Everyone in Bristol, even if you’ve only lived here a little while, will have bumped into Big Jeff at some point. Known locally for his exhaustive attendance of the city’s many gigs, this tall, happy-go-lucky and curly-haired Bristolian is instantly recognisable. So when Jeff was badly burned in a house fire last June, leaving him in hospital for almost six months, the whole city was left distraught.
But it’s not just watching music that Big Jeff loves, it’s playing it too. So the whole of Bristol will be happy to hear he will soon play his first gig since the accident at The Louisiana. His first performance since Dot To Dot Festival was in May 2022. The Outlines – for whom Big Jeff plays the drums – will support Nuha Ruby Ra on February 2, as part of Independent Venue Week, a UK-wide festival that celebrates grassroots music venues.
“Independent venues are vital because they offer people access to the stage and allow people to form communities and develop future ideas. To me, they are like churches,” said Big Jeff. “My band, The Outlines, had their first rehearsal last week which was interesting. I kept dropping my sticks because my hands had lotion on where I’m still treating my injuries. But we’re rehearsing again and we just can’t wait to get on stage and open for Nuha Ruby Ra for Independent Venue Week.”
What is Independent Venue Week?
Taking place from January 30 to February 5, Independent Venue Week is an annual seven-day celebration of independent music and arts venues. All across the UK, independent venues have created a unique series of special live events. There are nine shows taking place in Bristol as part of the Independent Venue Week festival.
On January 30, Strange Brew will host Bounce – an open jam for MCs, singers, instrumentalists, beatmakers, and more – while Sprints, Thus Love and M(h)aol will perform on February 5. Mr Wolfs meanwhile will host Year Of The Dog (Feb 3), Long Tonic (Feb 4), Mr Wolfs Comedy Club (Feb 5) and JFS (Feb 7). The most difficult choice to make next month, however, is February 2 when Manchester Collective will play Strange Brew; Nuha Ruby Ra will play The Louisiana; and Wilderman will play Mr Wolfs.
To learn more about Independent Venue Week head here.