Florence Welch and her band may have made a few enemies in the world of tennis this week – and no, that doesn’t sound particularly threatening to me, either. Davis Cup supporters hoping to watch Andy Murray play the semi-final in Manchester will have to suck it up and venture elsewhere, after Welch’s agent said “no thanks” to relocating one of the indie band’s gigs. Their scheduled 18 September date at the Manchester Arena clashes with the first day of the tennis tie – and the Lawn Tennis Association has until next Wednesday to find a new venue.
If you can’t stand the idea of 1,000 people playing a Foo Fighters song, then welcome to hell. One man pulled together a huge performance of Learn to Fly, in a now-viral video asking the Foo Fighters to perform in the northern Italian town of Cesena. Frontman Dave Grohl responded – ooh-er, in Italian – with a video message of his own. He really is determined to earn the title of Rock’s Nicest Guy in 2015, isn’t he?
Where music-streaming royalties are concerned, Byrne believes it wouldn’t hurt to follow the money. In a New York Times piece, the musician and label owner called for greater transparency from the likes of Apple Music. He wanted to know how much he’d be likely to earn in royalties during the service’s three-month trial period, but says he was blocked at every turn. Get Taylor Swift on the blower, David: I’m sure she’d be able to send out a couple of tweets and sort something out.
Keith Richards called Sgt Pepper’ a ‘mishmash of rubbish’
Well, Richards isn’t one to mince his words. He’s spoken rather disparagingly of the Fab Four in the past, and was at it again in a recent interview with Esquire. “If you’re the Beatles in the 60s, you just get carried away – you forget what it is you wanted to do,” he said. “You’re starting to do Sgt Pepper. Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like – ‘Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.’” So … you didn’t like it, Keith?
At long last, Dre delivered. Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr Dre was inspired by forthcoming NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, and premiered on Apple Music on Thursday. The album is packed with guest features, from Eminem, Jill Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Xzibit (he’s still rapping? OK) and others – so far, fans seem pleased. I suppose all that time making expensive headphones could distract even the most hard-working among us.
Speaking of Eminem, he’s only gone and recorded a guest verse on the new Dre album that people find offensive. Shocker. A line about rape on track Medicine Man seems to have some fans wondering when Marshall Mathers will be ready to leave behind his early image – of a perpetually infuriated, misunderstood teen – and cut down on the violent, misogynistic lyrics.
There’s a woodwind crisis afoot. Bassoons, well-known for looking like a shotgun into which you can blow to produce music, aren’t as popular as they once were. And that’s the problem Dutch musician Bram Van Sambeek is trying to solve, with the Save the Bassoon campaign. If someone can find a way to tie this into the last vestiges of everyone’s empathy for Cecil the Lion, the campaign may stand a chance.
Carey was born to do this, surely. A list of the pop star’s signature looks – gold, glinting diamante jewels, fur and metallic stilettos – already reads like a typical outfit worn by Empire’s Cookie Lyon, played by Taraji P Henson. Series creator Lee Daniels broke the news of Carey’s planned appearance on the show, wehn she was given a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame on Wednesday. Though there aren’t any details yet on what part Carey will play on the Fox hip-hop drama, I’m just hoping the calibre of her performance will be more Butler than Glitter.
Note: the radio and music streaming service is still in its free trial period, so this figure has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Since magically appearing on iPhones and Macbooks around the world on 30 June, Apple Music has racked up half as many trial users as paying Spotify subscribers. We’ll come back to this one in early October, when there’ll be more sense to make of it.
The singer and television personality died in Spain on Sunday, as the result of a stroke. Though known in recent years as the host of ITV’s Blind Date, Black started her career in entertainment in 1963, with two No 1 singles.