Sunday, 11 September 2011

Licensing, and … Stuff … !

Hmmm …

Now, I’ve got to be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the pub trade.

To be frank … ?

Well …

People who know me well, will know that I don’t drink: and probably be able to have a guess why.

But on top of that … ?

I’m really not sure I’d want to go go back to the trade, even if the opportunity arose.

But at any rate … ?

Keeping a vague eye on industry news … ?

Is something I’ve always TRIED to do, even though I’ve not actually needed to.

Or even managed to DO, successfully!

AHEM … !

But at any rate, I do know that I managed to notice this little article float past on the BBC’s teletext service, late yesterday afternoon.

Seemingly … ?

Seemingly Britain’s coalition government are planning to introduce reforms to all sorts of things.

Including in an area of interest to one local pub — the Essex Arms, where I once worked, MANY moons ago — that played host to live music.

Actually, I’ll be blunt, I loved that job! I was getting paid to listen to some seriously rather good bands*.

At any rate, the Coalition government is planning to reform certain areas, so that it’s easier for local bars to hire a band.

Without needing the specialist — and expensive, in terms of time and money need to get one — entertainment licenceº.

So this … ?

Well, I’m thinking it’s something of a mixed bag of nuts.

On the one hand … ?

It’ll give both small pubs more choice of entertainment.

And struggling musicians more chances at venues: at least in theory.

But on the downside … ?

If you live next door to a small, quiet pub, that suddenly gets REALLY noisy … ?

Well …

I can’t see anything in the story that tells me people can object …

* Have I mentioned Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts … ? No, I haven’t for a while … ! If you EVER get the chance to go see Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts, DO. NOW! And tell Dumpy that Nik Nak sent you. And DON’T LET HIM NEAR THE NEWCASTLE BROWN UNTIL AFTER THE GIG!

º Back when I was working at the Essex, for example, the management had to make sure they built a sort of indoor porchª around the fire-exit, and wire a noise limiter^ into the power supply, the year after that, in order to keep the license: all measures designed to prevent noise disturbing the neighbours.

ª I know that’s not the correct term: but it’s the only one I can think of to describe what they had to build.

^ There’s a story there … The noise limiter at the Essex Arms is still, as far as I know: the whole point of it was that, if the sound level from the stage went over a certain pre-set and unacceptable level, power to the stage would cut. The band would have to turn the turn the volume down and reset the limiter. And only then start playing again. However, I can remember the manager at the time telling me that one particular plug socket — or set of them — wasn’t wired into the limiter. Or, at least, there was SOME sort of workaround.

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