MIXTAPE: Phil Davies, Downcast Base HQ | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

Image: Kylver by Adam Thirtle

Words: Phil Davies

I’m Phil Davies, owner and managing director of Downcast Studios (Gateshead) and Downcast Base HQ (Newcastle). Both sites are rehearsal studios and HQ is also where all of the recording takes place. I also set-up Van D’s tour company just before lockdown. Unfortunate timing! Van D’s has been closed throughout the pandemic but I am relaunching with two tours this month.

I’m also the drummer for NWOBHM band Mythra, an old school metal band from back in the late 70’s (before my time).

I’ve been non-stop over lockdown, taking steps to expand the Downcast site in Gateshead. I’ve wanted to open a diner for many years, but there never seemed to be the right time. During lockdown I made a huge personal decision to step away from recording over at HQ to fully focus and set up Bandito’s Kitchen, serving up breakfast, burgers, hot dogs, nachos, burritos with vegan options and on the day chef specials. Bandito’s Kitchen is housed within a 40ft high cube container sharing the Downcast reception and new fully licensed bar. The decks are always set up and they’re going to be spinning daily from 10am-11pm. I will be stocking different ranges of local breweries such as Alpha Delta, Brinkburn and Anarchy to name a few.

The site wouldn’t be complete without a stage. So I’m in the process of building Stage One, which will be situated in the car park. I’ve also built a second stage in the courtyard for smaller shows, DJ sets and parties. DownCast: The House That Rocks will initially be a 250 capacity for live events on a Friday and Saturday, but I will be looking to increase this to 450 for next summer.

I get so many great local bands using both Downcast sites and I can’t wait to start booking them for gigs, the talent is immense and it would be to hard to stick within one genre. You’ll see by my Mixtape tracks that the music vibes are always a mixed bag in the studio which is why I want this reflected on the stage.

This mixtape is of bands I’ve worked with or just like to play in the studio.

Kylver – The Great Storm of 1703

It’s such a good opener to what is a superb album. I know the lads in the band well so I hear all the influences in the album. It’s put together really well.

Horrified – The Perceiver

A great North East death metal band. I’ve been working with certain members on different projects for years now and had the pleasure of recording the album. It’s a genre I grew up in, and I have a huge love for early the death scene; it’s great to see 30 years on.

Alice in Chains – Nutshell

It’s such an amazing chilled out album and often on repeat. This song always just sorts my head out!

Opeth – Sorceress

Old Opeth (growly) or new Opeth? It doesn’t really matter, just get it in your ears!

Amon Acid – Monarch

If you like a bit of psychedelic doom check these guys out. This husband and wife duo based in Leeds definitely bring the heavy trippy vibes. They’ve recently released this on vinyl so get it bought.

Steel Pulse – Don’t Give In

This song and the album played a big part in the studio expansion to a bar and kitchen. I was playing this on repeat and realised I wanted a complete change. That’s the power of music right there!

Rick Fury – Tequila and Peroni

The ultimate North East party track by the South Shields rapper. This will be played a lot once the bar opens and we get a few hip-hop gigs on.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout