Traditional Irish Music
The controversial new Afro Celt Sound System album called The Source is released today. Founding member Simon Emmerson split from the original group in 2015 to form a new Afro Celt Sound System, registering the trade name in the UK and releasing this new recording.
The original band members have posted a detailed open letter on their website stating.
“In a widely-circulated open email from Simon Emmerson to everybody connected with Afro Celt Sound System sent in May 2015, immediately prior to the remaining band members’ first UK headline show, Simon disclosed that he had formed a new three-way partnership that would primarily involve himself, Johnny Kalsi and N'Faly Kouyaté, but which, if agreeable, could possibly also include Martin Russell and James McNally (the two remaining original members of the group).
Since James’ and Martin's objective was that any newly-structured band should involve all musicians being regarded as one and the same, not just a chosen few, this was obviously not an option. Further, James and Martin did not consent to the new partnership using the Afro Celt Sound System name and did not believe (and still do not believe) that this new partnership has the right to use the name.
There are now two ACSS bands because Simon Emmerson is proceeding to release a purported ACSS album on his folk music record label, ECC Records, without permission or consent (which he states he does not need). Mark Constantine, the multi-millionaire founder of Lush cosmetics, who was formerly a director of ECC Records and is still the sole shareholder, has been actively supporting Simon’s new band on social media and could well adopt the role of "wealthy backer" in the unfortunate legal situation we now find ourselves in over who owns the name.
Serious efforts were made to resolve our dispute without going to court, but it has become clear that a court determination of this is required. Martin Russell, James McNally, Simon Emmerson and ECC Records Limited are therefore now involved in High Court litigation over who rightfully owns the name.”
You can read the full open letter here. In the meantime here is a taster from the new album released today
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