Nick Stephenson Music – Fightback! Save UK grassroots music venues
As a full-time musician for the past 6 years and a live performer for the past 16, I’ve performed at many grass roots venues, including Camden Barfly, Dublin Castle, Hope and Anchor, Hard Rock Cafe, Purple Turtle, Dingwalls and countless other clubs and pubs…
The list goes on! Some have been gigs I’d rather forget, but many of these venues gave me the opportunity to gain a larger fan base, boost my profile or better still, lead to bigger opportunities like festival slots and arena gigs. They have also played an integral part in making me a better, well-rounded performer.
So when I saw that The Roundhouse in Camden was hosting a ‘Fight Back’ event to raise vital funds for a new service to stop the closure of grass roots venues across the UK, I was there in a shot!
The evening was made up of music from great acts like The Carnabys, Jake Isaac, Ed Hardcourt, Public Service Broadcasting and Everything Everything in the main room, as well as 2 other stages of live music to support the cause!
The money made from the event will go towards Music Venue Trust which will directly stop music venue closures by tackling the number 1 cause of those closures; the cost and complexity of legal advice and expert opinion on planning, development, noise and licensing issues.
I wholeheartedly support this campaign and feel that every musician, famous or not needs to do the same. Just as Sir Paul says above, we all had to start somewhere. In my opinion the smaller venues are often where the real magic takes place – seeing musicians develop at close range is exciting! Not on TV in front of a celebrity judge where you’re being manipulated into feeling something with a sob story and cheesy background music etc, but in front of an audience of live music lovers, in a small room where you can talk to the acts afterwards and feel a real connection with their music.