Monday, 26 January 2015

Independent Venue Week

This week is the second Independent Venue Week. Launched in 2014, IVW celebrates and champions the small, independently run live music venues across the UK. These places really are the lifeblood of our music scene and without them we really would be in trouble - completely at the mercy of the soulless corporations who seem intent on sterilising the variety and diversity we have, distilling it into easily consumable product for the masses. Yet sadly, small independent venues continue to struggle. Far too many awesome places have closed over the years, so we really should be supporting them.

Here's our chance. Visit the Independent Venue Week website and check out what's happening near you this week. If you can get along to a show, DO IT! I'll be hotfooting it along to Cardiff's Clwb Ifor Bach on Saturday night to see a hometown show by the brilliant Future Of The Left (who will feature in this week's Welsh Wednesday post).

The first time I went to Clwb Ifor Bach was in October 2011 to see Emmy The Great. This was during the looooong period that MrsRobster and I didn't get out much, restricting ourselves to a mere one or two gigs a year! However, the last two years have been much more fruitful now the Sprogsters are older. The majority of the 18 shows we've taken in since the start of 2013 have been at small independent venues. In fact, since that Emmy The Great show, I've returned to Clwb to see Masters In France, Public Service Broadcasting, Young Knives, Shonen Knife, Drenge and Eagulls. Along with the Globe (my fave Cardiff venue, also a tiny little place), it has become a semi-regular haunt. It's also crucial to the Welsh music scene in particular, and a passionate supporter of the Welsh language.

There are, of course, plenty of other small indie venues I've visited over the years. My all time favourite has to be Exeter's Cavern, a place I loved as much as my own home. I was also lucky enough to play there myself on a couple of occasions. It's still going, and I hope will continue to do so for many years.

Today's tunes, then: Frank Turner is Independent Music Week's official ambassador so you're getting one of his tunes. The other choice is by Emmy The Great in memory of my first time at Clwb Ifor Bach. I very strongly urge you to listen to her new single Swimming Pool if you haven't done so already. It is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Support your live venues folks. You'll never know how much you'll miss them until they're gone and replaced by Carling this and O2 that. Ugh! The very thought makes me feel quite nauseous...


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