Long-term Bexley resident, versatile saxophonist Derek Nash (above) has been in touch with LondonJazz.
Nash has run into problems with an album launch from his local council in Bexley.
I was looking for a good event to launch my new album Snapshot.
On the Bexley Council website there is an invitation for people to perform at a fairground who can:
"sing, dance, juggle, paint, perform or play the spoons underwater."
Here is my recent correspondence:
I am a Bexley council tax payer, I do all six of the above , that is : sing, dance, juggle, paint, perform or play the spoons underwater. I will do them simultaneously,
as well as play the five wind instruments which I play in the Jools Holland Orchestra.
I wish to launch my new album "Snapshot" at the event, and look forward to
performing at Danson Fair on July 9th.
I assume Bexley Council will be providing the water.
Dear Mr Nash,
We were not expecting to hear from anyone who could do all of these
things. It was a joke. We have taken legal/ health and safety advice.
Our Acting Director of Enforcement will be writing to you
To: Derek Nash
I have looked at your request, and I should warn you it falls foul of a number of current statutes:
-Your "album launch" is a commercial event and therefore we will have a VAT inspector on hand to calculate the sales you make, and you will have to pay for the hours worked by the VAT inspector.
- If you are appearing with any other musicians we will need names and addresses, and dates of birth, at least two weeks in advance, under Form 696.
-Playing spoons underwater counts as a public entertainment, illegal unless licensed as an 'indoor sporting event' under the Licensing Act 2003.
- Playing five instruments means that according to our policy you would need a noise limiter from our official supplier, price £578, and possibly psychological help.
- Due to the audience exceeding 499 people, the licence application for the event requires 28 days public notice.
- If you are performing copyright tunes, you will need a PRS licence, or face possible criminal prosecution.
- The water must meet EC standards of purity and clarity. Our inspectors would need at least a week to analyse samples.
- The presence of children at the event means you will need to be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau, and we will need to validate this, which takes at least a month.
- Metal spoons are no longer permitted due to safety concerns for the performer and spectators. We can send you a list of suppliers of plastic spoons of suitable quality.
- We have had a representation from the Hotels and Catering industry that playing spoons constitutes an offence of incitement to religious hatred against them. There may be a way round this. We could apply for an exemption for baptismal spoons, if you can persuade a representative of a religious denomination to bless the spoons and make the album launch a religious service.
Acting Director of Enforcement
1st April 2009