News: BRASS Festival 2024 – Announcement | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Durham Brass Festival is set to return on 5th-13th July. The event takes inspiration from the brass band heritage of Durham and celebrates brass music in all its forms. In recent years, the festival has had some top-notch contemporary headliners from UK and the rest of the world, including Richard Hawley, LYR and Fat Freddy’s Drop.

This year’s event promises a week of spectacular performances, new commissions, free concerts, community activities, and a full programme of lively street bands. Heading up the opening night of the event is critically acclaimed act Public Service Broadcasting, who will be performing their album Every Valley at Durham Cathedral.

Every Valley tells the story of the rise and fall of coal mining and was the band’s first Top 5 album in the UK and saw them joined by James Dean Bradfield, frontman of indie rock legends Manic Street Preachers.

For the performance, Public Service Broadcasting will be joined by another band with a strong mining heritage. The NASUWT Riverside Band, from County Durham former mining village Pelton Fell have appeared at previous Durham Brass Festivals, collaborating with Richard Hawley in 2022 having been part of the internationally renowned ‘Miners’ Hymn’ performances of 2010 and 2014.

J Willgoose Esq from Public Service Broadcast adds: “We are hoping that playing with a brass band in somewhere as amazing as Durham Cathedral will be really powerful, it’ll give it a power behind it we’ve never had before and we can put it in front of an audience that it means something to.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time in the North East because my Dad is from Fulwell in Sunderland. He moved to London in 1975 but my grandfather lived in Seaburn so we used to go up all the time and we’d go to Beamish a lot. I do wonder how much of an influence that had on wanting to do a record on coal mining. You never know what things are imprinting on your mind but it always feels very close to home even though it’s a long way from South London. I certainly knew all about the Miners’ Gala and the colliery bands and it always feels important to me to play in the North East.”

As well as Public Service Broadcasting, Welsh brass band competition veterans The Cory Band will also be appearing at this year’s festival. Ranked the world’s number one brass band from 2007 to 2023 and multiple-time competition champions at world, European and British level, they will be performing a set inspired by the legendary film King Kong, at Gala Theatre on Sunday 7th July.

This year’s Durham Brass Festival will also feature the return of the popular free outdoor events, Streets of Brass (Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July) and Party in the Park (Saturday 6 July).

Tickets and more information are available via the Durham Brass Festival website.

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