Paul McCartney, Nova Twins, Elbow and more on the importance of grassroots music venues

By Charlie Fenton

30 May 2024

Local venues are important in nurturing growth and unleashing potential in a safe and exciting way. Without them, all of our most beloved musicians wouldn’t be where they are today. Let’s hear what some of the UK’s Best have to say courtesy Music Venue Society. 

Sir Paul McCartney, said: “Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to play in venues of all different shapes and sizes, from tiny clubs to massive stadiums all over the world. Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different.

“Artists need places to start out, develop and work on their craft and small venues have been the cornerstone for this. If we don’t support live music at this level then the future of music in general is in danger.”

The Nova Twins, said: “We owe so much to grassroots venues. They are the only way new bands can gain experience and start their careers. 

“They support new artists and bring together an incredible community of local music lovers and musicians. They are essential for smaller bands touring around the UK. Without them, we don’t know where we’d be today.”

Elbow, said: “I have a page from a waitresses notebook, the numbered kind, with ‘Mr Soft £20 received Jimmy’. It’s the landlord of The Corner Pin in Stubbins and it was the very first time our band that eventually became ‘elbow’ got paid for performing. The rush it gave you. It’s like, ‘Wow’ Even just £20. People are prepared to pay to listen to what we love doing. It pushes you forward.

“Without these pubs and clubs, musicians don’t develop. They don’t get a taste of what it would be like to live as a full time musician. And without musicians, you’ve got no new music and without new music it’s a very bland and shitty world.”

Madness, said: “When we woz young we had lots of venues we could play in and be seen and heard, our fear is that London is losing that. That would be a damn shame for new bands trying to make it.”

Wolf Alice, said: “Without independent Grassroots Music Venues, I’m not sure my band would be where we are today. They offered me a chance to play without knowing the first thing about how the industry worked. 

“They bring originality, equality, opportunity, character and spunk to the cities they reside in and now more than ever is the time to fight to keep them going.”

You may also like…
document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', function() { // Select all audio modules with the custom class var audioModules = document.querySelectorAll('.custom-audio-module'); audioModules.forEach(function(module, index) { // Create a container for the counter var counterContainer = document.createElement('div'); counterContainer.classList.add('counter-container'); counterContainer.innerHTML = '0'; // Append the counter container to the module module.appendChild(counterContainer); // Get the audio element var audio = module.querySelector('audio'); // Initialize the counter var counter = 0; // Add play event listener to the audio element audio.addEventListener('play', function() { counter++; document.getElementById('audio-counter-' + index).textContent = counter; }); }); });