Over 800 Bands offer to FIGHTBACK
We are delighted and grateful that in the short space of 2 weeks, over 800 bands from all over the UK offered to play at and support our FIGHTBACK gig at Roundhouse London on 18th Oct 2016.
Below are the opinions of those that played, plus a hundred more…
Everything Everything, and all the bands we cut our teeth in beforehand, had lengthy apprenticeships in the UK’s smaller live music venues. For bands like ours, and countless others, there is no shortcut to The Roundhouse, Manchester Apollo, Brixton Academy or the O2.
Smaller venues provide a crucial environment for incubation, and if that is not protected from unscrupulous local authorities and avaricious property developers, than we cannot expect to have homegrown acts filling these bigger rooms in the near future.
We are facing a genuine cultural crisis, as well as a serious threat to the music industry in the UK – a huge British export. Already we hear the cry that there are too few festival headliners rising through the ranks. This is directly connected to the worrying trend of invaluable but highly vulnerable local gigs going for good. FIGHTBACK.
Jeremy Pritchard, Everything Everything
Over the last 20 years I have been lucky to have performed at legendary venues in London such as the 12 Bar Club, the Astoria, the Bull & Gate & the Buffalo Bar. These are all now sadly closed. There are many more under threat. Why? Because our city’s cultural heritage is being suffocated by property developers, councils, capitalism & greed.
I remember the important rite of passage as a teenager, the sheer thrill in the sweaty throng, all of us falling in love with that new band, it was & still is an itch I can’t wait to scratch. This could all disappear for future generations & we must do our best to stand up to the corporate destruction of our musical history. As a touring musician, I stand firmly with FIGHTBACK because it is our duty & our moral obligation.
The Leisure Society
The UK has always been an bastion of creative endeavour and, since the explosion of talent that came out of the 60s, has produced some of the world’s most successful pop artists. All bands have to start somewhere and playing the small, grassroots venues is the place they invariably start. The worrying trend, especially in London, of closing these venues and selling them on to property developers is eroding our cultural heritage, and sabotaging our cultural future at an alarming rate.
The two venues most important in the Leisure Society’s genesis – The 12 Bar, where we played our first show and the Luminaire where we launched our first album – have both been permanently closed down.
We must support these small venues to ensure the future of live music in the UK. We’re currently on tour in France and we were imagining what would happen if the same thing was happening in Paris – They wouldn’t fucking stand for it, and neither should we!
London Contemporary Orchestra
Many of the venues that have been recently shut down due to the greed of a few property developers are the places where musicians hone skills and audiences expand their horizons.
As an orchestra that works a lot with young composers to create new music and introduce new sounds to audiences looking for something different, the disappearance of these venues is a real concern. It’s especially the case where people move into an area trying to soak up its cultural output and then proceed to shut down the places that make it due to noise.
The MVT is doing an essential role to try to correct this problem and we fully support them in this. We hope that gentrification can proceed without neutering the areas that it affects and that our once vibrant cultural scene can be protected from mindless money making. It’s communities and cultural expression that create value for people’s lives, not whitewash new builds.
Recreations & The Magnetic South
Music should be ubiquitous and accessible. It’s good for the heart and it’s good for the head. Grassroots venues are where people who need music in their lives go. Those who need to be challenged, inspired or just forget about their worries. There are so many more people who use these places than you think. They must be preserved and cherished. They gave us the Beatles and Radiohead after all.
We play every single show from the heart and our sound was born through small venues and BBC Introducing. Our show in China last year to a televised audience of 2 billion and this years Reading Festival show which was chosen by BBC Radio 1 to represent the Best of Reading 2016 would not have been possible without the small venues we cut our musical teeth on throughout the UK.
Glasgow and Edinburgh have both taken some pretty major hits in the last few years. I was sad to see the picture house close down on Lothian road, I saw Ryan Adams there for the first time which will always stay with me. It’s gonna re-open as a wetherspoons now I hear…what’s more important? Great sounding music venues in the centre of town or cheap pints? If only the two could come hand in hand. The Arches in Glasgow was obviously a big loss. I’m seeing a lot of smaller intimate gigs emerging though which everyone loves to be part of. It was so great to be back at Sneaky Pete’s the other week!
Bang Bang Romeo
This event is close to our hearts because all of the venue’s most under threat are the ones that gave us our first opportunities and platforms to perform in different cities across the Uk. Without them their is no gateway for the Next Fleetwood Mac or Queen to emerge. They are the vital first step to everyone’s musical journey, including ours.
The mix of a racist and sexist police force, with a lack of political support for the arts has meant that young black people, and other marginalised groups especially have nowhere to cultivate their creative ambitions.
Awate is a rapper and producer from Camden. Having started out at the age of 12, he started collaborating and performing at an early age, coming to the Roundhouse’s inaugural summer of projects in 2006 at 15 years old.
Featured on BBC 1Xtra and KISS FM, Awate toured worldwide with emcee, Lowkey for four years and has supported the likes of Jay Electronica and Smif n Wessun whilst also curating his own night at the Roundhouse in 2015 with Akala, Amy True and Micachu.
Using the dusty, psychedelic funk samples provided by Dcypha label head, Turkish, Awate’s first release is the long awaited EP and culmination of his talents, Shine Ancient.
We are JUDAS. As a band that have played in over 150 different venues all over the UK, from tiny clubs to huge music venues, this is a matter that is extremely close to our hearts. We have been privileged enough to play so many shows, allowing us to build a vital fan base, gain a reputation and experience the sheer fun of playing music. Venues are closing everyday, and it so important to allow up and coming bands to enjoy the amazing atmosphere of playing live shows country-wide. Without the sheer amount of venues we have played, small and large, we would never have had opportunities arise for us, such as being able to play Isle of Wight Festival and Main Stage Leeds. We need to be a part of this revolution to keep venues alive.
Pat Dam Smyth
Without venues there is nowhere to play. I cut my teeth in the dive bars in city centres. It’s always important to be in town playing no matter what size of venue. In London the George Tavern became our place to run wild in. They have tried again and again to close it but thanks to the amazing support its still there. Other Venues haven’t been so lucky. The Rotterdam in Belfast was an incredible bar open to all hours. It’s gone. It’s somewhere I would love to have back time and time again to play. I never went to the Astoria but I often hear that when that venue closed down so did London’s Soho for a scene to hang out.
We all need focal points and without that certain venue musicians spread out and eventually leave. What people in planning don’t realise is that if a venue is hot then it self preserves trade as generations will continue to return. It’s a good commodity whereas new housing does nothing but silence a community.
“Soon musicians will haunt it – Ludlow Street ” – Julian Casablancas.
As soon as we saw Music Venue Trust announce this show, we got straight on to them. For us this is an ongoing cause; we have been shocked at the number of iconic venues that have shut in the last few years. Venues that our music heroes played at and that we had hoped to play at ourselves are now gone forever. So it was a no-brainer to volunteer to play; we have a great London fanbase and having seen the support they gave us with our ‘Too Much, Never Enough’ album campaign we know they will get behind us to help Music Venue Trust again – we can’t wait!
Many of the venues and rehearsal room where we feel in love with being in a band, learned our craft, wrote songs, learned our instruments, bonded as a band are now gone. These places are quickly disappearing from our landscape and if we let this continue, there will be no platforms for future bands to learn their craft and make a name for themselves… so we must put an end to this now!
Hannah Lou Clark
Grassroots venues are vital for giving bands and artists a place to cut their teeth and hone their craft. There’s often a real sense of community too, and this really helps creativity thrive. The west end centre in aldershot did just that for me. Without that venue I wouldn’t have been able to build my confidence in a comfortable and nurturing space.
Only societies that lack interest in the human spirit fail to protect spaces for expression.
Our experience of music is increasingly confined to our private sphere, between us and earphones. If the closure of music venues continues to exacerbate this, soon Londoners would find few reasons to leave their homes and their devices to share an experience with others, besides to go to the pub for a pint…
Samantha Whates & The Chaps Choir
I remember playing an open mic across the road from the union chapel early in my career at The Library. I’ve now been lucky enough to play the Union Chapel on a number of occasions but both venues remain of equal importance to me because, no matter how big or small a venue, each gives a performer a platform to develop as an artist. Without that, musicians like me would still be stuck in our bedrooms playing to our pets. I’m still in love with City Screen in York and The Green Note in Camden, both are places where I honed my trade and both witnessed and took place in some of my favourite shows…
The Blinders are a three-piece alternative group from Doncaster who are now based in Manchester. The band smelts loud and visceral political punk rock with enigmatic, psychedelic poetry and tones. Coming from a rather bleak town such as Doncaster, opportunities are few and far between. The closure of music venues would be disastrous. These are the places where the ecstasy of musical fusion is both witnessed, and achieved for the very first time.The places where unlikely juveniles become one fervent fist. They are the cornerstone of modern music itself, the big bang, the beginnings of our time as both music lovers, and musicians. Faced with a government who laughs in the face of remorse, and is not afraid to sell anything to anyone, FIGHTBACK and do not allow the music industry to become another pawn in the war on people.