This week’s blog post is by Live Music Exchange’s own Martin Cloonan, who, with John Williamson, has just completed an important piece of work on the social history of the Musicians’ Union (for more on this, listen to Martin on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed). This piece is about how the policy of ‘needletime’, brought in to protect the musicians …
Kevin Milburn’s post charts the shift of live activity in London from the early 1960s to the present day from the west to the east and southeast, highlighting the closure of significant venues along the way, including the Lewisham Odeon, as played by The Beatles. The post shows that such sites were not threatened by lack of use or decline but instead because of being based in areas newly attractive to investors, alongside other external factors, a story very pertinent at a time when, according to one report, London lost 30% of its venues between 2007 and 2015.
This is the latest in an occasional series of posts originating from ‘The Musicians’ Union: A Social History’ – an AHRC and ESRC funded research project based in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. Dr. John Williamson looks back at the origins of the Musicians’ Union, on the occasion of its 120th anniversary last month.
This post is part of an occasional series originating from ‘The Musicians’ Union: A Social History’ – an AHRC and ESRC funded research project based in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. Here, Martin Cloonan describes the Union’s dispute – up to and including appearances in court – with George Formby’s musical director Bill Main, and how they illustrate the legal and political climate around labour relations of the era.