Sign up for IQ Index
The latest industry news to your inbox.
The ex-Bierkeller booker aims to bring both international acts and a diverse programme of new talent to the Coventry venue
By Jon Chapple on 26 Apr 2018
Veteran British promoter Dave Brayley, most recently booker of celebrated Bristol venue the Bierkeller, has joined Coventry’s 900-capacity the Empire as promoter and booker.
Brayley, of DCB Promotions, cut his teeth promoting bands in pubs and club across south-west England before taking over as booker/promoter at the 450-cap. Fleece & Firkin in Bristol. After 14 years, he moved on to the Bierkeller (700-cap.), which closed earlier this year.
At the Empire Coventry, Brayley – who has worked with the Strokes, Biffy Clyro, Radiohead, the Verve, Coldplay, Damon Albarn, Flaming Lips and Editors – says he hopes to put the city firmly on the map for touring artists.
“I’m am very excited to be joining the Empire,” he comments. “It’s a great venue with so much potential. I want to fill the diary with as many great artists of all genres as I can – that’s a true mark of a real music venue. Being able to put on a thrash metal gig on a Tuesday then a soul band on a Wednesday shows the versatility of the venue; quality and variety is everything.
“I want to fill the diary with as many great artists of all genres as I can”
“We also want to ensure a fair ticket price, good bar options, friendly staff and great sound and lights, as well as fantastic facilities for the artists performing at the Empire.”
In addition to introducing the venue to agents and national promoters, Brayley has already overseen a number of improvements to the venue, including a new backstage area, dressing rooms, production office and shower facilities. There are also plans for a dedicated merchandise shop, and improvements to in-house marketing locally and nationally.
“After an initial approach we met Dave, and after our first meeting it was clear to me that he was the man for the job,” says Empire director Carla Starkey. “We have recently taken over the venue and needed a fresh outlook and someone with experience that knows this very challenging and competitive business inside out, I am glad to say we offered the job to Dave and he gladly accepted.”
The venue, co-owned by Tom Clarke of the Enemy, has this year hosted shows by the Cribs, Sundara Karma, the Enemy, Sleaford Mods, the Wombats and the Dualers.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.