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Ipswich’s Smokehouse and Stowmarket John Peel Centre lay on packed week of Independent Venue Week events

PUBLISHED: 14:32 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 14:32 24 January 2018

Underline The Sky performing at The Smokehouse in Ipswich. Picture: JODIE BURNS/BURNT OUT MEDIA

Underline The Sky performing at The Smokehouse in Ipswich. Picture: JODIE BURNS/BURNT OUT MEDIA


Two Suffolk music venues are getting behind Independent Venue Week next week, and laying on a host of events to get people involved.

Joe Bailey at The Smokehouse, said independent venues were crucial for live music. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJoe Bailey at The Smokehouse, said independent venues were crucial for live music. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Each year, the week highlights and celebrates small music venues around the UK, and the hard work of the people that run them.

As part of the celebrations, Ipswich’s Smokehouse is getting involved for the first time, alongside the acclaimed John Peel Centre in Stowmarket.

On Monday, the South Street-based Smokehouse will stream a live concert from Honeyblood live at Bush Hall in London as part of a digital tour.

On Friday, February 2, emerging European punks Darko will be performing with support from Italy’s Actionmen, PMX and Ipswich’s own up-and-coming talent Pessimist.

The John Peel Centre. Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe John Peel Centre. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

The week rounds out with Ipswich country singer Jack Rundell performing with Grof and Polly Preacher.

Joe Bailey, owner and director of The Smokehouse, said: “Independent venue week is a really important celebration to help spread the great work that small grass roots music venues do around the country.

“It’s important to recognise the important role these venues play in the development of new original bands and what the venues give back to the music and cultural communities of the towns and cities where they are based.”

At the John Peel Centre, the week kicks off with an Emerge evening on Monday showcasing local talent from its regular open mic nights.

On Tuesday, folk veteran Martin Carthy will ply his trade before Nick-Cave-meets-Lady-Gaga singer Tensheds rocks the Wednesday crowd.

Thursday will feature Skinny Girl Diet headlining while Friday’s heavy night showcases The King is Blind and Shrines.

Saturday is “festival night” courtesy of Bury St Edmunds vagabond quartet The Last Drop, with the week coming to a close with a chilled Sunday session of the vinyl lounge.

Andrew Stringer, marketing director, said: “It’s really, really busy and last year was a huge success. [Independent venues] are laying the foundations for the artists of the future – if independent venues disappear music will basically die out.”

Visit the Smokehouse website here and the John Peel Centre webpage here for full details and tickets.

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