INTERVIEW: The Gathering Sounds | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Formed in 2018 by KU Promotions, this year’s Gathering Sounds festival takes place on Saturday 24th September and it’s shaping up to be the most exciting. “We choose a date that was deliberately at the halfway point after Stockton Calling,” confirms Jimmy Beck, Managing Director of KU Promotions. “Stockton’s got a really thriving live music scene and having spoken to music lovers they all kept telling me that they didn’t want to wait a full twelve months for the next all-day event, they wanted something sooner.”

Jimmy has a different vision for The Gathering Sounds and its line-up. “We’re in a number of the same great venues but The Gathering Sounds is more for emerging bands whereas at Stockton Calling perhaps bands already have a certain type of profile.” 

Jimmy enthuses that The Gathering Sounds is all about championing bands with huge potential. “We see the festival as being perfect for the types of bands who are almost at the point of being able to do stand-alone shows at some of the venues. What that gives us is an opportunity for the acts to actually be bigger than the venues by the time the festival comes around.” 

You might be looking at this line-up in a few years thinking ‘wow, they all played The Gathering Sounds once’

Jimmy reiterates that the festival serves as an ideal opportunity for music lovers to do some early talent spotting. “There are bands on the line-up who, for me, could go on to do really well and gain a really high profile. The Gathering Sounds gives people a chance to see those bands just as they’re at the point of being well known, and in some cases this might be the last time you get to see these bands in such intimate venues.” 

Venues taking part include ARC, KU Bar, The Georgian Theatre, Storytellers and new venue The Social Room, with guest promoters including This Feeling and Hull’s Under The Influence ensuring an exciting breadth of programming.

Topping the bill at ARC are impassioned rockers The K’s, who’ll be joined by joyous psych rockers CVC, local indie funk heroes Moon Wax, Newcastle songwriter Kieran Bowe and Teesside indie band Nice Guy. Irrepressible popsters The Lottery Winners headline KU, alongside Sunderland lad-done-good Tom A Smith, R&B artist Dayna Leadbitter and alt. rockers Dead Pony. The Georgian Theatre plays host to garage rockers The Bug Club, Canadian indie rock singer Art d’Ecco, Teesside favourites SWEARS and pop songwriter Faye Fantarrow. Post-punks Stone, Hull alt. rock band Low Hummer and newbies Priestgate are all pitching up at The Social Room courtesy of promoters Under The Influence, while This Feeling bring pop four-piece The Native, cosmic indie band Spangled and genre-blurring singer Ruby J to The Storytellers. Across the venues you can also expect to see the likes of Sleep Well Beast, The Lulas, The Chase, The Kairos, Ward, Gone Tomorrow, Velma, Crush, Reardon Love, Bear Park, Sun Beam, Michael Gallagher, Over Pass, The Lilacs, The Voyd, Candid and El Rey.

I think this may be the best line-up we’ve seen,” confirms Jimmy.You might be looking at this line-up in a few years thinking ‘wow, they all played The Gathering Sounds once’.”   

The Gathering Sounds Festival takes place at various venues in Stockton on Saturday 24th September.

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