Category Archives: MUSIC

Twister Welcome A New Nowhere

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Twister, headline the main stage at the O2 Academy in Newcastle for the first time and alongside them will be some special friends with the second announcement being the addition of A New Nowhere.

The quartet, a melodic, atmospheric rock band from Tyneside consists of Mark Gregg (vocals & guitar), Kev Gregg (guitar), Martin Hudson (bass) and Jack Wilson (drums) have recently released their debut single ‘You and Me’ amidst some acclaim.

With a little over twelve months together on the rock circuit the lads are doing alright with the video for their single, we all know what happened there, putting them in the spotlight on a grander scale than maybe even they could have imagined.

“There was certainly method in madness doing the video for ‘You and Me,’” began guitarist Kev.

“Granted it was more attention seeking than anything but it worked and that was the aim really.

“It’s more of a debut with the record label so it made sense for people to come and see it more. The previous release (Dark Place) was more about finding out where we were at.

“Mark and I have always been into music and have been with bands, wrote songs etc., but when we were doing a cover of a Tom Petty track I realised that he, Mark, had the better voice.

“Then, when were at a Foo Fighters gig, we started talking about doing something and with every song being different then it’s a good variety so we got our acts together.

“We went through a few different bass players before Martin came on board and, no disrespect to them as they’ve been great, but he (Martin) has brought that grungy style and we get along really well, on the same wavelength.”

 

This weekend their year continues, taking things up another level as A New Nowhere support Twister on the O2 Academy main stage, the start of an incredible summer of fun for the lads which will also see several festivals, and more, before heading into the studio to lay down the tracks for their debut album.

“We’ve always been aware of the Twister lads for a good few years now,” continued Kev.

“When I saw his post on social media I messaged Stevie a couple of times about it, you have to be relentless if you want something and it just went from there.

“We genuinely though that it was going to be a low key affair but we’d have said yes anyway and we now can’t wait to get on with what will be a great gig.

“We’ve never played the main stage before so supporting Twister is just brilliant.

“After this weekend we’ve got a few festivals lined up, interviews on some local radio stations then, in September, we head into the studio to start recording our debut album for early next year.

“We pretty much have what we need for it but anything can still happen between now and then.”

Tickets for the Academy show, priced at £7 entry (£8 on the door) and £11 VIP are available direct from A New Nowhere, or from www.officialtwister.co.uk.

You can follow A New Nowhere’s progress on social media via Facebook or Twitter and they’ll see you all front and centre, on Tyneside, on May 21.

Steel City rock stars heading to the Music Lounge

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After a slow but steady rise, Sheffield’s anthemic indie rockers, Sabella, are starting to make a name for themselves on the national music scene.

Heading to Stockton and The Music Lounge on April 22, an event which includes Teesside newcomers Unspoken, and Singapore Safehouse frontman, Jacob Lynch, the Sheffield quartet are preparing to be a name to be reckoned with.

Consisting of Jake Godfrey (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Tony Sutcliffe (lead guitar and songwriter), Joe Mirfin (bass), and Rob Neal (drums), Sabella have so far released three EP’s entitled Life You’ve Been Waiting For, The Calling, and most recently, Time to Leave with their latest single, Hard Enough, proving a massive hit for fans across the country.

It’s hard to think that a band of their calibre have been around less than five years, with Jake saying about their formation that: “Tony (Sutcliffe) has played guitar for years, I actually believe that he was born with one on his hands.

“When Joe (Martin) and I first got together Tony played in front of us and it all stemmed from there. We needed a vocalist and I’d always been praised for my voice and enjoyed doing it so though why not.

“It was after that, when we went to a Deadson’s gig that we met up with Rob (Neal) as we realised that we’d also need a drummer  – that was five years ago this summer. From that we started ‘destroying’ covers before getting our own studio and laying down tracks of our own.”

Now on tour across Yorkshire taking in their hometown of Sheffield as well as Doncaster and York the band visit Stockton for a night of fun with two trips to the capital for added good measure, several of which sees them supporting Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles (formerly Catfish and the Bottlemen), Sabella are understandably excited to be out on the road.

(Unspoken, above video, and Jacob Lynch, below, are set to support Sabella later this month)

“We just want to do as many gigs as we can and playing to new audiences whilst trying to get new music out there at the same time,” continued Jake.

“Last year we supported Milburn (who will be playing this year’s Stockton Calling) at Sheffield’s O2 Academy which was certainly our biggest gig to date. They started up again last year and are a big band as it is with the show selling out in hours.

“Something like that certainly gives you fresh impetus to succeed and gave us a great insight into the grander side of the industry. Playing in front of big crowds like this is easy for me though as you can concentrate more on what you’re doing than if you were playing in front of say 50-60 people.

