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Memorial events planned for the late Steve Strange

A trio of events have been planned to commemorate the life of Steve Strange, the X-ray Touring director and co-founder, who passed away last month following a short illness.

The London event takes place at O2 Academy Brixton, and friends of Steve and colleagues who knew and worked with him are invited to email sslondon@xraytouring.com to RSVP.

Dubbed ‘The Farewell Tour’, celebrations are also planned in Los Angeles on 17 November and Belfast on 19 December.

Born in Lisburn near Belfast, Strange worked with an eclectic roster of artists including Coldplay, Eminem, Queens of the Stone Age, Phoebe Bridgers, Ash, Snow Patrol, The Charlatans and Jimmy Eat World, many booked with longtime colleague Josh Javor.

The X-ray team remembered a “universally known, hugely respected and loved character”, as tributes poured in from across the industry upon Strange’s death aged 53 in September.

Strange was a longstanding ILMC member, and in March had picked up the top agent award (‘second least offensive agent’) in a special decade showdown at the Arthur Awards. Strange had topped the category twice before. He appeared in person to collect the gong at the Royal Albert Hall, thanking his clients, and “all the people at Team Strange and Xray Touring who’ve all had a very difficult year but we’re getting through it”.

IQ published a surprise feature article in May 2018, to celebrate Strange’s 50th birthday.

 


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Avicii tribute raises funds for mental health charity

Artists including David Guetta, Kygo, Rita Ora and Adam Lambert will participate in an Avicii tribute concert in the artist’s hometown of Stockholm, Sweden on 5 December.

The concert is taking place at the 50,000-seat Friends Arena and will feature music from Avicii’s (real name Tim Bergling) posthumously released album ‘Tim’, performed for the first time.

The event will feature 19 of the singers who appear on Avicii’s songs, performing alongside a 30-piece band. Sets from fellow DJs including Guetta, Kygo, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Nicky Romero will open the concert.

Proceeds from the Avicii Tribute Concert for Mental Health Awareness will go towards the Tim Bergling Foundation, a charity set up by Bergling’s family to raise money for mental health-related issues and suicide prevention.

“Tim had plans for his music to be performed together with a large live band, and now we are realising his dream and giving fans a chance to experience his music in this unique way”

Bergling died of an apparent suicide in 2018, at the age of 28. The DJ had retired from touring two years previously, stating he had “too little time left for the life of the real person behind the artist” to continue.

“Tim had plans for his music to be performed together with a large live band, and now we are realising his dream and giving fans a chance to experience his music in this unique way,” says the DJ’s father, Klas Bergling.

“We are grateful that his friends, producers, artists and colleagues are coming to Stockholm to help,” adds Bergling.

“They have all expressed a sincere interest and desire to engage in efforts to stem the tide of mental illness and lend their support to our work with the Tim Bergling Foundation. We are very much looking forward to this evening, which will be a starting point for the foundation’s work going forward.”

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. CET. More information can be found here.

 


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Tramlines names Nulty stage in honour of late director

The main stage at Sheffield’s Tramlines festival will be renamed ‘Nulty’s Main Stage’ to honour the festival’s late co-founder and director, Sarah Nulty.

Nulty helped to found Tramlines in 2009 and became festival director in 2013. She died aged 36, just three weeks before the festival’s tenth anniversary, following a short illness.

“Sarah was the driving force behind the festival, so it felt completely fitting to rename the main stage in her honour and as a memorial for everything she’s done for us,” comments festival organiser, Danielle Gigg.

“We will continue to raise money for Weston Park Cancer Charity and Cavendish Cancer Care who both helped her so much.”

“Sarah was the driving force behind the festival, so it felt completely fitting to rename the main stage in her honour”

Last year, Tramlines raised £30,000 for the cancer charities through the sale of ‘Be More Nulty’ merchandise. The festival will continue to pay tribute to its co-founder this year through the merchandise, as well as the return of ‘Nulty’s Bar’.

Since her passing, Nulty has received several prizes for her contribution to the industry including an Outstanding Contribution Award from the Association of Independent Festivals and a Civic Award from the Lord Mayor of Sheffield. A memorial plaque was also unveiled on the original site of the Tramlines main stage.

The UK Festival Awards honoured Nulty with an Outstanding Contribution to Festivals Award and created a new category, the ‘Sarah Nulty Women in Festivals Award’.

Tramlines 2019 takes place from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July. Headliners include Two Door Cinema Club, the Courteeners and Nile Rodgers and Chic. The festival moved to 40,000 capacity Hillsborough Park last year.

 


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Bowie honoured in tribute concerts

After a David Bowie tribute gig at London’s Brixton Academy on Sunday, an EP has been released of the late star’s final recordings and European concert film screening dates announced.

Today would have been Bowie’s 70th birthday and the occasion was celebrated over the weekend by a number of superstar artists playing a three-hour show in his birthplace of Brixton. Similar events also took place in New York, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo.

The London tribute was held in aid of Children and the Arts charity, and Bowie’s keyboardist Mike Garson and tour band members guitarist Mark Plati and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey opened the show with Gary Oldman.

It’s one year since Bowie died of cancer on January 10th just after the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar.

Simon Le Bon, La Roux, Keane frontman Tom Chaplin, Tony Hadley, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore and Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott all made an appearance for select songs from Bowie’s back catalogue.

It’s one year since Bowie died of cancer on January 10th just after the release of his 25th studio album, Blackstar.

Today an EP, No Plan, has been released. The four-song set includes Blackstar song Lazarus, as well as three songs written for the musical he composed of the same name.

On March 7, documentary and concert film Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars will screen in cinemas across Europe.

