Somewhere, a village is missing its idiot! Man who moved to flat next to iconic Night & Day café in Manchester’s Northern Quarter during lockdown complains about noise – from the Night & Day café…

There’s stupid, there’s really stupid and then there’s a special level of stupid only reserved for particularly dim-witted individuals. And the individual in this story well and truly belongs in the third category – although he’s far from the first to try this illogical, moronic nonsense in recent years.

Over in Manchester, the Night & Day café – which helped launch the careers of the likes of the Arctic Monkeys – has received a noise abatement notice from Manchester City Council. Why’s that? Because a resident who lives very nearby has made a complaint that the café – which produces a certain amount of noise due to it being a venue where music is played and performed – is too noisy and should turn the volume down.

From the moment the complaint was received, suspicions were abound that the complainant was an idiot. The person in question obviously isn’t familar with Abraham Lincoln’s claim that it’s “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt” – he’s made the terribly unwise decision to give an interview to the Manchester Evening News.

In it, he claims he moved to the area knowing that Night & Day was nearby and that he’s spent £17,000 on insultating his house – those morons who glue themselves to the M25 stopping ambulances from getting sick patients to hospital will be very pleased. But he then claims Night & Day aren’t keeping to the terms of their licence, saying the club nights are the trouble.

A petition has been launched by people who are almost as stupid as the complainant. If they seriously believe that a petition has any legal effect, they’d be sorely mistaken. In reality, Night & Day now has to either appeal against the notice or accept its terms for the duration.

If they don’t, a £20,000 fine could be arriving in the post…

As Rebekah and Sacha Wall’s #ForTheMusic talk is set to happen this Friday after being delayed twice, here are a few questions the movement’s leader WON’T be asked in the puff piece interview…

Time appears to be running away from player of dubious techno music and very occasional campaign leader Rebekah Teasdale. The DJ, known simply by her first name, has now twice failed to appear for an interview with Sacha Wall, her colleague in the well-intentioned but beleaguered #ForTheMusic movement.

This interview was originally meant to go out on November 11th. Then it was moved over to November 19th, last Friday. With barely hours to go, Wall announced on Twitter that the show was being postponed. No date was given, but the website has been updated to say 4pm UK time on Friday 26th November.

What were the two so busy with? It’s unclear at the moment. Wall spent yesterday telling us she couldn’t be at an anti-vax protest whilst refusing to divulge what she thought was more important. And Rebekah was busy saving her bank balance with gigs in Madrid and London.

With the interview now having been rescheduled twice, I can’t help but wonder what’s going on. Perhaps it’s simply been bad luck, or perhaps Sacha Wall is short of questions to ask her long-time friend. So allow me, for what it’s worth, to assist with a few queries which could make for an interview that’s actually interesting.

  • You launched the #ForTheMusic movement back in September last year, at a time when the overwhelming majority of touring DJs like yourself were unable to work. Now that your touring schedule has resumed, do you believe you have the time and resources required to lead a movement like this?
  • You were either aware of Francesco Tristano’s connections to Derrick May or you weren’t. If you weren’t, when did you become aware of them? And if you were aware of them when you first met, what on earth possessed you to think working with a known Derrick May associate was a good thing?
  • You’ve also been pictured with Alan Oldham, another associate of Derrick May who replied with “That’s Derrick” when allegations first surfaced about him. Doesn’t this call your judgement into real question?
  • The blurb on the iStreem Radio website mentions the allegations made against Erick Morillo as a point of discussion. And whilst this is obviously fair, no reference is made to Derrick May. Given the movement started after allegations over May surfaced, what’s the reason for this omission?
  • You are dealing with some very powerful forces in dance music here, and they could well respond to this campaign by pointing out your own background in the world of pornography. Are you prepared for this and what would you say back to them?

That should be enough to get an interesting conversation going – but they’re pretty unlikely to be asked. A source tells me at least part of the focus on Friday will be to make announcements about what happens next with the movement.

For Rebekah’s sake and everyone else, this had better be good. People have waited long enough to see this vital movement start to move forward…

Is there ANYONE left in dance music with principles? MDL Beast Soundstorm 2021 lineup is like the McDonald’s of festivals – and the number of DJs prepared to accept Saudi blood money will shock you…

Back on September 6th, this blog posed a question. Do DJs care more about their bank balances than anything else in the world? For those in the upper echelons of dance music, the answer is – bar the odd exception – yes. Hence why they’re happy to do gigs in Texas at a time when a woman’s right to abortion services was being threatened.

I’ve also commented recently about how the big festivals are essentially one giant McDonald’s style franchise. Most of them are organised by a small handful of companies. No matter which one you go to, the lineup is much the same. A steady supply of Big Macs for those on the bill, scraps of a Filet-O-Fish for everyone else.

The superstar DJs of the 90s were frequently accused of greed – generally correctly too – but this new generation takes it to new, utterly shameless levels. Which is why seeing the likes of Carl Cox, David Guetta, Charlotte De Witte and Sven Väth on the bill for MDL Beast Soundstorm, due to take place between December 16th and 19th, really should surprise no one…

But notice the location of this event – Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. To many out there, the first thing that springs to mind when hearing this country’s name are human rights abuses. These are documented extensively by Human Rights Watch and many others.

