Photo credit: Kieran Webber

With Independent Venue Week kicking off next week, an explosive 485 events from independent venues across the country will be taking part. Here is our list of artists you’d be a fool to miss!

Years And Years 1st Feb | The Wardrobe/Leeds

The genius works of Years And Years have been around since 2013 and since their breakthrough single ‘King’ are showing no signs of slowing down. ‘Night Call’, being released just this month, has already hit the top spot in the UK album charts, giving Years And Years their second UK number one. Lead Single ‘Starstruck’ is a masterpiece in how you create up-tempo, high-quality music and the self-titled track embodies all the addictiveness as a McDonalds on a hangover! With explosive energy and unapologetic queerness Years & Years brings to a stage everything want and need, leaving you yearning for more.

Nova Twins 2nd-5th Feb | Venues inc. The Moon/Cardiff, Wedgewood Rooms/Portsmouth, The Castle And Falcon/Birmingham, Waterfront Studio/Norwich

Within the alternative scene Nova twins are probably the most exciting act to come up in recent years. A genre-bending duo, Nova Twins debut album in 2020 ‘Who Are The Girls’ accumulated a massive influx of supporters from big bands like Bring Me The Horizon. The duo’s most recent single release ‘Antagonist’ has blessed the alternative scene with more mosh worthy music meaning you would be a fool to not see the Nova Twins live, missing out on potentially the biggest band in future rock music. Furthermore, black alternative artists like Nova Twins, Rico Nasty and Meet Me At The Altar are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve, so being able to support a talented act like Nova Twins live will only help ensure alternative black artists reach the heights they deserve to be at.

Soak 27th Jan – 6th Feb | Venues Inc Heartbreakers/Southampton, Record Junkee/Sheffield, Oporto/Leeds, Fulford Arms/York, The Trades Club/Hebden Bridge, The Glad Cafe/Glasgow, Oh Yeah Centre/Belfast, Bennigans/Derry

If you’re looking for something more laid back then allow SOAK to bathe you in beautiful, angelic vocals and the prettiest reverberated guitar you’ve probably ever heard. SOAK‘s ability to tell a story and leave you in awe of her every word is mesmerising and with her latest single release ‘Last July’ oozing of a nostalgic summer love, maybe SOAK can help you reminisce all your favourite parts about love, life and joy.

James Bay 24th Jan-4th Feb | Venues Inc Esquires/Bedford, Norwich Arts Centre/Norwich, Night & Day/Manchester, CLWB IFOR BACK/Cardiff, Komedia/Brighton, Lafayette/London, Brudenell Social Club/Leeds, Oran Mor/Glasgow. Georgian Theatre/Stockton

Speaking of angelic vocals, James Bay encapsulates love and love-troubles within music with ease. With his triple-platinum smash single ‘Let It Go’ allowing listeners to simulate what a heartbreak feels like, James Bay has went from strength to strength in recent years becoming the 365th most listened to artists on Spotify (as of January 2022) in the world. His single ‘Chasing Stars’ has recently been stripped back, allowing us to focus on the most beautiful part of James Bay‘s voice. A proven talent, James Bay live is a must see for all the hopeless romantics.

Factor 50 | The Old Bakery/Truro

Although not as big as the other acts mentioned, Factor 50 is my pick for the most promising act to come from Cornwall’s side of the Independent Venues Week and an act I implore you to see live. Finding their own niche within the alternative world Factor 50‘s live performances are second to none and will have you jumping up and down more than a kangaroo with a caffeine addiction! Their debut single ‘Fetusman’ is an impeccable indie tune and with an album looming this year, Independent Venue Week is a perfect opportunity for you to discover, if you haven’t already, one of Falmouth’s hidden gems. 

With just a microscopic look at acts you could potentially see live, you can check out your local area (here), to help support the venues that generate a fan base for promising upcoming artists. In return you could see some of the best artists locally and globally!

Let us know what you think!