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AP PHOTOS: Return of live music to London inspires artists

Step by step — and note by note — London's many musicians are getting back to work and preparing to perform new music under new public guidelines.

The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls is reigniting the creativity of some of London's many musicians and songwriters after 14 months of silence.

Jack Milwaukee says his inspiration to create new music was reduced to zero during the pandemic but returned once the road map for reopening was clear.

A hand sanitizer station is placed at the entrance of Moth Club in Hackney, in London, Saturday, May 29, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. Jack Milwaukee says his inspiration to create new music was reduced to zero during the pandemic, but it returned once the road map for reopening was clear. Musicians started playing again across London on May 17, but to small, socially distanced crowds. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Working artists started playing again across London on May 17, but to small, socially distanced crowds.

Milwaukee, a 31-year-old Italian multi-instrumentalist whose real name is Iacopo Bertelli, put out his third album in late January 2020, less than two months before Britain's first coronavirus lockdown. “The Visionary,” was released under his solo project M!R!M — pronounced M-R-M.

Milwaukee performed last week on stage at the Moth Club in the East End of London with 36-year-old Francesco Perini on keyboards. The pair played a series of four socially distanced shows in three days to a crowd that averaged 70.

A sign attached on the entry door to the Moth Club in Hackney asks patrons to sanitize hands upon entry in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. Jack Milwaukee says his inspiration to create new music was reduced to zero during the pandemic, but it returned once the road map for reopening was clear. Musicians started playing again across London on May 17, but to small, socially distanced crowds. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Perini, like Milwaukee is an Italian based in London, also has a fulltime job at an optician's shop. After being furloughed and finding himself at home with too much free time, he says he started seeking solace from alcohol.

But during the second part of 2020, the experienced musician and member of Italian psychedelic rock band The Hacienda turned some ideas into music. He says the process, spending up to eight hours a day writing and recording, has been a huge relief in terms of getting him back to a regular daily routine.

The burst of creativity even led to his first solo project, Pearz, and his first solo singles.

Musician Francesco Perini, sanitizes his keyboards prior to his live socially distanced performance at the Moth Club in Hackney, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Milwaukee's songwriting ability also came back strong. Besides splitting his time as a sound technician at venues around London, he has started to write and record his fourth album.

And with lockdown measures progressively being eased in London, Milwaukee can look forward to a European tour, which is scheduled to put him on stage in venues across the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and France. He'll also get the chance to perform in countries where M!R!M's success is growing, such as Russia, Ukraine and Turkey.

Musician Iacopo Bertelli, stage name Jack Milwaukee, sanitizes his microphone prior to his live socially distanced performance at the Moth Club in Hackney, London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Musicians Iacopo Bertelli, stage name Jack Milwaukee, left, and Francesco Perini, stage name Pearz, pose backstage at the Moth Club in Hackney, prior to their live show on stage, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

People wear face masks as they enter the Moth Club in Hackney, prior to their live show on stage, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Musician Iacopo Bertelli, left, stage name Jack Milwaukee, and Francesco Perini, stage name Pearz, at keyboards, play live on stage in front of a socially distanced crowd at the Moth Club in Hackney, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021.The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Musician Iacopo Bertelli, front, stage name Jack Milwaukee, and Francesco Perini, stage name Pearz, at keyboards, play live on stage in front of a socially distanced crowd at the Moth Club in Hackney, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021.The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

A waitress collects drinks whilst wearing a face mask at the Moth Club in Hackney, prior to their live show on stage, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Musician Iacopo Bertelli, stage name Jack Milwaukee, and Francesco Perini, stage name Pearz, at keyboards, play live on stage in front of a socially distanced crowd at The Moth Club in Hackney, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)

Members of staff wear face masks as they watch Jack Milwaukee perform at the Moth Club in Hackney, in London, Sunday, May 30, 2021. The return of live music in the city that produced bands from the Rolling Stones to the Spice Girls has reignited the creativity of some of London's many working artists after 14 months of silence. (AP PhotoAlberto Pezzali)