The film features Bowie and his band performing at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in July, 1973. Mojo magazine is working with CinEvents to host the screening, which will include a new film featuring an interview with Spiders From Mars drummer Woody Woodmansey.

 

 


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Tributes paid to artist manager David Enthoven

Artist manager David Enthoven has passed away after a short illness, at the age of 72. Along with Tim Clark, his business partner at management company ie:music, Enthoven had managed Robbie Williams since 1996 when the singer departed Take That.

Paying tribute to his departed manager, Williams tweeted, “My Friend, Mentor and Hero passed away today. David Enthoven, I love you. RIP.”

Enthoven started in the business managing King Crimson in 1969 and also forged the careers of Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. In the late 60s, he established the EG record label and management firm with John Gaydon. They broke King Crimson, and later signed T. Rex, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Roxy Music.

Enthoven set up ie:music with Tim Clark in 1992, the pair guiding the careers of artists including Sia, Lily Allen, Ladyhawke, Bryan Ferry and Will Young, in addition to Williams.

“He was a giant man, freely sharing his huge experience with all the artistes he worked with over the years. A great big dollop of humour was always used…”

“This is such a tragic loss,” says William’s agent Ian Huffam at X-ray Touring. “Not just for those who worked in music, but to the many who benefited from David’s wisdom, wise words and decency in wider life.

“He was a giant man, freely sharing his huge experience with all the artistes he worked with over the years. A great big dollop of humour was always used as opposed to the usual heavy-handed behaviour – a lesson to us all. I will never forget David”

Speaking to British newspaper The Mirror, Clark said: “His tenacity in fighting for artists’ rights is the stuff of legend. He pricked the pompous, had a nickname for everyone but was so generous and kind too.

“What is much less well known is the unstinting help he gave to those who had taken a self-destructive path, for whatever reason. He has been utterly selfless in that respect.”

Following news of Enthoven’s death, a statement from the Music Manager’s Forum (MMF) said: “We are very sad that long time manager and MMF supporter David Enthoven has passed away today after a short illness.

“David will be remembered as a true friend, an exemplary colleague, a helpful mentor and a truly exceptional human being. Big hugs David. We will miss you.”

Enthoven and Clark were jointly awarded the ‘Most Strokeable Manager’ award at ILMC’s Arthur Awards in 2005, the same year that they were the subject of the Sunday morning Breakfast Meeting interview.

 


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Prince: A lust for live

Prince, who died yesterday, was many things to many people: A sex symbol who defied social, racial and gender norms; a self-taught musicians’ musician who mastered “thousands” of instruments, including bass, piano, drums, various synthesisers and percussion and – of course – guitar; an early advocate for artists’ rights who fought his major label, Warner Bros, for ownership and artistic control of his own music.

To many in the concert business, however, Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson on 7 June 1958) will be remembered for the joy he took from simply playing live. Standing only 5’2″ tall, Nelson was nevertheless a giant on stage, a combination of his charisma, sex appeal, dazzling musical chops (an apocryphal tale has Eric Clapton, when asked what’s it like to be the best guitar player alive, responding: “I don’t know; ask Prince”) and four-inch high heels lending the diminutive singer, songwriter and producer a towering stage presence that transcended mere inches.

And after no less than 28 concert tours – including the unplugged Piano & A Microphone tour, ongoing at the time of his death – the 57-year-old showed no signs of a desire to stop touring. Nor did audiences show any signs of a desire to stop listening: the dates comprising his final completed tour, the spontaneously plotted Hit and Run trek of 2014–15, were consistently sold out and generated huge critical acclaim for the artist and his touring band, 3rdeyegirl.

One of Prince’s most memorable highlights in the world of live performance remains his landmark 21-night residency at The O2 in 2007, which paved the way for similar residencies by Bon Jovi, the Spice Girls, One Direction, Beyoncé and Michael Jackson

One of Prince’s most memorable highlights in the world of live performance remains his landmark 21-night Earth Tour residency at London’s O2 Arena in 2007, which changed the touring landscape irreversibly, paving the way for similar arena residencies by Bon Jovi, the Spice Girls, One Direction, Beyoncé and Michael Jackson with the ill-fated This is It.

“Everything’s changed this summer,” he told the cheering crowd, without a hint of hyperbole, at the time. “It doesn’t matter who came before or who comes after. From now on, The O2 is Prince’s house.”

The O2’s general manager, Rebecca Kane Burton, said this morning: “We are all shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news that Prince has died. […] [He was a] true artist and musical genius. RIP.”

Cameron Strange, CEO of Warner Bros Records, with which Prince repaired his relationship in recent years, said in a statement last night: “He leapt onto the scene in 1978 and it didn’t take the world long to realise that pop music had changed forever. He played the studio like an instrument and shattered the definition of live performance. He defined a new kind of superstardom, with a transformative impact not just on music, but on video, film, and style.

“Prince was the epitome of cool and mystery – an inspirational soul who created his own universe by bringing together different genres, races and cultures with a purity of sound and spirit unlike any other. His visionary gifts as a songwriter, vocalist, musician, performer and producer placed him in a league all his own.”

“He played the studio like an instrument and shattered the definition of live performance”

A statement from the 4,678-capacity Fox Theatre in Atlanta, where Prince played his last live show on 14 April, said: “Prince was a music pioneer, innovator and cultural icon. His music moved and inspired many, including the fans that were able to join him as he took the stage for his final performances last week…

“We, along with the world, mourn the loss of a music legend.”

Watch Prince performing one of his signature songs, ‘Purple Rain’, at the Fox, courtesy of gig-goer Jake Reuse, below: