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Bebop Spoken There

Kelly Sill: "Just because everyone is playing through the changes in the same time doesn't mean they're actually playing together" - (JazzTimes March/April 2023).

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

Ann Braithwaite (Braithwaite & Katz Communications) You’re the BEST!

Holly Cooper, Mouthpiece Music: "Lance writes pull quotes like no one else!"


15260 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 15 years ago. 279 of them this year alone and, so far, 92 this month (March 29).

From This Moment On ...


Sun 02: Smokin' Spitfires @ The Cluny. 12:45pm.
Sun 02: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 3:00pm.

Mon 03: Harmony Brass @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.

Tue 04: Paul Skerritt @ The Rabbit Hole, Hallgarth St., Durham DH1 3AT. 7:00pm. Paul Skerritt's (solo) weekly residency.
Tue 04: Jam session @ Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre. 7:30pm. House trio: Bradley Johnston (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Abbie Finn (drums).

Wed 05: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Wed 05: Darlington Big Band @ Darlington & Simpson Rolling Mills Social Club, Darlington. 7:00pm. Rehearsal session (open to the public).
Wed 05: 4B @ The Exchange, North Shields. 7:00pm.
Wed 05: Take it to the Bridge @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm.

Thu 06: Vieux Carré Jazzmen @ The Holystone, Whitley Road, North Tyneside. 1:00pm. Free.
Thu 06: Thursday Night Prayer Meeting @ The Globe, Newcastle. 7:30pm. Donations. Feat. John Pope, Marie Shreer, John Garner.
Thu 06: Merlin Roxby @ Prohibtion Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Ragtime piano. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Thu 06: Darlington Big Band @ Dorman's Club, Middlesbrough. 8:30pm. Note earlier start time.

Fri 07: Classic Swing @ Cullercoats Crescent Club. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band @ Oxbridge Hotel, Stockton. 1:00pm. £5.00.
Fri 07: Rendezvous Jazz @ The Monkseaton Arms, Monkseaton. 1:00pm.
Fri 07: Gaz Hughes Trio @ Saltburn Community Hall. 7:30pm.
Fri 07: Mark Toomey Quartet @ Traveller's Rest, Darlington. 8:00pm. £8.00.
Fri 07: Finntet + Zoë Gilby & Andy Champion @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 8:00pm. JNE.
Fri 07: TBA @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig. Blind Pig Blues Club.

Sat 08: Me Lost Me + Ceitidh Mac + Heather Ferrier @ Bobik's, Punch Bowl, Newcastle. 7:30pm. JNE.
Sat 08: Joseph Carville Trio @ The Vault, Darlington Covered Market, Darlington DL1 5PN. 6:00pm. New venue, live jazz!
Sat 08: Rendezvous Jazz @ Red Lion, Earsdon. 8:00pm. £3.00. RESCHEDULED from last week (Sat 01).
Sat 08: Robbie Reay @ Prohibition Bar, Newcastle. 8:00pm. Acoustic blues. A 'Jar on the Bar' gig.
Sat 08: Anth Purdy @ Mr Tighe's, Bebside, Northumberland. 8:30pm.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Survey reveals over 1 in 4 Professional Musicians Skipped a Meal due to Cost of Living Crisis

26% of musicians have skipped a meal within the last 12 months due to cost of living crisis.

  • 90% feel unconfident in the UK government’s ability to handle the crisis
  • 64% have seen their number of gigs decrease as a result of the crisis
  • 79% think it’s likely rising fuel prices will limit how far they can travel for gigs
  • 51% have taken a second job as a result of cost of living crisis
  • Young and female musicians are the most likely to have seen a drop in gigs
A recent survey of 301 musicians, by Encore Musicians (a musician booking platform), revealed that 26% of professional musicians, have skipped a meal due to the cost of living crisis. This is well over the national average of 14% recently reported in the Guardian (Source: TUC), suggesting musicians are struggling more than most.  

The Encore study also revealed a worrying trend of musicians turning away from their profession with 51% of musicians reporting that they'd taken a second job to supplement their income as a result of the cost of living crisis. The most popular jobs musicians are pivoting towards were teacher, administrator and retail worker while the least common were vet, psychotherapist and coroner. A further 23% are considering taking on a new job, with only 26% feeling confident enough in their prospects to concentrate solely on their music career.  

The crisis has hit musicians particularly hard, due to their heavy reliance on car travel. Increases in fuel prices mean that 79% of musicians reported they would be reducing how far they travelled to gigs this year. This is also exacerbated by travel limitations resulting from Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Encore, the UK’s largest musician booking platform, released this data, ahead of the Budget this week, calling on Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Lucy Frazer to ensure musicians aren’t left behind. 

Quote from James McAulay, CEO and co-founder: 
“The Budget this week is one of the most important for musicians in recent times. The vast majority of musicians are still recovering from the devastating impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods, and Brexit has made touring significantly harder and significantly less viable for musicians.

It’s absolutely vital that Lucy Frazer doesn’t neglect the impact of the rising cost of living on our musicians. Energy companies are making record profits while our musicians are reporting skipping meals, taking on additional jobs, and switching off their heating. Government confidence among the live music sector is low, and it's not a surprise that 90% of the musicians we surveyed don't have faith in the government's ability to handle the Cost of Living crisis.

Live music is one of Britain's greatest exports. The Budget on Wednesday is an opportunity for the government to demonstrate that it values British musicians' contributions to the economy. Now is the time for strong and decisive action to ensure our thriving industry, which contributes so much to the economy, isn’t left behind.”

"I moved to the UK last year to avoid the war in Ukraine and am grateful I have started finding work here. But now the rising cost of living is making it extremely challenging to pay the bills as a full-time musician. If the government doesn't do something to help, I'm not sure how long I'll be able to continue performing." 
Aleksey, professional saxophonist, Ukrainian war refugee   

“I have received help with my energy bill through the PRS crisis fund, without this support I would have had serious financial problems.”
Ricky, professional sitar player and artist

“Many people assume that touring musicians make lots of money however this is far from reality. Musicians would really benefit from support from the government, particularly for new touring artists.”
Chloe, professional folk singer and guitarist

Which musicians are being impacted most by the crisis?
  • Age: The youngest (18-24) have been most impacted, with 75% reporting a drop in bookings as a result of the crisis. 

  • Genre: Pop musicians, were the genre represented who have been hit the hardest, with 77% saying the number of gigs had somewhat or definitely decreased as a result of the cost of living crisis.

  • Gender: Women were more likely to have lost work, with 70% saying their number of gigs had decreased as a result of the crisis, against 64% men  

  • Region: Scottish and Welsh musicians were more likely to report a drop in gigs than those based in England, with drops in gigs reported from 83% and 75% of musicians in those regions respectively vs a 65% for English musicians.  

Which second jobs are musicians taking on? 
  • By far the most popular jobs which musicians are taking on unsurprisingly relate to music. 27% reported taking on increased music tutoring. 

  • Other popular new jobs musicians had taken on included being an administrator (10%), school teaching (10%) and retail (6%).

  • Some musicians reported second jobs which were far removed from music work such as working as a vet, a coroner and a psychotherapist.  

Musicians are switching to more local gigs
  • 79% think it’s quite or very likely rising fuel prices will limit how far they travel for gigs.

  • In 2022, musicians spent 25% more on travel than 2021, an additional annual bill of over £130.  

Musicians are struggling to get gigs
  • 39% of musicians have witnessed customers cancelling their bookings as a result of rising cost of living. 

  • Overall 66% said their number of gigs has decreased in the last 12 month as a result of the crisis, 25% reported no change, while 9% said gigs had increased.

Energy bills and mental health are top concerns 
  • When asked which financial areas musicians were most concerned about most said energy bills (61%), followed by rent (16%) and food (14%).
  • 91% have deliberately lowered their heating usage. 

  • 68% said it’s adversely affected their mental health.

Not all musicians have seen a drop in bookings 
  • There are some signs that the crisis is not being felt yet by all musicians, with 1 in 3 saying their booking numbers had stayed the same or even increased. 

  • Classical musicians reported being the least affected with 46% saying their number of gigs had stayed the same or increased since the crisis (survey taken before BBC cuts announced).

Support for musicians 
  • The most popular places of support for musicians reported were PRS, Help Musicians UK and the Musicians Union, and ISM. 

About EncoreEncore Musicians is a marketplace platform with over 42,000 registered live musicians in the UK. So far, Encore has helped artists earn over £5 million and provided live music for over 10,000 events ranging from weddings and birthday parties to corporate parties and festivals. 

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

This sort of thing needs to be addressed from the inside too. Rumour has it that a well known former figure on the North East jazz scene pretends to want to help less well off musicians but really only helps private school educated wealthy ones and embarrasses the working class musicians, resulting in them getting less work and money. Very few people on the inside want to sort this issue out .

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