The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Tuesday 21st February 2006 - Feargal's credibility - another gig loss - consolation prize

Feargal's credibility

This morning I ran a check on Feargal Sharkey's claim, reported in yesterday's Publican, that the Live Music Forum had been unable to find any of the problems for live music 'that have been talked about'.

See Publican article:

On 16 January I learned of a weekly gig lost due to the new licensing regime at the Old China Hand pub in Clerkenwell, along with similar losses at Cafe Rouge, Bristol, Cafe Gigi in Willesden, London, and at an Oxfordshire hotel. I passed this information by email on the same day to Feargal himself and to other members of the Live Music Forum.

This morning I asked the licensee at the Old China Hand, and the musician whose gig there has been cancelled, whether Feargal, or anyone from DCMS or the Live Music Forum had been in touch. Answer: No.

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Another gig loss

Saxophonist Daryl Kenworthy today told me of the loss of a long-running and well known Monday night jazz gig at the Sir Richard Steele pub, 97 Haverstock Hill, Belsize Park, London. Tel: 020 7483 1261. The gig stopped last week following intervention by the police and Camden council. It seems that a DJ put on over a weekend may have led to complaints from neighbours and that this triggered enforcement action. It is not yet clear why the ban should apply to the live music, when recorded music was the problem. It is likely, however, that the venue mistakenly assumed that 'two in a bar' automatically carried forward into the new licence. Camden confirmed that the venue doesnot have a live music authorisation on the premises licence. I am still trying to find out whether the licensee intends to make a live music application.

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A consolation prize These venues have been hosting 'two in a bar' gigs for a while. Under the new regime they got permission to add an extra musician or two: Octave, 27-29 Endell Street, Covent Garden. Tel : 020 7836 4616. Pizza Express, 12 Sycamore Road, Amersham. Tel: 01494 725735

Hamish Birchall