A busy media-related day in the company of Naomi Pohl, MU Assistant General Secretary, as we visited both the BBC and the Sky News offices in central London. First up this morning was an invitation to speak on BBC TV News at New Broadcasting House, in London’s Portland St. The MU had been asked to comment on the decision being taken by MEPs as they considered the proposal that aimed to ensure artists receive fair compensation for the use of their work online.
The decision was taken just before Naomi was due on air so it was disheartening to hear of the rejection, however this is likely to be only one setback in a long conflict to secure acceptable artists’ remuneration. One unexpected benefit of the trip, was the chance to say hello to Jarvis Cocker who was sitting outside the coffee shop at the front of the BBC building. We then returned to the office and I prepared and issued a press release about the decision.
In the late afternoon a group of MU officials and staff, plus a select band of major session musicians, gathered on the 5th floor at PPL’s offices in James St, Soho, to mark the retirement of Peter Thoms, Sessions Official. PPL CEO Peter Leathem and MU General Secretary Horace Trubridge gave speeches honouring Peter’s significant contribution to the session world and the securing of rights and rewards for so many players down the years.
Naomi and I left Soho at 6.40pm as we were being collected by car to take us to the Sky News studios at 4 Millbank. Following her appearance on the BBC earlier, Sky had asked Naomi if she would agree to be interviewed live on air about the MEP decision and its implications for musicians’ and composers’ rights.
Following the recording, Naomi ordered a cab home and I left for Waterloo. I turned the corner towards Westminster Square and ran into Laura Kuenssberg, the Political Editor of BBC News, which gave us the chance to talk about the MU having a stand at both Labour and Conservative Party Conferences this year. We agreed to be in touch about this interesting development during the autumn.
I then walked over Westminster Bridge and dropped into Leake Street to enjoy the latest street art on show in its arches. Espying a new bar advertising live music, I entered the Rat Bar and was immediately taken by a confident vocal performance by a solo artist called Hope. An enjoyable end to the evening as I spent some time talking to her and her friends over a glass of wine.