Scene: Ten Eighty Trees | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle’s full-on rock ‘n’ roll outfit, Ten Eighty Trees, drop their latest single, Wear Me Down, which is taken from their upcoming EP. The track, with its moody, grunge-tinged verses and massive, soaring choruses, talks about the burnout that toxic perfectionism can cause and the trend of working yourself into the ground. It also comes complete with a Bob Ross-inspired music video that is definitely worth checking out (see below).

Here, the band give us a bit more insight into the Newcastle rock scene…

I’ll quite often wax lyrical about Newcastle’s rock scene to anyone who’ll lend me an ear, but it’s not without good reason. It should be no secret to readers of NARC. Magazine that rock music has never been so plentiful, forward-thinking and diverse as it is in 2022 on Tyneside. It seems you just can’t get moved at the minute for great underground talent. As an example, we played a sold out show at Newcastle Bobiks at the beginning of October on the same night that dayglo indie rockers Club Paradise and bratpoppers Zela were also playing to packed-out rooms in the city. Quite literally spoilt for choice. 

I’ve always felt that you have to graft that little bit harder in this business being from the North-East. It might be because we’re tucked away in the corner of the country or that until more recently we haven’t had anyone to really put us on the map. But it feels like cracks are emerging in the barriers that have held the region’s rock scene back in the past and we’re long overdue some exposure on a more national scale, some of whom are already experiencing it.

This is in no small part down to the fact that everyone seems to have started singing from the same hymn in the past few years. There’s still competition but it feels healthy in that there’s a great appreciation for what other creatives are doing in the rock scene, recognising that when one succeeds we all succeed. It’s inspiring seeing someone from your area thriving in the same field as yourself and at the moment we aren’t shy of a few of these trailblazers 

With that said I’d like to shine a spotlight on a number of creatives who help make the rock scene, in my eyes, one of the most thriving in the UK right now. 

George Collings – In Heart Studios 
If I was to pick one person who is helping to mold the sound of North East guitar music right now I’d pick George from In Heart Studios. He’ll probably hate me for bigging him up in this way as he’s a canny understated guy but his work speaks for itself. As well as doing mixing for international rock acts, he has also produced records for some of the best local bands on the scene right now including Hometruths, Rituals, Headcage, Kidpunk and Motherland, many having had their tunes played on Radio 1 and other national radio stations. 

When you work with George you aren’t just hiring someone to mic you up and hit record. It’s so much more than that. He has a wealth of experience working in the wider genre of rock, respecting what has come before but also knowing what is needed to push boundaries and expectations to keep things sounding fresh. He brings unconventional ideas to the table that you mightn’t have otherwise considered and really pushes you to your limits to ensure the end product is the best it can possibly be. 

It makes for a real experience and there is no one I trust more with Ten Eighty Trees’ music. Will also drive you to Blaydon Precinct for a Greggs if he’s in a really good mood. 

Ant has been on the scene for a number of years now working for various organisations but he’s recently struck out on his own going from strength to strength under the banner of Shingigs. The mastermind behind the hugely successful A Stones Throw Festival last May, Ant has been cultivating a small but incredibly vibrant scene around the Bobiks music venue in Jesmond. It’s almost become a right of passage for guitar bands to play the former ballroom in recent times and that’s in no small part down to Ant’s bookings and hospitality from the whole Shingigs team. 

Whilst still relatively new to the gigging circuit, Shingigs has already established itself as an event organisation bands can trust, ambition, open to conversation and easy to work with as they continue to book exciting shows at Bobiks and beyond. Really excited to see what Shingigs have in store 2023. 

Isaac Johnson – Behind The Eyez 
As the saying goes, content is king, and the same is the case when trying to expand your online fanbase as a band. Lucky for us, we have Isaac Johnson aka Behind the Eyez on the case. Fiercely efficient and outrageously fun to work with, Isaac has firmly set out his stall as one the best gig photographers/videographers in the North East. And the best part? He loves a tasty riff! Which is good news for the Newcastle rock scene as a whole. No moshpit is too big or stage too small for Isaac to navigate, getting amongst all the action to ensure all the energy of the rock show is absorbed by his camera lens.

What’s more is that he shoots a mean music video as well. Look no further than his recent output for Headcage, noyou and the most recent Ten Eighty Trees video for the new single, Wear Me Down, as evidence. 

Isaac is a true asset to the region’s rock scene with his photography and footage helping us communicate ourselves to the wider world through his dynamic up close and personable approach. 

Little Buildings, Newcastle 
Every great scene needs somewhere bands can hang out and play and if New York had the CBGB and Berkeley has 924 Gilman Street, then in my eyes Newcastle’s answer to this kind of grassroots music hub is the Ouseburn’s Little Buildings. The venue itself is gloriously intimate to the point where you still feel part of the action when stood at the back having mistimed your final can of Anarchy Brewary’s X-Ray Eyes in their warm and welcoming upstairs bar. You’re guaranteed to bump into someone who’s either in a band or looking to start one and it’s always great to catch up with the other musicians who frequent the place on a regular basis. 

We’ve caught some insane bands playing the venue such as Pave The Jungle, Sick Joy and Shallow and are now hotely anticipating our own stab at headlining the famous stage next 4th February, as part of Independent venue week.

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