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Our Favourite Venues: Bristol Punks Sugar Horse Pick Some of their Favourite Dives Around the UK

In this ongoing feature, Bristol punks Sugar Horse spoke to us about some of their favourite live music venues around the UK.



Given that, in one fell swoop, the coronavirus has wiped out the entire live entertainment industry, we wanted to do our bit to show support to a scene that has given all of us so many great memories over the years and, hopefully, in the not too distant future, will give us many more.

In the first of this ongoing feature we chatted with a load of bands about their favourite venues and memories. First up is Sugar Horse who released their new single “Pity Party” this week and have a new EP Drugs, due on April 17th.

Top Local Venue: Bristol Exchange, 72/73 Old Market St, Bristol BS2 0EJ
– Our favourite venue in Bristol has to be Exchange. Community-owned, small-ish cap (200 in the main room and 60 in the fabled basement). The place has a monstrous sound system, a great team behind it and Iwan, the club manager, has always been very kind to us. He helped to release our last record DRUJ and has been behind us since day one. We’ve also recorded two EPs and a single (DRUJ, DRUGS and ‘GakEater’) in the studio underneath the venue called Joe’s Garage. The studio is run by Joe Garcia and we were engineered by James King, both making up the rhythm section of the mighty Anta. 
We’ll be releasing a live session we recorded there on September 21, 2019 last year in the next couple of months. Our video for “Gakeater” was also filmed there. 
We have a big connection to the place and long may it live.

Top Five UK Venues:

Mothers’ Ruin, 7-9 St Nicholas St, Bristol BS1 1UE
– Out of loyalty I s’pose I gotta say Mothers’ Ruin in Bristol. I work there myself and have done so for nearly seven years. It’s my second home and we played some of our first shows there. It’s a small, DIY style venue with a tonne of character. Open ’til 2 am every night and has resulted in many a hangover. Like Exchange, we also have an upstairs stage and a basement stage. It raucous, grimly and the perfect place to watch bands.

Moles, 14 George St, Bath BA1 2EN
Moles is a bit of an institution in the South West. A great venue with an incredible sound system hidden underground. It’s dark, damp and really fucking loud. Three of us went to Uni in Bath, so we’ve frequented the place a tonne of times. It’s crazy loud down there and the, now retired, house engineer Trev was a local legend.

The Windmill, 22 Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, London SW2 5BZ
The Windmill in Brixton is a fucking wonderful place. Its location feels so wrong, plonked right in the middle of a residential side street, but the place is run by wicked people and has seen host to some incredible shows. We played there for last year’s Sunburn All Dayer, run by the lovely/disgusting blokes from the bane Frauds and had a wicked time. All hail roof dog.

JT Soar, 17 Aberdeen St, Nottingham NG3 2DG
JT Soar in Nottingham used to be greengrocers, but is now a tiny DIY music venue/studio/record store/bedroom. The place is the epitome of punk rock. It’s tiny, not even 100 people could fit in there. Our pal Marty from A Tota So (ex-Alright The Captain) puts on regular shows in the space. It’s grotty as all fuck and we love it.

The Forum, The Common, London Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN4 8YU
– For the last one I’m gonna have to go for The Forum in Tunbridge Wells, purely ‘cause I think it takes some gall to turn a public toilet into a venue. The place is a wonderfully odd shape, the mixing desk is on a treehouse-style balcony and the backstage area resembles a huge bunk bed. We love weird little places and The Forum is the paragon of that. An essential on the toilet venue circuit….I’m sorry.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.