collecting societies offer blanket licences to most licensees in their home market, which are intended to cover the vast majority of the music any one licensee might use. Those licences include the songs of the society’s direct members and the members of other societies around the world with which it has a reciprocal agreement.

In the digital space, which is slightly more complex – not least because some music publishers negotiate their own deals with the streaming services – the societies still offer what are commonly referred to as ‘mop-up’ licences.

This means that if there are songs streamed in the society’s home market that don’t seem to be covered by any of the other deals a streaming service has entered into, the society will take responsibility for distributing the royalties due on those works.

Additionally, the music industry relies on collecting societies to manage the primary music rights databases in each country. So, for PRS, that’s the UK’s primary database of songs, complete with information on who wrote and who publishes each song, and where song copyrights are co-owned – which they often are – how the copyright has been split between each co-owner.

For the blanket licenses, the mop-up licenses and the primary music rights databases, it is important for each collecting society to ensure that all the songs being played, even at a relatively small level, and the people who made and own the music, are in the system.

It will be interesting to see how many more music-makers now join PRS for the first time with the reduced joining fee of £30.

Though, actually, while having those music-makers join PRS will successfully get them “in the system”, if they are unpublished it won’t get them access to all the money generated by their songs. Because in the UK the mechanical rights in songs are licensed by a different society – MCPS – even though PRS does all the admin on those licences too.

Published songwriters are part of the MCPS licences via their publishers, but unpublished writers need to join directly if they want to access those mechanical royalties that go through the collective licensing system.

That includes when songs are pressed to CD and vinyl, and when music is used by UK TV channels which rely on the blanket licence, plus half of any monies generated by streaming.

Joining MCPS as an unpublished writer incurs another joining fee which is still £100. Although if writers ally with services like Sentric Music or Songtrust they can be part of that system without having to become an MCPS member.


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