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Two heads are better than one. (6/18a)
Bugs is dancing in the street. (6/18a)
Pull up the Brinks truck. (6/18a)
Looks like we have a horse race. (6/17a)
Myriad lawyers, no waiting. (6/18a)
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
Blighty Beat


Noel Gallagher has claimed his 12th U.K. Official Albums #1 with "best of" collection, Back The Way We Came Vol. 1 (2011-2021) (Sour Mash). Over on singles, Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” (Polydor) remains on top.

Gallagher’s new release, which chronicles his post-Oasis career with High Flying Birds, lands at the top with 28k sales this week, 9,300 of which were on vinyl.

Meanwhile, Rodrigo’s Sour holds at #2, and Polo G is new at #3 with Hall of Fame (Columbia). Last week’s #1, Blue Weekend (Dirty Hit) by Wolf Alice, slips to #4, and Garbage’s No Gods No Masters (BMG) closes out the Top 5; it’s their highest charting record since 2005’s Bleed Like Me.

Comedian Bo Burnham enters at #6 with his self-released Inside (The Songs), while a deluxe edition of Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure (EMI) sends the album back into the Top 10 at #7. Finally, Migos land at #9 with Culture III (UMG).

On the U.K.’s Official Singles chart, Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” claims its fourth consecutive week at the top making it the longest-reigning #1 rock single in 18 years. The track shifted 9.3m U.K. streams this week.

Galantis, David Guetta and Little Mix climb two to #4 with “Heartbreak Anthem” (Atlantic), a new peak for the track, and ArrDee’s “Oliver Twist” (Island) climbs one to #6.

“I Wanna Be Your Slave” from Italian rockers and Eurovision winners, RCA’s Måneskin, climbs five places into the Top 10 at #7.

Mimi Webb lands straight in at #12 with this week’s highest new entry, “Dumb Love” (RCA), and Lorde returns with “Solar Power” (EMI) at #17.


Several music trade bodies have welcomed a bill calling for a better deal for musicians and songwriters from streaming. The bill has been put to U.K. Government by MP Kevin Brennan and is backed by 11 other cross-party MPs.

Titled Copyright (Rights and Remuneration of Musicians etc.), the bill aims to “create a new right to fair remuneration for musicians when their work is played on streaming platforms,” Brennan said. “Musicians’ earnings have been devastated by the closing down of gigs which has helped highlight how they are not getting a fair share of music streaming revenues from recordings.”

Naomi Pohl of The Musicians’ Union called the bill a “major milestone,” adding “the fact that it has cross-party support is much appreciated and extremely encouraging.”

Graham Davies, CEO of The Ivors Academy, said reforms in music copyright and contracts are “long overdue”. “Providing fair compensation for songwriters, composers and artists will ensure [the U.K.] retain[s] our position as a cultural powerhouse.” Tom Gray’s #BrokenRecord campaign has also welcomed the news.

Brennan formally introduced the bill in Parliament Wednesday and the second reading, which is when the key principles and main purpose of the bill will be debated, will take place on 12/3.

Earlier in June, The Rolling Stones added their name to a letter signed by more than 200 artists asking British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to update U.K. copyright law so artists, performers and songwriters receive the same rights they have in radio, known as "equitable remuneration.” The letter followed the end of the evidence sessions for the Government’s inquiry into the economics of streaming, the final report for which is expected to be published soon.


Former Island Records chief Darcus Beese will join Warner Music UK in a newly created dual role as EVP, WMUK and President of a new joint venture record label. He starts on 7/1.

As a member of WMUK’s senior leadership team, he will report into WMUK CEO Tony Harlow and work closely with Harlow and the WMUK label presidents on the company’s A&R approach. He will be instrumental in helping guide the continued cultural and strategic change of the U.K. business.

Beese said he would not be comfortable working for another label but that conversations with Max Lousada and Harlow led to the idea of him heading up his own label while being part of a broader record company leadership team.

 …Read more



Streaming has pushed the value of the U.K.’s music sales and streams overseas to more than a half-billion pounds for the first time since records began, according to new figures released by the BPI. Despite the record growth, the U.K.’s overall share of global music revenue is slipping.

In 2020, BPI stats say that consumption of British music worldwide generated £519.7m in export earnings, an increase of 6% on 2019 and the highest figure recorded since 2000. Today, the U.K. is the largest exporter of music in the world after the U.S., and around 1 in 10 of all tracks streamed globally are by a British artist.

The growth in music exports has been powered by artists and labels successfully harnessing the global reach of streaming, with 300 British artists achieving more than 100m streams annually. More than 500 U.K. artists now achieve 50m streams per year or more.

…Read more


The U.K. live music industry has described the Government’s decision to delay lifting final COVID-19 restrictions for four weeks as a “hammer blow” to the sector. Trade bodies are calling for emergency support; Music Venue Trust has a six-point plan.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson delaying the U.K.’s reopening date to 7/19, more than 5,000 shows are set to be cancelled and, without insurance, the summer’s festival season could collapse, costing the sector more than £500m, according to trade body LIVE. The Music Venue Trust says the delay will result in tens of thousands of people losing the chance to get back to work and that venues alone are set to lose £36m.

