Rock The House


I enjoyed another evening in the House of Commons last night (Tue 19 November) … but this time, not badgering – well, not directly anyway.

All the staff in the Houses of Parliament seem convinced I have moved in, and have a bed there – I have become part of the furniture. For a non-political lobbyist maybe that’s a first !

But last night was about Intellectual Property. That means protecting the rights of artists in the ownership of their copyrights … their work … the way they earn their Daily Bread. Mike Weatherley (MP for Hove, East Sussex) has built up a campaign called Rock the House, to make sure that the interests of Rock Musicians, artists, film Makers, etc, are at least considered in the workings of Parliament. Things are not great right now. These are the days when it’s socially unacceptable to go into a shop and steal clothes, but it’s quite acceptable to go on the Internet and steal music. Like so many things, this calls for work on legislation, but also for a change in attitude … because laws don’t work for very long unless they have the backing of the people.

So this bash was all about making some noise, and attracting the attention of MP’s, which it did, very successfully. Hopefully the movement will win more friends, and one day it may again be possible for a new rock group to make a living out of making records. It’s worth mentioning that Mr Weatherley is a firm supporter of the Hunting Act – a passionate believer that the barbaric pratice of fox-hunting (and other blood sports) should never again be legal.

Maybe this is a rather broad generalisation, but it does seem that an empathy for animals often goes well with a sensitivity to music. Treat of the night ? The first Heavy Metal performance EVER in the House of Commons. Collibus performed at full volume and I think we can safely say it Rocked the fabric of the House ! I had never met these guys before and I have to say that for the first time I wondered if there were enough strings on my guitar !!! Look at their videos and you’ll see what I mean !

Here’s a link to their official websites: and and a fun link to something very interesting from lead singer Gemma Fox. Well, 50 years after Tony Iommi first riffed so magnificently in the Industrial Heart of Britain, maybe the Metal Riff finally became an accepted British Institution … a very cool version of Tie Your Mother Down !!

Tie Your Mother Down (Queen Cover) – Gemma Fox & Stephen Platt

Gemma Fox and Collibus

Gemma Fox and Collibus - from video footage
Gemma Fox and Collibus – from video footage