Young Knives launch Oakham’s new live music destination, The Railway Inn

PRS for Music sees winner of their Music Makeover campaign put music back at the heart of pubs

Music Makeover winners celebrating with a pint

The Railway Inn in Oakham has unveiled their new live music space by playing host to Mercury Prize-nominated Leicestershire band, Young Knives.

Earlier this year, landlord, Shaun Jackson beat off stiff competition from pubs across the country to win the coveted Music Makeover prize; £10,000 to transform The Railway Inn into a vibrant live music venue.

According to the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) a typical pub adds £80,000 each year to its local economy and research published by PRS for Music shows that music can help boost sales by nearly £100,000 a year. As 80% of pubs are small businesses, live music spaces not only provide not only a hub for the community but a vital source of revenue for licensees too. 


Pubs are crucial to maintaining and developing the UK music scene. Many PRS for Music songwriters and composers build their career on the pub circuit. With Music Makeover we are able to recognise - and reward - that unique relationship between the music community and pubs. Shaun Jackson is passionate about supporting local talent and his new music space at The Railway Inn means he can now promote Leicestershire’s music scene all year long.

PRS Chair, Guy Fletcher OBE

Leicestershire has a strong musical pedigree and is home to over 500 PRS for Music songwriters and composers. The region lays claim to a number of celebrated icons such as Queen’s John Deacon, multi-award winning kings of the live stage, Kasabian, Basement Jaxx’s Felix Burton, indie rock band Cornershop and legendary record producer, Trevor Horn.

With a string of top 40 singles to their name, Young Knives are Leicestershire’s latest success story. They’ve attained critical success with no less than four albums and a Mercury Prize nomination. Young Knives recently released their fourth album, Sick Octave, with rave reviews and will be playing Glastonbury Festival this month fresh from their tour with The Flaming Lips. 


We toured the local pub and club circuit for years. The grassroots scene is where everyone starts out and these venues are a crucial stepping stone in any artist’s career. Leicestershire will always be our spiritual home so it’s an honour to be here today as The Railway Inn opens its doors to local songwriters and bands. We’re proud members of PRS for Music which is passionate about supporting new talent - we all need to keep live music alive in local communities across the country and their Music Makeover campaign ensures the great British pub and the great British band keeps rocking.

Henry Dartnall from Young Knives

Now entering its fourth year, the Music Makeover campaign was established by PRS for Music, the organisation that represents 100,000 songwriters and composers, to give landlords a chance to revamp their pubs and make live music a central part of their local communities.

The event welcomed local musicians, businesses and also played host to a set by Peterborough band, Opaque.

The judging panel comprised PRS Chairman, Guy Fletcher, Director of Public Performance Sales, Paul Clements, Musicians’ Union Assistant General Secretary, Horace Trubridge and Neil Williams, Head of Media of The British Beer and Pub Association. Music Makeover is also endorsed by artists including; Chvrches, alt J, Wolf Alice, Wytches, Dutch Uncles, Scouting for Girls, Sandi Thom, Paul Heaton, Status Quo and David McAlmont.
Notes to Editors:

For more information please contact:

Olivia Chapman, Media Relations Manager
020 7306 4229 / 07939 449333

Music Makeover – how to transform your pub, details on previous winners and CGA research can be found here.

Young Knives are Henry Dartnall (songwriter, vocals, guitar), Thomas "The House of Lords" Dartnall (vocals, bass, keys) and Oliver Askew (vocals, drums). Their first album Voices of Animals and Men was nominated for Mercury Music Prize (2007) and included three singles which entered the UK Top 40. In 2008 Young Knives released Superabundance which entered the chart at 28 and included their most synched track, Turn Tail. The band are well known for their entrepreneurialism, releasing their third album Ornaments from the Silver Arcade on their own label, Gadzöök and releasing their fourth, Sick Octave with funding from Kickstarter. They are currently touring Sick Octave which includes a pit-stop at Glastonbury and the album has already garnered rave reviews:

‘Young Knives have spun a double six... Songs vibrate with a poppiness that gleams through the weirdness’ 8/10 NME

‘A brilliant and bewildering roar of conviction from a band reaching a creative zenith.’ THE QUIETUS

‘Sick Octave leads into bold new terrain’ ****Q

‘A startlingly strange and diverse album’ **** MOJO

‘A bold new direction for the trio’ 8/10 CLASH

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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