For example, the country does not recognise LGBT rights. Homosexuality can be punished by death. The practice of any religion other than Islam is illegal. Tens of thousands are being held by the state in prisons with no idea why. And when journalists are brutally murdered, the regime lies about it.

But the DJs on this lineup obviously aren’t interested in any of that. After all, why would they be bothered by the fact they’re being used by the Saudi government to whitewash their human rights record? It appears their priorities are their own bank balances – they want them filled back up and they don’t care where the money comes from.

And guess what? That’s exactly what’s happening here. Every single DJ on this list is being used as a propaganda tool by the Saudi government – who do they think is paying for this festival? Step forward, The General Entertainment Authority for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

At least one or two DJs on this lineup must have a conscience. They should rethink their decision to appear at this propaganda event – and that’s putting it very mildly…

Vaccine passports don’t stop anyone catching or transmitting Covid-19 – so why has Northern Ireland become the latest in Europe to approve their use? Read on and you’ll find out…

A while ago, a friend told me “these politicians never think anything through these days, do they?”. And whilst my friend is indisputably correct with his observation, it also suggests there was a time when politicians, in fact, did think things through. It’s a curious notion to entertain on this Friday afternoon, but I digress.

Vaccine passports are the current idea that politicians haven’t bothered to think through. They’re utterly pointless. If Covid vaccines stopped you from catching the illness or passing it on to someone else, I could see some merit in the idea – as much as the prospect of having to verify your medical history to get into the likes of a restaurant makes me baulk.

But they don’t. Whilst the Covid-19 vaccine does provide protection against the virus, it’s not total. So this renders vaccine passports an irrelevance. As I wrote a while ago, a Spanish court previously ruled they could actually increase the rates of transmission – because a person who’s Covid positive but doesn’t know it yet could enter a venue with their vaccine passport and transmit it.

This, of course, hasn’t stopped politicians in Northern Ireland from becoming the latest to agree to the introduction of mandatory vaccine passports. This means they join Scotland, Wales, the Republic of Ireland, France, Germany and numerous other European nations in insisting on proof of vaccination to enter places like nightclubs.

One of my Twitter contacts was speaking to me about this very subject this week and estimated if you took Covid patients out of the equation, NHS hospitals in Northern Ireland would already be running at around 97% of available capacity already – and it’s only November. Which suggests to me the real problem in the province is a failure to invest properly in the NHS frontline over a period of many years.

The only question now is what Northern Ireland will do when vaccine passports inevitably fail to bring the numbers down. Several EU countries, including the Republic of Ireland, have them in place – but case numbers are rocketing in many. We’re in for one hell of a long winter…

Midnight curfew for Ireland’s nightclubs, and vaccine passports popping up all over the place – does anyone else fancy an extra strong coffee this morning?

Nightclubs, by their very definition, are supposed to be open at night. Which is why eyebrows were raised when the Netherlands announced last week that nightclubs would have to close at the notably early hour of 8pm. When you go for a night out clubbing, I get the feeling being at home in time to watch the News At Ten isn’t what you have in mind.

And not surprisingly, it looks like other countries are carefully watching the Dutch do their homework and taking notes. Ireland is the first to do so, with their Taoiseach (that means Prime Minister, if you’re wondering) Micheàl Martin confirming that nightclubs in the Republic of Ireland will have to obey a midnight curfew as of this weekend.

Quite why countries keep failing to learn from each other’s mistakes during this pandemic remains a mystery to me. When England had a 10pm closing time in place for pubs and restaurants last year, it led to everyone being thrown out on the streets at the time. In cities like London, it inevitably meant the Tube being hammered with loads of passengers at the same time – which hardly seems a sensible way to prevent a virus spreading.

Elsewhere, mandatory vaccine passports are due to be discussed by the Northern Ireland Executive today – as I covered yesterday. And Scotland are proposing to extend where you’ll need to show proof of being double vaccinated in order to get in.

This week’s getting very complicated already – and it’s only Wednesday. Might be a morning for having an extra strong coffee, this one…

Northern Ireland’s health minister wants mandatory vaccine passports brought in amidst Covid numbers which won’t come down – but are they really the solution he’s looking for?

It’s no exaggeration to say that the NHS is under a lot of pressure across the UK. It often is in winter time – which isn’t unusual due to respiratory viruses being more prevalent during colder times of the year. But Covid adds an extra layer to an already complicated situation for hospitals.

And in Northern Ireland, the NHS is in serious trouble. There’s no other way to put it. Every hospital in the province is already running above capacity – over the weekend, a hospital in Craigavon had to divert ambulances to other regions. And the winter hasn’t even arrived yet.

It’s amidst this background that the Northern Ireland Health Secretary Robin Swann has taken time off from suing Van Morrison in order to say he wants mandatory vaccine passports introduced as soon as possible. He’ll be bringing the subject to Stormont when representatives of the area’s political parties meet up tomorrow.

