NEWS: Gemma Ray @ Cobalt Studios | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Gemma Ray by Alessandra Leimer

A couple of musical mavericks make Newcastle’s Cobalt their home on Sunday 3rd March, as venerable promoter Prancey Dog brings evocative songwriter Gemma Ray and oddball instrument inventor Thomas Truax to the Ouseburn Valley for what promises to be a really special show.

Berlin-based, Essex-born Gemma Ray’s ambitious new album, Psychogeology, posits an altogether more varied ‘rock’ sound; while her musical approach is light of touch – replete with Morricone-esque guitar twangs on the album’s title track, and 60s girl group-style harmonies on the shimmering Blossom Crawls – you also wouldn’t be surprised to find off-kilter melody peppered with flamenco, Beatles-inspired rock, or Billie Holiday-style torch songs. Psychogeology takes its title literally, with songs inspired by the places she’s toured – from the immense deserts of the US to the carved mountains of New Zealand; as she explains, it’s “an ode to the majesty of landscape, the enormity of nature and time, and the inevitability of every human life eventually forming a minuscule part of further landscapes”.

Gemma Ray will have much to discuss with the perennially touring Thomas Truax, who hefts his homemade instruments across the world, creating sublime and unexpected soundscapes whilst managing to be one of the most surreal and entertaining performers around.


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