Independent Venue Week: Our guide to the best gigs across the UK
The Leadmill Sheffield At Night

Independent Venue Week kicks off next Monday, for its third annual instalment of supporting grassroots gigs across the UK.

The collection of events aims to promote those who play host to up and coming musicians all year round; the venues who are in it for the sense of community and collaboration more than lining their own pocket, and act as a hotbed for creative talent to experiment and entertain.

IVW has continued to grow with each new edition and this year is no different. To help you sift through the hundreds of gigs at venues across the country, we’ve picked out 20 that caught our attention.

See you in the pit!

Belfast

Ports at Oh Yeah Music Centre

Whilst Belfast’s Oh Yeah is the only official venue in this year’s festivities, they’re more than carrying their own with a show from the ethereal Ports. The former whiskey warehouse is based in Belfast’s historic Cathedral Quarter and has been putting on great gigs since 2007 – winning support from the country’s finest such as Snow Patrol and Stiff Little Fingers. (30 Jan: 15-21 Gordon St, BT1 2LG / more info)

Birmingham

Scroobius Pip at Hare and Hounds

hare and hounds birmingham
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The bearded poet, rapper, DJ, podcaster and all-round renaissance man Scroobius Pip brings his flagship club night ‘We Are Lizards’ to the King’s Heath venue. The Hare & Hounds is the right amount of ‘hip’ as well as being a regular haunt for Brum locals. The listed venue has been standing in its current condition since 1907 and has the feel of a spot steeped in history. (30 Jan: 106 High St, Birmingham B14 7JZ / more info)

Golden Void at The Rainbow

Psychedelic rockers Golden Void have made their way over from the San Francisco Bay Area to freak out audiences in the West Midlands this January. The four-piece released their second album Berkana back in September and are sure to knock audiences sideways with their bass-heavy riffs and dreamy vocals. (30 Jan: 160 Digbeth, Birmingham B12 0LD / more info)

Brighton

Night Beats at Hope & Ruin

Brighton’s own Hope & Ruin will be playing host to the blues-tinted garage rock of US band Night Beats. The slightly ramshackle pub-come-concert-venue on the city’s Queens Road has played host to a number of big names in the past, such as The Strokes, Bonnie Prince Billy and even Adele – meaning you never know who you could be catching one of Brighton’s most-loved watering holes. (26 Jan: 11-12 Queens Rd, Brighton BN1 3WA / more info)

Johnny Foreigner at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar

Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

Brummie indie four piece Johnny Foreigner will be making their way to the stage at the uniquely named Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar on Friday evening – bringing angular guitar riffs and plenty of frenetic energy to boot. (29 Jan: 9-12 Middle St, Brighton, BN1 1AL / more info)

Bristol

Mutemath at Exchange

The cultural capital of the South West has a number of stellar music venues, including this Old Market haunt. The 250-seater is a recent addition to the city, having opened in 2012, and has already played host to up-and-coming names as well as seasoned veterans including such as Jungle, Sleaford Mods, Haim, The 1975, Melvins and Four Tet. Mutemath are set for a mid-week date at Exchange, playing tracks from their well-received 2015 album Vitals. (27 Jan: 72-73 Old Market St, Bristol, BS2 0EJ / more info)

Mark Morriss at The Fleece

Former Bluetones frontman headlines a 12-hour live music spectacular which closes the IVW events at The Fleece. Whilst Morriss may be the top name of the bill, the all-day event also features 20 other acts including King Eider, Velvet Circus and Molly Cheek. (31 Jan: 12 St Thomas St, Bristol BS1 6JJ / more info)

Cardiff

John Wheeler at Clwb Ifor Bach

Clwb IFor Bach
Cardiff’s ‘Welsh Club’ is one of the city’s most celebrated cultural institutions and will be hosting one of the more leftfield events across the whole week’s celebrations. Former frontman of ‘bluegrass rock outfit’ Hayseed Dixie will be launching his latest solo venture with a string of shows across the UK. The Nashville musician is releasing his second record Difficult #2 Album the following day and is likely to be sharing his post-Dixie material with the Cardiff crowd. (28 Jan: 11 Womanby St, Cardiff CF10 1BR / more info)

Nubiyan Twist at 10 Feet Tall

Progressive afro-beat and jazz collective Nubiyan are set to play the top floor at the 10 Feet Tall venue on January 29. Although the usually huge collective will only be represented by their DJ and saxophonist – don’t be fooled into thinking there won’t be a whole lot of funky music on offer. (29 Jan: 11A-12 Church St, Cardiff, CF10 1BG / more info)

