Sorry, I didn’t hear you!?

I see there’s an e- petition on the No. 10 Downing Street website opposing proposed Government legislation seeking entertainment venues, to include pubs etc to fit noise control devices.

Should pubs/clubs fit such devices to save our ears?

See Don’t Lose the Music web page for information on Noise and your ears.

  • Mark McGregor


    All entertainment venues are bound to protect employees under noise at work regulations. However, the protection does not extend to patrons.

    Fighting for the right to give people hearing loss seems like a pretty stupid petition.

  • Andrew

    and I totally agree Mark!

    I have been in many a bar/club and been left deaf!

    I think the petition is an appalling campaign.

  • i’m sick of venues where i can’t hear myself – or anyone else – speak. i’m often left hoarse, with ears ringing.

    they said “the level at which these devices CUT you off is dreadfully low and damaging” – i wonder how true that is. they claim it’ll be the end of live music (probably why they got so many signatures already) – but i somehow doubt that.. sounds like a huge exaggeration to me..

  • Mayoman

    As someone who has played in pub bands since the early 90s, I can totally sympathise with the petition’s sponsors. Around the mid-90s, many pubs in London had noise limiters fitted that cut the ekectricity on stage if the noise level was breached (not sure of the legal basis for these, at that time). It was totally unworkable as soon as a band with a set if drums turned up. Most landlords ended up switching them off or finding some other way of by-passing them. So I would say it is a possible threat to a large proportion of live acts.

    On the point about not being able to hear yourself etc. Like many things, you have a choice. Leave, or don’t go in the first place. Seems a bit stupid to me to be standing in a place you find so uncomefortable, or is that the general self-pitying, self-flaggelating nature of sluggerites! 😉

  • christ. that was needlessly bitchy. as someone who HASN’T played in pub bands in the early 90s, i didn’t know that.

    i’m a 21 year old, female student: i’m obliged to go out 🙂 and obliged to like the noise and to like have people spill pints on me and stand on my feet in their horrible high heels and grab my arse as i pass. it’s dublin. and it’s a love-hate thing. and it’s not your place to be such a judgemental arsewipe.

    all i was trying to say was that SOME sort of noise control wouldn’t hurt. and IF it’s a case that “talenented” musicians like your dear self will be inconvenienced, i may just sign the petition myself. i was only questioning what sounded to me like it might have been an exaggeration.

    and considering it’s the first time i’ve commented on this blog and, indeed, had a proper look through the posts, i’m certainly not a “sluggerite”. just browsing.

  • … PS. learn to spell.

  • Mayoman

    “judgemental arsewipe.” miaooww is all I can say! 🙂

    The second para was a bit tongue in cheek, hence the ‘;)’ and the point wasn’t really aimed at you either, as all 3 posts sort of alluded to the same thing!

    Sorry if I upset you, my attempt at light-heartedness obviously missed the target. And obviously, as I’m still a pub player, that about sums up my level of ‘talent’!

    But hey, sign the petition pleeeeze, and I’ll sign one asking for arse-pinching to be banned!

  • Mayoman

    When I reach your level of perfection, where else is there to go??? What it is to wake up without flaws oh great one! 😉 (again!)

  • The Raven

    I take it this is about indoor, small-venue type gigs, as opposed to larger venues? I only ask as I have attended Tom Waits, The Who (what’s left of them), Springsteen and the Stones (waste of money, and I only paid a tenner for that) over the past two years, been front of house for all of them, and not so much as a ringing in the ears.

    Having done the band thing myself, I must agree with Mayoman. If it’s too loud, you’re too old. Or just in the wrong bar.

    As for having your arse grabbed in Dublin, Aoife, I hope you reported it to the appropriate authorities. I’d say by now though, some reprobate has probably flogged it on ebay.

  • ok, i overreacted a litte, point made. and must admit your petition idea sounds like a good one! 🙂

  • and lmao @ raven..

    alright, alright, my first post was too moany!

  • The Raven

    Glad to see a 21 year old on here. There aren’t enough people under the age of 40 on here at all.

