Independent Venue Week: Our Gig Picks

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From 23rd to 29th of January, concert halls, cafes and rooms in the backs of/beneath/atop/astride pubs across the UK and Northern Ireland will be celebrating Independent Venue Week.

Think of it as Record Store Day for venues. A celebration taking place across a week, all around the land, in places where you see gigs without those big neon O2CarlingNatwestBarclays signs beaming into your eye holes. It’s a chance to check out and support your local independent venue, many of whom will be showcasing the best local talent and a few shows will have special guests popping up to show their support.

During Independent Venue Week DiS’ Editor (that’s me, hi!) will be going on a Vauxhall-sponsored roadtrip across the UK to visit some of the 140+ venues officially taking part in the week. On this adventure he’ll attempt to ascertain the health of nation’s touring circuit, to find out why some venues are so successful regardless of their location, and to gawp at legendary spaces whose names have become beacons of hope and excitement on the UK circuit for bands and fans alike.

You can follow his week-long trip via posts on the site and keep up to date as it happens with photos, videos and probably some 1am ‘insight’ via DiS’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Before we begin listing some highlights of a week of gigs around the UK, here’s a quick word from our sponsor…


Vauxhall Motors is supporting Independent Venue Week 2017 for the third year in a row through the Vivaro on Tour project. The Vivaro On Tour campaign, supports up-and-coming British artists by offering them free use of a Brit-built Vivaro throughout the year, as they tour throughout the country. The Vivaro on Tour campaign has saved bands over £30,000 during 2016 and has travelled over 100,000 miles since the start. Learn more and find out how your band can get free use of the Vivaro On Tour van.


DiS Picks of IVW17 Line-Up

There are literally hundreds of gigs taking place across the UK during Independent Venue Week, and here are just a few that we hope to attend.

THREE GREAT NEW BANDS IN BIRMINGHAM

There’s Dead! who recently signed to Infectious (who released Muse, Garbage, Alt-J, etc) headlining and The Orcas opening, but it’s our editor’s favourite new discovery of 2016 that we’re most excited to see: False Advertising. These angular, grungy (post-emo?), Mancunians are led by force of nature Jen Hingley who’s not only their lead guitarist and singer but also spends the bulk of the show drumming too. Yes, that’s as thrilling to watch as it sounds.

TIM BURGESS AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Yes, it it may be massive but it’s still an independent venue. The Charlatans’ man is this year’s IVW ambassador and he’ll be playing a special show in the Elgar Room with support from Tears and The Pheromoans. Think of it as the Ambassador’s reception, if you will.

TIM PEAKS TOUR

Not content with throwing a party at one of the countries most prestigous venues, Tim Burgess has also organised a special IVW tour, which you can see rolling into a town near you (hopefully!)

LAMACQ ON TOUR

6 Music’s drive-time show will be zooming around the UK all week next week meeting various venue owners, politicians and musicians on his travels. Find out where Steve Lamacq will be and go shake that man by the hand for introducing you to half of your record collection.

HUW STEPHENS IN LONDON

Lammo isn’t the only music championing BBC radio presenter doing his bit to support Independent Venues, Dr Huw will be hosting a night at The Social in London. This is Huw’s regular night celebrating the very best new music.

XPOSURE ALLDAYER

You don’t see your favourite radio jockeys out of the studio and three turn up at once. The delightful John Kennedy is putting on a big ol’ alldayer for Independent Venue Week at London’s newest venue (owned by one of Mumford & Sons, fact fans!).

JOHN PEEL CENTRE

Did you know this place existed? Maybe. Have you been? Well, now is your chance. Our editor will be there catching the incredible Girl Band making a righteous racket.

GIRL BAND IN LEEDS

Is the Brudenell the best venue in the UK? A lot of people seem to think so. There’s also a rumour that Girl Band are the best live band in the UK. This seems like a perfect way to celebrate IVW then.

FRIGHTENED RABBIT IN PAISLEY

Scottish non-fiction. Probably already sold out though (sorry!).

THE BIG MOON AT BRIXTON WINDMILL

Think this one might already be sold out. Look out for the dog on the roof if you’re going.

…ALSO AT THE WINDMILL

Yer man from Fat Whites debut show.

RICHARD HAWLEY IN HEBDEN BRIDGE

With support from Juanita Stein from Howling Bells, double-header takes place over two nights (Sat 28th and Sun 29th January) at the now legendary Trades Club, which just might be the best venue in the UK.

GET CAPE 2.0

Sam Duckworth aka Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, is now making music as Recreations, and he’s taking his band on a IVW tour.

AMBER ARCADES IN BEDFORD

Following the 10/10 from DiS last year, it’s fair to say we’re excited about seeing this Dutch lady in a small commuter town, at the somewhat legendary Esquires with an exciting local support.

BRISTOL NEW MUSICGASM

Go grab yourself a cider and soak in this lot.

GLASGOW HOT SPOT

Go for the cosy live shows. Stay for the drams and delicious vegan food.

GUILFORDADELICA

This lot do mystic psych-prog rather splendidly.

FUTURE OF THE LEFT IN CARDIFF

No DiS article is complete without mentioning FotL.


For more information please visit Independent Venue Week’s website.

Related reading: Drowned in Sound’s IVW mini-site featuring interviews with Tim Burgess, Sam Duckworth, and lots more choice articles about touring from our archive.

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