Steve Lamacq: Are small venues under threat?

All this week, Steve Lamacq is taking his BBC 6 Music show on the road to find out how the UK's grassroots music venues are surviving.

Recent research suggests that 35% of London's small and medium venues had closed since 2007. The figure is thought to be representative of the whole country, but many musicians say that playing the "toilet circuit" is crucial.

"I know there are degrees you can do in pop music, but it's just nonsense really," Midge Ure told the BBC.

"The only way you learn how this stuff works is by going out there and being bad. And the only place you can go out and be bad is small venues.

"It is literally where we cut our teeth," added Wolf Alice's Theo Ellis.

"Specifically for guitar bands, it is where you learn your craft so it would be a real shame if it does completely evaporate," he told Newsbeat.

Lamacq's show will be coming from some of The UK's most important independent venues - with the itinerary looking like this.

  • Monday - Broadcast and King Tuts, Glasgow
  • Tuesday - The Adelphi, Hull
  • Wednesday - The Sugarmill, Stoke
  • Thursday - The Joiners, Southampton
  • Friday - Clwb Ifor Bach (aka The Welsh Club), Cardiff

Ahead of the tour, he told us why he thinks Independent Venues Week is an important initiative.

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