McCartney Times

Donald Macleod: All you need is rungs! Sir Paul’s right – live venues are a ladder to success

Donald Macleod: All you need is rungs! Sir Paul’s right – live venues are a ladder to success

Donald Macleod: All you need is rungs! Sir Paul’s right – live venues are a ladder to success
January 15
15:59 2018

MUSIC biz legends including Sir Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde, Billy Bragg, Craig David, Feargal Sharkey and Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, along with many politicians and senior music industry figures hit the right note outside Westminster on Wednesday.

They were voicing support for John Spellar MP’s Planning (Agent of Change) bill.

Legislation that would force property developers to protect and take into account the historical and cultural significance of music businesses in England and Wales by having them install measures such as noise-proofing before they would be allowed to proceed with any new build project.

As Sir Paul might say…

Yesterday, musician’s troubles seemed so far away.

Live music thrived, with venues here to stay.

But now they’re closed and that’s a tragedy!

Live music venues across the UK are in peril, with many facing closure and in desperate need of protection, especially the smaller ones, the lifeblood of our once great live music industry.

Threats from London City Council, The Met, Nimby residents and greedy developers threaten to bring the curtain down on some of the capital’s iconic venues such as Oxford Street’s 100 Club, original stomping ground of The Who, Oasis and The Sex Pistols.

Scotland is also suffering. When I was a struggling young musician, there seemed to be a plethora of small venues to hone my craft in.

Many are now sadly gone.

Great gigs like The Mars Bar, Doune Castle, The Amphora, Night Moves, The Plaza, Glasgow Apollo, Edinburgh’s Venue, Coasters, Tiffany’s and Valhalla’s

In recent years due to more punitive alcohol licensing, planning and environmental protection legislation, plus the combined effects of the smoking ban, spending cuts and high business rates, there has been a rapid acceleration of closures.

More will follow unless legal protection is put place.

Because, as Nick Mason pointed out, “they are a vital lifeline for young musicians”.

However, they won’t be able to if “so many of the bottom rungs of the ladder have been taken away”

So if Scotland is to continue to be one of the world’s leaders in live music, if it still wants to produce superstar acts like Biffy Clyro, Simple Minds, The Proclaimers, Franz Ferdinand, Primal Scream and The Skids, or solo artists such as Annie Lennox, Emeli Sande and Dougie MacLean then it should ensure more ladders are in place, that we have our own Agent of Change, to help young musicians climb to the top.

And the bottom rung of success in the live music industry for most artists is still being able to cut it live in front of an audience, on stage at a gig in a small venue.

Not in front of a computer screen or smart phone.

Source: Donald Macleod: All you need is rungs! Sir Paul’s right – live venues are a ladder to success – Sunday Post

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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