Music / Interview

‘We don’t have much financial help and these venues thrive on gigs’

By amy grace, Saturday Mar 28, 2020

Independent venues are one of the many sectors which have struggled over the past few weeks, with every single show being cancelled or rescheduled to a later date. The Louisiana is at the heart of live music and one of the city’s most treasured venues. Lor Nov is a powerhouse, from doing the lights at venues across Bristol, to photographing in the pit, along with an extensive knowledge of the music scene. I chatted to Lor from The Louie about independent venues and how we can support them.

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Give us a quick rundown of what an average 24 hours looks for you.

Meeting at 11am, go through emails, book bands, liaise with promoters, drinks lots of coffee, get ready for load-in, run an amazing night, make sure everybody is happy, go to bed, repeat. Also I think my colleague Mig and I both secretly watch a lot of Netflix without telling each other.

 

How has this affected your schedule?

We’re now stuck to emails and Netflix. On a more serious note, The Louisiana is busy rescheduling 2 months of gigs, if not more. It’s quite a stressful time as we’re closed and therefore make no money but still have bills to pay. We’re working hard on making the best of our time. We’ve asked bands from Bristol and beyond to takeover our Instagram page – as we speak October Drift is killing it! With bands like Kate Stapley, Last Hyena, MOUSE, and my new Ukrainian favourite Krapka;Koma! Also we’ve designed t-shirts for people to support us in another way. There will be a link available very soon!

 

How have you been keeping busy during these turbulent times? Puzzle books? Knitting?

Lots of emails, finding new ideas on how to get better once we reopen. Mig is currently moving a lot of stuff, painting, decluttering (there’s a lot of old grit to throw away in a 32 year old venue!) We even found an original Fleet Foxes poster! I’ve been self isolating for a week, always trying to find new way of spreading music around Bristol. Oh and watch Netflix – I can admit it now, right? – play videogames and drink beers…erm ‘work from home’.

Lor reading The Holy Bible. Image supplied by Lor Nov.

Do you think we’ll see a particularly significant amount of stuff being released once we’ve come out of the other side?

Probably. I’m quite amazed by how people get creative at home! I’m quite excited to see all of that to be honest!

 

How do you think this is affecting indie venues?

Yes, massively. We don’t have much financial help and these venues thrive on gigs, even small ones. But to be fair even big venues are suffering as their costs are tremendous too! We just hope all our cancelled shows are being postponed to have a rammed end of the year. But with all the costs included in the daily life of a venue (rent, electricity, basic maintenance) we strongly need help from the government.

 

Any big plans for a relaunch when everything has settled?

I’m not sure there will be a big day of ‘Hey the war is over let’s celebrate!’. My thoughts are currently on Harbourside – end of July – as it’s the most reliable big event happenning… And will be a thrilling time for Bristol music!

 

What band/artist is the biggest undiscovered gem in your eyes?

I’m massively in love with Lynks Afrikka. They’re doing a self-isolation tape with new songs every day. “Extra Sad Cream” is an absolute banger.

Main photo by Ania Shrimpton

Read more: ‘People are capable of some really interesting things under extreme circumstances’

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