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Motley Crue plot explosive touring return

Six years after signing a ‘cessation of touring’ agreement bringing down the curtain on their live career, infamous LA hair metallers Mötley Crüe are to reform, following the success of their Netflix biopic, The Dirt.

As detailed in the video above, awkwardly titled (to British ears) ‘Mötley Crüe is Back’, the notoriously tempestuous band destroyed the contract, signed after their ‘final’ show on 31 December 2015, “in true Mötley Crüe fashion, by literally blowing it up”.

“Since playing Tommy Lee in The Dirt, so many of my fans have said how they wish they could’ve seen the real Mötley Crüe play live,” comments Colson Baker, aka Machine Gun Kelly. “I never thought I would see the day when this would become a reality. But the fans spoke and Mötley Crüe listened.”

In the six months following the release of The Dirt, Mötley Crüe have celebrated a 350% increase in streams of their music across all streaming platforms, with most fans now aged 18–44.

However, say the band, “most of the new fans have never seen any of the legendary live shows that Crüeheads have relished for close to four decades.” Expect a new tour announcement soon.

 


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Indian rapper Badshah dethrones BTS as most-viewed video

Indian rapper and Bollywood composer Badshah has broken YouTube’s 24-hour viewing record with new single ‘Paagal’, according to his label, Sony Music India.

‘Paagal’ was viewed more than 75 million times within a 24-hour period after being released on 10 July. The record was previously held by K-pop colossi BTS, for ‘Boy with Luv’ featuring Halsey, which reached 74.6m views in April. Taylor Swift’s ‘Me’, featuring Brendan Urie, holds the same record for a solo artist, with 65.2m views.

Shridhar Subramaniam, Sony Music’s president, India and the Middle East, says: “This is an unprecedented feat and we are very proud. This will go down history as Badshah becomes the first Indian artist to reach 75m views in 24 hours. In our collective pursuit of being on top of the charts, we know we have fought our way to the top.”

In an Instagram post (h/t Music Ally), suggested he owes the song’s success to Sony’s bulk-buying Google ads in multiple territories, explaining: “we bought AdWords all around the world so that people could see the video all around the world”.

At press time, ‘Paagal’ had been viewed more than 95m times.

 


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Magazine London releases behind the scenes video

The organisers behind Magazine London, London’s new event space set to launch in September 2019, have released the first in a series of videos showcasing the venue’s journey, from initial concept to the start of building.

Venue Lab, the team behind the project, released the video to offer insight into the venue’s creation. The video features representatives from event management company Vibrations Group, architect firms Nissen Richards Studio and graphic design company Carter Studio.

Magazine London will take the form of a flexible 3,000-capacity venue (5,394 square metres) for concerts, conferences, exhibitions, product launches, parties and live events. The ground-up project in North Greenwich will stand on the riverbank with views of Canary Wharf.

“There aren’t many places where you could build a 3,000-capacity venue in London, so that’s a lot of opportunity”

“We were inspired by the view of Canary Wharf,” says Simeon Aldred, creative director of Vibrations Group. “There aren’t many places where you could build a 3,000-capacity venue in London, so that’s a lot of opportunity.”

In addition to the contemporary indoor space, Magazine London brings the adjoining Showground (7,000-cap.), a landscaped environment on the banks of the Thames. Together the spaces span 19,379 square metres, opening up the potential for events, brand activations and festivals requiring an outdoor element.

Building work for Magazine London is already underway. More information about the upcoming venue can be found here.

 


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Karni & Saul create “magic” live visuals for Katie Melua tour

Bafta-nominated animators Karni and Saul have been enlisted to provide dynamic visuals and lighting for Katie Melua’s 2017–18 winter tour, whose UK leg kicked off at the 1,458-capacity Bournemouth Pavilion last night.

For the tour – which began at Stockholm’s Cirkus (1,650-cap.) on 24 October and closes at the Assembly Rooms (788-cap.) in Edinburgh on 13 December – Melua is joined by the Gori Women’s Choir, with whom she collaborated on the silver-selling 2016 album In Winter.

Melua previously worked with Karni and Saul on the video for the In Winter single ‘Perfect World’, which won the best animation awards at the UKMVAs and Berlin Music Video Awards. It is the director duo’s first time producing concert visuals.

“I’m always trying to strive for a more enriching, visually enticing, immersive live experience for the audience”

“Adding visuals to live concerts is a fine art, so creating the right types of film content to accompany the music requires very special sensibility and level of care,” comments Melua. “This is what I have been craving for years now, as I’m always trying to strive for a more enriching, visually enticing, immersive live experience for the audience.

“I could think of no better creative designers than the award-winning Karni and Saul to bring the wintery sounds of Gori Women’s Choir together with our world-class rhythm section, weaving everything together with a sense of marvel and wonderment…

“I first worked with Karni and Saul a few years ago, when we were creating the music video to ‘Perfect World’. That video won numerous awards around the world, with its unique animation and storytelling. I cannot wait for Karni and Saul to bring this same level of magic with me to the stage.”

 


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Twitch rival Caffeine welcomes $100m investment, Live Nation content

Caffeine, a new Twitch-like “social broadcasting platform” focused on sports, entertainment and videogaming/esports, has secured US$100 million in new investment and agreed a content partnership with Live Nation.

