Sunday, 30 June 2013

Live Review: Static Soul EP Launch at Warehouse 34, Hoult’s Yard 29/06/2013

Getting the happy on at Warehouse 34

Local electro-pop crew Static Soul launched their new EP entitled “C8H11NO2”  (that’s dopamine. The brain’s “happy chemical”). There was plenty of dopamine sloshing around the brains of the occupants of warehouse 34 last night.

First on stage were Hati – the rebranded Hatti Murdoch band, showing every sign of a move towards an edgier, darker electronic style, but with Hattie’s bluesy rock vocals keeping it all real. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Hati and hearing the new music.

Next up were the, frankly bonkers, Big Beat Bronson. With a massive sound and an approach to stagecraft channelling the Beastie Boys, Black Eyed Peas and Gwar. They were excellent.
Static Soul claimed the stage with a style familiar to all their fans, they do live pop music so well. Singer Jane has an outstanding voice that can carry a song to a much higher level than your average X-factor finalist. Jaimie on second vocals has a producing talent that, along with Jane’s vocals and a great live band creates a great pop package that works live and as a recording. The room was bouncing by the end of the gig and a few fans joined the band on stage for some cutting of rug.

All photos ©Jowheretogo Photography

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Theatre Review: "Tyne" At Live Theatre

Created and edited by Michael Chaplin with contributions from Sid Chaplin, Tom Hadaway, Alan Plater and Julia Darling.
Directed by Max Roberts.      Musical Director: Kathryn Tickell
Live Theatre – until 20th July 2013.


Live Theatre reaches 40 and still continues to produce new theatre which both entertains and makes one think. This production has two parallel themes: the Tyne and family life.


The stories about life on the Tyne capture the spirit of the region and its identity. They cover the coal, shipbuilding and other manufacturing industries. Without getting party political the rise, fall and rebirth of the black river are traced. There is nod to the area's immigrants and the food that they brought with them. Stories of the people who worked on the Tyne are intertwined with short scenes written by Sid Chaplin, Tom Hadaway, Alan Plater and Julia Darling. These apparent detours add to rather than detract from the thrust of the production which flows well under the direction of Max Roberts. Live music is played by 4 talented multi-instrumentalists who also perform the roles of over 30 supporting characters.


The story of family is not unique to the region and will resonate with all audiences. No family is ideal and they all have their own stories to tell, and they have the stories that they’d rather keep quiet about. The show starts on the banks of the Tyne at a former ferry jetty. We have brother and sister Kate (Victoria Elliott) and Mark (Paul Dodds) who are mourning the death of their father Ralph (George Irving). The distance between siblings has led to a difference of opinion about the role of their father in their life.  As their family story is revealed there is resonance with our own imperfect family lives.


The set is well designed and featured sensible use of projections to complement the story. The music by the likes of Kathryn Tickell, Jimmy Nail and Sting add further local flavour.


Tonight the audience listened, laughed, empathised and then applauded enthusiastically. This production will go from strength to strength on its run until the 20th June.



Words: Steve Oliver



Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Review: Burning Condors with "Dirty Girl Blues"

 Burning Condors "Dirty Girl Blues"

London art punk four piece Burning Condors' return with a new single ‘Dirty Girl Blues’, released on 15th July 2013 through Snakehand Records. The b-side is the twisted Beach Boys inspired ‘What Your Mama Said’.


So what do I think of it? Mucky. That's the word. The production is reminiscent of a pub in Hull circa 1987 (I know, I was there). Mucky, but in a pleasant way. I was drawn into a world of permissiveness, not a great thing to happen when you're at your desk, but the slide guitar, the muddy bass, and the pleading vocals can do that to an old girl. I love it. It's naughty. And I can't wait until the Condors make their way up north again.
"Your Mama Said" is great fun, a rollercoaster of rock and roll, with a hint of the Rocky Horror at its filthiest. If these boys clean up their music it's all over.
Burning Condors’ debut album ‘Round Our Way’ is due to be released in September 2013.  ‘Round Our Way’ was recorded at Stainless Sound Studios, Nashville and features a guest performance from Dave Roe, double bassist for Johnny Cash’s band Tennessee Three.
The cover art for ‘Dirty Girl Blues’ was produced by Danny O’Connor (aka DOC) who has exhibited alongside some of the world’s leading urban artists including Banksy and Adam Neate. DOC often leaves paintings on the street for people to discover and take home.
Burning Condors will play three UK shows in July, Old Brown Jug (Newcastle-under-Lyme) on 24th,  Milo (Leeds) on 25th and Buffalo Bar (London) on the 27th.
Hopefully they'll be up north  again soon, if I keep asking.

