Royalties, money, etc

I just heard this story from a pal and wondered if it was a common occurrence in the evil music industry.

A band from near my hometown supported Oasis on their UK arena tour, maybe a year or two before they broke up if I remember rightly. Apparently team Gallagher made them sign some sort of contract that meant that any PRS payments from the gigs would go to straight to Oasis, so they’d get paid one flat fee but wouldn’t be able to claim any live royalties. Is this a normal thing or did the poor boys get bumped? Curious as to how these things work.

What was the band?

a little-known Scottish outfit called Texas


that sounds quite suspect but nothing would really surprise me

They were called Sergeant, dunno why I didn’t put that in the OP. One of the guys from the band posted about the NME folding and mentioned that they could have bought a house with the royalties from those gigs if they’d been allowed them. They were signed to Mercury and then their album got slated in NME after they’d been hyping them up, they didn’t stick about for long after That.

Put on a gig at a large venue before and can confirm that the support band got a measly sum compared to the headliner (Ash). But not aware of any additional revenue streams that have to legally be signed over to the main act, soz

Forgive my ignorance, but what PRS payment could come from a gig (unless it was broadcast)?

The venue would still have to pay a prs licence for any music played in it, so gigs themselves generate prs payments as far as I know. Wouldn’t imagine they would amount to anything significant for a single gig though.

PRS is 3% of all net ticket sales at a concert

Oh right, that would have been a significant amount then.

Thanks. Never knew that. If that’s right what is alleged in the OP doesn’t seem that outrageous- difficult to argue that ticket sales would have been affected by the support band - surely not that unusual to just pay them a pre-arranged fee for playing their set?

The venue needs to pay the fee so includes it on a settlement to the artist and takes it out alongside any hire costs etc before passing the remainder of the ticket income to the artist

Not sure how it works with regards to the money going back to the bands but as a venue when we do our annual PRS return we need to list the bands that have played the venue the past twelve months so I assume it gets paid annually back to an artist

Wouldn’t surprise me at all if the headliners take all the PRS money and the support band just get a flat fee

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Didn’t it use to be quite common for big name headliners to actually charge support acts for the exposure they would get from playing (rather than paying them)?

It does sound a bit dodgy if true as I would assume the PRS differentiate their percentage based on support acts. I think the big scandal nowadays is major labels forcing artists to work with their in-house songwriters in order for them to get a percentage of their publishing/live royalties.

still happens, although they’ve now re-badged it as “paying onto a tour”, whereby the support band gets £50 per show, but then has to pay towards ‘the bus’ for the headliners or something similar. we got offered the tour support for a well known post-rock band, but didn’t have a cool £6k lying around for their bus, so had to decline.

in regards to this prs thing, i knew a band who supported U2 at wembley, and the prs from those gigs kept em going for years, as obviously the capacity of wembley means £££ in performance royalties. never heard of this ‘signing over prs royalties’ thing though - sounds way more complicated and just confusing tbh.

There’s nothing new in the world - back in the 50s/60s managers/label bosses/producers often got co-writing credits on songs they actually had little or nothing to do with writing.