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Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music

Nick 04 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM
PennyBlack 04 Jan 05 - 01:51 PM
Tig 04 Jan 05 - 04:51 PM
oombanjo 04 Jan 05 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Obie 04 Jan 05 - 05:41 PM
DMcG 04 Jan 05 - 05:43 PM
Nick 04 Jan 05 - 05:58 PM
Nick 04 Jan 05 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,ET 04 Jan 05 - 07:04 PM
The Shambles 05 Jan 05 - 02:53 AM
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ossonflags 05 Jan 05 - 06:18 AM
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John J 07 Jan 05 - 07:50 PM
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The Shambles 10 Jan 05 - 03:35 PM
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Nick 17 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM
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GUEST,Pete Fletcher 17 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,rob @ nellies 17 Jan 05 - 04:44 PM
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ET 19 Jan 05 - 05:54 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 19 Jan 05 - 05:59 AM
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The Beast of Farlington 19 Jan 05 - 06:35 AM
pavane 19 Jan 05 - 06:38 AM
pavane 19 Jan 05 - 06:44 AM
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Nick 21 Jan 05 - 12:25 PM
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Linda Kelly 21 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM
Blowzabella 21 Jan 05 - 07:21 PM
The Shambles 21 Jan 05 - 07:54 PM
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The Shambles 21 Jan 05 - 08:33 PM
Pistachio 22 Jan 05 - 05:42 AM
Linda Kelly 22 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM
Nick 23 Jan 05 - 12:18 PM
Blowzabella 23 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM
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BB 23 Jan 05 - 04:59 PM
The Shambles 23 Jan 05 - 05:47 PM
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Nick 24 Jan 05 - 11:45 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 24 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM
Leadfingers 24 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM
Leadfingers 24 Jan 05 - 12:34 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 25 Jan 05 - 03:30 AM
The Beast of Farlington 25 Jan 05 - 11:00 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 25 Jan 05 - 11:58 AM
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GUEST,Ralphie 25 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM
GUEST,NickM 03 Feb 05 - 07:32 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 03 Feb 05 - 07:59 AM
Nick 03 Feb 05 - 09:01 AM
The Shambles 07 Feb 05 - 05:32 PM
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El Dano 10 Feb 05 - 07:56 PM
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Subject: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM

I spoke to Samuel Smiths brewery today about our local pub in Farlington where we have played music for the last two and a bit years (see related thread at Have Sam Smiths banned all music amongst others) as I heard that we have been told to stop playing.

Unfortunately, it's true.

What is worse is that it applies to ALL Samuel Smiths pubs. Nellies was mentioned by the person I spoke to at the brewery as being another that would be affected.

Obviously I am really sad about it and it would be easy to write a torrent of abuse about the brewery, the chairman etc - hopefully that is NOT what will go on here.

The decision is from the chairman down and is being implemented down the chain of command so it seemed silly to get too excited over the phone. Apparently people have written directly to the chairman on this matter as it was his decision alone and so I guess there is an implication that this might be a good course of action.

The reasons as to WHY were not forthcoming. Might be licensing issues - I don't know.

I DO intend to write as I'm sure will the people who use our local.

SO tomorrow is the last gathering at the Blacksmiths Arms Farlington as it is considered a previously arranged commitment. Raise a pint and have a moments silence somewhere between 8.30 and 11.30...

Off to compose my letter


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: PennyBlack
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 01:51 PM

Wednesday 5th January 2005 at 10.00pm The Falcon Session will raise a glass and think of you.

May another location raise it's head and welcome the phoenix!

good luck

PB


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Tig
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 04:51 PM

We were talking about this overall ban at the weekend - and realised that amongst the pubs which are affected is The Plough at Whitby!

What a wicked waste of a good venue and meeting place.

We already are aware of several Sam's houses who are losing customers right, left and centre over this lunacy by the chain.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: oombanjo
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 05:28 PM

If This happens I will be gutted, and Sams Will probabley go to the receivers.How can they expect to lose thousands of customers a year and stay afloat. ANY SHARE HOLDERS OUT THERE?????????????????


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 05:41 PM

You can write the strongest message with your wallets! Hopefully there are alternative pubs close at hand.
"There's nothing so lonesome, morbid or drear
    As to stand in the bar of a pub with no beer"
   (or music or customers)
            Obie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 05:43 PM

Are any of the South Yorkshire/Derbyshire pubs associated with traditional carols owned by Sam Smiths?


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 05:58 PM

Thank you Penny. I'm part of the phoenix fan club myself - just need to chop the 500 year membership rule (throw yourself on a fire every night is my motto) - perhaps we could sing a song for you :)

I don't think there are any non-family shareholders.

Sams owns more land, property and interests in thing that it can stay afloat longer than I (and perhaps most of us) can stay alive. If the Chairman decides something he has every right to. He also has every right to grant anything he chooses to within the law.

I understand from previous things that the chairman is a good and proper person and that he is very good at responding to direct communications - whether he writes back what you or I might want to hear is a different matter (the chilling of beer /banning of alcopops are two examples where I know people have had response).

I've hummed in the Plough at Whitby. I am planning to go and see Grace Notes on monday at Nellies. And after a really enjoyable sunday in Monks Walk was looking forward to going to Nellies one sunday because I believe it is even better.

There will be a reason(s) as to why this decision has been taken. If it is one that no-one has any influence on there is nothing to be lost by a) finding out what that decision is and b) seeing if that decision can be changed.

For the pub we drink in it probably - at present - does not seem shrewd economic sense in that we go regularly and have spent a good few quids over the last few years. In the total history of the pub it is probably neither here nor there. I only go to the Plough in Whitby in Whitby folk week so I don't know what the rest of the year is like. Nellies I would guess it would hurt.

After that I don't actually know any Sam Smiths pubs that play live music reguarly apart from one rumoured in Sheffield.

ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS NOT KNOWING HOW WIDESPREAD A PROBLEM (OPPORTUNITY) THIS POTENTIALLY IS

Aside from the more global licensing issues that others are much more au fait and involved with, two things did strike me -

If we are talking about very few pubs then the costs are very little to Sams and so it is sortable at a LOCAL level because there are no great issues of principle involved and no great cost issues to the brewery. If there are (say) half of the (quoted) 200 Sam Smiths pubs who want to put on live music then there is huge demand (which is good).

Having been in the Plough in Whitby week that is a LOT of money involved. I dare say Nellies has made a few quid off the music (inc jazz etc) over time. Our local pub I reckon it will hit my £3K-5K in turnover in the coming year and we are truly a tiny place.

My overall feeling is that it is something worth exploring and pushing further. It doesn't strike me that where we (specifically) are at the moment is in anyone's interest - not the customers; not the brewery; not the council; not the government.

So it must be sortable


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 06:12 PM

Obie I agree you can vote with your wallet and I dare say that will happen

BUT...

We love where we go and we don't want to be somewhere else. 'Punishing' the brewery economically (who are very strong) is still like smacking yourself over the head with a bit of 4by2 (yeah - I know it's popular in places).

When we were aware that we might be coming to an end several things happened -

1 We looked round for somewhere else - I haven't seen a better option given the constraints of what we want to do, where we are, what is available. So there is considerable self interest. Even some inertia. But it isn't that. There truly isn't a better place within 12 miles of where we live. (10 miles north of York - if anyone knows better or has a pub with good beer, a welcome, a suitable room etc then PM me)

2 We started looking at what we have. What came out of that is how much we get from what we do. Suddenly we communicate more regularly. I have four wonderful emails from our immediate group which will go to Sams to try and explain why it DOES matter - for bigger places it must be even more the case

3 If the worst comes to the worst then we will go to one of the pubs that has said we can play. But it's the lesser option.

I probably haven't put this across very well. The difficult bit is conveying to those that DO matter WHY it matters.

Cos it does to us!

Nick
Blacksmiths Arms Minority Interest Good Natured Terrorists (nibble yer ankles on a bad day grrrr section) Inc


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Subject: RE: Obit: Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 04 Jan 05 - 07:04 PM

Has anyone got the means to communicate this to Fergal Sharkey who is runing the check on music venues for the Department of Media, Culture and Sport!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 02:53 AM

Not too sure if he is running anything other than ensuring that the DCMS spin is seen to have some seal of performer approval.

But the Government's response to the E petition did promise a review of the effects on live music - so it would not hurt to inform this body and get them to establish the reasons for Sam Smiths position and if it likely to be followed by others.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 03:04 AM

Bad news indeed Nick. We have all had some bloody good times at FarTington. Has the Beast been informed?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 04:29 AM

Happy new year, Ted - sorry we didn't get to Glaisdale. Yes, we all know the position over here and are planning accordingly...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: ossonflags
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:18 AM

I agree with Nick on this one.Based on past experiance it is a complete waste of time and air sounding of at each other the rights and wrongs of Samual Smiths decision.Berating "someone doing there job" does nothing but send the message they are dealing with a load of unorganised bolshie rabble and this could have the opposite effect to what you are trying to achieve.

It has not been made clear why this decision has been made, but what we do know is it was made by the Chairman of the brewery.
The most sensible and responsible course of action (initially) would be for as many people as possible to contact, in writing, the Chairman of Smith's at Tadcaster asking why he has made this move.It is not a bad idea to mention the vast amount of money spent in there outlets by people such as us, but to me the most important bit of information that should be conveyed to Sam's is the amount of pleasure, FREE live music gives to people in a trouble free atmosphere - folk people are not generally known for knocking lumps of one another!

LETS KEEP MUSIC LIVE !!!!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Mingulay
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 06:47 AM

The major problem is that Humphrey Smith doesn't care what anyone else thinks. He is also penny pinching. When I first met him some 20 years ago he was wandering about in his late father's ill fitting suits because (Iwas told) he was too mean to buy new ones. The sort of man who would cry if he dropped a tanner and found a shilling, so it probably has something to do with paying for licences.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:15 AM

I have just contacted the brewery and we need to write to

Humphrey Smith
Samuel Smiths Brewery
Tadcaster
North Yorkshire
LS24 9SB

It may be if enough people do contact him hopefully he will at least consider amending his decision. I for one do not wish to see big screen TVs or satellite broadcast jukeboxes etc, however I do wish to see live music. Perhaps if we presented a unaminous front asking only for the performance of live music to be permitted he may, at certain venues that rely to some extent on this as a source of revenue, relax his dictat.
We have nothing to lose by doing this and potentially everything to gain, from past experience petitions are not as effective as individual letters so those of you who visit Nellies etc could perhaps draw up a letter, print a few copies off and ask people to sign them and return them to the brewery.
May the voice of reason prevail
My letter will be in the post tonight, as I would be forlorn if I go to Whitby and find the sessions in the Plough are a thing of the past.
Incidentally I know a good many people who go to the Plough and Nellies and farlington who do not access the Mudcat so contacting these people and encouraging them to add their weight would only serve to better our argument.

Sam, Sam pick up thy musket, right lads let battle commence


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: BanjoRay
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:51 AM

I've just written to them on behalf of FOAOTMAD - I've really enjoyed our old time sessions in Nellies during the fringe festival.
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Wullie
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 07:53 AM

I have gone with a manager to quite a few Sam Smiths pubs in the past month where they have no live music and the managers are quite content with the state of afairs apart from the tele which they can't watch
wullie


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 09:15 AM

PS Sam smith's do not have a website or email addresses !

and this in the 3rd Millenia !


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 09:23 AM

Does this only apply to music in a public bar? Whatif a Sam Smiths pub has a function room? Does it have to keep it unused or say "Sorry, you can have your party, wedding reception etc but no music"???
RtS


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:46 AM

flamenco ted

the wrath of the Beast is nigh.

The Beast will be avenged

or he might have to be the Beast of Somewhere Else instead

Do Hull or Beverly have any vacancies for Beasts?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Pistachio
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 10:52 AM

Nellies - without singing!

The drinking and musical activities complement each other - and as Mick McGarry said some of the punters even enjoy the entertainment at the open singarounds.

Don't forget The White Horse Folk Club has been resident for 'ever' upstairs and Nellies is renowned world wide for its 'folk'.

It 'll never be the same - yet this is something than can have something done about it! Oops. I think you know what I mean.
Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 05 Jan 05 - 02:26 PM

Raggytash -

I think your view is spot on. I'll send you my Mr Smith letter for comment if you want - if there is somewhere. I do agree concerted effort and similar message is likely to have more effect.

Plus I cannot help but feel the LOCAL tack is better than the global one. Most Sams pubs are not affected.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: oombanjo
Date: 06 Jan 05 - 01:30 PM

I hav'nt had chance to read all the thread as my grandson wants me to find his football and what ever , I will call at Nellies on the way back home, and let you know the result.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Jake
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 01:17 PM

Have today spoken with the brewery. Yes they are going ahead with a ban on live music in their pubs. No reason was given. "No comment", was all the spoksman would say.
No press release was available. No date for the execution of this death sentance could be given.

I also called "NELLIES" in Beverley, they said that the rumours were true but nothing official had been said to them - yet- so they were carrying on with live music until further notice.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 01:27 PM

Does anyone know what fraction of pubs are Sam Smiths? I'd like to ask my MP how he squares this his assertion that the new licences will make more opportunities for live music come the election visits.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: John J
Date: 07 Jan 05 - 07:50 PM

Re: South Yorkshire Carol venues, the Travellers Rest at Oughtibridge is a Sam Smiths house. I was speaking to an elderly lady who has been singing in the pub for many decades, she told me that she had heard that this year (Dec 2004) would probably be the last year the singing would take place due to licencing contraints.

I was in the Vine in Dunham, near Lymm, Cheshire t'other night. All the piped music system had been removed, due, according to the lady behind the bar, to the unwillingness of the brewery to pay for the appropriate licence. She was under the impression the cost was in the region of £1000 per pub. Drinkers in the pub had mentioned that the place seemed 'quiet' without the sound system. I would point out that the when the sound system was installed and in use it certainly wasn't intrusive, it just provided a low level of background music.

