FEATURE: June On The Terrace | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: House of the Black Gardenia by Kayla Wren Photography 

One of the things I think many of us can admit to missing over the last 18 months is the comfort and joy our favourite pub brings us. The welcoming smiles of the staff, great drinks, your favourite chair, a nice view; these are simple pleasures, but not to be underestimated.

For many of our readers (and, indeed, for this very writer) it doesn’t get much better than The Cumberland Arms in the Ouseburn Valley. The very epitome of a welcoming space, run by excellent people whose hearts are always with their customers and their community, The Cumberland is everything you’ve missed about pubs, and so much more.

Owner Jo Hodson’s enthusiasm for their return is infectious; she’s excited to be able to welcome back familiar favourites and encourage brand new collaborations thanks to an Arts Council Cultural Recovery Grant. “It has meant that we were able to really look at what we do and how we work.” She explains. “Being part of the wider community has always been something that is important to us and we have so many super exciting plans for the future. The grant has afforded us the ability to work with local promoters and artists to bring life back to the Cumberland Terrace.”

Kickstarting a summer of music, comedy, spoken word and much more on the expansive outdoor terrace, familiar faces providing entertainment of all kinds throughout June include retro DJ Lady Koo, who hosts a Hepple Gin garden party on Saturday 5th alongside Rob Heron, House of the Black Gardenia and Tom Cronin; while on Sunday 6th the party steps up a gear in a fantastic collaboration with Sister Shack, who bring Scottish twin sister violin and DJ duo Kintra, multi-prop swing and spinning circus duo Azula Bandit and Fiery Little T and DJs Frankie Elyse and Awkward Black Girl work the decks.

On Thursday 10th Tim Dalling and the Aanimals and Friends provide (to a seated audience) danceable tunes and singalong sessions; tradition lies at the heart of The Cumberland and folk music is ingrained into the spirit of the pub, so a double header from Billingham folk family The Wilsons and female shanty crew She Shanties will be a memorable event indeed on Sunday 13th. A trio of some of the region’s finest songwriters – Beccy Owen, Calum Howard and Bridie Jackson – show off their talent on Thursday 17th; and Cumby favourites Hannabiell Sanders and Yilis Suriel team up to bring a taste of Harambee Pasadia to proceedings with Joy Is Freedom, which takes place on Juneteenth (Saturday 19th – a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States) and will acknowledge progress, diversity and commitment to support, learn and grow together, with live performance from Sidiki Dembele’s brand new trio Denifari, Ladies of Midnight Blue and Delightful Squalor. Friday 25th heralds the return of party starters The Baghdaddies – expect Balkan beats, Latin grooves and sizzling brass; while female harmony group Kissed provide some singalong favourites on Sunday 27th.

Being part of the wider community has always been something that is important to us and we have so many super exciting plans for the future

Comedy and spoken word plays a part in the celebrations too; comedy staples The Suggestibles bring witty one-liners and laughs aplenty as part of the Words on the Terrace collaborations with poet Rowan McCabe on Sunday 20th; Rowan also welcomes Jess Johnson, Tahmina Ali, Kate Fox and many more to the terrace for more wordplay on Tuesday 8th and there’s more comedy from a collection of Felt Nowt stand-up comedians on Tuesday 29th.

All events will be run within the current restrictions, and everything is free to access (tickets can be reserved by emailing cumbybooking@gmail.com). Being an outside venue the Summer brings its challenges, so come dressed for the great British Summer time; events will go ahead whatever the weather. “We’ve truly missed planning and organising the fun side of life! It’s great to be back at it.” Jo comments. “After this amazing programme of events in June we are going to be bringing you live music all through the Summer. Bringing our venue outside so you can continue to enjoy live events.”

There’s been a lot of emphasis placed on pubs in our wider world lately, but the context perhaps requires deeper thought – what is it that makes a place special and important? Jo has a ready answer: “The Cumberland was once described to me by the wonderful Bridie Jackson as a community centre that also happens to sell really good beer, this has stuck with me as the best way to describe her. Always here, dependable, comforting, caring and a place where you can go however you feel and see the people you need to see! A centre for life!”

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout