Sir Tom Jones and Rag’n’Bone Man are to play small independent venues to help revive the live music industry.
The 81-year-old music legend and the ‘Anywhere Away From Here’ hitmaker are among a host of major stars set to perform at intimate music halls across the UK.
‘Not Unusual’ hitmaker Tom will perform in front of just 800 lucky concert-goers at the Cambridge Junction, and the latter will play to just 250 music lovers at the Tunbridge Wells Forum in Kent, South East England.
Tom said: “Musicians can record in their bedrooms, but they can’t learn to perform in public without a place to play.”
The Music Venues Trust has teamed up with National Lottery on the scheme, which is dubbed ‘Revive Live’, and they have donated £1 million to help support up-and-coming musicians.
It will see more than 20 tours take place across the nation with 30,000 tickets up for grabs by National Lottery players.
Other confirmed acts include James Arthur, Frank Turner, Mahalia, and Sam Fender.
According to the Music Venues Trust, 83 per cent of venues were facing permanent closure due to the financial impact of having to shut their doors during the pandemic.
Tom’s involvement in the scheme comes after he recently admitted he feels for musicians just starting out who haven’t been able to play concerts.
The ‘Sex Bomb’ singer insisted nothing compares to the feeling of playing to a live audience and he admitted it must be so “stifling” for young aspiring artists who have had the opportunity to perform to a crowd taken from them during the global health crisis.
He said: “I actually feel sorry more for young people who are trying to start off and get some experience from doing live shows. It’s all very well being in your front room making videos and then getting straight on to television – like sometimes it happens on ‘The Voice’, where they’ve never been on stage before. So this COVID thing, it’s really stifling singers and bands who want to get out there and get some experience and get the feedback from the people. And they can’t get that at the moment.
“I know what that feels like. At least I know what I’m missing … but some of these kids don’t know yet. They haven’t had the opportunity to experience it.”