TUESDAY 17 JANUARY 2017 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: It has been confirmed that five people were killed and fifteen injured during a shooting incident at Mexico's BPM Festival in the early hours of Monday morning. Four people - including three security staff - were shot dead, while a woman was killed in a stampede as people ran to escape... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S CMU APPROVED: Jófríður Ákadóttir can't have a great deal of time on her hands. As well as performing with Samaris, Pascal Pinon and Gangly, she's also now launching her solo project JFDR. Her first single under that name, 'White Sun', came out in November last year, showcasing a sparse, wispy sound that feels like it's being carried past on a breeze. For her second single, 'Airborne', she gives that sound something of a stress test. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU PODCAST: CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review key events in music and the music business from the last week, including all the many Prince-related news stories from deals to no deals, how Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazines have been saved by the company that sold them off four years ago, and why a load of rare Motown tracks from 1966 have suddenly appeared on music services. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital. [READ MORE]
 
LATEST CMU TRENDS: There have been a lot of developments in the debate around ticket touting since the UK music community launched its FanFair campaign earlier this year. Bot bans are now set to be introduced in the UK and US, while Italian lawmakers are looking to outlaw touting entirely. We review the recent developments. CMU Trends articles are available to premium subscribers. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Five killed in shooting at Mexico's BPM Festival
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LEGAL Arrests made in Istanbul and Orlando nightclub shootings
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS MCPS agrees 'memorandum of understanding' in response to CRM Directive
PPL and PRS launch combined licence for community radio
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LIVE BUSINESS Cream founder and former Ingenious man lead private equity investment in Hungary's Sziget Festival
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Artists will still get Pandora royalties from SoundExchange, but only on free streams
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ARTIST NEWS Statue of Cilla Black unveiled outside Liverpool's Cavern Club
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Run The Jewels announce UK shows
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ONE LINERS Women In Music, FastForward, John Lydon, more
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AND FINALLY... Bruce Springsteen tribute act pulls out of Trump inauguration event
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FEATURED ARTISTS COALITION - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (LONDON)
The Featured Artists Coalition (FAC) is a not-for-profit organisation for featured recording artists in the music industry. The role of the CEO will be to lead the operations of the organisation and develop its strategy in conjunction with the board (consisting solely of respected recording artists), and the Artist In Residence.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MAMA FESTIVALS - DIGITAL STRATEGIST (LONDON)
MAMA Festivals is a worldwide leading promoter of live music. We are currently seeking a Digital Strategist who would like to pursue a career in the music and events industry, and who is ready to become a key member of the MAMA Festivals team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KINC - PR SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE (LONDON)
KINC is seeking a PR Senior Account Executive to join our team and contribute across our client base with a core focus on Skullcandy. The role will involve hands-on media management and client handling responsibilities.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
INGROOVES - INTERNATIONAL PHYSICAL OPERATIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
The position of International Physical Operations Manager is responsible for all aspects of production for albums released outside of North America. You will oversee all operational aspects of the physical business including accounting, contracts and logistics.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SENTRIC MUSIC - DIRECTOR OF LIBRARY MUSIC (LONDON)
Sentric Music is looking for a new Director Of Library Music based in London to grow its library music product Masstrax. Sentric is looking for a passionate, dedicated and entrepreneurial individual to accelerate the growth of this aspect of the business.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SENTRIC MUSIC - HEAD OF SYNC, ADVERTISING (LONDON)
Sentric Music is looking for a Sync Manager based in London to grow its synchronisation department. The sync division at Sentric prides itself on being forward thinking and client friendly and is looking for someone to join the team with the same enthusiasm which currently runs through the department.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC RECORDINGS - CLIENT ADMIN ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Kobalt Music Recordings is looking for a detail-oriented and organised individual to assist with our royalty accounting responsibilities within our Recordings department, incorporating the AWAL distribution business.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
DOUBLE SIX - REPERTOIRE ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Double Six Rights is Domino Music Group’s agency dedicated to the worldwide collection of neighbouring rights income for a rapidly-expanding roster of performers and record labels. We’ve significantly increased collections for this client base since our inception in 2011 and are now looking to add to our close-knit team.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
COLUMBO GROUP - PROMOTIONS MANAGER (LONDON)
The Columbo Group is seeking a talented and enthusiastic individual to join our events and promotions team. The job will involve: programming and promotion of live music events and club nights; creating digital and physical promotion campaigns to sell tickets; social media content creation; and artist advancing and logistics.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BEGGARS GROUP - WAREHOUSE OPERATIVE (LONDON)
Beggars Group is looking for an enthusiastic and hard working individual to join our Operations Department. Experience in all aspects of stock control and warehousing protocols particularly within the music industry desirable.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
NETTWERK MUSIC GROUP - DIGITAL MANAGER UK & EUROPE (LONDON)
This role will focus on all digital aspects of an artist and product release - balancing both creative and commercial objectives through the targeting and achieving of campaign-specific objectives and KPIs.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BAND ON THE WALL - PROGRAMME MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
Band On The Wall has an opening for an enthusiastic, talented programme manager to join the programming team. We are looking for someone to manage the booking and promotion of artists across a wide range of genres, both inside and out of the venue.