Sam Smiths Bitter is £1.26 a pint around here, cheaper even than Holts. I suppose if you want cheap beer then something has to go. Still, if we didn't have this bloody stupid licence system (tax but by another name) the problem wouldn't occur.

John


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 11:05 AM

I'd rather pay more for my beer and have live music. Even £1.80 a pint would be cheap!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 12:37 PM

I have received a reply to my initial letter to Humphrey Smith about Blacksmiths Arms Farlington and Live music if anyone is interested in it in full PM me. I received the reply (handwritten) by return of post which is good.

The gist is that -

1 It is due to PRS costs
2 All pubs are treated the same and they are unwilling to work on a pub by pub basis regardless of consequence
3 "Rightly or wrongly our small brewery's whole strategy and objective is to keep our brewery open and producing and offering secure employment for the very long term" - and that prices have only gone up in line with duty increases since 1990
4 He apologizes

I understand from a friend who spoke to PRS today that the cost per session for something like ours is £7.08 or £368.16 for 52. Each week we have 12-25 people who come (and sometimes more) for about 3-3.5hours. I leave the maths to you but they seem at odds with point 3 above.

I'll see what the response to the next letter is.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jan 05 - 03:35 PM

Sending a copy to the Live Music Forum will be a good idea. Especially as PRS and other similar bodies have a place on this forum.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Flamenco Ted
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 08:57 AM

I still fail to understand why my singing in a John Smith's pub requires a f#####g licence when my talking in a John Smith's pub doesn't?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Gedpipes
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 11:14 AM

You cant f*****g sing


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 11:37 AM

It has already been established that standing in the pub is OK, but swaying in time with music isn't!!!!! (under EXISTING law)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 02:15 PM

If you look as if you are enjoying it then its "entertainment". That is of course a PEL issue. Smiths are concerned about PRS which presumably means that they are not permitting the use of function rooms for private parties with music.

I have no idea what their estate is like but there must be at least one pub or hotel with a large room that gets used for wedding receptions.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 04:41 PM

Ted-you can carry on singing in a John Smiths pub- its the Sam Smiths pubs you can't.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: oombanjo
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 05:06 PM

A thought on this one........Are most pubs that host folk, / live music carrying a entertainments licence or not. Or have most of them been crossing the line between lawful & unlawful, and if we have been getting away with it for the last ..... years is it worth stiring up the hornets nest.    You all know my wish to continue having free live music in pubs, but will the new law and ban make us stop.Will it make a differance.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 11 Jan 05 - 05:59 PM

The trouble is John it isn't us who would be risking anything it would be the landlord-and we couldn't ask that of anyone. I think it may be worth pointing out to the right people that whether it was their intention or not, they are effectively running live music into the ground - it takes a lot of time and effort to find new venues and if acts are booked in the future then contracts are at risk and money is at risk. Some more data would be useful so we can gauge whether this is becoming a trend and not just in sam Smith's. unfortunately folkies and jazzies are likely to be attracted to the smaller independent pubs due to their addiction to real ale!!!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 01:57 AM

The issue is the overall and increased cost of running pubs - mainly due to the new Licensing Act.

The PRS/PPL issue is difficult as it is the revenue for this that is supposed to reward the artists for their creations. Without payment by pubs of this (propose increased fee for 2006) are our artists in danger?

If pubs are not prepared to pay this fee - they and all live music making (even unpaid sessions) are in danger of not having a home.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 02:49 AM

I understood from previous threads that only the biggest stars and companies got anything from the MCPS or PRS - making payments to lesser known artists/songwriters just isn't worth their while (even in these computerised days?).

(And you cannot join until you have had songs published already, I believe)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 01:36 PM

If someone designs a car or a dress-do they get royalties for everyone sold? i dont believe so-so why should songwriters benefit from the same sort of thing- it's all completely mad when its potential is to stop songwriters writing because there is nowhere for them to perform their songs.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 02:28 PM

Big Business doesnt work on common sense !! The record Companies will still make money out of artists and some artists will get a decent return for their work - the rest can go hang as far as Big Business is concerned !


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Bassic
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 02:32 PM

Just a suggestion......but from reading the above it looks like it is possible to purchase a sessional licence to cover specific events. At least as far as Nellies goes......and the White Horse Folk Club which now has to close after 30 years in that unique venue.......would it not be worth exploring the possibility of the club itself getting the necessary licence and seeing what the brewery has to say about that?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Bassic
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 02:53 PM

Also, from reading the above, if a full PRS licence for somewhere like Nellies is £1000 a year........that amounts to less than 1p on the cost of a drink if the pub sells 300 drinks a day. Nellies must sell at least that much I would have thought. 1p on the cost of a pint wouldnt loose Nellies a single customer I am sure......not when pint of Bitter is only £1.27 to start with anyway! But banning music will loose them many scores of customers throughout the year......of that I am also sure, let alone the loss of good will and the bad publicity.......I`m afraid it just doesnt add up to me.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:13 PM

Bassic -

I have had an email back from PRS today saying that they wish to consider and discuss and then come back with a full reply.

****

I wrote:

We are a group of singers/musicians who have until
recently met weekly in a local pub for a 'singaround'.
Some of what is sung is traditional, some is folk,
some self written. There are somewhere between 10 and
25 of us who attend. There is no entrance fee.

The pub concerned is a Samuel Smiths pub and - as I'm
sure you are aware - their policy has changed and they
have removed all music/Tvs etc across the board.

As we love the particular pub as a place to play (we
have offers from elsewhere but would rather stay where
we are) we are exploring if there are ways to satisfy
all parties concerned.

So a number of questions if I may...

1 What would be the cost for a year for a weekly
singaround as described above. No background music or
other licences involved - JUST for this. Is this fee
likely to change dramatically in the future? I have
heard rumours of huge % increases coming perhaps you
could give me the actual facts!?

2 As I understand Sams may be unwilling to treat pubs
on an individual basis is there a way that WE as a
group of individuals or as a club can hold a PRS
licence for the above activity - so that it is US who
deal with it rather than the specific pub?

3 If our weekly gathering was on the basis of it being
a private function with people allowed in by
invitation does this change anything?

If you need any further information please let me
know.

Thank you for your help in advance. I would appreciate
a quick response if possible as I am currently in a
dialogue on the matter and would like to maintain the
momentum of the discussion if I can

******

Reply -

Dear Mr Blair

Your e-mail and questions have been passed to me for attention and I am very sorry to hear about your plight. The actions of this pub company are very disappointing for their customers and damaging to the incomes of our songwriter and publisher members. You raise a number of questions which I would like to take a little time to consider and then I will come back to you with a full reply.

Yours sincerely

Clive Thomas.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:16 PM

Bill who sings at our local pub with us phoned PRS also last week. For a singaround such as we have the fee is £7.08 a session. He was told that it is premise based and not something we could take on personally.

We'll see what happens next


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Bassic
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 03:20 PM

Thanks for the info Nick. Good luck with the enquiries.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 04:15 PM

Why so much bloody buearocracy and bullshit involved just to sing a song or play a tune in a pub, I',m sure this is a british thing, and no other country would put up with it.

AS I understand it, [and i admit, i know very little about the subject], to play a cd in a pub, the landlord will need to buy licences from PEL, PRS, and MCPS, waht a load of crap!

Does not paying PRS involve criminal penalties, [jail or fines etc], or is it a civil matter, waht would happen if everyone told them to get lost?

A while back, some bloke came from [I think] PRS, to the take away i work at, about the shop radio been played in a public area, the boss told him to get lost, as far as i know, he has not been back.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 04:19 PM

RE the £7 a week fee for a folk session, if you could pay it somehow, ie just send it to them, saying it was from the pub or wahtever, who gets the money, does it go towards promoting folk music, or straight to some rich bastard in London?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM

I fear its not really about paying a session fee. The issue is for the premise owner. Under the new Act the Licensee has to fill in the "music" bit of the statement of purpose as part of the application for a licence. Music does not cost anything extra but the Chairman of Sam Smiths may instruct all licence holders not to fill in this bit to avoid PRS fees for piped music etc.

It is a a lot of bull I know. If its any consolation a bar pwner in Portugal had to obtain 21 licences to run his bar - one for beer, one for wine, one for music, one to stick up signs and one for his contraceptive machine in the bog etc. so maybe things are no better elsewhere!

In the Yorkshire Post the other day (editorial) the Government claimed the new system was less complex but the application for a licence was 24 pages long and cost up to £500 , as opposed to the current £30 for 3 years!   Sam Smiths chairman will not be enthusiastic about this I fear!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jan 05 - 07:16 PM

The situation does not look very good for unpaid sessions etc but for paid gigs in small pubs - it looks even worse. It is pretty obvious to anyone - apart from it seems our Government - that any overall increase in pub running costs is also going reduce the money available to pay performers.

The increase in the PPL fee to the £1000 mark - set for for the year 2006 - is not going to help.

And in the case of all Sam Smiths pubs - it has not helped.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 12:14 PM

The Beast pointed out the following to me today from the Prufrock column in the Sunday Times (he's much better read and informed than me) -

Sunday Times online Prufrock article

HUMPHREY SMITH, boss of Tadcaster brewer Samuel Smith, seems determined to move his business and the Yorkshire town he dominates back to the 19th century.

His licensees are up in arms over his decision to remove all music and televisions from his pubs. Trade was down over Christmas because those who wanted to watch football or enjoy parties with music went elsewhere.

Smith, 60, is also a big residential landlord in Tadcaster but not many of his tenants will want to cause a fuss. They are just grateful to have passed the Humphrey test. All couples must be married and no singles can live together.

Indeed, there are several empty homes that cannot be filled because nobody can meet the entrance test set by Smith, who is rumoured but not yet proven to be one of Yorkshire's richest men.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 13 Jan 05 - 12:22 PM

Beast also received a letter yesterday from Humphrey Smith which curiously had my name in the Dear .... bit, so poor man is confused as I haven't received a reply to my last letter.

From the point of view of our pub it was VERY negative and the tone was increasingly terse. I will post a copy of the text once I get a copy tomorrow. Not looking good for the survival of us in our present surroundings which is a bugger.

See what you think when I post it.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 11:52 AM

You'll have to have a chaperone to drink in a Sam Smith's pub next....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 11:56 AM

Will I still be able to go in wearing a frock like your two chums at Farlington then Beast?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 12:51 PM

Nick

Given the sad situation and the blunt reply - it may seem to go without saying but given the Government's intention to review any detremental effects of the new Act upon live music - it may prove helpful to record.

As you are writing to them at this point - could you get them also to confirm that none of Samuel Smiths pubs (and how many that is) will applying for Premises Licence permission to provide regulated entertainment - under the new Licensing Act 2003?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 03:36 PM

Yes indeed they are - in particular the Traveller's Rest at Oughtibridge.

In fact in 1994 a new landlord decided he didn't want the carols and we migrated to a nearby boozer (The Clock Inn) which was glad to have an extra three grand or so through his tills at Xmas time. (I say "we" but I am not a regular, just know the people).

There is also another pub not too far away that has a carol session which is not at all publicised and they might take it on....

If it happens then I will try and post appropriately. And I hope to see a few of the people involved at the end of the month. Clearly an appeal to Sam Smiths will not be heeded and is a waste of time and paper.

Best regards,


Dave Eyre
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 03:44 PM

Sorry that last post was in reply to D.McG 04/05 05:43.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 04:16 PM

The chairman wrote to Nick - " our small brewery's whole strategy and objective is to keep our brewery open and producing ".
What he doesn't seem to appreciate is that NO LIVE MUSIC = NO CUSTOMERS = REDUCED PRODUCTION = LAY OFFS AT THE BREWERY!!
If there's no folk club at NELLIES on a Monday night I for one will not turn up just to drink four pints and keep Sam Smiths in business. I will follow the club to a new location.
The Jazz Club will go to a new location.
The Salsa class will go to a new location.
The Sunday session will go to a new location.
Mr H Smith will in effect be giving his trade away to his opposition!! Hows that for business acumen!

Jake


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 05 - 08:31 PM

And thosewho like a quiet pint or two, in ambient surroundings will
love it.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 02:35 AM

If some folk do not like live music in their pubs - they currently have a choice - for there are many at the moment that do not have any. It would be nice to still have that choice.

There is little point for all concerned in taking away this choice but that is what is happening, and partly by making the provision of live music more unlikely by making the overall pub running costs more expensive.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a situation where all pubs were automatically made safe for the public and able to safely stage small-scale music without first needing the various permissions - (and for all those other bodies to have a piece of the action). And if all pubs COULD provide their customers with what they wanted and it was a matter left for individual licensees if wished to provide it?

Wouldn't it be nice if our Government recognised that any increase in overall pub running costs is unlikely to provide an increase in the provision of live music and addressed it? Instead of blindly still maintaining that the new Licensing Act 2003 - will increase opportunities for live music.

PPS/PPL seem to have recognised this by putting up their fees for the remainder of pubs who will choose to apply for permission to provide regulated entertainment. taking the view no doubt - that in order to stand-still - they need to increase the revenue as there will be less pubs paying their fees.

