Independent Venue Week 2020 – the complete guide to what’s on in the north west and the UK


Idles at Liverpool’s Studio 2 for Independent Venue Week

Independent Venue Week is back for 2020, with a strong local and countrywide line-up and Getintothis’ Steven Doherty and Naomi Campbell have the news.

Starting out as a small venture back in 2014 utilising 18 venues around the country as a gentle reminder to people to get out and support their local music scene and venues, Independent Venue Week has mushroomed into an annual behemoth.

Now taking in over 200 venues in all parts of the UK, it’s not just all about the smaller bands grabbing the attention, as you can see by the exhaustive list below, there are some big names lending their weighty support to it.

One such advocate is 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq who has just announced a week of special events as he broadcasts live from venues all week.

It’s a great opportunity to showcase these local businesses (something we don’t often see them as), giving them the limelight to show off the work that they produce all year round, being as they are usually a band’s first port of call at the start of their careers.

Our guide takes in all of the major North West events, as well as the major highlights from everywhere else, literally something for everyone near you, wherever you may be reading it.

This guide will be updated as and when we hear of more events, so keep it handy.

North-West IVW gigs:

Penelope Isles

Penelope Isles: Chester Live Rooms, January 26

Penelope Isles will play The Live Rooms in Chester as part of a five date tour throughout Independent Venue Week.

The sibling fronted four piece will also bring their fuzz pop melodies to Ipswich, Coventry, Manchester, Bath and Hastings. 

Support comes from Liverpool indie pop outfit Nikki & The Waves.

The Heavy North

The Heavy North: Phase One, January 27

Scuzzy dive bar garage blues merchants The Heavy North are back in town kicking off the week’s shenanigans at Phase One.

This will be busy and groove-laden, no better way to spend a Monday evening.


Henrio: Liverpool Some Place, January 27

Sumati Presents will host numerous acoustic, stripped back sessions at Liverpool’s Some Place throughout Independent Venue Week.

 HENRIO will kick-start the events with his folk soaked tunes on January 27th with support from Cara Hughes and Torture and the Desert Spiders.


Jack Perrett: Manchester Castle Hotel, January 27

Rising Newport songwriter Perrett was amongst a list of chosen acts by pop sensation The Feeling to make it big in 2019 and he is adamant to stand by his newfound destiny.

Perrett will headline Castle Hotel in Manchester on January 27th before supporting American group The Mowgli’s at Clwb Ifor Bach on the 15th February.

Avalanche Party: Liverpool Phase One, January 28

Feral rock and roll from North Yorkshire, Avalanche Party come to town as part of their small UK IVW tour.


Yr Ods, Papur Wal: Jacaranda, Liverpool, January 28

Welsh IVW ambassador Huw Stephens has curated a special Welsh language showcase with two renowned exponents at the Jacaranda.

Yr Ods have been touring since releasing their debut back in 2011 and have played all the major festivals, while their support for the evening Papur Wal are a power pop trio who released their first EP only last year.

Maddie Stenberg
: Liverpool Craft Taproom, January 28

Young songstress Maddie Stenberg will perform a midweek slot at the Craft Taproom with a clear cut voice that has already carved itself into the local Liverpool music scene.

Stenberg will also play Some Place on 31st January during the IVW celebrations, her latest single Ghosts and Girls was released in July last year. 

Liverpool Arts Diary: January 2020

Amelia Wallace: Liverpool Some Place, January 28

Local songwriter Amelia Wallace will also play an acoustic session with Sumati Presents at Some Place on January 28th.

Wallace will be joined by the similarly dreamy voices of Esme Bridie and John Farrington. 

Munkey Junkey

Munkey Junkey: Liverpool Some Place, January 29

Munkey Junkey, or Kurran Karbal has been busy in between shows with Liverpool prodigy Zuzu whilst also promoting his own self-produced material.

His catchy melodies will feature in an acoustic set at Some Place on 29th January


Sky Valley Mistress: The Jacaranda, Liverpool, January 29

Blackburn rockers Sky Valley Mistress celebrate the release of their upcoming debut album Faithless Rituals with a IVW appearance downstairs at the Jac.

The album sees the light of day in March, and this date will see them preview tracks from it before heading out on the festival circuit this Summer.

Gruff Rhys

Gruff Rhys: Lancaster Priory, January 30

Welsh virtuoso Gruff Rhys will perform at the Priory in Lancaster as part of his intimate UK tour Off The Beaten Track.

Rhys released his latest album Pang! on Rough Trade Records last year.

Ali Horn

Ali Horn: Liverpool Handyman, January 30

2019 was a busy year for Ali Horn with a string of single releases and a trip to Russia with Eggy Records in the bag.

There was no doubt his name would appear in the lottery of IVW artists.

Ali will play Smithdown favourite The Handyman in an acoustic set up also including Matt McManamon Music (formerly The Dead 60s), and Ben Burke.

Roam: Liverpool Phase One, January 30

ROAM will return to Liverpool to celebrate IVW with a much anticipated gig at Phase One.

The alternative 5 piece released their latest album Smile Wide in September last year.

