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Image: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs by Nick Wesson

Julian Ive, Joel Thomson and Mick Rolfe are the management and promotions team behind Newcastle’s arguably most-loved venue, the recently independent Cluny and Cluny 2, which celebrates 15 years as a full time venue this month. A series of gigs are planned, the highlights of which being our cover stars The Cornshed Sisters (Wednesday 1st November), Richard Dawson and Michael Chapman (Saturday 4th November) and Field Music, Warm Digits and Barry Hyde (Sunday 5th November). Here, the team pick some of their favourite tracks.


Words: Joel Thomson
New York Dolls – Personality Crisis
The New York Dolls played a three night residency at The Cluny during their time recording at Blank Studios. Getting to see a band I’d been a huge fan of since my early teenage years really was something special. David Johansen shouting “TONIGHT, WE ARE THE NEWCASTLE DOLLS!” still brings a huge smile to my face.  

Arab Strap – Cherubs
I was a bit too young to see Arab Strap live the first time round. Having the chance to promote their first gig in over 11 years was incredible and the sort of thing that I got into music promotion for. It was quite hard to choose one song from their 22 song set but this one sticks in my mind quite clearly. It may very well have been the first time they had ever performed it live.

PIGS x7 – Sweet Relief
My favourite Newcastle-based band of recent years, and the perfect Friday night band for our 15th anniversary celebrations! Their last gig here was booked at less than 24 hours’ notice and sold out. It also gave our new PA a thorough work out, in a very good way.


Il Sogno Del Marinaio – Partisan Song
I don’t know what else to say other than MIKE WATT! Founding member of the Minutemen and firehose, bass player with Iggy & The Stooges, and the nicest, most gracious musician I have ever worked with. He also said on his blog that I had “balls like church bells” because I was wearing a t-shirt outside in October. I got the impression that the climate in San Pedro is quite different to that of Newcastle. 


Words: Julian Ive
White Denim – Shake, Shake, Shake
The start of my love affair with this band. They played The Cluny with about 50 people in on a Sunday night; one hour later, with the merest of pauses midway through their set, I couldn’t believe what I’d seen. It was wild and amazing and I must have seen them a dozen times since.

Lethal Bizzle – Bizzle, Bizzle
Absolutely crackers gig, we’d just had the new Turbosound PA put in and the bins were on the floor. The crowd went totally bananas when this came on and the floorboards, which were a bit thin at the time, started wobbling like fuck. I spent the rest of the show half loving it and half shitting myself as I was certain the floor was going to cave in.

Black Lips – Family Tree
I literally spent years trying to book them and finally got them on a Thursday night in October. We got 150 in and lost £700 but it didn’t matter, they were absolutely mint and worth every penny.


Words: Mick Rolfe
Thee Oh Sees – Encrypted Bounce
I don’t think I’d even heard of them, and wasn’t really that big a fan of the whole retro/garage type thing at the time, but Julian insisted I came down and would love them and the bastard was right!

Thurston Moore – Speak To The Wild
After being thoroughly let down by Sonic Youth at Glastonbury many years ago, I wasn’t expecting much from this gig but it turned out to be amazing from start to finish! This song was a highlight and is basically just a massive Neil Young rip off. Which is fine by me! 

Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkeybirds – I Don’t Like
Former Bad Seed, former Cramp, former Gun Clubber and living legend! Every time he plays he’s phenomenal and is also an absolute gentleman. He also just happens to be returning on Thursday 7th December. Tickets available now! 😉 


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