SOUTHAMPTON’S iconic Joiners venue is leading the way in the search for the UK’s best small music venue – after securing some high profile votes.

Frank Turner, the Hampshire folk punk singer songwriter who spent his last birthday playing a benefit gig for the venue and long-time fan Paul Heaton, of Housemartins and Beautiful South fame, and his entire band, have all shown their support.

The Joiners, in St Mary’s Street, has been named in the final ten in the NME contest to find Britain’s best small venue.

Staff and supporters are going head to head with the likes of Concorde 2 in Brighton, Stoke Sugarmill and Limelight in Belfast in a bid to secure votes and are top in the current standings.