An Introduction Into the Southampton Music Scene!
Southampton might not be renowned for its music in the same way as Birmingham or Manchester. However a thriving scene based around a number of artists and venues is starting to appear. Think of the region and who springs to mind? Craig David, The Vaccines’ frontman Justin Young, Delays and Creeper are some of the biggest to emerge from the area across the past 20 years.
There’s a few up-and-coming bands in and around Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight that should be considered worthy of praise. Indie pop fans will find much to enjoy in the form of Isle of Wight trio Freazy and Southampton five-piece BASH!, Freazy’s dream pop evoking Anteros and Black Honey, while BASH! are more quirky and energetic, bearing some similarity to ILIWYS-era The 1975.
For post-punk, there’s no need to look any further than Southampton’s Minister, who have played alongside The Blinders, Hotel Lux and The Rhythm Method. Sean McGowan, probably the biggest breakout act of 2018 from the region, captures the indie-folk-punk sound that has served the likes of Frank Turner and Jamie T so well in recent years. Also he’s due to headline a sold-out homecoming show at The 1865 on December 15th.
Venues and Festivals
The 1865 is one of many quality venues in and around Southampton. First and foremost, The Joiners is iconic. The 200-capacity venue has played host to bands including Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, The Verve and Kasabian over the years. A vital venue for artists honing their craft. Not too far away is new venue Heartbreakers, which opened a little over a year ago.
The venue has seen the likes of Our Girl, Yak and The Blinders headline over the last couple of months. With The Loft, Engine Rooms, the obligatory O2 Guildhall and Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms also well regarded, Southampton has a wealth of venues for artists of every stature. The Common People festival, held at Southampton common, also draws a wealth of acts despite being in its relative infancy. Artists artists including Lily Allen, James and The Jacksons performing in 2018.
As much as Southampton probably isn’t the first city that springs to mind when you think of the most electric music scenes. However there’s still some good music to explore. With the arrival of Heartbreakers, The Loft and independent record store Vinilo over the past couple of years, new life has been breathed into the area. Something reflected by the variety of acts popping up around the city.
Words by Adam England.
‘I’m a music and culture journalist currently based in the West Midlands. Always on the lookout for up-and-coming artists but my favourite bands include IDLES and Arctic Monkeys. Probably last seen at a gig.