Thursday, 20 June 2013




Following a £5.1m restoration in 2011, Newcastle Theatre Royal is further adding to the experience offered with a new permanent exhibition entitled The Story of Theatre, opening Wednesday 26 June at 9am.


The Story of Theatre is a permanent exhibition area and learning space in the Gallery Foyer level at the Theatre Royal Newcastle, illustrating the history of Theatre from its origins in Ancient Greece through to the present day.


Designed by David Hudson, Interior & Exhibitions Designer, it includes costumes from the Victoria & Albert Museum Theatre & Performance Collection – seen for the first time outside of London - and Theatre Royal’s vast collection of memorabilia alongside a large array of other artefacts. The gallery will become a focal point for theatre tours, providing a stimulating historic and cultural context for information about the present day theatre. Last year over 100 tours were given to over 2,000 people.


Theatre tours are overseen by members of the Theatre Royal Learning team and delivery is greatly assisted by a large team of volunteers, who are very knowledgeable about the history and current workings of the theatre. The Story of Theatre will provide a new learning resource adding richness to the existing tour experience, encouraging greater thought about the world of theatre and adding a meaningful participatory element to the visit.


The exhibition is not only open for tours but will be accessible to the general public who will be welcomed free of charge throughout the day and evening to view the incredible artefacts on display. Highlights of the exhibition include a Dame Alicia Markova tutu and headdress from the 1930s, Royal Shakespeare Company costumes and a scale wooden model of Newcastle quayside, the site of medieval plays, complete with figures and stages along the banks of the river.


The principal funder is the Heritage Lottery Fund and the project involves an innovative partnership between the Theatre Royal Newcastle and the Theatre Collections Department at the world renowned V&A in London, as well as Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, James Knott Trust and Vindolanda Roman Museum.


The Story of Theatre opens at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Wednesday 26 June. The exhibition is free and accessible to the public during opening hours.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Live Review: Tubular Bells For Two at the Tyne Theatre 18th June 2013

Tubular Bells for Two
Newcastle Tyne Theatre 18/6/2013


As the classic Mike Oldfield work “Tubular Bells” reaches its 40th anniversary, 2 incredibly talented Australian musicians embark on a tour of the UK, performing the work to 44 venues before appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe. 


Aidan Roberts and Daniel Holdsworth are two very gifted musicians who have the virtuosity to tackle a piece of music that took over 30 musicians to perform back in 1973. The stage is packed with many instruments when the two gladiators enter ready to captivate another audience.


The piece starts with the familiar refrain from “The Exorcist”. It is clear from the off that both musicians are passionate about the work. They have tried to recreate the sound and it takes a combination of talent and bravery as they race across the stage, instrument in hand, in order to be in place to change instrument. The first half of the show builds up with gusto to a crescendo with the tubular bells themselves ringing out.


The show starts to rock out in the second half with tremendous energy.  There is never a dull moment throughout the performance and the enthusiastic audience are treated to an encore and the news that the musicians will be available after the show and they are making free downloads of their own music available.


Tubular Bells for Two is an entertaining and animated performance that  reflects the skill and spirit of its two perfomers. Aidan and Daniel – you were amazing!
You can follow these guys on twitter: @tubularbells42 and look out for them releasing their own material soon.


The show continues around the country in 2013: Check out the trailer on YouTube.



WED 19, 7.30PM  YORK, Grand Opera House

THU 20, 7.30PM  BRADFORD, St George’s Hall

FRI 21, 7.30PM  LEEDS, The Venue

SUN 23, 7.30PM  BLACKPOOL, The Grand Theatre

TUE 25, 9.30PM  LONDON, Wonderground

WED 26, 7.30PM  HASTINGS, White Rock Theatre

THU 27, 8PM  PORTSMOUTH, Kings Theatre

FRI 28, 7.45PM  BARNSTAPLE, Queen’s Theatre



TUE 2, 7.30PM  TRURO, Hall for Cornwall

WED 3, 7.30PM  TORQUAY, Princess Theatre

FRI 5, 8PM  NORWICH, Playhouse

SAT 6, 7.30PM  READING, Mike Oldfield Convention

SUN 7, 7.30PM  CANTERBURY, The Marlowe Theatre

MON 8, 7.30PM  BRIGHTON, Theatre Royal

WED 10, 8PM  SOUTHEND ON SEA, Palace Theatre

THU 11, 7.30PM  CRAWLEY, The Hawth

FRI 12, 10.45PM  HENLEY, Henley Festival

SAT 13 , 7.30PM  IPSWICH, Corn Exchange

SUN 14, 7.30PM  ST ALBANS, The Alban Arena

THU 18, 7.45PM  NEWBURY, Corn Exchange

FRI 19, 8.15PM  THIRSK, Deer Shed Festival

SAT 20, 7.30PM  LIVERPOOL, Philharmonic Hall

SAT 27, 8PM  GALWAY, Arts Festival

WED 31, 5.45PM  Edinburgh Festival Fringe


1 - 26, 5.45PM  Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Words: Stephen Oliver

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Live Review: Denature "Time" EP Launch at Think Tank

Promising Beginnings

This was only Anna Leigh Middleton's and Richard Champney's second outing on stage in the form of "Denature". Already familiar on the northeast music scene as "Anna and The Kings" the duo have added an electronic element to their sound and a bassist, keyboard player and drummer to enhance both the visible and audible aspects of the live experience.

