Staff Picks Autumn/Winter 2018


For most of us here at The Wedgewood Rooms, working at a music venue isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. From the tap pullers in the bar to the keyboard warriors in the office, people choose to work here because they love live music. With that in mind we thought we would ask some of the staff what shows they’re looking forward to over the rammed Autumn/Winter schedule. 

glasvegasAlice – Glasvegas

There are so many great gigs coming up at the Wedge that I am looking forward. To name a few… Laurel, We Are Scientists, Goat Girl, Hinds and Sunflower Bean. But the anniversary show of Glasvegas in September is the one I’m most looking forward to. I listened to them throughout my teenage years and have so many great memories to go alongside their music. Another favourite of mine is Dream Wife who play in October. This will be an amazing gig, full of energy and very catchy tunes.

the nightingalesMatt – The Nightingales

The show I’m most looking forward to is The Nightingales! They’re an incredibly underrated band and its great to see something a little off kilter in the main room. You could call them a punk band I guess but the sound is a lot more sophisticated than that, almost Beefheart like in it’s ability to change direction on a whim. They were one of John Peels favorites and for good reason. And if that wasn’t enough, Stewart Lee is going to be doing a short stand up set before they play! (oh and Unsigned Showcase 2017 winners Grief Daddy opening 😉 ) It’s going to get weird. Also really looking forward to Super Furry Animal frontman Gruff Rhys, The Cuban Brothers, Sextile & Hollie Cook.

telemanSarah D – Teleman

So many good shows coming up! Sleeper, Karine Polwart, Gruff Rhys to name a few but Teleman especially. They have a place dear in my heart from their days as Pete & the Pirates. They were always my go to happy music and I remember being blown away by them when they headlined Southsea Fest at the Wedge back in 2011. They have matured and moved on from their indie cheeky boy beginnings but still make me smile with their glorious upbeat lush pop songs.

rob newman
Andy – Rob Newman

‘There’s some fantastic Indie legends that are my bag coming up in the Autumn (Sleeper, Mercury Rev, Gruff Rhys). But I’d like to fly the flag for comedy and say I’m intrigued about Rob Newman’s show about philosophy in December. Knowing about his legendary partnership with David Baddiel and his comedy script writing, it’ll be a great experience seeing him on our stage. A high concept comedy show is a rare occurrence so I don’t want to miss it!

we are scientistsWomble – We Are Scientists

We’ve got a really exciting autumn touring season again this year! I’m definitely excited about seeing We Are Scientists – it’s always a pleasure to have your favourite band play at your work place! They’re so much fun live and always bring so much energy to their shows. Also looking forward to seeing Catherine McGrath – she supported Canaan Smith here in 2017, and now she’s back with her own headline tour! Her new album is awesome, it’s really strong and she’s so young still! Love that we get to see artists just as they’re starting their journey.

philTanya – Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons

Saw Phil Campbell & the Bastard Sons just a few months after Lemmy died. Somehow all the sadness disappeared during that show and the spirit of Motorhead lived on. When Phil was confirmed for the Wedge 2 years on it became apparent that this was not a band he was using to live on past memories with, this was a proper full onslaught of dirty rock’n’roll, designed for all us old school rock dudes and dudettes. Really cannot wait to experience this live in my very own home from home!

skindredGeorgia – Skindred

I am looking forward to Skindred returning to the Wedge, who’s music I have enjoyed for years. They are always great fun and I find bands like Skindred bring fans with varying music tastes together.”

So that’s a few suggestions for you! Let us and your friends know who you’re looking forward to and keep supporting live music. For a full listing visit


Promoter Spotlight: Beats & Swing

luke fuller

Luke Fuller has been promoting under the Beats & Swing name now since 2012 bringing legendary, eclectic and sometimes eccentric guests to town. Booking within (but not exclusively) the electronic and dance genres, he fills his shows with the best local DJ’s, acts and dancers making for a great evening out. This last year he has put on Maxi Jazz (Faithless), Mr Scruff, Huey Morgan (Fun Lovin’ Criminals), LTJ Bukem & The Dub Pistols as well as curating a regular stage at Victorious Festival. This Saturday he adds drum n’ bass legend Goldie to the list. Find out what Luke has to say about promoting in Portsmouth below.