Their performance comes as part of their regional UK tour with support on all dates from Superlove and If you can’t get enough ROAM action there will be a pop-up party at Phase One following the gig.

Della Mae: Bury Met, January 30

It’s been a wild ride so far for Nashville-based string band Della Mae after becoming GRAMMY Nominees in 2014 for their second album This World Oft Can Be and being named among Rolling Stone’s 10 bands to watch for in 2015.

The 5 piece will bring their bluegrass and Americana to The Met as part of their UK tour. 

Deja Vega

Deja Vega: Northwich Salty Dog, January 30

Manchester 3 piece Deja Vega have been around almost half a decade but the fresh burst of energy that is their self-titled debut album release has saw them play a string of successful headline shows, including Jimmy’s Liverpool in November last year.

They are set for another sell out show to add to their list at the Salty Dog in Northwich. 

Espedairs, Reclaim Vienna, Kula Bay, Evan Kirwan: Liverpool EBGB’s, January 31

Softlad Promotions will also be heading to EBGB’S as part of the week’s celebrations.

Local indie rock 3 piece Espedairs are to headline with synth-wave loving Reclaim Vienna also in the line-up.  

Mai 68 Records Takeover: Liverpool Craft Taproom, January 31

Mai 68 Records will showcase some of their artists including Sunstack Jones and The Shipbuilders in a takeover at Smithdown’s Craft Taproom. 

Sunstack Jones will release their new LP Golden Repair under Mai 68 Records on the 1st of May. 


Silent K: Liverpool Handyman, January 31

Everyone’s favourite cartoon pop tarts Silent K are back with more of their intergalactic Safari Park punk, at the Handyman.

With support from the fast-rising STONE, this is one of the week’s local highlights.

Whyte Horses reveal UK tour calling Liverpool Arts Club: watch Ça Plane Pour Moi video

Eli Smart

Eli Smart: Liverpool Some Place, January 31

Anyone who saw Eli Smart at last February’s Deep Cuts, or at any of his gigs since, will know what a talent he has become.

Another sure fire success for the busy Some Place team.

Skeleton Key IVW

Skeleton Key Takeover: Liverpool Phase One, January 31

Skeleton Key Records are taking over Phase One for the night, as part of Independent Venue Week 2020, with a stellar line up.

Some of Liverpool’s major up and comers will be appearing, making it one of the week’s must sees.


Man Of Moon: Manchester Castle Hotel, February 1

Edinburgh duo Man of Moon have received high praise since forming in 2015.

Their debut single The Road was celebrated by the New York Times as the best debut single from a UK band since Ceremony by New Order.

 After releasing their latest dark rock anthem Ride The Waves last year they play Manchester Castle Hotel as part of their IVW tour, before heading to Undertone in Cardiff.  

Egyptian Blue

Egyptian Blue, Sinead O’Brien: Birkenhead Library, February 2

Egyptian Blue will play Birkenhead Library as part of a co-headline tour with Sinead O’Brien in one of the last running events of IVW.

In March the Brighton boys will bring their post-punk grooves to their biggest headline show to date at The Lexington in London. 


Astles: Liverpool Some Place, February 2

Local songwriter Astles will round up the events of IVW in Liverpool with a full band set at Some Place, following his headline show with dates also in London, Leeds & Sheffield.

Manchester gigs of the month: January 2020

Special IVW event:

IVW Documentary: Bush Hall, London, January 21

Long and Winding Road with Philip Selway (Radiohead). Special Premiere with Q&A.

Ticketholders to this special event will access a sneak preview to new documentary: Long and Winding Road which celebrates and explores the eclectic, dynamic and magical world of independent music venues 

Contributors to the feature documentary include Nadine ShahNick Mason (Pink Floyd), IDLES, and many more.

The premiere will be hosted by BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq with the full length film entering independent cinemas in Spring.  

Other UK IVW gigs:

January 27:
Peaness: Leicester Firebug
Nadine Shah: Newcastle Cluny
Pigs x7: Sunderland Independent

January 28:
Giant Drag: Glasgow Hug And Pint
Self Esteem: Sheffield Leadmill

January 29:
Squid: London Brixton Windmill
Warmduscher: Stoke Sugarmill
Faux Pas: York Victoria Vaults
Gruff Rhys: Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach

January 30:
Toy: Bedford Esquires
Indoor Pets: Guildford Boileroom
Mik Artistik: Halifax Square Chapel
Frank Turner: Exeter Cavern

January 31:
Girl Ray: Margate Elsewhere
Stereo MC’s: Darlington Forum
Marsicans: Huddersfield Parrish
The Ninth Wave: Edinburgh Summerhall
B.C Camplight: Bedford Esquires
Ist Ist: Halifax Lantern
Geneva: Brighton Komedia
Anna Calvi: London Brixton Windmill

February 1:
Frauds: Leicester Soundhouse
Honeyblood: Galasheils Mac Arts
Nova Twins: Cardiff The Moon
IDLES (DJ Set): Stafford RedRum
She Drew The Gun: Halifax Lantern
False Advertising: Keighley Exchange

February 2:
Shed Seven: Leeds Wardrobe
JOHN: Guildford Boileroom
Raging Speedhorn: Blackpool Waterloo Music Bar