"This is what it looks like when we are winning".
Bold words indeed, but entirely true to those of us fighting for London's music sector.
These are the words spoken to me by Mark Davyd, head of The Music Venue Trust. And today, his hard work has paid off. And not just Mark's work, but the work of all of you who signed this letter that I wrote to Boris Johnson almost exactly a year ago.
It's often far too easy to forget accomplishment when it comes gradually. But if I picture myself a year ago, walking back from a funeral march we held after the closure of Madame Jojo's, I remember feeling helpless, sad and without hope. We reached out with that letter, and the answer has, slowly but surely finally arrived. And that has happened with the help of many of YOU, as well as some pretty well known figures who support our concerns. You all signed the letter and what I was hoping for, has been turned into an action by the Mayor's office today. It's just the start, but it is real. And the finer details of this work has been carried out with unswerving passion by Mark Davyd, Beverley Whitrick of The Music Venue Trust and Paul Broadhurst - Head of Music for The Mayor of London. For this they must be applauded.
You can read the full report of the RESCUE PLAN for London's grassroots music venues here: http://london.gov.uk/…/acces…/mayors-music-venues-taskforce…
There is a full report in PDF form which is well worth reading and it will show you why today, a little bit of history has been made for the future of live music in London.
Point '1b' of Reccomendation 1 on 'Planning' on Page 25 of the report is what will actually... Save Soho.
During the heyday of 90s Britpop, Central London was swarming with a healthy live music culture and community. It took decades to build that culture. Since 2007, 35% of music venues have closed.
But as of 8.30am today in a tiny guitar shop on Denmark Street, we all gathered round to support the launch of this new report. And the foundations to begin again were laid down in stone. Certainly the most uplifting start to a week that I've encountered in a long time. The rescue plan won't happen overnight, but it will happen. Especially if we all continue to make our voices heard. Together.
I doff my hat to everyone who did more than just moan about this issue over the last year. Power To The People folks. Don't stop now. And for every aspiring music artist in the UK, Soho WILL continue to be a platform for you all, as it always has been. Now let's make London's Music Future as rich as London's Music Past!
Tim Arnold, Singer and Founder of Save Soho
Mary Davyd - Head of Music Venue Trust, Tim Arnold - Singer and Founder of Save Soho and Paul Broadhurst - Head of Music for The Mayor of London at Regent Sounds, Denmark St, Monday 19th October 2015.