In praise of smaller venues

Happy New Year to all my viewers and listeners and I promise that I will try and keep this website updated more as we move through 2023.

This article is a re-hash of one that I wrote for Brighton based RANKD – a geographic leaderboard for new and established musicians. They provide great tools for artists, promoters and venues. Take a trip to Rankd: Music Data Analytics Tools to find out more.

And so on to the article:

The Covid-19 pandemic left the live music industry in an unsure state, particularly those smaller venues such as pubs and clubs which are the life blood of local bands.

There was not very much doubt that the recognised larger venues would recover and that they would continue to push out the useful fare of “named” bands. However, those smaller local venues were the ones in trouble…..would they open again and if they did would people go and could the venues afford to pay bands.

The good news is that small venues now appear to be flourishing again once more providing a place for local bands to perform and also to embrace the newish genre that is the New Wave Of Classic Rock, otherwise known as NWOCR. This genre has really burst alive since covid with new bands playing new music in the style of the great rock era of the seventies.

Personally I love the music and I love the smaller venues that I have been to such as Leo’s Red Lion in Gravesend, The Booking Hall in Dover and the Giffard Arms in Wolverhapmton. These venues and many others are pushing this music forward and new and exciting bands are bursting onto the scene, bands like Twister, Empyre, White Raven Down and Mason Hill to name just a few. If you get the chance try and see some of these bands because they are really re-invigorating the rock scene.

Here is Sussex places like Chalk and Patterns in Brighton and The Carlisle in Hastings are embracing these bands and filling 300 to 400 people venues.

Just a final thought, it always nice to buy merch when you go to a gig, it helps the band out enormously. However, what you may not realise is that many venues take a percentage of the merchandise sales, up to 25% in some cases. If you really want to help your favourite “small” band then but your CDs and other merch directly from their websites or shop channels, they will always be happy to sign your merch if you rake it with you to a gig.

I suppose what I’m saying, in summary, is that it’s always nice to go out and see a big band but also try and get out regularly to support the local scene. Apps like Rnked can help you identify who the best bands locally so see are.

If you’re interested in the New Wave Of Classic Rock you can visit the NWOCR Facebook page at (2) New Wave Of Classic Rock | Facebook or have a listen to their favourite picks on their Spotify Playlilst.

In my work as a radio presenter I try and promote a lot of new music and if you fancy a listen to my shows then you can find them on my Mixcloud Account at Tony Davis’s Stream | Mixcloud

Tony Davis

Radio Presenter and CEO of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *