Not without exacerbating the dramatic tension, the NME have finally announced the winner of the best small live venue in Britain.

The winner is Southampton’s very own, ever so humble, Joiners Arms. It comes as no surprise to anyone who frequents the place (Southampton or otherwise), but a much appreciated prestige to be placed on the eternal flame that is the soul of Southampton live music.

A little bit about the Joiners for the uninitiated: It’s awesome, it’s been coming along nicely since the early 90s when legendary local promoter Mint Burston crafted the back room of a little pub in St Mary’s into a legitimate piece of British live music history.

The 200 capacity venue has opened its stage to acts like Oasis, Coldplay, The Libertines, Arctic Monkeys, Frank Turner (who is playing an intimate celebratory gig on 24th June) and many, many more to grace its stage standing shoulder to shoulder against some of the most promising local music acts from along the southern coast. The Joiners also has frequent sell-out gigs from local legends The Delays and Sean McGowan.

During the final closing hours of the vote, Stoke’s Sugar mill looked like it was closing in but voting activity was rampant from Southampton faithful if the commentary on the social networking sites was anything to go by. There were still signs of fight online past the suspected midnight on Sunday into the early hours; it was later revealed the voting deadline was the following midday.

The Joiners has been in the spotlight of media attention recently, steered out of a small spell of fiscal turbulence with current captain Pat Muldowney at the helm, things look good on the horizon now but there is always stormy weather ahead. Live music venues face a never-ending fight to stand up to the forces of corporate reality TV economy and general public apathy.

Joiners patron Frank Turner talked about playing small live music venues across the country in his interview on the NME website:

It’s all very well being here today, but the important thing is to come back next week, … The important thing for me is the people there; in the audience are also reading the upcoming listings and checking out what other gigs they can make.

You can get tickets for Frank Turners upcoming show here.


Leave your response!


    How on earth did this happen?

    The Joiners is absolutely filthy (has anyone tried the beer there? – watered down and the pipes were last cleaned 5 years ago). Not to mention the toilets, by far the most disgusting we have EVER seen.

    A recent blog post from one of Europe’s biggest up and coming bands:

    “So, what to say about the show… Well the show was good, and as always I’m greatful for the fans that shows up! But honestly, the venue called The Joiners is by far the worst and most disgusting place i’ve ever been! I can’t understand how the organizers have the heart to book bands and to give them such crappy dressingrooms… I’ll spare you the details, because it’s gonna take me a day to explain the misery. This is actually the first time ever I write about negative stuff here on my blog. But I really need to get this off my chest!”


    Happy Jeff

    watered down beer? how do you suppose that operation is carried out? isn’t that some old wives tale from the 90’s (jesus christ you’re just plain old OLD? toilets eh, pop in, piss, get back to the show, it’s not a fucking restaurant mate. suppose you require a wine list and halal meal. it’s a music venue, rock’n’roll etc. you daft fairy, scrappy, bit of a whiff in the air from a sweat laden crowd and the best sound for miles around with an exceptional in house technician often commended by touring bands themselves from the stage to the people. and why do you think dressing rooms are generally not decked out with Argos contemporary nonsense ? I bet your life revolves around Argos you sad little gerbil. every time I’ve been on the road, it’s fair to say we’re generally not inclined to pick up our biscuit crumbs and neither is the next band there so no need to go all out on the decor, eh, unless you’re frightfully gay (are you?).
    meanwhile we still get regular doses of the next artists and musicians on their way up and has done so for quite a number of years now. when I go there (and I’m very sure I’m not the only one who thinks this) I want to grab a drink (watered down beer, you old school joker, have you ever seen how the taps and barrels and all that stuff work? silly silly boy), catch a band (that’s the important bit surely, not the curtains or your make up), have a good time and go.
    And who cares about your shitty excerpt from anywhere or anyone, it’s just a shitty fried rat amongst thousands of good nuggets, you’re just a sour old moaner with nothing better to do than procrastinate because you’re having a bad time or something. poor chap, hope things look up soon, best of luck with whatever.