INTERVIEW: POLESTAR LIVE SESSIONS | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: bigfatbig by Ryan Young

It’s safe to say the ‘hybrid gig’ is here to stay and, while online performances can’t replace the thrill of an ‘in person’ live show, the benefits afforded by digital programming for performers and audiences alike are undeniable. Livestreaming is increasingly playing a part in the survival of other businesses which make up the musical economy, and Newcastle studio Polestar are among the latest to make their online debut.

The Polestar Live Sessions will be a showcase of some of the most exciting grassroots musicians in the region, livestreamed from Polestar Studios via their Facebook page every fortnight from Thursday 1st July. As part of the sessions, audiences can enjoy eight livestreamed gigs across four months, plus loads more digital content.

We want our streams to be top quality, give an insight into new music and the music industry and to support the Polestar Live Session musicians make their mark on the regional scene.” Says Polestar’s Pauline Murray.

The Arts Council funded project will provide a safe, supportive and creative space for musicians to perform, with support from experienced technical teams. “Our artists will also have access to livestream advice and guidance so they can bring to life their creative vision for their performance both conceptually and technically.”

The Polestar Live Sessions will be a showcase of some of the most exciting grassroots musicians in the region

Performances in July come from Bajan-Geordie rapper Kay Greyson (Thursday 1st); alt. pop songwriter Lizzie Esau (Thursday 15th); and grrrl gang rockers bigfatbig (Thursday 29th), with more performers to be announced in the coming weeks. “Through our heavy involvement with local music, both as a rehearsal/recording studio as well as music lovers ourselves, we have curated a diverse line-up of some of the artists we love at the moment.” Alex says of the performances. “We’ve tried to keep the series cohesive too, and we feel have captured an exciting, contemporary group of artists that audiences will love. Picking the artists has been really difficult as there is so much good music in the North East at the moment, each selected artists is one to watch in their own right and brings something different to our Polestar Live Sessions programme.”

As a much-loved cornerstone of the region’s music industry, the “small but mighty” studio has – like many others – suffered greatly as a result of successive lockdowns. It’s been a challenging year like no other, but Pauline and the Polestar team are determined to continue to offer musicians the top-notch facilities they’ve come to expect, plus a whole lot more. “As a dedicated music facility for over thirty years mainly for rehearsals supporting bands, we will continue to offer the support we did post-pandemic. We will continue to develop the studio space, integrate new innovations and tech and evolve with the times – this will be essential to our survival and next chapter. We will also use our refurbished recording studio live room to host small intimate events that can be recorded, filmed and livestreamed, supporting artists to make YouTube videos, digital and podcast content alongside more of our Polestar Live Session episodes.”

Polestar Live Sessions take place via their Facebook page every fortnight from Thursday 1st July at 7.30pm

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