While the Capital FM Arena and the Theatre Royal play host to some of the most revered music acts in the country, their prices don’t always play ball to a student’s budget. Fear not! Nottingham has plenty of smaller venues that offer a just as good, if not better live music experience. The intimacy of these venues can often result in better acoustics and volume doesn’t need to be cranked quite so high. So, you’ll be saving your pounds and your eardrums at the same time.
Here’s a rundown of the best venues that will give you an evening of music for (usually) under a tenner:
Doubling as a pub, The Maze has a backstage venue that hosts plenty of musical acts to suit a variety of tastes. It may seem a little dingy at first but you’ll soon warm to its quirks – because of its size, you’ll often find yourself standing next to and chatting to the headliners as they check out the opening acts. Simon McBride’s gig there last year with Gareth Dunlop opening was a slice of blues rock class and miles better than anything Capital FM had to offer that month.
Where: Mansfield Road, Nottingham
The Bodega Social Club
The Bodega has been at the forefront of the music scene for the past 20 years, hosting many exciting gigs, as well as its club nights. It also has an award winning bar and is already well known among students. One of rock’s most exciting new projects, Pure Love, put in a storming performance there earlier this month but don’t worry if you missed them, there’s plenty of venerable artists to come this year. It’s also a host venue for the annual Dot To Dot Festival on May 23.
Where: Pelham Street, Nottingham
Rock City Basement
While the more successful acts get to grace the main stage at Nottingham’s infamous Rock City, the lesser known but perhaps equally impressive bands perform in the Rock City basement. One of the most talked about and revered bands of the year so far, The Virginmarys, play there on February 28 – this venue is the place to see artists before they blow up and become internationally successful. After the gig, there’s also the possibility of sticking around for Rock City’s club nights – that’s your Friday night sorted then.
Where: Talbot Street, Nottingham
The Glee Club
While it’s notorious for comedy, it actually has a downstairs venue to accommodate music acts. They tend to host acoustic, singer songwriters and indie bands, giving the experience a bit of an open mic night feel. Don’t worry, the music is still a treat for the ears and the tight-knit venue gives you the chance to relax and get lost in the music or get up close to the artists if you so please.
Where: The Waterfront, Nottingham
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