INTERVIEW: BIG SCREEN TV | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Martha Hill

As we tentatively re-emerge back into public spaces again, it’s worth remembering that not every artist and band will get an opportunity to get back to performing live in front of an audience. There are only so many venues and audiences to go around, and with many musicians unable to even get into a practice room over the last 12 months, it’s fair to say that a return to the busy scene of several shows a night might take a while.

Audiences, too, may take some time to feel comfortable in venues again, and hybrid shows – offering livestreamed as well as ‘in person’ tickets – seem like a great way to offer the best of both worlds. Online performances aren’t going away, and the more opportunities that exist for musicians to show off their skills and gain new audiences, the better. Enter: Big Screen TV, a brand new online programme produced by Generator, which launches on Friday 9th April.

Talent Development Manager Helen Walkinshaw explains: “Big Screen TV is a new online music TV show, funded by Arts Council England, showcasing North East talent (on and off screen) and local independent venues. This first series is providing an outlet for people to perform, work and utilise spaces that have temporarily been forced to put a pause on what they do best, due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.”

Filmed both from their Newcastle city centre studio in Commercial Union House as well as on-location at music venues throughout the region, Big Screen TV will feature performances from 30 artists over ten weekly episodes. “Hosted by our presenters, comedians Hal Branson and Sammy Dobson, Big Screen TV is heavily influenced by music TV of a bygone era, so expect informal interviews, daftness and a diverse programme of incredible music!

Big Screen TV is heavily influenced by music TV of a bygone era, so expect informal interviews, daftness and a diverse programme of incredible music!

The line-up features an impressive variety of genres and styles, and ably demonstrates what the region has to offer. Episode one kicks off with BBC 6Music darling Martha Hill performing in the studio, andsad dance’ pioneer Straight Girl and GGAllan Partridge drummer SOPRUH’s sets coming from Disgraceland in Middlesbrough. Later in the series there will be sets from Me Lost Me, Holly Clarke, Merle Harbron, A Festival A Parade, Swine Tax, Yung Hydro, Stilts Foster, Pave The Jungle, Sing Again Syren, Cortney Dixon, Phibi, Ceitidh Mac, Kay Greyson, Talk Like Tigers, Georgia May, Hector Gannet, Benjamin Fitzgerald, Nadedja, Sågaboi, SQUARMS, Trunky Juno, Lovely Assistant, Ruth Patterson, SL Walkinshaw, Dilutey Juice, Shallow and Yakka Doon.

On-location venues include The Cumberland Arms, The Cluny, Little Buildings and The Star & Shadow Cinema in Newcastle, Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough, Old Cinema Launderette in Durham, The Church Studios in Northumberland, The Engine Rooms in North Shields and Independent in Sunderland.

We’re extremely excited to share Big Screen TV with the world, the team working on the project are proof of how much incredible creative talent we have in the North East and they’ve managed to capture what makes the region’s music scene so special. Each episode will feature three outstanding performances whilst also capturing the charm of some of our beloved local venues.”

Big Screen TV launches on Friday 9th April. Keep an eye on Generator’s social media for further announcements

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