Wedge Bot: What inspired you to put on shows?

Luke: There seemed to be a lot of acts that would play Brighton, Southampton, Bournemouth or even Guildford that seemed to bypass Portsmouth. I found myself having to travel to see acts & djs etc because they never came to my home town. So in answer to your question, a gap in the market I guess.

I have always been a music fan, going to gigs and festivals since my very early teens – I always wanted to get involved somehow. I can’t play any instruments but have always been ok at organising and arranging things.

Wedge Bot: What was the first show you put on? 

Luke: The first show under the Beats & Swing moniker was nearly 6 years ago. We had Bentley Rhythm Ace, Dutty Moonshine & Kitten & The Hip on the line up. Booking Ashley Slater (Freak Power/Kitten & The Hip) for my first event was a big thing for me.

Wedge Bot: How have things developed or changed since then? Any difficulties/learning curves along the way?

Luke: We moved away from the Electro Swing genre as it became quite apparent Portsmouth wasn’t up for a regular night of that ilk. Losing money and some sleepless nights make you re-evaluate whether it was a good idea at all. But there were still these gaps in the market. Now the tact is quite simply, if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it. Don’t put on a show for the sake of it.

Wedge Bot: What is your favourite gig/line up that you have put on so far? 

Luke: Mr Scruff. 5 Years it has taken to book him and it was an absolute Master Class in technique and music selection. A total professional. Loved it.

Wedge Bot: What can we look forward to in the future?

Luke: The legendary Goldie MBE in September, the party starters that are The Cuban Brothers in October. November is TBC but were already booking into early 2019.

Wedge Bot: Any advice for people wanting to put on shows or local bands/DJ’s looking to get more gigs?

Luke: Network network network. Meet people, fellow promoters, bands, djs, venue owners, go to gigs & clubs. Support other local nights – specifically independent ones.

Wedge Bot: Describe the Portsmouth music scene in one word.

Luke: Better.

Beats & Swing bring Goldie to The Wedgewood Rooms on Saturday the 15th of September and The Cuban Brothers on the 12th of October. Tickets for both shows available from


Independent Venue Week 2018 at The Wedge


The Wedge are proud to once again be participating in Independent Venue Week! This year we’re bringing you some of the best up and coming bands the UK has to offer from the hotly tipped INHEAVEN to some of the great unsigned and undiscovered acts playing Icebreaker Festival. This 7 day celebration of small music venues looks to put a spotlight on live music removed from the mainstream music industry.  These venues play a vital role in the development of unsigned artists and to lose them would have a devastating effect on the creative industries. So wherever you are this week make sure you go to a show and support independent venues! This is how our week at The Wedge is looking……

Inheaven for Matts Blog

One of the UKs most exciting bands kick off their headline tour right here on Wednesday the 31st of January. Inheavens sound brings together ’90s shoegaze, grunge and anthemic indie hooks to create an irresistible wall of noise. The band released their first single Regeneration in 2015 via Julian Casablanca’s label Cult Records to great acclaim and spent the majority of 2016 and 2017 supporting acts such as Sundara Karma, Circa Waves, Jame T, Blossoms, Yak and The Magic Gang. They’ve also played number of international festivals including Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury and Bilbao BBK live. On September 1st 2017 they released their debut album to mass critical acclaim with NME calling it “Indie’s most dangerously exciting debut-album”. Support comes from Brighton based dream pop band Thyla and indieish Freazy.

Tickets £9 in advance from

Icebreaker independent venue

The South’s largest unsigned metropolitan music festival Icebreaker Festival returns next week! Discover some of the great unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians playing on the South Coast. Started in 2014 the objective was to successfully allow musicians from Portsmouth and the surrounding areas to perform in front of large crowds. Taking place across multiple venues in Southsea, Icebreaker is a great place to see up and coming bands in intimate venues. This year it expands to two days of music, with 12 small venues participating and 159 acts. For a full list of acts and venues go to

Weekend tickets £15, Friday tickets £7, Saturday tickets £12

Action Men independent venue

Portsmouth Punk Promotions have been hosting punk and hardcore shows locally since 2014! This week they bring Italian punks Action Men to The Edge as part of their UK tour! Best described as melodic hardcore with lashings of funk, thrash-metal, garage rock and more thrown into the mix for good measure. Support comes from Dead Neck, Sombulance, Misgivings, Fenside & The Kryds. Huge show, small venue, perfect for those who like their Sundays loud.

