Over the 5 years since its launch, Music Venue Trust has steadily built its roster of key supporters, welcoming artists, broadcasters, politicians and music industry figures as patrons of the charity. This week we are proud to announce 5 new supporters: Skindred, Holding Absence, Sound of the Sirens, BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and Deputy Leader of the Green Party (England and Wales) Amelia Womack. Their arrival marks the charity’s first 50 patrons and we hope will encourage further support for Music Venue Trust’s work to protect, secure and improve grassroots music venues. Alongside this, former Industry Patron Phyllis Belezos joins the Board of Trustees, bringing her wealth of music industry experience to complement the skills of the existing 10 Board members.
Our new patrons have each explained why they pledged their support to Music Venue Trust:
Phil Taggart of BBC Radio 1 – “Once you are bitten by the bug of live music there is no going back. I started putting on my own gigs in a tiny room above a pub in my hometown of Omagh when I was 15 years old. The sound system buzzed like a selection of old fridges strapped together filled with plutonium, the venue smelt like yesterday’s beer stomped into the carpet and the ceiling was barely tall enough for anyone over 5 foot but it was perfect. Artists need these venues to learn their trade. F1 drivers don’t start out on the Silverstone track in a perfect car, you have to earn it. 15 years later and I am still putting on shows in slightly larger venues throughout the country. The reason being that you can drum up an energy and a vibe in those smaller rooms better than you can in the bigger ones. Nothing will ever beat being flung across a moshpit, losing a shoe, getting showered with a random projectile pint of beer.
I feel a strong responsibility to try and give that experience to the people that come through the door at my Slacker shows. When I was playing bass in a band, we played every small venue Ireland had to offer and they ranged from the technically proficient, to the bizarre, to the ‘this isn’t a venue it’s a small shed with a plug.’ I feel strongly about the protection of these places because if we don’t chain ourselves to their metaphorical gates then where are the next generation going to play? The Tesco’s or Gastro Pub built in its place?”
Amelia Womack, The Green Party – “Grassroots music venues are vital assets to our cities, towns and villages and are hubs of musical communities. They don’t just benefit the local economy but are a place to experience new ideas and avenues for meaning that would be lost otherwise. I feel like I grew up in Le Pub in Newport. Here I experienced live local music and felt part of a community of music lovers. Sadly, the importance of culture and independent business has often be devalued by Government policy. We must protect small music venues in the name of our cultural heritage, as well as to support future generations of musicians and music lovers.”
James Joseph of Holding Absence – “Holding Absence would not be a band without our local music venues, we grew up surrounded by live music, spending our teen years on Womanby Street in Cardiff. We were and still are lucky to live in a city where our music venues are still working so hard and putting on numerous gigs a week. We played our first gig at Fuel Rock Club on Womanby Street, an independent and well-loved venue that can only continue to exist as a live music venue with the help of the Music Venue Trust.”
Abbe and Hannah, Sound of the Sirens – “These smaller venues are the first steps of the ladder that all Musicians must climb. There is no journey without them. They represent an opportunity for everyone to access Music, to watch Musicians grow, to meet band members. We have had the opportunity to watch Coldplay and Mumford and Sons supporting bigger bands in a small venue on our doorstep. This was incredibly inspiring. These smaller venues are where the magic begins and if we lose these wonderfully creative and accessible hubs ….it will change Music for everyone.“
Arya Goggin of Skindred – “Supporting the Live Music scene, and in particular supporting your local music venue, is something that myself and all my Skindred bandmates are extremely passionate about. If you come to a Skindred show you will usually hear Benj tell everyone in the room to support their local venues and to support live music on a local level. There are 4 individuals in Skindred all with different local venues that mean the world to them. Mine is Exeter Cavern.
It was playing these great rooms that initially gave us, along with many other acts, our start. For that we are eternally grateful. We would work there, play shows there and hang out there. The support these venues give young creative people is astonishing.
With so many great local venues having to close down in recent years I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that people keep supporting live music on a local level. Plus there are so many great new bands out there to check out. We have recently finished a 32 date UK tour and played at some amazing venues. These venues are the lifeblood of the UK music scene so keep buying tickets to see music of all genres at your local venues and help keep them in business and music alive!”
You can see all 50 patrons on the MVT website: http://musicvenuetrust.com/patrons/