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Sam Dabb – Wins Outstanding Achievement Award at Music Venue Trust Venues Day 2022

Posted on Saturday 29th October 2022 at 12:00

Sarah Moore

Written by
Sarah Moore




We at Gigantic would like to share our huge congratulations to Sam Dabb, owner of Le Pub in Newport, for being presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Music Venue Trust’s 2022 Venues Day last week.

One of our longest-standing partners, Le Pub is a crucial and well-loved grassroots music venue which has become an integral part of the UK touring scene. It is flocked to by thousands every year: both from home soil in Newport, and further afield across Wales and beyond.



Le Pub celebrates its 30th year in 2022, and Sam has been a key player in the venue’s success for the lion’s share of its history. During her tenure, Sam has seen the venue heralded by the likes of the NME – nominated for Small Venue of the Year in their Awards 2013 – and her role at Le Pub was vital in the development and discovery of artists such as Skindred and Kids In Glass Houses.

Le Pub’s storied past has had its fair share of twists and turns, including a threat of closure in 2016; this was followed by a move from its original location on Caxton Place to its current home on High Street in Newport. But in 2022, we happily celebrate its 30th birthday. With this milestone, Le Pub brings a series of incredible shows to mark the occasion, #LePub30, including one of Sam’s upcoming highlights, Tim Burgess on 12th November.

Speaking to Sam and looking back over the past few decades, she recalls some highlights of the venue’s history. Unable to choose just one occasion, she cites every Kids In Glass Houses appearance at Le Pub as a standout: “every gig was awesome”.

Champions of the venue, Skindred, get a shout out from Sam as she remembers their first ever show in this historic venue: “we had to call for extra security because the entire of South Wales showed up and tried to get in.”

A certain Pulled Apart By Horses show is recalled as a night to remember, thanks to its high profile attendees. Huw Stephens and Charlie Simpson shared a moment in the Le Pub photobooth, forever immortalising this historic show.


Never too far from iconic moments, Le Pub played a role in one of bluegrass band Larry and his Flask’s most memorable nights. Sam remembered the show fondly: “They got stuck at the airport and turned up with ten minutes to stage time and still managed to make it, with all their millions of instruments, and played one of the best sets I’ve ever seen.”

Finally, Sam tells us of the origin of Philadelphia punk supergroup Vicky Speedboat, who owe their formation to Newport’s best loved venue.

“The band was formed when Sean from Modern Baseball played Le Pub with his other band Steady Hands”, Sam said. “He loved it so much he formed a whole new band to write songs about it.”

Vicky Speedboat’s song “Passing Through Wales” is an ode to Le Pub. Band founder and Modern Baseball drummer Sean Huber wrote the track about the first time he visited this vastly influential venue – how many venues can say they’ve inspired a song?



Le Pub can owe much of its success to the ever-impressive Sam Dabb who has spent more than two decades advocating for this special piece of Wales music history. Without her unrivalled leadership, Le Pub’s future might not have always seemed so bright. We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of the MVT’s Outstanding Achievement Award than her. Congrats again, Sam!

Check out Sam Dabb’s five most exciting gigs coming soon to Le Pub.



Sam’s Top Five Upcoming Gigs to Get Excited About

  1. Baskery – 10th November 2022
  2. Tim Burgess  - 12th November 2022
  3. Wonk Unit – 16th December 2022
  4. The Frakard Before Christmas – 21st December 2022

View all Le Pub Gig Listings.

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