Both LIVE and MVT are calling for the Government to provide urgent financial support to those impacted by the decision. LIVE CEO Greg Parmley pointed out that there are still “hundreds of millions of pounds” from the Cultural Recovery Fund yet to be allocated. “This money needs to get into the industry without any more delay,” he added.

The Association of Independent Festivals said that although 90% of remaining events over 5,000 capacity are scheduled to take place when restrictions finally do lift toward the end of July, they can’t continue to plan without Government-backed insurance.

In case the reopening plan gets delayed again and festivals can’t take place this summer, or have to operate with limited capacity, results from an AIF survey said that some events will face insolvency within weeks, and 34% would need to make redundancies of 75% or more.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said, "Any measures that prevent festivals from operating fully have to be counterbalanced with effective support to ensure businesses can survive."

...Read more


The U.K. independent sector’s marketshare rose for the third year in a row in 2020 to hit 25.9%, according to stats from the BPI and AIM. This is partly due to claiming four #1 albums from BTS, Gerry Cinnamon, IDLES and Kylie.

Since 2018, the British independent sector has added 1.9% to its share of album equivalent sales, rising from 24% across three years. Between 2019 and 2020, its share rose by 0.9%. Indies’ share of streaming equivalent albums (SEA) has also risen during that time, from 23.8% in 2018, to 24% in 2019, and 24.5% in 2020.

Alongside top-charting albums, the rise is also attributed to the popularity of independent releases on physical formats. Independents’ highest format share in 2020 was on vinyl LP (35%) and the sector claimed close to 30% of all CD sales, rising to 32.5% in Q1 this year. In the first three months of 2021, independent artists claimed nearly four in every 10 vinyl LPs purchased in the U.K. (39.8%).

On streaming services, independently released tracks by artists such as AJ Tracey, Trevor Daniel and Endor were among the 100 most-played songs in the U.K. in 2020. Independent acts such as Central Cee, KSI, BTS and Tom Zanetti have charted in the Top 100 in 2021 and in Q1 this year, the independent sector’s share of SEA continued to rise, up to 25.8%.

In addition to claiming four #1 albums last year (the biggest tally since 2017), 52 independent albums made the weekly Official Albums Chart Top 10 (again, the biggest number since 2017). This success has continued into Q1 2021 with three independent acts making it to #1: You Me At Six (Suckapunch), Mogwai (As The Love Continues) and Architects (For Those That Wish To Exist).


Wolf Alice’s Blue Weekend (Dirty Hit) had the biggest opening week for a British group in 2021—36k sales—giving them the #1 slot on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart. Over on singles, Olivia Rodrigo has made more chart history.

Wolf Alice claim their first chart-topping album today as their previous two sets both peaked at #2. Vinyl sales counted for 41% (14.7k) of Blue Weekend's 36k total.

At #2, Rodrigo’s Sour (Polydor) is this week’s most-streamed album, while Manchester band James opens at #3 with All The Colours of You (Nothing But Love Music).

Lil Baby & Lil Durk’s The Voice of the Heroes (UMG) opens at #5 and Crowded House’s first album in 11 years, Dreamers Are Waiting (EMI), is also new at #6.

On the U.K.’s Official Singles chart, Rodrigo is the first female artist to occupy three Top 5 spaces in the same week. “Good 4 U” scores a third week at #1 with 96k sales, including 11.2m streams, while “Deja Vu” is at #4 and “Traitor” climbs to a new peak at #5.

Only a handful of other acts have achieved this feat, including John Lennon, Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran and Drake (who was the last to do so in 2018).

The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears” (Island) reaches a new peak today, climbing two places to #2, while Galantis, David Guetta & Little Mix also climb two places to a new high of #6 with “Heartbreak Anthem” (Atlantic).

This week’s highest new entry comes from Brighton rapper ArrDee, whose “Oliver Twist” (Island) flies straight in at #7. It’s the 18-year-old’s first credited U.K. chart hit and follows his viral verse on the remix of Tion Wayne & Russ Millions’ #1 hit “Body” (Atlantic), which is #8 this week.

Mimi Webb’s “Good Without” (RCA) climbs one to #9 wand Billie Eilish’s “Lost Cause” (Polydor) debuts at #14.


If the U.K. Government delays its reopening date of 6/21, the live music sector could lose more than £500m due to more than 5k cancelled shows and the potential collapse of the summer’s festival season, according to research from trade body LIVE.

Gigs at venues and larges events may not be able to take place until the end of July due to a proposed four-week delay in the final stage of the U.K.'s reopening plan, which risks bankrupting many businesses, according to the new report. In the event of a five-week delay, 65% of independent festivals surveyed say they are set to collapse with 248 grassroots venues facing immediate risk of eviction.

…Read more