Future of these arts: Should we even save these bozos?

The band Feet pictured in front of Alexandra Palace London. From left, Callum Parker , Harry Southerton, Ben Firth, George...

The band Feet pictured in front of Alexandra Palace London. From left, Callum Parker , Harry Southerton, Ben Firth, George Haverson, and Oliver Shasha. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Initially hung out to dry during lockdown chapter one, this announcement represented the next significant blow for the nation’s creative spine.

Oliver Shasha, bassist FEET, says the band were on the cusp of a 'breakthrough' tour before the pandemic hit.

Oliver Shasha, bassist FEET, says the band were on the cusp of a 'breakthrough' tour before the pandemic hit. - Credit: Archant

I remember being sat at our friend’s kitchen table back in March when it all began, the long wait. It’s tempting to be nostalgic about the world before that moment. We were on the cusp of a breakthrough headline tour (I should stress that until the doors open on the first night, every tour is a “breakthrough tour”) and in clinging on to the label “up and coming”, had several festivals booked for the summer. Eight months later and little has changed in terms of our aims and ambitions, yet outside of our fated expectations for the future, the very nature of how music and the arts is to serve society has been one of hot debate.

“Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there” - I doubt were the words uttered in parliament as they flung our livelihoods around their chambers like a scalding Maris Piper.

When in July the arts were finally recognised to be in danger, support came in the form of a repellant, a hush sum to keep the endless lobbying at bay. In truth, it’s to be expected that a widespread pandemic will mean a change to priorities.

Education, social care and health can be whittled down to numeric form, whereas our dependability on the arts isn’t something so easily calculable. Rishi Sunak’s advice that creatives retrain as more virus-proof individuals did little to inspire many who already juggle several jobs to fund their passion.


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Now in the midst of lockdown chapter two and England’s creative community remain firm that they’re out there alone. Speaking as a musician, I can’t help but question whether we’re worth it, interrupted suddenly by screams from [guitarist] Callum’s room which Harry (other guitarist) addresses as a spider is removed from the scene...should we even save these bozos?

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