LIVE REVIEW: Jodie Nicholson, Shakk, Luke Royalty @ The Link, The Globe, Stockton (15.07.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Shakk by Iam Burn

Our compere for the evening, BBC Radio Tees’ Rianne Thompson, is interviewing Stockton Globe GM Jo Ager about new sister venue The Link for a specially organised livestream, and for a select few in the venue itself, and is explaining how the 200-capacity bar/custom space, right next door to the iconic main venue, hopes to support grassroots and future stars. As the cameras roll and click around us for a short infomercial/live music event, she certainly talks the talk.

The impressive bar and café set-up with adjustable stage at one end tonight plays host to cameos from Jodie Nicholson and Shakk, and a two-track pre-recorded audio from Darlington rapper Luke Royalty recorded earlier in the day. Luke’s between song monologue, where he describes the Teesside scene as “wholesome”, nearly steals the show but it’s Jodie Nicholson’s haunting piano renditions of Be Back Soon and Losing Track that are suitably intoxicating before she has a quick chat onstage with Rianne for the cameras. Shakk is similarly, if more outwardly, self-assured having the audience laughing out loud even before he rips through his tracks Butterfly Trees and a soaring Friends, casual in lumberjack shirt and box fresh Nikes.

As the complimentary charcuterie boards arrive and the DJs limber up for an extended opening there is just time to reflect again on the words of Jo Ager who, regardless of the impressive refurb next door, seems to have a genuine passion for the grassroots scene. One to watch, for sure.

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