FEATURE: STOCKTON CALLING | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Fire The Unstoppable Force

The ninth edition of Stockton Calling returns on Saturday 31st March and it’s set to be another cracking day. Taking place across nine venues (plus a couple of pop-up locations) in Stockton’s town centre, the daylong music festival will welcome the freshest talent alongside some familiar faces. Here’s our handy guide to who’s playing and where…

ARC’s headliners are legendary Liverpudlian melodic rockers The Lightning Seeds, who perform alongside hotly-tipped indie pop locals Llovers, and raucous anthemic indie Mancunians Twisted Wheel. Indie fans can rejoice at the addition of Sheffield quartet Oddity Road and harmony-driven quartet Marsicans, while Darlington’s Hayley McKay adds a twinge of country to the bill. Stage opener comes in the form of ex-Bluetones frontman Mark Morriss.

The Green Room

Once again NARC. will take over The Green Room to showcase an eclectic mix of talent headlined by rowdy Teesside punk rockers Mouses. An alternative take on hip-hop will be served up by Dylan Cartlidge, and exuberant Newcastle rockers Velvoir are bound to make an impression. If you’re looking for a boisterous atmosphere, make sure you catch shaütrock outfit Nine Tons as well as Tyneside trio FRET!. You can also expect heavenly alt. folk duo Tomorrow Bird, some fun pop-punk from Teesside natives Bruto, a sprinkling of 90’s inspired indie rock courtesy of Swine Tax and influences from Foals and Biffy Clyro running through Sleep Tape’s alt. rock tracks.

KU Bar
KU have quite the prize with their headliners, as American kings of oddball indie rock We Are Scientists take the top spot. Shiny indie pop is also on offer thanks to the hotly-tipped Cape Cub, expect buckets of noise and attitude courtesy of Fire The Unstoppable Force, fun indie from Only The Poets and four-piece We Tibetans, whilst Uncle Buzzard serve up psychedelic vibes and Swilly Chill provide smooth vibes. We highly rate up and coming quartet October Drift, while Bath’s Swimming Girls will serve up a slice of dark pop.

Queen Zee

The Georgian Theatre
The Georgian Theatre offer a diverse range of talent, headliners are Sunderland’s quirky sons Field Music, whose recently released album, Open Here, is riding a wave of plaudits. If space age-infused rock is your thing then you’ll need to catch Plaza, or enjoy some glam, soul and new wave indie from Man And The Echo. Tipped as one of the bands of 2018, Queen Zee will introduce you to their noisy shoegaze-esque set; while Stockton’s own Tom Joshua’s dulcet tones will soothe the room. Mi Mye’s lush, emotional soundscapes will transport you to your happy place; locals Twister bring their alt. pop rock to proceedings and openers Abel Raise The Cain will kick off the day with their anthem filled post-rock.

The Vault
Cosmic pop outfit The Old Pink House top the bill, with performances also coming from vibrant surf popsters Echo Town and The RPMs, who will blast out catchy alt. pop. Laden with vintage influences are Whitby garage rockers Ten Foot Tom & The Leprosy Crooks, whilst 90s slacker vibes will be provided by James Leonard Hewitson. Expect punk from Zeitgeist 77, Americana influences from Charlie Thomas, a unique take on R&B blues from Eve Conway, funky basslines from Middlesbrough’s own Pink Tide and a dash of indie blues from Heather Story.

Whole Latte Love
Tracks collective programme the stage at art cafe Whole Latte Love, with talent spanning across all genres, from Napoleon IIIrd’s hazy basslines to electro-pop vibes courtesy of Twist Helix. Middlesbrough rapper Leddie MC will be flaunting her lyrical skills and psych punk outfit Primitive Painters are expected to put on an explosive performance. Also expect sets from vocal harmony duo Komparrison, Darlington blues rockers Lyhmes and experimental vibes from Jennifer Walton.

Abel Raise The Cain

The Storytellers
The Kids are Solid Gold curate The Storytellers stage, and they have a typically stellar line-up to contend with. Headliners are Glaswegian ensemble The Ninth Wave, with sets also including epic indie Scots The Snuts, reggae pop groovers Kioko and no-nonsense punk rockers Rascalton. Prepare to be hypnotised by The Howl & Hum’s dark pop whilst glittering indie pop from sextet The Seamonsters will lift your spirits. There’s also brooding alt. rock from Feva, bright and melodic indie guitar hits from Plastic and an angelic duo Upstairs Open. 


Idle Promotions have pulled together some cracking artists for the Musiclounge headlined by Teesside pop rock band Serrinette. There’ll also be wonky pop from Bradford’s Fling, gritty post-punk from Dead Naked Hippies, melodic vibes from JP Riggall & The Belafonte and some alt. hip-hop served up by Ceiling Demons. Alt. rock fans are sure to enjoy Swears and Animal Sons, and if you’re looking for manic disco dancefloor fillers then Be Quiet. Shout Loud! should be top of your list.

Room 21
Room 21 will host an array of musical delights headlined by chart-topping Watford rebels The Spitfires. Mod indie influences will ooze out of The Wainstones’ set and The Voluntears are certain to deliver an energetic performance. Lush Britpop tones run through both Sunderland six-piece Social Room and Alloa’s Vida, or you can be soothed by Hartlepool’s Michael Gallagher. The venue also sees sets from the frankly un-Googleable Sauce, plus rock trio McCormick.


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