Leeds band English Teacher to be Independent Venue Week ambassadors

Independent Venue Week (IVW), the UK’s annual seven-day celebration of independent music and arts venues and the people that own, run and work in them, has revealed that its Artist Ambassador for 2024 is the hotly-tipped Leeds band English Teacher.
English Teacher are to be Independent Venue Week ambassadors. Picture: Tatiana PozueloEnglish Teacher are to be Independent Venue Week ambassadors. Picture: Tatiana Pozuelo
English Teacher are to be Independent Venue Week ambassadors. Picture: Tatiana Pozuelo

The much-loved event, which returns on January 29, 2024, encourages music fans to start the new year by visiting their local venue and experiencing a live show. During the week, independent venues come together with artists, promoters, agents, record labels and media to create a unique series of special live events across the UK to highlight and celebrate the work these venues do year-round.

By doing so, local communities can celebrate these special places with thousands of artists playing hundreds of shows in villages, towns and cities all around the UK.

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Formed in 2020 after meeting at Leeds Conservatoire, English Teacher are one of the UK’s most talked-about upcoming bands – consisting of Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Douglas Frost (drums, vocals), Nicholas Eden (bass), and Lewis Whiting (lead guitar).

Having released a well-received string of singles – notably 2022’s Polyawkward EP and 2023’s Song About Love, the latter recorded in collaboration with Dan Carey for the Speedy Wunderground label – the band have gigged extensively across the UK and Europe, and supported acts including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paolo Nutini and Yard Act, in addition to notable slots at Glastonbury, SXSW and Reading & Leeds.

They also have a long-running connection with Independent Venue Week, and earlier this year played the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge as part of IVW23 for BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire.

Recently signed to Island Records, and coming off of their biggest UK headlining tour to date, last week English Teacher made their national TV debut on Later with… Jools Holland playing the BBC 6 Music-playlisted single, The World’s Biggest Paving Slab. A follow-up, Nearly Daffodils, also produced by Marta Salgoni, was released on October 5.

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This is a truly special band with strong independent roots. We are over the moon to name English Teacher as our 2024 Ambassador, and to reveal they will perform a special IVW show at Hull’s Polar Bear Music Club on Thursday 1st February as part of a tour across the week.

Tickets for this show will go on sale at 10am Monday January 20 from the Independent Venue Week website.

Previous IVW Ambassadors have included Wet Leg, beabadoobee, Philip Selway, Arlo Parks, Anna Calvi, Wolf Alice, Nadine Shah, Colin Greenwood, Adrian Utley and Novelist.

Sybil Bell, founder, Independent Venue Week said: “We’re so excited to have English Teacher as our IVW24 Ambassadors. They are an incredible live band, who have built their reputation through playing independent venues. They also have a strong affinity with IVW having played numerous shows over the years, including a brilliant gig for BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire earlier this year at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge - a true “I was there” moment for me. We are really honoured to have their continued support, and I can’t wait to see them perform again at The Polar Bear in Hull.”

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Lily Fontaine from English Teacher said: “We’re delighted to be the Ambassadors for next year’s Independent Venue Week. Over the years that we’ve developed as a band, we’ve always tried to be vocal about our relationship with the local venues, organisations and scenes that have supported us in our careers and practice, and that continues next year with our tour of some of the most vital grassroots music halls in the country.”

With a little over two months to go, 205 venues have confirmed their participation in IVW24. These range in size from Motion in Bristol (4,000 capacity) to the “UK’s smallest music venue” The Grayston Unity in Halifax – now an even smaller 15 capacity, but with a newly opened 110 capacity room in the basement.

Outside of our major cities, IVW24 aims to reach all parts of the UK. Among those brilliant 205 venues are St James in Guernsey, The Terrace in Dewsbury, Canvas In Mansfield, MacArts in Galashiels and The Scala in Merthyr Tydfil.

With new shows added on a daily basis, artists performing during the week already include Steve Mason, Hinds, Peaness, The Zutons, CVC, Skinny Living and TVAM. Many more will be announced in the weeks leading up to January 29, including some special headline events.

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Since 2014, more than 1m tickets have been sold for IVW events.

IVW has also announced two major partnerships for IVW24, with Beavertown Brewery and Gigantic Tickets coming onboard as official supporters.

For the second year in a row, Beavertown Brewery is IVW’s Official Beer Partner. The brewery will be pouring their award-winning selection beers at participating venues and providing artist riders across the week.

Beavertown will also partner with IVW to host a new series of regional networking events at select venues across the UK on the evening of Tuesday November 28. The series, IVW24 Beers with Beavertown, is led by IVW and Beavertown’s teams of regional reps and will bring local music communities together, encouraging them to share conversations and ideas for IVW24 – with complimentary beers included.

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A spokesperson from Beavertown Brewery said: “Teaming up with IVW again for another year was a no brainer. Supporting independent music venues as well as the fantastic people that own, run and work in them is something that’s really important to us, and we can’t wait to kick off with our IVW24 Beers with Beavertown series.”

For further details on IVW visit https://independentvenueweek.com/uk/

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