The anti-vaxxers and Covid-denying dingbats would have you believe that right is on their side. They say this because they believe it – and they believe it because they say it very loudly and very often. And they rarely allow themselves to be bothered by things such as “facts” and “the truth” – anyone stating “facts” is being paid by Bill Gates or whichever figure they hate this week.
Which brings me nicely to Danny Rampling. Fresh from a state of consternation over his 17-year old son announcing he would be having the Covid jab, here’s something which is likely to have the okay-ish DJ spluttering his milk and cornflakes all over the kitchen table on this fine Wednesday morning.
MusicWatch have done a survey of people who like going to gigs and asked them questions to find out what their stance is on Covid rules and regulations. And Mr Rampling will not be a happy bunny when he reads this! 70% of respondents confirm they’re already double jabbed. 67% of them support the use of masks at gigs.
And in a statistic which is likely to give any anti-vaxxer a rubbish start to the day – only 6% of those polled said they would refuse to enter a venue with safety rules in place. This included mandatory wearing of masks or proof of a negative test or double jab status. Even in people who were unvaccinated, the number only went up to 30%.
Yep, they still couldn’t muster a majority in this category…
Vaccine passes (as they insist on calling them) came into use in Wales yesterday. If you want to enter a nightclub or a few other specific settings in the country now, you must either prove you’re double jabbed or provide a negative lateral flow test result which is a maximum of 48 hours old. But their introduction has caused controversy, and it’s not just simply because of the original proposals on the table.
Last week, a vote took place in the Welsh Parliament to see whether members would support it. Now, the Welsh Parliament currently operates a half and half system. Half of members are allowed to place their votes in person, and the other half do so remotely. And it’s at this point we centre in on the Member of the Senedd (that’s the Welsh for Parliament, before you ask) for Vale of Clwyd in north Wales – a Tory called Gareth Davies.
At the time of the vote, he was at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, so took advantage of the system which allowed him to place his vote remotely. Only things didn’t work out. Davies put out a statement on Twitter afterwards explaining what happened from his side…
Since then, Davies hasn’t said anything more about the subject – he isn’t responding to my emails and the Welsh Conservative Party declined to comment when contacted by this blog yesterday. The vote passed by 28 to 27, and he made clear in advance he would be voting against it. So vaccine passes would have been, at the least, delayed if his vote had been placed. But this lack of transparency over what happened last week simply isn’t good enough.
I’d like to see a timetable detailing exactly what happened and when it happened, Details like who Davies spoke to and what he was advised to do should be released. At what point was he told the vote would take place without him, and how did he respond? And just why did he choose to go to Manchester on a week where the crucial vote was going to take place?
A word of advice, Mr Davies. This refusal to comment any further, especially when his vote could potentially have delayed or even stopped vaccine passes completely, does you no favours. At best, it makes you look like an idiot. At worst, it looks like you’ve been gagged. Start talking, Gareth…
For many years in London, services on the Tube ended at around 1am each day and reopened about 5.30am. This was to allow maintenance jobs to take place and to avoid creating more noise in an already noisy city. Blame for this lies with the Victorians – how dare they fail to foresee over a century into the future, eh?
During the 90s, all kinds of work was done to modernise the network – thus allowing a limited night time service to open in 2014 on Friday and Saturday nights. The service was suspended during the pandemic, notably because it meant there was pretty much nothing open at night. But calls for it to reopen – England lifted almost all its lockdown restrictions nearly three months ago – are getting louder.
There’s just one major problem. Those who talk about its continued closure being a threat to the safety of women are certainly correct – I don’t dispute this. But the reason the Night Tube hasn’t started again in earnest is simple. Money. Or rather, their lack of it.
Allow me to explain. In June 2021, the Government gave Transport for London – who run the Tube – a bailout worth almost £1.1billion. And this wasn’t their first. In May 2020, they received £1.6billion to stop them from going under. The bailouts came with strict conditions – including finding over £300million of spending cuts.
I can’t imagine the Night Tube is cheap to run. Transport for London remains quite heavily unionised by modern standards and they went on strike in the past when the terms being offered for agreeing to the graveyard shifts weren’t to the union’s liking. So bringing it back is going to cost in extra wages, electricity and all the other expenses which come with running train services. Not cheap.
Anyone wanting to bring back London’s Night Tube might therefore be best speaking not to Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, but rather Prime Minister Boris Johnson. And unfortunately, he’s away on holiday. Again…
Two weeks ago, a 20-year old man died at the Warehouse Project after taking drugs. The club made no comment on their social media pages, something which irked me on the Sunday after it happened – and irked me even more the following week. Nearly two weeks later, Warehouse Project have finally said something.
So here’s the statement for anyone who fancies reading it. Take your time – it really is as bad as it looks…
It turns out that more happened that night than was first reported. It’s unclear whether the two events are linked – I’ll leave it up to Greater Manchester Police to work that out. But it turns out a 21-year old and a 20-year old were stabbed just outside the venue on the same evening.
And here’s where things get rather farcical. Because the pond life who carried out the stabbings were refused entry into the club by security earlier in the evening – yet still managed to get in anyway. How on earth did they give security the slip? And how the hell did they get those knives into the building when it has security and a police presence outside?
