Bands on the run to visit grassroots music venues

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Independent Venue Week

January 28 to February 3

More than 200 venues across the UK are signed up to take part in this year’s Independent Venue Week - 90 of them for the first time.

The week-long event, which is at the backbone of the UK’s thriving live music scene, will focus on emerging new talent as well as established artists, keen to support grassroots venues.

Back for a sixth year, Independent Venue Week aims to help music fans shake off the winter blues and enjoy gigs by newly-tipped artists - without having to travel too far from home.

Ambassador for this year’s event is Mercury-nominated grime artist Novelist who will be visiting Square Chapel arts centre. Halifax, on Saturday, February 2.

There has been little presence of grime, hip hop or rap at Independent Venue Week venues in the past but Novelist hopes to change that.

He said: “I thoroughly enjoy having a close connection to my fans and the opportunity to entertain and interact at close quarters gives me the best buzz. They almost become part of the performance and I get to rave with them - it’s a blessing.”

IVW director Chloe Ward said: “What’s so exciting about having an artist like Novelist as ambassador is that we can bring together a musician with venues and gig goers that might not have crossed paths before, all around the country.”

Square Chapel is also hosting gigs by American singer Caroline Spence on Wednesday, January 30 and the Zoe Gilby Quartet on Friday, February 1. Headline appearances at Hebden Bridge Trades Club by Public Service Broadcasting, The Blinders and two shows by Thurston Moore sold out within days of tickets going on sale but tickets are available for gigs by Ist Ist, Pip Blom, Working Men’s Club, PigsX7 and Black Midi.

The Grayston Unity presents Carmel (Feb 1) and Knuckle (Feb 3) The Lantern have Snake Davis (Jan 29), Land Sharks (Jan 31), Wot Gorillas and Lost Ground (Feb 1), The Shining Levels and Jarrod Dickinson (Feb 3). The Meeting Room in Elland and The Golden Lion in Todmorden are also listed as taking part.

For full details on what’s happening where visit independentvenueweek.com