For years independent venues have been the backbone of the music industry, offering intimate spaces to perform for both up and coming and established acts.
This week two such places in Leeds and Wakefield have been invited to take part in Independent Venue Week, a national celebration of the important role small music venues play for local groups and touring bands.
The 360 Club, a showcase for unsigned musicians which stages shows at The Library on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, is participating for the second year.
Founder Richard Watson is putting on two bills – the first, on Friday, is in association with Leeds label Clue Records and features rock groups Forever Cult, Treason Kings, NARCS and Adore/Repel. The second, on Saturday, includes Carnabells, Danny Landau, Charlie Straw and Vendettas.
Mr Watson said: “It would be easy to book high profile acts for IVW with the large amount of media coverage it gets but I wanted to stick firmly to my ethos of championing new and emerging local talent.
“And we have some brilliant local acts that are easily good enough to grace/ play major stages around the world, and I have brought eight of them together for my two gigs this weekend’
At The Hop, on Bank Street, Wakefield, new promotions manager Aaron Snowdon is keen to put his venue on the map.”
It has two gigs that are part of IVW – tonight it’s anti-folk performer LACH and Ossett punk poet and former Skint & Demoralised frontman Matt Abbott. Friday’s bill, curated with Philophobia Music and Wah Wah Records, is topped by Leeds band Autobahn with support from The Do’s and Colour of Spring. There will also be stalls and local fanzines taking part.
The idea, says Mr Snowdon, is “basically to bring the Wakefield music community together”.
This celebration of “all things local that are good and independent” will, he says, “encompass the real meaning of Independent Venue Week – it’s an opportunity that we could not miss. Wakefield is often overshadowed by Leeds; it’s good that we are part of an identity.”
For full details of IVW visit www.independentvenueweek.com. For venue information see www.facebook.com/360Club and www.facebook.com/TheHopWakefield.