Sunday, 1 July 2007

Using (and abusing) music

Interesting chat at Rootsville with Pete Ashton, he of many blogs, and Gigbeth obergruppenfuehrerinn Clare Edwards. Sparked by Pete's spot-on comments on Chamberlain Square in Brum Blog, we got on to the public use of sound, and music in particular. We use and consume music everywhere - it gets thrown at us, whether we like it or not (Christmas shopping, anyone?). And so we devalue it. We disconnect from the the people who make the stuff. And it shows when you go to a gig. I hate it when people treat live musicians as aural wallpaper. At Rootsville, for example, The Love Child Electric turned in a great set, but that didn't seem to matter to the lads next to me. And they probably thought they were fans of the band, as well. I don't get it. Canned music may be a commodity, but music makers are not. There is a distinction...

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Chrissy Van Dyke, Hare and Hounds, 7th June

A not to be missed gig. Chrissy previews her new band, and with luck some new material. The band line-up is, frankly, stellar: Bob Wilson on guitar, Bob Lamb on drums, Geoff Pearce on bass and Nigel Darvill on keys. Between them, well over a century - maybe closing on 150 years - of top notch live and studio experience. Chrissy is just great anyway, and now she has the best set of musos in town. Can't wait. If you miss this, they're at Rootsville on the 30th.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Local music licensing

The brilliantly excellent Steve Tromans is circulating (as are others) an email about licensing laws which are already having a brutal effect on local gigs. Venues which could previously offer work to solo musicians or duos now have to pay for a special license, allowing a maximum of 12 per year. Unlicensed acts risk a £20,000 fine and 6 months in prison (for proprietor and musicians). Oh, and this goes for private gigs for charity and school shows too.

There's a petition against this on the Number 10 website. 37000 had signed when I went there.
Go there, sign, and pass it on if you value local music. It may be too late to undo this bill, but it could help frame better legislation in the future.