  • i dj-ed at the cregagh cricket club once, they had one of those blasted things. it cut the power to the PA gear if it reached a certain level.

    so.. we ended up running an extension from a power socket outside to get around it.

    then proceeded to “crank it up”

  • The main problem is shoddy speakers. If you have a large number of small speakers you can easily have what seems like ‘loud music’ but be able to hear your friend’s speak.

    This is about getting good sound technology into bars and clubs.

    I don’t really know what the government are proposing, but something has to be done (and can easily be done) to save our hearing and save the music.

    And best of all, we might actually be able to hear the damned music too. Most of the time, the sound quality from a single overloaded speaker is so bad you can’t even recognize the tune.

  • but aaron, you can’t argue against the fact that getting the wax blown out of your ears at the limelight on a tuesday is one of life’s great experiences.

  • OC


    BTW Aoife, how does one say “Who lit the fuse on your tampon?” in Irish?

  • Ri Na Deise

    The Raven

    ‘There aren’t enough people under 40 on here at all’

    Shit did I stumble into an oul fogeys home. Ive a decade and a half to go till 40.:-)

  • it’s easy to be vulgar and ignorant sitting at your computer. i hope you don’t speak to women like that face to face.

  • Keith,
    Ah, the Limelight; don’t forget the drunken jumping up and down which probably results in broken toes.

  • OC

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    But don’t get your knickers in a knot. I adore vulger women.

    BTW I notice spelling errors in your posts, also.

  • Seimi

    It’s not the live bands that bother me on a night out, it’s the djs. It’s only my opinion, but I really can’t stand loud dance music in a bar, I’d much rather be able to see the band play live. I went to see the Damned at the Empire recently, and they were incredibly loud, but half of the entertainment was watching them on stage. Same for Motorhead (many moons ago) and loads of other rock bands over the years.

    ‘BTW Aoife, how does one say “Who lit the fuse on your tampon?” in Irish?’

    Aoife is right OC – this is a bit vulgar, don’t ye think?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    “i’m sick of venues where i can’t hear myself – or anyone else – speak. i’m often left hoarse, with ears ringing.”

    I agree whole heartedly!

    …..and it can be even worse when the music that they are playing is shite.

  • Rory Carr

    Incapable of spelling ‘vulgar’ correctly even when Aoife Mac has shown him how to, OC then alludes to her spelling difficulties.

    I suspect he has difficulties with women.

    Sad, very, very sad. He really should try to get out more.

  • OC

    Yes, I saw that I had misspelled. I love irony myself!

    But I don’t blast into a blog like Buster’s Gang and start correcting people’s spelling, and that’s was just for starters!

    Poster’s here, including “big time” regular contributors, use vulgar (there!) language all the time. I’ve never seen it commented on before.

    Recently, a young woman, barely out of her teens, told me about her private piercings (I don’t want to be too specific here, and risk impropriety), asked if I was “420 friendly”, then handed me her phone number. Considering how my significant other might feel if I satisfied my curiosity, I conclude that I did have difficulty with a woman as she wouldn’t approve at all.

    In any case, it appears that the double-standard is alive and well. Feel free to continue to kiss…, I mean, curry favor with Aoife.

    After reading some of your blog, Aoife, I thought that you were a big girl, a fun girl. I even referenced your Gaelic stuff.

    For not treating you special, I apologize.

  • Seimi

    ‘For not treating you special, I apologize.’

    Not asking the Irish for ‘who lit the fuse on your tampon’ is not ‘treating’ anyone ‘special’, it’s just polite, and, not vulgar.

    I for one am not trying to kiss or curry favour with anyone, it’s just the way I was raised. Ye know, treat women with courtesy. And while it was never brought up in conversation with my parents, I’m sure that making statements like yours above would definitely come under the heading of Being discourteous to a woman.

  • I was tempted to say ‘health and safety gone mad’ here, but on thoughtful consideration…I’ve been at gigs by the three loudest bands in the Guinness Book of Records (haven’t checked the new one though) in the shape of Motorhead, Deep Purple and Manowar, together with numerous other hard rock and metal acts. At my last MOT doc said I had close to perfect hearing, and cetainly better than I would expect for a man of your advanced years (he was never the subtlest of doctors..)

