Per­fect tim­ing. If you’ve been hid­ing your­self away for most of Jan­u­ary, Inde­pen­dent Venue Week comes along from Mon­day 25th to Sun­day 31st Jan­u­ary to bring back music into your life. And it’s all for a good cause – to help raise aware­ness of the UK’s rich seam of quirky and indi­vid­ual music venues, along with all the ben­e­fits they bring to emerg­ing artists and – of course, the gig-going public.

Now in its third year, Inde­pen­dent Venue Week is set to cel­e­brate coun­try-wide with a raft of gigs and plen­ty of oth­er good stuff, such as their free work­shops in part­ner­ship with Cato Acad­e­my – these offer help and advice for 14–20 year olds wish­ing to devel­op a career in live music, tour­ing and pro­duc­tion. Full details and how to apply can be found on the IVW website.

This year’s Ambas­sadors are Mer­cury Prize Short­list­ed Artist Wolf Alice (pic­tured above) who are tak­ing over from Frank Turn­er (2015) and Col­in Green­wood (2014).

Here are just a few Independent Venue Week special gigs.

The Half Moon Put­ney hosts 6 nights of music, with Ian McN­abb of Ici­cle Works appear­ing on Tues­day 26th. Only a few years ago, the Half Moon was threat­en­ing to close down the music side of things alto­geth­er, but it was saved by a cam­paign. The venue is a favourite spot for Hank Wang­ford appear­ances and fea­tures a mix of emerg­ing unsigned artists, plus a ros­ter of pop­u­lar trib­ute acts. Kris Halpin and Imo­gen Heep per­form on Sun­day 31st.


The Trades in Heb­den Bridge deserves an extra shout out, espe­cial­ly hav­ing been such a focal point of sup­port dur­ing the floods cri­sis. I know I’m always fea­tur­ing them, but this is one of my favourite venues. They present a Flood Fundrais­er on Fri­day 29th. Their IVW is curat­ed by Edwyn Collins.

The Trades Hebden Bridge
The Trades Heb­den Bridge

World’s End Finsbury Park will be an offi­cial venue for the first time. Rather than the nor­mal free entry, dur­ing IVW guests are asked to donate just £2 on the night in sup­port of the work of The Joe Strum­mer Foun­da­tion, which “gives oppor­tu­ni­ties to aspir­ing musicians and sup­port to projects around the world that cre­ate social mobil­i­ty through music”. 

Suc­cess Express Music are fer­vent sup­port­ers of emerg­ing artists and are tak­ing over three nights at the World’s End with:

Indie rock bands Bel­la Figu­ra,  Renat­ta Jane,  Lit­tle Broth­er Eli and  Straight On Till Morn­ing on Tue 26th.

Blues, soul and ska fea­tur­ing The King’s Parade,  The Turn­er Broth­ers,  Half­pen­ny Pass,  Edmund Jef­fery  and Hock­ers on Fri 29th.
Inti­mate acoustic evening Axel Jans­son, Rus­sell Swal­low, In Hood­ies, Michael Kil­bey and Sarah Jane Riedel on Sat 30th Jan­u­ary. For full Face­book info, click here

Night & Day Cafe is sit­u­at­ed in Man­ches­ter’s North­ern Quar­ter and is a super-friend­ly lit­tle venue with a great day­time food menu. They have an IVW spe­cial on Tues­day 26th with unsigned bands: Elec­tric Viper Club, Gar­den­back and Paper Drag­ons. £8.

The 100 Club is man­ag­ing to sur­vive, despite being sur­round­ed by Cross­rail devel­op­ment and sub­se­quent dev­as­ta­tion for small venues and Den­mark Street. It’s still a fam­i­ly-run ven­ture too. They’ve got BMX Ban­dits, The School and spe­cial guests on Sat­ur­day 30th January

Sebright Arms Sat­ur­day 30th, Good­soul Pro­mo­tions presents: The Gilmore Trail, Kel­lar, and Fly on Bird.

To check out the whole list of par­tic­i­pat­ing venues and spe­cial gigs, hop over to the Inde­pen­dent Venue web­site and find your­self a local venue to lend your sup­port to (you can buy tick­ets on the site too). And if you know of a inde­pen­dent venue who you think could be tak­ing part, tell them to make haste and get in touch with the IVW team. And please add a com­ment on here with your own recommendations

The Joe Strum­mer Foun­da­tion music char­i­ty sup­ports musi­cians and projects world­wide, and has two fundrais­ing albums out, which you can buy from their site.

joe strummer



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