Sir Paul McCartney warns 'future of music is in danger' as stars protest

SIR Paul McCartney has warned that the "future of music is in danger" as other top stars protested against the closure of small live music venues in the UK today.

11th January 2018
/ By Andrew Wooding

Sir Paul McCartney backs music venue closure protest SCOTTLEGATO/GETTY

The legendary rock star has joined a campaign called "Agent of Change" to save smaller locations from shutting down.

McCartney backed a new Planning Bil put forward by senior Labour MP John Spellar in the House of Commons in the UK today (January 10).

"Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different," said the 75-year-old Beatle.

"If we don't support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger."

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, singer songwriter Nadine Shah, Billy Bragg and a member of the group Everything Everything gathered in Westminster today to support the initiative.

The group carried signs reading "Grass roots venues", "Back the Spellar Bill" and "Agent of Change" while chanting "save live music" to politicians and press.

"I'm just concerned that as a country that, in terms of popular music, has been a world-beater – we've sent our best out there – that we're destroying the seabed by losing our small venues," A New England singer Bragg told NME.

"You've got to look at who's the biggest artist to come out of the UK in the last few year – Ed Sheeran.

"It's just a bloke playing an acoustic guitar. How many kids sitting at home look at Ed and think 'I could do that'?

"But Ed didn't just rock up at the 02. He spent a long time, a few years, playing hundreds of gigs a year, everywhere.

"Going around, travelling, playing – often for nothing. Doing his apprenticeship to get there. That's how it works. No one comes and knocks on your door and says 'son, do you want to do this?'"

The bill would make property develops consider the impact on existing music venues before actioning their development plans.

If you'd like to support Agent of Change, find out more about it and how you can write to your MP here.