Our rich and vibrant music scene has long held the quirky, interesting and unique independent venues we have in the North East at its core. Independent Venue Week running from Monday 23rd until Sunday 29th January offers up the chance to celebrate those venues during the seven day celebration of some of our smaller gig haunts.
Stockton’s Ku Bar and ARC have both been names as hot grassroots venues by Ents 24 (more information here) and they seem the perfect place to start. Both have hosted some incredible shows over the last 12 months, with an exciting year ahead, and ARC in particular offering up a bit of everything from outside the world of music too. Teesside also sees indie pop makers Cape Cub head to The Green Room on Friday 27th January as part of the celebrations.
Not to be out done, Sunderland’s Pop Recs Ltd and Independent have both been home to some splendid shows, and even venturing further out into Durham, venues like Empty Shop HQ have been a welcoming environment to incredible bands, amazing touring musicians and some weird and wonderful outsiders.
Newcastle has a reputation for its venues, and Jumpin’ Jacks and Think Tank? are often filled with gig-goers, with regular streams of music makers flying through their doors. Looking at venues like Hoochie Coochie and the beautiful The Mining Institute, it’s easy to find something different within the bustling city.
The Ouseburn offers up the glorious Cluny, Cumberland Arms, Tyne Bar, Ernest and a list that goes on and on. With something for everyone, the home to Evolution Emerging and NARC Fest is an area that is utterly alive and enshrined in our region’s music scene. Though travel out further to Tynemouth, and the Surf Cafe is surely one of our hidden gems.
If any of the above venues are new to you, go down, sample them, take in what they have to offer, there really isn’t a more appropriate week to do it.