Lab flies the flag for Northampton as it celebrates Independent Venue Week with an array of acts

Forest of Fools are among the bands taking part
Forest of Fools are among the bands taking part

The Lab is gearing up for Independent Music Week with headline gigs by Forest Of Fools, The Kumari, Brazen Foxes and Kings Gambit.

The venue is flying the flag for Northampton as the sole venue taking part in the annual event which seeks to champion grassroots venues across the country.

The Lab’s booking coordinator Kirsty Wilkins said in recent years, the venue had been making strides forward but also appealed for more bands and promoters to come forward and support the venue.

She said: “Running an independent venue is a battle to make sure we can afford to keep bringing good music to the venue.

“Events like Independent Venue Week do help raise the profile of The Lab and help bring people in.

“It also focuses us to make sure we’re putting on a really good week of music to showcase what we do - we want to keep delivering really good live music.”

Turning to this year’s lineup, Kirsty said she was particularly looking forward to Forest Of Fools who headline next Thursday.

She also explained what independent venues like The Lab can offer – compared to some of their larger counterparts.

She said: “I think the great thing about us, and a lot of independent venues, is that everything is really up close and personal.

“We can offer the personal experience to people who come through the door.

“For people who maybe have only been to gigs at arenas or Academy venues, it can be a very different, exciting experience.

“People don’t realise the quality of acts that aren’t famous which they can see in their own town.”

Turning to The Lab’s development in recent years, Kirsty said things had been progressing nicely with improvements made throughout the venue.

She added: “Last year we wanted to work on getting more DJ nights here but we’d still like to see more new local bands who want to come and play.

“We want to help and support local bands and would urge any acts looking for gigs to get in touch.

“We’re cheap to hire and the sound quality is amazing.

“We’ve got probably one of the best PA systems in town and one of the best sound engineers.”

The venue also runs The Lab Presents, a project which aims to provide support to emerging acts.

It offers filming and audio recording opportunities for people who are looking for content which will help them take the next step in their career.

Anyone interested in The Lab Presents project can email the venue at thelab@gmail.com and then fill out a basic form.

Aside from Independent Venue Week, The Lab will be continuing to host local and nationally touring acts throughout the year and will be taking part in both Twinfest and Northampton Music Festival this summer.

For full details of acts placing as part of IVW, vist fb.com/thelabnorthampton

The Lab’s IVW gigs include:

Thursday, January 31 - Forest of Fools / Homeless Shakespeare / Aldous Pinch

Friday, February 1 - The Kumari / Greasy Diablos / Type 22

Saturday, February 2 - Brazen Foxes / Deaf Trap / The Keepers

Sunday, February 3 - Folkish Sunday featuring Kings Gambit / Before Breakfast / Jacob Brathwaite