This move has simply further discouraged this pub chain from providing any music in its pubs - I am sure that others will follow - if the issue is not addressed?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 09:17 AM

Much as I agree with Shambles about the Licensing act and its impact....and the PRS/PPL cost increase.......the Sam Smiths situation also shows up the balatant profiteering that still exists in the licened trade......particularly by some of the big brewers and the Pub Co`s. If Sams can brew and sell a pint of decent cask bitter for under £1.30, and still make a good profit........then where does the other 70-90p go that you pay to have the equivalent in most other high street pubs?
Yes....some will go to pay for the "Sky Sport" and other add ons which Sam Smiths pubs choose to do without, but having had some experience with the licenced trade I know the outrageous rents that many landlords are expected to pay over to many of the Pub Co` chains, just to be able to keep trading each month....and then having to pay a third more than the open market price to buy beer from a tied contract with one of the big brewerys. It is no wonder that pubs change hands faster than ever before and that pub closures are a regular occurance. Someone is being very short sighted and it is not just the government ....though they have created the current situation in both the Licence fiasco and in the way they split up the tied houses a few years ago. The Pub Co`s are now property companies and only interested in short term returns......how much can they squeeze out of the current Lease holder in their pubs before they give up and the next one(mug?)comes along.
All this is combining to kill the traditional British pub......a unique institution and part of the fabric of local comunities. Soon all that there will be left are housing estates and supermarkets.....the driving out of live music in pubs is yet another symptom of the death throws of the British Pub....RIP. By the way....we will have to have the wake in someones front room cos the local is shut......could someone bring a few cans from ASDA on the way?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: John C.
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 12:19 PM

Let's look on the bright side! We all now live in a world where 'market forces' have free rein (hurraahh!!!) and all of us happy consumers have got lots of choice...well, that's the theory, isn't it? Hang on...something's not quite right here...just run that market forces/more choice thing past me again...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Unicorn Man
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 01:32 PM

And anyway why should WE have lovely cosy warm pubs with real fires lovely real ales and fun live music, when the rest of the world have bars selling larger and have duke boxes and 20 ft TV screens. It's not fair on everyone else now we can all go out and not enjoy ourselves.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 15 Jan 05 - 02:15 PM

Looking on the bright side -

Two of us went out last night and found two homes for us to sing in, so life goes on. Hopefully the place we choose to sing in will benefit from us and us from them - and hopefully it will be as good a venue as the last.

Bit of luck some of you will come visit in our new place once we get settled in, I'll post about it in time. Hopefully we can have another weekend or two like we did last year at the Blacksmiths?


Hopefully Nellies survives.


And Guest...

"And those who like a quiet pint or two, in ambient surroundings will
love it. "
You might be on the wrong forum. Try http://www.licensedcemeteries.com/forum to chat with your friends


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 12:08 AM

Here is a letter i'm going to send to sam smiths=
Dear Mr Sam Smith,
Hello, I reckon you are a big load of shit, and this is why-
I heard that you telling people not to play music in youre pubs anymore, this is a stupid idea, and tyhis is why, people like music, and like to listen to it, and another thing is, i went last year to a pub in near york, called Farlinton arms or something, and it was really nice, and loads of music people went, from allover the place, like hull and beverley etc, and anyway=music people drink loads, and never make trubble, ie big sport screen pubs always get trubble, fighting etc from trubble makers, i been going to music pubs for more than 20 years, and i never seen 1 fight yet, so this prooves you are stupid, and i hope you go bankrupt, and i wont drink in your pubs anymore [i drink loads, so youve lost a lot of money].

your's sincerly
john evans.


I havent got any stamps, but i'll post it on monday, wehn post office opens.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 05:26 PM

What a mess the government is in over licensing and pub hours. Now talking about he pub licence costing even more to cover local authorities concerns about policing and enforcing the many regulations. All this from legislation that started as de-regulation, not increased regulation.

I am not sure where we are going. The tories are in a mess and did not provide much opposition at the time. The lib dems were completely fooled over the issue of acoustic accompaniment to Morris dancing.

Looks like the best bet is a round of front rooms with cans from Tesco?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 05:30 PM

Looks like the best bet is a round of front rooms with cans from Tesco?

And an ABSO when the neighbours complain about the noise and the parking.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Bassic
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 05:35 PM

So its back to the old traditional ways then is it? Blacked up or coloured faces and disguises......lightening "raids"........and dissapear in to the crowds before the "authorities" spot you! If they want to spent £1000 to DNA test my pint glass then I see that as a victory!!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Blowzabella
Date: 16 Jan 05 - 07:11 PM

You might have a point there Bassic - all things come around again, eh? Our future is in our past...?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 03:45 AM

Nick,
                      Let us know where you smock wearers end up, and I will try and organise another raiding party from sunny Hull.
             Nothumbrian smallpipes, the true path!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 04:06 AM

This could be the year of the Shed or perhaps the start of a new era


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 04:34 AM

John from Hull ....... put that letter where it belongs ..... in the bin, all it will do is antagnonise someone who is probably suspecting he has made a rash decision. Experience tells me that when someone is in this frame of mind any criticism is seized upon as a justification of their original decision, if you tell Humphrey Smith that you think he is " a big load of shit" he will see it is confirmation that he is indeed thinking straight and that the rest of us are misguided fools who don't know what we're talking about. By all means write to him expressing your concerns but do not blame and do not complain both these are counter-productive

Cheers

Raggy


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Gedpipes
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 04:50 AM

Sensible comments Raggy. Well worth heeding

NSP a path....of sorts


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:03 AM

Yes, john, please take heed.

This is one factor that will ultimately speak volumes to Humphrey Smith.

On Saturday night last, during the peak hours of 7pm and 8pm, the total number of customers in the Blacksmith's Arms, Farlington was 2.

On a typical Wednesday night, when there is music, there are at least 15 people in.

Quite how this contributes to keeping the Brewery open and safeguarding jobs I don't know.

Most businesses these days think CUSTOMER first, EMPLOYEES second becuase they know that considering the needs of the former, safeguards the needs of the latter. This is not difficult. But it appears to have passed Humphrey Smith by.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:21 AM

I feel sure sir john will not have sent his letter, it will have been done with his normal "tung in cheek"


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:28 AM

geust is right, i decided not to send it, can't be arsed, and i am not willing to waste a stamp on the miserable basterds.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:33 AM

No John, you should send a letter, we need as many people as possible to write to Humphrey Smith, if enough of us write he may reconsider, if we don't he will continue on this path (which as we know is not the true path!)

So get the paper out, be arsed, it is not a waste of a stamp


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:34 AM

make yer mind up!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:10 AM

John You know quite well what I am saying, you must write to him, what you must not do is slag him off, in nay way shape or form, that is counter productive


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:14 AM

"tong in cheek" raggy old chap me thinks


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:16 AM

Nah ......... Tongs in Bradford


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:17 AM

Humphrey Smith is Martin Gibson


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:21 AM

You are all misspelling tongue! Terrible!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:21 AM

Tong is also in Kent and Shropshire ........ must move about, week here, week there ........


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 07:39 AM

I got some hair tongs for Christmas


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 08:55 AM

Ted -

We are at the Highwayman in Sheriff Hutton this Wednesday in the back room from 8.15pm. We'll see how it goes.

We also have the offer to play in another local pub which we may try next week.

Hopefully one or the other could cope with a weekend later in the year with a bit of luck but we'll see once we're a little more established.

Have also got a third pub interested but that is lower down the list and would be less of a draw.

Highwayman or the other will work out fine I am sure

Come and join us sometime when you fancy it would be good to see you all again.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 09:03 AM

Out of interest has anything further been said about Nellies? There always seemed to be a discrepancy between what the Area Manager said to me and what people seemed to know in the pub.

It did not seem a wise idea to push it too much or enquire specifically about a pub away from us.

I HOPE it is not the case that Nellie's is affected. If it is I suggest you DELUGE Mr Smith from everyone. It would be tragic!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Bassic
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 09:08 AM

My understanding is that the Folk Club will be told tonight that they are going to loose their venue.........the Jazz club recieved similar news last Wednesday. :-( I hope I am wrong.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 09:24 AM

Good man Nick. We will see you soon. This licence business is infuriating, it's not like any of us make a penny out of playing in a pub. A stealth tax by any other name.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sttaw Legend
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 09:25 AM

I understand the salsa dance group were told that last week was the last


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 09:58 AM

Ted -

Nick said

"We are at the Highwayman in Sheriff Hutton this Wednesday in the back room from 8.15pm. We'll see how it goes"

You will have to come to visit us again as this is 3 miles nearer Beverley than Farlington.....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 10:07 AM

Can't make it this week Beast old chap, but I am girding my loins for a visit soon.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 10:10 AM

Good - we don't want you THIS week! A new venue AND yuor presence might just be too much in one go. The Beast will be getting a nosebleed from having to prowl outside Farlington.

there might even be a standoff with the Beast of Sheriff Hutton


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 12:19 PM

Everyone in the Sunday session at Nellies was in elegaic mood as we suspected that it was our last session there.

Next weeks session is in the Sun and I suspect that Sams will have pulled the plug at Nellies by time the following session comes round at there.

We were talking about spreading the Sunday rota around to include The Tiger if and when Nellies is out of the circuit.

Suggestions were:

First Sunday at Monk's Walk as it now is
Second Sunday at the Sun (extra session)
Last Sunday at the Sun as it is now

3rd at a selection from Tiger/Hodgson's/Oddies

Any views on that?

R


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 12:39 PM

You have my sympathy - it's very sad.

I think we had the same feeling at the Blacksmiths and that has nothing like the length of time or history associated with it, but still has a bunch of nice memories.

Are the Whitby pubs f~'**d too?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 02:02 PM

For what it is worth here is a copy letterI have sent to Humphrey the Brewer

Live Music in Your Pubs.

I am greatly concerned about the decision to end music in Sam Smiths Pubs. Locally Nellies (White Horse) and Monks Walk in Beverley are affected and for Nellies 30 plus years of folk tradition have ground to a halt.

I appreciate you run a business and the PRS fees have increased greatly but traditional music in the main is exactly that – Traditional. The music is either original to the artist or ancient and no PRS fee is payable. To obtain a music licence under the 2003 legislation requires no extra payment – simply a declaration in the statement of purpose for the pub.   If this is expressed as traditional, jazz or whatever there is no fear from enraged locals thinking it is pop music with its heavy beat.

Most acoustic musicians play on otherwise quiet nights – Mondays, Tuesdays etc and in my experience very often outnumber "regulars" although can sometime attract others just to listen.

The "Sun" in Beverley, a rival house, on Tuesdays has far more musicians than regulars to the point when some nights that there is hardly enough room for musicians and no doubt will be delighted at yet more increase in trade as a consequence of your decision.

I wish your Brewery well and am all in favour of "independents" but I strongly feel that you have flung the baby out with the bathwater here, to the detriment of the pubs and breweries. I do hope you agree and might be persuaded to change your mind.

Yours faithfully






Humphrey Smith MD
Samuel Smiths Brewery
Tadcaster
North Yorkshire
LS24 9SB


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Pete Fletcher
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 02:04 PM

I don't think Monks Walk is a Smith's house!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,rob @ nellies
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 04:44 PM

Hi there, my names Rob and I drink at Nellies a Sam Smiths pub in beverley.

Its propa crap as all music has been banned even to the extent that my friends ghetto blaster was removed from the pub. The duke box has gone and there is even rumours that the fruit machines quiz machines and pool tables will have to go - how pants is that.

I talked to the land lord and he said he wasnt sure but the loss of music (including the folk and jazz clubs which have been going for over 30 years ((last ones at the end of this month)) but he did say that it might be a protest from the brewery about the increase in prices of entertainment licences which has allegedley occured.

This is just speculation but from what i have heard it is definatley public entertainment licence related.

The whole situation is a crock of **** as now everyone sits in a quiet room and when the conversation stops there is an eerie silence with nothing but the extractor fan for ambience.

If any 1 knows of anything about licences please post as there may be light at the end of the currently boring sam smiths tunnel.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:29 PM

Under the new regime starting in about 2 weeks according to the Department of Culture Media and Sport, entertainment - music or whatever, will not cost anything else on top of the liquor licence. Juke Boxes etc do not need an entertainment licence but it is the cost of performing rights, who collect on behalf of he copywrite holders of music that have increased the fees and caused Sam Smiths to chuck out babies and bathwaters.

When takings drop maybe there will be a re think?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 02:08 AM

I thought it was the PRS licence that Humphrey Smith objected to? This will still be required under the new regime.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:08 AM

Yes but there are different types of requirement. By statute - no Premises Licence permission for regulated entertainment - then no regulated entertainment can take place.

But this optional permission will not directly cost Sam Smiths any more - if they apply with their initial Premises Licenses. This does not mean that they then have to provide any regulated entertainment - but they will then have the choice to provide it and the choice to pay for PRS/PPL or not.

What we have here is a situation where because they do not wish to pay for PRS/PPL - they appear to see little point in applying for entertainment permission. So as a result of this (protest) they will not be able to have any music - even music that PRS/PPL have no rightful claim on.

For PRS/PPL it must surely hold true that if they claim that payment is due to them for the playing of a particular piece of music - it should be up to them to prove this case? It may be true for recorded music but if the unpaid sessions consist of tradiional, orginal or other non-copyright material - there is nothing stopping Sam Smiths from providing this.

Except the lack of Premises Licence entertainment permission.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:29 AM

A friend we sing with has written to Smiths exactly on these lines (ie it costs you nothing to tick the box when you apply) but I don't think they have had a response. As he has taken the "there is no more music so that's it" stance, I would guess he doesn't see it as relevant.

I am still awaiting the promised response from PRS - it will be interesting to see what their view is. They are at the end of the day part of the problem/solution as well


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Flamenco ted who can't log in
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 04:19 AM

There was a news report on Radio Humberside this morning to the effect that live music has ceased in all Sam Smith's pubs. The report sited Nellies music history as well.
Speaking as a rather confused non folky, Don't the PRS have a lot to answer for here? Could Sam Smith's not be seen as taking a stand against a ridiculous situation? My banging out a few tunes in a pub is hardly taking the food out of the mouths of some poor "composer" is it?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,manitas
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 04:35 AM

I thought the topic of PRS licences had been done to death but perhaps that was on another list. If you don't have a PRS licence they will be down on you like a ton of bricks and you will have a hard time proving that everything played or sung at your session is exempt from their licence. You may think the burden of proof is on the PRS but they can make a nuisance of themselves and it will only take one rendering of 'Dirty Old Town' or 'Street of London' for their case to be made.The landlord certainly won't want to waste his time, money and livelihood in court so the simplest thing will be to get a PRS licence. If Sam Smiths won't allow the landlord to do this then you're stuffed.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 05:04 AM

If Sam Smiths won't allow the landlord to do this then you're stuffed.

It is a sad fact that the historical approach to both issues has been a blanket licence - the lack of which prevents the music.

However, it is plainly not in the interests of anyone -especially PRS/PPL etc - to have music prevented. If these bodies they succeed in this end - it is they (and those they are supposed to be representing) who are stuffed.

