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Half of Britons priced out of attending live music events in recent years



Just over half of Britons have been prevented from attending a live music event in recent years due to rising ticket prices.

The finding emerged from a YouGov poll which paints a troubling picture for the UK live music scene, particularly amid the current cost of living crisis. While live music remains popular – 60 per cent of respondents had been to at least one gig in their lifetime and 14 per cent are “regular” gig goers – the poll found that 18 per cent of Brits had “frequently” been priced out of attending shows due to the cost of tickets.

Just over three-quarters of people (77 per cent) described concerts as “expensive”, with 44 per cent saying they were “very expensive”. Among gig-goers, 75 per cent had paid upwards of £50 for a concert ticket, 36 per cent had spent over £100 on one and 9 per cent over £200.

In comparison, when asked what they would consider a fair price to see a popular act at a large scale concert, 53 per cent said £40 or less.

The Music Venue Trust released a statement onto their Facebook responding to YouGov’s findings, in which that they emphasised that there are still ways of seeing live music at more affordable prices in grassroots venues.

The UK public says less than £40 is a fair price for a live music ticket. The headline says people are being ‘priced out…

Posted by Music Venue Trust on Friday, December 23, 2022

“There are literally hundreds of brilliant, live affirming, incredible shows happening every single day at local grassroots music venues. The average price of admission is £10.90 a ticket, but there’s almost certainly one near you this week for less than a tenner. They are performed by fantastically talented musicians, just as good as any you’ll see on a huge stage,” they wrote.

There won’t be flying pianos or cartwheeling robots, but these days there will be great sound and lighting, delivered by professional technicians. Bar prices are affordable, the staff are welcoming, and the audience in them wants you there as part of the community. And no, Harry Styles isn’t playing, but you know who is? Somebody who deserves an audience just as much, who has written as many songs, is just as passionate about the music they are making, who has something to perform for you that you might fall in love with.”

They added: “There’s something seriously wrong there, because it’s literally the cheapest, easiest, most accessible cultural experience there is.”

The organisation pledged to “find the one third of the public who didn’t attend a show in 2022 and make sure they know what they are missing out on”.

“Let’s get out into our communities and make sure that every single person in them knows they have access to live music. Lets ensure our local and national press are reflecting that. Let’s see the incredible music from these fantastic spaces on our TV, talked about on our radio, part of the national discussion of who we are and what we do.”

The YouGov poll also revealed that the general public are largely against the idea of surge pricing, with half of respondents saying they are “strongly against” the new practice of ticket sites like Ticketmaster inflating ticket prices in line with demand in a similar fashion to pricing systems for taxis or hotel rooms. Although the system is designed to combat ticket touting, only 5 per cent of the public support it. It has been widely criticised as being unfair to fans who could be left out of pocket if they want to see their favourite big-name artists live.

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Sam Ryder discusses fronting Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes



Sam Ryder has told NME of his past fronting a Texan hardcore band called Close Your Eyes.

The pop star and UK Eurovision entrant is NME‘s Big Read cover star for Christmas 2022, and talked about his Number One album ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ as well as his journey to get there.

Ryder began playing in the band The Morning After as a teenager – he described their music as “Iron Maiden wannabe… not as good” – saying: “It was really fun. I have such fond memories of, like, thinking I was writing these songs that were going to change the world but [which] really weren’t.

“But that’s an important part of being in a band. I think when you’re that young, you’ve got to have that belief that you’re doing something good.”

After that, the singer linked up with Texas hardcore band Close Your Eyes as their frontman. He explained: “I was a singer, songwriter [and] really part of those guys. And it was a hardcore punk band, which was something totally new for me.”

Of how he joined the band, Ryder went on: “I heard they needed a singer so I sent them a clip of me singing. In that scene, there are so many singers who are really great at screaming – you know, the hardcore punk vocals. I wasn’t necessarily great at that, but I was good at clean singing.”

He said he stood out as a candidate because “there weren’t as many strong clean singers on the scene. And I just thought, ‘I’ll deal with the screaming thing as and when it comes!’”

Discussing his stint on 2014’s Warped Tour with the band, Ryder told NME: “I was the only person on that tour who managed to shower every single day.

“The showers on that tour – they’re the grossest thing on earth, you don’t want to go near them,” he says. “So instead, I’d walk the perimeter of the stadium [we were playing at] and try to find a little faucet or a tap. I’d be rooting up the sprinkler system if I had to!”

This month (December 9), Ryder released his debut album, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’. Reviewing the album, NME wrote: “The odd well-intentioned platitude hardly spoils an album of killer choruses on which Ryder’s infectious likeability shines through at all times.

“Next time he might want to chuck in a few more curveballs, but for now, ‘There’s Nothing But Space, Man!’ sounds like the beginning of what could be a really stellar career.”

Ryder has also revealed the impact a surfing accident had on his life. The accident happened when the Eurovision runner-up was on holiday in Hawaii four years ago, and led him to re-evaluate his life, pushing him to put more effort into his music career.

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Little Mix’s Leigh-Anne Pinnock shares update on progress of solo music



Little Mix‘s Leigh-Anne Pinnock has shared an update on the progress of her first music as a solo artist.

The girl group went on indefinite hiatus earlier this year after their tour in support of their most recent album ‘Confetti’. Pinnock has since been preparing to embark on a solo career and has been working with the producer Hit-Boy, who has previously worked with Beyonce and Rihanna.

Now, Pinnock has said in a newsletter that she will give fans “as much music as I can” when it’s ready. “I’ve been working really hard on music that’s coming together slowly but surely. I’m so happy with what we’ve made so far but I know there’s much more to do,” she wrote.

“I’ve been so lucky to work with some incredible songwriters, producers and creatives so far and I can’t wait for you to hear what we’ve made.”

She added: “I’ve got some exciting projects I can’t wait to share with you all, and of course, I’ll be giving you as much music as I can as soon as it’s ready.”

Pinnock has also taken a step into the acting world. She appeared in the Christmas rom-com Boxing Day last year, which was the first UK Christmas film to feature an all-Black cast.

Speaking to NME about how Little Mix bandmates Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards reacted to the news, Pinnock said: “They were so happy for me. They’re going to be at the premiere. Honestly, they’re just so proud.

“We’re very supportive of what we all do individually and we all just want each other to win, because then we all win. It’s lovely and it’s going to be amazing having them there next to me supporting me. It’s going to be a very emotional night.”

Pinnock’s bandmate Jade Thirlwall is also going solo, having signed a global deal with RCA earlier this year.

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The Strokes discuss “magical” experience working with Rick Rubin on new album



The Strokes have discussed the “magical” experience of working with Rick Rubin on their upcoming new album.

  • READ MORE: The Strokes’ world-changing ‘Is This It’ at 20: “They had a ‘last gang in town’ mentality”

The band recently completed a recording session with the legendary producer in the mountains of Costa Rica. “We rented this house up on the top of a mountain and set the band up outside,” Rubin explained while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience.

“So they’re playing… It’s like they’re doing a concert for the ocean, on the top of a mountain,” he added. “It was incredible. And we did that every day, playing out in the [open], and they didn’t want to leave. It was, like, the best experience.”

Discussing the experience further in a new chat with Maxim, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. said: “I don’t think if I told you what it looked like and what it was, you’d fully understand the ‘magical-ness’ of where we were and how it was to record like that.

“It felt really touching that one of his favourite recording experiences was this one he just had right now.”

Of the band’s future, Hammond added: “I really think what excites me about wanting to play music and continue doing it is, I don’t think we’ve written our best songs yet. I really feel that in my gut.”

Rubin and The Strokes first joined forces in 2017, when they began working on ‘The New Abnormal’. The album was released in April of 2020 as their sixth full-length effort, supported by singles like ‘At The Door’, ‘Bad Decisions’, ‘Brooklyn Bridge To Chorus’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’.

Elsewhere, the band recently announced plans to release a special vinyl box set featuring singles from their first three albums, B-sides and rarities.

‘The Singles – Volume 01’, which is released on February 24, 2023 via RCA Records/Legacy Recordings, features every 7 inch single from their 2001 debut ‘Is This It’, 2003 follow-up ‘Room On Fire’ and 2006’s ‘First Impressions of Earth’ as well as rare B-sides from the original single releases.

All ten singles will be pressed on black vinyl, with the artwork from each original release replicated in the package. It is available to pre-order here now.

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