Monday, October 22, 2018

Opening doors, closing doors

While Wednesday's gig at Tramshed was a celebration of the Welsh music scene (and indeed the Welsh-language music scene), Thursday brought the devastating news that the Parrot in Carmarthen will be shutting its doors at Christmas. Though I've never been myself, it's plain from the number and tone of the tributes that the venue is very much at the heart of the town's music scene. It's been instrumental in giving a leg up to local bands like Adwaith and Los Blancos, and has helped Libertino Records grow into a respected local indie label in a short space of time. When even somewhere that's a hub for a thriving scene cannot survive, you know quite how tough the current environment is.

There was equally grim news up north, with the announcement that the Lancaster Music Co-op has been served with an eviction notice by the council. The non-profit organisation has provided rehearsal space and access to recording studios for 33 years. The indignant response has been swift, though, with The Lovely Eggs, Jane Weaver and Sleaford Mods among those to come out in the Co-op's defence. You can (and should) add your voice to theirs by signing this petition.

Festivals like Cardiff's Swn and Oxford's Ritual Union - at which Adwaith and The Lovely Eggs have appeared respectively in the last few days - depend upon a diverse and interconnected ecosystem of small venues. Just as it's vital that organisations like the Music Venue Trust continue to put pressure on the government to improve the hand that venue managers are dealt, it's vital that we give those venues our support and our custom all year round.

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