Nottingham’s rock and metal scene started in the 1960s, when the now defunct Nottingham Boat House hosted Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, and Saxon. In 1980, The Undertones played the first ever gig at the newly opened Rock City and since then, the venue has played host to the likes of Deftones, Megadeth, Nirvana and Faith No More, cementing its legacy. The 2,500 capacity venue has three rooms (main hall, Basement, and the Rig). Smaller metal acts such as Finntroll or All That Remains play in the intimate Basement or Rescue Rooms. The Rig hosts ‘Rock Out At The Rig’ every Saturday night, which is a killer combination of cheap Jägerbombs and classic rock! Every Thursday in the main hall is student night, whilst the first Saturday of every month is one of the best metal club nights in Nottingham, ‘Damage Inc’.
Seven at Canning Circus is a bar and venue that puts on unsigned as well as more established acts such as Oceansize and Death Angel. The monthly ‘Therapy!’ plays non-stop rock and metal requests ‘til 6 am and is not to be missed! The amusingly entitled ‘Wherever I May Foam’, foam party was launched recently and looks to be worth checking out if you don’t mind getting your lower half soaked followed by a cold walk home.
The Trent FM Arena this year played host to the first night of Metallica’s UK tour. Other mainstream acts include Heaven and Hell, Alice Cooper and Motorhead. Rocksoc is one of the biggest musical societies at Nottingham and organizes loads of great club nights and trips. Weekly social ‘Piracy’ on Tuesdays at the Salutation Inn or ‘Assault’ at Nottingham Trent almost guarantee heavy drinking and tunes.
The term ‘Indie’ emerged in the post-punk era by means of broadly defining independently recorded artists. It now represents a hybrid mish-mash of genres, and a bourgeoning music scene that continues to make its mark on the streets of Nottingham.
Bodega has taken a prominent place in the Nottingham music circuit by putting the likes of The Strokes to recently discovered gems, The XX (who we interview this issue). Wednesday nights are an eclectic mix of Indie/electro tunes headed by the DJ Reverend Car-bootleg and inflatable bananas has also become High Soc’s hangout.
The Rescue Rooms boasts an upbeat atmosphere that never disappoints. Every Saturday, the legendary Stealth vs. Rescued club night dedicates one (generously sized) room to Indie tunes and mixes. Look out for The Rescue Rooms’ newly launched Indie club night ‘Pressure’, taking place every Tuesday, with 2-for-1 drinks.
Liars Club has had a strong lo-fi following in Nottingham putting on frontrunners No Age, Health, Wavves and Crystal Stilts. Hidden down the alley next to Clinton Cards, the Chameleon Café’s leather sofas and curtains give gigs a living room experience like no other. This is the place to see up and coming bands before the likes of Bodega and Stealth snap them up.
Daisy Mash and Cassie Madge
Folk has asserted itself onto the modern music scene ranging from the harsher cacophony delivered by Animal Collective who played at Rescue Rooms this year, to Fleet Foxes at the Bodega. It has been embraced by those who fancy themselves as lo-fi lovers, to those enamoured by the eerie echoes of Sufjan Stevens.
For an authentic, back-to-nature night, escape to `Out of the Woods’ from 8pm Tuesday at The Bodega by David Forde and Tom Lloyd, traditional ciders and home cooked food whilst gazing at projected footage from none other than Sir David Attenborough ‘is a respite for the soul’.
The Lion in Baseford hosts regular folk nights every Sunday and Monday featuring everything from Neal Young covers to original artists. The Jam café hosts localised bands from country and folk to classical guitars, including open mic nights by Bonzai project. The Malt Cross, originally built as a music hall 1877, hosts acoustic Tuesdays a mixture of classical and modern instruments, from the soft timbre of the strings to the natural acoustic of the guitars. The Corner Store is a night of alternative country, sunny west coast pop, folk pop, and loads of other stuff. Nottingham University’s song-writing society meet for jam sessions on Tuesdays at 7 at the Djanogly Recital Hall. They also regularly meet at open mic nights at the Rose and Crown and is a good place to meet inspiring musicians.
Daisy Mash and Cassie Madge