INTERVIEW: Beyond The Moor Festival | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: Amy Thatcher & Fran Knowles

Beyond The Moor’s inaugural day-long event at Gosforth Civic Theatre will take place on Saturday 24th September and aims to showcase the best in contemporary folk music, locally and nationally. The event has been programmed by GCT’s Bernard Wright and Kari Macleod, both of whom have been active in the folk scene and met while studying on Newcastle University’s Folk & Traditional Music degree.

Kari explains their desire to kickstart what they hope will be a regular event. “Newcastle, and the whole of the North East, is a region rich in culture and history; the songs and stories told by the folk and roots musicians it produces here reflect this. It’s an endless well of inspiration when you start digging into some of the traditional songs and music going back generations. It’s a lovely scene to be part of because not only is the music great, the people involved are some of the most welcoming and friendly folk you’ll ever meet. We just need more venues to keep booking and supporting the performers and storytellers to ensure this rich culture doesn’t die out.”

We were also conscious to keep the bill varied and diverse, showcasing a broad range of styles within the folk scene.” Bernard explains. “It was great to have the opportunity to bring in some established national acts and create a really exciting line-up.”

It’s an endless well of inspiration when you start digging into some of the traditional songs and music going back generations

Headlining the first ever edition of the festival will be RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 Folk award nominees Flook. Taking inspiration from their roots in the Irish and English traditions, Flook have an enviable trademark sound which weaves traditionally-rooted tunes over precise acoustic grooves, with a rare blend of fiery technical brilliance, delicate ensemble interaction and a bold, adventurous musical imagination. They are paired at the top of the bill with Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, one of the best-known and most experienced folk duos on the circuit. Outstanding musicianship, a lifelong grounding in traditional singing and instrumental playing, acclaimed original compositions and most noticeably a visceral chemistry between these two make Kerr and Fagan a perennial favourite.

They’ll be joined on the line-up by Withered Hand, Ryan Young & David Foley, Holly & The Reivers, Amy Thatcher & Fran Knowles and Tim Dalling. Tim (who has been described as a cross between Led Zeppelin and Ivor Cutler) will also be leading a workshop enabling participants to explore new ways of generating song ideas.

Gosforth Civic Theatre’s folk club gigs have seen an increase in popularity and there’s a tangible thirst for more platforms for contemporary folk and roots music in the region. Newcastle and the North East’s folk scene is strong and vibrant, and Beyond The Moor seeks to harness this by pairing it with genuine world class touring bands.

Bernard explains that the venue isn’t just about great music. “GCT is run by disability arts charity Liberdade and our venue is a friendly,  welcoming space. Community and accessibility are at the heart of the organisation. On the day we will have some delicious street food on offer alongside our usual cafe/bar, and of course it’s not a folk festival without some tasty craft beer and real ales.”

Beyond The Moor festival takes place at Gosforth Civic Theatre on Saturday 24th September.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout