Woods: With Light and With Love

Woodsist
Released 15 April 2014
Available now on iTunes

withlightandwithloveThe seventh album from Woods, a band whose name only reinforces their obscurity, is titled With Light and With Love. Obviously, it is that not hard to guess the theme for this one. Usually, I enjoy obscure music. I know that not everyone does, but even with just one half-listen to this it will slowly sneak up on you, and you should definitely let it.

Continue reading

Posted in Music, Recordings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Motherland

Vincent Dance Theatre
Dance City, Newcastle
5 April 2014

motherlandVincent Dance Theatre was founded in 1994 by Charlotte Vincent in order to produce ‘powerful and engaging dance theatre work’. In Motherland, a show exploring the representation of the female gender, that’s exactly what she has done.

Continue reading

Posted in Dance, Stage | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Johnny Flynn & The Sussex Wit – Live @ The Cluny

The Cluny, Newcastle
11 April 2014
http://www.johnny-flynn.com

Johnny Flynn 2014 UK Tour PhotoAs somebody who was a big fan of the nu-folk scene that emerged with the likes of Noah and the Whale, Emmy the Great, Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn, it is perhaps surprising that I’d never seen Johnny Flynn live. However, I had the good fortune to be home from university when he was playing in Newcastle on 11 April as part of the UK tour of his fourth album, Country Mile, released in September last year.

Continue reading

Posted in Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Final overview of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014

Gateshead International Jazz Festival
4-6 April 2014

210x150.fitandcropWhilst Gateshead’s 10th International Jazz Festival was always bound to be an unmissable event, with names as big as Courtney Pine and Esperanza Spalding studding the line-up, I’ll admit it wasn’t something that would conventionally appear on my radar. As a seventeen year old girl, I’ve always seen jazz as something quite alienating, a laudable pursuit but not quite my cup of tea: it was the warmth of the Festival’s inclusive spirit which helped to thaw these preconceptions and rethink my approach to jazz music in general.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Polar Bear and Shiver, as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival

Polar Bear + Shiver
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014
Sunday 6 April

LIVE REVIEW: AMBER EFSTATHIOU

590x372-3.fitandcropWith two days of Gateshead International Jazz Festival already over, there was pressure on the musicians performing on the third to bring the festival to a magnificent close. The first two acts to make their attempts at fulfilling this responsibility were Polar Bear and Shiver in a tremendous double bill, taking place in Hall 2 of the Sage at 2pm. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Jean Toussaint Quartet and McCormack and Yarde duo with the Elysian String Quartet

Jean Toussaint Quartet and McCormack and Yarde duo with the Elysian String Quartet
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014
Saturday 5 April

590x372-4.fitandcropThis afternoon’s double bill opened with the collaboration of the McCormack and Yarde duo and the Elysian String Quartet. The staccato sound of the string instruments created by the musicians combining sharp plucking with tentative bowing, contrasted with the fluidity of Yarde’s alto and soprano saxophone and McCormack’s piano, creating an unexpectedly beautiful resonance within the small hall. The canon style crescendos, layering the different instruments consecutively, was intriguingly unsettling. The musicians matched the quivering of their instruments perfectly, in split second timing with one another, despite it being the first live performance of many of the compositions for the viola player.  The duo and quartet went together seamlessly, even improvising a piece spontaneously based solely on audience suggestions, including its witty title: ‘Pasties’. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Spring Quartet as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival

The Spring Quartet (supported by Marius Neset and Daniel Herskedal)
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014
Saturday 5 April

590x372-2.fitandcropWith names as lofty as Jack DeJohnette and Esperanza Spalding gracing the bill for the second night of the Festival, seats were packed for an evening of world-class performances. Despite the hype surrounding The Spring Quartet’s first-ever UK gig, the icing on top of the cake was supplied generously by the opening act: the unconventional duo of saxophonist Marius Neset and tuba player Daniel Herskedal. Using only two instruments, the Norwegian double act enchanted the audience with their hypnotic renditions of Scandinavian folk tunes, with Herskedal acommpanying the woody and sultry tones of Neset’s tenor sax with stuttering percussion. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

GoGo Penguin as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival

GoGo Penguin
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival
Saturday 5 April 2014

590x372-1.fitandcropOn the afternoon of Saturday 5 April, GoGo Penguin entranced the audience that occupied the Sage’s Northern Rock Foundation Hall as part of the Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014. Transformed into a sophisticated jazz café, lit with hues of red and orange, the setting reflected the bewitching ambience of GoGo Penguin’s performance. Continue reading

Posted in Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Django Bates, Joakim Milder and the Norrbotten Big band as part of GIJF 2014

Django Bates, Joakim Milder and the Norrbotten Big Band
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival
4 April 2014

590x372.fitandcropAs more of a Paddy McAloon fan than an expert in Swedish jazz, I was initially bewildered by the prospect of Joakim Milder’s take on Prefab Sprout classics. But as singer Wendy Smith opened Gateshead’s 10th International Jazz Festival with McAloon’s blessing, I warmed to the idea.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014

The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra: In the Spirit of Duke
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival
6 April 2014

590x372-2.fitandcrop

In a fitting end to a sensational festival, tribute was paid to the Duke of Jazz himself, Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn.  The concert opened with an intimate set from husband and wife duo, Charlie Wood and Jacqui Dankworth.  The audience were immediately transported into the ‘Spirit of Duke’ with their first number, ‘Don’t get around much anymore’.  Dankworth’s vocals seemed effortless and her rich tone perfectly complimented Wood’s smooth tenor.  The couple showed accomplished scatting with Wood even imitating a bass.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Youth Jazz Afternoon as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014

Youth Jazz Afternoon: Jazz North Introduces Stretch Trio followed by Jambone with Rick Taylor
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival
6 April 2014

590x372-1.fitandcrop

The atmosphere was relaxed with people sipping drinks around tables in the Jazz Lounge as they waited for the sell-out performance to begin.  First to perform were ‘The Stretch Trio’, featuring Andy French (saxophone), Tom Higham (drums) and Calvin Travers (guitar).