For more information and to apply click here.
 
RECRUIT YOUR TEAM RIGHT HERE: 020 7099 9060 or ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
18 Jan 2017 CMU Insights @ IMRO Seminar: Fan Engagement
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27 Feb 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
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1 Mar 2017 CMU:DIY x Barod: The Digital Music Market
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8 Mar 2017 CMU:DIY x Barod: Physical, Sync, Merch, Brands & Gigs
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13 Mar 2017 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
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Five killed in shooting at Mexico's BPM Festival
It has been confirmed that five people were killed and fifteen injured during a shooting incident at Mexico's BPM Festival in the early hours of Monday morning. Four people - including three security staff - were shot dead, while a woman was killed in a stampede as people ran to escape.

The ten day festival, which takes place in beach town Playa Del Carmen's various nightclubs, was drawing to a close when a lone gunman opened fire at the Blue Parrot venue. Initial rumours of a second incident at the event's official closing party at another site turned out to be false.

"It is with great sadness to share that police have confirmed reports of a lone shooter outside the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa Del Carmen earlier today, which resulted in four fatalities and twelve injured", said organisers in a statement. "The violence began on 12th Street in front of the club and three members of the BPM security team were among those whose lives were lost while trying to protect patrons inside the venue".

They continued: "The BPM Festival has been working closely with the local authorities throughout the festival to ensure public safety and security for all visitors. We are overcome with grief over this senseless act of violence and we are co-operating fully with local law enforcement and government officials as they continue their investigation".

At a press conference yesterday, Miguel Angel Pech, the state attorney of Quintana Roo, in which Playa Del Carmen sits, said that a man, who is yet to be identified, attempted to enter the venue at around 2.30am, but was turned away because he was carrying a weapon. He then opened fired, and was "repelled" by the three security guards who were killed, who were also apparently armed. Pech added that the incident was not an act of terrorism.

One of the people who died has been named as Canadian security guard Kirk Wilson. In a statement, his employer INK Entertainment said: "Our team is overcome with grief over this terrible tragedy, and would like to express our sincerest condolences to his family and friends for their loss. Kirk will be missed by the entire INK team".

Wilson had worked at a number of venues and music events, including touring with Nelly Furtado. Her guitarist Sean Kelly said on Facebook, according to Billboard: "This is just devastating ... Kirk Wilson was a kind and beautiful soul, and a devoted family man. I had the great pleasure of working and travelling with Kirk, as he was part of the touring team for Nelly Furtado on security detail. Always smiling, positive, and concerned for the wellbeing of others. RIP my friend".

In a TV interview following his press conference yesterday, Pech said that it had not been ruled out that the incident was related to a fight between criminal gangs or to an extortion racket.

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Arrests made in Istanbul and Orlando nightclub shootings
Arrests have been made in relation to two separate shooting incidents that occurred in nightclubs in the last year, one in Turkey and one in the US.

Police in Istanbul yesterday arrested the man accused of carrying out an attack on the Reina nightclub on New Year's Eve, killing 39 people and injuring dozens more. So called Islamic State subsequently claimed responsibility for the attack.

It had been feared that the man, named as Abdulkadir Masharipov, had fled Turkey altogether. However, a large scale manhunt tracked him to a friend's house, still in Istanbul. According to reports, Masharipov was found with his four year old son. The friend and three women have reportedly also been detained.

In the US, Noor Salman, the wife of the man who opened fire at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last June, has been arrested by the FBI, facing charges of perverting the course of justice.

As previously reported, Omar Mateen killed 49 people in an attack on the gay club, claiming allegiance to IS a number of times during the assault. He was killed during an operation to release hostages being held in the venue.

