Preview: HARK! The Sound of Stories @ The Hullabaloo Theatre, Darlington | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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After a successful launch event in 2019 at Crown Street Library, followed by two pandemic induced online events in 2020 and 2021, HARK!, a celebration of music inspired by writing, returns.

Brought to us my Darlington music collective Tracks and taking place in the new home of The Hullabaloo Theatre (whilst Crown Street Library gets a refurbishment) on Friday 15th July, the event will feature performances from artists who are making music based on stories they’ve overheard, imagined, researched, inherited and written. 

On the bill are Northern England/Ireland music collective Nel Unlit whose debut album Wake For The Dreaming was a concept album based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels and follow up, Ephemera; or, Tosh and the girl (released earlier this year) draws on a mix of overheard stories, painful family memories and overactive imaginations. Joining them is the North-East’s premier Black spoken word artist Radikal Queen, an initiate within an African Indigenous lineage of those who use mystical story as medicine to the masses — often known as “Griot” in the west, and “The Alan Bennett of Hip Hop” AKA barely rap/electropop purveyor, Faithful Johannes.

And as if that wasn’t enough storytelling goodness, there will be some additional reading from the charming Bob Fischer, a Teesside writer specialising in the stranger corners of British popular culture, who writes for Fortean Times, Electronic Sound and Doctor Who Magazine.

Lyrics, readings, and more information about the musicians will be available for audience members to read in a specially printed programme booklet and, in the absence of a library, the bookish atmosphere will be provided by HEAD Bookshop (Post House Wynd), who will be bringing a selection of books and music connected to the show. 

Curator and host, local writer and musician Francoise Harvey, adds…

‘Much as I enjoyed working with Tracks to bring HARK! to audiences online during the past two years, I am so excited to be working with them now to bring it back to a live audience. There is something about the mixture of stories and music that creates an extraordinary and unique atmosphere, in the same way that the rhythm of great writing and stories inspires memorable music. It always feels like a gift to be able to bring my two loves of music and stories together, and I’m particularly proud of this line-up – the inspirations behind the music, the way the musicians work with their own writing using oral history, character studies and imagination to create their work, and the originality of the music that creates means we’re bringing something truly special to Darlington.’

Tickets are £10 and available here.

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