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Bristol's Idles aid survival of Ramsgate Music Hall with new live record

A Mercury-nominated band is helping a cult music venue in Thanet weather the coronavirus crisis by agreeing to let it sell a live record of their past gig.

The Ramsgate Music Hall has released the recording of a 2018 gig by Bristol-based band Idles on their Bandcamp page, with all proceeds going to help the venue survive its temporary closure due to the ongoing pandemic.

The Bristol band played at the venue two years ago. Picture: Dik Ng.
The Bristol band played at the venue two years ago. Picture: Dik Ng.

The band have become hugely popular since playing at the hall in 2018, releasing a second record to critical acclaim and receiving a Mercury Prize nomination in 2019.

Their fanbase has also grown all over the world, with avid obsessives known collectively as the 'AF Gang' lapping up every recording and release put out by the band.

Andre Dack, manager of the music venue, said: "The 2018 Idles show is fondly remembered as one of the all-time great RMH gigs, and it's an absolute honour to be able to share it with the world.

"A huge thank you to the band for allowing us to release their incredible performance, with all proceeds going to the venue."

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, venues like the Ramsgate Music Hall are struggling to make ends meet as their doors remain closed.

Mr Dack runs the Ramsgate Music Hall
Mr Dack runs the Ramsgate Music Hall

Mr Dack added: "The situation at RMH is becoming increasingly desperate, with our next show currently scheduled for the end of August.

"The generosity shown by Idles is remarkable, yet so typical of their behaviour.

"This is a band who practice what they preach, and we are blessed.

"Fingers crossed we can put on more stunning shows in the future."

The punk band also won an award for UK Independent Breakthrough at the 2019 Association Of Independent Music Awards.

The live set could help keep the venue afloat during difficult times. Picture: Dik Ng.
The live set could help keep the venue afloat during difficult times. Picture: Dik Ng.

Since non-essential businesses were asked to close last month, Mr Dack has sought other ways of keeping an income flowing to the closed venue, including selling a line of limited edition T-shirts.

One shirt was designed by Canadian musician Ariel Sharratt, who performs in indie rock group The Burning Hell.

Independent venue owners were already fearing irreparable damages to the industry prior to the pandemic, after a report was published claiming a post-Brexit drop in music tourism could cost the UK economy hundreds of millions in lost revenue.

It comes as folk-punk troubadour Frank Turner raised £10,000 for the Tunbridge Wells Forum by hosting an online gig.

Jason Dormon, co-founder of the venue, said: "Frank is a long-time friend of The Forum, so when he offered to launch a fundraiser for our venue through his Independent Venue Love live stream gig series, we were delighted.

"It’s been heartening to see so many people supporting and donating to keep us going through this crisis.”

Frank's gig has been viewed more than 110,000 times and almost 1,000 people donated to the cause.

To purchase the live Idles record, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet


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