Rock the House at the House of Commons
Mike Weatherly MP created the Rock the House competition in 2011 as a way of raising awareness about intellectual property rights and showcasing the latest crop of unsigned acts the nation has to offer. Every year the awards ceremony is held on The Pavilion within the prestigious halls of the House of Commons.
The internet can be likened to the Wild West: a lawless terrain the authorities are forever struggling to police; it’s a place where the copyright is forever at war with the Generation Y demographic. Piracy has blighted the music industry, with illegal downloading and sharing contributing to loss in revenue for artists and labels at all levels.
The US have clamped down heavily, shutting down sites and prosecuting those who engage in illegal practices and the UK government are upping the ante by introducing the Intellectual Property Bill, as well modifying the current copyright law. In line with this, the Rock the House competition is a celebration of politics and sound.
This year Abi Uttley won the Solo Artist award and gave a great live performance of her track Like You Do. The singer-songwriter has an engaging style and her vocal range is quite impressive – she may be one to look out for. Bridges won the band award and played their favoured songs Bearpit and Storming the Palace. The three-piece injected some necessary energy into proceedings.
The most noticeable attendees were former Yes keyboardist and caped musician Rick Wakeman and Radio One controller Ben Cooper. Both gave speeches concerning the importance of the event and why they joined other patrons such as Alice Cooper and Brian May in supporting the competition and cause.
Rock the House enjoyed its third competition finale and it was a success on all accounts. Not only did it highlight the intellectual property and copyright debate, it also gave upcoming bands an opportunity to be discovered and network with big names in the music industry.
However you look at it, this was a momentous night for the future of British music.
Photos: Helen Parish
For further information and future events visit Rock the House’s website here.