The music venue is a sacred place, though in many ways worryingly under threat due to the calamities of modern capitalism, etc. Here is a list of our writers’ favourite venues and why, we’ve tried hard to make sure they encapsulate differing areas within the country.
The Bodega, Nottingham
Nottingham’s very own hot bed of local talent, The Bodega has played home to a whole host of now world famous names. Its main room is small, cosey and provides the perfect setting to the most chaotic of gigs.
The Libertines, Adam Green, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and more have all played there at some point. This year has seen it play home to some of our favourite new bands including The Shimmer Band, RedFaces, Super Furniture, Vega Bay and more.
Best Bodega Gig 2017:
Cabbage (08/02/17): Chaotic, raw, energetic and more, this was quite possibly Nottingham’s gig of the year. The band will be back in the famous venue next February too to relieve what may have been one of the venue’s finest gigs of all time!
The Monarch, London
The Monarch’s Gin deals are incredible, but it is actually its unique setting both physically and geographically which makes the venue all the more special. Tiered sections make its front room something like an amphitheatre, with its window providing a unique backdrop to whichever band takes its stage.
It is one of Camden’s great homes for new music, regularly hosting amazing upcoming talent. This Feeling have already made it somewhat of a home with January seeing their “Big In 2018” gigs come to a fruition there. Calva Louise, Paves and more have already grown into becoming Monarch icons, 2018 now seems quite exciting for the famous venue!
Best Monarch Gig 2017:
This Feeling Alive Tour, Launch Night (26/09/17): This Feeling’s Alive Tour was perhaps one of our highlights of 2017. Streamed via revolutionary Pirate Studios, the night saw BlackWaters, Bang Bang Romeo and The Shimmer Band prepare for the long, nationwide tour which lay ahead. Each of these bands will be huge in 2018 and in many ways it was fitting that the tour began at The Monarch, a venue which epitomises everything that This Feeling stands for.
The Leadmill, Sheffield
The Leadmill is arguably the home of Sheffield’s rich and immersive music scene. In history, the famous venue has seen local favourites such as Pulp and Arctic Monkeys pass through its doors as long as a whole host of national treasures. 2017 Saw Northern Exposure’s collaboration with Musicians Against Homelessness, featuring four of the country’s greatest new bands including Cabbage and Trampolene.
Having recently sold off its hallowed old dance floor, The Leadmill prepares for a new era in its history. Club nights galore and gigs always occurring, it really is the centripetal force for live music in Sheffield.
Best Leadmill Gig 2017:
The Moonlandingz (16/12/17): THE most mesmerising fictional band of 2017 finished their sensational year in style with somewhat of an alternative Christmas party. A full, live edition of their debut album was in many ways out of this world, they are the earth’s premier space based fictional enterprise!
Since its reopening on 2014, Nambucca has gone from strength to strength. Its musing of different genres, bands both small and large means it really is one of North London’s finest musical establishments. Kaiser Chiefs, Wolf Alice, Mac DeMarco and more are just some of the huge names to play the venue since its re-opening.
However, it is its addiction to smaller bands which does the intriguing, well designed venue justice. Many London promotors call it home giving it an atmosphere like no other.
Best Nambucca Gig 2017:
This Feeling TV #1: (08/05/17): This night was so monumental that even Liam Gallagher had to get in on the action. DMA’s, Slaves and Tom Grennan all featured in a night which also saw Carl Barat of The Libertines launch an innocent old tele out of a third floor window… We get the feeling its second nature for him now!
The most intriguing of all venues on the list, not least for being situated on a boat and featuring in cult TV series Skins way back in the day. However, what is most important to note is that Bristol’s Thekla has been threatened recently with closure due to potential building developments nearby.
This is becoming far too regular, something which plagues the small venue. It is somewhat irritiating that local council wants the venue gone to make way for less culturally valuable structures. This fight will go on for a while, any support for the #SaveThekla campaign is desperately needed!
Best Thekla Gig 2017:
Liam Fray (23/10/17): As acoustic gigs go, Fray’s are nothing short of atmospheric. The often low-key, subdued nature of acoustic gigs have been instead replaced by full blown crowd sing alongs. The Courteeners in their own right have become one of the country’s most important entities, a stadium band who continue to prove the doubters wrong. “Not Nineteen Forever” and “Lose Control” were the highlights of yet another sold out Thekla gig.
King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
King Tuts is far more than just being the venue where Oasis were first signed, it is the hotbed of the country’s ever blossoming music scene. Radiohead, Pulp and Biffy Clyro all gained valuable early live experience here.
It’s ‘Steps Of Fame’ signify all this and more, 2017 saw it become the host to Liam Gallagher’s “Come Back To Me” music video produced by Shane Meadows. The venue shows no signs of slowing down, 300 capacity crowds are constantly treated to performances from the best new Scottish bands including Vida, Shambolics and The Dunts.
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