Salman was questioned by police after the attack, but released without charge. She has previously said that she had no prior knowledge that her husband was planning to carry out the shooting. According to the New York Times, as well as being charged with obstructing the investigation, Salman has also been changed with aiding and abetting.

In a statement, her lawyer Linda Moreno said: "Noor Salman had no foreknowledge nor could she predict what Omar Mateen intended to do that tragic night. Noor has told her story of abuse at his hands. We believe it is misguided and wrong to prosecute her and that it dishonours the memories of the victims to punish an innocent person".

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MCPS agrees 'memorandum of understanding' in response to CRM Directive
The UK music publishing sector's mechanical rights society MCPS has penned a nice little 'memorandum of understanding' to explain how it is endeavouring to comply with the collective licensing regulations that were set out in the European Union's Collective Rights Management Directive, even though it doesn't really have to. So that's nice.

The new rules governing collective licensing across the EU stemming from the 2014 CRM Directive went into effect last April. Among other things, the Directive aimed to give the members of collecting societies - or 'collective management organisations' if you prefer - like the UK's PRS and PPL, more oversight, flexibility and transparency. Because who wouldn't want more of that? I'm all for more oversight, flexibility and transparency, me.

But what about MCPS? It - of course - represents the 'mechanical rights' in songs, as opposed to the 'performing rights' repped by PRS. The two organisations have long worked closely together in various guises, with PRS doing most of the legwork, so that licensees almost don't need to know the difference. But they remain separate organisations, and that close alliance is currently under review.

Whereas PRS is owned by its members, MCPS is actually owned by the Music Publisher's Association. That ownership arrangement - and the society's management structure - means, says MCPS, that it doesn't actually meet the definition of a 'CMO' under the EU Directive.

Nevertheless, MCPS says it "wishes to show its commitment to the principles of the Directive by setting out publicly the ways in which it either achieves or strives toward alignment with the UK regulations to the extent that is possible given the ownership structure of MCPS".

To that end, it has been liaising with the government's Intellectual Property Office, which oversees the regulations set out in the CRM Directive in the UK, resulting in this here 'memorandum of understanding', which will now be reviewed annually.

Says the IPO's Ros Lynch: "We welcome the conclusion of this memorandum of understanding, which gives valuable clarity to MCPS's members and users about the standards they can expect. We look forward to continuing to work with MCPS to monitor their progress".

Meanwhile the boss of the MPA and MCPS, Jane Dyball, added: "MCPS wholeheartedly welcomes the CRM Directive's principles of transparency, representativeness, accountability, efficiency and fairness and fully appreciates the commitment shown by the IPO in ensuring full compliance with those principles throughout our industry".

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PPL and PRS launch combined licence for community radio
The UK collecting societies PPL and PRS For Music yesterday announced the launch of a new joint licence for community radio stations, meaning such broadcasters will be able to secure a single licence for the music they play, covering both the recording rights repped by PPL and the song rights repped by PRS.

The two rights organisations are in the process of launching a new joint venture, of course, so to offer single music licences to a greater number of licensees, though that JV will only be operating in the public performance domain, and therefore won't license broadcasters.

Which means that while the handful of existing joint PPL/PRS licences, that all apply to public performance, will be taken over by the new venture once it goes live, this new combined licence will sit outside that new venture, and will be administered day-to-day by PPL.

The new joint licence will be available to AM/FM community radio stations with a broadcast licence from media regulator OfCom. That means to qualify for the new PPL/PRS licence, a station must fit OfCom's definition of 'community radio', which means they will be "not-for-profit organisations that create direct links with their listeners, providing training opportunities and other social benefits to their local areas".

As with the JV in the public performance space, the aim of PPL and PRS working together on licensing community radio stations is to simplify the licensing process for the licensee.

Says PPL Chief Licensing Officer Jez Bell: "We are delighted to be able to offer this new joint licence for community radio stations with PRS For Music; the first joint tariff for us in the radio broadcast sector. Community radio plays a huge role in engaging with local listeners and stations are very often run by volunteers - we have spoken to our existing licensees and the Community Media Association and this simplified joint licence is a result of that consultation. Approximately 240 on-air community radio stations will benefit from the new joint licence, as well as any future stations".

And if you were wondering what PRS Director Of Broadcast Andy Harrower was thinking about all this, he added: "Radio can play an important role in bringing local communities together, with music helping to create vibrant and engaging programming for its listeners. Working together with PPL, we are pleased to be able to help community radio stations by ensuring that music licensing is made as easy as possible for those who keep the stations up and running behind the scenes".

