BBC Radio 6 Music will celebrate 10 years of Independent Venue Week, the UK’s annual seven-day celebration of independent music and arts venues and the people that own, run and work in them. Steve Lamacq (weekdays, 4pm-7pm) takes his tour bus around the UK for a series of special shows, featuring performances in independent venues from Sprints, Grove, Young Fathers, The Murder Capital and Suede as announced on air this evening.
The tour will see Steve broadcasting from a different venue in a UK town or city each day – Ramsgate Music Hall (Monday 30 January), Hare and Hounds in Birmingham (Tuesday 31 January), Norwich Arts Centre (Wednesday 1 February), KU Stockton (Thursday 2 February) and Stereo in Glasgow (Friday 3 February). All of the artists will join Steve in conversation before performing at each of these venues.
Steve Lamacq says: “Independent Venue Week has always played a vital role in helping grassroots venues at a financially perilous time of year. But it’s even more essential now, as venues try and bounce back from the COVID lockdowns and cope with the pressures of the current cost of living situation. But it’s also a great time to get out and see some new and emerging artists before they hit the summer festival stages. There’s a terrific variety of music on offer.
“We’ve also lined up some of our own favourite new and established acts for a week of gigs in small independent venues around the country and will be touring the UK, presenting the BBC Radio 6 Music radio show from a different location every day.”
Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music, says: “So many of 6 Music’s favourite emerging and established artists started out performing in small independent venues across the UK. In a post-pandemic music industry, it’s never been more important to support these venues and showcase the vital role and space they provide for musicians and fans alike. I’m incredibly proud that Lammo is on the road for a week, across the UK, shining a light on such an integral part of our music eco-system.”
Each set will also open with short gigs from BBC Music Introducing artists. A track from each of these supporting artists’ sets will be played out during Steve’s show the following day.
On Monday 30 January, Steve kicks off the week with Irish garage punk band Sprints before they take to the stage at Ramsgate Music Hall for a show that evening. Steve will also round up tracks from some of the very best Independent Venue Week gigs that have been broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music in previous years, including a track from Franz Ferdinand, recorded at their PJ Molloys (Dunfermline) Independent Venue Week show in 2022. Sybil Bell, Founder of Independent Venue Week, joins to discuss its 10th anniversary and the live music landscape in 2023. Plus BBC Music Introducing radio show presenter Abbie McCarthy (BBC Radio Kent, Saturdays 8-10pm, and BBC Sounds) chats to Steve about Kent’s live music scene, and André Dack from the Ramsgate Music Hall treats listeners to a history of the venue. The show finishes with an audio tour around Ramsgate from Filipe Gomes, composer, sound designer and director of Ramsgate Radio.
On Tuesday 31 January, Steve’s guest will be Bristol-based producer, vocalist and DJ Grove, who joins Steve before their set at Hare and Hounds in Birmingham that evening. Steve will also play a recorded-live track from Monday’s BBC Music Introducing artist set. Adam Regan from the Hare and Hounds then joins to share the story of the venue, alongside BBC Music Introducing radio presenter Theo Johnson (BBC Radio 1Xtra, Sundays 10pm-12am), who will discuss Birmingham’s live music scene. There’ll be another audio tour around Birmingham from a special guest tour guide, and the show will finish with recorded-live highlights from Sprints’ performance at Ramsgate Music Hall from the previous evening.
Wednesday 1 February will see Steve welcome Scottish art pop trio Young Fathers to the show as they prepare for their first live show in four years at Norwich Arts Centre in Norfolk. Steve will also play a track from the previous evening’s BBC Music Introducing artist performance, and Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth from Norwich band Let’s Eat Grandma takes listeners on a tour of Norwich. Steve is also joined by BBC Music Introducing presenter Kitty Perrin (BBC Radio Norfolk, Saturdays 8-10pm, and BBC Sounds) to chat about Norwich’s live music scene. Plus there’ll be performance highlights from Grove from Tuesday night’s set at the Hare and Hounds.
On Thursday 2 February, Steve is joined by Irish post-punk band The Murder Capital before their set at KU Stockton in North Yorkshire that evening. Steve chats to the band ahead of their performance, and listeners are treated to a tour of Stockton from Kingsley Hall, frontman of Stockton punk band Benefits. BBC Music Introducing radio presenter Shakk Hashemi (BBC Radio Tees, Saturdays 8-10pm, and BBC Sounds) joins Steve to discuss Stockton’s music scene. Jimmy Beck from the venue will also share the story behind KU. Plus, Steve looks back to the previous night’s performance, with highlights from Young Fathers’ set.
On Friday 4 February, Suede will perform live on 6 Music as Steve arrives at Stereo in Glasgow. There’ll also be a tour around the city from Stina Tweeddale from Honeyblood. Steve will welcome BBC Music Introducing presenters Phoebe Inglis-Holmes and Shereen Cutkelvin (BBC Radio Scotland, Fridays 8-10pm, and BBC Sounds) to chat about Glasgow’s live music scene and Stereo’s general manager Nicola Beedie talks about the history of today’s venue. Plus there’ll be a final recorded-live track played from last night’s BBC Music Introducing artist set.
Steve will also be providing listeners with gig guides to other Independent Venue Week concerts happening in the UK across the week.
All programmes will be available to listen to live on BBC Sounds and for 30 days after their broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music.
Independent Venue Week will also be celebrated across BBC Radio 6 Music. Chris Hawkins (weekdays, 5-7.30am) will host weekly MySpace audio tours of venues across the UK in the run-up to Independent Venue Week. The tours kick off with Oporto in Leeds on Monday 16 January, followed by The Tunnels in Aberdeen on Monday 23 January, and finishing with YES in Manchester on Monday 30 January. Chris will also be joined from Jay Taylor from Music Venue Trust on Wednesday 1 February to talk about the challenges faced by independent venues and what the future holds for them in 2023.
On Craig Charles’s show (weekdays, 1-4pm), there will be takeovers of Craig’s usual daily features from five eclectic independent venues across the week. On Monday, Tramshed in Cardiff will tell listeners which cover sounds better than the original, whilst Thekla in Bristol takes over the calming Zen Den on Tuesday. Roadmender in Northampton will explain the importance of independent venues post-Covid on Wednesday and the Trunk of Punk on Thursday will be taken over by Brixton Jamm in London. To round off the week, the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen will provide a Thank Funk It’s Friday mix. In the run-up to the celebration, independent venue Band on the Wall in Manchester join Craig on Wednesday 25th January to share their plans for 2023.