Saturday 25 May 2024
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Rescue Rooms celebrates 20 years in Nottingham

Frank Turner, the artist known for championing independent venues – is coming back to play Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms for its week-long 20th-anniversary celebrations.

Frank Turner headlines a special solo show on Saturday 25th February for a double celebration marking 20 years of Xtra Mile Recordings, as well as the Rescue Rooms anniversary.

The sold out show to celebrate the 20 year milestone comes after a week of special events at the Goldsmith Street venue featuring live music, dj sets, club events, drag shows and bingo (Monday 20th February – Sunday 26th February).

It also comes as a new report from the Music Venue Trust shows that grassroots gig spaces in the UK are “going over a cliff” following the pandemic and shutting off the pipeline of future talent.

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Anton Lockwood, Director of Live at DHP Family – the company behind Rescue Rooms – who was brought into the live music company to open the venue, is adamant about the importance of venues like Rescue Rooms.

“It’s fantastic to be celebrating the 20th birthday of the Rescue Rooms this week! When we conceived of the venue all those years ago we wanted to create somewhere with great atmosphere, interesting programming and a thoroughly enjoyable gig going experience – and the success and longevity of the venue suggests we’re achieving that. We’re also proud of our varied club night programme where the “rooms” in the venue’s name showcase many and varied genres of great music.

“Of course it’s wonderful to list the artists who played Rescue Rooms on their way to fill stadia –  but it’s also important to note there are many, many more artists who aren’t mainstream but still bring pleasure to millions of people – and it’s vital to provide great stages for them, which is a huge part of what we do. This is particularly meaningful in a time when music venues are under more and more pressure – so I’m delighted to bring a positive story about grassroots live music!”

Bringing the week-long birthday party to a close on Sunday 26th February will be Panchiko, the band who reformed after an intense worldwide internet search to track down the artists behind a mystery CD discovered in a charity shop in Sherwood.

Now they are back to play the venue where one of their numbers worked as a sound engineer, for a nice full circle moment fresh from selling out venues across the US and UK.

Opened by DHP Family on 22 February 2003 as a place to host cutting-edge live music, Rescue Rooms has been described as a ‘jewel in the crown’ of Nottingham’s live music and is an important destination on the touring circuit for emerging acts.

Among those paying tribute as the venue gears up for the anniversary, Amber Run called it ‘a venue that reeks of music and wears it like a crown.

Joe, from Amber Run, explained what the venue means to the band: “When we worked at Rescue Rooms, we used to go into the main room and dream that we would get to play it one day. Now we have, 10 times over and it still has that mystique.

“Never before have we needed shared experience more. And I can’t think of anything that’s impacted me more than a room full of people singing the same words to the same song at the same time. Venues like Rescue Rooms are the cauldron that creates culture and binds people together.”

Since its inauguration into the Nottingham music scene in 2003, Rescue Rooms has consistently shown itself to be ahead of the game with a forward-looking booking policy.

The Killers, The Libertines, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, Amy Winehouse, and Stormzy have all played here while breaking through, with bands like Starsailor, Turin Brakes, and Kula Shaker returning to the venue. Breakthrough shows from the likes of Arlo Parks, beabadoobee, Holly Humberstone and Fontaines D.C. are just some of the more recent shows that continue to cement Rescue Rooms place on the UK touring circuit as well as a cornerstone of the Nottingham music and club scene.

In addition to the main venue, the weekly curated open mic night, Acoustic Rooms, is often one of the first opportunities that emerging local artists and student musicians are given to perform live, with previous performers including Jake Bugg, George Ezra, Dua Lipa, Animal Collective, The Rifles, Beans On Toast, Folks, Indiana, We Are Augustines, Kodaline, Tall Ships, Saint Raymond, Amber Run, D.I.D, EYRE LLEW, Liam Bailey, Natalie Duncan and Ady Suleiman.

 Brighton quartet Black Honey – who will be coming to play Rescue Rooms on 1 April – explained what they love about the venue. “It’s like a nucleus for people to go and let off steam and find commonality with people when they don’t usually feel welcome in “normal” spaces. Every touring band ever has walked through those doors so it has that heritage air. You know everyone you adore has made their journey there before you and that’s something you can’t manufacture by creating new spaces. It’s like one of those venues where you can feel how well last night probably was.”

Other returning artists with shows coming up are We Are Scientists, The Slow Readers Club, The Joy Formidable and A Certain Ratio.


Birthday Week Celebrations

Monday 20th February

➔ Acoustic Rooms: Secret Special Guests [bar/free]

Tuesday 21st February

➔ Pressure: Do Nothing DJ Set [bar/free]

Wednesday 22nd February

➔ Old Dirty Brasstards: 00s Indie & Alternative Brass Band [live]

➔ Quiz + Karaoke [bar/free]

Thursday 23rd February

➔ Kitty Tray’s Catnip Cabaret [drag show]

➔ Indie Bingo: One Hit Wonders Bonus Round [bar/free]

➔ Party Like It’s 2003 [bar/free]

Friday 24th February

➔ Bama Lama Sing Song [live]

➔ The Human Jukebox [bar/free]

Saturday 25th February

➔ Frank Turner + Guise + Tom Jenkins + Hannah Rose Platt [live]

➔ Rescued 20th Birthday: Jaguar Skills Wedding Crashers DJ Set [club]

Sunday 26th February

➔ Panchiko [live]

Rescue Rooms Timeline

22nd Feb 2003 – First gig (Echoboy)
2003 – The Libertines
2004 – The Killers, Bloc Party and Amy Winehouse played the venue in this year
2005 – Stealth vs. Rescued Club Night Opens
2005 – The Subways, Kaiser Chiefs and James Blunt played Rescue Rooms
2006 – Plan B and Jamie T played the venue in this year
2007 – Foals, Happy Mondays and Calvin Harris played the venue this year
2008 – One Night Only played the venue on the 5th Anniversary
2008 – Named best music venue – Nottingham Bar & Club Awards
2009 – Best Club Night (Stealth vs. Rescued)
2011 – Grand Relaunch of the Rescue Rooms following a huge refurbishment
2013 – Named Best medium bar at Best Bar None awards
2013 – Your Demise played the venue on its 10th Anniversary
2013 – Disclosure and Bring Me the Horizon played the venue
2014 – Jake Bugg, You me at Six and Machine Head
2015 – Wolf Alice and Reel Big Fish played the venue
2016 – Record turnover for Rescue Rooms in a calendar year
2016 – Rag n Bone Man and Frank Carter played sold out shows
2017 – Everything Everything returned to play a small show before going on a national tour to promote their new album
2018 – Sold out show from Lewis Capaldi and key venue for the first year of Beat The Streets festival.
2019 – Notable shows include Fontaines D.C., Easy Life, Aitch, Sea Girls, Yonaka, Maisie Peters & more.
2020 – Start the year with huge shows from Inhaler, Bru-C and The Murder Capital. Re-open after lockdown with the “Room Service” seated series of events
2021 – Arlo Parks performs after winning the Brit Award for best new artist and before she wins the Mercury later in the year, and sold out shows from beabadoobee, Do Nothing, Amber Run and Holly Humberstone.
2022 – newly refurbed outside terrace opens, sell outs from Window Kid, Dry Cleaning, Yard Act and Wargasm.

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