Tickets £5 in advance available from


Local Artists Design Limited Edition Wedgewood Rooms T-Shirts

To celebrate our 25th year anniversary, The Wedgewood Rooms are teaming up with local artists to bring you exclusive limited edition Wedgewood Rooms T-shirts. The aim of these T-shirts is to both celebrate the Wedgewood Rooms history, but also to promote some of Portsmouth’s best artists! In the last few years, The Wedge has become more heavily involved in Portsmouth’s arts community, having an artist in residence, as well as employing local artists at the venue. This project will be an extension of those previous collaborations between local artists and the venue. 

Each local artist has based their design on what The Wedgewood Rooms means to them in their own unique artistic style. For each design we will print a limited batch of 50 T-shirts, with a new shirt being launched every few months. The first T-shirt we will be releasing is by Dani Hacket, a local artist who works at the venue! These limited edition T-shirts will go on sale Friday, so keep your eyes peeled on our social media! Read below to see her previous work and hear the inspiration behind her design.

“My T-shirt design for the Wedgewood Rooms was a particular interest of mine since it has been such a big part of my life for the past few years. I wanted to portray the nautical background of Southsea, and also capture the history of the area. I was inspired by old engravings by JMW Turner, an artist that captured the ferocity and beauty of the ocean, and the combination of the waves with the impressive old style ships. Obviously, being a music venue, I couldn’t leave out the aspect of music, and so I wanted to merge the two ideas together with the musical instruments to create a lively image that captured the energy of a Wedgewood Rooms gig.”


A Local Bands Guide to Getting Support Slots

Here at The Wedgewood Rooms we get lots of enquiries from local bands after support slots. Hopefully with this blog we can give you a solid few tips that can help you increase your band’s chances of getting those slots.

Number 1: Nearly every time we are informed by an agent that they want a local support, we will advertise it on social media. When we do this, it is extremely important that you only put yourself forward if you believe A) you would be a brilliant musical fit for the show, and B) that you will be able to promote it properly.  

It is far better to wait for the slot you think you would best suit your band, and ensure that you have no other dates around it, than putting yourself forward for every show. Playing to an audience of 150 people who are interested in your genre of music, is way more beneficial to artists than playing to 400 that aren’t. 


Gosport based band Sad Palace recently supported Teleman @ The Wedgewood Rooms

Number 2: Follow the instructions on our posts for support bands carefully. By this we mean, if it says post links, or email a certain address, please do so. Messaging us on Facebook at 1am is not the best way to get your band out there. We need sleep too.

Number 3: Only apply if you are local, I.E within a 20 mile radius. We understand the importance support slots have to local bands, so we ensure that they are the ones that get them. Whilst we know there are amazing bands in other cities throughout the UK, this is our way of helping develop the talent within our city.

Number 4: Make sure you have good quality recordings – this is hugely important. As well as a professionally maintained social media presence, having quality recordings helps massively in getting a support slot. Contrary to popular belief we do not chose the support acts for our shows, they’re chosen by the headline band and their agent. You never know who might be listening to your music or checking out your profile, so keep things professional. Live videos are also a great indicator as to how you will go down on the bill.

Number 5: If you get the slot make sure you work hard promoting the show. First and foremost our main concern as a venue is getting the ‘right’ band for the bill. We don’t put forward local bands based on an expectation that they’ll bring 400 people however, selling some tickets goes a huge way towards benefiting your reputation with the promoter, agent and band.

Live Music Attendance Falling in Portsmouth? Here’s the Truth.

Taken from an interview we did originally with Portsmouth News. 

I recently saw an opinion piece in the Portsmouth News that stated that venues, promoters and bands were all partially responsible for falling attendance at live music events in Portsmouth. The overarching message seemed to be that a lot of people weren’t doing their jobs properly. As someone who has spent the last few years heading up the marketing at The Wedgewood Rooms, whilst putting on shows with my own band, this got to me. Having done several interviews on this subject, I still find the dilemma of falling attendance an incredibly complicated issue, certainly too complicated to explain in 400 words.

