Last year I rather upset Tory MP for Hove Mike Weatherley by being less than enthusiastic about the Rock the House competition he was organising amongst MPs to promote live music and intellectual property rights, with the winner playing live in the House of Commons. The contest last year was won by a band called Angry Vs the Bear. I’m not sure who chose them; it was a panel put together by the organisers.
This year, in recognition of the Live Music Bill and the fact that it’s all well-intentioned and Bristol has a thriving live music scene – as the documentary plugged in this piece on Bristol 24/7 shows – I have decided to stop being a spoilsport and to take part. (In fact Bristol lays claim to having more live musicians per capita than anywhere else in the UK). I’ll be putting out a plea in the local press this week for bands to contact me. They can’t have a record contract, I think that’s more or less the only stipulation, apart from of course being from Bristol, and preferably having at least a Bez in the band from my constituency of Bristol East.
More info on the Rock the House website – http://www.rockthehouse2012.com
As you can see Mike’s contacts are mostly within the heavy metal world – Alice Cooper and Ian Gillan are patrons – but he’s also got Robin Gibb on board, and he wants it to cover a broad spectrum of music. It doesn’t have to be rock.
The basic rules seem to be:
– get your entries to your local MP by 16th March
– MP has until mid-April to decide who to enter into the competition. MP can do this by hosting a local Battle of the Bands type competition, with a panel of judges, or MP can take the easy route and just pick the one she likes. If it’s anything like the annual competition to choose my Christmas card pic I will spend an inordinate amount of time consulting my constituency office staff and then tell them they’re wrong and I’m having the one I liked in the first place.
I am rather worried I am going to be inundated with bands I don’t like and then I’ll have to choose one just to be polite, so please – get the entries coming in, especially if you’re exactly the sort of band that doesn’t think they stand a hope in hell.