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

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After the sell-out success of the inaugural event last year, Middlesbrough’s Twisterella Festival is back on Saturday 10th October to provide the region’s music lovers with another multi-venue musical extravaganza. The metropolitan music festival will play host to over 40 acts spanning a multitude of genres, from the new-wave indie of Fickle Friends and the alt. rock of Fatherson, to post-punkers Spring King and ferocious rockers Fizzy Blood, bolstered by some superb homegrown talent including Du Blonde, SLUG, Serinette and Dressed Like Wolves.

With such a diverse line-up and, crucially, one which showcases existing international talent as well as highlighting up and coming acts, organisers Andy Carr and Henry Carden had their work cut out for them when it came to programming, as Henry explains. “We try to have a mixture of bands we’ve worked with previously (Fickle Friends, Du Blonde, Hyde & Beast); hotly tipped bands who are picking up plaudits left right and centre (Spring King, Black Honey, RedFaces); and then bands that we’ve seen who we’ve been really impressed by – the likes of Allusondrugs and SLUG both fall firmly into that category. Add into that bands that agents contact us about and locals who we love, it would probably be easier to book 400 bands rather than 40!”

The local contingent are well represented, but Henry’s keen to point out that every act has earned their place on the line-up, regardless of where they’re from. “The bands we’ve booked aren’t there just because of their postcode, they’re there on merit. It’s great to see Teesside acts like Corey Bowen, Mouses and Kingsley Chapman getting national radio play and doing gigs all over the country. There’s no doubt in our minds that all of the local acts on show will more than hold their own against their out of town contemporaries.”

Twisterella isn’t just aimed at a music-loving public though, Unconference – the festival’s laidback but informative panel events – also help bands connect with the business of music too. “The panellists we’re bringing to Middlesbrough are all brilliant people with plenty of words of wisdom to share with Teesside musicians.” Andy enthuses. BBC Scotland/BBC 6 Music broadcaster Vic Galloway joins Amazing Radio’s Tom Cotton, Idlewild/Fatherson’s manager Michael Lambert, BBC Tees’ Bob Fischer, Tees Music Alliance’s Chris Cobain and Sentric’s Simon Pursehouse to offer some insights into a variety of subjects.

“There’s no doubt in our minds that all of the local acts on show will more than hold their own against their out of town contemporaries”

The phenomenal success of last year’s festival, which received rave reviews from bands and punters alike, has proven how much the region needs a festival like Twisterella – from the local businesses who supported it, to the musicians who made valuable contacts and strengthened their fan base – Andy and Henry believe the festival’s success also offers a direct benefit to the North East’s music scene as a whole. “It’s the continued enhancement of the event’s reputation that will be important to its future development and success.” Andy says. “We have always been very confident about what we do with our own Pay For The Piano and The Kids Are Solid Gold shows and in some ways Twisterella is no different. We’ve been meticulous in our preparation and are confident that people will have a fantastic day, making a connection with the plethora of exciting new and emerging acts. If that proves to be the case, and we’re sure it will be, then that excitement and vibrancy can only be good for music in our region.”

Twisterella takes place at a variety of venues across Middlesbrough on Saturday 10th October. Visit the website (or our listings pages) for the full line-up.

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