High Court hears details of wedding band name row Band mates had a falling out
A FORMER lead singer in a three-piece wedding band claims the group should not be using the band name when performing with a new lead vocalist.
The "Eden" band, which plays at weddings around the country, is owned by a company in which lead singer Ed Kenny, lead guitarist Robert Pender, and keyboard player David Lynch, are equal shareholders, the High Court heard.
After a falling out between Mr Kenny and the other two musicians, Mr Kenny asked the court for leave to bring an action on behalf of the company seeking a number of orders including that the Eden name could no longer be used by any new group because it amounts to trading on or wrongfully using an asset belonging to the company.
The court heard Mr Kenny has since formed his own wedding band called "All the Best" though he says it has not got any bookings yet. His former colleagues use the name "Eden Wedding Band " with a new lead singer.
Mr Kenny claimed there was an attempt by the other two to steamroll the company into liquidation and to unlawfully remove him as a director of the company. He has asked the court to make his two fellow shareholders provide full accounts of the company and reimburse all monies which he says have been wrongly directed away from the company.
The defendants deny the claims and say Mr Kenny initially agreed to the liquidation, after relationships broke down, but he then changed his mind in an effort to damage the reputation of Eden.
They also deny he was wrongly removed as lead singer and say they had to employ a new singer in order to fulfil bookings for the band made into next year.
Mr Justice Michael White was told yesterday by Michael Vallely BL, for Mr Kenny, that the band was formed around 2001 and was incorporated as the company, Eden Music Ltd, in 2007 with the three men as equal shareholders.
When Mr Kenny started performing solo in his brother-in-law's pub, it brought to a head tensions within the band and led to these legal proceedings, counsel said. Despite "multiple" attempts to find a compromise, they were not successful, he said.
At the heart of the case was the fact that the company has received bookings upto the end of next year, with a total value of more than €90,000, and a large part of the dispute was who was entitled to the benefit of those bookings, he said.
While a new lead singer had been brought in, Mr Kenny had been on a reduced salary from the company because although he is not performing he is entitled to share in the assets of the company, counsel said.
He was now asking he court for leave to bring an action on behalf of the company in circumstances where he says the other two shareholders are using bookings for their own benefit.
Mr Kenny, Carrick Vale, Edenderry, Co Offaly, said in affidavits that after the falling out and his replacement as lead singer, Mr Pender and Mr Lynch, both of the Sycamores, Edenderry, threatened to liquidate the company.
His solo performances were at times that did not clash with the work of Eden and he performed alone in a small pub as a favour to his brother-in-law.
He said attempts had been made to liquidate the company without any reference to him as a fellow director. His fellow directors had then registered ‘Eden Band’ as a business name in what appeared to have been an attempt to convert one of the company’s principal assets to their own use, he said.
In replying affidavits on behalf of Mr Pender and Mr Lynch, they said they had not been happy with Mr Kenny's performances and personal relationships came under increasing strain. They questioned his commitment to the band.
They offered to buy out his interest in the company and he agreed to this initially but he later changed his mind in what they said was deliberate attempt by him damage the band and maximise compensation for himself.
Andrew King, counsel for Mr Lynch and Mr Pender, urged the court not to grant Mr Kenny leave to bring the action saying it had no reasonable prospect of success. There could be no benefit to the company from this High Court action, he said. Mr King also said the value of outstanding bookings was around €32,500.
Mr Justice White said he would give his decision next week.