Someone somewhere has got big questions to answer here. I’ll let the police get on with working that out – although they might have a few awkward questions of their own to answer. But firstly, I must query whether Warehouse Project uses the same publicist as the one who advised Diplo to publish a long, rambling statement on his social media yesterday. That person might want to find their new calling in life…
England reopened their nightclubs on July 19th. Wales reopened theirs on August 7th and Scotland followed on August 9th. Clubs have also opened up in much of Europe, the USA and other countries. High uptake of the Covid vaccination programme is being typically cited as the reason why this is able to happen.
But Northern Ireland’s nightclubs have curiously remained shut – and even last week as the UK-wide furlough scheme came to an end, there was no explanation forthcoming of why they remained closed. Despite my best attempts to find out, no one could quite elaborate on how nightclubs were meant to pay wages with no money coming in and no furlough scheme available.
In life, however, remember that other people can hear you even when they appear not to be listening. Hence why yesterday, the Northern Ireland Executive finally announced that nightclubs can reopen again – but in a particularly weird twist, not until October 31st. Maybe there’s some kind of Halloween joke to be made there…
Asking for proof of double jabbing or a negative lateral flow test is being recommended, but isn’t essential. Which is hardly surprising – Scotland launched a vaccine passport app earlier this week. Initial reports say it doesn’t work.
And the legal threats haven’t gone away either. I approached one of the companies which previously threatened to take the Executive to court over its refusal to open nightclubs – they simply said “We’ll talk to our solicitors again over the next few days to discuss our options”…
When festivals and clubland went into a sort of forced hiatus last year, a lot of soul searching started to take place. This isn’t something which comes easily to the people who run the scene. They’re so fixated on whatever’s coming up next that the idea of reflection is practically anaethema to them. So when people started to notice that festivals in particular were filled with rich, white men, they promised to change.
The promise to change, of course, meant as much as a promise from a violent husband to his battered wife, worried she’s about to leave him. He has no intention of following through with his empty words – and the festival bosses are exactly the same. As I wrote recently, the rich white men are the ones paying their bills right now – and neither has any intention of moving aside for anyone.
I wrote recently about the Isle of Wight Festival 2022 and pointed out almost no women were on the bill. And now, Annabel Ross – a journalist who helped bring allegations of sexual abuse by Derrick May to a wider audience – has been “crunching the numbers”, as she puts it, over the Electric Daisy Festival, due to take place in Las Vegas later this month. It’s worth reading her four-tweet thread on the subject for context. She doesn’t hold back…
I just crunched the numbers on the Electric Daisy Carnival lineup so that you don't have to. By my count, 285 artists are appearing over the three day event. Of those 285, 23 are women, 9 are Black and 15 are NBPOC (non-Black people of colour). pic.twitter.com/aZYcQWEaCG
She’s right, though. 285 acts, 23 women and just 24 acts who aren’t white. For a scene which was founded largely by black gay men in the likes of Chicago and Detroit, that is an utterly depressing indictment of where things are today.
It’s hard to escape the feeling that the dance music world has been utterly colonised…
Ibiza this year has been a strange place. My sources, who know the island far better than I likely ever will, say it’s been one where illicit, small raves have been dominant more than anything else. With Covid still causing problems around the world, the streets have been noticeably quieter than a normal summer season.
The dance music press have been banging on for weeks about when they’re going to reopen. Now, vaccine passports have caused some legal controversy in Spain – so the proposals to reopen Ibiza using these passes to do so had to be cleared through the courts. And the trouble with the legal system is it can take a while.
They’ve now finally cleared it, and the clubs can reopen on October 8th. Yet most won’t. And this has come as something of a surprise to the dance music press – people who typically know nothing about running a business.
How are they meant to stock up their bars with no idea how many will come? Where are the staff going to come from to actually run it? And who on earth wants to go to Ibiza in late October anyway, just as they’re closing up for the year?
Clubbing as you knew it on the island isn’t coming back until next year. And my sources mention that a few of the clubs are already financially troubled. So it might not be exactly as you know it…
Back in 2015, Felix Da Housecat paid a visit to Germany. He was in the city of Berlin – and having presumably heard of the infamous Berghain nightclub, he decided to pay a visit. The club is well known for being particularly fussy over who they let in – it’s not unheard of for the venue to let you in one week and refuse entry the following week.
Anyone going to Berghain does so with no guarantee they’ll get in. Numerous articles have been written over the years about what to do to increase your odds and what not to do. Felix Da Housecat, however, chose not to read any of this material to up his chances.
They refused to let him in. Only his side of the story has ever been heard – mostly because he shouted the loudest and also because dance music journalists are normally too lazy to ask. He responded to the snub with a series of expletive-filled tweets, accusing Berghain of being racist and disrespecting Chicago.
Not so, according to two sources. They say that he was caught jumping the queue. They claim he just cut in and hoped no one would notice – but unfortunately for him, the doormen at Berghain did.
Infact, one source was actually in the queue that very evening and clearly recalls what happened. She says “He was being a d**k, basically. He cut in line, and started acting like he was something special. He just came across as a p***k. Then when he got to the front and they shook their heads, he flipped out.”
“He started banging on about being a really big DJ and mentioned he was from the same city as Frankie Knuckles. At one point, he even used the ‘don’t you know who I am?’ line. One or two of the doormen were almost laughing at this point, it was ridiculous.”.
Another source confirmed the story as being correct, simply summing up saying “The reason Felix was turned away was nothing to do with racism and everything to do with him acting like an entitled a***hole.”.
Funny how none of those details made it into his rant, isn’t it?