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Friday, 11 November 2016

MUSIC | Gig venues in Herts, Beds & Bucks

Earlier this week in my post about the UMA's, I mentioned how much I support local artists and the local music scene, so I thought it would be fun to mention some of my favourite local gig venues, too.

I think in a time where so many music venues are closing, it's also important to support independent and smaller venues. They may not be the same as huge-sell out venues such as Wembley or any o2 Academy, but in my eyes, venues closer to home have a certain charm about them.

They have so much more atmosphere, friendly staff and, of course, I love the fact that they're just down the road. 

I'm also aware that I do have a few bloggers from Herts, Beds & Bucks that follow me, so hopefully this post is still slightly relevant!

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Music | Gig Venues | Music Venues | Bedfordshire | The Horn | Kiln Farm | The Craufurd Arms | The Hat Factory | Esquires

I've only really been here on occasions where I've been terribly drunk, but it's a venue I still adore with really edgy deco and affordable drink prices. The first time I went here was interviewing Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and this night made some changes to my life - I made some friends for life that evening, realized my calling for wanting to interview bands, met an awesome band and also discovered this venue. Since then, I've noticed The Craufurd Arms also plays host to lots of different themed events like record fairs and quirky art classes, so it's not just about the music.

Kiln Farm is another venue I've only been to a handful of times but have seen some pretty big names there such as Kids In Glass Houses (it was their warm up gig for Slamdunk and it was one of my favourite gig's of all time) and Taking Back Sunday (where I got horribly, horribly drunk and tried to proposition the lead singer before remembering that he's actually married. Sorry Adam Lazzara!). It's a large venue (by terms of local venues) but really cute too, and plays host to a lot of laidback open mic evenings.

The Hat Factory doesn't hold a lot of music events anymore - at least not as much as it used to - but this hidden gem is still worth a visit when it does. The tiny venue is perfect for checking out local music that you may not have heard of otherwise and it really supports artists from surrounding venues. You're bound to discover some great new music here. I used to spend so much of my time here as a 17 year old wannabe emo and I'm sure the staff has seen me in some states over the years, but it'll always have a special place in my heart. It may be small, but you're bound to have a good night out here. Plus, unlike the first four venues, it's situated right in the heart of the town meaning it offers the perfect opportunity for further drinking/partying.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Music | Gig Venues | Music Venues | Bedfordshire | The Horn | Kiln Farm | The Craufurd Arms | The Hat Factory | Esquires

The Horn is probably my favourite music venue from this whole list and it has been for a long time now - and not just because it's literally across the road from St Albans' train station, meaning that when me and my friends forgo driving to get drunk, it's maybe a five minute journey at most. It's a cute and quaint little venue with a beyond welcoming atmosphere, although, I note, the small back room where bands perform always seems to be chilly to begin with! It soon fills up though and any performance here is always really up close and personal. The pub end of the venue offers quite a laid back vibe and usually when I see a band here, me and my friends stick around afterwards to play pool and chat to the locals.

I've never actually been to Esquires, which is terrible I know, so there's not much I can say about this venue personally. But I have heard nothing but great things about it, and I do know that local rockers Don Broco are regulars here. One day I will go but in the meantime, I can still recommend it regardless!

Do you have any favourite local music venues? Let me know!

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