Now in its tenth year, Independent Venue Week celebrates the people and places that keep live music going all year round; the independently run bars, clubs and concert spaces that are the beating heart of the British music scene. From the 26th of January until 6th of February, over 200 venues across the country will take part in the showcase with the help of BBC 6 Music and industry ambassadors including Young Fathers, Beabadoobee and Radiohead’s Philip Selway.
One of the great joys of the last couple of months has been seeing the much beloved Leith Depot kicking back in to action and they’ll be taking part with techno-folk from Pocket Monica, bütter’s psychedelic space rock and the anarchic chaos that is The Honey Farm – ‘potentially the first and by default greatest Scottish female rap group’. Elsewhere in Edinburgh, the excellent AMPLIFI continue their work raising the profile of upcoming artists at The Queen’s Hall with a gig from Viv Latifa, randombrownkid and Hip Hop Scotland editor Sanjeev Mann aka Supermann on da beat with production as much influenced by Linkin Park as Lil’ Peep.
Britpop pioneers and 6 Music stalwarts Suede bring their razor-sharp cheekbones and doomed decadence to Glasgow’s Stereo on Friday 3rd; swapping their usual audience of thousands for the more intimate 350 capacity of Renfield Lane which is sure to be a special night for those lucky on the ticket lottery. Also at stereo are West Lothian indie favourites The Snuts with tickets available through a draw for the War Child charity. Sister venue mono hosts Start to End; fresh from their recent performances of The Cocteau Twins’ ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ they’ll be taking on glitch-emo classic ‘Give Up’ by The Postal Service and sending grown adults spiralling back to their teenage bedrooms.
Further north, The Bug Club are spreading their garage rock gospel in Dundee and Aberdeen, and there’s a handful of great gigs at the Tunnels and Krakatoa focusing on the very healthy Aberdeen scene. PAGES‘s brand of pop rock and the excellently named Depeche Choad all bands well suited to a sweaty basement.
Down in the Borders, MacArts host the ever dependable Fatherson, supported by the ever excellent Vanives. The venue will also be supporting local talent with a night featuring 8 Days, Racian, Cameron and Amber, plus Devin Casson.
Running an independent music venue has never been an easy job and these places function as essential social and creative hubs. The teams behind them are what keeps the diverse and vibrant arts scene in Scotland thrumming. After a tough couple of years for the industry it has never been more important to support the incredible places and the people who bring the heart and soul to Scottish music every week of the year.
Independent Venue week runs from 26th January to 6th Feb in venues across the country.
Main image: Fatherson – provided by MacArts