Britain’s Best Small Venues: Get To Know The Shortlist (Dunfermline, Bristol)

In this year’s search for Britain’s Best Small Venue in association with Jack Daniel’s, you voted in your thousands to shortlist 11 awesome venues across the UK. There’s not long left to cast your final vote and have your say in who should be crowned the ultimate best small venue in Britain, we hear why the venues have such a special place in the hearts of some of the bands who’ve played them. Find out more about PJ Molloys in Dunfermline and Bristol’s Thekla below, and check back over the next few days to read more about the other venues on the shortlist.

PJ Molloys
Capacity: 300
Opened: 2010
Recent gigs: Baby Strange, Neon Waltz, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Circa Waves
Big moment: “Having Jake Bugg play only his second headline solo gig the week that his first album went to Number One. The buzz around the venue and town was incredible and it was such a game-changing moment for the venue.” Calum Miller, owner

Baby Strange say: “We played PJ Molloys when we first started out, I think it was our first gig outside of Glasgow. We really loved that venue, it has a great stage and the floor is a good size. I can remember a guy holding a chair above his head for the first few songs, that made us like the venue even more.”

Capacity: 400
Opened: 1984
Recent gigs: Bo Ningen, Foxes, Future Of The Left, Jagwar Ma
Big moment: “We’ve been lucky to play host to some incredible secret and intimate shows from the likes of Babyshambles, Disclosure, Crowded House, James Blunt, Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine, Franz Ferdinand and more over the last few years.” Pat Somers, promotions manager

Frankie & The Heartstrings say: “Small venues in the UK are the lifeblood and backbone for live music in this country. Be it a back room of a pub, a shop like ours [Pop Recs Ltd in Sunderland] or a converted house, small venues are the most important. They give a band a chance, a chance to show people what they can do, a chance to rebuild and a chance to meet other likeminded people. In these environments, everyone is on the same wavelength and magic can happen. They are the hardcore committed few, and those times are always remembered most fondly.

Play with heart. Drink with care.

Drink Aware

© & ® JD 2014