Tom Jones joins small-gig kick-start for UK live music scene


LONDON —  Tom Jones and Rag’n’Bone Man are the star names in a line-up of singers scheduled to give more than 300 concerts at grassroots venues across Britain this summer, helping to kick-start a live music industry shut down during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The National Lottery is contributing 1 million pounds ($1.38 million) towards touring and production costs for the Revive Live Tour, which it launched on Wednesday along with UK charity Music Venue Trust.

“Musicians can record in their bedrooms, but they can’t learn to perform in public without a place to play,” veteran crooner Jones, who will give a one-off show in September at the Cambridge Junction in Cambridge, said. “Without that, there is no way you can communicate directly to people.”

Chart topper Rag’n’Bone Man, singers Mahalia, James Arthur, Frank Turner, and Sam Fender as well as band Fontaines D.C. will also perform one-off shows. Revive Live will also feature more than 20 tours with artists such as The Futureheads, The Magic Gang, Olivia Dean, and Twin Atlantic.

Like elsewhere, live music in public ceased in Britain during its coronavirus lockdowns. According to a Music Venue Trust survey, UK grassroots venues are carrying collective debt of 45 million pounds ($62 million). — Reuters