GUILDFORD 13 Stoke Fields, Guildford, Gu1 4ls DUNCAN SMITH, BOOKER/PROMOTER
HEY, DUNCAN! COULD YOU TELL US A BRIEF HISTORY OF GUILDFORD’S BOILEROOM?
“The building had been a pub since the 1800s until 2006 when The Boileroom opened, although it was a bit smaller then.a refurb in 2009 meant we could increase our capacity to 275 and we’ve been growing The Boileroom family ever since then.”
AND WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING FOR A VENUE?
“It’s hard, but rewarding! Getting to bring amazing bands to Guildford and listen to so much amazing music is something I feel very lucky to be doing full-time.”
BEING IN SURREY, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE VENUE TO THE LOCAL AREA?
“Very important, I think.we’ve got a lot of people in the area who work really hard to get great music heard, and not many all-ages spaces in the area to help facilitate them. If anything, being regional means people are much more motivated to go out and create things themselves. So, whether it’s bands, labels, promoters, tastemakers or just music fans, we exist to support what they do and encourage their hard work, creativity and passion.”
WITH LONDON A 30-MINUTE JOURNEY AWAY, HOW HARD IS IT TO KEEP LOCALS INTERESTED?
“I don’t think it’s too much of an issue, to be honest. I think we have quite a unique offering as a venue with quite a personal feel, which is hard to find even in London. Our programming is super-varied and venues like The Boileroom are the best places to see bands before they’re huge.”
COOL! TELL US ABOUT BANDS THAT HAVE PLAYED BEFORE…
“A personal favourite would be The Bronx back in 2012 – they’re one of my favourite bands and consistently one of the best live bands going. You Me At Six, Creeper, Gallows, Marmozets and Employed To Serve have all put on some really special performances in the last few years, and our local boys [indie-punk fourpiece] Blackwaters have been going from strength to strength.”
AND DO YOU HAVE MANY SHOWS COMING UP?
“We’ve got a super-busy autumn coming up with the likes of Wolf Alice, CHON, Brutus, Uneven Structure and local guys Eschar with an album release show and more. Shows of every genre and plenty of free community, comedy and cinema nights, too.”
FINALLY, WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE IN 2017?
“Much the same as every other independent venue: lack of public investment into popular culture, a lack of trickle down from the more profitable sectors of the industry who benefit from the risks small venues take on new music, increasing bureaucratic hoops to jump through and declining audiences make for a pretty challenging environment.”