Those that see that freedom of expression through making music as a right - are only stuffed - if they accept this current stupidity. Where a blanket claim for performing rights prevents material from being played - that no body has the rights over.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 06:54 AM

Did we ever find out how many Pubs are owned by Samuel Smiths?
Can we quantify the loss to the PRS?

Also, what about other pubs declining to renew their PRS licence?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 07:02 AM

Or is the the PPL/MCPS?
It would help if we clarified which licences are involved

As far as I recall

PPL covers playing prerecorded copyright music (& video?) on the premises

PRS covers performance of copyright material by live acts

Also
The new PEL covers 'entertainment' but not playback of prerecorded music, nor TV.

MCPS covers copyright on prerecorded music - paid when CD is recorded

If the music is not under copyright (Often difficult to prove), then only the PEL is relevant.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,John from Hull [can't log in]
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 07:57 AM

This issue has just been featured on Hull TV [it's a local thing],
they said "local music lovers are annoyed at plans to ban all live music at local pub "Nellies", by the brewery Sam Smiths, music has been played at Nellies for many years, but will be banned from the end of this month.Sam Smiths are refusing to comment."

Hull TV is a local TV station available in and around Hull, its a joint venture between the BBC and Kingston Communications.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Flamenco Ted
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 08:44 AM

Thanks for that Pavane. Our Hull based flamenco club had been held in a Sam Smith's pub since 1972, until we recently moved it to a Spanish restaurant last year, so we would be stuffed too. Ridiculous!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Beast of Farlington
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 10:40 AM

PRS licence applies to copyrighted music, published or performed live. It would be totally impractical to have live music limited to non-copyrighted material - you'd have to do a lot of research to know exactly what is and isn't copyright. It's a bit like owning a TV and saying you only use it for playback and therefore you don't need a TV licence.

It's interesting that Sam's are concerned about PRS licences - probably because PRS uses inspectors to enforce them - because they have never seemed that bothered about having a PEL for live music.

In the case of Farlington, we would even offer to pay the annual licence for the Brewery to be allowed to play every week and contribute to their beer profits - it would be a mere 70p each a week - but they won't even countenance that.

I am now looking forward to playing somewhere we will be welcomed.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,pavane
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 10:58 AM

Exactly.

No licence is necessary if no copyright material is performed (or rather, no music for which PRS administers the copyright?)

But as pointed out above, the PRS can make a lot of fuss, trying to prove their case, and it only takes one error for them to win. That is even more difficult than you may think - even Happy Birthday to You is in copyright, so don't sing it!

There does not seem to be a reliable database of Public Domain songs, and even if it existed, there would still be the arrangement to worry about. This has all been covered thoroughly in other threads.


(By the way, it has been held that you do NOT need a TV licence if you only use it to view video/DVD, and do not have an aerial connected.)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 11:26 AM

Radio Humberside have just emailed me for information so we'll see what that's all about...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 11:48 AM

Might be worth listening and watching the following -

From Radio Humberside reporter -

"I wonder if you could e-mail/ring me and tell me what the explanation is as we'd like to report it on our news programme. Reports are also running this evening on Look North ( East edition )."


Might get some wider coverage now?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 01:37 PM

The PPL PRS link-up.

http://www.ppluk.com/


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 01:49 PM

PRS licence applies to copyrighted music, published or performed live. It would be totally impractical to have live music limited to non-copyrighted material - you'd have to do a lot of research to know exactly what is and isn't copyright. It's a bit like owning a TV and saying you only use it for playback and therefore you don't need a TV licence.

Is it better then to have a situation where it impossible to make any music at all because of the current system of blanket licensing? I will settle for an impractial attempt at a solution rather than meekly accepting the playing of non-copyright material being made impossible.

I suggest that we need to work toward a better and fairer system? One that does recognise the practical difficulties presented (in particular to traditional and original music) and one that does not actually threaten live music?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 01:51 PM

PPL

http://www.ppluk.com/


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 01:52 PM

This was on Look North BBC tonight. About 30 seconds. No reason, no comment from the Brewery. 30 years of radition and people travelling from far and wide. I wonder what view the Chairman of Sam Smiths will have when sales drop through the floor.

I hope if revives the fortunes at the Sun in Beverley that has a Tuesday night acoustic learning session, a Friday night session and events on Sundays.

Funny how things go up and down. The Tuesday night session moved to Nellies late last year when the Sun closed - then moved back when it re-opened.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 02:08 PM

The company owns over 200 pubs the majority of which sell cask ale, note that many of the London owned pubs do not sell cask ale. Many of the pubs are not branded as being under the ownership of any brewery or pub company.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Pistachio
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 02:27 PM

I just saw Richard Wastling on TV - He has run the White Horse Folk Club upstairs on Monday nights for more than half his life... and having phoned him he's said there'll still be a singers night on 24 Jan and the booking for 31 Jan will still go ahead. The club will not run on the first Monday in Feb (7th) and by then Anna, the landlady, will have returned and will be able to speak to Richard about the 'future'. The jazz club who meet on Wednesdays have been told they have to close.....What a sorry state of affairs for all concerned.
HOW CAN WE GET THROUGH to 'Mr Smith'? HAS HE EVER ATTENDED AND NOTICED THE ATMOSPHERE, ENJOYED THE PERFORMANCES, WITNESSED THE PLEASURE PEOPLE GET and TAKE WITHIN SUCH A WONDERFUL VENUE. It's surely insulting to Nellies to be 'on an even playing field with other S. S's Pubs. I'm SORRY - I don't know the other pubs and I'm sure all their regulars are as upset. Grrrrr.
The clubs have brought good trade to 'Nellies' for so many years and when the folk festival is on how many people will rightly expect to hear music within those walls? I think the whole business is ill thought out - and every effort should be made to persuade this man to realise he's made a monumental mistake. I have friends in Scotland and America who remember 'the singing' in Nellies...and I know it's known of even further afield.
Sorry. I'm about to get really angry. Better go. H.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:24 PM

My understanding is that there will be a piece on Radio Humberside on drive time tomorrow between 5 and 7 and that they are trying to follow up MPs who are pro-live music and the PRS.

Apparently it is a big local story that they intend to follow through.

Could I suggest - because there are many people who know HUGE amounts more about these things than me that they contact

Chris Arundel
BBC Radio Humberside
East Yorkshire
Tel: 01262-400324


who was the guy who phoned me. I'm sure any useful information/spokespeople etc that might escalate it to a national issue might help things.

Coincidentally I believe there is something about folk music on the Culture Show on BBC2 on thusday - apparently on 'How do you make folk music cool' according to the BBC forum (at BBC folk forum ) - perhaps it would be good to allow it to exist and thrive at a grass roots level.

Chris, if you come here and you want the post removed or don't want the input, just post


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 03:44 PM

I reckon Richard has got the tone dead right here -

Nellies

Follow good advice!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:32 AM

The Performing Rights Society has increased its fees and become very active - Hence Sam Smiths decision. This week they charged £600 plus for "Sessions" held every Tuesday, in another Beverley pub to cover any music played still in copywrite - ignoring fees to "Trad" or original music.

They are more effective than the Government at killing live music (indeed any music) - killing the golden goose for them in fact!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sooz
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:37 AM

Nellies was featured on BBC Look North last night.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 03:18 AM

Interesting : The PPL site did not seem to mention that some music may be exempt. It just says that if you broadcast or play recorded music (in public), you need a licence.

Quote pasted from the site:

You need to have a PPL licence if you use sound recordings in any of the following ways:

...

If you use music on your premises, such as night-clubs, pubs, in the workplace; or if you are an individual using music such as a dance teacher or aerobics instructor

Should we not query this? If the website is viewed as advertising, should it not be accurate?

As I understand, privately made sound recordings of original or non-copyright music may NOT require a licence.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 04:10 AM

I quote from PRS Website

"When music is played in public the owner of the copyright is entitled, by law, to payment from the music user. The Performing Right Society is an organisation that collects and distributes this money (known as 'royalties') to it's members - the owner of the copyright (usually the composer or their publisher).

A PRS licence is required for the live performance or public playing of copyright music by any means. This includes jukeboxes, CD's, video, radio, TV or live bands and discos."

The licence is not it seems specific to each individual peice of music - I doubt if a player in a session will get anything from PRS if s(he) plays an original composition. The quote is from a site encouraging music as a means of attraction to premises!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 04:42 AM

"Is it better then to have a situation where it impossible to make any music at all because of the current system of blanket licensing? I will settle for an impractial attempt at a solution rather than meekly accepting the playing of non-copyright material being made impossible."


Guest

Of course it isn't better. I was simply pointing out what the law is. As someone who has written to Humphrey Smith to make my views clear, I'm not 'meekly' accepting anything and, in my case, as I play my own stuff I would be exempt! What have YOU done about it?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 05:30 AM

Of course it isn't better. I was simply pointing out what the law is.

The law does not mean that all music can be prevented for the lack of a PRS/PPL etc licence - even if folk may told to accept that it does. If it does mean that in practice - then this law is an ass and the quicker it is changed (for all concerned) the better.

Most of the recent licensing issues that have caused problems to live music and to sessions in particular - are because officials have stated that the law supports their actions and the folk affected have largely accepted that the law did support these actions. In mamy cases the law does not support theses actions and there were other laws that protected the activities affected.

But most of the resulting activity was in folk finding ways around the law or finding alternative homes - not in establishing what the law did in fact support and fighting to change the situation.

The fatal thing is to ever accept at face value the things that you are told the law supports. If it seems unlikely that the law should prevent such activities as we are concerned with here - it is probably because the law - in fact does not support such prevention.

If PRS/PPL had a mind to - of course they could make trouble for a licensee who held a non-copyright only session - by insisting that a fee be paid for a particular copyright piece (accidently) played. But it would not be possible for these bodies to legally prevent such an event.

The onus should be on the body to demonstrate their claim - not for us to demonstrate that they do not have a claim. The impractibilty of such a system of collection - as used at present - is a matter for these bodies to deal with.

However, that has been the pattern - the officials make a lot of noise and trouble and inhibit licensees in particular as a result - who either pay-up or stop the activity. Very few (if any) have been legally tested by resulting prosecution and as a result - what officials claim to be the law - in practice actually becomes what you are told to accept IS the law.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 05:43 AM

If Samuel Smiths wanted to make a very effective protest - and not upset at least some of the local music customers - there is a way.

A regular session consisting of non-copyright material performed by unpaid pub customers as incidental live music would not require the PRS/PPL licence or the Premises Licence entertainment permission.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: ET
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 05:54 AM

I agree with all that is said but the man from PRS visits landlords (no doubt with coat collar up and hat pulled down) - not musicians. Hence landlord paying up in this case.

There are so many officials around, all doing "jobsworth" jobs - its a wonder they don't meet up at the same time and place and fight with each other. The PRS man could fight with the Licquor Licensing Inspector, the Food Hygiene controller, the Noise Abatement Official, the Chairman of the Local Residents Association, the Planning Inspector and the Toilet Inspector, all supervised by the Executive from the Health and Safety Inspectorate.   I hope they manage to wipe the lot of them out.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 05:59 AM

Good point there from Shambles.
Waht legal powers do PRS have, ie if people ignored them/told them to piss off etc, waht exacty could the prs people do?
I'm assuming it's a civil matter, have parliament ever given PRS any legal powers?
is it a goverment department, like customs and exice, or is it a private company, like the gas board etc?


Tjhis issue was featured on BBC Look North last night, they Interveiwed Richard Wasling [Oganizer of Nellies Folk Club], they also showed inside the pub, it was almost empty, just a few OAP's sat chatting, it will be even more quiet if they ban all the music!

Nellies is one of the main music pubs in the area,
Folk Club, Jazz Club, Northumbrian Pipers Club, Salsa Club, Various folk sessions etc etc.
I would guess that at least half the people go there for the music.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:09 AM

I reckon Sam Smiths are cutting their own throats here,
why can't they just buy the PRS Licence, for the music pubs in the chain, such as Nellies, Blacksmiths at Farlington etc?
Someone mentioned it works out at about £7 a week, in pubs like Nellies etc, it would pay for itself many times over, if all the drinkers from the music nights, go elsewere it will lose them thousands over the year.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:35 AM

"The fatal thing is to ever accept at face value the things that you are told the law supports"

Thanks for the advice but none of us at Farlington are guilty of this. Many of us have researched the law and made our views known vociferously to Sam's. We have an outstanding query with PRS on the implications and the ways round it - again, I was simply stating the coverage of the law as I understood it. That is not the same as 'accepting at face value'. We have a lot to lose here.

Amongst ourselves we have discussed paying the PRS licence for the pub but Sam's won't contencance such inconsistency across their pubs in any case.

What I do know, from having worked in the past with some PRS inspectors (on a training course just in case you think I AM one!)is that they are extremely zealous in tracking down offenders and an inspector paid our pub a visit just before Christmas. Our chances of playing non-copyright music without hassle are even more limited now Sam's have attracted such publicity over this decision - who do you think PRS will be watching most carefully now? We can fight this, but it will probably be a long game and I am not holding my breath for a quick solution.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:38 AM

I am still not clear on who controls what.

The PPL and PRS are DIFFERENT bodies, but both seem to claim to control the rights and collect payments for public playing of prerecorded music - is that right?

So do we pay TWICE?? Clarification in this area seems to be necessary.

From the PPL web site:

You need to have a PPL licence if you use sound recordings in any of the following ways:
...
This includes radio and television (analogue and digital), cable, satellite, internet radio and simulcasts
...
If you use music on your premises, such as night-clubs, pubs, in the workplace; or if you are an individual using music such as a dance teacher or aerobics instructor

As a result of legislation passed in the UK in December 1996, all performers now have a new statutory right to receive a share of the income earned whenever the recordings on which they have performed are broadcast or played in public. In the past, we made ex gratia payments to featured performers each year, but this new legal right applies to each individual performer - whether featured artist or session musician.

Distribution to PPL record company members and performers is made annually at the end of each financial year on a 50/50 basis. This means that revenue allocated to each qualifying performance will be shared 50/50 between the PPL record company member and the performers on a track-by-track basis.