The night started with a set from Tony Bengtsson. Tony is deservedly respected in the northeast for his incisive songwriting and his "amazing voice" (lost count of how many people said that last night). With an Americana edge and a personal warmth that won over an already appreciative crowd, Tony had a great set last night. These were real songs that go somewhere. I'm looking forward to seeing his career take off.

 Tony Bengtsson ©Jowheretogo PR
Second to take the stage was Sophie Watson, a product of the Sage Gateshead music education system and purveyor of what I can only describe as "emo folk" a concept which she will probably hate with a passion. She held the crowd with with her considerable vocal skills and guitar work and gained herself a few new fans.

Sophie Watson ©Jowheretogo PR

Following Sophie we were treated to indie rock from local band Dalaro. With jingling guitars and melodies that motor along naturally with the well thought out lyrics, its good to see Dalaro won Bernicia Rising and will be playing the Bernicia Festival at the Customs House in South Shields. Dalaro were a welcome addition to this gig and to the Jowheretogo Show playlist a couple of weeks ago.

 Dalaro ©Jowheretogo PR

Denature then took to the stage and set about showcasing their debut EP "TIME" with the eponymous single being the first song. If you haven't already seen it you can see the video for "Time" by Chris Lavelle on Youtube and it's getting a lot of attention on Vimeo. It's a dreamlike voyage through a fictional family history. The band, despite only having performed as a unit once before in public, carried both the new Denature material and some covers with ease, including Nina Simone's "I Put a Spell on You", a cracking version, Anna's a great vocal talent. A good evening was had by all.

 Denature ©Jowheretogo PR
Denature are working on new songs and I'm looking forward to the direction they will take. Anna says they may be veering towards the rocky end of electronica, which, in my view, will be a good thing...I'm biased, I like my electronic music, especially with guitars thrown in.
Keep up to date with Twitter on their Facebook page and on Twitter. They will be playing a live set at HMV Newcastle (after a light nudge in their direction from Jowheretogo) on 24th August at 4pm so you'll have a chance to see them then if not before.
 Denature ©Jowheretogo PR
Don't forget to tune in to the Jowheretogo show on NE1fm 102.5 or online at, where you can find out who else is playing what on NE1fm, and what time. Support community radio! 


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Review: Alphabetti Spaghetti "3 Shorts" at the Dog and Parrot

3 Shorts - Alphabetti Spaghetti Theatre Production @ The Dog and Parrot Friday 14/6/2013


The upstairs room of The Dog & Parrot has been transformed in recent years. Now the Alphabetti Spaghetti Theatre group have taken over we have theatre and comedy up here in addition to the music.


3 Shorts is one such theatre production. Local script writers were asked to come up with 30 minute comedy scripts.  Their work has been produced and performed by the company that was described by the BBC as ‘Original, off the wall and clever’. The result are 3 shorts, in a lovely venue, that are both full of humour and pathos in equal measure.


Tonight’s first short play was “Spear Carriers” by Andrew Thompson. 2 actors who have roles as “attendants” in a production of a Shakespeare play featuring Ian McKellen. They discuss the problems of trying to get noticed in a non-speaking role. The two actors also describe their private lives and this ultimately leads to an uncomfortable climax. The 2 actors are believable as their stress is played out and there are many laugh out loud moments. There are a number of scene changes and these slow down the pace and flow of the show, fortunately this is not an issue in the plays that follow.


After a short comfort break “Fantasy and Reality” by Jacob Turner entertains the crowd. A play that reflects life in 2013, we have a guitar hero player who needs support living his dreams and wants a successful encounter with a girl in the local BHS café. The boundaries between what we watch on tv and our lives becomes blurred as the cast perform a number of costume changes in a limited space.  The clever staging and contemporary references help to produce a number of comedy moments.


“The Bumps” by Rob Walton is tragic comedy at its finest, as a group of actors living on take-aways are given the opportunity to make their big break on TV. They have the songs and the comedy routines but will their private lives and personalities allow them to work as the happy team that they try to portray to the kids? The audience are allowed to reflect on what it must be to live in the land of ‘CBeebies’. Jenga will never be the same.


