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By Posted on 0 5

Paul McCartney, Liam Gallagher, Dua Lipa and more are among 1,500 artists who have signed an open letter calling for support for the UK’s live music scene. Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones and Coldplay also signed the letter to the culture secretary warning of the impact of Covid-19 on venues and musicians.

It says the music industry faces “mass insolvencies”, with gigs and festivals unlikely to return until 2021.

The organisers said there had already been “hundreds of redundancies”. Job losses have been reported across venues, agencies and promoters, they said.

The letter to Oliver Dowden reads: “With no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.”

It calls for a “clear, conditional timeline” for reopening venues without social distancing, as well as financial support and a VAT exemption on ticket sales.
Image caption Skepta was also among the signatories

Eric Clapton, Beverley Knight, Little Mix and Skepta are among the other stars to have added their names to the campaign, entitled Let the Music Play.

In response, a spokeswoman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the government was “already providing unprecedented financial assistance which many music organisations and artists have taken advantage of”, pointing to loans and the job retention scheme: “We recognise that this pandemic has created major challenges for the sector and are working closely with them to develop comprehensive guidance for performances and events to return as soon as possible,” she said.
Music venues have been closed since mid-March, and the government has not given a date for the return of live performances.

Writing on Twitter, the culture secretary said he was looking to provide the music industry with a “clear roadmap back” and fixed dates for when venues could reopen.

Mr Dowden added: “These involve v difficult decisions about the future of social distancing, which we know has saved lives.”
Research carried out by Media Insight Consulting and published alongside the open letter suggested the UK music industry contributed £4.5bn to the UK economy in 2019 and supported 210,000 jobs, across a range of different professions.
Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons, said: “When people think about Britishness I hope that they’re talking these days about Stormzy through to the Beatles.”People kind of assume it is a just a self-fulfilling industry that doesn’t really need much help – rock and grime and pop – but actually it needs help sometimes and right now it really does.”


YOU GAVE ME THE ANSWER: How Do You Take Your Tea?

By Posted on 0 7

Here at the office, tea is a big deal. With milk, without milk, with two sugars, with no sugar, with honey… Everyone has their own preference, and it’s a lot to remember if it’s your turn to do the 3pm tea run!

Paul also enjoys a cuppa (what else would we expect from the guy who wrote a song called ‘English Tea’?), so we thought this question from the aptly-named “Teatlemania” on Twitter was very appropriate: how do you take your tea? We spoke with Paul via Zoom to find out…

Paul: How do I take my tea? I take my tea with some soya milk and one sugar. If I’m really feeling naughty, one and a half sugars… I know, I’m living on the edge!

The funny thing is, I’m not a big tea drinker, but at the studio these things become a ritual. You guys have seen me drink it at the office too. It’s like – here’s a bagel, with a cup of tea. And that’s the only time I ever really have tea. I drink it at the studio or at the office, it just seems to fit. I don’t want a big lunch, so just that bagel and tea is great. And yeah, that’s how I take it – soya milk and one sugar.


By Posted on 0 9

Paul McCartney’s 10th solo album, 1997’s Flaming Pie, will become the 13th instalment in his Grammy-winning Archive Collection on 31 July. The acclaimed set, which featured such favourites as Young Boy, Calico Skies and Beautiful Night, has been remastered by Abbey Road’s Alex Wharton and will be released in multiple formats with a collection of home recordings, demos and other rarities.

Flaming Pie was originally released on 5 May 1997, ending a four year gap between McCartney studio albums since Off The Ground. It was recorded largely after Paul’s involvement in the curation and release of The Beatles’ Anthology series and took inspiration from that experience. Produced by Paul, Jeff Lynne, and George Martin and featuring a supporting cast of family and friends including Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, Linda McCartney, and son James, Flaming Pie is equal parts a masterclass in songcraft and a burst of joyful spontaneity.

Flaming Pie represented a peak in Paul’s solo catalogue. Released to rapturous reviews, the album would be Paul’s most commercially successful release of the ’90s, achieving his highest chart positions since the ’80s and would receive gold certifications in the US, UK, Japan and more.

Long time collaborator, Abbey Road’s Alex Wharton, was at the helm for the remastering process and spoke of his delight to work on the project: “Another honour and pleasure to work with Paul on Flaming Pie. From speculating on the Cosmic Solution to Angels of Love protecting us, this album definitely covers the intricacies of Life. We have given depth and warmth to all tracks while increasing dynamics from the original, to let the songs breathe and speak for themselves. The bonus tracks show the pureness and simplicity of Paul’s songwriting in the kitchen or lounge! Great stuff.”

The formats for the Flaming Pie archive sets include a 5CD/2DVD/4LP Collector’s Edition and a Box Set  ,   5CD/2DVD Deluxe Edition as well as 3LP, 2LP and 2CD formats. All digital pre-orders for the release will include Young Boy and The World Tonight, is also available as a EP.


By Posted on 0 6

Paul McCartney has spoken out against the serving of meat in schools, arguing that the practise shouldn’t be mandatory. Paul made the case in a letter to education secretary Gavin Williamson co-signed by daughters Stella and Mary, as part of a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)-backed campaign. The letter coincides with a consultation process for a review of Britain’s food system called the National Food Strategy. In a statement, the McCartneys said: ‘No one needs to eat meat, so it shouldn’t be mandatory to serve it in schools. ‘It’s time to revise the School Food Standards to help the planet, spare animals, and promote healthy eating.’

They also called for more climate-friendly vegan options served in schools, after a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) poll indicated 70% of schoolchildren would back such a move. The letter states: ‘So long as nutritional needs are met, individual school caterers should have the freedom to decide whether they wish to include meat and dairy in their menus.’ Under current guidance, it’s obligatory for England’s schools to serve meat most days of the week, dairy on Mondays-Fridays and oily fish at least once every three weeks. Also backing the letter are Green MP Caroline Lucas, Greenpeace, Veganuary and Compassion in World Farming. The McCartneys are the founders of the Meat-Free Monday movement.