• Sonny Neil

Ash to play at Sneaky Pete's in support of the Passport: Back to Our Roots campaign

The campaign aims to help support local music venues that have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic

Passport: Back to Our Roots has announced the date of a special show by Ash at Edinburgh’s Sneaky Pete’s on December 3rd 2021.

Launched last year, Passport: Back to Our Roots is a nationwide series of one-off intimate gigs by the UK’s biggest artists, which supports independent grassroots venues across the nation. For a minimum donation to the campaign, music fans were entered into a prize draw to win entry to the show of their choice for themselves and a guest, to be held on dates to be confirmed when no social distancing was required.

“Grassroots music venues are the lifeblood of a healthy music scene; it’s where we cut our teeth as a band, learning our craft, honing our skills, networking and socialising. You can spend as long as you like in a rehearsal room but nothing sharpens you up like a live audience. For 99% of musicians this happens at your local grassroots venue” said Rick McMurray of Ash.

“Sneaky Pete's is my local grassroots venue. Nick who runs the place has been a long-time supporter of Northern Irish bands at the grassroots level, bringing Edinburgh the likes of And So I Watch You From Afar and Lafaro to new audiences as well as providing a platform for local talent to step up and do their first gigs. Without venues like Sneaky Pete's new music will suffer. The music scene is nothing without them.”

Nick Stewart of Sneaky Pete’s said when it was announced, ‘Well I'm just totally blown away that Ash want to play Sneaky Pete's, helping us and other grassroots music venues in the process. This came as a bolt out of the blue, I got a call saying the band wanted to play and I was absolutely speechless. As it happens, I was a teenager in Northern Ireland playing in bands when Ash just started to make it big. To have role models like that was totally inspiring, and here they are being inspirational all over again. As a venue what we're so keen to give people is a return to the full live experience, with amazing artists literally within arms’ reach, as we have done for over a decade now.’

With proceeds supporting both the individual venues and Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign, Passport: Back to Our Roots has raised almost £140k to help preserve the futures of grassroots music venues that are struggling due to the effects of Covid-19. Now, as Music Venue Trust is in amidst the #ReviveLive campaign, the full list of shows scheduled are as follows:

Slow Readers Club The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge September 19th 2021

KT Tunstall PJ Molloys, Dunfermline October 21st 2021

Metronomy Brighton November 9th 2021

Elbow Night & Day Cafe, Manchester November 23rd 2021

Ash Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh December 3rd 2021

Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust says “With the MVT Revive Live campaign in full flow, it's fantastic to see these Passport Back to our Roots shows coming together. These artists helped to raise money at an absolutely crucial moment in the campaign to Save Our Venues, and it's so important to see bands like Ash now able to go out and play for the people who got behind their local venue”

All prize draw winners will be contacted by email with full details. For further information, check out www.passportbacktoourroots.org.