The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Wednesday 6th December 2006 - Feargal Sharkey 'sings praises' of local authorities

It has just been brought to my attention that a week before the Morning Advertiser report ('Feargal slates Act's impact'), The Publican, a rival licensed trade paper, published this radically different take on Feargal's speech:

'Councils praised over handling of music' -  23 November 2006

'Live Music Forum chief says local authorities have been "even-handed and professional"

'Former Undertones frontman Feargal Sharkey, who now heads a forum evaluating the impact of licensing reform on musicians, has sung the praises of local authorities.

'Speaking at the Institute of Licensing conference in Brighton, he said that the “widespread belief that the 2003 Licensing Act would damage the industry” had proved unfounded.

'“We can't find any evidence for the plague of locusts that was forecast,” he said. “More than 95 per cent of local authorities have been even-handed and professional – and in some cases in difficult circumstances.”

'There were exceptions, however. Some councils had systematically imposed unreasonable conditions on pubs wanting to stage live music, and others had refused applications following a single objection.

'“There are things happening that need to be flagged up and discussed,” he said.

'The Live Music Forum will produce its full report early next year.'


I am making further enquiries in an effort to explain how these two reports were so different.

Hamish Birchall