FEATURE: The Gathering Sounds | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Fuzzy Sun

“Stockton really punches above its weight when it comes to live music. Stockton Calling will have been running for ten years next year, there are at least five venues regularly programming live music, and bands genuinely love playing here.” So says Jimmy Beck – owner of KU and The Storytellers in Stockton.

Speaking to him ahead of his new brainchild, The Gathering Sounds – a multi-venue festival taking place on Saturday 10th November – I ask him, with so many music events happening on Teesside at the moment, why does it need another one?

“Stockton Calling is once a year and there’s so much talent out there that we just saw The Gathering Sounds as an opportunity to showcase those emerging artists right now. We’ve found that people are more likely to give new bands a chance when they’re part of a bigger event with lots of on offer, rather than coming to see them at stand-alone shows.

“Simon Shaw [co-promoter] and I were originally just going to do a couple of stages at first but it ended up growing really quickly. We didn’t want to turn down all the amazing bands that we really liked so it’s become a bit of a monster. But we’re really proud of what we’ve put together.”

people are more likely to give new bands a chance when they’re part of a bigger event with lots of on offer, rather than coming to see them at stand-alone shows

With 30 bands spread across five venues on or around Prince Regent and Dovecot Streets in Stockton, it’s just a two or three minute walk between each venue which means that getting from one stage to the next and packing in as much as possible couldn’t be easier.

Although not quite an emerging band any more, Tyneside’s Little Comets will be headlining ARC and are a top notch focal point for the event. After critical acclaim for last year’s Worhead release, they’ll line up alongside the massively hyped Zuzu from Liverpool, and fellow Scousers The Tea Street Band.

After getting single of the week on Radio 1, The Pale White seem to have outgrown their tag as a local emerging band. They’re making waves across the country and their hyper-noisy garage racket will be packing them in on the KU stage. Also at KU will be up-and-coming London six-piece Sports Team, and Guildford synth-wave quartet Sophie & The Giants.

The Storytellers features performances from the likes of Sheffield indie-poppers RedFaces, Stockport’s Fuzzy Sun, and, from Sweden, hotly tipped shoegaze dream-poppers Echo Ladies.

Dylan Cartlidge‘s star has been in the ascendancy for a while now and, after recently being made artist of the week on Apple Music and his appearance on The Mighty Redcar, there doesn’t seem to be much of a limit as to where he’ll go from here. One thing’s for certain though, this could be the last chance to see him in such intimate circumstances as he heads up the The Vault’s stage.

Down the road at Musiclounge, there’s the chance to see Merseyside’s The Hummingbirds bringing their brand of harmonious guitar pop to Stockton, alongside Sheffield rock ‘n’ rollers Liberty Ship.

With a supporting cast of regional up-and-comers such as Plastic, FEVA, Sonder Minds, Leopard Rays, Komparrison, Oilbirds, Giraffes and loads more, this gathering of sounds is one you should probably find space for in your diary.


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