Massive Wagons say they’re ‘utterly gutted’ that Lancaster City Council have ordered the removal of a painted mural depicting their new album cover.
Unveiled to the world earlier this month, the gargantuan painting of their upcoming album ‘Full Nelson’ adorns the side of The Pub venue in the band’s native Lancaster where they played many of their embryonic live shows.
Despite attracting many visitors, Lancaster City Council have deemed that the mural is an advertisement and therefore needed official consent. Massive Wagons have been given a deadline of Monday 30th July to get rid of it.
A spokesperson for the council told the Lancaster Guardian: “The mural is clearly promoting the band and its album and is therefore deemed to be an advertisement.
“The display of such an advertisement without the relevant consent is illegal. The council has written to the owner/proprietor of The Pub, advising of this and that the advertisement will need to be removed.”
Reacting to the council, Massive Wagons singer Baz Mills said: “I am genuinely utterly gutted and majorly disappointed that Lancaster council have taken this approach toward the mural we had painted on the side of one of Lancaster’s music venues The Pub, it was intended to say how much a part of the city we feel, and how thankful we are that we have received so much support from Lancaster’s wonderful citizens.
“We love the city, it’s an absolute gem of a place...we are proud to say we live here and we would like to chart this album in the top 40, we would be the first Lancaster band to chart an album ever! We feel it would put Lancaster on the map.”
He continued to the Lancaster Guardian: “We’ve played here for years now and have recorded numerous music videos here and thought the painting really added a new diverse, bright piece of modern art to a dull old wall that would hopefully be around for years to come for visitors to admire.
“There have been a lot of pictures posted online of it, the reaction seemed to be fantastic, people commenting how great it is Lancaster finally gets something like this to add some colour to the city much like other large UK cities already have. But there you go, at least if the council are focusing their efforts at removing the painting it must mean all the potholes are now repaired and the flood defences are working at 100 per cent, so maybe it’s not all bad.”
Fortunately, armed with one of the most fervent followings around, a petition has now been launched by Massive Wagons fans urging the council to reconsider.
Titled 'Allow the Massive Wagons' "Full Nelson" mural to stay on The Pub', the change.org petition obliterated its initial target of 1,500 signatures in less than two hours and, at the time of writing, has over 2,000 signatures.
Lauren Hutchinson, who started the petition, writes: “We're asking the council to think about this decision and reverse it.
“Of course the guys are more than happy to co-operate and apply for the relevant permissions now they've been made aware of them as they're confident of success but we want the mural to remain whilst this happens.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into the artwork and to remove it would just be a tragic loss.”
Since the launch of the petition, Lancaster City Council has released a new statement on Facebook, reading: "The correct thing for the business to do would have been to contact the council in the first place and ask whether any permissions were required.
“We would then have been able to guide them through the process. For whatever reason they have chosen not to do this. Despite that, we have opened dialogue with the landowners and are advising them of their options."
Boasting the searing anthem ‘Under No Illusion’, the hilarious social media bashing tune ‘China Plates’ and the Rick Parfitt tribute track ‘Back To The Stack’, ‘Full Nelson’ lands via Massive Wagons’ new label home of Earache Records on Friday 10th August.
Watch the recently unleashed video for ‘Under No Illusion’, which sees a nun have a rock n’ roll epiphany, right here:
The ‘Full Nelson’ track-listing is as follows:
1. Under No Illusion
2. China Plates
3. Billy Balloon Head
4. Sunshine Smile
4. Northern Boy
5. Robot (Trust In Me)
6. Back To The Stack
7. Hate Me
8. Last On The List
9 Ballad Of Verdun Hayes
UPDATE: Massive Wagons issued this statement on the evening of 17th July:
We would like to let everyone know that we fully intend to work with Lancaster City Council and The Pub to keep the Mural that everyone has grown to love!
It was not anyones intention to break any legislations here and we are fully prepared to do what ever is needed. The council have started talks with The Pub who own the land to advise on what happens next.
We are absolutely blown away by everyones support and we hope we can win the council over!
We have fought long and hard to get our music heard. The mural for us, is a celebration of what can be achieved. We are so proud of our city and we want other young musicians from Lancaster to draw inspiration from it.