Mudcat Café message #827659 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53667   Message #827659
Posted By: The Shambles
16-Nov-02 - 05:46 AM
Thread Name: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
This from Sheila Miller.

Well, I got into the press conference, and managed to ask two questions.
However, the answers were the predictable ones and not very helpful. I
asked, 'Given that there is already plenty of legislation on noise and
safety, why are England and Wales the only countries where it is necessary
to have a licence to sing or play music?

Why is a pub that is assumed to be
safe for 60 people to watch satellite TV not automatically presumed to be
safe for 30 people to listen to three Somerset folk singers?'

Tessa Jowell
handed the question over to Kim Howells to answer. He said, 'Well, I got
into a bit of trouble for my remarks about folk singers.' 'Oh, I know,' I
said. People laughed. He then said something about having to consider
individual cases. He said he had recently been in a pub, having a quiet
drink when a musician had come in with two amplifiers and had started
blasting away. Obviously there were no safety implications here, he said,
but he had found it unpleasant and thought many other people would too.
Then he talked of a pub that was packed with people listening to a local
band, and said there would be safety implications there. As you'll see, he
hadn't answered my questions at all.

So I said, 'But, as I said, there is
already legislation that deals with noise and safety in pubs. The
traditional music of this country is generally played without amplification
and without causing any disturbance. Why is there a presumption against
live music?'

Tessa J took over at this point; she said that the new licence
would cover music in pubs as well as the sale of alcohol, and that in fact
it would make things easier for people running pubs. Someone then came in
with a question about the government's claim that the new law would cut
costs for licensees, and I wasn't able to get in again. But they obviously
had no intention of answering the questions anyway.

Another journalist asked what the MU's attitude to the Bill was; she
understood that they were unhappy about it and thought it would make it
harder for musicians to get work. Jowell said that she believed the MU's
concern was ill-founded, and that in fact the new law would not have this
effect.
Since I got back to work a short while ago, I've had a phone call from
someone on The Guardian, asking my views as a folk club organiser on the
Bill. Someone called Ann Perkins is writing a piece on the Bill, and she
was getting various people's opinions on it. So I hope that article will be
a big one and that it will include a bit about the threat to live music.


And

I've just had a call from Ann Perkins on the Guardian. She says the article
is going to be published tomorrow. She was phoning to check the spelling of
my name, because she's using a quote from me. It may get subbed out for the
sake of length, of course, but at least that means she is covering the
issue of live music in pubs.
We should all buy the Guardian tomorrow and send or e-mail letters to the
paper about the potential harm to folk clubs, sessions and other live
musical events.



Guardian Letters (with name and address) to
letters@guardian.co.uk
letters@guardian.co.uk