Frank Turner

Independent Venue Week (IVW) ambassador Frank Turner talks all things live music ahead of the IVW launch...

Jim Ottewill
  • By Jim Ottewill
  • 22 Jan 2015
  • min read
The UK’s network of small venues have had a rough ride over the last 12-18 months.

Whether it’s through property developers, noise complaints or a lack of funding, it appears that the country's grass roots network, so important in the development of new and emerging acts, is under threat.

The advent of Independent Venue Week (IVW) for the second consecutive year has come along at a suitable time.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, the venture helps champion the cause over a week long series of gigs marrying big names with small rooms.

Across the UK, numerous big name artists will be playing intimate shows including indie rockers Peace, Domino's Clinic, Laura Marling and the IVW ambassador Frank Turner.

M magazine’s gig as part of the campaign takes place at the Sebright Arms Wednesday 28 January with the very talented Prinzhorn Dance School, Tuff Love and a DJ set from Beyond the Wizard Sleeve’s Richard Norris.

We quizzed Frank on his involvement in the initiative and love for live music…

How did you get involved in Independent Venue Week?

They got in touch and asked, basically. It made sense because I've been working with the Music Venue Trust on the petition to Sajid David, the culture secretary, lately. I'm also a public supporter of indie venues.

Do you remember the first gig you went to?

Yup, it was a band called Snug at the Joiners Arms in Southampton in 1995.

How important has playing live been to your career?

It's totally central to my career and indeed to my art.

What’s the most memorable gig you’ve played?

Having played over 1,600 shows solo, and another 500 or so with other bands, I can't really pick one.

What are your views on the live music industry in general at the moment?

Um, I think it's good?

What can playing live do for new artists?

Get them an audience, make them a better band.

Which new musical acts are you currently excited by?

Bloody Knees, Crows, Felix Hagan, Little Robyn, Will Varley.

What’s keeping you busy/what’s next for you?

I'm in LA right now putting the finishing touches to a new record, and my book of tour diaries is set to be released soon as well.

Look out for more IVW interviews with both artists and venues over the next week.