In a state of Indie-pendence

editorial image

As I’m sure you are all aware, it was Independent Venue Week two weeks ago.

Okay, it’s not Record Store Day. Except it is. Vinyl may be swapped for sticky floorboards, but it’s an attempt to gather together en masse members of an underground movement.

Why should Independent Venue Week matter anyway? Well, put simply, your big bands weren’t always big. The way it works (unless a Simon Cowell shortcut is employed) bands play wee venues, make mistakes, lose money and those not cut adrift come out the other end better, if slightly battered.

Venues vanish every week, without even a blue plaque to mark their passing. The few that last more than a couple of decades have a rich history with famous acts striding their stages before stardom beckoned. London’s Dublin Castle spawned Madness, while the 100 Club hosted early shows by The Clash and Sex Pistols – who also pitched up at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall a decade after ‘Judas’ Dylan went electric there.

By the time you read this, IVW will be over, with punters going back to watching The Voice. Apart from those who fight for their right to wade through rivers of flat lager and watch their heroes up close and personal.