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

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Tony Eastlake is a music promoter (and music obsessive) from Northumberland, whose love of everything from Two Tone to Nick Cave sees him seeking out the best the region has to offer. He’s programmed this year’s Coquetfest (“my big personal party where I get to book all the bands I love to drink with and watch”), taking place at Druridge Bay Country Park from Friday 4th until Sunday 6th September, featuring a few of his very favourite people.

Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

Of course I did, all the time. This song was for every teenager. Winfield cassette tapes from Woolworths introduced me to Genesis’ Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and Wings’ Band On The Run back in 1974, but punk got me in my teens and gave me a grounding that I have never got over.

Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen

Reminds me of lying on my back on a sun soaked school field, wondering how to get out of cross country.

Ian Dury And The Blockheads – Wake Up And Make Love With Me

Really? On my radio? With adults listening? Blimey.

Elvis Costello – (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes

So I went and dyed mine and got a jacket out of my dad’s wardrobe…instant punk. Top of the Pops introduced me to so much as a youngster – there was a bit of disco as well, Heatwave’s Boogie Nights started a love of cheesy funk.

Specials – Too Much Too Young

I loved the live recording of this great band. A girl arrived from London with a Madness single, the Specials were on the radio and my second hand suits fitted the image. Us smart punks became rude boys.

Dexys Midnight Runners – Tell Me When My Light Turns Green

Dexys brought out Searching For The Young Soul Rebels, a record that I would wear out three times, with the magical stomper Tell Me When Your Light Turns Green. I still get goosebumps when I listen to it now. Live, they’re a lesson in well-rehearsed excitement-inducing soul revue.

The Slits – I Heard It Through The Gravepine

Somewhere in that timeframe was John Peel, playing the first records by everyone from ZZ Top to Devo, leaving me with a taste for the eclectic and varied. My first soul record was I Heard It Through The Grapevine, but by the Slits, later I heard Smokey Robinson and I think of this when I hear young folk enthusing about versions by their favourite artiste; it’s best not to be snobby about these things.

The Birthday Party – Release The Bats

When punk turned to pop, The Birthday Party carried the flag for me. I still play Junkyard on vinyl, reliving a gig in Edinburgh in 1983. Nick Cave releases are always looked for; the recent Sage Gateshead gig was a tear-jerking classic. No one can write a love song or a funeral song like Nick. What a breadth of talent.

Petrol Terriers – Exeter

I’m always on the lookout for new bands, nothing beats seeing a band play a song live for what may be the first time in a thousand if they are lucky enough to get signed. Tyneside-based Petrol Terriers are an explosion of energy led by the irrepressible Ryan. Live…it’s like…Jeeeeze. Listen to Exeter, it’s a song-writing lesson, and a great band in action.

Bombskare – A Fistful of Dynamite

A band so full of music obsessives and film nerds, every song has a reference and a back story, but the attention to detail is matched by the absolute challenge to get the audience up to dance at all costs. My fall-back position for a dreary day, they’re just so skilled in the art of exuding fun and happiness. They kind of take me back to watching Joe Jackson’s Jumping Jive but maybe with Madness as the backing band. Someone out there will know what I mean.

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