“I suppose that’s why we don’t do many here in Sheffield as we know we can pull good crowds here, we just like getting out and about and there’s a few places we’d like to perform such as Manchester & Newcastle.

“On this tour though we’ve even got two gigs in one day (May 27) where we play the Indiefields Festival in Edlington during the day then the Royal Standard in Sheffield on the night. Next year though we need to do some festivals but it’s difficult to get done what you want so just need to do what you can and keep looking forward.”

Having just finished the video for their latest single, Hang Me Dry, due for release in late April, Sabella will be releasing two more tracks, in June and August whilst gigging and stopping off at The Music Lounge along the way – tickets for which are available on the door priced at £3.

Twister Welcome Sam Gibson

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Next month pop rockers, Twister, headline the main stage at the O2 Academy in Newcastle for the first time and alongside them will be some special friends with the first announcement being that of soloist, Sam Gibson.

Having released the EP, Before All Else, in 2012, Gibson, who is an international acoustic rock artist in his own right, with endorsements from both Candlewood and more recently Optima Strings, followed up with the debut album, Plastic Universe, in 2015, which all but solidified his name in rock.

“This is my fourth year performing on a full-time basis and have been gigging for around six,” began Sam.

“Although the good definitely outweighs the bad I just need to keep plugging away and doing what I do. I performed over 180 gigs last year which included an amazing tour of Switzerland where I’m looking at going back to later this year taking in France, Germany and Italy along the way.

“Last year was just amazing and it just added to all those big gigs I’ve done over the years and this (supporting Twister) will be another of those gigs.”

May 21 will see Sam open for Twister’s ‘The State of Mind Collection’ launch party and the two main parts of the wheel go back a number of years, Stevie Stoker (lead vocalist of Twister) calling on the friendship to get that wheel in motion.

“We’ve done a few things together over the last few years so I had to say yes straight away,” continued Sam.

“I like their (Twister’s) music anyway and he likes mine which is an obvious, added bonus so know we can work together.

“I’ve played upstairs (Academy Two) before but this is an amazing opportunity, for all of us, and I can’t wait to get out there and not only perform but also see the others do their thing as well.”

Constantly tour the UK and abroad, with festival appearances for added measure, Sam will follow up that May gig on Tyneside with hitting the studio and the recording of a new album of his own.

Tickets for the Academy show, priced at £7 entry and £11 VIP are available direct from Sam himself, or from www.officialtwister.co.uk.

You can follow Sam’s progress on social media via Facebook or Twitter  or visit www.samgibsonmusic.co.uk and he’ll see you all front and centre, on Tyneside, on May 21.

Teessider’s Light Up Their Own Vision

(Feature’s with Cattle & Cane will be in The Northern Echo and in Accent Magazine this April; images credited to Lauren Close (Empire Gig) and Jodie Canwell (studio) with permission)

If the singles, Make Your Vision and Fool For You, are anything to go by then the upcoming album release by Teesside powerhouses, Cattle & Cane, will be a success.

The album, Mirrors, will be released on April 28, either side of the five-piece sibling bands’ two regional dates, appearing at Stockton Calling where they headline The Georgian Theatre on April 15, and The Sage Gateshead on May 4.

Speaking to the band in the run-up to their UK tour, where they’ll take in other dates around the country with The Wardrobe in Leeds, Gullivers in Manchester, The Bodega in Nottingham, and The Camden Assembly in London to mention a few, the Hammill siblings, Helen and Joe said: “Make Your Vision was quite a departure for us but we were so happy with the way it turned out and the reception it got.

“We’re always keen to explore new sounds. One recent review compared it to Debbie Harry and ABBA – I’ll take that!

“As for the album itself, we had the best time in Belgium and Malta making this album. We got to be really creative with it and it’s quite different to the first! My favourite track is Paperman!”

Receiving enthused reviews from their home town Teesside Gazette and the Independent’s Culture Magazine certainly fans the flames which the siblings have built up over the years.

Playing at Stockton Calling, so soon after their sell-out Christmas performance at the Middlesbrough Empire, as well as the visit to Tyneside and the Sage has certainly got them excited adding: “We love playing our home town because the shows always have such an amazing atmosphere.

“We go to Stockton Calling every year because we love the festival so we’re thrilled to be one of the headliners. We’ve played The Sage once before so we’re really excited to get back as it’s such a special venue and we can’t wait to do our own show there.

“After the tour then we can’t wait to play at Hardwick Live in August – we love The Beatles so being on the same bill as The Bootleg Beatles doing Sgt Peppers will be amazing!

