Thursday 26 January 2017
Legendary British band Madness have today presented iconic London pub, the Dublin Castle, with the prestigious PRS for Music Heritage Award.
The accolade is given to those live music venues across the UK that have played a crucial role in helping to create music history, by giving now-famous acts their first ever gig and helping them on their way to success.
Madness first performed at the Dublin Castle as a newly formed band in 1979, which soon turned into a year-long residency at the Camden pub. This marked a turning point for the band as during this time they released their debut album, One Step Beyond, and began to attract a dedicated following. That same year, the music video to My Girl was filmed on location at the Dublin Castle, cementing the special relationship between the band and venue.
PRS for Music, which protects the rights of more than 124,000 songwriters and composers, ensures that creators are paid whenever their music is played or performed in public. The organisation established the PRS for Music Heritage Award in 2009 to celebrate the important role that music venues play in supporting songwriters and artists at the start of their careers, giving them an opportunity to perform in front of a live audience for the very first time.
Independents like the Dublin Castle provide a platform for new and emerging acts to harness and develop their talent, try out new songs, experiment with creative identity, and build the foundations for a long-lasting fan base.
These venues have witnessed the birth of some of the nation’s most loved music legends. Previous PRS for Music Heritage Awards have been given to independent venues that have helped the likes of Queen, Pulp, Spandau Ballet, UB40, Status Quo, Soul II Soul, Sir Elton John CBE, Blur and many more at the start of their musical careers.
This year’s PRS for Music Heritage Award plaque was unveiled by Madness at a special red carpet ceremony today at the Dublin Castle, Camden, as part of Independent Venue Week.
The unveiling of the plaque sees the start of what’s sure to be another hectic year for the revitalised ‘nutty boys’. 2016 saw Madness secure yet another top 5 album with critically acclaimed ‘Can’t Touch Us Now’, play the main stage at Glastonbury and sell out their UK Arena tour (including a night at London’s O2 Arena). The New Year has seen more live dates added to their burgeoning calendar, including their own annual House of Common festival, headlining Camp Bestival and returning to Minehead for their legendary House of Fun Weekender.
Madness, said: "When we started out there were tons of pubs, clubs and flower shops for bands to start out in, like how we did it. When you hear about all the venues we've lost in London over the last few years it makes us sad and worried about how new bands will ever get the opportunity to break through from the live scene, Gawd Bless The Dublin Castle and all the independent venues fighting the good fight.”
Alo Conlon, Owner of the Dublin Castle, said: “We feel very much part of the fabric of Madness’s history and so it’s an honour to receive this award. We pride ourselves on investing in emerging talent and giving them the platform they deserve and plan to do so for a very long time to come.”
Sybil Bell, Founder of Independent Venue Week, said: “The space that the Dublin Castle has created here is incredibly valuable to British music culture, they’ve played a huge role in giving emerging acts a stage and helping them to thrive. They definitely deserve to be acknowledged with the PRS for Music Heritage Award to mark this pivotal moment in British music history.”
Paul Clements, Commercial Director, PRS for Music, said: “We’re delighted to be awarding Madness and the Dublin Castle with the PRS for Music Heritage Award. Independent venues play such a vital role in the development and growth of so many artists. From a first live gig, to a secret performance from a music legend, these independent venues are the creative spaces that help the UK music industry to flourish.”