Needless Bureaucracy FTL (of live music)

Save our live music
Save our live music

Ordinarily I don’t concern myself with the goings on in London, there’s a mutual understanding there; they have no idea who I am, and I think they’re all insufferable gobshites. However, occasionally things start in London and go on to affect other places, which is why we need to nip this one in the bud.

I’m referring to form 696, or as I like to call it, the harbinger of death to live music.
Form 696 already applies in 21 London boroughs, and requires licencees to submit 8 pages of information on live music performers, including names, addresses, phone numbers and the ethnicity of it’s potential audience. Failure to comply will result in a fine and possible loss of licence.

The metropolitan police have stated that this is in response to incidents involving guns in 2006 and is designed to provide safety at the venues and pinpoint troublemakers, but almost instantly makes open mic nights impossible, and creates serious problems for small venues. I’m not a musician, but I would question why my privacy was at risk for performing live music, and a detterent such as this hardly encourages our musicians, which are sadly one of our few remaining exports.

Feargal Sharkey, of The Undertones fame is campaigning, as the head of UK Music, against form 696 and a petition has been started that I urge you all to sign. Furthermore there are fears this information allows the police to focus on music enjoyed by black and asian young people since the type of music and the likely audience needs to be disclosed. Mr Sharkey had this to say:

“In explicitly singling out performances and musical styles favoured by the black community we believe the use of Risk Assessment Form 696 is disproportionate, unacceptable and damaging to live music.”

The old year is dead long live the New Year… 2008 in lists

Well one of us had to…

2008 was the year that:

  • I got back on the horse only to get kicked straight back off
  • I gained independance only for it to bite me in the ass
  • I had my first holiday in a decade when I really should have scratched the idea

So yeah, kicked scratched and bitten throughout the year, but I’m strangely optimistic about 2009. Maybe its a mix of a crappy end to the year and the sights of good things to come. I guess in fairness 2008 did have it’s up sides:

  • Finally understanding the relevance of ‘Swallow Tattoo’
  • Picking up a pen again
  • Renewing old friendships and making some new ones.

My most listened albums:

  • Los Campesinos – Hold on now youngster
  • Kings of Leon – Only by the night
  • Placebo – Black Market Music

Favourite Gigs:

  • Futureheads
  • Long Blondes
  • BOTY Final

Fabourite Books:

  • Duma Key – Stephen King
  • The Threat to Reason – Dan Hind
  • The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss