It is always a pleasure to write about new bands and emerging talent. Equally, it is good to support new initiatives on our independent music circuit. Be it a new zine, a new club night, a new promoter setting up or opening of a brand new venue. These things are not always spoken about, yet they should be celebrated and the word should be spread far and wide. We don’t have to tell you why it is vital to keep the good news going. Not only it lifts our spirits in the times where almost everything we got used to is being sold out, destroyed or falling to bits, but it helps us cherish small successes of our fellow professionals. Those people work harder than most of us realize. They put in hundreds of unpaid hours, their own money trying to build something new, just for the love of music.
And that’s why we are shinning a light on them on Indieterria. We have sat down with Ben Taylor, the director of events at Jimmy’s to talk about their new venue opening soon (Jimmy’s Liverpool), all the cool gigs they have booked and how exactly his job looks like, day in and day out.
You are very well known person on the Manchester music scene, but not everyone in West Midlands may be familiar with your accomplishments. Say few words about yourself (and maybe a hello to the readers of Indieterria).
Ben Taylor: Hey everyone! My name’s Ben Taylor. I’ve ran music venues in Manchester for the last 17 years, including Night & Day Cafe, Roadhouse, Sound Control and currently I’m the events director at Jimmy’s. We’re about to launch our new venue in Liverpool.
Your job title at Jimmy’s says “director of events”. What does director of events do? How does a typical day at the office look like?
Ben Taylor: I programme all events for both sites, Manchester and Liverpool as well as external events around the country. My day can be built up by phone calls, emails, meetings, and hitting up shows to catch new and exciting music.
Before joining Jimmy’s, you have been a promoter at popular Manchester club, Sound Control (located just off Oxford Road). Sadly it closed in 2017 and the building has been demolished. A similar fate befallen our beloved Ruby Lounge. In your opinion, is there anything that the venues can do to save themselves and their musical heritage?
Ben Taylor: I get asked this a lot and it’s not always a case of the venues decision. The Sound Control owner, unfortunately, had been offered a sizeable sum to sell, and he took that. I’m a big believer that venues will keep popping up despite circumstances. Too much good music and too many people invested in keeping that alive.
The times for venues may be hard but it doesn’t prevent you from opening a new venture – Jimmy’s Liverpool! Tell us where the new place will be located and how is it going to look like? Are you going for similar design to the Manchester branch or for something completely different?
Ben Taylor: We’re so excited for this! We’re at the top of Bold Street opposite the Bombed Out Church. For me, that’s the best area in the City, we couldn’t have landed anywhere better. It’ll have the classic Jimmy’s look, with some added extras which you’ll love.
Do you have an opening date for Jimmy’s Liverpool and when will you be booking first acts?
Ben Taylor: We open on August 1st with The Coral. They were my number one choice to open the venue, so I’m very excited we made that happen.
We are afraid to ask, but please confirm that the outside sign announcing the gigs will be also included in the new office? It is one of the most recognizable features of Jimmy’s in Manchester!
Ben Taylor: (laughing) I can confirm the light box will be a feature at the front of the venue.
Jimmy`s is known not only for regular gigs and parties, but also for a line of absolutely amazing gadgets: tees, long sleeves, craft beers, bee pins. Your merch line has been very popular with patrons. Will you be introducing new items in the foreseeable future?
Ben Taylor: Absolutely, keep you eyes peeled for new merchandise.
You are the creator and founded of You Are Not Alone – a festival in support of local independent mental health charity Manchester Mind. First edition of YANA took place on 30th March 2019. Please tell us something about the festival and when can we expect the next year’s edition?
Ben Taylor: Mental health is such a huge issue for many people and I feel a lot more needs to be done to make people aware. I wanted to make a fun day, whilst raising that awareness. And I’ll continue to do so. We’ll be adding more venues this year in Manchester and you can be the first to know, I’ll be running the event in Liverpool next year too.
If any band or promoter wants to play/rent out Jimmy’s for an event what’s the best way of reaching you?
Ben Taylor: Best way is email, I’m on firstname.lastname@example.org. A link to some music and a brief background is perfect.
The last (in)famous question: what is the best and the worst gig you have ever put out? Share your knowledge for the benefit of the future generations of concert promoters.
Ben Taylor: Best show I’ve put on is always a tough one! One of the most memorable would be The 1975 in the 100 capacity room at Sound Control, with Catfish & The Bottlemen opening. And I couldn’t possibly tell you the worst, my lips are sealed! (laughing)
And when we thought that Ben and the Jimmy’s crew don’t have any more secrets, they come up with another unexpecting but genius idea!
If you’d like to join Jimmy’s family, you can now becoome a share holder. For as little as £25, you can purchase shares in the company. You will receive a lot of perks for joining: brick in the new venue on the ‘Wall Of Legends’, receive discounts for life, get free guest list for life, or you can go as far as have a mural of yourself on the ceiling (think Leonardo da Vinci style!) among others.
You can lean more about this project at:
You can follow Jimmy’s on social media:
The next two weeks are going to be very busy for Ben and the team but we know, whatever they plan to do, is surely going to be a huge success. And we need those successes, we need new places to go and new places to play. As usual, support your scene, discover new bands and dream big dreams.
They do come true.
Love to our spiritual home (Jimmy’s)
Rita and Malcia