Phratry Records and A.M. Nice Perform Virtual Concert to Benefit The Southgate House Revival

In May, A.M. Nice filmed a special 30-minute set at Southgate House Revival, which will stream on Phratry’s YouTube channel at 9 p.m. July 23.

click to enlarge Video still from A.M. Nice's fundraising concert at the Southgate House Revival - PHOTO: YOUTUBE
Photo: YouTube
Video still from A.M. Nice's fundraising concert at the Southgate House Revival

At multiple points throughout 2020, it appeared that many local concert venues would be forced to close their doors for good.

Now, even as coronavirus restrictions have relaxed, these concert settings — especially independent venues — are struggling to recover from a year and a half with no live music revenue.

One such venue is the Southgate House Revival in Newport. The site that was once a 19th-century church now is beloved both by its performers and attendees for its intimate concert area. The mainstage Sanctuary that boasts the church’s original pipe organ holds around 500 people.

For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Southgate House Revival, a member of the National Independent Venue Association, had been able to host only limited-capacity crowds. It finally opened at full capacity on June 11. 

“There is certainly a big sigh of relief, but I’m also still being very cautious,” says the venue’s general manager, Morrella Raleigh. “There are a lot of bands starting to tour again, which is great to see, but there are a fair amount of touring bands and local artists who are still hesitant, which is completely understandable.”

Despite this struggle, Raleigh told CityBeat in May she finds it necessary to stay positive. 

“Small venues have always faced a lot of challenges, and I think in some ways, we were better prepared to handle this than some other businesses,” she said. “It did serve as a big reminder that we all need to be flexible and work toward new ways of bringing live music to people.”

And now, local band A.M. Nice is highlighting the trait of flexibility that Raleigh mentioned to help Southgate House Revival get back on its feet.  

This month, the Punk band and its label, Phratry Records, will stream a virtual concert from Southgate House Revival with all proceeds going to the concert venue.

“Morrella Raleigh and the staff at the Southgate House Revival have given so much to A.M. Nice, Phratry Records and countless others who, like us, work, live, create and experience music in this region,” says Jerry Dirr, head of Phratry Records and drummer for A.M. Nice. “Whether it’s allowing performers to try out new material on a weeknight open-mic, run whole-house shows, pairing local bands with national touring acts, or allowing countless loud, obnoxious, raucous noisy nights, the Southgate House Revival is a venue that has allowed so many to congregate, commiserate, create, glow and celebrate.”

In May, A.M. Nice filmed a special 30-minute set at Southgate House Revival, which will stream on Phratry’s YouTube channel at 9 p.m. July 23.

Adam Nice, lead vocalist for A.M. Nice, says the group is sharing the virtual concert as a thank you to the venue. 

“We needed to make a video for a virtual festival we were participating in, so we brainstormed, ‘Well let’s do it at the Southgate House, as it’s one of our favorite venues in town, and try to see if we can get people to give a little back,’” Nice says. “This is a place that has helped us out so much…so we thought, ‘Let’s do something here to try and help them out.’”

In terms of what fans can expect from the show, Nice says the band is excited to premiere almost all of their new, unreleased songs that will be featured on an upcoming studio album. He praises the virtual concert’s audio mixing as well as the high-quality video editing, and he expects viewers to be blown away by the character of the concert.

“(Our) music is fast, it’s uptempo, it’s melodic, it’s really just high energy,” Nice says. 

A.M. Nice released a two-song single in March, its fourth release since debuting in 2016. The group’s current full-length project is slated for release this fall on Phratry.

“We try to mix it up and not just play in one little genre. Our goal is always to make our record have some different types of things to capture every listener,” Nice says.

Donations to the Southgate House Revival can be made during or after the streamed concert through links to Venmo and PayPal. All proceeds will go to the venue. 

“Our ask is if you would’ve gone out to one or two things at Southgate House over the past year and a half, please take the time to give that $5, $10, $20, whatever it is to them to give them this boost and (get them over this) last hurdle while things start to open up again,” says Nice.

“The Southgate House Revival, like all the great music venues in our town, is attempting to open shuttered doors and crawl out of the COVID darkness,” adds Dirr. “An occasional, limited-seating event or takeout orders are not enough to make up for the loss, and not enough of a thanks.”

Raleigh says the venue was recently notified it will receive a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, part of the CARES Act funding. But she says Southgate House Revival wouldn’t be here without the support it has gotten from the music community.

“The generosity of musicians like A.M. Nice and Phratry Records, the folks at cincymusic.com and cincygroove.com and so many others who lent their talent and time to livestreams that benefitted us allowed us to literally keep the lights on during a very dark time,” she says. “I am very humbled and will be forever grateful that such great talents worked to help us survive. Independents are often forgotten during hard times, but our community definitely came to our rescue.”

Watch the Southgate House Revival benefit concert at 9 p.m. Friday, July 23 on the Phratry YouTube channel.

About The Authors

William Riesenberg

William Riesenberg

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