Category Archives: Arts

Newcastles of the World 2012

Visitors from a dozen different Newcastles will gather in the original Newcastle in the last week of July. Around 70 delegates from “Newcastles of the World” will be getting together in Newcastle upon Tyne to discuss their branding and marketing and to explore setting up a joint Newcastles tourism initiative, with everyone promoting the other Newcastles as well as their own as a place to visit and invest in.

 John Nicolaou, once a resident of Newcastle but now living in Spain and the man behind the idea of bringing all the Newcastles together, said “I’m delighted that Newcastle upon Tyne will now be host to many of the towns and cities around the world who take or share our name”.

Delegates at the conference will also be taking part in a range of cultural projects that have been in progress over the past few months. There’s an exhibition at the City Library of photographs, films and postcards from the different Newcastles, and a publication of poetry to be launched, with poems about each Newcastle contributed by local writers.

Each school is also studying a different Newcastle from around the world, and they will share their projects with the visiting delegates, as well as making a welcome pack for them about Newcastle upon Tyne. This will be part of a more permanent link being developed with a school from the visiting Newcastle.

An even bigger project is the “Song for Newcastle”. Performers in Newcastles in Australia, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA, as well as Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle-under-Lyme in the UK have been writing, singing and filming their Song for Newcastle, all based upon the words and music of well-known local song “Home Newcastle” by “Busker”, the late Ronnie Lambert.  Busker’s song, about a Geordie exile homesick for Newcastle, has become a toon army anthem and is still often played at St James’ Park. The different international interpretations of Home Newcastle will be edited into a single version to be performed at the Newcastles conference.

Hazel Lambert, Ronnie’s widow, said “Ronnie would have been thrilled at the idea that people in other Newcastles around the world wanted to take part in this project based on his famous song and to write and sing about their Home Newcastle. I’ve been pleased to support this initiative and I look forward to hearing their versions and the final edit of the song.”

The “home” version of “Home Newcastle” is being sung by Voicebeat – a community choir based at The Sage Gateshead that  explores different musical styles, including gospel, reggae, pop and folk traditions from around the world. Other versions are being sung in gospel style by the Northern Kwazulu Natal Youth Choir choir in Newcastle, South Africa; by a school choir in New Castle, Indiana USA; by a men’s harmony singing group (“Novatones”) from Newcastle New South Wales in Australia; by the Leuchtfeuer (“Beacon”) youth choir in Neuburg an der Donau, Germany;  by a male voice choir in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and with an instrumental version by a youth showband Les Amourins in Switzerland.

The poetry and the Song for Newcastle will come together on Monday 23rd July at Newcastle’s Live Theatre for the “Night on the Tyne”, featuring the poets, with musicians and clog dancers and also Ouseburn Young Voices, a choir of young people from schools in the east end of Newcastle.

Delegates will also be using the time here to create a “proggy mat” depicting different types of castle turrets, with the help of the “Woodhorn Matters”. The Proggy (or clippy) mat is a rug-making technique traditional to the North East of England. The mat will be produced at the Newcastles conference by members of the public who can have a go, as well as by the delegates. Once complete it will be displayed at Newcastle Civic Centre and Newcastle Cathedral before going on to the other Newcastles.

The delegates will be welcomed to Newcastle with a service at the Cathedral on the morning Sunday 22 July, followed by a parade (with children from local schools) through the city from Eldon Square, along Northumberland Street to the civic centre. There they will open a “friendship garden” which is being designed by apprentice gardeners from the Newcastle city nurseries, before going on to the Mansion House for a welcome event with music and dancing from local performers.

Several of the Newcastle will be sending delegates from their youth councils, and they will have their own events hosted by Newcastle’s Youth Council. “We will have a welcome party, meeting up with young people from this Newcastle” said Gerry Hunwick of The Children’s Society. “We’ll also have important discussions between us on the global environmental challenges and how the voice of young people should be heard on this and other issues; about how young people can set up their own businesses and about perceptions of young people in the media”.

You can download the full programme of activities here

Programme

For more information and updates about the events

http://www.facebook.com/nclsoftheworld

https://twitter.com/NCLsoftheworld

http://newcastlesoftheworld.wordpress.com/


Creativity captured through Jesmond’s snapshots

Library hosts local photography exhibition as part of festival. Watch this slideshow by Maria Loupa and Nelly Stavropoulou

Jesmond Methodist Church’s photography exhibition, titled “Photos of Jesmond”, demonstrated local artistic creativity as residents submitted photographs that illustrated Jesmond’s identity.

The entries ranged from snapshots of Jesmond Dene’s serene landscapes, to festival-inspired moments and shots of some of Jesmond’s most iconic buildings.

