Friendly Fires launch NME’s search for Britain’s Best Small Venue

Band return to their stomping ground in St Albans for a special show

Friendly Fires returned to the scene of some of their early gigs last night (May 3) with an intimate hometown show to launch NME‘s search for Britain’s Best Small Venue.

The band played a rapturous show at their local pub The Horn in St Albans to kick off the new campaign, which aims to highlight the importance of such venues to bands and music scenes.

With their second album ‘Pala’ just a week away from release, the band returned to their old stomping ground with the venue packed to the rafters. They previewed the bulk of the new disco-flavoured album as well pleasing the locals with old favourites including ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Paris’.

As part of the campaign voting is open now at NME.COM/smallvenues for users to vote for the UK small venue they think is the best in the land. You can choose any UK venue with around 500 capacity or less and can also outline why you think it’s the greatest.

Voting closes on May 13, then soon afterwards we’ll announce the shortlist. A panel of artists and experts will then pick one as the overall winner, which will be declared Britain’s Best Small Venue.

NME Editor Krissi Murison said: “We’re not sounding the death-knell for small venues. We’re showing them some love, and we’re encouraging people – whether they be local fans or local councilors – to support these places as much as possible. We can’t continue to see them being closed down.”

Head to NME.COM/smallvenues for more details and to vote.