FEATURE: Five Years’ Neal Pike – Five Favourites | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Five Years by Neal Pike premieres at Gala for the Durham Book Festival on Sunday 14th October. The new theatre show will also be at Alphabetti Theatre from Tuesday 13th – Saturday 17th November. We caught up with Neal to find out more on what inspires him…

Music is a very important part of my life, both as a human and a writer.
Both lyrics and music inspire me as a writer. And as a human it makes me really happy.
My first solo show Five Years is about my time at a Special Educational Needs school in the 90s and early 00s and premieres at Gala Theatre as part of the Durham Book Festival this Sunday (Oct 14th) at 7pm.

I really enjoy making lists.

This top five is about my favourite albums that came out in the time I was at school January 98 to June 2002 .
I cheated slightly and included 2003 too, because 2003 is one of the best years in music of all time.

Jimmy Eat World – Clarity (1999)
The second album from Arizona band jimmy eat world is what people would consider an emo masterpiece, all twinkly guitars and drums which both thunder and hide in a cupboard. I was lucky enough to see this album in full in London in 2011. It was emotional and very good.

Alkaline Trio – Good Mourning (2003)
I was at a grandparents for a few days so I bought Kerrang! For something to read.
My brother gave me their previous album From Here To Infirmary (2001) to listen to, but 14 year old me dismissed it as a poor Blink 182 . . . Massive error
But this album clawed at me straight away. All midpaced southwestern pop punk/punk rock with a lyrical obsession on death and too much reliance on booze and twisted love songs.
I still listen to this album at least once a month.

Coheed and Cambria – In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth :3 (2003)
Coheed are an utterly ridiculous band from Nyack (New York) . . . Imagine if
Sting decided he wanted to write a space opera so he joined Rush and also really liked Iron Maiden.
This is a part of a quadolrogy of albums called The Armory Wars which also got turned into a comic series – a story of a family in space, it’s quite murderous.
I often say that Claudio Sanchez is the best current living storyteller in music
even if you’re not quite sure what he’s on about.

Converge – Jane Doe (2001)
I often compare this album to being ran over by a elephant in armour riding a tank.
Lyrically (not that can really understand them) it’s about a relationship gone very sour
and trying to find a way out of the wreckage. The title track sounds like the end of the world and the start of a new one.
Musically, its music that’s no fat all muscle even if one the tracks goes for 7 minutes.
Far too many rooms around the world have been smashed up to this.

Deftones – White Pony (2000)
Deftones are probably the best metal band of the last 30 years despite not being hugely metal – Deftones are a band that shouldn’t work.
Large drums, bottomless bass so far so metal and really chunky riffs
bought together with shoegaze and trip hop keys and singer chino Moreno’s voice both calm and creepy yet at times rasping and cheese grating this album is the soundtrack of being stalked by a vengeful ghost.

Five Years by Neal Pike premieres at Gala for the Durham Book Festival on Sunday 14th October at 7 pm.

It will also be at Alphabetti Theatre from Tuesday 13th until Saturday 17th November.

For more info, visit Neal’s website here.

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