Put simply, falling attendance is a self-fulfilling crisis. It is a fact that live turnout for smaller touring and local shows isn’t what it used to be. The result of this is that venues make less than they used to. When you combine this with rising rent, licensing costs, and the astronomical increase in the cost of putting on live music events, it is easy to see how so many venues have closed down in the last ten years. And fundamentally, fewer venues means less public exposure to live music, and the continuation of falling live music attendance.



As   to the initial cause of this drop in turn out, there are dozens of reasons. Portsmouth’s falling music attendance is representative of a nationwide social shift in live music consumption. The number of people going to shows at smaller venues has dropped, with many now attending one off stadium shows by heritage artists, think The Who, U2 etc. Additionally, the explosion of the festival market in the UK has led to increased competition between festivals and venues, and gig-goers are now given more choice as to how they spend what is left of their spare cash. Whilst this in some cases leads to a more active music scene, it can really hamper venues, and losing venues as stated earlier, is what ultimately kills a local music scene.

Of the hundreds of venues that have closed down in the UK across the last ten years, you will struggle to find even one example of a venue having closed due to a lack of effort from the promotional team. Threats from housing developers, and noise abatement orders can bankrupt venues just as easily as rising rent, and business overheads. The venues are the bedrock of local music scenes. Protect the venues, and you protect the scene.


It’s that time of year again. Victorious Festival 2016 is nearly upon us, with what is certainly it’s biggest Line Up to date! With hundreds of bands across the bank holiday weekend, deciding on who you’re going to see is no doubt a challenge. However fear not, we are here to help you. Our staff have crafted a playlist below of our recommendations for the weekend, featuring both local and national artists. Having to narrow it down to 20 acts proved hard, however as many of these bands have played The Wedge before, or are scheduled to in the next few months, you can trust us that they’re worth seeing! Enjoy the festival and make sure you scroll through the playlist below!

10 of the Best: Portsmouth’s Weirdest Rider Requests

Whether it is Blue M&M’s or Pictures of David Hasselhoff in the dressing room (seriously), rider requests can be a very strange affair. Once seemingly constructed by outlandish third-world dictators, the rider requests of today have become very, well conservative (excuse my language).  Whilst some modern artists now use their rider as a chance to promote their new #instadaily #foodporn diet of decaying leaf matter, others have become content with an M&S Sushi tray, and a packet of Hobnobs. Fear not however, we have delved deeply into The Wedge archive to bring you the top ten Random Rider Requests, spanning ourselves, The Guildhall and Pyramids recent history.

For legal reasons, and because we like to keep on good terms with people, we have replaced the names of the artists involved, with our favourite worst band names. Have a read, and if you’re a promoter, let us know some of your worst rider stories!

1) The Cocoa Butter Trio

A picture of David Hasselhoff in the dressing room. Nothing wrong with this, who wouldn’t want to spend an evening looking into those eyes?


2) Mixed Nuts 

A shuffled iTunes Playlist of relaxation/Hypnosis tapes. Because touring can be stressful.


3) Comic Sans (Bold)

4 Bottles of Champagne (with the note “no Moet no Show’e”). No words.

4) Devil’s Spleen Advocate 

An Electric Cattle Prod. Still unsure as to what this was used for. The less we know the better.

cattle prod

5) The Protein Sheiks 

Set of 20kg Weights for the dressing room… Like do you even lift?

arny lifting weights

6) #LOVE

Carpeted Dressing Rooms. You’re not in Morocco, you’re in Portsmouth and it’s raining outside.



7) The Font Protection Society 

A Lotto Scratch Card (Any winnings to be split between Artist and Promoter). This was actually pretty cool.

8) The Sid James Affair

A Toy Car. Thankfully no Jackass moments were had with this toy (Google it) – it actually ended up in a music video…

toy car

9) Vampiric Lust 

A Private and unattended Bar. You can imagine what happened next.

10) Diving with Iguanas 

A Starbucks Soya Latte. Because Instant Coffee is just not the same.


