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Muse hometown gigs get official go-ahead

By This is SouthDevon  |  Posted: August 18, 2009

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MUSE bass player Chris Wolstenholme today said he was 'chuffed to bits' the band can stage two live concerts in their hometown of Teignmouth.

Chris, one third of the award-winning supergroup, turned up in person to the licensing hearing of Teignbridge Council yesterday and spoke after they were given permission to perform two concerts in front of 10,000 fans on The Den.

Along with lead singer Matt Bellamy and drummer Dominic Howard, he will make musical history with homecoming gigs on Friday, September 4, and Saturday, September 5.

Speaking exclusively to the Herald Express he said: "The Teignmouth concerts are going to be a very proud moment for us — it is something we have wanted to do for a long time."

But the band — renowned for their spectacular live shows — have been told to keep noise below a certain level.

Fans travelled from all over Devon to be at the meeting in Forde House, Newton Abbot to see the two-night gig get the go-ahead.

One, Kat Godden, 17, launched a petition supporting the Muse gigs. She gathered hundreds of signatures and handed it in before the meeting started.

They packed themselves into the council chamber after concert promoters SJM Concerts Ltd applied for a premises licence for the concerts.

The chamber erupted into cheers and applause when licensing sub-committee chairman Cllr Ted Hockin said: "The application is approved."

A formal objection by police, previously lodged on traffic management and crime issues, was withdrawn after officers met with representatives of SJM Ltd to discuss an event management plan.

The council did not receive any objections from local residents.

Details on obtaining tickets have not yet been released, but should be known within the next few days.

It is thought that tickets will be obtained through a website and phone line. Priority will be given to regional post-codes.

Cllr Hockin said the committee was 'satisfied' the event could be successfully managed but noise must be limited to no more that 84.1 decibels at the nearest premises.

He said: "We have agreed this as a one-off application, and the noise levels we have set reflect these special circumstances."

The decision was met with jubilation afterwards. Chris posed for photos and chatted to fans.

He said: "I am chuffed to bits the application has been granted.

"What I have been really surprised by is how much support we have been getting, from a huge range of people.

"Obviously we will do what we can to make sure complaints are kept to a minimum."

The concerts will include world exclusive performances of new material from their fifth album The Resistance, out on September 14.

He said: "We have always said that it would be great to be able to do something on The Den.

"We were coming towards the end of making the album about four months ago and were talking about warm-up gigs.

"We thought that it would be great to do something on The Den, rather than the typical London gig or radio session.

"It would mean more to us to be here in Teignmouth and that's when the idea started.

"I think it will be a proud moment for us and it will show people what we have been doing for the last 12 years.

"It's not a money-making exercise. It's not a profit making event and we will want to give something back to the community — maybe a youth organisation — but we have got to look at that in more detail."

Fans were also delighted. Adrian Loveless, 29, of Exeter said: "I am ecstatic this is going to happen and now there are only a few days left to go. I think it's going to be a historical event for Teignmouth. It's such big news."

Lee Piercy, 21, from Crediton, said: "It's great for Muse, Teignmouth and their fans."

Fiona Riches, 14, from Teignmouth added: "Muse are a massive part of my history, I've been a fan all my life. This is a huge achievement and I am looking forward to the concerts already."

Cllr Sylvia Russell, Teignbridge Council's Teignmouth East ward member lives in the town centre .

She said: "I haven't had one negative view from residents or businesses.

"As one of the residents closest to the Den I am personally looking forward to seeing them very much."

Town councillor Terry Falcão said: "The council has shown it's willing to listen to residents. The Muse concerts are far more than exciting — it's a moment in social history that people will talk about in 50 years time."

Teignbridge Council now has to decide, as landowner, whether to give approval for the use of Teignmouth Den for the event. A decision is due to be reached in the next 24 hours.

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  • Profile image for This is SouthDevon
    Lottie, Paignton  |  August 19 2009, 7:55PM

    Got my tickets in the pre-sale today. I have been waiting for MUSE to come home all my life. I attended the meeting myself and am ecstatic that the concerts are allowed to go ahead. It is an amazing oppurtutity that will bring tourism to the area which is first and formost a tourist town. MUSE are a brillaint life band and one of the most well known bands in the world, have won many awards such as "Best Live Band" and it is brillaint that theyu are coming home to premiere The Resistance"

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    Adrian, Paignton.  |  August 18 2009, 6:58PM

    Philip Godden, Brixham you could also row your gig from Brixham to Paignton to be deafened by Muse? I still cannot work out if it is 10000 people for each performance or 5000? The population of Tinmouth, that is how it was spelt in the a Norman Wisdom film, is 15000 so it may be that 5000 locals will miss out. Anyway well done Muse, my Grannie will be delighted her old peoples home looks out across the Den. I have spoken to 4 people from Teignmouth today and not one of them had heard of Muse.

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    Rachel, Torquay  |  August 18 2009, 5:39PM

    I agree with you Rory they `are` the best band in the world ..Saw them at Wembley Stadium what a concert and I can`t wait to see them at this smaller venue

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    Ian, Teignmouth  |  August 18 2009, 1:54PM

    The Sound level appled for is very quiet. A normal loud rock band plays at 110db, yet the council have only granted a maximum noise level of 84db to the nearest noise sensitive premises.. To give you all an example of this: 85 to 95 dBA is the level while cutting the grass with power mower. I think the crowd would be louder than the band are allowed to be,, Fun Heh

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    Philip Godden, Brixham  |  August 18 2009, 11:29AM

    What has a light two-wheeled one-horse carriage got to do with a concert in Teignmouth?

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    Rory Black, Exmouth  |  August 18 2009, 10:31AM

    I cant wait for these gigs to get under way. they are without doubt the best modern band in the world. I just hope i get a ticket and as i live in exmouth witch isnt too far away it may be a bit easier as its regional postcodes.

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    TeignmouthMIKE, Teignmouth  |  August 18 2009, 10:04AM

    I live 150 yards from the Den and am in total support of the concerts taking place. Congratulations to the Council who for once have managed to sideline their political correctness and seen common sense. Forget the very few negatives and think of the positives. ps how do I get tickets ?

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    A Man called Jid, Montpelier School, Paignton  |  August 18 2009, 9:28AM

    I can't understand what all the fuss is about; I have never heard of them. Is 'gig' short for 'engagement'?

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    geoff, Torquay  |  August 18 2009, 8:53AM

    Reminds me of the poor man who threw himself under a steam train...he was 'chuffed to bits' too! Good morning Torbay.