This week I have really missed live music. Not sell-out stadium tours or warehouses with pulsing techno beats but cramming into a tiny venue and feeling like you’re discovering something.  I miss paying a fiver to support the dreams of Britain’s musicians. I miss the pleasant surprise I feel when said local band turns out to actually be really good.  I miss tapping my feet on a sticky pub floor, feeling a sense of intimate magic that can only be felt in venues that seat less than a hundred people. I imagine that excitement will be amplified by a hundred after more than a year with no live music.

If you are also looking to recreate the fun of an intimate concert, then read on to find some new music to listen to and musicians to support after what has been one of the toughest years on record for Britain’s budding bands.

The Covasettes are a Manchester born indie-rock quartet with some of the catchiest, good-vibe  songs. Their music has pretty universal appeal, so getting a group together and going to see these guys would be such a fun night! I imagine they’re best heard live, but they’re still pretty good as a soundtrack to my morning. 

The Velvet Hands are self-proclaimed garage rockers who hail from down South. These guys have such a British band vibe in the best way, from the great hair to the love of pubs. It would be great if I could go from dancing to their upbeat tunes in the kitchen to dancing in a local bar, but either way it makes for a fun study break.

Empty Trains are a UK band with a soulful and melancholic sound, who plan to release a single each month of this year despite currently being unable to record in the same room together! Their music has a softness that would be great to listen to while wandering around St Andrews on a daily walk. If you’re looking for unheard bands with big plans, Empty Trains are definitely one to look up. The band have created Spotify playlists of their inspirations too, a great way to discover some great new (and old) music.

Dancing on Tables fill my Scottish heart with pride because you can actually hear their accents in their music. It feels great to support a band who were formed just a short drive from St Andrews. Hearing their indie-pop tunes at King Tuts in Glasgow, undoubtedly one of the best venues to hear live music at, would be amazing, so hopefully their rescheduled tour dates will still include a stop at this historic venue!

Chris Greig and the Merchants describe themselves as “feel-good indie-pop music from Glasgow.” When I watched their lyric video for their song GLUE, I was completely taken aback when I saw that it has under 300 views! This band is relatively unheard of, but their music doesn’t feel like that. Their songs are upbeat and fun, I imagine best listened to while on a long drive exploring Scotland. Cannot wait to hear these guys live, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Whether these bands are your cup of tea or not, small artists and local venues need public support to keep Britain’s music industry alive after this crazy and disappointing period. Discovering new, emerging talent and making plans to see them when safe to do so is not only incredibly fun, but a great way to support an industry that is so integral to our culture.