With a return to live gigs no nearer, we continued our series looking at some of the great venues affected by the lockdown. The latest band to chat to us about their favourite venues is UK tech-metal band Sertraline who recently dropped their new EP, Clouded Minds & Silver Lines.

The Sugarmill, 36 Brunswick St, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1DR
– We used to play The Sugarmill often when we were a Stoke-based band and it has a few features that label it a favourite. As soon as you walk onto the well-proportioned stage, the height of the place, and seeing people watching you from the balcony makes your eyes pop. The noise your guitars make through the huge PA during soundcheck as it bounces around the place is unforgettable for me. It’s also really well placed in the city, and has a rooftop bar for when you fancy a beer or a breather between bands.

The Key Club, 66 Merrion St, Leeds, LS2 8LW
The Key Club is a local one for me, and definitely the go-to for touring bands before they break into the city’s bigger venues. It’s got such a cool atmosphere with it being underground, you can get up close and personal with your audience and the staff are always super friendly! We’ve played there a couple of times now and we can’t wait to get back again. Favourite memory was going to see Northlane for the first time and I couldn’t believe how huge they sounded!

The Brickyard, Richmond Hall, 14 Fisher St, Carlisle, CA3 8RN
– Though it’s been a while since we’ve visited The Brickyard, I loved this venue from the first show I ever played there – it’s really well sized for bands that are trying to crack larger venues, it’s outside a goddamn castle (surely a plus in anybody’s book), and the green room is full of retro games consoles. Why not! The place generally has a great sound on and off stage, and has been the setting for some great gigs and piss-ups in my time!

The Live Rooms, 1 Station Rd, Chester, CH1 3DR
– Wanted to give The Live Rooms a mention because I recently heard a rumour that it could be turned into flats… really hope that doesn’t happen! We played one of our favourite support slots there back in 2016, with Butcher Babies in the main room. It’s in a perfect location in a beautiful city, I think the residents are really lucky to have such a versatile venue. There are two stages in the building as well so it can cater to a wide variety of bands. Fingers crossed it survives the pandemic!

Rebellion, 2B Whitworth St W, Manchester, M1 5WZ
Rebellion hosts some of the best metal shows in Manchester in my opinion, and it’s great to be heading back there later this year (Covid-19 depending). The internal alterations they’ve made over the last couple of years have improved it too (making the stage larger, moving the bar upstairs towards the rear of the venue etc), so it’s a really well put together venue. It has regular cracking lineups, great sound (and engineers – I’m looking at you James), and enough capacity for smaller bands and well established ones alike.

Favourite Gig Memory
– This is a really hard one because we’ve had so many. I think I can speak on behalf of all of us though by picking out a show at Pitagora (Lugagnano VR, Italy). It was the last date of our 2018 UK/EU tour so we were already really pumped up. The venue sorted us out with a huge spaghetti bolognese and we were a few aperol spritz’s in before taking the stage! It turned out that we had some genuine fans in the room and there were mosh pits, seated rowing, singing along and all the good stuff in this tiny bar! Totally unexpected but it felt amazing – couldn’t have asked for a better send off from mainland Europe!

Setraline have released their Clouded Minds & Silver Lines and you can pick it up here.

Artwork for ‘Clouded Minds & Silver Lines’ by Sertraline

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.