Feature: Rob Heron – A Look Back At 2019 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Over the past twelve months, our magazine and website have been brimming with super-talented, creative souls. We asked a few of them to tell us about their 2019. Rob Heron, frontman of Newcastle’s finest swing-honkytonk-rockabilly band, Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra tells us what was hot and what was not this year.

So, how was your 2019?
Great thanks!  We released an LP in Feb, toured the UK and Europe through spring, had a summer full of festivals, and then released an EP in October, making it quite a busy year!

What was your best moment?
Touring is full of best moments…however hard and uncomfortable a van can get, the shows at the end of the day are (mostly) very much worth it.  My favourite shows of the year were probably in Spain, as we had never played there before, but had great crowds, and ate fantastic food, and I developed a massive obsession with sherry!

And your worst moment?
We parked overnight in Ghent, Belgium, and in the morning the van was gone, and there was a fruit market in its place.  We went to the local Police station and turned out they had towed it. We had to pay a massive fine, and we went on our way, not knowing that the tow company had damaged the steering rod, later to break down the next day and we had to take a taxi to the next gig which cost 300 Euros, then we waited 3 days for the van to get fixed, missed work, and had another bill at the garage!  

Your favourite band/artist of the year?
 Always difficult to say, mainly because I have favourite obscure 45s from the 50s of artists that maybe didn’t release much, but Spotify told me today that my most listened to artist of 2019 is Hiss Golden Messenger.  

Your favourite song of the year?
Another Spotify top artist was Dorsey Burnette.  He was the brother of rockabilly giant Johnny Burnette, and one of my favourites lately is Dorsey’s song, Little Acorn.  Quite cheesy blue-eyed soul, but brilliant!

Favourite TV show of the year?
End of the F***ing World.  Brilliant soundtrack, and everything else.

Your favourite film?
I don’t watch a whole lot of new movies, in fact, I went to the cinema once this year to see The Joker, which I thought was great.  I’d never seen the Christian Bale Batman movies before, so I watched those after The Joker. I liked them, not normally my sort of film though.  Favourite film I’ve SEEN this year would have to be the old western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, starring John Wayne and James Stewart.

Best book you read?
I’m pretty awful at reading books, but I did recently read a book about Sherry, which was good.

Favourite venue of the year?
Also pretty hard to answer, seeing as we did so many gigs this year, but the countries most hidden gem is a speakeasy-style venue in an old Post Office Social Club called The Lucky 7 Club, in Paignton, Devon.

What was your favourite gig/show of the year?
Cambridge Folk Festival.  We played midday on Saturday, thinking nobody would be out of bed, but we had a full main stage tent.  We were in the signing tent for over an hour after with a huge queue. Made me remember why I do it all.

Any upcoming artists we should keep an eye out for in 2020?
I’m afraid I don’t really keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to current music, but locally, I suppose we have Martha Hill, Me Lost Me, Memphis Gerald (ex-Tea Pad), and of course, Ruth Patterson of Holy Moly & The Crackers is launching a solo venture, so I am certain that will be beautiful.

And finally, what has next year got in store for you
After a busy year with the band, 2020 will be quieter for us.  I will be making a serious attempt at solo efforts, with a plan to release something in that vein in the autumn.  Has guitar, will travel.

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