Maidstone doorstep singer to be investigated if he doesn’t keep it down

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Jonathan Purssell has been singing his heart out for neighbours during lockdown – but it appears some are not too happy about the noise

A singer who started belting out tunes on his doorstep in lockdown has been told to keep it down.

Jonathan Purssell, 67, picked up his guitar and started singing every Thursday evening back in May last year.

The father-of-two was shielding due to health issues and, like so many other musicians, could not perform at his regular gigs.

Jonathan said it built up a ‘real camaraderie’ on his street in Maidstone, Kent, and he’s also raised hundreds for charity in the process.

But following a noise complaint to his local council, the retired graphic technician was sent a letter warning him an investigation will be launched if he carries on.

‘I play anything gentle, I don’t play hard rock,’ Jonathan told Kent online.

‘I play folk, country, 60s or 70s music, nothing too noisy. I was shocked, I thought “come to the door and talk to me and we can sort this out.”’

He added: ‘We have all become really friendly with each other and that’s all down to this.

Jonathan Purssell started the gigs as he was shielding and could not leave his home

‘Everyone comes out. I have got Christmas cards from people saying how wonderful it is.

‘I am at high risk, I nearly died a few years back, this gives me something to do. Ever since Covid I haven’t gone out much.’

He admits there had been occasions when he had been singing up until 10pm.

Jonathan said the later finishes could have been a problem, but said: ‘It’s the kind of thing that we could have worked out if we spoke to the person who complained.

‘If someone had knocked on my door and said, “It’s a bit too loud.” I would say “I will turn the volume down.” Or they could have slid a note under my door.’

The singer uses an amp for his guitar as he plays in his doorway and he wants people to be able to hear him.

He added: ‘I don’t see why I should just stop if I can put the volume down and play half the time. I am just trying to do the right thing.’

A council spokesperson said: ‘Maidstone Borough Council has a duty to investigate noise nuisance complaints.

‘The council’s approach is to reach a position whereby all parties can reach an amicable solution.’

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