AND
The Performing Right Society collects royalties on behalf of music creators and publishers for the public performance and broadcast of their copyright musical works.



From the PRS web site:

MCPS and PRS exist in order to administer the copyright in musical works (including lyrics) on behalf of their writer and publisher members.

The essential function of PRS is to collect and distribute music royalties on behalf of its members.
PRS is known as a 'collecting society' because its primary role is collecting royalties from music users in the UK who every day publicly perform, broadcast and include music in cable production services. PRS also collects royalties from around the world for its members through reciprocal agreements with collecting societies overseas.

PRS collects the royalties by issuing a licence to the music user (usually charged on an annual basis). In order to then make royalty payments to its members, PRS needs to know what music is being played. Major users, such as the BBC and large concert venues, give PRS detailed reports of the music they play. For many other venues including commercial discos, clubs and pubs, PRS sends researchers to obtain first hand information.

With an estimated 8 billion public performances in the UK every year it is not possible to track every one. To pay out these royalties, statistical methods are used based on actual performance information.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 06:44 AM

OF course, as far as I know, this is civil law, not criminal? Can someone clarify?

As you can see, the royalties paid by the PRS are based on performance information. So if your song is sung only at gigs which are not known to PRS, tough. It is a 'big boys' club


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 07:00 AM

Of course, if Sam's are being honest about their true reasons for this, it is the cost of the licences which they object to. Whatever 'dodge' we can conjure up won't apply if they say 'no music on our premises.

I believe that they will come to realise that they will make more money by paying the licenses and allowing music than watching a large part of their customer base go to the competition. They might make less money than they made previously when licenses were cheaper but it will be a lot more than they are going to make in the future.
A lot of their landlords are up in arms about this and are leaving. That increases Sam's recruitment and training costs and perpetuates the spiral of falling revenue.

I feel that change is likely to come via the economic route rather than the legal route. Who will blink first Sam's or PRS?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 08:00 AM

Here's another link to another site bemoaning the loss of music at Nelly's.

Sam's Music ban

Research shows that last year there was a campaign for Sam's to restore the 'Ayinger Brau Fat Man in the Box' (yes, really). I wonder how they have fared?

Ayinger Brau Fat Man Petition


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Cod Fiddler
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 09:16 AM

It all makes me very sad and angry. Clearly, in Farlington, on certain nights music brought in a huge income and a lack musicians/boycott might be effective. In the case of Nellies, despite its large musical following, I doubt that we really have much economic clout compared to the non-musical regulars. How about a poll of the non-musical regulars and perhaps a petition? Nellies will continue to be a popular and thriving pub without us. The support of those who do not participate but enjoy the atmosphere and entertainment created by live music could be very powerful. Before music is banned at the end of the month, it might be fruitful to put on a very accomplished and public session deliberately designed to appeal to the public. Simultaneous collecting of signiatures could be effective. I don't know whether this would be too militant, particularly for the Anna the Landlady probably doesn't wish to get into trouble. Perhaps it isn't even a good idea, though surely a public petition from those who do carry the economic clout must be worth something. Now's the time to do it. What do you think?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 09:19 AM

Of course, if Sam's are being honest about their true reasons for this, it is the cost of the licences which they object to. Whatever 'dodge' we can conjure up won't apply if they say 'no music on our premises.

They seem to be clear that this was a protest over the increased PRS/PPL charge due for 2006. I for one would support them in objecting to this. However, I question the wisdom of an approach that risks setting their customers against Sam Smiths and deprives pubs like Nellies and all of their other pubs of live music. A more selective method may be better.

As far as I can see - if there was no increase in this licence fee due for 2006 - they would be happy. So it is not Sam Smiths who are the problem in saying 'no music on our premises' - but PRS/PPL for increasing the fee.

Perhaps our efforts would be better designed to support Sam Smiths protest against the increased charges - whilst pointing out the counter-productive aspects of their approach - rather than concentrate on cricising Sams. Any 'dodge' should be one that is done in concert with their protest action - rather than against it and them.

The fact is that Sam's not paying the fee (now or in 2006) does not prevent ALL music from being played in their pubs. Their refusal to apply for Premises Licence entertainment permission for all their pubs (from February 2005) - would effectively mean this.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 09:30 AM

Shambles, I agree that that would be a great path to go down. My concern is that when I wrote to him:

"If I understand your letter correctly it is not that you are against us playing music in the pub per se but rather the PRS cost... I understand and applaud the basis of your company strategy ie "to keep our brewery open and producing and offering secure employment for the very long term" I can only say that our aims are in accord as we also would wish the pub and company to survive and prosper. As I mentioned in my previous letter the current course of action will unfortunately harm The Blacksmiths Arms financially in the short term as we will be compelled to move elsewhere to pursue our interests even though we would much rather stay where we are.

Given that our aims coincide, surely there must be a way to make this work?

... If the PRS cost ceased to be an issue at Farlington - without jeopardizing your position of keeping a level playing field across your pubs - could we continue?"

His answer was:

"I apologize but we have ended all live and taped music or entertainment, jukeboxes, TVs etc as a blanket policy apart from honouring existing bookings in the case of a few committed private functions...
I know it will not please you but our small brewery's decision is a strategic one. We will not be changing the policy and the Blacksmiths Arms and the other licenced premises we operate will have to adapt to its consequences for the long term. I can only apologize again."

I'm not sure how one conveys to the man that we would like to HELP and SUPPORT rather than battle against him. Perhaps my letters were unclear and I should send him a shorter one?! He certainly doesn't come across as someone who wants to explore solutions.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 10:07 AM

Nick I take your point.

But it could well be that circumstances may have changed since then?

Even if they have not - a full frontal attack upon Sams in response will only result in them digging in.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Jenn
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 10:08 AM

Oh dear! Ive just heard about this.. i live down in cambridge but go back to Nellies as often as possible. I assure you that Anna, the landlady, is not one to lie down and let anything happen. (I used to work there so i should know.) They can, no doubt, stay afloat but they will lose a rediculous amount of money and respect. I alwyas thought that sams smith prided itself on its individuality?! Perhaps letters are the only way... or perhaps a nice trip to a brewery? My letters on its way!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 10:47 AM

I fully intend to write again and will offer what support I can - it's up to him if he takes it or not.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 11:15 AM

RAdio Humberside Drive does indeed have a thing about Live Music on at some point over next 2 hours - http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/radiohumberside/
or 1485 am - 95.9fm


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 11:46 AM

Shambles

Though it might seem like it, I don't think you and I are are really in disagreement. We HAVE tried the 'our interests are the same' tack but Humphrey will not entertain it. I agree that whatever happens, we should not antagonise him. If he is to change his mind, he needs to have a way of saving face.

This was the second half of my letter to him:

"I think it is fair to say that all of us understand that without Sam Smiths' there would be no Blacksmith's Arms as few breweries seem interested in such idyllic village pubs anymore – and we are very grateful to you for that and know that you regard the Blacksmith's Arms as a special place. However, we believe that our gathering serves your interest as well as ours: we generate income through an activity – folk music – that is entirely in keeping with the village setting and generates income for Sam Smiths. We enjoy it, no-one else objects and it keeps your business going.

I'm sure you have your reasons for your decision, Mr Smith and I would appreciate knowing what they are. However, I do want you to know our feelings on the matter and the impact this decision will have.

Please reconsider your decision so that we can keep a gathering that is very precious to us."

To which the answer was 'no'.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:22 PM

No I don't think we disagree much and as I have said, I do not think this is a good move by Sam Smiths but the reasons for this protest move on their part, are easy to understand. Also many of us would have beem unaware of the threat presented by this PRS/PPL increase for 2006 - if Sam Smiths had not taken the prompt action they have and Nick had not alerted us to this. Perhaps this may prove to be a good thing in the long-run and we may even have cause to thank them?

If you look at it from a position of survival in a competitive market - as Mr Smith does - it is clear.

If a Government allows or encourages a situation where it is cheaper for (small) pubs to run - without providing any live music (even before paying the musicians) - pub operators will not provide any.
No ammount of this Government's claims - in the face of this - that it is providing more opportunity for live music - will change this sad fact.

It may well be true that large pubs currently staging live music (and night clubs providing recorded dance music) - in areas where the PEL charges are set very high - will be paying less under the new Act than they are at present - but the 2006 increase in PRS/PPL fees will no doubt affect these places too...........


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:24 PM

I listened to the Humberside report at c5.30 which surprised me a bit.

I've sent an email to Chris Arundel which I copy here -

"Listened to your report at 5.30 ish - just to correct a factual error the correspondence with Humphrey Smith was in January not December. And also the bit on the news at 5 seemed to link me much closer to Nellies than I am - I have only been there twice in my life. Richard and Jean and others are the prime movers there.

I was surprised that the tone of the report was that Samuel Smiths have made an informed economic decision, that PRS are reasonably priced and that's it tough luck for the folkies.

No mention of the jazz at Nellies or that it affects more than just folk music.

No mention that even at Farlington the c£5000 (estimate) that whizzed across the bar over the last year AS A DIRECT RESULT of music (not incidental business because people were there, but directly linked to the music) - for Nellies you are talking many times that figure of LOST business from Jazz, Folk, Salsa etc. Tonight c15 of us will be at another pub and give them our business - this is a direct economic negative for Sam Smiths. The £7 it would have cost is irrelevant compared to the takings.

Just surprised really that it seemed pretty much ok Sams have done rather than going a little deeper into the financial loss that is involved to Sams. If they would adopt a wider selective view on the needs of their individual pubs then they could save fees where they wanted and still allow music in their pubs - ie KEEP EVERYONE HAPPY

I'll stick a copy of this on Mudcat to keep friends etc informed - any problem with that let me know and I'll get it removed

Regards

Nick"


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: ET
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:27 PM

According to Radio Humberside its the fault of the Supermarkets.
Sam Smiths refused to comment directlybut in December had written to the chairman of a North Yorks Folk Cub saying that the Brewery had to protect its long term interests and cut costs.

Seems the PRS has not increased its fees for live music, but the organisation that protects live Muzak and Big Screen TV have, considerably.

Because so many are buying beer from Tesco etc and following that wretched idea that "staying in is the new going out" pubs are in fierce competition for trade and Sam Smiths are throwing babies and bathwater out of the window by banning all music to save costs. According to Radio Humberside there is no sign that they will change their minds.

Seems to me that making pub visits a less enjoyable experience is an odd way of competing with Tesco and the Box at home, but what do I know about commercial commerce.

What I do know is that we are seeting up a very odd society where we all rush home, lock the door, switch on the box and open our cheap 6 pack. No communication with anyone else, no interation, no live music.

I think all lovers of live music should find locals that will accommodate us, take along as many drinkers as we can, and prove it is worth while having music in pubs to drag as many as we can into the pub?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 02:51 PM

It matters little if PRS/PPL charges are thought reasonable by those that do not have to pay them.

If it is the opinion of those who do have to pay them - that they are too high - these people (the ones that do matter) won't be prepared to pay them.

And although the golden goose may not be quite dead - like everyone else - it will be stuffed......


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 19 Jan 05 - 04:29 PM

The Minister for Sport and Tourism has day-to-day responsibility for licensing, his address is :-

        The Minister for Sport and Tourism
        Rt Hon R.Caborn M.P.
        Department for Culture Media & Sport
        2-4 Cockspur Street
        London SW1Y 5DH

I have written to him to advise him of the action taken by Sam Smiths in response to the impending legislation and requesting him to revisit the legislation and remove from it the requirement for live music to have a license. ( not much chance quite honestly, but the question has to be put to him )

The webpage for Alcohol & Entertainment at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport is :-
www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/default.htm


the following page has their answers to some commomly asked questions
www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/regulated_entertainment.htm

There's been a lot of talking, yet we just seem to thrashing around without a clear sense of direction.
Everyone who wanted to let off steam has done so.
Is it possible to come to any clear idea of just what the way forward should be??

Jake


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 04:38 AM

At our Tuesday night session this week in The Sun, Beverley we were shown the PRS/PPL bill which had separate amounts for "background music" and the live sessions.

Shaun, the landlord, has paid the bill because he doesn't want to lose the live music which he sees as a lifeline for the pub which, otherwise, struggles to make a living.

R


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 05:35 AM

I assume this is the £600 fee mentioned earlier in this thread?

It is really good news that this licensee was prepared to pay it now and for the reasons given. Will they still do this when the fee is increased in 2006?

Paying this for one pub is one thing but in the case of Sam Smiths it would be - multiplied 200 times - for each of their pubs. Plus the increased fee due for 2006.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 06:35 AM

I assume that music having ben banned, talking is still allowed?
in which case, hows about a monologue contest?

Anyone got the words to "three 'appence a foot" ????


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 07:10 AM

Jake, you are confusing two issues here. Sam Smith's are not withdrawing from live music because of the "impending legislation" (i.e. the new Licensing Act) they are saying it is because of PRS/PPL costs. Government are likely to respond to your letter by saying that they cannot get in the way of a business transaction (or not) between Sam Smiths and PRS. Surely any letters about this should go to PRS?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 07:21 AM

Good question. A monologue or monologue contest is governed by the new licencing act if it is a "Performance of a play" or "an indoor sporting event" - but this seems unlikely because, according to the Act, a key part of a play "involves playing a role" and:

"sporting event" means any contest, exhibition or display of any sport, and
"sport" includes-
(a) any game in which physical skill is the predominant factor, and
(b) any form of physical recreation which is also engaged in for purposes of competition or display.

However, note that a sport 'includes' the above - it is not limited to it. It is also arguable that if someone adopts an accent or waves their arms while reciting a monologue it could be construed as playing a role.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 07:26 AM

After all that, I forgot the point that I started on!    My understanding is that the remit of the PRS is to 'protect' all performance rights, not just those to do with music. "Three 'appence a foot" is such a work and so arguably the PRS could still demand a fee for it, even though it is not music.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 08:17 AM

Only if still in copyright, which that one probably is.

The author, Marriott Edgar, wrote quite a number of these, and they seem to date from the 1920's or 30's, but it is difficult to find out when they were first published. Albert and the Lion seems to be from 1932.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 08:57 AM

There have been many recent ones written in the style too - see monologues.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Phil Stein
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 10:22 AM

Does this mean no more poets at Nellies MMMM £1.27 a pint


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Andy in the Shed
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 10:57 AM

Thank goodness for small mercies.
Pooms and the kiss of death


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,andy in the attic
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 11:33 AM

GM
Are you besmirching my identity as you well know I am currently preocuppied with the attic


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: alice white
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 03:55 PM

Whitby Folk Club held their weekly club night at the Plough, last night(wednesday)they,ve just been carrying on as normal,keeping their heads down and trying not to rock the boat,just sitting tight until the proverbial sh** hits the fan.I understand they,ve had no official notice to cease functioning yet, but The White Horse Folk Club organiser has received a phone call from the Brewery and told to stop forwith. It seems Humphrey Smith has blown a fuse at all the adverse publicity.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Erstwhile Nellies Patron
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 04:01 PM

I bet Humphrey would like to sack all his customers


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 05:33 PM

well what comes around goes around, Nellies has very happy memories for me at both the packed Sunday sessions, the packed folk club and the packed weekend at Folk festival time. Sometimes you don,t miss somthing until its gone. Cottingham Live was unceremoniusly booted out of the King Billy in Cottingham because the new owners thought a bistro style bar and wide screen television would draw more customers in, even though we had more people in the folk club than in the rest of the pub put together. following the failure of this, we've notice that they've introduced live music to attract the punters back - plus ca change! By the way, can someone please let me know when we can stop being diplomatically nice to Humphrey Smith, then we can ask John from Hull to send his letter. All hail Shaun at the Sun!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 05:21 AM

"By the way, can someone please let me know when we can stop being diplomatically nice to Humphrey Smith, then we can ask John from Hull to send his letter"

It might make us feel better but it is extremely unlikely to help the situation and far more likely to harm it. Despite how we feel, Mr Smith is entitled to take this action. He is even more likely to feel he is right if he can demonise those who disagree with him because they have attacked him personally and/or publicly.

Let's just keep the adverse publicity going!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 06:11 AM

Well said Beast, attacking someone is always counterproductive, Humphrey as you rightly say will just dig his heels in at the "plebs" who are causing so much bother.
When his revenue dips (as I suspect it will, dramatically) he might reconsider.
However please bear in mind that we, that is folkies, are only a small part of his revenue base, by far the larger part are those people who actually like and want big screen TV's jukeboxes etc. Now whether they have co-ordinated a group to write to Humphrey is debatable and possibly unlikely but it is possible that we will see the return of these items that some of us would happily do without, as they do sadly provide a wider customer base

Raggy


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 06:24 AM

Raggy

Yes, you are right that we are only a small part of his customer base.

In Farlington, the TV that was removed was very small and unobtrusive but was greatly enjoyed by the racing syndicate that met there on Saturday afternoons (there are no less than 4 race horse training stables within a four mile radius. As The Blacksmiths Arms is a very small pub in a very small village (pop: 130) which is quite out of the way both the folkies and the racing punters together form a substantial part of the customer base. It is not somewhere that attracts passing trade, you make the effort to go there. Now, it is like the Marie Celeste with very few people going at all.

The Landlord now has his hands tied - the brewery are telling him to make money but are not letting him provide what his customers want. he has asked to be allowed to open all Saturday afternoon because a group of his punters would like that. But no, he's not allowed to do that either!

The Blacksmith's is but one pub in the equation so the impact on it is disproportionate. I fear that Sam's might close it rather than develop it although it has lost money for years (until the last two years.

Removing the tellys could be the straw that breaks the camel's back!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: ET
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 06:39 AM

What will Humphrey and others make of the latest government switch - fees for licensed premises. I quote

Under the new system the largest city or town centre pubs will pay a £1,905 initial application fee and an annual fee of £1,050 to the local authority - before it was £30 every three years to the magistrates to serve alcohol until 11pm at night regardless of venue size.

The initial rules limited the fee to £500 as a one off for 10 years! More stealth tax.

The fee includes all "entertainment" including music.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 07:00 AM

Added to which, the government is going to be expecting some city centre pubs to contribute to the cost of policing longer drinking hours.

By that token, in Farlington the police should be paying US.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 07:19 AM

Whitby Folk Club held their weekly club night at the Plough, last night(wednesday)they,ve just been carrying on as normal,keeping their heads down and trying not to rock the boat,just sitting tight until the proverbial sh** hits the fan.I understand they,ve had no official notice to cease functioning yet, but The White Horse Folk Club organiser has received a phone call from the Brewery and told to stop forwith. It seems Humphrey Smith has blown a fuse at all the adverse publicity.

Not that I advocate this as a way to solve anything - but it will be difficult for Whitby Folk Club (unless they change venues) 'to keep their heads stuck in the sand' - if folk post here to tell all-and-sundry- that such events are happening. However, one possible explanation is that it could well be that the current PRS/PPL licenses are still covering some of Sam Smith's pubs.

If - as we are given to understand - that this move was a protest at the increased PRS/PPL etc fees for 2006 - publicity is what they were seeking - and no publicity is bad publicity - or so they say. But perhaps as most of this seems to be directed to them (and not toward the bodies responsible for the increased fees) they would now be more prepared for a more selective protest - one that the public and their customers would support?

Under the new system the largest city or town centre pubs will pay a £1,905 initial application fee and an annual fee of £1,050 to the local authority - before it was £30 every three years to the magistrates to serve alcohol until 11pm at night regardless of venue size.

Despite our Government's claims that the Act will provide more opportunity for live music, it must now be clear to everyone, that with this size of increase in general pub running costs in an increasingly competitive market place - that somthing is going to have to go. It is rather unlikely that many musicians are going to be paid - in addition to this overall increase - so it will be live music that will suffer.

And the last thing needed is for PRS/PPL etc to increase their fees as well. I feel that is time for us all to press our MPs etc to demand the promised review of the effects on the Licensing Act 2003 on live music. There is little point in us waiting until there is none......


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 07:23 AM

It does seem a little ironic - that at a time when obtaining official licensing permission is set to cost no extra (next month) - that Sam Smiths (and possibly many others) are deciding (on financial grounds) not to provide any..............


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Chris
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 08:49 AM

I wonder what 'professional' musicians feel about the PRS's actions and enforcement,(an organisation,supposedly, working on their behalf) is there a possibility that this situation is going to lose them income in the end. it maybe that 'profesionals' who draw their income fom the 'folk clubs' ought to be looking at this situation and wondering where their income is going to come from in the future -no clubs =no audience, no audience= no CD prchasers, no clubs = no WORK?????????
chris


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 08:59 AM

For the full details of the Government's new Licensing charges that Eric mentioned - see -

http://tinyurl.com/3q26k


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:06 AM

"The Landlord now has his hands tied - the brewery are telling him to make money but are not letting him provide what his customers want. he has asked to be allowed to open all Saturday afternoon because a group of his punters would like that. But no, he's not allowed to do that either!"

Isn't that restraint of trade?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:23 AM

It probably is restraint of trade but in this case the landlord works for the brewery so they are only restraining their own trade. Quite why they want to do that escapes me!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:30 AM

This BBC site will explain what PRS and PPL are.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/management/prsp01.shtml


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:33 AM

It is strange to me that Humphrey Smith's reaction to publicity is to accelerate his progamme of stopping music - the brewery took the odd step of phoning the organiser direct and telling him. Nellies still have things organised so he is no longer even honouring bookings. That's toys out of the pram stuff.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:36 AM

So even the BBC is confused over spelling!

See the quote below!

"The other license is the PPL licence.."


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Pete Fletcher
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:46 AM

Following Sam Smiths decision to stop all music in their pubs, White
Horse FC will have to move after almost 30 years.
From Monday 24th Jan till at least Feb 21st we will meet at.

THE FORESTERS ARMS, BECKSIDE, BEVERLEY

We have arranged to stay there until at least Feb 21st (Tim Van Eyken gig) As a trial period.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:51 AM

The dear old lad's making a lot of noise for one who dislikes singing - I hear that news of his innovative business approach has been noted in the City. Personally, I'd find that a tad worrying .....

PS - look up the words to "Three Halfpence per Foot".


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 11:25 AM

In the evening paper yesterday they were advertising a comedy club starting up in Nellies on a Wednesday night - doesn't that count as entertainmant then?

Rog


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 12:25 PM

I watched 'The Culture Show' last night on BBC2 which had a piece about folk music. In the bit I saw, it compared 'English' folk and 'Scottish' folk and suggested that Scottish folk music was much more a part of the heritage and culture etc etc From the english side they had Billy Bragg and Eliza Carthy + band discussing

One of the points that was made about the strength of the Scottish folk scene was that 'it was always there in the pubs' and it then came more to prominence as devolution happened and became increasingly linked to the pride that Scots have in their heritage and culture. When they chatted to Eliza and co where did they play and talk? In a pub, of course. They also talked about 'a folk revival' etc etc

Where are these people going to play? Where are the next generation going to even think about playing?

Apart from going occasionally to Pocklington Arts Centre to see the likes of Eliza, Fairport, Kate Rusby etc I see, do and hear all the music in pubs - including some fantastic people (saw Amanda & Jane Threlfall & Co in Mickleby the other week for example).

Do you reckon that we could get some more publicity by attempting to gain the help of some of these better known people - most of whom I would guess have played in smaller venues as they were on the way up. They may, of course, already be involved. Celebrities are likely to pull a lot more media interest than people like me.

Whether or not the Samuel Smiths thing ever sorts the way we would like it, there is very little awareness of these issues generally I would guess. A little more awareness would do no harm at all. Perhaps some people here know (or are!) some of these famous people - who knows?

In addition do people here have links to jazz, pop etc music which is also going to be affected. There must be lots of pubs on the 1960's/1970's "cover-the-singles" circuit who are also potentially at risk?

I have thought of writing to Verity Sharp at the Culture Show as she seemed quite a mean fiddler herself to see if there is potential for them to further look at the area - if we are currently in a folk revival it would be nice to think there was somewhere it could be revived to.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Linda Kelly
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 02:20 PM

Perhaps your right Nick, we have loads more adverse publicity to stir up first-who's organising the T Shirts? by the way i have contacted Look North tday questioning te editoral decision to allow Nellie less than a minute and some florist in Spalding who cant put her bunches out on the pavement, about five. It a bit of an uphill struggle at times isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 05:49 PM

if you put Sam Smiths in Google you will ge virtually a whole page proclaiming Sam Smith bans live music - excellent!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Blowzabella
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 07:21 PM

Ouch - just a word of advice from someone whose job involves pr - if you want (or think you might want) the media on your side, either now, or in the future, suggest don't criticize their editorial policy. Specially not for something which has been and gone. The programme has gone out - you can't do anything about that particular programme any more - what you can do is not get their backs up so that they are disinclined to promote your cause in the future....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 07:54 PM

You could equally argue that if to do not want your editorial policy criticised - you should have covered the item better in the first place. Doing things better is one way that we can all possibly be free from citicism - even the media.

But in all truth - if the story is news - it will get coverage. From my experience the only problem comes in having unrealistic expectations of the media. They are just doing their job - and if they manage to spell your name correctly - in is a bonus......All publicity for your cause - is good publicity.

Whatever criticism is made of their past coverage - all you need to do is to get some attractive and scantilly clad young ladies to dance around the pub - and the media will fall over themselves to cover your protest - even those from the radio.............


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Blowzabella
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 08:05 PM

You could equally argue it Shambles, but it wouldn't get you air time...

Naked girls, on the other hand, might....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 08:33 PM

To be fair - when the media coverage is accurate (and not just favourable) there is recognition of this. Credit for good work is usually given where it is due. There is little point in fearing to comment on or encouraging a past poor standard of coverage - as this will only ensure a future poor standard of coverage.   

For although we may say that we don't mind positve criticism - if we are honest - most of us don't like any criticism at all! But that does not mean that we do not pay attention to it - and bloody minded as we are - do not try not to lay ourselves open to it again - even members of the media. Who like to think they have the last word - but in reality do not have this - nor nearly as much power and influence as they like to think they have...

As for ladies having to be naked --- it is January! A little clothing is surely permitted and our media do so love words like 'scanty'.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Pistachio
Date: 22 Jan 05 - 05:42 AM

Linda, I do hope it's not me and thee that they're referring to!
See you (fully clothed) at 'the Forresters' H.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 22 Jan 05 - 05:42 PM

given that the BBC is still a public service, I think maybe I am entitled to offer a critiscm or two -or is this a fascist state where the media and the politicians can do and say want they please without comment -is it b*****ks! I am just about to upset the Daily Mirror and it isn't even Monday yet! Sorry Blowzabella, my tippytoeing days are long gone!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 12:18 PM

I posted this on the White Horse thread but it also seems relevant here:

My son plays football on a Saturday and we go into a Sams pub after for chips and beer etc

The manager there is still waiting for a response to a letter to the chairman from December-ish about the TV/music policy- this is an internal company thing not an external thing - just querying the decision and pointing out the effects on trade.

He reckons it has hit his pub since day one - especially the TV going. New Years Eve he shut at 11.15 and the takings were down £1000+ over last year.

This is weird behaviour, when you ignore your customers BUT even more so when you totally ignore your staff and refuse to even acknowledge the letter or give any reason for behaviour that directly hits the management of the pubs. Shit will hit fan at bonus time apparently (another saving perhaps?). Quite a lot of vacancies around at the moment I believe and more coming soon...

I'm going to post this onto the Sams thread also. Sam Smiths may be a total red herring in the general licensing thing (sometimes people just genuinely lose the plot and the action itself takes over and power becomes the driving force) - I do take Shambles point that when we all go off to our new venues - what happens next?

From my end I only wanted our little group to survive and it has, albeit not in its original place (but there are some signs that it might be better, could be honeymoon). The players and the (not) folk club from Nellies will also survive and hopefully flourish.

What does a normal person in the street like me do next?

Life is back on an even(ish) keel. Sams appear to be the losers - and, to be honest, I can live with that.

Perhaps we need a new thread (or a permanent one) - I'm not sure how you put it pithily - of "What can everyday folk do to preserve what we have/want given the external pressures that now bear on venues?"

And secondly is it really a threat? I say that only because I poo-poo'd things a while back and didn't think anything could affect our little world in Farlington. I'm sure at Nellies it's even more incomprehensible. So if it can happen to us - what do we do?

Or do I return to my normal 'won't happen here, not my problem' mode?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Blowzabella
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 01:02 PM

Does anyone know if Sam Smiths pubs are tenanted or managed, or a mixture of both? Managers will, presumably, carry on getting thier salary, whatever the takings - if tenants are affected, they will presumably be looking to have their rents reduced, because of reduced takings and the loss of custom, due to a management policy - possibly retrospectively - another loss of income to Sam Smiths.

Like the rest of you - I can't understand the whys and wherefores of this decision. I know there is a minority of people who go looking for the 'quiet pint' pubs, but since when have breweries catered to the minority?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 03:52 PM

Mostly managed.

Not sure if the tenanted pubs have been affected, though there are one or two in the area so easy to find out.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: BB
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 04:59 PM

Alice, according to Mick Haywood, Whitby FC were told that they should just carry on singing as normal until things could hopefully be sorted out. However, they cannot now charge entrance, run a raffle or raise any money whatsoever. Consequently, guests have been cancelled.

Guest Chris, as a professional, I don't have a problem with PRS charging pubs, particularly where someone is getting paid to perform (I should say that we are not members of PRS, therefore get nothing from them, nor do we sing much that PRS could claim for as most of our material is traditional, although if we were members we could claim for our arrangements). Other people should not be able to make money out of composed songs or specific arrangements. However, I don't believe this should apply to sessions or floor singers who are not getting paid. I fear that there are a number of songs that would never have been taken up and made money for their authors unless they had first been sung in those circumstances. Having said that, if many other pub chains start going the way of Sam Smith's then, yes, many of us are going to have severe problems getting work. But I think it's unfair to blame PRS for that - they have, in fact, improved matters for their lowlier members through the Small Gigs Scheme, which means that all the money doesn't now go to the likes of Elton John or Paul McCartney. But if they increase the fees too much, they could indeed kill the goose that laid the golden egg, and none of us will benefit.

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jan 05 - 05:47 PM

Link to the Yorkshire Post.

http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=1084&ArticleID=923277


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 05:02 AM

Nick is there any sign yet - of that promised detailed reply from PRS/PPL etc?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 11:45 AM

No - I emailed them last week to chivvy them along. Perhaps the recent publicity has put them off. I'll chase them again this week


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 12:00 PM

Yesterday at our Sunday session in The Sun we decided to run the next week in The Sun also - it should have gone back to Nellies for that week but everyone was pessimistic about whether that was possible or not and we thought it better to play safe.

so, Sunday 30th in The Sun and the following "first Sunday of the month session" in the Monk's as usual.

Rog


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 12:33 PM

Could this be the start of a pruning exercise ?? Close down and sell off pubs that are not self supporting to get some cash in for some other investment ??


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Jan 05 - 12:34 PM

Oh Yes !! And 2oo !!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 03:30 AM

The following posted on uk.music folk

The landlord of The Alma Inn, Cottonstones, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorks, where we hold our monthly folk club & monthly sessions received his PRS bill recently & needed my help to sort it out. As a PRS member I was happy to do so & pointed out that most of his £631.45 bill was to cover piped music in the bar & restaurant. The bill for our folk club nights (capacity 60, but covers up to 100) is £7.27 per night & we'll pay this for him.

I checked with PRS about our monthly informal sessions, where
there's no admission charge to locals, neither are the musicians paid
PRS were definite that they do not regard this as a chargeable event.
There's been a lot of disinformation about sessions. I hope this
information clears up a few worries.


It is ironic, however, that the landlord deems piped music essential to his existing customers already on the premises & our folk club is paying a nominal PRS charge for him & bringing in new customers.
--
Pete Coe


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 11:00 AM

"checked with PRS about our monthly informal sessions, where
there's no admission charge to locals, neither are the musicians paid
PRS were definite that they do not regard this as a chargeable event.
There's been a lot of disinformation about sessions. I hope this
information clears up a few worries"

Very interesting because PRS gave the Blackmsiths Arms at Farlington a slightly different reply. We had the same kind of session (no admission fee, no paid artists) and were quoted a similar amount as a chargeable event. It doesn't really clear up the worry if they are telling different people different stories.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 11:58 AM

Similarly for The Sun in Beverley - our landlord was billed for and has paid for our sessions all of which are free entry with no artists being paid to perform. He paid roughly £600 for the sessions and a similar amount for the mechanicals.

Roger


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Beast of Farlington
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 05:07 PM

Who said what and when and to whom, replayed to PRS (free, of course) might help clear this up....


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 25 Jan 05 - 05:39 PM

A Reply, (albeit a few days late)
Nick..Please do send your thoughts to Verity.
Just E Mail Verity.Sharpe@bbc.co.uk will do.
I can concur that she is on the same side as us little people
Regards Ralphie


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,NickM
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 07:32 AM

Hi, I'm trying to get a bit of background on this story, I want to create a page about it on the BBC North Yorkshire website (www.bbc.co.uk/northyorkshire) as we have recieved an email to our inbox about the decision of the brewery to stop live music and remove TVs and juke boxes.

If any of you have the time, I'd really appreciate a run down of events, just like when the change of policy took effect and whether there has been any communication from Sam Smiths.

The email address is northyorkshire@bbc.co.uk
. I'm Nick and am keen to get a page published about this, one which people will be able to add their own comments.

I have contacted the brewery but they have declined to comment.

Thanks,

Nick


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 07:59 AM

NickM

There is a related thread entitled "have Sam Smiths banned ALL music" which was started by Nick from Farlington at the end of November, the thread was the precusor of this. It would indicate that the decision of Humphrey Smith to remove means of entertainment, TV Radio, Juke boxes and live sessions was first made known at this time.
Several people, myself included have written to him, I to date have not had a response. According to various bits of "gossip" he does not seem to welcome any intrusion (as he see's it)into the running of the estate.
It would also seem that his decision was made on financial grounds with regard to the purchase of the various licences required. I have emailed the Performing Rights Society (PRS) for clarification of wether sessions which do not make a door charge or the performers received payment are required to have a licence. I have been met by a deafening silence. If and when I receive a response I will forward it to one and all

Raggy


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 03 Feb 05 - 09:01 AM

NickM I have emailed you - by all means mail me back or ring me at home later.

Raggy - I received a phone call from PRS a couple of days ago and they told me I would be expecting a further reply soon. The chap who I originally emailed is changing his job and it has been passed to a colleague who should be in touch with me. I'll let you know what is said.

One of the things we did ask was whether we could be licensed as a group of individuals/club independent of the premise. It seemed to offer a way out for all of us without anyone backing down from their position. There was a comment in the message I received that they were at least considering whether this could be possible. Opens up interesting possibilities at least not least in being able to try and further clarify Mr Smith's true reasons.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Feb 05 - 05:32 PM

This from Pete Coe on uk.music.folk. Which is bad new but does at least make it clear what the PRS position is towards sessions.

I had a long conversation with Barry Lane, PRS Tariff Development Dept. about sessions. It seems I was given wrong information a week or so ago from someone else in his dept. Sessions are liable after all. For numbers attending up to 100 in licensed, commercial premises the charge would be £7.27 per session, whatever the music played.

It's the premises that are liable. As a member of PRS myself, I don't like this anymore than most of you. Believe me, I made all the relevant points...
1.No admission charge.
2.No payment made to musicians by landlord/management.
3.Session organised by the musicians themselves, for their own musical
benefit, not as part of a commercial performance for an 'audience'.
4.Most music played being non-copyright.
5.Very few participants being members of PRS.

Barry made the point that it's PRS's job to earn money for it's members from all commercial premises, whether the music is live or recorded & that this music is of commercial benefit to the 'management'. So the management should pay up.

I pointed out that in some cases the management (e.g. Sam Smith's)
wouldn't pay up & that either the musicians would end up 'paying to
play', as well as for their beer or that the sessions would shut down.
Thus, many musicians, who learned tunes/songs in sessions , then went on to record their arrangements, registering them with PRS & earning money for both parties would lose out on this source of material & PRS losing out on grassroots potential. I added that this was what sessions are & they're not what PRS want them to be.

I haven't given up on this yet. There's a few options possible. These
could include...
1. Every session filling in PRS forms & swamping them with paperwork.
2. Nominating one regular member & joining PRS & fill in PRS forms
saying that all traditional arranged material is copyright to that
person who then, eventually gets paid most of it back to PRS.
3. Or register all trad. arr. material to EFDSS or a charity (they'd
have to be PRS members)
4. Keep that session moving.
5. It's a 'rehearsal'.

In the meantime, the sessions I go to locally will remain free of PRS & I'll deal with them if the landlord is asked. If you want to contact PRS barry.lane@prs.co.uk

He seems a decent bloke, so no abuse needed, informed facts & opinions
only.

--
Pete Coe : http://www.backshift.demon.co.uk/petehome.htm
http://www.ryburn3step.org.uk


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: oombanjo
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 01:33 PM

Back to where we started. Which ever way you throw this in the mixing bowl, the government will come out of it taking more money out of our pockets, either through direct tax or indirectly through increased beer prices. It is time that the initiators of the problem were taken to task, and all labour voters informed their local labour councillors that their support/vote was being withdrawn. It's possible that a separate thread could be set up to register that we are prepared to follow our conviction


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 05:04 AM

"and all labour voters informed their local labour councillors that their support/vote was being withdrawn."

Much as I support the cause, being one of the players affected by Sam Smith's ban, I think that this would be an extreme reaction, even if it were actually feasible to do. It could just be that labour councillors are the more helpful on other issues such as social services, local transport provision, education and so on. Are we saying that playing music is MORE important than those things and we should withdraw our support from the coucillors because of their party's contrary position on that? I don't think so, let's get some perspective.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 05:33 AM

Perhaps the MP's and councillors views on this issue can be obtained first? If they do not agree with the party line - they can then tell you what action they are going to take to change it. If they do support the party line - perhaps it is fair that their fate is decided along with the eventual fate of this party line?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 04:14 PM

Sorry about this but I have come to the conclusion that, those in control of bringing this act into being had little, or no thought of any type of social issues. Think about all the issues that we have debated, especially the promotion, and continuance, of our Folk heritage. As an ex miner and a solid labour voter since I came of age I learned one lesson through those early days, when you stick your head in the sand,   you get shafted and do'nt know anything about it till its happened. And here we are. My hope in posting this type of thread, is to get away from the continuing debate and to bring the chickens home to roost, with action that will demand a response,if in doing this we pick up support from our councillors let them show it through their actions, and lobby their elected Mps.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: oombanjo
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 05:26 PM

Sorry, the above was me oombanjo I forgot to log in.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Cod Fiddler
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 04:56 AM

I have to say that I agree with Oombanjo. It seems to me that civil liberties are constantly being erroded by poorly thought out and often unnecessary legislation in all walks of life. I still think a petition might do some good.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Guest - Mally
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 10:29 AM

Still digesting all of this, and as someone who believes in the right to make music as a basic human expression, all this stuff makes my blood boil. What have we come to?

Does anyone know if the freedom to express oneself musically/artistically/traditionally comes within the scope of the European Convention on Human Rights, or whether this has ever been tested? Article 10 says the following:

QUOTE

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

UNQUOTE

Is there is any possibility that the right to freedom of expression, to impart (traditional/musical/artistic) ideas, might come under the scope of this?

Sorry if this is a red herring, or if it has been discussed and dismissed elsewhere, but like Cod Fiddler, I reckon that the issues here go far deeper than examining the small print of the legislation and PRS rules. Once you get bogged down in discussing the detail you're missing the wider picture.

Mally
Sandbach


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 11:31 AM

Is there is any possibility that the right to freedom of expression, to impart (traditional/musical/artistic) ideas, might come under the scope of this?

There is more than a possibility - if it should come to this and it may well do. Especially given that Sam Smiths - without their PRS/PPL licence - are under (or given) the impression that the lack of this licence prevents any music from being made.

There is no (red herring) safety issue here. The only justification in the Act for preventing this music for the lack of this licence - from what I can see - is the 'rights of others'. Now that may be OK for the playing of music that PRE/PPL have some rightful claim over - but not for music like original and traditional non-copyright material that they are also preventing - without any rightful claim.

There may still be hope that PRS can come up with a solution - as it is not in their members interests (or anyone elses) that music is prevented anywhere. The other answer is that our Government negociate and pay PRS their fee - to enable sessions to take place anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 11:34 AM

See also.

PRS and sessions


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 11:42 AM

Unfortunately, with this all being tagged onto the 'Open All Hours' legislation, it did not get a chance to be treated separately. This is a classic government tactic to avoid proper debate.

Many people have protested, written to MPs and received the standard form reply, and so on, but in the end, in our 'democracy', we don't have any power at all. The government will do what it wants, even if it takes the Parliament act to do it.

Labour's view of democracy seems to be 'Ban everything that the Majority don't agree with' (and tax everything else that THEY don't agree with). Minorities have no chance.

It will be long after the next election when people realise that there is no more music, and of course, the blame will go to local authorities, the PRS, and anyone else.

In 20 years time, maybe people will wonder why there are no longer any UK music stars of any kind, but there is no apparent short term remedy.

Wales will no longer be the land of song :
Will this affect the national Eisteddfod?
How about the Urdd Eisteddfod, preliminary rounds being held in public in schools etc?
Will they need an Event licence?
Will they need a PRS licence in case one of the Welsh songs is in copyright?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: oombanjo
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 12:52 PM

Keep the Ideas coming. It may be that a seperete petition showing how many votes and in what areas the government would lose may be the way .Or it may require a single national petition such as the one the one already submitted but under a direct form of actionIe all who signed march ao whitehall??????


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Cod Fiddler
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 01:35 PM

Perhaps its time for a demonstration. Imagine blocking London up with the UK's biggest ever session!


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: El Dano
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 07:56 PM

Why not dont walk into Nellies


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 04:01 AM

Three Sheds, that's treating the symptom not the disease


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Mally
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 04:07 AM

I think the essential thing we need to be fighting for here is the freedom to make music. That's the issue pure and simple, and it is currently under attack from various quarters as we're all aware.

One of the attacks is from the PRS. Despite it only being a private company providing a service to copyright holders, it appears to be determined to exploit its monopolistic power base and also seems to be increasingly intent on representing itself as though it has statutary powers althouth it does not (though no doubt it would like to!). As someone who works from home (as so many do nowadays), I have regularly recieved official looking letters from PRS stating that as it is presumed that I listen to CDs whilst working, I have to have a commercial PRS license. Whilst I can see the legal argument underlying this, it seems to me to be entirely disproportionate and an abuse of the PRS's aquired power. Taken to its logical conclusion, anyone listening to a CD on a business trip (car, train or whatever), or even a working boatie listening to a CD on deck, would need such a license.

The same sense of disproportion applies to folk sessions (I use the term loosely). I don't know where the quoted figure of £7 something is arrived at, but given the amount of copyright material performed, and also bearing in mind that often most of the those in the room are performers rather than audience, I'd be surprised if properly calculated figure even amounted to anything economically viable to collect. The PRS should also be taking the interests and views of its member into account. Does Ralph McTell really want a royalty every time someone sings Streets of London in a pub session? If so, I'd be disappointed, but the vast majority of copyright holders, who are after all musicians themselves, would surely value the freedom to express music at this purely social level above any financial reward they could derive from the PRS's draconian impositions.

I will not go on about this now. The essential thing I think is to somehow re-establish the right to make music as an essential human right. If not, it will be subject to further attack, e.g. from the insurance companies, whose policy restrictions are increasingly having more effect in many quarters than legislation. In the meantime, I would be very interested to know from any PRS members present what scope there is under their consitution for members to actually exert influence over the draconion policies they are seemingly bent on pursuing.

As a newcomer to the list (and still only a guest), I would not be so presumptuous as to start a new thread, but would be worth doing? Perhaps what is needed is to categorise and quantify all the things which are restricting the right to make music at a social level, then take a broader view rather than focussing on detail or getting sidetracked into dealing with symptoms (e.g. Sam Smiths) rather than causes.

Mally
Sandbach


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: ET
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 05:52 AM

I think this is very well put. There are a huge number of musicians (voters) out there, under endless attack for no good reason. Theortically the Musicians Union ought to protect but most folkies are not members and receive no payments anyway. Is there anyway we can make our voice heard uniformly? Any ideas out there. Is Fergal Sharkeys musicians group too much in the hands of the DCMS?   When through mudcat, a petition against the Licensing Bill. as it then was, was organised over 100,000 signed up. Probably too far from an election to make a difference but?   If anyone ventured near me with election stuff I would cetainly express my views forcibly but voices in the wilderness are not given much regard these days.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:02 AM

One of things in this thread is to keep things in perspective. To the best of my knowledge (someone will tell me if I'm wrong I'm sure) Sam Smiths have stopped LIVE music being played in three pubs (perhaps four with the carols). They have currently stopped the other 200+ pubs having the potential to play music in the future, but the only effect has been on Nellies, the Plough and the pub that we used (Blacksmiths in Farlington).

I'm not totally sure that LIVE music was Sam Smiths original target. In fact I'm not sure that they had even thought about it. It was a side effect of the original target of stopping paying PRS fees for BACKGROUND music and TVs. I base this on the original conversation I had with the brewery back in early December when I queried whether we could continue to play live music and was told it was ok to do it and that this had been agreed up to C Black's level (I think he is MD?). It was only later after all the background music had gone that we were told to stop.

So we are quite a minority! For 98% of Sams pubs live music is not really an issue or they are not at all vociferous (or they are still allowed to do it!!)

I still think that is the one strength that we have. According to Humphrey Smith he believes it is fair to apply a blanket policy across his pubs - if you allow a TV in one or background music in one you need to apply it everywhere.

As live music affects so FEW pubs Sam Smiths COULD decide to allow it selectively without having to pay for all their pubs. Whether they will is another matter of course but it is a tack I believe is still worth following up. I don't think Sam Smiths are really involved in the live music debate at all, I think it is incidental to their PRS issue that they wish to keep their costs down.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:52 AM

ET

Radio 4 are currently putting something together on this. I'm not sure when it will be aired but they are coming to record an interview with us in our local pub next wednesday. When I spoke to them a couple of weeks ago their intention was to involve Feargal Sharkey - Yorkshire Folk Arts (Norma Waterson was mentioned) - Government representative - Musicians Union - PRS - Sam Smiths (no comment) - Arts Council. I have no idea who will actually be involved. The reason they were in contact with our little known backwater was because of the Sam Smiths incident. The aim of the feature/news item/report/programme (I'm not sure which) is to look at the overall issue of licensing etc and to discuss whether the actions of Sam Smiths are the thin end of a wedge or the idiosyncratic actions of an individual.

So, yes, there may be and there are hopefully some weighty people involved that may get it some prominence.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 07:08 AM

One of the strange things about Sam Smiths if anything is how little live music they had. I read this article a while back and tried to equate it with the pubs in my local area. The figure of almost 50% seems out of all proportion to our local area and the 20% having regular music is definitely out!

Sure you will have read this but it surprised me.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: ET
Date: 11 Feb 05 - 06:39 PM

Again interesting. A musician called King Rollo was being advertised as holding a guitar workshop in Nellies shortly and charging £10 for music tution. No doubt good value, but Nellies?


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Anglogeezer
Date: 12 Feb 05 - 03:46 PM

King Rollo's gig at NELLIE'S was cancelled, info given on his website - www.king-rollo.co.uk/news.html

regards Jake


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 02:12 AM

A question for the legal minded. Can said King Rollo (we will asume he is a PRS members) or any of the unpaid participants in the music making (we will assume they are not members) - that has been prevented in these Sam Smiths pubs - make a case for the unlawful restriction of their freedom of expression?

Who would the claim be against?

The pub has a right to a choice to first allow/provide music. And to obtain or not to obtain the PRS/PPL etc licence. So perhaps not the pub.

But PRS/PPL etc are publicly giving the impression to all-and-sundry that no music at all - can now take place in these premises without this licence. So the right of freedom of expression of a non-PRS members playing their own non-published material is currently being prevented in these pubs - where as far as I can see - there are no grounds to prevent this freedom of expression.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 05:54 PM

I was talking to a Landlord today about this - one who works for another brewery I might add.

Certainly from what he knows the family seem a little eccentric. The Sam Smith pub does not stock other products - house spirit brands, house lager brands, house beer. All the beer is delivered in 36 gallon barrrels so if it the landlord has a few quiet days - tough - it goes off. (I understand the brewery stands the loss). No advertising outside - A boards or similar not allowed. Nothing to identify Sam Smiths.

Low prices are reputed to be so the Chancellor gets less tax, inside of pubs are often immaculate - with high quality furnishings.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

I leave you all to make your own judgement on this.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: John Routledge
Date: 13 Feb 05 - 10:12 PM

Looks like Sam Smiths have Traditional Yorkshire Values.

Pity they have no Traditional Yorkshire Music.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 06:05 AM

So NOW I know where the 'Toowoomba Business Values' came from - they'd rather dig a hole, put the money in there, set fire to it and piss on it, than pay pay Tax on it - the more profit they make, the more Tax they pay...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:24 AM

You still have to pay the tax, even if you burn the money...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 14 Feb 05 - 07:47 AM

I didn't SAY they were BRIGHT!...


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Edain
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 09:24 AM

To add to what has already been said, Durham City Folk Club which has been meeting in a Sam Simths pub since the 80s was told on thursday that after that night they could not return. The landlady wants us there and freely admits that the takings will be significantly down without us. Apparently however, a manager's comment was 'why haven't you got rid of them before?'


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: John Routledge
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 10:42 AM

Ironically it is the financial effect of the closure of the best attended clubs such as Durham which may re-activate Sam Smith's business brain.

The atmosphere was wonderful. A full on Folk Club. So sad.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Blowzabella
Date: 20 Feb 05 - 03:28 PM

Oh - No Not the Colpitts??? I used to go there with my first ever boyfriend in the late 70s


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 04:04 AM

Heard at the weekend that this decision (stopping entertainment in Sam Smith's pubs) was first mentioned by Humphrey Smith some 3 years ago, so it is not a rashly made choice. He is reported to have indicated that he wanted his estate to revert to old fashioned drinking establishments were people could sit and converse. Speaking for myself I actually welcome that point of view, however it may be worth our while to try and convince him that when the majority of pubs were like this they frequently had, someone playing the piano on a Friday or Saturday night and that this added to the ambiance of the pub. In one respect he is to be applauded, in as much as the majority of pubs now cater primarily for the 18-30 age range and to have pubs that cater for another section of society is not actually all that bad.

There, that'll put the cat well and truly amongst the pigeons


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:07 AM

This isn't a black and white debate though, Raggy. Pubs can cater for lots of different tastes. So music on one night, no music on others doesn't 'kill' the art of conversation at all, but rather gives both audiences what they want.

I sometimes like to sit in a pub with no music and play music at other times so the audiences often contain the same membership. It's the blanket 'all or nothing' view which makes these disputes so difficult to resolve.

As a nation we seem to line up on opposite sides so often, rather than being able to hold a range of views according the situation.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:24 AM

Since the removal of TV , Jukebox and background music from the sam Smiths pub (the Windmill Hotel Pendlebury) where I drink I started to take my Guitar and Melodeon in on Sunday afternoons. A small session developed and the Landlady was happy about it. She had to stop it however as it was mentioned to her area manager and he said no live music.

Not a great loss as it was only me and a dozen locals but the die may be cast.

Spot


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:26 AM

Beast

That's what I am saying, a little pressure to have a little music combine the best of both worlds ..............


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 06:38 AM

Sorry to hear about Durham.

It may not be a rashly made choice but in the case of Farlington it has not had the desired effect.

The pub used to be EXACTLY what you describe and what Mr Smith wanted. It was a lively village pub where people went to talk. It had a range of clientele from farmers and farm workers, to managing directors who all went to drink (liberally) and chat. For a pub in the middle of nowhere it was surprisingly busy. People went because there would be the hubbub of conversation, a diversity of views and you could also get anything mended (!) or help on pretty much anything.

What has happened now?

In an attempt to replace some of the lost trade they are now trying to encourage (younger) people in to play pool and people to come in and eat. Apart from early friday evenings there are now fewer people who go in to talk - primarily because there is noone in there. On a monday or tuesday it is now down to selling about 18 pints in the evening. Last Wednesday the Area Manager went in at 10pm and I think there were two or three people in - she apparently does not know why the music has gone. (There was some thought that she might have gone to check if we were there which I think unlikely. At the same time, there were 20 of us singing and playing in our new local pub which grows weekly).

At Farlington (and more obviously at Nellies) we sang in a separate area so that people could still drink and converse. In fact there were always a group of people in the pub in the other bar when we were there - now there are pretty much none.

I believe there is a management liaison meeting tomorrow at Smiths where hopefully more will be made clear. More managers are leaving I hear and there is considerable bad feeling that the brewery is making it harder and harder for the managers to do things - functions are out as music is not ok, they can't do this, they can't do that - as it becomes harder to keep takings to previous years levels they put their bonuses in jeopardy etc They have been here before though. They stopped discos some time ago in certain places and killed a load of trade off. So little will probably change.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 08:17 AM

"Beast

That's what I am saying, a little pressure to have a little music combine the best of both worlds .............. "

That's alright, then. We agree.

Our pub in Farlington used to have tasteful music from a CD player supplied by the landlord which was dicreetly played in the background. It was never intrusive.

Now a funeral parlour has more atmosphere.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 08:48 AM

... And fewer live visitors


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,The Beast of Farlington
Date: 21 Feb 05 - 09:12 AM

Speak for yourself! ;-)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: pavane
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 02:57 AM

Heard this issue get an airing on Mike Hardings program yesterday.

He ALSO seems to have got the reason mixed up between PELS and the PRS/PPL fee, but never mind.

As he blamed the loss of folk clubs on the PEL fiasco, it will presumably help to raise the profile of that problem.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Lancashire Lad
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 08:20 AM

There was supposed to a meeting of Sam Smiths management or perhaps it was the pub managers(?) recently regarding this problem. Has anybody heard anything?

Lanky


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Folkiedave
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 04:55 PM

I am not sure if this has been mentioned before but one of the most succesful of the modern pub "chains" has been Wetherspoons.

No music or singing, cheap beer and no TV sets.

Could this be the model that Humphrey is following?

Just a thought and I personally think that landlords should be able to do as they wish. Within reason of course.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Avro Simones
Date: 03 Mar 05 - 05:19 PM

My friends and I often frequent a Sam Smiths pub in the centre of London, which used to have some really great CD's playing in the background - when we asked why the music had gone, we were told 'Nothing to do with us, it's the management'.

What we did was to have a singaround between us, for a few hours before closing time. No-one stopped us and people enjoyed it;

In the end, music will prevail.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: The Beast of Farlington
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 09:17 AM

Refreshed for the benefit of those reading the 'Whitby Plough' thread.


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: GUEST,Lancashire Lad
Date: 12 Apr 05 - 05:48 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Nick
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 08:46 AM

>>I am not sure if this has been mentioned before but one of the most succesful of the modern pub "chains" has been Wetherspoons.

No music or singing, cheap beer and no TV sets.

Wetherspoons are currently in the process of reviewing this policy I believe so that it is not a blanket policy (they did have some pubs owned by them and differently branded eg Camden Lock which have music)


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Subject: RE: Obit - Samuel Smiths and LIVE music
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 13 Apr 05 - 09:43 AM

The beer's cheap for a reason. It tastes crap because it's out of date!


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