Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

The Mayor of Simpleton

I live in the Province of Almeria, in Andalucia, Spain.  An area of the world rich in musical heritage. Indeed, the village next door – Mojacar was revived in the 1960’s when the then Mayor invited artists and musicians to buy the derelict homes of this deserted and forgotten town for just ten pounds each. It was a revolutionary idea – and it worked. Mojacar slowly came back to life, and was fed and financed by a slow but steady tourist industry, clearly distinct from the ‘lager lout’ culture of Benidorm, much further up the coast.

Many foreigners moved here, Brits, Germans, Scandinavians, all bringing their dreams and creating a new economy. But dark clouds loomed on the horizon. As the prominent local families had finally amassed their fortunes from the tourism trade, and swapped their horses and carts for Mercedes, they decided to systematically set about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.  Mojacar, once on the verge of a successful 10 month tourist season thanks to our wonderful climate, saw its trade wither like an old Rioja grape on the vine. August is now about the only time the bar owners get to redress the horrendous losses they make during the rest of the year, and yet the bars have had to cancel the entertainment that would bring in the business, for fear of falling foul of the regulations. That’s a lot of ‘effin there. Damn right.

Dreams began to die on an almost daily basis, as people returned home, broke, and disillusioned.  Now – the fate of this once renaissance village seems to be finally sealed once and for all. The ‘powers that be’ (I shan’t use the word Mayor, as they don’t even come close to the vision shown by their 60’s counterpart) – Have decreed that all bars be fitted with a noise control machine (decimeter) – to be paid for by the owners of course – at 1,500 euros a shot – and to be set at 55 decibels. I fart louder than that.

So, a fait accompli then, because if the bars are reckless enough to book live entertainment, they cannot fail to break the new law. Apparently, if the police are called twice to any venue, the place will be shut down. This, make no bones about it, is Fascism by any other name. What kind of mindset implements laws to kill the very culture that helped rebuild this magical place? It disgusts me, and I state here and now that I find these people beneath my contempt, and their actions reprehensible, not to mention inexplicable.

Oh, and by the way, we have the highest unemployment rate amongst the young of anywhere in Spain.  Yeah, the bosses are doing a great job.

LONG LIVE MUSIC – SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT PROUD, AND PLAY IT LIVE!!!

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July 22, 2011 - Posted by | Music, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. It’s a ridiculous and damaging situation, Kev – entirely self-destructive as far as I can see.

    They may have a duty to monitor noise levels, as any local authority has, but even the H & S busybodies that are earning a nice living here in the UK are not so stupid & short-sighted as to kill the live music culture in their own town.

    As you say, a 55db level is farcical – it presumably means that residents will have to turn down their TVs and radios, too.

    I offer a related story: there’s a famous pub in Birmingham – the Rainbow – that about 18 months or so ago was ordered to close, or to have an expensive soundproofing roof fitted, just because one nouveau-riche killjoy in a nearby penthouse-type flat made a complaint about the sound of late-night music. Er – in a city area with clubs & pubs??!

    Rather than shut up shop, a campaign was started by the Rainbow that won the support of UB40, who played the venue way back in their formative days.

    Music lovers rallied round and I was one of a packed crowd at the band’s fantastic concert that celebrated the venue’s legacy and helped to raise the necessary funds.

    We have to do something to ensure that your area’s live music culture is protected – maybe there should be a Facebook petition or at least some local representation to these misguided moguls.

    Comment by David Mortimer | July 22, 2011

  2. Thanks for your comment, Dave. You’re right , it’s entirely self-destructive. Be in no doubt, a campaign is coming – I’m writing a protest song for free download next week when I return from gigging with BC Sweet in Derby’s twin town of Osnabruck!

    Comment by kevmoore | July 22, 2011

  3. This new “law” is ridiculous, as throughout the day and night Ambulances and Police cars drive down the main road in Mojacar with their sirens blasting. Their noise is way above the 55 decibels level for outside of the bars. Surely the decibel level should be 55 decibels above the ambient background level. This would mean that the authorities will have to monitor this constantly as well.

    Comment by Alan | August 2, 2011

  4. Agreed Alan, I was down on the Playa today after my Spectrum interview, and could hardly hear myself think for all the sirens!

    Comment by kevmoore | August 2, 2011


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