EMERGING ACTS hunting out a place to perform in Nottingham will find an unusual welcome in the form of JT Soar, a 60-capacity space on the outskirts of the city.
Co-founder Phil Booth, who also runs a studio and rehearsal room inside what was previously a fruit-and-veg warehouse, says that the do-it-yourself approach has made life vastly easier.
“Around 2010, I started engineering and helped Will Robinson with [local promoter] I’m Not From London stuff for a while, then branched out and started working with my housemate Joe Caithness putting on more DIY shows,” he says.
“A turning point was then I moved my studio into JT Soar and started putting on shows there – events were BYOB; no bar staff or bouncers to worry about; the licensing laws changed so we didn’t have to worry about getting shut down; shows were all ages so it was more inclusive, it was pretty much perfect.”
Booth says that the freedoms of the venue have allowed him to pair local, national and international talent as and when a night feels viable, for which he charges between £5 and £7 per ticket depending on line-up.
“I put bands on because I like them, so I’ll get to see them play,” he says.
“There’s a lot of people in the area that put on local band nights, and I wouldn’t want to tread on any toes, so I’d rather introduce people to new bands from further afield, but doing this does of course require local supports, of which there are many great bands to choose from.”
Recent shows have included Dutch psych garage band Iguana Death Cult playing with US Indie-mo band Prawn, London band Brunch and local heroes Grey Hairs.