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I agree that it has a lot to do with the local music scene... and I think that has a lot to do with geography. Big cities like London, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds etc all have very easy access for bands to visit when on tour (and obviously higher populations so higher chances of getting bigger gigs, more audience, more people putting on shows etc). Living in Bournemouth, I find that most big bands will bypass Bournemouth when on tour - they usually visit Southampton or Portsmouth then skip us and go straight to Bristol, meaning that I usually have to travel quite a long way to see bands that I really like, especially American or European bands.
Anyway, I think this really affects the kind of culture that towns have. Portsmouth and Bristol both have quite good music scenes and a lot of people putting on shows etc. Bournemouth does have quite a good club scene and a lot of club nights etc, but we really lack any kind of quality DIY music scene (or at least one worth attending)... we do have a few people locally doing cool stuff but most of them end up moving to Bristol, London or Brighton, and I don't really blame them. We certainly don't have anything like what bigger cities have! Boo!