The Live Music Forum


Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Wednesday 13th May 2009 - Imprisoned for playing rock

Iranian band Font were imprisoned in Iran merely for performing indie rock, according to a report on BBC Newsnight earlier this week:

The band is currently in London on six month artist visas.

'When you walk around the streets of london what do you feel?' asks the interviewer.

'Beautiful... nice ... clean...' they reply. One even feels at home here.

But there is at least one gig in London they won't be doing: the Sir Richard Steele music pub in Haverstock Hill, NW3. One of its licence conditions, imposed by Camden council, explicitly bans rock and pop music:

'13. Live music shall be permitted, however music of the rock and pop variety is specifically excluded.'

See Camden's online licence register, type in 'Sir Richard Steele':

Breach of a premises licence condition is a potential criminal offence, maximum penalty: £20,000 fine and.... six months in prison.

Separate legislation already deals with noise, public safety, crime and disorder.


Hamish Birchall