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Cream founder and former Ingenious man lead private equity investment in Hungary's Sziget Festival
US-based private equity outfit Providence Equity Partners has confirmed it plans to build a portfolio of music festival interests which could see it invest in up to ten festival brands. That plan was revealed late last week as the finance firm announced it had taken a 70% stake in the company behind Hungary's Sziget Festival.

From Providence's side, the new joint venture is being led by James Barton, the Cream founder who quietly exited his most recent role as President of Electronic Music at Live Nation last November; and Paul Bedford, who previously led on various investments in the festival sector at Ingenious Media, including its 2008 deal with the Cream company, which it then sold on to Live Nation four years later.

Sziget's current management will retain a 30% stake in the company and will continue to manage its operations day-to-day, leading on both the main Sziget Festival and their other events, which include Balaton Sound, Telekom VOLT Festival and Gyerek Sziget. Barton and Bedford will then work with that team on expanding their brands globally.

The founder of the Sziget festival, Karoly Gerendai, says that the deal means his company now has the resources to achieve its ambitions of going global. He told reporters: "With the help of our new partners we will be able to make a giant leap forward and embark on the ambitious projects that have been in our pipeline for some time. Providence's network and financial resources will complement our existing management team's expertise and will put us in an even stronger position to unlock significant new growth opportunities that otherwise would not have been available to us".

Noting the success Gerendai and his team have already achieved in their home market - the main Sziget festival, originally launched in 1993, attracted 496,000 people over its seven days last year - Barton added of the potential for future growth: "The Sziget team has done an incredible job in creating some of the world's most exciting festivals and we look forward to partnering with Karoly and team in the company's next phase of growth to accelerate Sziget's domestic and international growth plans".

Meanwhile Bedford confirmed Providence's wider ambitions in the festival space, calling the Sziget deal "a cornerstone acquisition". He added: "We have in mind a federation of festival brands. They will work together as much and as often as they want to. There is some strength in numbers in this game".

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Artists will still get Pandora royalties from SoundExchange, but only on free streams
Pandora's insights and analytics guy - aka Billboard contributor Glenn Peoples - has confirmed in a blog post that artists will continue to receive their royalties from the free version of the US personalised radio service via SoundExchange, even though the digital firm has shifted over to direct licensing arrangements with the labels. Though all the monies due on Pandora's paid-for packages - both the existing ad-free personalised radio set up and the soon-to-launch fully on-demand option - will flow through the labels.

Pandora originally licensed its entire operation via the compulsory licence that exists under US copyright law for online radio. This meant that it could get a single licence from collecting society SoundExchange that covered all sound recordings, with no need to do individual deals with each record company. Which was handy, given that when Pandora was launching the labels were in the habit of saying "fuck no" to any digital business model that wasn't an iTunes clone. The existence of the SoundExchange licence is why Pandora could be so early to market, and why it - and its personalised radio model - is so big Stateside.

It's also why, for a number of years, Pandora was enemy number one for the American music community. With songwriters and publishers also legally obliged to license via the collective licensing system - where the rate courts ultimately set what royalties are due - Pandora didn't have direct licensing relationships with any artists, writers or rights owners. And everyone on the music side of the fence reckoned the digital firm was investing way too much energy into trying to persuade the Copyright Royalty Board and the rate courts to cut what it had to pay for the music it played.

Though, actually, from a recording artist perspective, there was one advantage of Pandora paying royalties via SoundExchange. US copyright law says that whenever online radio pays money to the collecting society, that cash must be split 50/50, with half going to the record labels and the other half directly to performers, oblivious of what those performers' record contracts say about how and when they share in money generated by their recordings.

This basically introduced the 'performer equitable remuneration' system from elsewhere in the world into the US. In most countries, income generated by the public performance or broadcast of recordings is generally split 50/50 between labels and artists, with the latter getting their cut directly from their collecting society. It means what an artist earns on that income isn't subject to record contract terms.

Performer ER hadn't really applied in the US before the rise of digital services, because there isn't a general performing right associated with the American sound recording copyright, with only a digital performing right being added in the 1990s.

However, the SoundExchange licence utilised by Pandora to date only covers personalised radio, not fully on-demand streaming of the Spotify model. Which meant that when Pandora decided it wanted to move into fully on-demand streams, it had to start doing deals directly with the record companies like all the other streaming firms around the world.

