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Monday, 13 July 2015

@CorbridgeFest : probably the best festival in the #Northeast ..#review

Here Comes The Summer:
 Family Festival with Teenage Kicks 







Priding itself on being the foremost family music festival in Northumberland, Corbridge Festival continues to grow in popularity. Providing entertainment for all ages it has grown every year and has the clout to attract great local artists and a big name headliner every year. The size hasn't got to the point where it becomes impersonal and corporate however, and sponsorship is from local firms for example Utilitywise for the main stage, and the Blue Bell pub for the second marquee stage.

There’s something for a variety of musical tastes, too. From those who enjoy a few easily recognisable covers, to die-hard originals seekers, Corbridge has it sorted. We caught the Blue Bell stage opener, Hannah Lamb as we arrived. She has a delightful resonant voice and, accompanied by her own guitar, worked through a number of covers including a lovely version of Coldplay’s Fix You, an improvement on the original, like a lots of covers of this song are. More fodder for the covers-lovers came from the rather excellent rock band River Rain on the main stage and the soulful Anna Harrison on the Blue Bell Stage belting out bluesy cover versions. The AMS (Academy of Music and Sound, Gateshead) provided a forum for budding artists and bands to play in a festival setting, and had as its headliner the local favourite, Jen Stevens and The Hiccups. We managed to catch the Jake Fletcher Band in between running around the other two stages. An interesting sound with Hammond organ and Dylenesque vocals. It was good to see Charlie Dancer on the main stage with a full band, this changed songs I had only heard previous as acoustic performances into big indie rock numbers.
Peppering proceedings were rhyming interludes by Jazz Riot (formerly Pipe Riot until the Piper left) -Ettrick Scott shouting forth political bile, Daily Mail criticism and  cosmetic advice with accompaniment from a young and talented Dean Parker on jazz guitar. A quote from young audience member : “All the faces I could see were either shocked or laughing!” Compère was Steffen Peddie. Steffen has come on noticeably as the festival host, and shone today keeping the audience ready for the acts on offer.
No family festival is complete without some for of Ska, and The Talks brought it with style. A great humoured performance from these Yorkshire folk,

Local talent was on tap at the festival, with Alex Dobson getting a singalong going in the Blue Bell tent. Silent Houses, Kobadelta, So She, The Carl Cape Band, and other great northeast acts had that tent buzzing. Hadrian Border Brewery pumps kept proceedings oiled with their delicious ales. This was the first time I had seen Jinski live and their folky rock worked so well in this environment. Ourselves and Us are continuing to grow with each member adding their style to the mixture to make a very tasty concoction.
Back at the main stage, Chris Helme was as ever, amazing. He engages so well with an audience and gives them the music they know from his Seahorses days.
Erica of The Wonderstuff
This being a festival I can’t mention every artist, they all contributed to this event in their own way. Miles and Erica of the Wonder Stuff entertained with their fiddly diddly songs and Angie Brown got people, from old punks to youngsters singing along to 90’s dance and danced-up versions of soul classics. The crowd were jumping around and loving her performance, there was no need for her apology for using a backing tape.

Angie Brown
The Undertones
The headliner, The Undertones made this festival even more of a bargain. The singer, Paul McLoone has exactly the vocal style made famous by Feargal Sharkey and had a commanding presence on stage. The whole band played the hits including Here Comes The Summer and Teenage Kicks with a youthful energy some band in their twenties fail to summon up. The crowd lapped up this enthusiasm and this was a fantastic climax to the festival.
the Undertones

There was, as always a variety of local caterers at the festival and plenty of activities for the kids. Sweets, local meat products in bread, pizzas, ice cream, doughnuts...you weren't going to starve here, It’s worth mentioning that dogs are welcome too. There’s something really special about Corbridge Festival. It’s not just the great music, the food, or the ale. It’s the people.


Corbridge Festival crowd...class


All photos © Joanne Oliver for Jowheretogo PR. We can offer PR to anyone in music or the arts. Current clients include the Stagg Do movie and Simma the Singer. We will shortly be able to offer studio photography. Any enquiries about photos email jowheretogo@yahoo.co.uk

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