“Hopefully we’ll get back over to Germany in the autumn too. Mainly though, we love writing and being creative, so we’ll be working hard on lots of new music all year round!”

Further information on Cattle & Cane can be found via their website www.cattleandcane.co.uk and their new album, Mirrors, is available for pre-order from http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/cattle-and-cane-album-two.

Around the Region’s Music I

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County Durham rockers, Twister, recently announced an O2 Academy headline gig set to rock the ages in Newcastle on May 21 for their ‘Combined State of Mind: The Collection.’ The quartet fronted by founder, Stevie Stoker, released the first part, ‘Designed State of Mind,’ late last year at Academy Two and will add ‘Refined State of Mind’ for the combined collection.

Four days later, at Wylam Breweries, indie stars, The Longsands, play their final gig as Trevor Cox, Ian Barnes, David Stanyer, Paul Stephenson and Callum Thompson roll back the years one last time with tracks from both ‘Meet Me In Spanish City’ and ‘Us & Them,’ which was released last year, are set to bring down the house; meanwhile Sunderland’s indie newcomers, Social Room, will support From the Jam on the Academy main stage in mid-September as they look to take this year by storm.

Regional rock legends, the Tygers of Pan Tang, will see their latest offering and self-titled album, released in North America as they themselves embark on their ‘Only the Brave’ European tour throughout March, April and May along with a new single (look out for an upcoming feature next month).

Teesside powerhouses, Cattle & Cane, fronted by siblings Helen and Joe Hammill, performed four incredible dates at the start of the year whilst supporting The Head and The Heart’s Signs of Light tour. Now, starting at Stockton Calling in mid-April, the siblings will embark on a twelve-date spring tour which will also see the launch of their new album, ‘Mirrors,’ along with a date at The Sage, Gateshead on May 4. Another Teesside native, singer-songwriter Samantha Durnan, will be supported by James Gray Robson & the Lonely Burn at Stainton Hall on June 24 as she releases her album ‘want to Wander.’

Gigs to look out for include both Geoff Mull & Friends, and One Man Revival with Black Nevada, Saints of Arcadia, and The Firelight Opera are playing at the O2 Academy; Fatherson, can be seen on both Teesside and Tyneside; Jarrod Dickenson and Nine Below Zero have outings at the The Cluny; and internationally-acclaimed artist, Caro Emerald, plays at The Sage for a date long since sold out.

Worthy of a special mention is the upcoming event at Preston Hall Museum on the evening of March 31 for the inaugural Watermill Sessions Live. Acoustic-based performers from alternative country, Americana, and folk music sees Elaine Palmer, James Gray Robson & The Lonely Burn, Tom Joshua, George Boomsma and People Poems all make an appearance. Palmer brings with her some fantastic stock to the Watermill stage with a just as equally impressive roll-call having shared with the likes of KT Tunstall, David Gray, Emmylou Harris, King Creosote and more.

Scottish indie stars are an Open Book

Glaswegian indie-rock trio, Fatherson, released their second album, ‘Open Book’ to mass acclaim towards the end of last year, eclipsing the initial success that was created from their debut masterpiece, I Am An Island which came out two years prior.

Fronted by Ross Leighton (guitars and vocals) alongside Marc Strain (bass) and Greg Walkinshaw (drums) the trio, along with session guitarist Chris Platt, are presently embarking on a European tour which takes in Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, France and Austria before a multi-date UK run that includes hitting Teesside in mid-March and Tyneside at the end of March.

With singles which include the debut First Born back in 2012 through to I Like Knowing in 2014 and their recent offering, Just Past the Point of Breaking last year, the lads have seen an astronomic rise in fortunes after their debut album went into the UK indie charts top 40 and peaking at number five in the iTunes alternative charts; then, last year, Open Book peaked at number 46 in the official UK charts and ahead of the likes of Bon Jovi and Amy Winehouse, Taylor Swift and the Stone Roses, Michael Jackson and many more.

“The first album (I Am An Island) was pretty fun and, having released a few EP’s, felt we could release an album and it just worked itself from there,” said vocalist Ross Leighton.

“We were rather apprehensive to begin with but, when things go well, it dissipates all of that which is where it left us. Then, eighteen months or so after releasing the first one we were doing a second – it affords self-confidence to go on and do more.

“The focus has always been on making albums for where we are at specific times in our lives but never really intended any of it. It’s just crazy and it’s amazing at the same time that it’s gone through what it has. Considering how we started, in the streets and pubs of Kilmarnock, to get to this, is pretty phenomenal really.”

With plenty still to add to the second half of this year, their current tour sees them on the road until early April and regional, north-east dates holding special meaning to the lads.

