Freddie Matthews writes from London: One of the strongest contenders for the coveted UK Christmas Official Chart Company No.1 single is The Justice Collective with their version of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. The only competition comes in the form of last week’s No.1 from X Factor winner James Arthur with his Impossible song. The good news is that it seriously looks as if Arthur stands to lose the battle with The Justice Collective now (on Friday 21 December) with a 27,000 sales lead; but of course the weekend can change everything. Here’s hoping Cowell’s SYCO doesn’t win out again. The Official Charts Company’s Managing Director, Martin Talbot said: ‘This is the closest Number 1 battle we can remember. It’s even closer than the 2009 battle between Rage Against The Machine and Joe McElderry.’
After the nominees for the BRITS Critics’ Choice Award were announced a couple of weeks ago, which of course you read about in my weekly British music update, the winner has just been announced as singer/songwriter Tom Odell. He’ll be presented with the award in person at the Brit Awards 2013, in London, on 20 February. When you look at how well the last winner, Emeli Sande, has done in the last 10 months since her win of the very same award. Despite looking like a member of the American band Hanson (remember MMMBop anyone?), Tom Odell is surely very excited about his prospects in 2013. Congratulations.
Just when the British music festival scene is starting to crumble at the edges, an Irish promotions company called MCD are planning a brand new music festival that will coincide with Latitude, to be called Longitude…. Whose great idea was that name? The festival is already booking bands for the weekend of 18-21 July 2013 and if Latitude is anything to go by, it will be an Indie music feast.
There’s been more success for SYCO signed British boy-band One Direction this week, as their two albums – both released in 2012 – have passed the million-selling mark. That makes them the first act to achieve this feat in the US since Tennessee’s country singer Kenny Chesney in 2005. One D’s first album, Up All Night has achieved 1.51 million sales since March and their second album Take Me Home sold another 1.04 million since its release in November. It’s pretty incredible stuff although I’m wondering if they’re anywhere near paying off much of the £££ investment yet? Maybe a few more albums with sales like that will help.
It was announced in the last 7 days that Sony Music has signed a record deal with the 2012 X Factor runner-up Jahmene Douglas. Jahmene is now the 4th signing from the most recent show following contracts for Ella Henderson, Union J and of course the show winning record deal for James Arthur. OK, so I’m now wondering which one of the four acts will be the most successful? And which will stand the test of time? I’d put money on it being Ella Henderson despite her very early departure from the show.
Following last weekend’s BBC Sports Personality Of The Year broadcast on TV with two performances by Emeli Sande, the sales of her debut album, Our Version Of Events, have nearly doubled and all just in time for Christmas. As I’ve previously reported, the album is already the biggest seller of 2012 and could yet again jump back to the top of the Official Album Chart for the Christmas No.1 position.
And finally if you’re a fan of the Isle of Wight Festival, and why wouldn’t you be?, then you’ll be pleased to hear that The Killers have been announced as one of the headline bands for the festival on Saturday 15 June 2013. The other two main acts booked are Bon Jovi and The Stone Roses as well as: Jake Bugg, The Script, Bloc Party, Paloma Faith, The Maccabees, Ellie Goulding, Blondie. You’ve got three days on three stages and a top lineup for yet another great festival in 2013.