I enjoyed my scenic walking route to the hotel on the Gateshead quayside close to the Baltic. The shops pubs and restaurants were all busy and everywhere signs of life and vitality were evident. The scenes reminded me of pre- lockdown days.
Category: TV & Radio
This week sees the North East premiere of a brand new film. The Constant Sea is the first page-to-screen project by Newcastle based writer and director, Margaret Frayne, who also features in the film. Film locations include Seaton Sluice and Newcastle.
“Soft acoustics, catchy melodies and deeply addicting vocals” – The Music Files
It’s like comfort food, I suppose. It’s safe, doesn’t create any anxiety, and that’s what you want in what are anxious times.
With gigs returning to The Bunker for the first time in over 30 years, Motorhouse Studios cementing themselves as one of the regions best all encompassing recording spaces and Independent set to open its doors again in May this really is a celebration of live music, with the thriving Sunderland scene ready to explode once again this Summer. The stream will be available to watch via the Motorhouse Studios page on Facebook and YouTube.
The musical is full of lively songs with great lyrics. It is an excellent way of helping children to explore the issues around global warming in an engaging and fun way. Caroline is very keen to allow the performing arts to be a ‘way in’ to understanding other subjects and the world around us.
[The earth has been lent to us] “for our life; it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who follow us as it does to us, and we have no right by anything we do, to involve them in any unnecessary penalties, or to deprive them of the benefit we have in our power to bequeath.”
The measures in the report do not involve wholesale change or a rewriting of the deal – and, crucially, do not cross any of the government’s Brexit red lines, with some of the proposals even echoing pledges made during the referendum and election.
A sequel of sorts, So Cold Love continues the climactic story that previous track Blew Up a Kiss started, a progression the band were keen to explore and delve into as they grow and mature past their previous experiences.
Arts Council England has announced 2,272 grants totalling £261,582,823 to arts organisations to help them recover from the ravages of the pandemic. Distribution across England w
She came in peace to reclaim the night,
with her sisters, a candle and a thimble of hope,
which wept itself out under flashing blue lights.
Inspired by Hexham’s heritage and funded by Historic England, Animating Hexham aims to discover stories and evoke memories of the town’s high streets and buildings, using these to inspire animations and conversations about Hexham’s heritage.
Dunsinane becomes darker than hell itself. The porter declares, “But this place is too cold for hell. / I’ll devil-porter it no further.” Scotland is also increasingly described metaphorically as sick and diseased – just as the UK is, once again, being dubbed ‘the sick man of Europe’. The nation hosts a nightmare Covid-19 scenario, the economy is in a grievous state, and our national debt is eye-wateringly high.
In real terms £400m is a proverbial drop in the ocean and so our cultural capital as a society is in real danger of ultimately being lost to those who can afford it, be allowed to contribute to it and therefore own it. Without arts or culture our worldview narrows – because they give us the vital experience of knowing thoughts beyond those in our own heads and famously enable us to ‘walk around in someone else’s shoes’ (To Kill a Mockingbird).
Having already anchored themselves firmly within their regional scene through shows at established venues such as Riverside (Newcastle), Independent (Sunderland) and The Cluny (Newcastle), the band is raring to go and eagerly awaiting the return of live music.
Filled with confusion, unanswered questions and mixed emotions, Stay explores the journey to revealing how you really feel. Sophia explains: “the track describes a certain feeling, when you’re in a situation you never want to leave, you just want to forget everything else, lay all your feelings on the table and stay in that place forever.”
Since the late 1990s we’ve seen a multiplicity of conflicting groups and styles ranging from young people involved in acid house parties with its repetitive beat and new drugs such as blues and ecstasy to Goths dressed in black and white makeup and into art drawn predominantly from middle-class backgrounds. Recently ‘Rap’, ‘Emos’ ‘Skaters and the much maligned ‘Chavs’ as noted by Owen Jones have appeared on the social scene.
I found Broken Youth to be a truly thoughtful piece with well-crafted lyrics. Jack’s voice is gentle, soulful and honest and the guitar accompaniment has both freshness and vitality. Well worth a listen!
Once or twice in a generation an era-defining TV series comes along, and Channel 4’s It’s a Sin is a contender for just that. The five-part drama. set in London between 1981 and 1991 to an iconic -pumping soundtrack of Lennox, Blondie, Queen, Erasure, Almond and of course the title track – moves us along with a group of gay friends through their wild parties and ultimate journey of self-discovery while they explore their sexuality and emerging careers.
“Docksuns are becoming an unstoppable Indie force”.
Et a perty be a Smertie.
Ca’ fur Renta Gheist
If yer lukin fur a bogle
Jist ca’ Renta Gheist!
Emerging as a sound system concern and then band, Asian Dub Foundation have fused a wide variety of music styles (including, dub reggae, drum ‘n’ bass, punk, ragga, electronic and traditional South Asian genres), in a highly original, dynamic and incendiary manner, that has won them plaudits for over two decades. Seen as one of the most exciting of all live acts during this time, ADF, though not one dimensional or simply a ‘political band’, were never ones to shirk from tackling contemporary issues head on (capitalism, exploitation, racism, domestic violence, climate change…). One of their members even refused to accept an MBE some years back.
Rose Island is delightful. It is funny. It is sad. It is intriguing and compelling. And it is ultimately inspiring. I wish I could see it in the cinema.
In 1984 I found myself running an arts and disability agency for the north of England, and encountered the tail-end of the mass segregation programme that had resulted in millions of people with mild to severe physical and mental disabilities being locked away in large institutions, forced to do menial work for pocket money and with little say about any aspect of their lives. The arts activities that my organisation ran often opened up deep emotional scars from years of abandonment, disregard and abuse. Paintings, poems and performances were littered with powerful symbols of imprisonment and freedom.
Following its festival launch, Tynedale Transformed is now holding a series of events throughout the winter called The Second Sunday, where they will hold events around a particular issue. The topic on Sunday 8th November is,” From the High Street to the Villages; Keeping our Communities alive”:
Plastic Glass is no stranger to the local live scene, having played sold out headline shows at venues such as Think Tank (Newcastle) and Independent (Sunderland) as well as supporting indie outfits The Snuts, The K’s and The Pale White. Now working with nationally acclaimed promoters Scruff of the Neck and This Feeling, the Sunderland four piece are travelling further afield, having already played shows in Leeds, Glasgow, Carlisle and Manchester this year before being cut short.
Each of the songs in the album contains a truth and a mood of our times. In their different ways they narrate the course of our lives since the referendum in 2016, and what is most remarkable, through their combined wealth of intelligence the artists offer us hope. Listen to ‘Tea with the Devil’ by Rosemary Schonfeld and you will smile at the clever portrayal of an urbane Devil who has pocketed the consciences of Prime Ministers and Presidents, or throw your arms in the air with delight as Mitch Benn sings all the things you ever wanted to say but didn’t dare.
“Parkinson’s Law –
“Work expands so as to fill the time available to complete it.”
CN Parkinson, 1955
“Trendsetter is about how the media and modern-day trends affects narcissistic tendencies and allows a narcissistic person to believe they are perfect without any flaws. The song is written from a male perspective, expressing their experience with a significant other, and delves into how the narcissist cares a lot more about what other people think, and being accepted, rather than treating anyone who actually cares with respect and decency.”
When, before the Chancellor’s statement, the Bylines editor suggested I wrote a commentary piece on government policy (i.e. change your mind every few minutes) as it related to theatre I said, “I wouldn’t dare write a political article – I suspect only every tenth word would be publishable!”