MIXTAPE: Keren Pearson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Words: Keren Pearson

I opened The House of Blah Blah in 2014 in Middlesbrough’s former Victorian Post Office. The property, which was sat derelict for 20 years, is now Teesside’s first independent arts hub. We deliver a diverse programme of artistic events with the focus on arts and live music, as well as providing affordable space to a community of musicians, creative entrepreneurs and businesses.

The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea
I love everything about this band! (Well almost…maybe not the first album). They keep developing with every record, and are not afraid to break the rules. I have seen them a few times, once by sneaking into a gap in the tent at Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park gig, another at Manchester Albert Hall where I met Faris outside having a fag (he drew me a picture of House of Blah Blah, which had just opened), and most recently at Newcastle University Student’s Union. I have never seen a live band with visuals as good as theirs. I’m listening to their new album V non-stop at the moment, but Sea Within A Sea is my all-time favourite.

Primal Scream – Loaded
One of the best songs ever made. If you haven’t already, watch the BBC Screamadelica documentary, very inspiring.

Oasis – Fuckin’ In The Bushes
Is it possible to have grown up in the 90s and not get excited by listening to this band? This is one of my favourite Oasis songs. I love the story behind the samples used, especially the intro. It’s taken from the film Message To Love, about a famously chaotic Isle of Wight festival in 1970, head promoter Rikki Farr rants at the crowd: “We put this festival on, you bastards, with a lot of love! We worked for one year for you pigs! And you wanna break our walls down and you wanna destroy it? Well you go to hell.”

Velvet Underground – I’m Waiting For The Man
Andy Warhol has been a big inspiration of mine since I first learned about Pop Art in primary school. I’d have loved to have been around in the 60’s; it is my favourite era in history for art, fashion and music. This band really captures the Factory days, and the collaboration between art and music. Warhol was The Velvet Underground’s manager and he suggested collaborating with Nico as well as many other avant-garde artists. Together they created The Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a brilliant series of live gigs using projection and light, this is when they started performing in sun glasses – super cool!

Ian Brown – Corpses In Their Mouths
I met Ian Brown on the train home from a house party in Newcastle when I was 19. It was weird because I was listening to him non-stop at the time. I cracked a few jokes and he put me on the guest list for his gig that night at Middlesbrough Town Hall and we had drinks with him after. Imagine that at the door? “I’m on Ian Browns guest list”, definitely a story to tell the grandkids.

Sister Sledge – Thinking Of You
This is a real feel-good, getting ready for a girl’s night out song. We run an electronic music night a few times a year at Blah Blah called The End of the World. This song reminds me of the gallery/disco room at 2am, everyone having a boogie, and thinking to myself ‘I love my job’. 

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