INTERVIEW: Generator Live | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Little Comets

Generator have nurtured and developed talent in the North East over the past 30 years, and Generator Live is a culmination of the work they do. Their flagship all-day celebration of North East music returns to Newcastle’s Boiler Shop on Saturday 16th September with a jam-packed line-up.

Generator have developed the programme through artist applications, beneficiaries and nominations “to keep it eclectic, relevant and avoid nepotism” as Social Media and Marketing Coordinator Pippa Morgan and Helen Walkinshaw, Head of Creative Development, explain: “It’s very much a community effort and reflects the whole region.”

The event is spearheaded by headliners Little Comets, who will play a rare home-town headline set which will showcase their captivating, catchy music. Joining them on the line-up is rapper and producer Dylan Cartlidge, who incorporates his love for funk, soul, hip-hop, gospel, rock and R&B into his music; critically acclaimed garage punk rock and roll band Avalanche Party; Tik-Tok teen sensation Merczz will collaborate with soulful Teesside singer-songwriter Sisi to showcase their talent that goes way beyond their years; another young talent, Lizzie Esau will show off her songwriting prowess, with the help from her live band who have had a jam-packed festival season, performing everywhere from Tramlines to Boardmasters; Me Lost Me’s inspirational take on folk, art pop, noise, ambient and improvised music results in an experimental folk sound; Teesside rabble-rousers Benefits will showcase their noisy, political songs from their debut album NAILS, which was released to rave reviews in April; Hannabiell & Midnight Blue fuse together Afro-Caribbean and Latin percussion, jazz, Afro-beat and funk to create a unique party atmosphere; four-woman alt. rock band VENUS GRRRLS have gained radio attention for their punchy, empowering singles; and part-time chef, full-time singer-songwriter Ernie will unveil his introspective take alternative rock sounds. Newcastle’s longest running underground nightclub, World Headquarters, will curate the after-party on the Electronic Stage, which will feature five stellar DJs to keep festival-goers dancing through the night.

It’s very much a community effort and reflects the whole region

Generator Live isn’t just about a one-day celebration though; Generator’s ethos involves working with artists continuously throughout their talent development journey to bring out their best sides. “Artist development programmes ensure we have opportunities for artists at all stages in their career, whether they’re looking to release their first single, or they’re ready to play a 1000 cap venue like Boiler Shop.” They explain.

Generator also aim to “work on developing the wider North East music industry infrastructure to support these artists, preventing them from having to move to cities like London in order to progress their careers.” A prime example of this approach is the Generator Live Conference, which will take place at The Common Room on Friday 15th September. “It’s a free day packed full of panels, workshops, industry advice sessions and networking opportunities for all to build on their skill set and progress their career – whether they’re an established artist, creative, manager or simply someone with an interest in music with a desire to forge a career in the industry.” Artists can gain access to industry professionals and discuss topics including the sustainability of club culture, how to deal with boundaries and burnout, the support available for women and gender minorities in the industry, and how to ensure a career in the industry for working class musicians.

Generator Live takes place on Saturday 16th September at Boiler Shop, Newcastle.

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