Live music boost for Ipswich as Pump and Grind announce major plans with local and touring bands

Tom Kerridge at Pump & Grind, the new cafe, bar and venue at the corner of Northgate Street and Grea

Tom Kerridge at Pump & Grind, the new cafe, bar and venue at the corner of Northgate Street and Great Colman Street - Credit: Archant

Live music in Ipswich is set to be given a boost after newly-opened bar Pump and Grind has confirmed it is to become a dedicated hub for live music and the arts.

The building, which has previously been known as Sports Bar, and before that Edwards, was taken over by Stowmarket-based Ramp Records label owner Tom Kerridge in May.

But after prolonged issues surrounding licensing, the venue’s official opening was delayed.

Now, with progress having been made working alongside Suffolk police and Ipswich Borough Council, the venue will become a hub for all things art-based, starting with an official launch night on Saturday.

Owner Tom Kerridge, 36, said: “There’s not really a lot for local artists to aim for around here, and a lot of our fantastically talented artists move to London.”

The venue will be bringing touring artists and opening its doors to local bands, with opening slots set to be arranged for Suffolk-based performers.

Alongside live music, Mr Kerridge and bar manager Surey Rogers, 24, will be holding creative networking events on the first Thursday of every month, exhibitions, vintage markets and other arts-based events and gatherings, alongside its food and drink services.

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Mr Kerridge said: “There’s a lot of creative people and we want to get as much going as possible.

Ms Rogers added: “We get such a good turnout for all the events we have already held, and we have so much in the pipeline.”

The launch event takes place tomorrow night, headlined by BBC 6Music DJ Tom Ravenscroft, who grew up in Ipswich and Stowmarket.

He said: “It’s great to have a music venue where you can book a lot of the DJs you might be able to get elsewhere.

“There’s a healthy music scene in Norwich so it would be nice to kick-start something in Ipswich.”

A Christmas Eve soul party and Boxing Day Quiz have also been organised for this month. For full details and events, visit www.facebook.com/pump.and.grind.ipswich

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