As yet another one bites the dust, this time the historic Sheffield Boardwalk née Black Swan, a creeping realisation sets in: music venues, some notable, others less so, seem to be gradually disappearing from our landscape. Whether it's because of new housing developments, as in the case of now-closed Soho venue Madame Jojo's, or if it's the stricter imposition of law à la Vibe Bar (more of a club than a venue, to be fair, but still), the days of independent music venues, i.e. anything without "O2" in the name, are numbered.

The rate at which these places are being erased is, reports The Guardian, the subject of a new report to be presented by the Music Venue Trust – set up to defend the UK's live music scene – to mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The Trust estimates that since 2007, around 185 clubs have seen their doors closed forever, the total number falling from 430 to 245 presently.

Mark Davyd, the Trust's founder and chief executive, called independent (or "grassroots" as he refers to them) venues, "so inspirational," going on to say:

"They are places where people can get involved in culture as a first step. The whole point of a grassroots venue is that you’ve got a maverick running it who, for no apparent reason, is prepared to put on a guy dressed as a plant making white noise through a trumpet that everyone thinks is awful. These are incubators for other industries. They are places where the guy who becomes the lighting engineer at the Royal Opera House in 40 years’ time started out."

Independent venues, which collectively generate a surprising £1.6 billion per year, are equally championed by Frank Turner, who, also surprisingly, has performed over 1,700 gigs:

"From an economic point of view, it's a huge section of our cultural economy and it’s largely unsubsidised, which I think is personally a good thing. The live music sector is not going cap in hand saying, ‘Please give us money.’ We are saying, ‘Please give us a legal fighting chance to exist without being crushed and shat on by developers.’"

On 20th October, the Trust will be using its Venues Day to urge the environment secretary to conduct a review aimed at working out a balance between the rights of clubs and venues, and those of local residents, with regard to strict noise abatement laws.

“We are hoping that as we lay out clear and achievable plans in London," said Davyd, "other local authorities will look at those and think, ‘Yes, the music venue is an important part of our local economy.’"