Esquires in Bedford is gearing up for Independent Venue Week with headline gigs by I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell, indie quartet Inheaven, Dead! who are out touring in support of their debut album and reggae legends Black Uhuru.
Independent Venue Week is a seven-day celebration of small music venues around the UK and a nod to the people that own, run and work in them.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, it brings together all aspects of the industry to create a nationwide series of gigs at the end of January each year.
Esquires owner Gareth Barber said: “We’re really looking forward to Independent Venue Week.
“Anything that brings attention to the work we do as a venue is a bonus.
“This is the first year we've really tried to put a strong line up together for the week and given it our full attention, so it's going to be a good one.
“Over the last 12 months our line-up has been stronger and more diverse than ever.
“Although it's great extra exposure on a national level, we are doing this for another 51 weeks of the year.”
John Bramwell is out on tour following the release of his first studio solo album Leave Alone The Empty Spaces which was released in November.
The LP was inspired by John’s travels around the UK and Europe in his VW Campervan with his dog Henry, playing more than 300 intimate solo gigs.
His new show will include songs from the record, a handful of new tracks and I Am Kloot classics.
Support is by Dave Fidler.
Bramwell headlines on Tuesday, January 30. Doors 7.30pm, tickets cost £15.
Barber added: “This is only my second year as a venue owner, but both myself and promotions partner Kev Bailey - as well as the other main promoters at Esquires - have tried to book in shows in the past and it's fallen slightly on deaf ears.
“Luckily this year we were a little more organised and think we have something that appeals to everyone, from legends to upcoming new bands.
“It's just a shame we didn't manage to get any of the big local artists offering to come back.”
Inheaven return to Esquires following the release of their new Acoustic EP.
The band released their debut album in September to a wave of critical acclaim from the likes of NME and DIY magazines.
Their new EP features three tracks from their debut in the shape of Drift, Regeneration and Treats along with their take on Ride’s 1990 shoegaze anthem Vapour Trail.
Inheaven’s adrenaline-fueled live experience has seen them sell-out venues and pack festival tents throughout the UK and across Europe.
They headline on Friday, February 2. Support is by Thyla and Sarpa Salpa.
Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £9. This is a 14+ show. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Talking about the importance of independent venues, Barber said: “We feel we offer a better experience by making sure the basics are taken care of, good sound, reasonable drink prices, good lighting, diverse line ups and so on.
“We looked at 2017 at the end of the year and we were proud of what we managed to achieve and I think that's all that matters.”
Mr Bailey added: “We don’t have unrealistic start times on our shows so support bands get to play to a crowd nor curfews where the gig is over by 10pm.
“Most acts tend to meet and great after a lot of our shows and this adds to the night instead of being herded out the bigger venues on to the street.”
Dead! release their debut LP The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying this week and headline Esquires on February 4.
The hotly tipped rock quartet recorded the album with producer Charlie Russell at Dean Street Studios in Soho.
Speaking about the music video for their latest single and the title track to the album, the band said: “We all live in The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying whether we like it or not.
“That means many different things to different people and we used that in the creation of the video. Parts of it are of us performing and parts of it are of everyday life that we take for granted.
“We never stop to realise that all the decisions we choose to either take or neglect have an impact on the bigger picture of us as a society.”
Support is by Kenneths and Basement Strippers. Doors open at 7.30pm, tickets £8 in advance
Also playing on February 4 is The Sound Of Black Uhuru featuring ft Mykal Rose.
The legendary Black Uhuru is one of the most successful reggae groups to come out of Jamaica.
They were the first Reggae band to win a Grammy in 1984 for the album Anthem.
Signed to Island records, they produced seven hit albums and toured the world supporting the likes of The Police and The Rolling Stones.
Support is by Easydread. Doors 7.30pm, tickets £15 in advance.
For more information about Bedford Esquires visit www.bedfordesquires.co.uk
For more information about Independent Vene Week, visit www.independentvenueweek.com