A photograph of the bar inside the George Iv

George IV, Lichfield

Posted by Stig

The George IV in Lichfield has long been known as a live music venue, as well as a great pub serving a selection of cask ales. Rus and Julie have been running The George since March 2013, and have hosted an open mic night along with Friday and Saturday night gigs from the start. I caught up with Julie to find out more.

"It kind of came about because of my son playing in bands", she explains. "We have always encouraged a diverse set of musicians...(we wanted) to make it into a proper music venue, for new bands". Starting by booking tribute, blues and covers bands, drawing on Rus's Moseley roots, The George's reputation as a regular venue grew and allowed Julie to try new things. "I used to have great connections with young bands, due to my son, so would quite regularly put on Young band nights, in the second year attracting unsigned bands from all over the country, and putting local supports on to bring in local crowds".

The first ticketed gig was a sell-out solo performance by Chris Helme (former Seahorses frontman) in February 2014, after Julie met him at a festival in 2012 and kept in touch. Soon afterwards, Mark Morriss (of The Bluetones) also played solo, the first of three appearances at The George (twice solo, once with his band). Add performances from Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot (Curiosity Killed the Cat), John Power (Cast) and 70's reggae icon Susan Cadogan, and you have to admit that's not bad for a humble local pub!

Rus and Julie are firmly sticking with their vision of supporting unsigned bands on tour as well as local talent. "On the whole, every band that plays loves it, they love the sound in the back room", says Julie. The Back Room is literally that, an intimate space with good acoustics. Visiting bands can choose to bring their own PA and engineer, or use gear and labour provided by the venue. There is even a projector for those acts who embrace the multi-sensory experience.

To book a gig, contact Julie via the Facebook page.