Feature: Independent Venue Week 2019

Independent Venue Week 2019

Words: Elena Katrina, Gary Lambert, Samantha Saddler 
Photos: Elena Katrina, Gary Lambert

Tim Burgess  – Phase One 

If ever there was a way to kick off our celebration of Independent Venue Week well this was it, with one of my most favourite people ever; Tim Burgess. Leading a band “The Any Time Minutes” and delivering a set that spanned his solo work, a cover version and of course he couldn’t go without giving his fans a song by the band for which he’s best known; The Charlatans. Ever pushing new music Tim’s label Ogenesis encourages and nurtures new music and support band Average Sex (also Any Time Minutes) delivered a perfect showcase for the label. The venue? Well that was busy, bouncing selling records, selling beers,  selling merch and housing listening sheds….and you know you’re doing a good job when someone who has played every other venue ever says “this venue is fucking ace”. IVW gig 1 – top notch.

FEVA, Them Things and Broken Hands – The Cluny 2 

It was a cold and grim Sunday night in Newcastle to mark the final day of IVW but that wasn’t going to stop me with this cracking line-up at The Cluny 2. First up for the night was Newcastle four-piece FEVA and their raucous tunes. It’s no secret that I love FEVA because I’ve been banging on about them for months but they really are one of the best bands in the Toon at the minute with bags of talent. Crashing percussions, anthemic choruses and plenty of swagger from frontman Sam, they were a perfect opener. The second act on the bill was Them Things who I’ve not actually managed to catch before now and I was seriously impressed. Opening on a dreamy, cosmic number packed with lush melodies I was lulled into a false sense of security as the second track exploded with unbelievable glam-rock meets metal. Headliners Broken Hands soon took to the stage with their psychedelic, thrashy rock that they have become so popular for. Screeching riffs, boisterous drums and thundering rhythms pounded out from the stage as the lighting switched to display an underground rock hall atmosphere. An awesome way to finish IVW with three bands that I can’t wait to see again.

Witch Fever – Phase One

A celebration of female artists put on by Liverpool cultural blog Getintothis saw a very mixed offering that was worth the entry fee and more. With Liverpool based singers, Niki Kand, Mersey Wylie, and Sara Wolff (playing a gig where she can regularly be found serving behind the counter), alongside spoken word artists Cath Holland and Janaya Pickett, the pace was sedate but pleasant offering some of the best in grown-up pop music and witticisms. However, the performance of Witch Fever followed that like a Tequila slammer after a glass of tap water. Angry, passionate, vitriolic and inspiring, Witch Fever shook the block with their fierce punk rock. It was a magnificent night.

 

Charity Shop Pop – The Jacaranda Club

Down in the basement once home to the likes of The Beatles, the night was filled with the music of the future with young acts taking to the stage. First up was Alice Mae who was making her debut as a public performer with a series of gentle acoustic numbers. The curiously named Putin and Friends took their inspiration from the hits of the past with a sound very much vestigial in the history of the room. Hanover offered a tight set that won them some new friends. But the highlight of the night was headliner and organiser Charity Shop Pop with his Scooby Doo themed set. Imagine Moss from The IT Crowd playing Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly and you’ll get an insight into what he is like.

 

Hacktivist – The Parish

Independent Venue Week can do crazy things to a man. This particular version made me desperate for live music to such an extent that after watching a Premier League football match I bounced across Huddersfield in order to watch the rap metal showing of Hactivist. Whilst rap metal might bring images of Limp Bizkit, there was not a backwards baseball cap in sight. Instead, we received a wild blast of raw anger and angst lead superbly by the multi-vocalists. It was busy on stage as they moved around, but all that energy went straight into my veins.

 

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