Young Fathers set to meet local council to boost Edinburgh music scene

Barclaycard Mercury Prize-winners invited for talks over ‘frustrating’ noise limits

Young Fathers have offered to hold talks with council chiefs in their home city of Edinburgh in a bid to improve the area’s live music scene.

The trio met at Edinburgh under-18 club night Bongo’s Lick Shot and say they want to secure “a better deal” for local promoters. In November, local promoters met with council chiefs at Edinburgh venue Usher Hall to address complaints that the council were “too draconian” over red-tape and noise restrictions.

Young Fathers rapper Alloysius Massaquoi told The Scotsman: “Edinburgh is a vibrant, beautiful city. It’d be great if it had a thriving live music scene. It’s so frustrating and I think a lot more could be done. It’s obviously not good at the moment. We’ve been trying to do events for years, and it’s pretty bad when someone from the council turns up with a noise meter, saying ‘You can’t go any higher than this.’”

Edinburgh venue bosses claim the council operates a “zero tolerance” approach to noise issues, with small venues shut down after just a few complaints. Massaquoi, whose band won the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize in October for their debut album ‘Dead’, said: “The council has been aware of the problem for years, so it’s positive that they’re now taking the initiative on it. I don’t see why we couldn’t speak to them about the issues. It’d be good to get an explanation from them to understand how and why it is.”

A council spokeswoman said council chiefs would be in touch with Young Fathers to seek their views. She said: “We very much welcome Young Fathers’ views on how we can enhance Edinburgh’s music scene. We know musicians and venue owners have strong perceptions around the council’s noise licencing. That’s why we have set up a working group to look into how we could do things differently.”

Young Fathers recently announced a 19-date two-part tour of the UK, with the first five dates in March and the remaining 14 shows during May and June.

Young Fathers will play:
Skelmersdale Library (March 13)
Rochdale Library (14)
Glasgow Art School (20)
Newcastle Riverside (21)
Leeds Brudenell Social Club (22)
Galloway Knockengorroch (May 23)
Manchester Gorilla (25)
Nottingham Rescue Rooms (26)
Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach (27)
London Koko (28)
Brighton Haunt (29)
Southampton Engine Rooms (31)
Gloucester Guildhall (June 1)
Oxford O2 Academy (2)
Birmingham Hare And Hounds (3)
Stoke Sugarmill (4)
Norwich Arts Centre (5)
Sheffield O2 Academy (6)
Liverpool Kazimer (7)

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