And Finally Artist News

Roger Daltrey doesn’t understand Brexit pressures on younger g-generation, says MEP

By | Published on Thursday 21 March 2019

The Who - Moving On

The Who’s Roger Daltrey once sang about old people not understanding his generation. But now that he’s old, he’s fallen into the same trap, says MEP Julie Ward. This follows claims by Daltrey that Brexit would have no effect on musicians.

The Who frontman reacted angrily to being asked about Brexit’s effect on rock music by Sky News last week. “What’s it got to do with the rock business?” he asked, when queried on whether Brexit would be bad for his industry. At the suggestion it might make touring in Europe more difficult, he spat: “Oh dear, as if we didn’t tour in Europe before the fucking EU”. He then suggested that being an EU member was like being governed by the mafia.

Earlier in the interview, Who guitarist Pete Townshend had already said that things are harder for bands now than when he and Daltrey started out, mainly because there are so many more acts vying for the same work these days. So at least one of them realises that times might be a little bit different for newer artists today.

In a statement to the NME, Labour Party MEP Julie Ward says that there would undoubtedly be greater costs to UK musicians wishing to tour Europe if we leave the EU. However, it wouldn’t be the likes of Daltrey who would suffer from this.

“The 60s were filled with music that defined political movements – in many cases responding to the growing cultural and generational divide between the young and the old”, she says. “Today, Brexit is driving a wedge between generations once again”.

“Despite what Daltrey says, Brexit will impact bands in the form of additional visas and carnets that will fall heavily on touring musicians and technical staff”, she goes on. “Perhaps a mega-band like The Who can absorb the additional costs, but it is the up and coming younger artists and the smaller to medium sized venues that will suffer the most from Brexit”.

She adds: “As a Labour MEP and a member of the Culture Committee in the European Parliament, I know just how important music is as a cross-cutting issue in respect of economic and social well-being, not to mention the role of music in cultural diplomacy as an effective bridge-builder in foreign affairs”.

Yes, although perhaps we should drop The Who off the list of “bridge-builders” for the moment. The good news is, with the Brexit deadline just over a week away, the UK government still has no real clear plan for what it wants or intends to do. Despite Parliament voting that there’s at least one thing it doesn’t want, that one thing – crashing out of the EU without a deal – is still a very real possibility. In which case, touring anywhere will probably become much less of a priority as we all fight over food and medicine. Good times.