EC plans to clamp down on noise in the workplace could have serious implications for live music...

MOTORHEAD’S LEMMY has hit out at Europe-wide plans to clamp down on noise in the workplace could sound the death knell for live music as we know it.

Several European Commission members want legal noise levels at pubs, clubs and live music venues brought down to 87 decibels – roughly half the current maximum.

If the plans are given the go-ahead, it could mean noise-limiters being

fitted to club PA systems, or audience members being required to wear

earplugs. The proposal, which is to be given a hearing at the EC in Brussels next week, would also have serious implications for football crowds – and would

effectively outlaw marching pipe bands, too.

[a][/a]singer Lemmy – arguably one of the loudest performers in the world – told NME.COM today (March 7): “The very essence of rock ‘n’ roll is loud music. How the hell can we be expected to enjoy ourselves if we’ve got to turn it


Conal Dodds of London-based promoters Metropolis Music added: “We don’t want anybody’s hearing to be damaged, but to be fair most people shout louder

than 87 decibels. It’s far too quiet. It would mean the end of live rock music as we know it. The sensible thing to do would be to print warnings on tickets. We already do that for many of our bigger shows.”

Experts say extremely loud noise, 130-140 decibels, can cause pain and

possibly immediate damage. But one-off or short-term over-exposures below

that level will not result in permanent hearing loss. Most gigs currently operate at between 96 to 99 decibels.