Chris Coleman of Jesmond Methodist Church, one of the key organisers of the event, commented on the quality and diversity of the exhibition, saying that the entries demonstrated the community’s high engagement. He told JesmondLocal: “The conception behind the exhibition was simply to try and capture a sense of the community of Jesmond in photographs and celebrate it.”

Coleman expressed his satisfaction and appreciation to all participants. Watch our audio-slideshow to get a taste of the exhibition’s photos, accompanied by visitors’ comments.

*As published in http://jesmondlocal.com/2012/05/creativity-captured-jesmonds-snapshots/

ML


Blues night gets the festival foot-stomping – video

Oxfam treats locals to night of live music for a charitable cause. Maria Loupa and Charlotte Krol report

Ben WatsonThe 78s and Spanish Battery rocked the opening weekend of the Jesmond Community Festival with lively sets at a blues night in the British Legion Club. The acts entertained the audience with a variety of roots music, ranging from traditional and acoustic blues to blues-rock and Americana.

All proceeds from the event went towards Jesmond Oxfam Books and Music’s Trailtrekker team, who are walking 100km in 30 hours around the Yorkshire Dales for charity on 26th May.

The Oxfam Blues Night is one of many music events taking place during the Jesmond Community Festival. Have a peek at some of Saturday evening’s performances here:

*As published in http://jesmondlocal.com/2012/05/blues-night-festival-footstomping-video/

ML


JesmondLocal presents Musical Flash Mob

As community festival approaches, local choirs take to the streets. Watch this video report by Alexandra Carr, Maria Loupa and Nelly Stavropoulou

Jesmond shoppers were greeted with an unexpected musical treat on Saturday morning (21st April) when a “flash mob” choir serenaded passers-by outside Oxfam, Waitrose and Pizza Express.

The purpose of this performance was to raise awareness for the upcoming Jesmond Community Festival, providing a taste of the various events running from 27th April to 14th May.

Chris Clarke, treasurer of Jesmond Community Forum and company secretary of Jesmond Community Leisure, told JesmondLocal: “Many people know about the concerts that are going on inside buildings, like inside a church hall, but unless you actually get out on the streets, a lot of other people don’t really know what’s going on. So the idea is to attract the attention of the people who don’t go to churches or schools.”

Those who participated in Saturday’s musical performance, organised by conductor Jonathan Scott, came from a number of different choirs in the north east, including the Jesmond Choral Group and the Tynemouth Priory Singers. Festival attendees can expect to hear more from these choirs during a performance of Dvorak’s Requiem on 3th0 April, which will also be conducted by Scott.

This is the first year a musical “flash mob” has been performed before the community festival.

For more information on the festival, please visit www.jesmondfestival.org.uk or have a look on our own festival page here.

ML


Entries now open for photography exhibition

Jesmond Methodist Church seeking illustrations of community life, report Maria Loupa and Nelly Stavropoulou

collage d'anonymes

As part of this year’s Jesmond Community FestivalJesmond Methodist Church will be organising a photography exhibition, which will be launched shortly after the beginning of the festival on 27th April and run until 5th May.

The exhibition organisers are calling for entries regardless of photographic skills and level of expertise, as long as the photographs are taken in Jesmond throughout the year. Chris Coleman of the Jesmond Methodist Church told Jesmondlocal: “We hope it will illustrate the various events that take place here and give an impression of what life in this community is like. Jesmond Methodist Church feels very much a part of the community and we want to celebrate with it throughout the Festival”.

The photographs can be either colour or black and white and must be printed on A5 size photographic paper. Participants can submit a maximum of six photographs and provide titles and the name of the photographer. The photographs that best depict Jesmond’s identity will be selected by a committee and presented at the exhibition.

Chris Clarke, member of the festival organising group said: “When we heard about this idea, we thought that it would add a great extra ingredient to this year’s festival. I very much hope that as many people as possible will respond to the request for photographs”.

Entries must be submitted by 15th April to Christopher Coleman at 16 Churchill Gardens, Jesmond, Newcastle, NE2 1HB.

For more information contact Chris Coleman at: mrctcoleman@gmail.com

ML

Live Review: Snow Patrol

Metro Arena – 5th February

The Scottish/Irish five piece kicked off 2012 announcing a third single is to be released from Fallen Empires.

‘In the End’ is to be released on February 13th, and they are celebrating it with a grandiose tour. Long before the release of their sixth album last November, the band suggested an open mind to the fans. Snow Patrol explored foreign territory and experimented with techno and electronic pop sounds. Melodies enriched with strings and brass, percussion and different keyboard sounds from the ever known melodica to dulcitone. The change in musical direction was evident even in the choice of support band, Everything Everything, a peculiar yet intriguing indie band.

