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 reflect upon different areas around the country.
The Monarch, London
The Monarch is somewhat of a Tardis, an intriguing London hangout which never seems to end. Based around (you guessed it) the monarchy, its gin selection shows all the signs of pageantry and regal celebration.
It is the home of live music in Camden, This Feeling often call it home. The likes of Tom Grennan, Generation and Calva Louise have all featured on its small, road facing stage this year. Ignoring its impressive gigs, famous gin selection and cosy garden, The Monarch is a hangout for like minded indie heads and upcoming music makers.
The Chameleon Arts Cafe, Nottingham
Somewhat of a secret wonderland, The Chameleon Arts Cafe is the unofficial home of Nottingham’s music scene. In fact, we can’t think of another venue which epitomises the DIY ethos of the city’s ever growing scene much like this one does.
It plays home to all kinds of genres, a breeding ground of local talent. The likes of Sleaford Mods, Crosa Rosa, Warmduscher, Babe Punch and False Heads have all played in recent times. With a beautifully curated bar to match its an intimate gig space, the Chameleon Arts Cafe is a ‘must visit’ for any local music fan.
Jimmy’s NQ, Manchester
Of all the venues on this list Jimmy’s is the youngest. However, this does not belittle its rapid impact upon Manchester’s ever expanding, always evolving music scene. From the outside it is small, yet inside it boasts a full length bar, 70 cap venue and a whole host of intricate, well thought out design features.
However, it is its contribution to the local music scene which is invaluable. Always likely to support new bands and artists, Jimmy’s is a key advocate of Manchester music. Having had such a profound effect over such a short period, one can only assume that Jimmy’s shall be referred to as an invaluable component of the city’s cultural scene in years to come.
Nambucca is the centripetal point of North London’s indie scene. A colossal live venue which bears all the hallmarks of a famous London institution. The home of This Feeling TV, Generation Next and more, it is a breeding ground for new talent.
If you’re an up and coming band then Nambucca is the place to be. This year it has seen the likes of The Kooks, Bang Bang Romeo, Calva Louise and Avalanche Party grace its stage. With the project evolving and the venue becoming even more genre inclusive, we’re sure that 2019 will be even more exciting on Holloway Road.
Banquet Records, Kingston
Banquet Record Store is the beating heart of Kingston. They describe themselves as being ‘more than your local record shop’ which quite frankly, couldn’t be more true. The closure of the town’s Hippodrome meant a sudden relocation of their live space was in order, enter: Pryzm.
With more shows than ever, Banquet only seems to get bigger and better every year. The 1975 celebrated the release of their third studio album there, this year has also seen the likes of Cabbage, Peace, Pale Waves and Miles Kane head to South West London. Alongside all this is a legendary Record Store Day event, perhaps the best musical day out in the entire country!
The Leadmill, Sheffield
From club-nights galore to some of the finest gigs in the city, Sheffield’s Leadmill is an institution in itself. Everyone has played there over the years, including local favourites Pulp and Arctic Monkeys.
First opened in 1980, the city’s longest running live music venue has thrived in 2018 with our personal highlight being Sheafs’ impressive homecoming gig just this month. 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.
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Image via Will Ireland / This Feeling TV w/ Red Stripe
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