In the wake of 2016, Independent Venue Week is as important as ever. Safe, creative spaces are sadly becoming few and far between, so gathering up your pals and heading to your favourite venue is one of the best things you can do on a dreary January evening. Here in Bristol, we’re lucky to have our choice of eclectic spaces that provide stellar lineups of some of the best acts around – from local to international – and Independent Venue Week will see them given the spotlight they deserve. Acting as a nod to the people that own, run and work in these venues, week in, week out, it’s one of the most fulfilling live music experiences all year.

Author, label-founder, solo artist and The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess was announced as the 2017 ambassador, following in the footsteps of previous ambassadors Wolf Alice, Frank Turner and Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood. Under the banner of Tim Peaks, Burgess has curated a lineup alongside our very own ‘Big’ Jeff Johns, featuring local favourites Yama Warashi and Kayla Painter.

”Independent venues put on some fantastic shows but they also need an enthusiastic audience to make them into events,” he explains. “I played a gig in Bristol a few years ago and it was the first time I saw Big Jeff. He’s usually the tallest person in the room and he has an armful of festival wristbands and must go out five nights a week just watching bands. If you’re playing in Bristol and he’s not there then you need to up your game.”

Burgess continues to say that when he was asked to help out with Independent Venue Week, Big Jeff was the first person he thought of contacting. “We asked him to put a lineup together for a show,” say Burgess. “He’s picked some brilliant performers who I’d not heard before. Big Jeff is the patron saint of live music.”

Catch Yama Warashi and Kayla Painter at The Exchange on 26th January and Elder Island, Tamu Massif, Body Clocks, Jamie Cruickshank and Nugget at The Louisiana on 28th January.

Check out Yama Warashi’s ‘Moon Egg’ below.