NEWS: Bexley Council scuppers album launch

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.

Nash writes:

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:

Dear Louise,

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.


Derek Nash

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



From: Actdir.enforcement@bexley.gov.uk
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.

Lipra Sloof
Acting Director of Enforcement
1st April 2009

Categories: miscellaneous

14 replies »

  1. Oh Danny Boy, Derek Nash is a real person, the weblink from Bexley is genuine, Lipra Sloof has a lot of legislation to back her up. Most of the rules are genuine: Form 696 is not a joke. The risk of prosecution from PRS is not a joke. But it is April 1st.

  2. It is a good job I read this after returning from the money talks held at 10 Downing Street,I now know that I cannot fund you for the performance although I am sure you will pass all tests with flyin’ colours Mr Nash…funding may be available via usgov.com…..

  3. As I know Derek personally I am surprised that he was so diffident as to only admit to playing 5 instruments, I have seen him play six at once, while under water ( or any other drinkable liquid ) on several occasions. As suggested above the results were not pretty, and on one of those occasions did result in a trip to the hospital. I am very glad that this reckless behaviour has been prevented from causing further harm to the general public.

  4. Bexley Council staff either have an amazing s.o.h. (bearing in mind the day of the year) or far too much time on their hands. If the latter, I’m gald i don’t live in Bexley and they don’t get my money!!Richard H. from Essex.

  5. Clever advertising!. Isn’t there an advertising fee as well? If you sell any CD’s as a result of any of the responses to your e-mail you will not only have to pay PRS, Vat and your internet provider, you will also have to pay commission to anyone who posted a comment!. Love it, Harri

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