Now, allow me to remind everyone – this blog is not anti-vax at all. I’m very much pro-vaccination – I’m double jabbed myself. But Covid cases in Northern Ireland are not spiking at the moment. The case numbers have remained in the low four figures for the past four weeks.

And besides, vaccine passports come with their problems. It’s proven vaccines help reduce side effects – to nothing in some cases – but they don’t stop you catching the virus or transmitting it. Infact, a Spanish court previously suggested they provide false reassurance and could actually increase the number of people getting Covid.

So why is the idea being pushed now? A clue might be found by looking across the border – their introduction of vaccine passports is credited with having increased vaccination rates in younger people. Whether this is true or not isn’t something I can establish – but the argument may well seem attractive to an establishment whose options are rather limited.

In the Scottish Parliament, vaccine passports were pushed through thanks to the SNP being kingmakers at the time. England hasn’t introduced them, due to varying ranges of opposition – and Wales demand either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to gain entry to various venues. What way a Stormont with five parties – one apparently completely opposed to their use – will go remains to be seen. Expect an update later this week…

The original version of this article erroneously claimed Wales does not have a vaccine passport scheme. This was incorrect. In fact, Wales does have a “vaccine pass scheme”, as the Welsh government call it. The only difference to the Scotland and Republic of Ireland schemes is that Wales also accept a negative Covid test no older than 48 hours old in order to enter certain venues. Apologies for the error.

As nightclubs in Netherlands have to close at 8pn for three weeks due to rising Covid numbers, what are the odds of the same happening elsewhere over the tough winter months?

If you’re in the Netherlands and you were hoping to go clubbing this weekend, I can only offer you sympathy at this time. Last Friday, the current caretaker Prime Minister of the country Mark Rutte placed the country back into a lockdown of sorts – not quite the closing of whole swathes of the economy as seen before, but enough to certainly cause some ruptions.

Nightclubs must now close for three weeks at 8pm. Covid cases seem to be going up dramatically in much of mainland Europe at the moment. And whilst Britain’s numbers seem to be falling slightly right now, cases for our nearest neighbour in Ireland have increased substantially over the past month.

Which leaves me thinking it’s now a distinct possibility other countries – I include the USA in this list as well – could follow suit over the next few months. Last year, many countries had varying degrees of restrictions in place, which aren’t there anymore. But we also have a vaccine now. So the truth is no one’s quite sure what the virus will be able to do this winter.

And from what I understand, this is a thought which has crossed the minds of recent DJ agencies in days gone by as well. The fact that clubs are open again now and could be closed again with very little notice has not gone unnoticed. Which reminds me of a post from Friday with the latest words from my industry insider.

He started with the words “The pressure that DJs are under at the moment on the festival circuit is like nothing I’ve ever seen before”. He even told me that one of his friends in the DJ world recently tried to commit suicide over the relentless pressure he’s being put under from various sources to do more gigs.

Depressingly,  an email arrived over the weekend from an extremely reliable source confirming at least two further attempts in recent weeks. The identities of the DJs are known to Amateur’s House and are quite well known within the dance music scene, but this blog will not be disclosing their names – for reasons I’d like to think are blindingly obvious to anyone with a brain or a conscience.

We’re heading into a winter which is possibly going to look quite unlike any we’ve ever seen before. I just hope people start to remember that in their desperate attempts to fill their coffers once more…

As Annabel Ross tries to muscle in on the Black Artist Directory, a question – why is it only hypocrisy when a white man does it?

Some people appear to operate on the principle that it’s only hypocrisy when other people do it. They’re so utterly unable to see themselves that they call out what they perceive as bad behaviour in others, yet are completely blind to any of their own faults.

They cannot see the wood from the trees. And that suits me fine when choosing subjects to blog about on this fine Sunday. Last Friday, Annabel Ross hosted a conversation with Niks Delanancy, the co-founder and director of the Black Artists Directory.

A legitimate subject matter? Undoubtedly – the under representation of black artists within dance music is nothing short of a scandal. And as I wrote on Friday, I’m wholeheartedly behind Aluna’s Noir Festival for trying to come up with a real solution to a real problem which the industry couldn’t seem to care less about.

But is Annabel Ross the best person to lead such a discussion? The question has to be asked because she has a real habit of calling people out when she sees such things. For example, this blog published an article on September 24th discussing a Resident Advisor event in where white men weren’t welcome.

Ross got on her soapbox and commented about my “histrionics”. This is despite the fact Resident Advisor’s own article layers on the guilt to dissuade any white men from coming by saying “if [a white man needs] the space, you’re welcome to join but be mindful of the place you may be taking from someone else”.

Even Ross sensed she was on a hiding to nothing after being forced to point out she agreed with my point on accommodating the disabled – who are probably the most varied, diverse community in existence. But the insinuation was clear – as a white man, I had no right to get involved in this debate.

So the question has to be asked – why is Ross, as a white Australian woman, trying to ingratiate herself into a discussion about the black community? It seems fair to ask. After all, she certainly tried to call me out, only giving up when told she was sending huge amounts of traffic to the blog. Or is it only inappropriate when white men do so?

That’s the trouble with pointing fingers at people, Annabel – sooner or later, some of them end up being turned around back in your direction…