Black Country, New Road and Black Midi join forces to help save Brixton's Windmill

A dog and a cat
(Image credit: Unsplash by @Tata186)

Sonic adventurers Black Country, New Road are combining forces with the similarly inclined Black Midi to livestream a show in support of beleaguered south London venue The Windmill.

The combined entity, henceforth known as Black Midi, New Road, will stream a live performance from The Windmill via Bandcamp on December 11, 2020, at 8pm GMT. Tickets are priced at just £5 and are available now

The Windmill opened in Brixton in 1990 and has played host to a raft of artists who've gone on to achieve great things. Famous for its roof dogs, the venue – like many others nationwide – is struggling to makes ends meet in 2020. 

“It was thanks to The Windmill that we were able to start our career,” Black Country, New Road told The Telegraph “It was the first time we felt as if a venue actually cared about us and our music. 

"We shared a stage with bands that sounded like us, and it introduced us to some of our closest friends. The Windmill passed on a power to us to then create our own shows there and bring our friends. It’s such an organic way to work and we’ll forever be grateful."

Over the course of the year The Windmill hosted a series of socially distanced shows, but the economics of such events aren't sustainable in the long run. 

"They are an experience none of us will ever forget’, the venue’s booker, Tim Perry, told The Telegraph. “However we were only taking in around £200-£300 a night and it’s not enough.” 

“The venue must raise £72,000 to break even,” added Mark Davyd of the Music Venue Trust, the charity that looks out for the interests of grassroots music venues. “If we can’t raise it, closure is imminent."

The Windmill is also hosting an online auction to raise funds. The lots include items from Goat Girl, Carter USM, Fat White Family, Black Midi, Anna Calvi, Speedy Wunderground, Fontaines D.C., Sleaford Mods, PVA, Warmduscher, Meatraffle, Deep Tan, Mellah,  Tiña and Superstation Twatville. 

They've also released a compilation album, Live At Windmill Brixton - In Between The Lockdowns, which is available from Bandcamp. All tracks were recorded this year in between COVID lockdowns, with proceeds split between the venue and Brixton Soup Kitchen.

Fans can also donate to the venue crowdfunder directly.

In April, the Music Venue Trust launched the #saveourvenues campaign when it was reported that 556 music venues around the UK were facing permanent closure

Black Midi, New Road poster

(Image credit: Unsplash bu @Tata186)

Charity auction poster

(Image credit: The Windmill, Brixton)
Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.