FEATURE: A Stone’s Throw Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: White Lies

Multi-venue festival A Stone’s Throw are ramping up proceedings for their second year, with a considerable expansion, big-name headliners and an admirable ethos of championing local and touring acts. Taking place on Saturday 25th May (with an opening show the night before featuring indie specialists White Lies), the festival will see nine venues across Tynemouth and North Shields host a huge variety of live music, and there’s even an open-topped bus to take you in between venues!

We definitely feel like we’ve been able to curate a beefier line-up this time around.” Says festival founder Anthony Thompson. “Our long-term ambition is for the event to be focused around the country’s next gen of touring talent; we want future superstars to have passed through North Tyneside by performing at A Stone’s Throw, that’s something I think we’ve delivered this time around.”

Here, we pick out a few shining stars from the extensive line-up.

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Headline acts

Friday 24th will see the official opening of the festival at The Exchange 1856 with a special performance from post-punk revivalists White Lies, the cult indie rock band have courted considerable acclaim for their explosive sound. The top spots on Saturday will include performances from the likes of indie group Sundara Karma, who have been praised for their nostalgic and anthemic guitar rock; Edinburgh’s Vistas, whose hook-filled melodic rock is a cinematic delight; Essex outfit Bilk bring their highly acclaimed fusion of angst-fuelled indie, rap and heaviness to the festival; and Dutch artist Pip Blom and her band present guitar-driven anthems and synthy delights.

Exciting up and comers

Shining a light on the next big thing is the festival’s mantra, and the line-up is peppered with artists that will soon be filling venues much bigger than these. At the top of our recommendations list is DIY pop newcomer Downtown Kayoto, whose sound blends Britpop, garage, hip-hop and pop to beguiling effect. Also worth checking out are jazz/funk/punk fusion sextet Opus Kink; the soulful and diverse sounds of Birmingham-based Sipho.; anthemic angsty rockers Gen And The Degenerates; young prodigy mustbejohn, who draws influences from house, garage and rap; and garage/dream pop band Trunk.

Touring talent

Expect to see many of these acts on the festival circuit this year. Another Sky’s progressive and anthemic guitar-fuelled sound has earned them legions of fans; Australian indie rockers Teenage Dads fuse psych pop into their sound; there’s punky pop vibes courtesy of sounds mint; bass supremo Ben Ellis has shared the stage with the likes of Iggy Pop and Marc Almond; groove-infused trio Alien Chicks explore everything from jazz and rap to bossa nova and math rock; plus charismatic rock ‘n’ rollers Car Boot Sale; the self-described “post-something” Cucamaras; surfy indie act Dutch Criminal Record; exciting indie punks Lip Filler; and indie folk duo Quiet Houses.

Local gems

Local artists who are likely to have top billings include sophisticated anti-pop artist Ruth Lyon; captivating Teesside musician Finn Forster; alt. indie pop band Cat Ryan; and cheeky high energy quartet The Peevie Wonders. We also tip big things for the likes of enigmatic alt. folk rock act The Early Purple; pop-tastic twins Twayn; Polish-born Teesside-bred rapper Eyeconic; introspective indie pop artist Cosial; alt. folk rock musician Callum Pitt; ukulele maestro and masterful songwriter Borrelle; Newcastle rockers Crux; the angular punk sounds of Swine Tax; and reggae rock hybrid Rum Jungle.

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