On March 11 they are at the Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough for the Kids are Solid Gold anniversary gig, before a trip to Newcastle University’s student union on March 31; the band also, in February 2016, toured with Tyneside powerhouses, Boy Jumps Ship, taking in venues across Liverpool, Nottingham, Brighton, Manchester and Newcastle.

Leighton added: “We’ve always had an affiliation with the north-east as there’s a fine commonality with the way people are, there’s similar qualities amongst nice people.

“We love Middlesbrough and there’s a great vibe there. Andy Carr, the promoter there, is a great person and has a strong fan-base of his own which is amazing. We’ve also been on tour with the lads from Boy Jumps Ship for a fortnight last year.

“That was fun as we’ve known each other for years so it was fantastic that we were able to do that with them.”

The UK dates for Fatherson will see them being supported, on the final leg, by Cambridge alternative-rockers, Mallory Knox, who, as a five-piece have just released their third album, Wired after their latest single, Giving It Up, was first aired on BBC Radio One.

Tickets for any Fatherson tour dates are available from www.fathersonband.co.uk where you can also purchase their album on CD, vinyl or digital download.

Samantha Is On A Wander

With her upcoming album launch at Stainton Hall in late June already sold out, artist Samantha Durnan is quietly building up a nice package of dates to whet the appetite adoring fans prior to the occasion.

With dates that include an appearance at The Green Room (NARC Stage) at the annual Stockton Calling, and supporting Cape Cub at the 2nd Anniversary gig for NE Volume, Miss Durnan and her band are certainly keeping busy over the next three months.

“Stockton Calling will be the first time myself and the band will be performing the new material from my up and coming album,” began Samantha.

“It will be exciting to share that live with an audience.

“I’m also really grateful that my album launch has sold out in just a couple of weeks.

“I can’t wait to perform my new material for everyone who has purchased a ticket.”

Dates for your diary where Samantha Durnan will be performing are as follows –

April 15th | Narc Stage @ The Green Room | Stockton Calling

STOCKTON CALLING EVENT PAGE

May 12th | supporting Cape Cub @ The Westgarth Social Club | Middlesbrough

NE VOLUME EVENT PAGE

May 14th | Hemelvaart Bier Cafe | Ayton

June 11th | Roofbox Stage @ Hash Bar | Music Box | Darlington

June 24th | ‘Want to Wander’ album launch @ Stainton Hall | Middlesbrough (SOLD OUT)

WANT TO WANDER EVENT PAGE

Follow Samantha’s journey on FACEBOOK and TWITTER

Dunlop shows he’s not in Kansas anymore as he follows a ReGilded road to success

Childhood actor turned musician, Blair Dunlop, heads to the Sage Gateshead on February 23 as part of is 2017 ReGilded Tour, a multi-date nationwide extravaganza that begins in Cardiff, finishes in London, and takes in a brief sojourn to Kansas for the Folk Alliance Festival.

Dunlop, who has acting credits from twelve years ago when he appeared in the TV drama, Rocket Man (alongside Geordie icon, Robson Green), and in the film remake of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (playing a young Willy Wonka who’d grow up into Johnny Depp), released his third album, Gilded, late last year and the tour promotes the music penned on it.

Following on from his 2013 debut, Blight & Blossom, and follow-up House of Jacks just months later, Dunlop spoke of his music, his acting exploits, and a little hopes for the future. He said: “The album (Gilded) was very well received and I’m pleased with the airplay afforded the album with two of the tracks being played on rotation throughout last summer.

“I was afforded the luxury of taking the time over putting the album together, a bit freer with it so I enjoyed working to the timescale, especially as I know the producer and owner of the record label but I’m looking forward to what to the next steps, especially with my being an independent artist with youthful exuberance it affords plenty of energy in which to do more.

“My voice though has cha a lot over the three albums, got somewhat richer so they’re all distinctly different but with the narrative, storytelling so I’m more than happy with my latest offering. Adding Kansas and the (yearly) Folk Alliance Festival into the tour adds to it, just a shame that it’s in the middle of the tour.”

With America already added for February 15-19 the Chesterfield-born 25-year-old is also looking at a possible trip down under to Australia later in the year, in essence following in the same vein prior to the release of Gilded last year.

“I did a general acoustic tour around the time of the album release last year and this time will follow along similar patterns with venues which I like going to, including the Sage,” Blair continued.

“When I was younger I had an option to go to Newcastle University but I took a gap year. I like the ethos and friendly nature of the people in the north-east so I’m looking forward to going there as well as Cardiff, Sheffield and London, that is at a historic venue and I’ve not done anything in the capital for a few years so really looking forward to going back there.”

