MIXTAPE: BAY TALES | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Words: Vic Watson & Simon Bewick

Bay Tales Live, a one-day crime fiction festival, heads into its third year having become one of the biggest crime events in the UK with over five hundred people from all over the world set to attend Whitley Bay Playhouse on Saturday 2nd March. 

Vic Watson and Simon Bewick started hosting events together online during lockdown and have since been nominated for a number of awards for their contributions to both the world of crime writing and their local town of Whitley Bay, having raised thousands of pounds for RNLI and The Bay Foodbank while introducing local readers to up-and -coming crime writers as well as household names such as Val McDermid and Nicci French. 

Harry Styles – Golden
This is just a lovely, cheery song. Every time I hear it, I can’t help but smile. I love songs like this to get me psyched up when I’m about to present an event or interview someone. People are very complimentary about the way I work but I’m actually very shy and introverted so listening to upbeat songs helps me prepare the persona that people see when I’m speaking in public. (Vic)

Beyoncé – Diva
I’ve loved this song for 15 years and I’ve seen Beyoncé live in concert several times, each time she manages to keep this song fresh by using different samples. I was pregnant when I went to see the Renaissance tour in Sunderland last year and at the gig, I felt my baby girl move for the first time; although she’s my second child, it was still an awe-inspiring moment. (Vic)

Hans Zimmer – Time
This piece of music, from the movie Inception, has been the soundtrack to mine and my husband’s life together. We played it while we signed the register at our wedding, listened to it on our honeymoon in Thailand and Vietnam and had it on both of the playlists we created for our children‘s births. And I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve played it while driving around to get my son to fall asleep! (Vic)

The Beautiful South – Song For Whoever
For a writer, there is no finer lyric than “I love you from the bottom of my pencil case”. (Vic)

Spice Girls – Stop
I was a mega fan when I was a teenager so it would be wrong not to include a Spicies track. I chose this one as I recently introduced my four year old son to it and have been trying to teach him the dance. (Vic)

Rod Stewart – Sailing
My parents were big Rod Stewart fans and one of my happiest childhood memories is dancing in the garden on a beautiful summer’s night with them to this song as the music drifted across from his gig at Gateshead Stadium. (Vic)

Bruce Springsteen – Lost in the Flood
There are so many great ‘story’ songs from Springsteen – pretty much the entire Nebraska album could work, but this goes all the way back to Greetings From Asbury Park NJ: a piano-based epic with three different stories in it. (Simon)

Robbie Robertson – Fallen Angel
As lead song writer in The Band, Robertson wrote so many classic ‘story songs’ but I’ve gone for this tribute to his one-time bandmate Richard Manuel on his first solo outing. With guest Peter Gabriel, it’s a heart-breaking lament. (Simon)

Billy Bragg – Everywhere (cover of Sid Griffin & Greg Trooper)
I got to know this song through Bragg’s cover of it: detailed enough to be a novel in its own right of two best friends torn apart by war and racism. (Simon)

Martin Stephenson – Rain
I think Martin Stephenson is one of the most underrated songwriters around and this is like a notepad sketch perfectly capturing a moment “between lightning and thunder”. (Simon)

Steve Earle – Goodbye
I think this is quite simply the most perfect late at night all alone reminiscing song ever written. (Simon)

Warren Zevon – Keep Me in Your Heart
Sometimes it’s the story behind the song. Terminally ill and working on his final album, Zevon displayed his trademark dark sense of humour with a cover of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, but this is the one that hits home. I’ve told my wife I want this played at my funeral. She’s written down ‘Warren Zevon song’. I’m sure I’ll end up getting Werewolves of London… (Simon)


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