Anger as English Pub Bans Female-Fronted Bands
Doctor Brown’s Pub in Middlesbrough bans female-fronted bands from playing, claiming their customers don’t believe women can sing rock songs
A pub in England has banned female-fronted bands from playing, claiming their customers don’t think women should sing rock songs.
The decision by live venue Doctor Brown’s in Middlesbrough has sparked anger, but manager Paula Rees has defended the choice, saying it’s a business matter – and that her regular customers won’t turn up if a woman is on stage.
She tells The Northern Echo:
“We had female singers on in the past and customers just didn’t like it. We’re a rock bar and they don’t think that women should sing male rock songs.
“It’s nothing to do with me – it’s the pub’s regulars who come in every week, they won’t come in if there’s a female singer.”
Rees reports that the rule will be relaxed for one female singer next year, and would consider artists if they could guarantee a large crowd – but insists that the general ban will stay in place.
She adds: “We’ve got to keep our regulars happy. I’m not a rock fan so can’t judge myself but I’ve been told that some women can sing and some can’t, but they can’t sing heavy rock.
“If we put a poster up and our regulars know there’s a woman in the band, they won’t give them a chance. They’re my bread and butter and we can’t risk nobody coming in.”
Vocalist Hannah Sowerby, who fronts Revenant and Syndicate 66, says her gigs were cancelled after the pub discovered she was a woman.
“I haven’t been allowed to play because I’m female, despite the fact my band can draw a crowd.
“You wouldn’t get people saying they don’t like male bands, because not all male singers are the same – just like not all female singers are the same.
“It is a sexist attitude from the regulars and there’s no excuse for it in 2017, you’d think we’d be past this by now.”