Independent Venue Week (IVW) has unveiled hotly-tipped Leeds band English Teacher as artist ambassador for 2024.
The event, which returns on January 29, 2024, encourages music fans to start the new year by visiting their local venue and experiencing a live show. During the week, independent venues come together with artists, promoters, agents, record labels and media to create a series of special live events across the UK to highlight and celebrate the work of these venues
Formed in 2020 after meeting at Leeds Conservatoire, English Teacher consists of Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth), Douglas Frost (drums, vocals), Nicholas Eden (bass) and Lewis Whiting (lead guitar).
The band have released a well-received string of singles, including 2022’s Polyawkward EP and 2023’s Song About Love, which was recorded in collaboration with Dan Carey for the Speedy Wunderground label. They have toured extensively across the UK and Europe, and supported acts including Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Paolo Nutini and Yard Act, in addition to slots at Glastonbury, SXSW and Reading & Leeds.
They also have a long-running connection with Independent Venue Week, and earlier this year played the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge as part of IVW23 for BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire.
Recently signed to Island Records, and coming off of their biggest UK headlining tour to date, last week English Teacher made their national TV debut on Later With… Jools Holland playing their BBC 6 Music-playlisted single, The World’s Biggest Paving Slab. A follow-up, Nearly Daffodils, was released on October 5.
English Teacher will perform a special IVW show at Hull’s Polar Bear Music Club on Thursday, February 1 as part of a tour across the week. Tickets for this show will go on sale at 10am on Monday, January 20 from the Independent Venue Week website.
Previous IVW Ambassadors have included Wet Leg, Beabadoobee, Philip Selway, Arlo Parks, Anna Calvi, Wolf Alice, Nadine Shah, Colin Greenwood, Adrian Utley and Novelist.
Sybil Bell, founder, Independent Venue Week, said: “We’re so excited to have English Teacher as our IVW24 ambassadors. They are an incredible live band, who have built their reputation through playing independent venues. They also have a strong affinity with IVW having played numerous shows over the years, including a brilliant gig for BBC Music Introducing in West Yorkshire earlier this year at the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge - a true ‘I was there’ moment for me. We are really honoured to have their continued support, and I can’t wait to see them perform again at The Polar Bear in Hull.”
English Teacher are an incredible live band, who have built their reputation through playing independent venues
Lily Fontaine from English Teacher said: “We’re delighted to be the ambassadors for next year’s Independent Venue Week. Over the years that we’ve developed as a band, we’ve always tried to be vocal about our relationship with the local venues, organisations and scenes that have supported us in our careers and practice, and that continues next year with our tour of some of the most vital grassroots music halls in the country.”
With a little over two months to go, 205 venues have confirmed their participation in IVW24. These range in size from Motion in Bristol (4,000 capacity) to The Grayston Unity in Halifax - now a reduced 15-capacity, but with a newly opened 110-capacity basement room.
Outside of our major cities, IVW24 aims to reach all parts of the UK. Among those 205 venues are St James in Guernsey, The Terrace in Dewsbury, Canvas In Mansfield, MacArts in Galashiels and The Scala in Merthyr Tydfil.
With new shows added on a daily basis, artists performing during the week already include Steve Mason, Hinds, Peaness, The Zutons, CVC, Skinny Living and TVAM. Many more will be announced in the weeks leading up to January 29, including some special headline events.
Since 2014, more than a million tickets have been sold for IVW events.
Two partnerships for IVW24 are also confirmed with Beavertown Brewery and Gigantic Tickets on board as official supporters. They join previously announced supporters Arts Council England, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Music Introducing, Creative Wales and PPL.