Strange Boutique (November 2011)

November’s column came out of a growing sense of unease among musicians about the way police all over the country seem to be cracking down on clubs and live venues for allowing people to dance after certain times. Needless to say I think this is a ridiculous state of affairs. It’s not one of my better-written columns, but I think the basic point stands. I understand that the police are probably acting in response to other issues such as noise, litter or loitering (Japan really can’t stand people standing still in public spaces of any kind, for any reason), but using an archaic law like this, seemingly randomly, presumably to intimidate the scene into behaving itself, is like cracking down on rude, sweary London taxi drivers by randomly arresting them for breaking the 19th Century law that requires them to carry a bale of hay and a bag of oats in their cab. Silliness.

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