3 Shorts was an insightful journey into live in the 21st century in a venue that understands old fashioned values. The next show to appear upstairs at the Dog and Parrot is from Rundown Theatre who will perform 'Run'. Written by Liam Tweddle, it is a short, charming piece of theatre which concerns the eternal question: do we listen to our heads or our hearts?  It is their first solo venture as a company, the 90 minute long show costs just £5.

You can catch “Run” at the Dog and Parrot:
Monday 17th 7.30pm
Tuesday 18th 1.15pm
Wednesday 19th 1.15pm
Wednesday 19th 7.30pm
Thursday 20th 1.15pm
Thursday 20th 7.30pm



Oblivious Productions will then present “Whom” in which two small time crooks are sent to kidnap a rival gang member. What could go wrong? Well apparently, everything. Enter a world where crime could pay well if the criminals could only get it right and heroes come from nowhere. This runs from June 24th to June 27th.


Music returns as two JoWhereToGo musical favourites entertain the Dog & Parrot - “Biscuithead & The Biscuit Badgers” plus “Holy Moly & The Crackers” play on Thursday 4th July.

 . has details of each show that is coming up and how to get tickets.

Friday, 14 June 2013

NORTH Hit The Road

Northern Stage’s new associate theatre company, NORTH, are branching out and gearing up for an exciting programme of events this summer. 
In November 2012 Northern Stage recruited seven recent graduates, emerging artists and actors to form a fresh new company. Led by Northern Stage’s Creative Associate, Mark Calvert, NORTH was a three month opportunity to create work, develop skills and meet some of the regions most important creative minds. 

This resulted in a brand new piece: “The Man Who Thought the Moon Would Fall Out of the Sky”. Inspired by a 19 th Century Scrapbook the show “Unearthed the curious tale of a mans life… A riotous evening filled with laughter, live music, and a magical story that may or may not be true.” 
Following the success of their debut performance at the end of March the seven young theatre makers have formed their own independent theatre company, and are taking the show on the road. 
Their “Summer Festival Tour” includes performances in the Theatre Arena at the renowned Latitude Festival, a show at Northern Stages beautiful Edinburgh Fringe venue, St Stephens, before finishing off on the Isle of Wight in the Bestival Amphitheatre.
Company member Alex Tahnée, 23, shares her thoughts on the summer ahead: “Taking our theatre to huge audiences in different parts of the country allows us to advertise the North East as a creative and exciting hub of talent, which is exactly what it is.” Alice Blundell, 25, adds: “Starting with the festival tour is incredibly exciting for us; to have the recognition regionally having been supported by a fantastic organisation like Northern Stage means we’re the first young company to make that journey to the festivals. It is so special for us.”
Since they finished their ten week residency, NORTH have also been keen to continue their work and make the most of the opportunity they have been given. This has included musical gigs, curating events and “NORTH Night”: a pilot networking event designed to engage young, emerging artists in the region. Company member Stan Hodgson, 21, says: “We didn’t want a ‘suit and business cards’ type of networking, but an informal sharing of work and ideas - with a drink in hand! We were pleased with the outcome and hope to turn it into a regular event very shortly.” 
But with this National attention comes an urgent need for fundraising and organisation, and the group know that the hard work is only just beginning: “All of us in NORTH are prepared to roll up our selves and muck in” Maria Crocker, 25, explains: “We need to take it one step at a time and continue to stand by what we believe in - we are determined to make it happen.”

The performance at St Stephens, Edinburgh Fringe, which will be followed by a “right old knees up” gig and party, will also see the announcement of the company’s new name and branding, signalling a new chapter for the group and a bold step towards life after Northern Stage.  
Maria adds: “Being a part of St Stephen's and being programmed alongside the best of Northern theatre productions is a real honour and something we are all extremely proud and excited about.”  
Michael Blair, 31, adds: “We want to build upon the start we have been gifted by Northern Stage and establish the company as a major player in the region and producer of great work, as well as an organisation to whom other companies go for advice, support and collaboration.”  
For more information on the company’s adventures this summer, you can read their blog on You can also follow them on twitter @North_NS.

2013 Summer Festival Tour dates:

18 th July - Theatre Arena, Latitude Festival, Suffolk
20 th August - St Stephens, Edinburgh Fringe Festival
8th September - Amphitheatre, Bestival, Isle of Wight 
Company members:
Michael Blair, 31
Alice Blundell, 25
Maria Crocker, 25
Meghan Doyle, 25
Stan Hodgson, 21
Alex Tahnée, 23
George Williams, 23

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

#Rent: 20th Anniversary Concert at @TheTyneTheatre






Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre




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