The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #57941   Message #914610
Posted By: The Shambles
20-Mar-03 - 12:25 PM
Thread Name: Music Police raid Sloop, Barton Lincs
Subject: RE: Music Police raid Sloop, Barton Lincs
Hamish Birchall
Case law, which forms part of Robin Allen's opinion, determines that between 1899 and 1961 two musicians (or possibly more) could regularly play a pub piano and sing for their own amusement, unpaid, and this was not regarded as a licensable public entertainment (Brearley v Morley, 1899). The Licensing Bill would, of course, render both the activity and the piano a criminal offence unless licensed.

This point is disingenuous. In 1899, the courts held that impromptu performances by customers were not licensable, but performances given by a customer or any musician "for a consideration" were licensable. The Report of the Royal Commission on Licensing (England and Wales) 1929 – 1931 (paragraph 249) confirmed this interpretation of the law. Working musicians were therefore not exempted as claimed. The "two in a bar rule" was introduced by the Licensing Act 1964.