British popstars swap live gigs for online streaming

British popstars from the 80s and 90s have been left without an income since social distancing restrictions scuppered their revival live gigs.

But some of them are upending the traditional TV business model by agreeing to profit-share the proceeds of a series of shows to be streamed online...

'’That was then...and this is now’’ will feature the likes of Paul Young, Toyah and Chesney Hawkes.

"The impact on me of lockdown was all of my gigs got completely canceled. I had a whole year's worth of gigs ready to go. I got a new album which was ready to, am I too old to say 'drop'? Which was ready to drop in March. I'd got a new team, new management, so it was all very exciting. New album, touring and everything just got, just cut off like that. It was like turning off the tap."

Legendary pop producer Mike Stock is behind the show.

"These guys, who are our musical heritage, have been kinda stuck indoors for six months, not able to earn a crust, you know. The way it's gone and the entertainment industry has kind of ignored them. I don't know what the government can do anyway, really. These guys have been itinerant musicians all of their lives. And then suddenly they've been told no more gigs, nothing."

Richard Fairbrass from Right Said Fred says the changes are going to have to come from inside the industry.

"People have to think outside the box. Thinking in the old model if you like is pointless. The government has decided, the officials have decided, they don't care about contemporary music, they don't care, so therefore musicians and the people around them are going to have to come up with new ways of connecting with people and fortunately now we have the net, the internet, a way of communicating with people. So it's a really, really important thing that these guys have done. So I think this is just the beginning but if we think that this is going to change anytime soon, I think we're mistaken."

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