FEATURE: The Rookey Collective – Our Story | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Rookery Collective is all about getting people in the same place to make, create and enjoy more music together. They run live music events in Newcastle that get people Jamming together and listening to upcoming, exciting bands. They make music happen and need more people to help them do that….


Here, they share their story and what inspires them…

The Rookery was founded by Joey Swindells and Robert Nugent. We are originally from Bolton and that’s where The Rookery started. We have always gone to watch bands from a really early age either with our dads or with our friends, before we could go out drinking. So, we just naturally thought we could put on some pretty good gigs ourselves. By the time we were 16, we were in a band and because we weren’t in a big city and didn’t even know what a promoter was, all the gig’s we ever had, we had put on ourselves.

We have both always been into music and wanted to be part of a music scene like all our favourite bands were, but the scene just never seemed to find us… so we eventually got fed up of waiting and decided to try and build our own.

We were massively inspired by a TedTalk by Manchester punk legend John Robb. It was all about DIY-punk rock attitude and how in music you need to do things for yourself because if you don’t, no one else will. He also talked about how you don’t just have to listen to music but rather you can (and should) be involved with it. This spoke to us so much and it fed into exactly what we wanted to achieve: to get more people making music.

So, we decided to kick my (Joey’s) Mum and Dad out of their house for the day, move all the furniture to the sides of the rooms and invite as many musicians as we could…for one big Jam Session.

After jamming 11am- 5pm we headed over to the local venue, invited all our pals and Jammed all night. This was the basis for The Rookery and since then our events have developed to what they are now: an open Jam Session followed by an electric Showcase Gig.

Since setting up The Rookery 2 years ago we have done over 20 events, released clothing lines, music videos, busked countless times, gone virial, gone full time with the business and are launching the collective in Manchester on the 29th December. We truly want to make as much music happen as possible and that’s exactly what we are doing! We think we are doing a sterling job but we want to do more… and WE NEED YOU!

We have LOADS of upcoming gigs, Jam Sessions and events for people who…just love music. There’s everything from indie bangers to West African Harp performances. We need as many musicians and music lovers as possible to come down to the events and get involved. When the outside world is as crazy as it has been in 2018, you just NEED a place to go to express your creativity, let loose and be in a supportive, creative and like-minded environment. We offer the best way to meet new musicians/music lovers, hear new music and actually get JAMMING with other people. No matter what your style, level, instrument or genre.

Upcoming Newcastle Events:

  • Thursday 29th November: Jam Day & World Music Showcase Gig at Bar Loco
  • Thursday 6th December: Jam Session & Showcase Gig at Little Buildings
  • Sunday 16th December: Jam Day & Showcase Gig at The Cluny 2

‘If you play an instrument and don’t have anyone to play with, we are the people to know. If you love live music and want to meet other like mined people, we are the people to know. If you eat, breathe or sleep we have an event for you and we want to meet you!!

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