SOUTHAMPTON’S music scene is thriving and two of its live music hotspots are backing a campaign to support independent venues.

Independent Venue Week aims to promote and support live music hubs nationally by hosting gigs curated by a growing number of industry partners.

The Joiners in St Mary Street and new venue 1865 will be taking part in the week, which takes place between January 26 and February 1 next year.

Paul Hooper, owner of the 1865 in Brunswick Square, said the venue has enjoyed successful live band nights since it opened last year.

The venue was previously the Southampton Dockers’ Sports and Social Club until declining membership forced it to close.

Now Mr Hooper, who also runs Martin’s Rubber Company, said: “1865 was the year Martin’s rubber company started trading and it has been in my family since 1935.

“We bought the building (1865) as a property acquisition and thought that we had a room that could play live music.

“We started with private functions and then have had a refurbishment. We spent £100,000 on a PA system which is the best one in the south, we have redone the stage, and we have invested in a state-of-the-art lighting system.”

Bands such as Lit and Soil have already graced the stage while Funeral for a Friend, The Answer, and Karnivool are already scheduled to play there next year.

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Mr Hooper said: “We are aiming to bring in national touring bands to the city that won’t necessarily sell out the Guildhall.”

Mr Hooper is supported by Jamie Ford, whose band Fever took part in Independent Venue Week last year.

Mr Ford added: “It’s a really good cause. I thought it would be a great idea for us to get involved in Independent Venue Week to push our venue and help push the local music scene.”

The ambassador for this year’s Independent Venue Week is Winchester-born folk rocker Frank Turner.

He said: “It’s great to see Independent Venue Week back again for a second year and with so many more venues taking part.

“There’s been so much support recently for the work these places do and opportunities they offer young and more established artist. It’s vital we all celebrate their existence during Independent Venue Week and do what we can to support them so they are still around for years to come.”

Dates and artists taking part will be confirmed in the coming weeks.