Independent still flying the flag for homegrown talent in Lockdown
It may not be able to open its doors as normal, but Independent will still be flying the flag for homegrown talent in Lockdown.
As part of this year’s Independent Venue Week, the venue in Holmeside, which has provided a platform for so many emerging artists over the years, will be showcasing a series of performances online.
From Thursday, January 28 through to Sunday, January 31, at 7pm each night, the venue will be premiering a video on its Facebook page featuring a local act.
Each episode will contain a performance of two tracks accompanied with an interview with each of the acts: Patrick Gosling, Lottie Willis, Badmind and Dead Wet Things.
Annual event Independent Venue Week shines a spotlight on independent venues up and down the country, allowing wider communities to see the hard work and dedication that goes into making events happen.
Usually the week is centered around live shows, with the previous two years seeing Independent bringing the likes of Mark Rebillet, The Pale White and Pigs x7 to their stage.
But with the venue closed due to Lockdown, the bosses at Independent decided to bring the gigs to people’s homes.
Ben Wall from Independent said: “2020 was such a difficult year but we’re really excited to be able to start 2021 with some bands on stage in Independent.
"2019 saw more than 200 bands play here, and only managing to squeeze a handful into 2020 was so disappointing. Hopefully 2021 is going to be a better year."
Last year, it was announced that Independent had been awarded £91,000 from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund to help secure its future following the pandemic.
The venue has played a huge role in the city’s music scene since the mid-2000s, from fostering new talent to bringing big names to the city and introducing people to a range of music genres.
The Independent Venue Week line-up:
::January 28 – The series kicks off with an episode from Independent regular Patrick Gosling. After playing the venue numerous times with his old band Far Pacific, Patrick has now started to stamp a mark on the local scene under his own name.
::January 29 – One of Sunderland’s youngest and most promising artists Lottie Willis has massively developed over the past 18 months, coming through We Make Culture’s Young Musicians Project before embarking on some of her first shows at Independent as well as starting to gain interest across the wider North East featuring on BBC Introducing in the North East.
::January 30 – Saturday night’s offering will see BBC Introducing tip for 2021 Badmind gracing the Independent stage. Despite only forming this year, Badmind have already racked up 200,000 streams on Spotify alone, as well as gaining a feature on the Spotify official ‘New Music Friday’ playlist.
::January 31 – The final episode will feature Sunderland punk rockers Dead Wet Things. Having first played Independent in 2017, DWT always bring an upbeat and interesting performance. Local musician Ryan Robinson recently joined on rhythm guitar, with the band pushing forward for a big 2021.