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

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Words: Jimmy Beck

Hi, I’m Jimmy Beck, co-owner and promoter at KU in Stockton. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the venue, which also means I’ve been booking live shows for two decades which is pretty mad! In that time we have had some very special nights at the venue and we’ve seen some bands play our gaff loading out of small cars and go on to play the main stages at festivals. Like most venues we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve loved every minute of it. Coming up on Saturday 24th September is the fourth instalment of The Gathering Sounds – a multi-stage event in Stockton which started in 2018 to showcase new and exciting talent. Choosing just a few artists from the event for this mixtape was really difficult, but after much deliberation I’ve narrowed it down to this bunch.


Tom A Smith – Never Good Enough

We’ve had the pleasure of knowing Tom since he was a young lad. We were tipped off about a kid who was ‘wowing’ crowds at Kendal Calling and I had to see what the fuss was about. Initially I got him in to support acts like Twisted Wheel – even then he was very confident and a gifted guitar player and you just knew he was going to make his mark in later years. It’s great to see him rubbing shoulders with the stars and playing festivals like Glastonbury, and it’s very well deserved.

When I first heard Never Good Enough I was blown away by the quality of it, the smooth tempo sets it aside from his other music. It’s a very sincere song and extremely catchy and I’m sure it will become a set list staple.

Dead Pony – Sharp Tongues

Dead Pony are rising stars on the Glasgow indie punk scene. We thought they were excellent when they first performed in Stockton as Crystal. After a name change and a few years later they went down a storm again as Dead Pony on the This Feeling stage. They return to the festival after a huge year performing at big events like Glastonbury, Tramlines, Kendal Calling and the small matter of a BBC Maida Vale session for Jack Saunders. 

STONE – Let’s Dance To The Real Thing

The Liverpool crew are one of the hottest bands in the UK right now and have been included in many a top tip list since they broke through. At Stockton Calling we witnessed that the hype was very real as they played a set with one the biggest mosh pits I’ve seen in KU, backed up with noisy anthems and enough energy to light a city. We were overwhelmed when they confirmed for Under The Influence stage. 

CVC – Docking The Pay

I can’t champion this band enough – I’ve been telling everyone to make a point of going to see them if they are playing anywhere near them. 

I stumbled across the Welsh six-piece towards the end of last year and booked them in straight away. When they played they didn’t disappoint one bit! The first thing you notice is their chemistry on stage, it really pulls you into their show and the music is an explosion of psych, rock, blues and big hooks – expect big things from these! 

The Bug Club – The Fixer 

An unbelievable garage band from South Wales who play a fast and furious live set of catchy, fuzzy punk songs. They have a big sound for a trio, with a lot going on. We’re really looking forward to seeing them play The Georgian Theatre stage this year!  

The K’s – Glass Towns

I’m finishing off the Mixtape with the ARC headliner and one of the biggest unsigned bands in the country right now, The K’s. They are selling out venues and playing the main festival stages in the UK and abroad. They absolutely own the stage when they play, with the songs to back it up. To top it off, they are a really nice bunch of lads to work with. You have to literally turn the leccy off to stop them playing, which is what I love about them and so do the fans! 


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