Tom Jones, Rag'n'Bone Man and Mahalia to play intimate gigs to revive UK’s live music

Revive Live Tour initiative will feature up to 20 music tours across community venues in England

Tom Jones and Rag’n’Bone Man are some of the British stars playing local and intimate shows to help revive the UK's live music industry.

As part of the Revive Live Tour initiative, more than 20 tours will be held across the UK in community venues such as pubs and small clubs to provide grassroots support for the live music sector.

Other artists signed up to the cause are singer-songwriters Sam Fender, Mahalia and James Arthur, as well indie groups The Magic Gang, Twin Atlantic and The Futureheads.

It is being arranged by The National Lottery – which will contribute £1 million ($1.37m) to underwrite the associated fees and productions costs of the shows – and the Music Venue Trust, and dates and locations of the gigs will be announced soon.

In supporting Revive Live Tour, Jones, known for vintage hits Delilah and It's Not Unusual, says the shows provide opportunities for British musicians to hone their craft after months of online performances.

“Musicians can record in their bedrooms, but they can’t learn to perform in public without a place to play. Without that, there is no way you can communicate directly to people,” he said.

“Without a grassroots music venue, the neighbourhood won’t have a place where people can come together to discover and support a new talent. So support your local pub, club, gym … or wherever someone has the guts to bring in some entertainment, it makes all the difference both to budding artists and the community.”

Music Venue Trust chief executive Mark Davyd says Revive Live Tour will act as a lifeline for venue and crewing staff who have seen most of their livelihoods unplugged since March 2020.

"Grassroots music venues play a crucial role in the development of British music, nurturing local talent, providing a platform for artists to build their careers and develop their music and their performance skills,” he said.

“These venues also play a vital role in the cultural and economic vibrancy of any village, town or city.”

London back in tune

The move comes as the British government prepares to ease Covid-19 restrictions for the public.

At present, hospitality venues across England can only operate at 50 per cent, however that may be lifted to full capacity from Monday, July 19.

Stars and indie music acts are already booked in to play London shows to full crowds.

Concerts include Scottish group Mogwai at Club Pryzm on Tuesday, July 20; Beautiful singer James Blunt at Royal Albert Hall on Friday, July 23; and a solo show by Libertines co-frontman Peter Doherty at the PowerHause on Sunday, July 25.

London's O2 Arena will be back at full capacity from August, according to organisers.

After hosting The Brit Awards in May with limited attendance, the popular music venue aims to be fully operational in time for summer with a series of Welcome Back concerts.

The venue, which has a capacity of 20,000, is already booked for high-profile gigs taking place later in the year.

This includes a rescheduled concert by American pop group Haim on Thursday, September 30, followed by British rapper AJ Tracey on Thursday, November 25 and veteran DJ Pete Tong on Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4.

The venue also announced a comedy show on Wednesday, December 8, with Mo Gilligan leading a line-up of comedians as part of The Black British Take Over.

Updated: July 9th 2021, 5:15 AM
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