Hanley’s Sugarmill into finals for Britain’s Best Small Venue

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The Sugarmill, Hanley’s popular music club, has been nominated for Britain’s Best Small Venue for the fifth year in a row.

The award, which is hosted by the NME, celebrates the cosier venues from all over the country that play host to ‘frenzied gigs’ and provide a platform for their local artists.

Winner of the Midlands category, The Sugarmill has seen many artists and bands walk onto their stage since it opened in 1994. Coldplay, Muse, Kasabian, Daft Punk and The Libertines have all graced the stage in their early years.

Danni Brownsill, head promoter at the Sugarmill, revealed their delight at being nominated and explained what makes the venue special.

“We’re very pleased to be nominated. It’s voted for by the public so it means a lot to have so much support,” she said.

“We’re an independently run venue, staffed entirely by music lovers, so it means the world that people appreciate what we do.

“For me personally, small venues up and down the country are where the truly memorable shows happen. They’re where the emerging bands start out, they create those ‘I was there’ gigs, where you remember seeing a band who have gone on to headline festivals or arenas, play to 400 or less people.

However, despite five years of success in the Midlands, they have yet to win the national award. Despite this they remain optimistic.

“I think the Sugarmill is truly one of Stoke’s treasures. Growing up, before I booked the bands here, I remember feeling incredibly lucky that I could go and watch some of my favourite bands just down the road from my house,” Danni said.

“I hope the public get behind us and take the time to vote for us to win the overall award. Just to be nominated is an honour. It would mean the world if we won the overall award. We’ve been shortlisted for the last five years – hopefully 2015 is our year!”

Voting is now open at: http://jackrocks.nme.com/smallvenues

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