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BLIGHTY BEAT
LORDE JOINS BBC WEEKEND FEST
4/19/17
Lorde will be visiting Blighty in May after joining the star studded line-up of BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Hull on 5/27. The Chainsmokers, Rita Ora, Kasabian and Royal Blood are also new additions to the bill....Read More
THE 2017 IVOR NOMS ARE IN
4/19/17
The nominations for the 62nd Ivor Awards are in, with songs by Adele, Laura Mvula and Nile Rodgers, Michael Kiwanuka, Mura Masa, Skepta and Coldplay set to battle it out on 5/18 in London. Mike McCormack’s Universal Music Publishing U.K. has the most mentions with interest in six entries....Read More
U.K. SIGNINGS: NEW NAMES AT BLUE RAINCOAT
4/18/17
Members of Cabbage await the arrival of the corned beef with their new publishing company, Blue Raincoat, and management company SJM. From left, back row: drummer Asa Morley, SJM’s Dave Salmon, singer-guitarist Joe Martin and SJM’s Conrad Murray. Front row: Blue Raincoat’s Jeremy Lascelles, bassist Stephen Evans, singer-guitarist Joe Broadbent and guitarist Eoghan Clifford. British pubco Blue Raincoat has signed five-piece band Cabbage and singer/songwriter Fionn Regan to global publishing deals, while Warner/Chappell, Glassnote, Rough Trade Records and Red Light Management have also bolstered their respective rosters. Cabbage are signed as a recording artist to BMG imprint Infectious Records and have released four EPs to date. Blue Raincoat CEO Jeremy Lascelles said his new signing is “the most exciting new band to have come out of this country in a long, long time. They write lyrics that are political, angry, aggressive but also extremely witty and insightful.” Cabbage are managed by Conrad Murray at SJM. Irish artist Regan released his fifth album The Meetings of the Waters on Abbey Records on Friday. You might have heard of him through Bon Iver—Regan’s “Abacas” song was sampled on the closing track “00000 Million” from 22, A Million. Management is Philip Tennant. Over at Mike Smith's Warner/Chappell, A&R Amber Davis has signed songwriter and producer Steel Banglez to a worldwide publishing agreement. The producer has co-written with a number of names in grime and rap including Wiley, Birdman, Krept & Konan, Mist and D Double E. He recently released his debut single “Money” on Polydor. Management is Guv Singh of Catalyst. Elsewhere, Glassnote MD Liz Goodwin has signed North London duo Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville of IDER. They have amassed more than 2m streams on Spotify to date—largely thanks to downtempo melodic track “Pulse.” They are managed by Georgia Strawson. Daniel Glass was impressed after seeing the band live at Kamio in London. “The textures and moods IDER create with their music is incredible,” he said. “My love for the band was taken to another level when I saw them. Their stage presence and harmonies were hypnotic.” Folk/blues band This Is The Kit, led by Kate Stables, are new to the Rough Trade Records roster with a new album on the way. Ollie Jacob at Memphis Industries is manager. Post-punk band Spring King, signed to Island Records, are now managed by Red Light’s Jamie Osman and Nigel Templeman.  
U.K. RECORD LABEL INCOME UP 5%
4/12/17
U.K. record labels pulled in £926 million in 2016, a 5.1% rise over 2015 and the largest spike in five years. Streaming was the driver, naturally, while downloads are worth just over half what they were in 2012. ... Read more
U.K. CHARTS: ED SHEERAN HITS
FIVE WEEKS AT #1
4/7/17
There’s no shaking Ed Sheeran from atop the Official Charts in the U.K. as ÷ (Atlantic) registers its fifth week at #1 and “Shape of You” scores its 13th  consecutive week atop the singles chart with “Galway Girl” at #2 for the fifth week. Jamiroquai’s Automaton (Virgin), at #4, is the week’s top newcomer. ... Read more
SHEERAN DOMINATES U.K. Q1 SALES
4/6/17
Ed Sheeran has outsold the other eight albums in the Official Charts’ Top 10 of 2017’s biggest sellers in the U.K. so far with Divide (Atlantic) tallying a combined 1.4m sales and its three singles reaching 3.3m. Ben Cook’s WMG imprint Atlantic is enjoying a smashing start to the year. Thanks to Rag’n’Bone Man, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton’s Sony label Columbia takes second and third place on the albums and singles list respectively as Human tallies 394k this year, while its title track has reached 644k. Syco, now helmed by Tyler Brown, has Little MixGlory Days at #4 with 136k and the group’s “Touch” at #5 on singles with 515k. In total, Jason Iley’s Sony has two albums in the Top 10 and three singles, including “Paris” (RCA) by Chainsmokers at #9. Max Lousada’s Warner has two Sheeran albums with x at #3, and four singles including Clean Bandit hit “Rockabye” (Atlantic) at #6. Led by Ben Mortimer and Tom March, UMG’s Polydor has Take That and Wonderland with 112k at #6, the cast recording La La Land at #9 with 98k, while Jax Jones f/Raye’s “You Don’t Know Me” is #4 on singles with 595k. Darcus Beese’s Island features twice with Drake’s