Artist News Business News Live Business

Paul McCartney offers support to Music Venue Trust

By | Published on Thursday 20 October 2016

Paul McCartney

Hey, remember when Music Venue Trust chief Mark Davyd wrote an open letter to Paul McCartney asking for his support and you thought that was a daft idea that would get nowhere? Well, prepare to feel very silly indeed. Because Sir Macca has got right behind the grassroots live music organisation.

OK, he didn’t come and play that #Fightback gig at the Roundhouse that MVT organised, closing this year’s Venues Day conference, which was one of the suggestions in Davyd’s letter. He doesn’t seem to have officially become a patron either. But he has sent a message of support, which is still pretty good. Though let’s not forget that the open letter was actually addressed to McCartney and Ringo Starr. What has Ringo said? Nothing. Not even “fuck off”.

Anyway, here’s what McCartney said: “Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to play in venues of all different shapes and sizes, from tiny clubs to massive stadiums all over the world. Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different. I support Music Venue Trust because artists need places to start out, develop and work on their craft and small venues have been the cornerstone for this. If we don’t support live music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger”.

Badass. That aforementioned #Fightback gig, which was announced before any bands or crew had even been booked, ended up being headlined by Everything Everything. So that worked out pretty well.

In his own message of support, the band’s Jeremy Pritchard said: “Everything Everything, and all the bands we cut our teeth in beforehand, had lengthy apprenticeships in the UK’s smaller live music venues. For bands like ours, and countless others, there is no shortcut to The Roundhouse, Manchester Apollo, Brixton Academy or The O2”.

“Smaller venues provide a crucial environment for incubation”, he continued. “And if that is not protected from unscrupulous local authorities and avaricious property developers, than we cannot expect to have homegrown acts filling these bigger rooms in the near future”.

Finally, he concluded: “We are facing a genuine cultural crisis, as well as a serious threat to the music industry in the UK – a huge British export. Already we hear the cry that there are too few festival headliners rising through the ranks. This is directly connected to the worrying trend of invaluable but highly vulnerable local gigs going for good”.

Stephen Fry sent a message of support too, but like McCartney, failed to get up and sing any of his songs. He wrote: “Are you fed up with our music venues being closed down by greedy and short sighted developers and people with no sense of culture? Let’s club together and #FIGHTBACK”.

Nice hashtag use. Shame he doesn’t actually seem to have tweeted this.