Punk Values - The "only known footage" of two Sex Pistols gigs which ignited Manchester's music scene and “spawned a generation of bands” has sold at auction for £15,000. Music fan Mark Roberts' Super 8mm films captured the punk band's shows at the city's Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976. Future members of Buzzcocks, New Order, The Smiths and The Fall, and Anthony Wilson, who founded renowned label Factory Records, were at the shows. Auctioneer Paul Fairweather said the gigs were "huge for bands that spawned off the back off them", adding: "It was the birth of punk."
No Fear - Noel Gallagher has said Oasis had "no fear" about playing to 250,000 fans over two nights at Knebworth, adding if his old band were to do it again now, they would be "petrified". The songwriter was talking before the premiere of the Oasis Knebworth 1996 documentary, marking 25 years since Britpop's crowning moment. The film views the biggest gigs the UK had seen through the eyes of the fans.
"Those of you that were there at the time will remember that I was so arrogant, it didn't really register," Gallagher told a London cinema audience, which included some of the fans whose touching and funny personal stories provide the backdrop to the piece. It's only since [2016 documentary] Supersonic, and this film that you try and put yourself back there and you start to get goosebumps about it, because I'm not sure there's many bands had that lift-off that we did."
Half of performing arts workers who are receiving Universal Credit will be thrust into further financial hardship if the government removes the £20-a-week uplift, according to a new survey.
Universal Credit - Union Equity polled 780 of its members, 69% of which were claimants of Universal Credit, on the effect that upcoming changes to the benefit will have. Universal Credit is a benefit for working-age people, which aims to help cover living costs for people who are on a low income or unemployed. During the pandemic, the government introduced a £20-a-week increase for people receiving it and removed the Minimum Income Floor for the benefit.
The Minimum Income Floor is an assumed level of earnings for people who are self-employed that, according to Equity, could see a "gross inequality of treatment" between the employed and self-employed, with the latter unfairly impacted, especially those with a variable income. It was reintroduced in August, while the £20 uplift is set to be removed at the beginning of October. Of the respondents to Equity’s survey that claim Universal Credit, 53% said they will experience financial hardship if the government cuts the £20-a-week uplift.
In addition, half of respondents said they are concerned that the reintroduction of the Minimum Income Floor in August could lead to them being forced out of the industry. Equity has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey calling on the government to abandon the changes, which the union has branded as "dangerous" and said will "risk immense, immediate and avoidable hardship for a workforce that continues to suffer so much as result of the pandemic, and an exodus of talent from our world-leading creative industry".
Billy’s Back - Curve in Leicester is to stage the first new UK production of Billy Elliot the Musical, which will be directed by artistic director Nikolai Foster. The show will have new choreography by Lucy Hind, and will run at the venue from 7 July to 14 August next year. With music by Elton John and lyrics by Lee Hall, the musical first ran at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005, directed by Stephen Daldry.
(Jim Evans)
21 September 2021

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