More Life selling 100k to sit at #8 and breaking artist JP Cooper at #10 on singles with “September Song”. In total, David Joseph’s UMG gets four best-selling albums with the aforementioned alongside Pete Tong’s Classic House (UMC) at #7 with 102k. The major also has three singles including Starley “Call on Me” (AATW) at #8. Shout out to indie label #Merky for 129k combined chart sales of Stormzy's smash debut Gang Signs & Prayer. Best selling albums in the U.K. 2017 to date Ed Sheeran Divide (Atlantic) Rag’n’Bone Man Human (ColumbiaEd Sheeran x (Atlantic) Little Mix Glory Days (SycoStormzy Gang Signs & Prayer (Merky) Take That Wonderland (Polydor) Pete Tong Classic House (UMC) Drake More Life (Island) Cast recording La La Land (PolydorAdele 25 (XL) Best selling singles in the U.K. 2017 to date Ed Sheeran “Shape of You” (AtlanticEd Sheeran “Castle on the Hill (Atlantic) Rag’n’Bone Man “Human” (ColumbiaJax Jones f/Raye “You Don’t Know Me” (PolydorLittle Mix “Touch” (SycoClean Bandit “Rockabye” (Atlantic) Ed Sheeran “Galway Girl” (Atlantic) Starley “Call On Me” (AATW) Chainsmokers “Paris” (RCA) JP Cooper “September Song” (Island)  
SPOTIFY BOLSTERS BRITISH TEAM
4/4/17
Spotify has grown its U.K. team with the appointment of former Songkick business development exec Jack Stephens (left) as Creator Partnerships Manager, while Paul Smith (right, below), who previously worked at MixRadio and Nokia, has joined as Head of International Licensing. Based in London, Stephens reports to Spotify’s Head of Creator Insights and Activations, Shane Tobin. He has previously held positions at AWAL, Lucid Group, MusicQubed and CrowdSurge, which merged with Songkick in 2015. Smith is also working from Spotify’s London HQ. He spent eight years at Nokia, ending as Director, Global Head of Major Relations in 2014. Stints at Microsoft, the now defunct MixRadio and Company Cue followed.  
U.K. MIDWEEKS: ED'S UNSHAKEABLE
4/3/17
Jamiroquai has the highest new entry on the U.K.’s Official Albums midweek update with Automaton (Virgin EMI) at #2, while Calvin Harris f/Ariana Grande, Pharrell and Young Thug’s “Heatstroke” (Columbia) is the highest new single with at #16. Ed Sheeran is unshakeable at #1 with ÷ (Atlantic) selling another 50k combined copies over the last three days. ...Read more  
NEW SIGNINGS: VOICE WINNER JOINS POLYDOR; FUNNY GIRL STAR TO SONY
4/3/17
The Voice winner, singer/songwriter Mo Adeniran, has joined the roster of Polydor and actress/ singer Natasha Barnes is now with Sony U.K. They are among recent signings at major and independent companies in Blighty of late. Adeniran’s winning song “Unsteady,” released Sunday after he was crowned winner, is currently #5 on the iTunes Singles. Management is Greg Dixon. Sony’s Barnes, star of the West End revival of Funny Girl, will release her debut album this year. Her agent is James Beresford at Shepherd Management. Meanwhile, former Take That manager Nigel Martin Smith has signed new boy band project Yes Lad to Absolute Label Services, which will distribute and market the group’s releases. Their debut single “Walk Away” is out 4/28 with an album to follow later this year. On the publishing side, singer/songwriter Allman Brown has joined the Universal Music Publishing U.K. family after self-releasing his debut album, 1000 Years, in February. Management is Jeremy Lloyd at the Laissez Faire Club.  
U.K. CHARTS: TAKE THAT TAKE #2
3/31/17
Despite first week sales of 113k, Take That haven’t managed to topple the behemoth that is Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Atlantic). The trio’s eighth studio album Wonderland (Polydor) settles for second place on the Official Albums chart. Over on the continuously slow-moving singles chart, ZAYN is the highest new entry at #24. Sheeran has now spent three non-consecutive weeks at #1—he’s got four more to go before he matches Adele’s seven-week run with 25 (XL). Drake is down one place to #3 with More Life (Island)—improving three places from his midweek #6—followed by Rag’n’Bone Man with Human (Columbia) at #4, while Vera Lynn slides to #5 with100 (Decca). The second highest new albums entry is James Blunt with The Afterlove (Atlantic) at #6. Jesus and Mary Chain return to the Top 40 for the first time in over two decades as Damage and Joy (Parlophone) ends the week at #16. Over on the Official Singles Chart, Sheeran’s “Shape of You” spends its 12th consecutive week at #1 while “Galway Girl” sits behind it at #2. Drake has also improved his midweek peak with “Passionfruit” rising one place to #3. Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson’s track “Symphony” (Atlantic) is up two places to #4 during its second week on sale, and Sheeran rounds out the Top 5 with “Castle on the Hill.” ZAYN scores this week’s highest new entry with “Still Got Time” f/PARTYNEXTDOOR (RCA) entering at #24. Other movers of note are Kygo and Selena Gomez with “It Ain’t Me” (Columbia) rebounding 12 spots to #7, and “Issues” (Polydor) by Julia Michaels rising 15 places to #13.
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