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2 Music Week 06.08.11 NEWS EDITORIAL


Meet Lucian Grainge: the 2012 music industry’s official rep


Lucian Grainge’s professional history does not paint a portrait of a man who ever wanted to be sweating over billion pound buyouts. Grainge didn’t learn his business acumen on an MBA. He didn’t


get his break thanks to a buddy at the UKTI. And he didn’t - to quote Doug Morris’s beautifully sardonic compliment - become “a killer shark behind little glasses” under the tutelage of sharp- suited City boys. Grainge was a Clash fan who believed he loved music enough


to become a stellar A&R exec. When he decided to call every record company in the industry to badger for a job in the late Seventies, it was Music Week, not Forbes, to which he turned. As it transpired, he was - to use language every bit as dramatically downplayed as that of breakaway indies currently salivating over divestments - not bad at his job. Those taking pot shots at Lucian The Cold-Blooded Suit this week would do well to remember that his commitment brought Amy Winehouse to a wide audience. His first signing? Hold tight, indie detractors, this one may sting: the achingly hip Psychedelic Furs.


“Can Grainge prove to a scrutinous Vivendi that a numerically short but culturally bumper list of assets was worth the princely sum of £1.2bn?”


But with success comes higher expectations, and mutating business responsibility. Just as Grainge has alchemised the superstar dream into reality for the artists he venerates (even by striking industry-leading deals with Apple, Spotify etc.), he has increasingly become the personification of Vivendi’s corporate ambition in music. He has shown himself to be ruthless and visionary; no longer judged on the acts he signs, but by the harsh metric of the stock exchange. As such, he has gone a long way to disproving the theory that the skillset of A&R types is limited to a niche entertainment form. So far, Grainge has run Universal with his admiration for artists


as his engine. It has served him well, particularly against a backdrop of the failures of cartoon ‘money man’ Guy Hands. When Grainge says he’d go through this painful acquisition


process “all over again, time and time again every year”, he is surely speaking as Lucian the music fan - the very same who snapped at investors with tangible rancour last November when stating that “EMI is not a utilities company”. But now comes the acid test. Can Grainge prove to a scrutinous


Vivendi - already one significant top exec down - that a numerically short but culturally bumper list of assets was really worth a princely £1.2bn? Can he demonstrate to tomorrow’s mighty technology


companies that music rightsholders are no longer pushovers; that rather than being a weakness, loving your artists can embolden crucial decisions at the highest level? When Grainge shoved his metaphorical foot in Maurice


Oberstein’s door three decades ago, he nearsightedly hankered to thrive in the record industry. Right now, with the market share he always dreamed of, he pretty much represents it. With the wolves of the new business age so predatorily dismissive of entertainment content’s value, willing him to fail may not bode well for anyone working in the trade he’s conquered. Tim Ingham, Editor


Do you have views on this column? Feel free to comment by emailing tim.ingham@intentmedia.co.uk


BAND UP FOR THREE GONGS - ALABAMA SHAKES, FRANK TURNER AND MADNESS IN FOR TWO EACH


Enter Shikari rule AIM Awards nominations


AWARDS  BY TIM INGHAM


A IM has


announced the full category


shortlists for the second AIM Independent Music Awards. Enter Shikari lead the pack


with a total of three nominations for Best Live Act, Hardest Working Band and Independent Album of the Year for their third album A Flash Flood of Colour. Alabama Shakes are nominated for Independent Breakthrough Of The Year and Independent Album Of The Year for their album, Boys & Girls. Frank Turner picks up two


nominations for Best Live Act and Hardest Working Act, whilst Madness clock up nominations for PPL Award For Most Played Independent Act and the Special Catalogue Release Of The Year. Enter Shikari said: “It’s an


honour to be nominated for not


one but three awards. Even if we end up walking away with no actual awards, it was nice that the independent world thought of us enough


to nominate us. Bring it on.” Madness said “Just when we


thought we couldn’t top the Jubilee and The Olympics along come two nominations from AIM to knock our socks off.” The Awards also feature


nominations for some of the scene’s less well-known and newer artists including Django Django, Alt-J, Grimes, Poliça, First Aid Kit, Skinny Lister, Rustie, Liars, Future of the Left, The Invisible and Amon Tobin. Eleven of the Awards’


categories are voted for by an expert panel of judges from across the music industry and a further three categories are voted for by the public. Taking place on October 29


2012 at The Brewery in Clerkenwell, London, the


ceremony will be hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq. CEO of AIM Alison


Wenham said of the awards: “We have doubled capacity for this year’s ‘Most Difficult Second AIM Awards’ and the nominations are once again outstanding. These awards will recognise another great year for independents’ creativity and ingenuity, with Ninja Tune and Xtra Mile leading the nominations list. The companies and artists are all so special they should all get a medal, but a decent three course meal and an evening spent amongst friends is a prize in itself.” With Edwyn Collins and


Mute’s Daniel Miller already announced as recipients of the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award and the Pioneer Award respectively, the rest of the winners will be unveiled exclusively at the ceremony.


AIM INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARDS NOMINEES 2012


Best Live Act (voted for by visitors to thefly.co.uk) The Cribs, Dub Pistols, Enter Shikari, The Prodigy, Frank Turner


Independent Breakthrough Of The Year (in association with 7Digital) Alabama Shakes, Alt-J, Django Django, Grimes, Poliça


Hardest Working Band Or Artist 65daysofstatic, Cancer Bats, Enter Shikari, Frank Turner, Skinny Lister


Best Difficult Second Album Admiral Fallow - Tree Bursts In Snow; First Aid Kit - The Lion’s Roar; Speech Debelle - Freedom Of Speech; The Invisible - Rispah; The Skints - Part & Parcel


Independent Album Of The Year (In association with Bird & Bird) Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls; Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour; Liars - Wixiw; Future Of The Left – The Plot Against Common Sense; Rustie - Glass Swords


Best Small Label (in association with Sound Performance) Alcopop! Records, Black Butter Records, Brainfeeder, Pink Mist, Xtra Mile Recordings


Genre Spotlight Award Broadcaster Ft Peggy Seeger - Folksploitation; Lorn - Ask The Dust; Neil Cowley Trio - The Face Of Mount Molehill; Netsky - 2; Wiley - Evolve Or Be Extinct


Independent Entrepreneur Of The Year (in association with The Orchard) Alex Di Savoia - Aardvark Records; Chris Goss / Tony Colman / Tom Kelsey - Hospital Records; Louis Barabbas - Debt Records; Sam Dyson - Distiller Records; Simon Raymonde - Bella Union


PPL Award For Most Played Independent Act Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Caro Emerald, Madness, Travis


Special Catalogue Release Of The Year Amon Tobin - Amon Tobin; Madness - A Guided Tour Of Madness; Can - The Lost Tapes; The 13th Floor Elevators - Music Of The Spheres; Various Artists - The Original Sound Of Cumbia


Independent Label Of The Year (in association with EDC) 4AD, Bella Union, Hospital Records, Hyperdub, Ninja Tune


Indie Champion Award Olli Dutton - Obscene Strategies; Ian Evans - IME Music; Steve Lamacq – BBC 6 Music; Katie Parsons - Kerrang!; Shell Zenner - Amazing Radio


Best Independent Festival (voted for by visitors to thisisfakediy.com) In The Woods Festival, Truck Festival, Y Not Festival, Leefest, Bearded Theory


The final tickets and sponsorship packages for the awards are now available. For tickets, visit: www.musicindie.com/awards/theceremony. For sponsorship enquiries, email lara@musicindie.com


www.musicweek.com


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