When Is Live Music Coming Back?5 Jul 2020When Is Live Music Coming Back? We all want to know.The COVID-19 lockdown has the live music industry on its knees. An industry that contributes £5.2 billion to the UK economy is being systematically starved to death.There is a vague plan to bring live music back to our UK venues. However, the plan has no specific dates yet. On 25 June, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden shared this five-step plan for the gradual reopening of music venues, with no dates given.Stage One:* Rehearsal and training - no audiences and adhering to social distancing guidelinesStage Two:* Performances for broadcast and recording purposes, adhering to social distancing guidelinesStage Three:* Performances outdoors with an audience plus pilots for indoor performances with a limited distance audienceStage Four:* Performances allowed indoors or outdoors, with a limited and distanced audience indoorsStage Five:* Performances allowed indoors or outdoors, with a fuller audience indoorsIt's not really a plan in the traditional sense - real plans have dates. It's just a roadmap without any commitment.One practical problem that pubs will face - with social distancing still in place - is loss of revenue. Some venues won't be able to pay bands the previous going rate until social distancing is further relaxed or abolished. For some bands, it may not be financially viable to play for less money.My own view is that live music could come back to pubs now, perhaps at a lower fee for bands, or with a door charge. What I've seen so far in my own town is that venues can operate at about 50% capacity (or higher if they have outside seating) with the vast majority of people behaving responsibly. Live music itself isn't going to make people behave any more dangerously. The major hurdle is to get more people into venues, which means the "1 metre plus" rule will have to be replaced by, or adapted to, a more lenient one.Mac MacLarenEditor----https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-53182634https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/20/uk-public-wary-of-live-music-as-industry-calls-for-50m-rescue-packagehttps://www.ukmusic.org/news/music-industry-contributes-5-2-billion-to-uk-economy
At last. Ice cream shows its power.24 Jun 2020At last. Ice cream shows its power. It's good to know that word gets around.Lemonrock stopped advertising on Facebook years ago.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-45449938Now the giants, like Ben & Jerry's, have realised the same thing: that Facebook isn't interested in stemming racial hatred. It would rather make money for its investors, paid for by its advertisers.It is difficult running a website where people post their own views. But it is not impossible.Facebook needs to wake up and take responsibility for the way that it is shaping communities, and creating prejudice, in this world.Mac, Editor
When Will I Hear You Again?21 Jun 2020When Will I Hear You Again? Maybe it's time for The Three Degrees to get back into the studio and re-record their hit?I've seen what the CV pandemic has done to our live music world. It has decimated it. As it has many other things.Live music is one of the UK's top contributors to our GDP.https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/20/value-of-uk-live-music-sector-hits-11bnThis coming week is crucial for the live music industry, as we all wait to hear what Boris Johnson's government will say about easing the current distancing rules. Will the UK relax to Denmark's and France's 1-metre rule?Here's how it looks today:* 1m distancing rule - China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Singapore* 1.4m - South Korea* 1.5m - Australia, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal* 1.8m - USA* 2m - Canada, Spain, UKIf the distancing rule is not relaxed, it will mean that thousands of businesses, including live music venues, will collapse.We need to think about relaxing the distance, especially outside, where the virus enjoys far fewer opportunities to spread.If that means having to introduce table service and screens in our pub gardens, then so be it.We're a nation of sociable, fun-loving people, and most of us have had enough of the lockdown now. We don't want to get ill, but neither do we want to see our culture and society fatally wounded - we need a middle ground. The downward trend of COVID-19 fatality figures signals a possible return to going out, spending money in restaurants and pubs, meeting each other, enjoying live music again, and restoring the UK economy.Let's hope that we see some sense prevail this week that will enable our favourite venues to re-open soon, start to make a profit again, and provide thousands of us with the ultimate in entertainment - live music.Mac MacLarenEditor
Read All About It7 Jun 2020Read All About It How I have longed for this...Back in the 90s, Melanie Wall and I started to sing in pubs and clubs. Acoustic evenings, folk clubs, open mic nights, that sort of thing.We got on well, and decided to record some of my songs - our songs - not only for posterity, but because we both believed that we had a chance of making it as a recording act. I mean, we had a lot going for us: a chic, ballsy, yet feminine, singer with a distinctive voice and tons of attitude; some catchy songs with killer hooks; and great production, overall rivalling anything on the live music scene at the time. We didn't do covers - we were the real deal. Our studio band was good enough to gig: Nick and Dan on guitar and drums, Bill on bass, me on acoustic and Melanie in pride of place, front of stage, looking the audience straight in the eye and meaning every word of the lyrics. We were potentially a force to be reckoned with. MacLaren Wall were a fresh alternative to the sycophantia of The Spice Girls or Oasis or Blur. In our prime, loads of energy, loads of hope. Serious and Real.We did have a few skirmishes with success - but another time for those stories. The point here is: we didn't make it with our original songs, like so many thousands of other bands. Why should we? Even if, in our own eyes, we were amazing, we didn't impress the "industry" enough to get a break.That didn't stop us, though. We put lots of time and money into what was, back then, the most exciting thing in our lives - our great songs, performing live, making impressive studio recordings.And now, 20 years later, I can finally report the news headline that, for half my life, I have wanted to shout from the rooftops:"MacLaren Wall Hit"- Singer-songwriter speaks of shocking event -The accident is real - it's my house, my wall. It isn't fixed yet, thanks to the bungling stupidity of the UK's insurance industry.But in a way, I'm glad it happened. Headlines like this are rare.I think I'll just whisper it again to myself.#maclarenwallhit#maclarenwallhit#maclarenwallhit#maclarenwallhit
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