My Inspiration: No School Reunion – Stockton On Tees EP | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Everyone loves an anniversary, whether it be 3 years being Facebook friends, or 35 years since Norwich won the League Cup or 22 years since your first kiss, there are so many milestones that deserve to be acknowledged with a positive display of celebration and affection… Which is what Teesside rockers No School Reunion are doing as they celebrate 10 years of their “legendary” Stockton on Tees EP (and 25 years of playing together) with a fully remixed and remastered rerelease that has utilised all the new production technology that didn’t exist in the olden days. 

We asked guitarist Kev Ellison and frontman Phil Saunders to have a right auld reminisce about what inspired the EP…

Kev – Obviously this year has been difficult for all of us, especially those who are musicians or work in this industry. Without being able to get out and play music (with any of the bands I play in, or working as a DJ at Fang, The Rock Friday Night’s at Middlesbrough Empire) I felt like I needed a project to keep me going. So you might say Lockdown inspired me, or rather forced my hand to get this thing done. We had recorded this EP exactly 10 years ago and we’d released it ourselves. I’m really proud of the songs themselves but in recent years when I’d listened back to them I\d often felt that the mix I did, didn’t really do them justice, so thought this year of isolation was the perfect time to revisit these songs and remix them. Through lockdown I’d watched tonnes of YouTube and listened to a load of podcasts that have inspired me to get DIY and refine my techniques in the studio. I’d recommend checking out YouTube series from producers like Chris Lord Alge & Steve Albini who talk about their approach to mixing and also how to capture the spirit of the music. 

Phil –  It’s interesting looking back and thinking about what inspired us to write these songs, a decade ago. It was a time when it felt like the punk rock scene in Teesside was really strong. There was a wave of new East Cleveland punk bands like Lessons, Glass Avalanche and 4 Mile Drive to gig with, plus there was a hearty following for DIY punk promoters bringing the likes of The Living Daylights, The Arteries and Red City Radio to the North East. The inspiration for this clutch of songs were born from that time in our lives. As a mosher, Teesside had a myriad of places to play as a band, or just party and hear (what i consider) good music. So the track “Stockton On Tees” and the theme for the EP is a homage to that – it’s about loving living where you’re from, pure Teesside Pride. It’s very fashionable to hate where you’re from. How many songs have you heard that trash a hometown? Or talk about getting away from small town life. Ten years ago we had Uncle Alberts, The Georgian, The Empire, The Cornerhouse, Animals V Machines, Sumo, Bad Medicine, The Crown, Mixtape, The Green Room (i think!) and so many other cogs in the machine that was a burgeoning alt scene. The inspiration for these tracks was to make them the opposite of the ‘Move To The Big City’ mentality of our peers, and rewrite that narrative.

The EP is available now via Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.

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