Edinburgh

We Were Promised Jetpacks at Electric Circus

Local boys We Were Promised Jetpacks return to Electric Circus next Saturday, bringing a mixture of old favourites from the likes of These Four Walls and In the Pit of the Stomach – as well as a smattering of new material from their yet unnamed next album. (30 Jan: 36-39 Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DF / more info)

TeenCanteen at Sneaky Pete’s

Tightly packed live venue and nightclub always looks to offer the best in new music and with TeenCanteen, they may just have an act who could be on everyone’s radar by the end of 2016. The all-female four piece from Glasgow have released a string of well-received singles to date and are dishing out big poppy melodies with a definite edge. (27 Jan: 73 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JW / more info)

Glasgow

C Duncan at Broadcast

Following on from a very successful 2015 (including a shock nomination for the Mercury Prize) – C Duncan brings his blend of classical music and soothing pop sensibilities to Glasgow’s Broadcast venue. Duncan’s debut album Architect was well worth its critical acclaim, showcasing an artist who is staggeringly mature in his song-making. (25 Jan: 427 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3LG / more info)

Uncle Lucius at The Hug and Pint

Bearded Texas four-piece Uncle Lucius make their way over from Austin for their European tour, and will be stopping at Glasgow’s The Hug and Pint with a slice of their own take on Americana. Despite only opening last June, the bar and music venue has earned a reputation as one of the city’s finest live music spots in a city known for its commitment to live music. (26 Jan: 171 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9AW / more info)

Leeds

Fold at 360 Club

Drawing on the likes of DJ Shadow and Public Enemy, Leeds-based Fold are a group of musicians looking to combine live instruments and sampling into a mix of psycedelia, jazz and hip-hop. The outfit released their self-titled album back, showcasing an eclectic ear for samples ranging from Malcolm X to Bruce Lee. A staggering live prospect. (30 Jan: 18 Commercial St, Leeds LS1 6AL / more info)

London

Savages at The 100 Club

Rip-roaring female outfit Savages went from strength-to-strength in 2015 on the back of single ‘The Answer’. With their second album Adore released on January 22, gig-goers at Oxford Street’s intimate 100 Club are set to be knocked off their feet by this post-punk girl group. (26 Jan: 100 Oxford Street, London, W1D 1LL / more info)

Imogen Heap and Class of ’82 at The Half Moon

An impressive last-minute addition to an IVW line-up already bursting at the seams – singer-songwriter Imogen Heap will be joining solo artist Class of ’82 at The Half Moon in Putney. Expect the unexpected from a critically-acclaimed artist who continues to evolve. 31 Jan: 93 Lower Richmond Rd, Putney SW15 1EU / more info

Manchester

The Wainwright Sisters at The Ruby Lounge

Another stellar name involved in this year’s Independent Venue Week, The Wainwright Sisters will playing their haunting folk-tinged ballads in Manchester’s hip and trendy Northern Quarter. Martha Wainwright and her sister Lucy Wainwright-Roche released their debut joint album Songs in the Dark back in November and are sure to leave you with goosebumps as intimate as The Ruby Lounge. 28 Jan: 28-34 High St, Manchester M4 1QB / more info

Tim Burgess (DJ Set) at Night & Day Cafe

Charlatans frontman and long-standing indie venue supporter Tim Burgess will be behind the decks at the Night and Day Cafe, spinning a sample of indie classics you may know as well as few more obscure hits you’ll want to get to know from Tim’s own O Genesis records. (31 Jan: 26 Oldham St, ManchesterM1 1JN / more info)

Portsmouth

Matthew E. White at Wedgewood Rooms

Rough and ready venue The Wedgerooms remains a firm favourite of Pompei and Southsea’s gig-goers as well as big musical artists too. ‘The Wedge’ has served as an intimate warm-up venue for the likes of Damon Albarn, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Sparklehorse – and will be hosting acclaimed US singer-songwriter Matthew E. White as part of Independent Venue Week. (28 Jan: 147b Albert Rd, Southsea PO4 0JW / more info)

Sheffield

Minus the Bear at The Leadmill

Venues in Sheffield don’t get much more historic than The Leadmill. Originally opening its doors in 1980, the venue went on to be the stage of many rising stars of the local music scene, including The Human League, Heaven 17, Pulp and The Arctic Monkeys. Their live guest on Tuesday come from further afield than High Green however, with Seattle-based indie rockers Minus The Bear set to headline. (26 Jan: 6 Leadmill Road, Sheffield S1 4SE / more info)

Independent Venue Week is taking place next week – January 25-31. All participating venues can be found at independentvenueweek.com