Posted: 27 May 2014
Various venues, Ouseburn Valley, Newcastle
Forty artists across nine venues on a single evening left
those with an interest in up-and-coming musicians with a vast array of choices
– and all for a £3 entry fee.
As a couple in our mid-50s being guided by a son in his late
20s we started at The Cluny with Crooked Hands, whose blend of high-pitched pop
got the night off to a good start.
Then we walked to The Cumberland Arms where we caught the
last couple of numbers of the heavy Yellow Creatures before being treated to a
driving set from the impressive Bernaccia. Next it was to Coffee &
Cigarettes at The Tower to get a taste of rapper Absorb.
Time prevented us from visiting the quartet of acts
performing at each of the other venues: The Tyne Bar, Star & Shadow Cinema,
The Tanners, Blast Studios and Blank Studios. For us it was back to The Cluny
where we caught the end of Fe, another impressive rock act.
But the star of the show – and the festival headliner – was
The Lake Poets who we’d all seen the several times before. And we’re making the
most of it because before long we expect The Lake Poets – aka 24-year-old
Sunderland singer-songwriter Martin Longstaff – to make it big.
He’s already had airplay on Radio One and has built up a
loyal bunch of admirers. We’ve seen him at Stockton Calling, Sanctuary (in
Sunderland Minster) and at Tanfield in the last month or so and we’re seeing
several familiar faces at all of these gigs – evidently local people who, like
us, think that The Lake Poets are destined to be the best thing to come out of
the North East music scene for many a year.
Longstaff has the voice, the personality and most of all the
self-penned songs to give him every chance to become a huge success. If in years to come you’re not hearing The Lake
Poet regularly on radio and quite possibly buying his albums then you’re
missing out. The songs are serious, often very serious. They’re songs about family,
love, loss, illness and place. They’re delivered from the heart and to the
heart. Listing Jackson Browne and Neil
Young amongst his main influences, I’d say to anyone fearing for the future of
modern music – listen to The Lake Poets and realise that with talent like this
emerging from the North East you need have no fear.