    I still go to as many hard rock and metal gigs as I can, and the thought that some shabby piece of officialdom can force this through is yet another breach of individual freedom. Of course, if noise is disturbing a residential neighbourhood it must be controlled, but for the rest it is out choice.

  • The Raven

    Belfast Metal…where they indoor gigs? The sound generated by the banks of speakers raised well above ground level (not including monitors, or e.g., Brian May’s wall of Vox amps) doesn’t seem to have the same effect as a similar wall of amps’ sound bouncing around the innards of a small venue like the Limelight or some other such pub.

    I do have to say, in contradiction of earlier post, there was one gig we played where we deliberately turned everything down, pulled back on the drums, and played a quieter set – nearly verging on “unplugged”….and it went down a storm in a bar we had never played before.

    Horses for courses, I suppose.

  • Rory Carr

    “I’ve been at gigs by the three loudest bands in the Guinness Book of Records … in the shape of Motorhead, Deep Purple and Manowar…”

    Man o’ War, Belfast Metal, wasn’t a rock band!

    He was probably the greatest racehorse that ever drew breath. You might have been confused by the name of his damsire – Rock Sand.

    Alternatively, you must have been well pissed that night.

    – Man o’ War, 1920 –
    Sire Fair Play
    Grandsire Hastings
    Dam Mahubah
    Damsire Rock Sand
    Sex Stallion
    Foaled 1917
    Country United StatesFlag of the United States
    Colour Chestnut
    Breeder August Belmont, Jr.
    Owner Samuel D. Riddle
    Trainer Louis Feustel
    Record 21: 20-1-0
    Earnings $249,465
    Major Racing Wins, Awards and Honours
    Major Racing Wins
    Tremont Stakes (1919)
    Grand Union Hotel Stakes (1919)
    Sanford Stakes (1919)
    United States Hotel Stakes (1919)
    Hopeful Stakes (1919)
    Futurity Stakes (1919)
    Youthful Stakes (1919)
    Preakness Stakes (1920)
    Belmont Stakes (1920)
    Travers Stakes (1920)
    Jockey Club Gold Cup (1920)
    Lawrence Realization Stakes (1920)
    Withers Stakes (1920)
    Potomac Handicap (1920)
    Dwyer Stakes (1920)
    Racing Awards
    United States Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt (1919)
    United States Horse of the Year (1920)
    Leading sire in North America (1926)
    U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1957)
    #1 – Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century
    Life-size statue at Kentucky Horse Park
    Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park
    Man o’ War Boulevard in Lexington, Kentucky
    Man o’ War Road in Riddlewood, Pennsylvania
    Infobox last updated on: August 23, 2007.

    Man o’ War, (March 29, 1917 Nursery Stud farm, Lexington, Kentucky – November 1, 1947,

  • YelloSmurf

    I’m under forty (18) and trained as a sound engineer. I don’t mind high volumes but I think a good mix should be at a level where everything is clearly audible and not distorting. I also hate guitarists turning thier amps up, it’s unessessary as the engineer can do that and has a better idea of how loud to put them so that they are not drowning the rest of the band.

    At the end of the day the venue has to work out how big it is and what it can take power wise and then fit equipment accordingly rather than putting 5000 watt line arrays in a phone box.

  • Rory: Manowar is a US metal band that played in the Mandella Hall in the 1980s and held the record for some time. I have several vinyl and CDs, and while they are among the silliest bands they are hugely entertaining. YelloSmurf, you entirely right – it’s all about the mix and making sure that the PA does the bulk of the work. When it comes to volume, even Motorhead’s claim of having ‘everything louder than everything else’ was based on having some of the best soundmen in the business. Where DJs and dance clubs make the mistake is never ever having a soundcheck. Rock and metal bands always make sure that the sondcheck accounts for the acoustics of the venue and from the smallest venues (Rotterdam, Limelight) to the largest (King’s Hall, Odyssey) and outdoor arenas the level of volume is always right. As it is for a limited time the disturbance to neighbours is strictly controlled unlike the dance night clubs which tend to run well past the 1am limit when most rock metal acts pack up for the night with a carry out and a well earned rest…

  • quality

    In 1976 at Charlton Athletic’s ground at 126 DB/a The Who became the loudest band ever.