Everything Everything’s witty lyrics, powerful off beat sounds, combined with front man Higgs’s signature falsettos, contributed to their own stigma. They started off strong, with beautifully arranged electronic elements, mesmerizing synths, and a Jack Black-esque performance from Newcastle native Higgs. Just when the crowd started warming up however, they were thrown off by Higgs high pitch vocals and mumbling lyrics which were impossible to follow. Everything Everything just did their own thing onstage; an unorthodox and eccentric band that can’t possibly cater for everyone’s taste. Unfortunately, after the nothing nothing reception from the crowd the awkwardness in the air was more than tangible.

Nonetheless, they set the mood for Snow Patrol to follow and they opened the concert with I’ll Never Let Go. A well organised set, with fantastic Muse-inspired lighting and elements that led back to their new album’s emblem were prominent: huge eagle’s feet-shaped screens, which moved and altered according to the needs of each song. Grand orchestral arrangements, and the singer’s engaging performance with intense body language; functioning almost as a maestro who brings this majestic symphony together.

“Let’s have some fuckin’ fun”, yelled an ecstatic Lightbody with his curls bouncing. And so it began. The band has clearly grown in confidence and stage presence over the years, Lightbody especially has evolved from the romantic shy guy of old into a true showman; his charming and comical persona finally shining through.

With a constant call for audience participation in ‘Shut Your Eyes’ and ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’ the sold out arena complied with a massive chant-along. The band’s experiment with electronica was not always effective but when used conservatively to fit their signature style it felt more natural and effortless.

Some tracks when performed live brought more of a dance floor spirit with them, which came through unexpectedly better than on the album; like ‘Fallen Empires’. The rest of the night consisted of a brilliant mix of old and new tracks, sprinkled with hilarious intervals by the Lightbody, his attention to the audience was overwhelming.

Highlights like ‘Called Out In The Dark’, ‘Run’, and ‘Take Back The City’ followed with unmistakable vocals, crisp and clear sounds, managing to create a highly electrified atmosphere. Overall, the band engaged with the crowd to unprecedented levels, giving a very personal feel in such a large venue.

The much anticipated ‘Chasing Cars’ came as a catharsis for the fans, which burst into screams of joy and relief. Following an encore that featured all time favourite ‘Open Your Eyes’, the crowd went into a frenzy. Putting an end to an unforgettable night, the show reached its climax with the band asking us to ‘Just Say Yes’. Is there anything else left to say?

Yes Snow Patrol, a thousand times yes!

To read a review of Fallen Empires Click here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=llUMU1jy_4g

*As published in http://thecourieronline.co.uk/2012/02/live-review-snow-patrol/

ML


Seeing in the New Year with The Suggestibles

A night of film noir, musical theatre and impromptu sketches based on the audience’s suggestions with The Suggestibles, report Maria Loupa and Nelly Stavropoulou

 

The Suggestibles - Bev Fox, Gary Kitching, Ian McLaughlin, Carl Kennedy and Rob Atkinson – will be returning to Jesmond for their first ever New Year’s Eve performance at The Mixer.

event will begin at 9pm The and last until 2am, and includes a 2 hour improv show with interval snacks and drinks to “fuel” the audience’s suggestions. Everyone will be offered a complimentary glass of bubbly and the stage will transform into a dance floor until 2am.

The improv comedy group  joined forces with Steve Steen –  a regular guest with the Comedy Store Players at the Comedy Store in London - for a live show at The Mixer last month. Bev Fox and Gary Kitching from The Suggestibles talked to Jesmondlocal about their future plans, their relationship with the audience and gave their own point of view on the art of laughter.

You can watch their interview here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ixgzci050sM

http://www.thesuggestibles.co.uk/gig-diary

*As published in http://jesmondlocal.com/2011/12/year-suggestibles/

M.L.


A brief encounter with Hilary Lloyd (video)

48hrmag:

A chat with Turner Prize nominee, and former Northumbria student, Hilary Lloyd. Interview by Amy Bolton & Maria Loupa; filmed by Matthew Philip Smith.


A brief encounter with Hilary Lloyd

My humble -and main- contribution to the 48 hour magazine.. yours truly

M.L.


Turnaround: turned around

48hrmag:

Whilst the friendly folk at Newspaper Club work their magic on the presses, here’s a digital version of Turnaround for your viewing pleasure. Grab a printed copy this weekend at BALTIC, or if you’re super keen, from our launch party at Living Room in Newcastle on Friday evening.

Open publication on Issuu

Thanks of the memory of things I can’t forget .. wise Sinatra.. To everybody I’ ve met and worked with at the Baltic


..with the power of hindsight, what a priceless experience! One word to sum up my feelings: grateful. 
Thanks guys
M.L.

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