The funding round was led by 21st Century Fox (21CF), with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners. Caffeine Studios, a newly formed venture jointly owned by Caffeine and 21CF’s Fox Sports, will create content for the video platform – as will Live Nation, with which the start-up has partnered to stream concerts, starting in Q4 2018.

“We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts,” says Ben Keighran, an Australian-born Apple TV designer and now the company’s CEO. “It’s an ambitious goal, but one we believe is attainable with the support of our amazing new partners, our awesome and ever-growing community and the content that together we can bring onto the platform.”

“We want to bring the world together around friends and live broadcasts”

“The combination of the Caffeine platform with a content studio that benefits from Fox Sports’ expertise in live events and programming will help position Caffeine to deliver compelling experiences in esports, video gaming and entertainment,” adds Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox.

“We are excited to partner with Caffeine and build something special for fans in the growing live social streaming esports and gaming space.”

Caffeine, described as “a new kind of broadcast company”, hopes to snatch a dominant market position away from Amazon-owned Twitch, currently the platform of choice in the live-streaming video market, especially among videogamers. It was originally backed by $46m in two rounds of funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Greylock Partners.

 


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Generation DIY: Manchester

Eventbrite has released the fifth and final film in its Generation DIY series, which aims to showcase the diversity and breadth talent in the UK’s live entertainment industry.

Generation DIY: Manchester premiered at the Deaf Institute last night, followed by a panel discussion featuring Ruth Allan (Manchester Wire), Phoebe Rowe (BLOOM), Lucien Sargent (Boygirl), Jack Houghton (Love for the Streets), Ruby-Ann Patterson (Mancnubian) and Manchester’s new night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord.

It follows previous Generation DIY films focusing on young promoters in LondonBristolGlasgow and Birmingham.

 


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Skiddle transforms accountant’s office into festival

Employees at Manchester-based accountancy firm Sedulo were in for a shock when they clocked in to find their office had been replaced by their own private, one day-only festival.

Recent research reveals 52% of fans book festival tickets while at work, and almost half of that 52% have bosses who have no idea what they’re doing. To illustrate this point and mark the start of the festival season, ticketing platform Skiddle decided to give the Mancunian office workers a shock.

To ensure a full festival experience, desks were traded out in favour of portaloos, food stalls in favour of the office canteen and the morning briefing was replaced by a set from Big Narstie.

This festival stunt is part of Skiddle’s new ‘Think Festivals, Think Skiddle’ campaign, which seeks to celebrate its status as the country’s biggest and most comprehensive festival guide.

 


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LiveXLive hires new CFO

Live music video streaming company LiveXLive Media has hired veteran tech exec Michael Zemetra, most recently chief financial officer (CFO) of cloud-computing giant J2 Global, as its new CFO.

Zemetra succeeds outgoing CFO Jerry Gold, who guided the growing business through its acquisition of internet radio service Slacker Radio and, most recently, its listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. Gold, who joined the company last April, has been appointed chief strategy officer and joins LiveXLive’s board of directors.

“LiveXLive is positioned to capitalise on the massive opportunities in streaming music and live events, and I am thrilled to join as its chief financial officer,” says Zemetra, who was also previously CFO for in-flight entertainment company Global Eagle and senior VP at web content company Leaf Group (previously Demand Media).

“This is an exciting time to join the talented LiveXLive team, and I look forward to contributing to the next phase of the company’s growth and evolution.”

LiveXLive provides an online video network for streaming live music and music-related content. It launched in July 2015, and initially positioned itself as the “ESPN of premium live music experience” with its aim of creating a 24-hour network of live music broadcasting digitally and on mobile.

“As we approach the start of music festival season, we are extremely excited for our future”

In May 2016 it signed a strategic partnership with MTV to provide the broadcaster with LiveXLive’s stream of the closing night of Rock in Rio Lisbon (partnerships with Live Nation’s Outside Lands and AEG’s Hangout have followed since), and shortly after moved into ticketing with the acquisition of Wantickets following that company’s top brass’s controversial defection to Eventbrite.

It has since moved more into original content, with plans to develop a slate of “music news programming, documentaries, specials, and long- and short-form content”, and also recently launched a management division, LiveXLive Influencers, focusing on social-media stars.

“We are sincerely grateful to Jerry for his outstanding leadership and continuing contributions to the growth and success of LiveXLive and are pleased to have him join the board,” says Robert Ellin, CEO and chairman of LiveXLive. “Michael’s proven track record as a financial leader guiding highly relevant technology and media companies is an incredible asset that we will leverage as we continue to grow and build our market presence.

“As we approach the start of music festival season, we are extremely excited for our future and are focused on executing on the very significant opportunities ahead of us.”

 


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Iron men play Iron Man

Signing opportunity of the week?

Meet guitarist Fingers, bassist Bones and drummers Stickboy and Junior. Together they are Compressorhead: four robots who can play a pretty competent, if slightly out of time, cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ and (if the Terminator franchise is anything to go by) could well be the death of us all.

Built from scrap metal by Berlin-based artists Frank Barnes, Markus Kolb and Stock Plum, Compressorhead move using electro-pneumatic motors and are controlled using MIDI sequencers.

Barnes, Kolb and Plum launched a Kickstarter campaign late last year to try and recruit the band a robotic lead singer, but fell short of their €290,000 funding goal.

Watch them in action in Moscow in the video above.

 


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