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.