FEATURE: Tyne Bank Brewery Gigs | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Sing Again Syren by Adam Kennedy

If anyone was expecting live music to come bouncing back as soon as BoJo and his pals said venues could open, they’d have been sorely disappointed. As educated members of the region’s cultural scene, you certainly don’t need me to tell you why, but I’ll spell it out for those at the back: social distancing is not conducive to a profitable show. Fewer people equals less money for overheads, let alone giving decent fees to the performers themselves.

But there are people who are attempting to shake up the status quo; Middlesbrough’s Base Camp, Prohibition Cabaret Bar and Bobik’s in Newcastle to name a few, and we have it on good authority that several other venues are about to follow suit. September will also see live gigs take place at Tyne Bank Brewery Tap, and the duo behind the shows couldn’t be any more maverick. Cole Gilroy and Allan Scorer are old hands on the scene; Cole, a seasoned musician and promoter (Head of Steam, SSD Concerts) and Allan, head honcho of perhaps the region’s ultimate DIY grassroots venue, Little Buildings, have joined forces to present a series of gigs in September, with more slated for October.

We’re basically trying to run a small venue within a big one,” Cole explains. “The space is there, and we have a configuration of tables to meet social distancing. We have hand sanitiser stations and everything is table service. Like the pubs it’s a case of remaining seated – it might be weird but if it’s the only option and it allows gigs to restart then I’m excited.”

I’m just buzzing to be able to give everyone a chance to try this out while we can.” Allan enthuses. “The reality is the gigs we want are a long way away, so by supporting these events you are helping us keep things ticking over.”

The reality is the gigs we want are a long way away, so by supporting these events you are helping us keep things ticking over

It’s clear Cole and Allan have put considerable thought into curating a diverse, inclusive and balanced line-up. Kicking off on Friday 4th September all-girl rock ‘n’ roll power trio Sing Again Syren perform alongside self-styled ‘snarling Goth’ Hannah D’Arcy; energetic pop rockers The Escapades head up the show on Sunday 6th, with support from indie musician Keiran Bowe; there’s wordplay wonderment from alt. pop duo Badger and ‘barely rap’ artist Faithful Johannes on Thursday 10th; the superb talents of multi-instrumentalist experimentalist Me Lost Me will be on display on Friday 11th, alongside synth popsters Blamire; soulful sounds and empowering lyrics come courtesy of Georgia May on Sunday 13th, with support from up and coming songwriter Lizzie Esau; Thursday 17th will see hip-hop vibes and lyrical largesse take centre stage as thrilling young rapper Kay Greyson is joined by the off-kilter beats and smooth instrumentals of John Dole; Friday 18th sees electro funk punk outfit Vandebilt take to the stage (support TBC); on Sunday 20th Sunderland’s indie quartet Plastic Glass are joined by fellow alt. rock Mackems Post Rome; melodic punk noiseniks Fast Blood take headline duties on Thursday 24th, joined by Teesside’s brilliantly vociferous lo-fi duo Mouses; and closing the month with a bang, grungy noise punks Shallow (fka Creature) and fuzzy alt. rockers SWEARS will perform on Sunday 27th.

As evidenced by these shows from Tyne Bank and many others soon to join them, the pandemic doesn’t have to spell the end of the grassroots music scene. But let’s be 100% clear – there is one simple thing which is universal to the success of these shows: your support.

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