Venue Spotlight: The Little Buildings, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

This week, we find out more about The Little Buildings in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

We spoke to owner Allan Scorer, who talks to us about what it takes to start a new venue, the importance of government support in the music industry, and fairy lights!

See full listings for The Little Buildings here.

Vital stats

  • The Little Buildings, 1 Ford Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE6 1NW
  • Established: 2014
  • Capacity: 50

Tell us a little about the venue and your role there.

Our Venue is called The Little Buildings, current cap 50, I am the owner and my son runs the day to day and books the bands under his other hat as Promoter, Truth Hurts Promotions and Management. The venue was first established by Cole Gilroy around 3.5 years ago in what was basically a 2 up 2 down house converted to offices then to what it is now.

Has the venue gone through any major changes since it opened (location, renovation, style of music, etc)?

We have made many changes since acquiring the business, change of use planning, entertainments licence, alcohol licence, acoustic problems fostering complaints from the local residents, which was addressed and with work carried out.

We applied for an entertainments and drinks licence which was a four month journey (opening up a vast can of worms), entailing major expense, acoustic attenuation and having to commission a solicitor to deal with all the objections from local residents, amongst other stuff. All nearly good now, just a few more niggles to sort out with the council and change of use planning will be granted. The physical changes were as said before, acoustic attenuation, reorientation of the stage to point the sound away from residents, and reorganisation of rehearsal spaces for the same reason. We have built a bar in what was an office and I'm nearing completion of the install (working at weekends, as I work in Birmingham, and the venue is in Newcastle!) It's hard work, but a labour of love.

How many gigs or club nights a week do you host?

Currently we have Friday and Saturday gigs booked in up until Christmas. We are starting events on Thursday's soon, and hoping to set up jam nights every Wednesday. However, we have to take into consideration our bands who wish to hire our rehearsal spaces, and we don't wish to decline anyone from booking rehearsal time.

Which band that's played your venue has gone on to be the best known?

We consulted Cole on this one (he has 3 years of gig experience prior to us taking over), and the band is The Pale White, who supported The Libertines at Times Square and recently played Glastonbury.

Which band that played your venue deserved/deserves to be better known than they are?

Dirty King.

Do you host events besides gigs and club nights?

We have a regular live podcast night (once a month). We are grateful to them for using our venue, which also serves as good publicity.

Has your venue ever been threatened with closure? If so, what could have been done to prevent it/support you?

Yes, (we've) had no support from anyone, as grassroots music is not on the (political) agenda. We are on our own, and it's an expensive hobby. We deserve help and encouragement from the Arts Council of England. As newcomers to the industry, we hope we're able to (with the ethical background of our forefathers) continue to support this important cultural artform.

What's been your proudest moment working at your venue?

Every time we lock up after a gig.

What's the best show you've put on recently?

We recently had PussyWillowFurryVenus, Idle Violets and Kkett.

Are there any interesting facts/stories about the venue that people might not know, but should?!

The venue has been made famous because of its previous owner's use of fairy lights. We are not changing this as it's part of the venue's legacy. It is spectacular at night, and we plan to extend the theme to the outside of the building, in preparation for the dark nights ahead.

Track The Little Buildings here to keep up to date with all forthcoming events. You can also catch them on their official Facebook page.