The Week in light & Sound
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
Missouri Breaks - Missouri is the first US state to resume live events. The latest measure was included in Gov. Mike Parson’s Show Me Strong recovery plan, which also outlines how the state’s economy will begin reopening this week, Billboard reports. Large events and gatherings are no longer forbidden; residents will be able to attend concerts and go to movie theatres and stadiums, where “seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements”.
A Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services rep explained that concerts don’t have to follow the same capacity guidance as retail businesses. Still, concertgoers must remain at least six feet from each other. “There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families,” the Show Me Strong recovery plan states.
These new measures don’t apply to the state’s bigger cities, St. Louis, Springfield, and Kansas City, where lockdown orders are still ongoing. “We will continue to be guided by data, not dates,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson tweeted on Friday.
Venues in smaller cities, like The Blue Note in Columbia, will also not reopen on Monday. The venue has chosen to continue livestreaming its Social Distraction concert series through May 15.
“We are currently assessing the details of the announcement and the latest information from health experts,” Matt Gerding of FPC Live, which manages The Blue Note, told Billboard. “We hope to chart a path to reopening as soon as possible but have not determined the timing of that just yet.”
This news arrives around the same time a new poll which shows that, even if states lift COVID-19 restrictions, most Americans will avoid large events until a vaccine has been developed.
Record Profits - The recorded music industry made $20bn (£16.1bn) last year, the first time the figure has been reached since 2005. Streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music drove the success, accounting for more than half (56.1%) of all revenues - a total of $11.4bn (£9.2bn).
Billie Eilish had the top-selling single, with her goth-pop smash Bad Guy, while Japanese band Arashi had the year's most successful album. Their 20th anniversary greatest hits album sold 3.3m copies worldwide. It narrowly beat Taylor Swift's latest record, Lover, which sold 3.2m copies to take second place.
Overall, music industry revenue was up by 8.2% in 2019, marking the fifth consecutive year of growth, said the IFPI, which represents the industry. The UK was particularly healthy, registering growth of 7.2% - again driven by streaming revenues - making it the biggest music market in Europe.
Angel In Disguise - An unheard track by former Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr is to be sold at auction. Angel In Disguise is one of only a couple of songs co-written exclusively by the remaining members of the group. The pair recorded the demo for Sir Ringo's 1992 solo album Time Takes Time, but it did not make the LP. The cassette is now being sold by former Radio Luxembourg DJ Tony Prince and is expected to fetch up to £20,000. A quarter of the profits will be donated to the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, while the rest will go to Prince's United DJs radio station project.
Two versions of the track appear on the tape; a rough demo with Sir Paul singing, and a more fleshed out take with the drummer on lead vocals, with additional instruments and backing vocals. A demo of another Sir Ringo track, called Everyone Wins, also appears on the cassette, which will go under the hammer at Omega Auctions' online sale on 19 May, alongside other memorabilia.
Mass rendition - The BBC's orchestras and singers are asking the public to join them for a mass rendition of Candi Staton's gospel classic You Got The Love. People across the UK are being invited to dust off their instruments and film themselves playing along to the track. Those without musical skills can submit paintings, videos and photos showing their creativity during the lockdown. The results will be edited into a "massive, awe-inspiring" performance, premiering on TV and radio on 14 May. "You don't have to be a virtuoso, just join in and have a go, and be part of something really special," said BBC Radio 3's Katie Derham.
Bloodstock Moves - In news that will come as a blow to hardened metallers, Bloodstock Festival in Derbyshire has confirmed this year's event "will no longer be going ahead" as a result of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The festival is next slated to take place in August 2021 at Catton Park, with veterans Judas Priest among the headliners and an extra day added on.
In a statement organisers said anyone who bought tickets for this year will be able to roll it over for a place at the next event, when it will return "with an almighty vengeance, better and stronger than ever".
Golden Brown - The music business has been paying tribute to Dave Greenfield, keyboardist for The Stranglers who has died at the age of 71 after contracting Covid-19 following a stay in hospital for heart problems. Hugh Cornwell wrote, “I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Dave Greenfield. He was the difference between The Stranglers and every other punk band. His musical skill and gentle nature gave an interesting twist to the band. He should be remembered as the man who gave the world the music of Golden Brown.”
(Jim Evans)
5 May 2020

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