By law promoters have to pay the PRS (performing rights society - a collection agency on behalf of all registered musicians) for each show, so yes, some money will make it's way to the credited writers of each song performed.
I may be TOTALLY wrong here, but doesn't PRS apply to publicly aired recordings (jukeboxes, telephone hold music, elevator music, radio broadcasts)?
If a pub covers band plays a song, there is nobody there to keep notes of what was played, they may not even know who wrote it, and if the "promoter" (in this case presumably the pub landlord) had to pay for every song that a band played, it would be the end of live music because they couldn't afford it.
I realise that Queen are on an arena tour, but the principle is the same and if it can't work at one end of the spectrum, it can't work at the other either.
Having said all that, if subsequently a live album is released, royalties accrue from SALES of the performance, but not the original performance.
Let the shooting down of PG commence....
No, you're also right, if a covers band played Radio ga ga in a pub then the PRS are not going to come a knocking, how would they know? but cases where you have a promoter such as clear channel, sjm, metropolis (ie bona fide registered companies) PRS will be paid, it's automatically a show cost, as is hiring a venue, pa, lights, catering etc.
Public shootings?? tsk tsk, not me, unless you're about to say Roger's a crap drummer...!