Fight for your Independents!

Blog by Louise Dodgson under Live

I recently did an interview for a local radio station who asked for my view on everything; good, bad and bloody ugly with Sunderland’s music scene. After commenting on how the City is producing some of the finest musicians  it has in…well ever…the presenter asked what I would do with keys to the city and all of the money in the world from the council.

It didn't take me too long to think about this one and I answered very honestly about a subject matter that seems to have people in the city divided. I would sort out the venue situation! But what exactly is the ‘situation’? Some believe it is the lack of venues in the city is letting down what is otherwise a thriving scene. Others would say ‘what situation?’ We have the Kings Of Leon and Take That in town this year! I say it is the seemly bare-faced ignorance many show towards a venue doing all it can to bring some of the biggest, and underground names in music today to Sunderland, whilst doing so exposing upcoming acts to a city of people who supposedly love their music, whilst maintaining a healthy relationship with local bands and artists.

If I said to any of you across the country, your most local venue is going to be hosting the likes of The Klaxons, Kasabian, Everything Everything, The Maccabees, Jamie T, The Zutons, Erol Alkan and Glasvegas you would more than likely assume I was referring to a venue such as the O2. Independent's two in-house venues at 36 Holmeside are the only real base for live music in the town. That’s right, not just one but two venues in one!

The Little Room is exactly what it says on the tin, a small, yet charming and enchanting room that allows for a certain close atmosphere that I have not experienced in any venue throughout the Northeast. There is a regular night held in the room, Old Friends Bookends, where local artists are given reign to run the gig and provide support to some big names.

However, the local unsigned bands are not consigned to this 'little room', they are also given the opportunity to support those who fill the main room in Independent, acts the likes of which they may never have had the opportunity to play with if they hadn’t been brought to the city by Independent.

For years now Independent has been at the forefront of recognising and providing a platform for developing talent, as well as putting on quality gigs for the people of Sunderland. For some reason though, there seems to be those locals who love live music and yet do not make the most of a venue which, quite frankly, if no longer existed would mean the high calibre of live music in the City was officially dead and buried.

If you are an advocate of live local music, get along and support one of the best venues in the North. If you are a local band, feel free to get in touch with Ben Wall and put yourself forward for the opportunity to support one of the many fantastic bands confirmed.

[email protected]


the independent, live music, music venue, northeast music, live gigs, gig venues, unsigned bands, unsigned artists


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