INTERVIEW: Two Divided By Zero | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Waves of Dread

A brand-new music festival is set to take place this month on North Shields’ Fish Quay. On Saturday 19th August, Two Divided By Zero will feature new and upcoming artists at two of the Fish Quay’s most loved venues, The Engine Room and Three Tanners Bank.

The festival was created by Waves of Dread lead singer Nick Hodgson, who wanted to establish a platform for many local artists who have felt limited with the lack of opportunities in the area.

The festival takes its name from the Pet Shop Boys’ debut album (frontman Neil Tennant is famously a North Shields native). The album’s title track talks about infinite potential between two people, and in the festival’s case, the potential of the two venues and the artists. “There’s a lot of really good, talented artists in the region,” explains Hodgson. “I felt like they needed a platform.”

Artists playing at Three Tanners Bank include Hodgson’s band Waves of Dread, James Leonard Hewsitson, Steff Mundi, Maius Mollis, Marginal Gains, Scott Hepple & The Sun Band, Tchotchke and TV Death, while at The Engine Room, William Denton Wilde, Bugman, Breadcrumbs, Rushbonds, Single Black Olive, The Timewasters and Young Property Developers will perform.

It would be good if North Shields became somewhere that was known for being a place in the North East to go for festivals

Whilst both The Engine Room and Three Tanners Bank often feature live music at their venues, this is the first time they have collaborated on a day-long music festival. Last year, Tanners Bank was closed for a prolonged time, as a new Metro bridge was fitted over the bank. Whilst this posed a risk to the footfall at the two venues, it also created a relaxed, pedestrianised environment where people were able to float easily between both.

“They want music to be down there and for the culture to include good food and for good stuff to happen.” Hodgson praises the venues. “They’re doing a great job at bringing people to the area.”

Hodgson enlisted the help from Mark from The Engine Room and Paul from the Three Tanners Bank to curate the line-up of musicians playing at the festival. “They’ve been in the business for years,” says Hodgson, “so they’re good at getting people to come. They’re quite closely knitted with the community.”

For Hodgson, the name of the festival has a poignant meaning. “[The song] is about infinite potential, and that’s what the area has. Infinite potential.”

The festival will hopefully bring a resurgence of music to the Fish Quay, as its regeneration continues. “It would be good if North Shields became somewhere that was known for being a place in the North East to go for festivals,” says Hodgson. “I hope it starts a culture of musicians that want to come to play down here.”

Eventually, Hodgson would like for the festival to become a yearly event, and potentially include venues on both sides of the Tyne. For now, his main goal is for each of the artists to attract newer audiences. “I hope that all the artists experience an upturn in sales,” he explains, “I’d like to see more exposure for the region, and more exposure for the artists.”

Two Divided By Zero takes place at Three Tanners Bank and The Engine Room, North Shields on Saturday 19th August.

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