MY YEAR: Crossover Covers | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Reliably informed

Words: Jordan Davidson, Spotlight

Nobody could have predicted the topsy turvy (to put it lightly) year we’d be in for, but one thing that I’ve been inspired by was the way that the music scene in the North East has rolled with the punches and adapted along the way.

Very quickly we witnessed a shift in the zeitgeist that was born from our region’s many creatives being, well, creative and using the power of social media and DIY style live music streams to reach their followers.

This refusal to be silenced was one of the inspirations behind myself and Ben from Unison Music & Events wanting to make the UK’s first Covid-19 lockdown a chance for collaboration and shared love for our music scene.

We decided to launch a video series that would encourage local musicians to cover one another’s tracks, encouraging them to communicate with and support each other as well as gain new followers at the same time.

Some went above and beyond, such as Holly Rees and her band who made a quirky well produced music video for their cover of Swine Tax’s track I’d Like, and Thomas Dixon who made a hauntingly passionate saxophone solo of Before The Fall by Ten Eighty Trees.

Once we realised we were onto something that people were really excited about, myself and Ben decided the next step would be to turn the project into a charity campaign, settling on the North East based Crossings Community Group, who provide a safe space for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to come together, practice music and express themselves creatively alongside local musicians and the community. The important work they do has, like many other charitable organisations, been under threat by challenges such as seeking appropriate venue spaces to practice as well as lack of funding and awareness, not to mention the Covid-19 lockdown.

Collecting together 15 of the 29 cover tracks that were made as part of the project, we set about making a compilation album which is available on Bandcamp with a suggested donation of £5, with all of the proceeds going to Crossings Community Group.

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