Othello invites you to explore the music that is catching his ears, also he will be sharing any news that comes his way…
FISH’s statement below, is a MUST READ Today:
How Brexit Has Destroyed UK Artists’ Ability To Tour In The EU
Multi-million selling British singer FISH has posted a detailed statement on his social media explaining how the new regulations UK musicians face to be able to tour across Europe as a result of the government’s Brexit deal are going to cripple the industry.
Having released Weltschmerz, his most critically acclaimed and successful album last year (which topped magazine Album of the Year polls in both the UK and across Europe) and with a whole European tour planned later this year in support, his entire career is now hanging in the balance.
“… How does the next young Franz Ferdinand, The 1975, Blur or Oasis break into the EU market now? From where is the UK government going to replace those potential future tax revenues from successful bands? Do they care? It certainly doesn’t appear so.
I genuinely despair at the current state of the music industry and the dreams that are being broken on these rocks. …”
A statement by Fish – January 25th, 2021
Fish examines from both as a solo artist with decades of success, and also as the ex-frontman of a global band – Marillion – makes for devastating reading. The full statement can be read here, and an abridged version of it is included below.
I’m still reeling from the new regulations revealed by the UK Government just over three weeks ago regarding touring in the European Union post-Brexit. They have let the entire British music industry down in a catastrophic way. As a successful independent artist, with an international touring career that employs a team of British people, we are facing our entire future being destroyed by the terrible decisions that have been made by our own Government.
I’ve been trying to make sense of it all from all the sometimes contradictory and often vague information available on various websites that are constantly being updated and working out how this affects my own business and career. It’s quite frankly confounding.
I have 32 European shows across 43 days in the Autumn of this year. That is more than half of the 90 out of 180 days my team and I are allowed to be in the EU under the new rules. Taking into account any further shows or festivals to be added, given Covid-19 restrictions, plus any promotion trips, and those 90 days in 180 fast disappear.
Compared to many artists I operate with a very tight crew, but we are still a 10-person team; 6 musicians including myself, a back-line tech, a sound engineer, a lighting/projection tech and a production manager. From what I’ve discovered we now need permits for every country in the EU.
In Holland for example the administration/ processing costs of a permit are around £250 per person. If the permits are for every individual country and of similar amounts then we have around £2500 in extra costs on permits alone – for every EU country we perform in.
This will rule out concerts in countries such as France, Belgium, Italy and Spain where I may only play one or two shows. Concerts will quite simply become financially unfeasible on potential permit costs alone.
This doesn’t even take in the issues of ‘carnets’, and the costs and time required for the paperwork to cover every individual piece of equipment we take with us. We now have to have our passports stamped at every border crossing in order to officially document the time we spend in various countries as per the visas/ permits.
And at the border crossings the customs officers are totally within their rights to ask for an entire truck or trailer to be unloaded and examined to see if it matches the carnet documents – which then means hours stuck at individual borders within the EU, affecting whether drivers will have exceeded their maximum driving hours. The risks of losing shows because a driver is out of hours aren’t worth taking.
We also now have to deal with the variety of different tax regimes, and VAT costs, across the different countries on the continent. Like most other artists, I need merchandise sales of t-shirts and physical albums on tour to supplement our income and allow us to play shows in areas where the promoter’s guarantee from ticket sales falls short of the costs required to perform there. These new tax costs will amount to tens of thousands of pounds of lost revenue, further impacting our ability to finance any touring in the EU.
And I am an established artist with a loyal fanbase, playing decent size venues! My heart goes out to musicians starting out in small clubs and at the beginning of their careers. I’m not in a new band making its first forays into Europe taking the big jump and betting on a chance to break into what is still the third biggest music market in the World, just a few miles on a ferry across the Channel.
How are they supposed to find visa fees especially if they are an independent outfit? How do they front costs for that valuable merchandise that could be their only wages on a gig? The wages that pay their rent and the rehearsal rooms and fuel in the tank?
Artists such as Simple Minds, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden – and yes, Marillion – benefitted hugely from our ability to tour freely in the EU, and we generated millions of pounds of revenue for the UK as a result. How does the next young Franz Ferdinand, The 1975, Blur or Oasis break into the EU market now? From where is the UK government going to replace those potential future tax revenues from successful bands? Do they care? It certainly doesn’t appear so, especially for the non-corporate bands.
And it’s not just the artists that are affected. Crew members and session musicians have an added hit from the newly limited time allowed in the EU. Most techs and session musicians make a living by touring with a variety of artists throughout the year and they will now be unable, or find it very difficult, to juggle schedules to adhere to the new rules on travel. In short UK based touring personnel will be hamstrung and UK artists might have to consider taking on EU based crew and musicians to get around the restrictions – thus depriving their long-standing UK crew of being able to make a living.
Some have accused the live music industry of not facing reality after the Brexit vote was determined by the accumulative vote across the UK. That is most definitely not true. We have been trying to read the runes and the smoke for a very long time and being in an industry that has to continually adjust to outside factors on a sometimes-daily basis while on the road we are accustomed to extraneous demands. Taking a double-barrelled shotgun to our feet was not anywhere in the equation.
And all of this during a pandemic that has crippled the music industry and put thousands out of work for an indefinite time.
I genuinely despair at the current state of the music industry and the dreams that are being broken on these rocks. I’m 63 this year and immensely grateful for what the music industry and the fans of my music have given me over the last 40 years. I just can’t imagine what it’s like for a young artist in these present times.
We, the music business, and industry of the UK are currently in a perilous state. After all we have given to the world over the last 50 years and more; the revenue and cultural recognition that has been provided to this country through the musicians and technicians and every ancillary member of the live music communities with their writing, creations, and performances. We deserve better than this from our elected government. We need a rethink, and we need it sooner rather than later as our future is in jeopardy.
You can read the full, unabridged version of this article, on Fish’s social media here
Today, 21-year-old singer, songwriter, and guitarist Quinn Sullivan reveals the video for “All Around The World,” to celebrate a new chapter of his already impressive career, which has seen him tour the world and collaborate with rock’s biggest legends. Now, having developed jaw-dropping skills as a guitar player, Sullivan’s more recent work has been with pen and paper, as he lets the abundant skills of his youth blossom and steer him into new directions of artistry and creativity. “Matured and owning his words…Sullivan returns more as a singer-songwriter than just a prodigal guitarist,” said American Songwriter. “Sullivan has refocused his craft to songwriting.”
Bluesdoodles review of his previous album – Born To Play Guitar
Secret – ElectroBluesSociety feat Boo Boo Davis
Since 1998 we have been touring with Boo Boo Davis in Europe at least 2 or 3 times each year since 1998. Usually, we also wrote and recorded a lot of new music during these tours. At first Covid-19 meant a complete stop to all this. But the music couldn’t be stopped, and we started to exchange musical ideas and send them back and forth between the Netherlands and East St Louis (where Boo Boo is living). So, despite the fact that we cannot be at the same spot right now we are still able to create new music together. Special thanks to Chris Brown in St Louis for helping to make this possible.
Secret is the first single released and we are working on a lot more songs. Stay tuned.
Bluesdoodles Reviews January 2021
Layla Zoe sharing her Retrospective Tour 2019 – An essential record for Layla Zoe fans and a wonderful addition to anyone’s blues collection…hear her live and on top form with a band of real quality making it all seamless.
Read full Bluesdoodles review HERE
Alabama Slim invites you into The Parlor On first listen, this album may not seem to have anything new to offer…but careful repeated listens will unveil a goldmine full of blues traditions given a lovely twist and also reveal a talent.
Read Full Bluesdoodles Review HERE
Trevor Bolder invites you To Sail The Rivers a 5-doodle paw album. If you like Uriah Heep, this is a must. If you are a fan of quality melodic rock this is a must. If you’re not a fan of either, then you should still listen to this and do not be surprised when it converts you.
Read the Full Bluesdoodles Review HERE
Journey Under A Mediterranean Sky with Steve Hackett a perfect 5 doodle paw album – Steve Hackett on repeat will be a constant pleasure and perfect virtual travelling companion as we are locked into the tiny landscapes we find ourselves at the moment.
Read Bluesdoodles thoughts HERE