As for his acting exploits, granted in his youth which is seemingly a lifetime ago for the musician Blair looked back on his early outings with fondness whilst knowing that acting could be a possibility in later life.

He added: “As time goes by it becomes increasingly distant in my memory as I was about 11 when I did the acting.

“I am totally focussed on the music side of my career now even though it is something I’d look at doing again further down the line. My housemate is in the acting industry so it does give me a little buzz at times.

“Being in Rocket Man, with Robson Green, was an amazing experience though. Robson is a lovely guy and I enjoy watching him in the things he does. It was only a short period of time though and I’ve spent more doing stage acting; the acting though helped me be at ease doing what I do now.”

Blair Dunlop appears at Gateshead’s Sage on February 23 alongside Kitty McFarlane, who he describes as being: “Really ace, she’s supported me on a few dates last year so I’m certainly looking forward to working with her again.”

Tickets are available from the venue now with the show set to start at 7:15pm.

Social Room set to support From the Jam

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Featuring original Jam member Bruce Foxton, From The Jam rose like a phoenix in late 2006, touring in 2007 as the Jam legend added Townshend, Brzezicki and Watson at the same Rick Buckler and Russell Hastings were touring as The Gift, Hastings being the only frontman to work with both Foxton and Buckler.

Fast forward to 2017 and the lads are still doing what the do best with this year, this year is the same as they perform hits from their 1982 classic, The Gift (the sixth, and final LP release for The Jam). The album includes the classics’Town Called Malice’ and ‘Just Who Is the 5 O’Clock Hero?’

This September, at Newcastle’s O2 Academy, From the Jam will be ably supported by Sunderland’s up-and-coming indie band, Social Room.

The sextet from the banks of the Wear, fronted by Matty Smith, released their latest hit single, ‘Be Forever Mine,’ late last year. Smith is ably supported by Alex Gunn, Adam Potts, Adam Jefferson, Chris Leonard, and Simon Bewick, will bring their usual gusto and musical nous to the event.

A band spokesperson said: “The Jam are legends and we are over the moon to be supporting such icons of British music.”

Promoted by Steve Wraith and Danny Cox tickets for the event (on September 23) are available priced at £20 Entry and £50 VIP (includes meet & greet with From the Jam) from the Academy WEBSITE – Social Room will  have tickets shortly…..

Chadwick shows that Love Will Find A Way

Tyneside’s Country-Americana singer-songwriter, Chloe Chadwick, is set to release her debut album, ‘Dustbowl Jukebox’ later this year and in doing so is embarking on a double tour for promotion.

Originally from the Potteries, in Stoke-on-Trent, Ms Chadwick has taken her time to put together he debut album in order to allow her genre of music more scope for growth and believes that she is doing this at the right time.

Providing what she describes as being a unique and distinctive style with a voice for the ages the soloist has two local dates penned in before touring, the first of which sees her supporting academy award nominee, Jeff Finlin, at Porters in Tynemouth on February 17 and the second with Celia Bryce as part of the ‘Women of Song’ tour in early March.

All about the music Chloe is looking forward to supporting both Finlin and Bryce in equal measures whilst knowing that, with the release of ‘Dustbowl Jukebox’ imminent, it’s about the music and the timing for her saying: “I want to be rewarded for the effort and the hard work which I’ve put into my career, and the album.

“Jeff is on a European acoustic tour and I think it’s amazing he is coming to the region and I’m really looking forward to playing with Celia, however, I didn’t want to flood my schedule with regional dates because of the album launch in late May/early June.

“I’ll be doing a tour for that with a north-east launch, on Tyneside, in early June, as well as taking in places such as Manchester and London, where I’ll play at The Sound Lounge and I’ll also be doing a BBC radio tour with both Newcastle and Teesside scheduled for a showcase, live performance.”

With the possibility of a single release prior to the album launch, ‘Love Will Find a Way’ mooted to be the scheduled release, Ms Chadwick has numerous reasons to allow her music to continue to flow, building on her success of the past twelve months.

“Personally, I class myself as Americana but still pushing the country genre as there’s lots of different acts coming over from America and selling out over here with Jeff being just one of them – there’s a market for it and the sound is definitely getting noticed.

“I’ve always had country feelings in me and learnt a lot about myself when I went on a mini-tour earlier this year.

“The upcoming album represents some of that, it represents the crazy, whirlwind life I’ve had in the industry whilst the jukebox is the collective mix of music I’ve written over the years not categorised into one genre.”

Chloe is scheduled to appear on the Nick Roberts BBC Introducing (Newcastle) on March 30, you can find out more via her Facebook.