News: Paul Smith @ Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland (livestream) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The historic Northumberland Miners’ Picnic is the oldest and largest gathering of its type in the UK. It was originally held to celebrate the mining industry in the county and has taken place in the county every year since 1864, except during the first and second world wars, the general strikes of 1921, 1926 and 1984, the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001, and last year’s global coronavirus pandemic.

As Covid-19 restrictions mean that the Woodhorn Museum will be unable to host the event in its traditional form this year and so will be broadcasting a solo performance from Maxïmo Park frontman Paul Smith, who will be performing original songs alongside traditional and contemporary songs connected to the North East’s coal mining heritage. 

The event will be a unique and profound experience according to chief executive of Museums Northumberland (the public name for Woodhorn Charitable Trust), Rowan Brown,. “This intimate and special performance from one of the region’s most talented songwriters and musicians will allow audiences to experience Northumberland’s rich mining history through song.

What’s particularly poignant is that Paul will be performing by himself in our museum site, which is currently closed to members of the public. We hope his performance provides a moment of reflection for our mining heritage, the challenges we’ve experienced together in this past year, and the unique and special ways people have remained connected during the pandemic.”

Paul Smith, lead singer of Maxïmo Park, adds… “It’s a real honour to be asked to play the Northumberland Miners’ Picnic, especially as a proud North-Easterner.

The event celebrates an idea of community, which I feel is just as important as ever. Also, the songs I write are about people and place, so hopefully they’ll integrate well with the mining songs I’ve selected. Although I’ve largely been unable to perform over the past year, music has remained a personal source of solace throughout the pandemic, so this concert will provide me with a chance to share that enjoyment again.”

The performance takes place on Saturday 12th June at 8pm. To watch, visit the Woodthorn Museum Facebook Page.

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