Now, while the labels are obliged to license personalised radio services via SoundExchange, it's a one-way obligation; the personalised radio services can opt to do direct deals if they so wish. Indeed, Pandora already had some of those deals in place, most notably with indie label-repping Merlin. Which means that, now Pandora has done direct deals with the labels for their fully on-demand service, the personalised radio element is also bundled into those arrangements, so that the digital firm no longer relies on a SoundExchange licence, and the labels will be paid all their royalties directly.

But what does that mean for how artists get paid? Whereas in other countries, copyright law says Performer ER is due when certain elements of the recording right are exploited - principally the 'performance' and 'communication' controls - in the US the law just says the 50/50 split happens whenever money flows through SoundExchange.

Which means in theory the labels could take 100% of the Pandora money and pay their artists subject to record contract, which would usually mean featured artists seeing less than 20% of any income, payments being subject to the featured artist having paid back some of the label's upfront costs, and session musicians - who currently see 5% of SoundExchange income - would get nothing. So that's no fun.

Such a sneaky move has generally been frowned upon within the US label community, so that when direct deals have been done with SoundExchange licensees, the artists have usually continued to get their half of the money through the collecting society. And in the main, according to Peoples, that will continue to happen with monies generated by the Pandora personalised radio platform.

Noting that the record companies' new direct deals with Pandora "allow labels to receive royalties directly and eliminate SoundExchange from the royalty chain", he stresses: "Artist royalties from Pandora's ad-supported service will be continue to be paid directly through SoundExchange. Pandora and the record labels wanted to maintain the established system for payments".

That said, to date the paid-for version of the Pandora personalised radio service has also been licensed by SoundExchange, with artists seeing 50% of that income direct from the collecting society too. That bit is going to change, so that Pandora will pay royalties from both its subscription services - the existing $5 a month set up and the new Spotify-style $10 a month option - to the labels, which will then pay artists the (usually) lower split subject to record contract.

Writes Peoples: "Under the terms of the new licensing agreements, royalties from Pandora's ad-free radio service, Pandora Plus, are being paid to record labels, who then pay artists according to the terms of their recording contracts".

The vast majority of Pandora's users to date have been on the free service, so artists are losing their direct 50% cut on the smaller of the existing revenue streams. The labels could argue that technically they aren't obliged under law to keep paying Performer ER on the bigger ad-funded income either.

Though given that Pandora's business plan relies on turning more freebie users into paying customers - whether on the $5 or $10 a month package - it does mean the revenue stream where artists get half the money directly could go into decline, while the revenue stream where payments are subject to record contract should grow.

It also means that - while for the music industry at large turning freemium users into paying customers is the absolute top priority - when it comes to Pandora, artists themselves might be better off with fans sticking to the free streams. Which probably brings us back to the good old digital pie debate, and how all streaming monies are shared between labels, artists and everyone else in the music community.

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Approved: JFDR
Jófríður Ákadóttir can't have a great deal of time on her hands. As well as performing with Samaris, Pascal Pinon and Gangly, she's also now launching her solo project JFDR. Her first single under that name, 'White Sun', came out in November last year, showcasing a sparse, wispy sound that feels like it's being carried past on a breeze.

For her second single, 'Airborne', she gives that sound something of a stress test, pummelling it with breakbeats. It stands up surprisingly well. Very well, in fact. The seemingly incongruous meeting of fast-paced drums and slow-paced piano creates the perfect tension for Ákadóttir's vocals.

Recently cited by Björk as an inspiration, she must be doing something right. Watch the video for 'Airborne' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column in 2017 by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Statue of Cilla Black unveiled outside Liverpool's Cavern Club
A statue of Miss-uh Cill-uuuuh Blaaaaaaaack has been unveiled outside the Cavern Club in Liverpool, as the venue marks is 60th anniversary.

Black originally worked in the venue's cloakroom, before going on to appear on its stage at the start of her singing career. The statue was commissioned by Black's sons Robert, Ben and Jack Willis, who said that it was "a small gesture of gratitude to this great city for their wonderful outpouring of love and affection for our mother" following her death in 2015, reports BBC News.

One of the sculptors, Andy Edwards, said that the statue represents "the story of the birth of that period in Liverpool's musical culture".

The Cavern Club was originally opened in 1957, and is best known for putting on shows by The Beatles early in their career. The original building was demolished in 1973 to make way for a shopping centre, but reopened on the same site in 1984. It closed again in 1989, reopening eighteen months later in 1991 by Bill Heckle and Dave Jones, who continue to run it to this day.

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Run The Jewels announce UK shows
Run The Jewels have announced that they will be over in the British Isles in March and April this year to play some shows, which is darn good news, I'm sure you will agree. The short run of performances will culminate in a gig at The Roundhouse in London on 1 Apr. No joke.

Last week, physical copies of the duo's new album 'RTJ3' went on sale, and they also launched new augmented reality app 'ARTJ', with which you can do some stuff that you might enjoy. Download it here for your iPhone.

Tickets for the shows go on sale on Friday at 10am. Here are the dates:

29 Mar: Belfast, Limelight
30 Mar: Dublin, Olympia
31 Mar: Manchester, Albert Hall
1 Apr: London, The Roundhouse

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Women In Music, FastForward, John Lydon, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• AIM and WIN last night used the Women In Music event to announce a new free public speaking course for women working in music led by WIN boss Alison Wenham. It's part of a bid to ensure more diversity at industry events by encouraging a wider range of execs to join the on-stage debate. Women working in the UK music business who have not previously done more than two public speaking engagements are eligible to apply - email lara@musicindie.com to go in the draw for a place.

• FastForward - the music conference for you young types (aka under 35s) - has announced that its second keynote speaker this year will be Devi Kolli of VR firm AiSolve. The event takes place from 23-24 Feb in Amsterdam.

• John Lydon is publishing a limited edition book of all the songs he's ever written, featuring handwritten lyrics, artwork and other stuff. Have a look.

• They have released new single 'U Rite'. They're debut album, 'Nü Religion: Hyena', is out next month.

• House Of Black Lanterns has released a new EP, 'Dreams Of Neon Fire'. He's also released the standalone versions of tracks from last album 'You Were Telling Me Of Mountains'.

• Cherry Glazerr have released new single 'Nuclear Bomb'. Here's the video, it is funny. New album 'Apocalipstick' is out on 20 Jan.

• Dream Wife's last single 'FUU' came out in October, but now it has a video, so I think it's worth mentioning again. They play The Old Blue Last on 17 Jan.

• Elbow will be touring the forests of the UK (seven of them, anyway - how many forests do we have? - more than seven definitely) in June and July. Details here.

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Bruce Springsteen tribute act pulls out of Trump inauguration event
Bruce Springsteen tribute act - The B Street Band - has pulled out of an event marking the inauguration of Donald Trump later this week. The band had been booked to perform at a New Jersey State Society gala being staged for the new Prez's first day, but cancelled yesterday following criticism that their perceived support for Trump was at odds with Springsteen's own politics.

Controversy grew after New Jersey Democratic state senator Ray Lesniak tweeted: "Shame on the B Street Band playing at Trump's inaugural. They've profited from Bruce now they're abandoning the message in his music".

As calls for the band to pull out of the event - not actually the official inauguration party, as implied in Lesniak's tweet - grew over the following days, the band announced yesterday that they had bowed to that criticism.

Saying that "this whole thing just got blown out of proportion", they wrote in a statement that the decision had been made "solely on the respect and gratitude we have for Bruce and the E Street Band".

Speaking to Springsteen fansite Backstreets, frontman Will Forte noted that the band had performed at two previous New Jersey State Society galas marking both inaugurations of Barack Obama. It has been reported elsewhere that their performance for this one had been booked three years ago.

In a statement, New Jersey State Society executive director Nancy Fatemi said: "We are very disappointed but we understand the decision based on all the questions and attention this has brought to the B Street Band. Our New Jersey State Society mission has always been to bring people together in a congenial, nonpartisan way. In New Jersey, we know how to be stronger than the storm".

She added that the organisation had been "overwhelmed with offers from other bands" and had already selected another "top flight" band to replace the B Street Band.

In a tweet after the band announced their decision to cancel, Lesniak wrote: "Good guys. I hope they'll play at my inauguration like they did at my birthday party".

I'm gonna say no, that's not going happen. Musicians finding themselves associated with Donald Trump has bred controversy since before he was elected president in November, of course. A steady stream of artists asked him to stop using their music at his rallies during his lengthy campaign. Subsequently various musicians have publicly refused to perform at either his official inauguration party or other fringe events.

Last week, the line-up of the official party was announced - with Broadway star Jennifer Holliday quickly pulling out, saying that she "did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would ... be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence".

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