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Howler – Live @ The Cluny

The Cluny, Newcastle
1 April 2014
Tour dates

packshotHowler have a lot resting on their shoulders, not only because of the success of debut album Give Up America, but also for being NME’s third best band in 2011. This Minneapolis four-piece may have roots in Minnesota, but their music sounds like part of the East Coast punk rock scene; along with bands like The Strokes, it’s their guitar riffs that give the band a beachy, sunny California vibe. Give Up America, and their latest album, World Of Joy, both show the band’s love for 1960s garage rock. However, both albums have their own sound, in different ways.

Continue reading

Posted in Live music, Music | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

School Of Language – Live @ The Cluny

The Cluny, Newcastle
7 April 2014
Tour dates

school_of_language_2014-500x305You wouldn’t think Monday’s Cluny gig was the first School Of Language had done since September 2008, given the form Dave Brewis held throughout. I had hoped the entire gig would have been performed in the Mario-esque boiler suits with matching School Of Language caps they wore during sound check, however, Brewis returns to the stage dressed as his trendy self.

Continue reading

Posted in Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Incognito

Live Theatre, Newcastle
22 April – 3 May 2014
Writer: Nick Payne
Director: Joe Murphy
Cast: Alison O’Donnell, Paul Hickey, Amelia Lowdell and Sargon Yelda
Suitability 16+ Book Tickets

Incognito is a dark comedy/drama created by Nick Payne and directed by Joe Murphy. The play is a portmanteau narrative, connecting three stories together – through different time zones from 1953 to the present. Incognito stars Alison O’Donnell, Paul Hickey, Amelia Lowdell and Sargon Yelda.

Continue reading

Posted in Stage, Theatre | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Space F!ght as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014

Space F!ght
Sage Gateshead
Gateshead International Jazz Festival
5 April 2014

590x372.fitandcrop

Dubbed as a concoction of visuals, electronic and live music, Space F!ght was an incredible spectacle that really has to be seen to be believed.

A darkened room played host to the various artists: James Mainwaring on saxophone, Tom Adams playing guitar and electronics produced by Radek Rudnicki, all improvised over the 3D projection provided by Jakub Hader. Candle-lit tables gave a moody, romantic atmosphere to the place, as well as mapping a star-lit sky effect on the room, helping to add to the overall experience. The performers never spoke, but rather let their audio-visual experience speak for them.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Alan Law Trio as part of Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014

Late Night Club
The Alan Law Trio
The Jazz Café – Newcastle
Gateshead International Jazz Festival
4 April 2014

13-JazzCP0689SNestled in the backstreets of Newcastle’s city centre, the Jazz Café played host to the Alan Law Trio (ALT) on Friday, for a night of smooth and rather infectious jazz.

ALT consists of Alan Law on piano, John Pope playing the double bass and Jonathan Marriot providing the drums. They played a selection of quirky and jaunty melodies which sounded simultaneously fresh and timeless, creating a mellow, chilled-out vibe. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Erin Lange Author Event

Seven Stories, Newcastle
2 April 2014

erinlange

By reading, I was someday learning how to write.

Erin Lange, Erin Jade Lange, EJ, Monkey, or a few other names that are lost in my short memory, has three small scars on each knee from an operation on dislocated kneecaps. That’s not all: she has a giant leg scar from nobody telling her you don’t press down when you shave, a moon-shaped scar on her arm that came from being a Subway Sandwich Artist, a scar on her head after it was stapled back together, and a toe scar from falling down an escalator in Chicago. However, Erin Lange’s biggest scar is one that none of us could see: the scar of ‘stupid’, the scar from age thirteen which still hasn’t faded.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Events, Fiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Never Forget

Live Theatre, Newcastle
5-6 April 2014
Writer: Lee Mattinson
Director: Rosie Kellagher
Cast: Chris Connel and Adam Donaldson

Never Forget resized for websiteExploring the story of a woman who suffered third-degree burns on 80% of her body during a fire in her own home, Never Forget is a Take That tainted tale of loss, rejection and love.

Although the concept was good – a married couple losing the spark after the wife is irreversibly changed through what they call her ‘accident’ – the undertaking was something I personally did not enjoy. Fuelled solely by sex jokes and inappropriate exploration of gender, I found parts of it nothing less than offensive.

Continue reading

Posted in Stage, Theatre | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Wall by William Sutcliffe

Bloomsbury Publishing
Released on 8 May 2014
Preorder now on Amazon

9781408838433In his first novel for young adults, international bestseller William Sutcliffe powerfully depicts the realities of life on the West Bank through the emotive coming-of-age story of thirteen-year-old Joshua. The book is set in the city of Amarias, where the physical divide of the wall and the cultural divide of the communities separate the two peoples. Whilst Sutcliffe never explicitly refers to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is clear that the novel is inspired by this real life situation.

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Fiction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gateshead International Jazz Festival 2014 Review #3

Gateshead International Jazz Festival
4-6 April 2014

northernmonkeybrassband

The Gateshead International Jazz Festival celebrated its 10th birthday in a spectacular weekend of music for all ages. With events ranging from ‘GoGo Penguin’ to the audio-visual ‘Space F!ght’ and the acclaimed ‘Courtney Pine – House of Legends’, it promised to be a fantastic festival, and it did not disappoint.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Live music, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment