The Brewery Arts Centre

Atkinson, Peter James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8638-9808 (2023) The Brewery Arts Centre. In: Venue Stories: Narratives, Memories and Histories from Britain's Independent Music Spaces. Equinox Publishing, Sheffield. ISBN 9781800503731

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The Brewery Arts Centre was created as a community arts centre in Kendal at the beginning of the 1970s. From early days, its Malt Room performance space encouraged participation for local musicians. It is where Dave Allen of Gang of Four started playing bass in Bob Dawbarn’s Sunday lunchtime jam sessions. The Brewery grew as an Arts Council and local council supported music venue and in the 1980s featured top acts across a range of genres. It provided aspiration for local musicians who dreamt of performing in that space on that low stage. This paper notes the relationship between this arts centre’s official programme and the innovative ways that local musicians, and supporters, engaged to ensure that local bands performed there. These would range from featuring local acts at birthday parties, to collaborations with the arts centre to stage local acts – collaborations such as Futurama, where around eight local bands got the chance to perform in the hallowed venue. Consequently, Kendal had a whole range of bands in the 80s and 90s and of course, the Brewery provided the inspiration for British Sea Power.

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