Say No to Secondary Tickets

After reading several blogs recently regarding secondary tickets, with artists such as Prince declaring ‘war’ on ticket touts, we wanted to share our stance on secondary ticketing. For the last 6 years we have been operating a hard-line policy to stamp out ticket touting at our venues. Despite our best efforts we have suffered previously from touts, with shows such as Jamie T, and Damon Albarn having had tickets uploaded on-line for sale on Stub Hub and Ebay, within several minutes of the shows selling out. To combat this, we ask every ticket buyer to bring  the confirmation email, and the card they purchased the ticket on to the show, so it can be verified upon entry.

We understand this approach has been known to cause some problems in cases where people have bought tickets for friends, however we believe it is essential to educate people who buy from touts, that secondary ticketing takes money away from the venues and the artists. In any case people we are happy for people who have bought tickets for friends, to lend their friends the card for the show, or if not, simply give them the card number. This will enable us to verify the transaction. Ticket touting exploits fans adoration of artists in already difficult financial times, and rips money off of the venues who work day in day out to provide music that people will enjoy. Ideally we wouldn’t have to impose such policies, after all it would make our lives much easier. However until touts stop attempting to profit off of secondary tickets, these policies will have to remain in place.

Jamie T’s show at The Wedgewood Rooms was one of our fastest selling shows ever!

The battle between venues and touts is one that has been prevalent for decades. However the shady Billy Sykes character harping after spare tickets outside venues, has been replaced by computer bots and cyber criminals. They have been known in cases to purchase 1000’s of tickets in large batches within minutes of the show, as was the case for U2’s show at Madison Square Gardens. The sad truth is it is very hard to combat these devices. Refusing entry to secondary bought tickets is therefore the only way to fight this illegal industry. Our hope is that we can cut the demand for secondary tickets by informing fans that secondary tickets will not gain them access to the venue. Kill the demand, you kill the industry. Since adopting this policy we have had huge success in reducing the number of secondary tickets sold for our events.

The support band. The touring band that nearly always make no money. For every band arriving in out Tour Buses, there are those in the Ford Transits. The ones who have been wearing the same clothes for the last week, and haven’t showered in just as long. Why do they do it? Other than a love for gigging to new audiences, and a desire to better their musical career, their isn’t much glamour to it. Yet despite this, they are more often than not, amazing artists. When you watch a support band,  you are witnessing an artist at the beginning of their career. Who knows what they will develop into?

As a music venue this subject is of real importance to us. Some of the greatest artists that have played here started out as support bands. The Killers, Biffy Clyro, Pulp, Catfish and The Bottlemen – even The Strokes played their first ever UK show here as the support for Trail of The Dead. Every band has to start somewhere. Unfortunately however, we have noticed across the last few years that some gig goers have begun avoiding the support band altogether,  turning up solely for the headline act. We want to challenge this.


Support slots are a valuable opportunity for upcoming bands to get their music in front of new audiences. It is where new signings to labels, booking agencies, etc cut their teeth,and where they learn how to really perform. Catfish and The Bottlemen for example, performed here at least three times as a support band before their headline date. On some of those occasions, fewer than a hundred people saw them perform, and if no one is there to see them, it begs the question, “What’s the point of it all?”.  Despite the vast increases in music discovery options across the last ten years from Spotify to YouTube,  live remains one of the most important ways people discover new music. This is because it offers a real world experience. It’s the first time you will ever have heard that artist, and be it good or bad, it stays with you.

For local bands in particular, these support slots offer real value. Not only do they gain experience and contacts (if they network) in performing in a professional setting, but they also get a chance to perform to a large local audience. In the case of a sold out show at The Wedgewood Rooms, that’s potentially up to 400 new fans. Now as a city we are blessed with many great local bands, so if you find out one of them is on the bill of a show you are going to, get there ON TIME. Record labels often want proof of a bands accessibility  before signing them, and the size of their fan base is a great way of calculating that (Having loads of Facebook likes and Followers on Twitter doesn’t count – we’re talking music sales and sold out shows). So in effect, turning up for the local support and buying an EP etc, is directly contributing to the development of an artist within your area.

As a music venue, we’ve spent the last 23 years witnessing the progression of artists within this industry. We hope to be able to continue doing the same for the next 20 years, but this can only happen if audiences invest in support bands. On that note, we have included a Soundcloud playlist to our favourite support bands across the last year below. We urge you to have a listen, you never know where they might end up.

Support live music, support new artists.

Support The Support Band: An Open Letter