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Young Fathers And Adwaith Announced As 10th Anniversary Independent Venue Week Ambassadors

Thursday, 01 December 2022 Written by Jon Stickler

Photo: Jordan Hemmingway

Independent Venue Week organisers have announced that their 10th anniversary ambassadors for Scotland and Wales will be Young Fathers and Adwaith, respectively.

Both bands will join Radiohead drummer Philip Selway in supporting the event, which returns between January 30 and February 5, promoting and celebrating music in independent venues, and the people that own, run and work in them. 2014 Mercury Prize-winners Young Fathers (pictured) commented:

"We cut our teeth in small independent venues. There’s no rehearsal room that can match a venue. Whether empty or full. The things you think will work that don’t and vice versa. The moments in between songs, the silence, the applause, the people chatting at the back, the sound being terrible, the power going off. How to deal with it, how to play with it. There's nothing that gives you a greater experience of performing live more than the experience itself.

"The three of us met in the old-old Bongo Club in Edinburgh (the original one has since been knocked down, directly across from the Edinburgh Council building). We’ll never forget the moment of feeling those subwoofers for the first time. We were 14 years old. The Yard MCs held a night with an open mic, which we took full advantage of.

"Venues up and down the country face all different types of issues post pandemic, as well as facing other issues such as the draconian noise laws like we do here in Edinburgh. So what happens as of now? Town or city, it's extremely important to make sure there’s a continuous flow of artists who are able to sharpen their ideas in front of real people, on a real stage. For local acts and acts from afar, from known to unknown. The ability to have it right there in front of you is an experience that should be afforded to everybody."

Adwaith, the first double winners of the Welsh Music Prize, will play a hometown show at Carmarthen's CWRW on February 5 as part of the week-long celebration. They said:

"We are so honoured to have been asked to be ambassadors for next year's Independent Venue Week. We owe our whole career to independent venues up and down the country and we never would have thought about starting a band if it wasn't for our local venue in Caerfyrddin. To think that youngsters might not have the same opportunities as us is heartbreaking, especially to music lovers in rural Cymru. Times are tough but it's more important than ever to support your local venue, anyway you can! Go to gigs, share their posts, buy their merch, show them love!"

So far over 260 venues are confirmed to participate in Independent Venue Week 2023, including 23 venues in Scotland and 17 in Wales, with performances lined up from the likes of You Me At Six, Editors, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Rozi Plain, Philip Selway and more. 

Selway will release his new solo album, 'Strange Dance', on February 24 via Bella Union, while Young Fathers will put out their fourth studio album, 'Heavy Heavy', on February 3 via Ninja Tune. Adwaith, meanwhile, dropped their second Welsh Music Prize-winning LP, 'Bato Mato', back in July.

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