NE Online Magazine Issue 47

Page 1

Hi Chris and welcome to NE Magazine, for the few readers who must be living in a cave somewhere and don’t know who you are how about giving th em a quick l ow- down o n yourself? - Hello! Can’t help but think I’m writing your interview introduction for you here, oh well… I’m a stand-up comedian from South Shields and I’m also a bit of an actor now and then… but mainly a comedian… that might not come across as well as it should in print form, but I am. So there. At the moment it’s hard not seeing you on the TV when we switch it on as you’re everywhere, but what has been the highlight for you so far? - Not everywhere though am I? If you turn on QVC and I’m selling a frying pan, just assume you’ll find me floating face down in a river very soon. The highlight for me so far was probably being in Hebburn. Since starting comedy I always wanted to try my hand at being in a sitcom too so I was over the moon to do one with my mate and so close to my heart, and I got to work with Vic Reeves. I know you had a bit of a crazy time with fans wanting pics and autographs when you were having a few drinks in a South Shields bar recently, how are you finding this, does it put you off going out? - Not at all. Any person in that position who has been on TV or whatever and people want photos (I’m trying my best not to say celebrity here!) who pretends they hate the attention is a liar. You don’t go for a career on TV because you don’t want anyone to notice you. As long as I’m not eating or having a shit when you want a photo then it’s no problem at all… I meant, like on the toilet, not just in the middle of the dancefloor.


Have you had any weird fan requests or incidents? - Not really. The odd person will show up to a gig with my face on a T-Shirt, or bake me a cake, or send me a dead animal in the post but other than that it’s just photos and autographs. A little kid in Hebburn when we were filming asked me to sign his micro scooter… that was a bit weird. As well as being a bit of a regular on Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 out of 10 Cats you are now starring in the North East based sitcom Hebburn, how did that come about? - My mate and fellow comedian Jason Cook decided to write a sitcom about the town he was from, Hebburn, and he actually wrote me a little side part which he named after me. But when it came to being made the BBC asked me to read for the main character, and when I got it, Jason took the part that he’d written for me! It came about so gradually that I didn’t really realise the enormity of being lead role in a BBC2 sitcom until I saw the advert on TV. I nearly passed out. How has the response for Hebburn been so far? - Overwhelmingly positive. And we just won Best Drama at the RTS North awards too. And we’ve got a second series! You are now embarking on your biggest tour to date, how do you feel about this? - Yeah incredible! It’s an extension of my last tour, Feeling Lucky. I did 60+ dates in 2012 but the demand for tickets was so high and people enjoyed the show so much that I’m doing another 40 odd dates this year in much bigger venues. I can’t wait to get back out on the road.

Are there any venues on the tour that you are looking forward to playing or any you’re quite nervous about? - The Theatre Royal in Newcastle. I absolutely can’t wait. I used to watch panto there when I was a kid. I’m

We l c o m e N o t e . 2 0 2 0 i s s t i l l p r o v i n g d i f f i c u l t fo r many as there is still no sign of live music and theatre events going ahead just yet, but that isn’t stopping the incredibly talented p e o p l e fe a t u r e d t h i s m o n t h f r o m doing their thing...just maybe in a d i f fe r e n t w a y t h a n n o r m a l . As always, if you have something you want to see in a future issue then d o n ’ t fo r g e t t o d r o p u s a n e m a i l t o wayne. groves@neonlinemagazine. com P l u s r e m e m b e r t o fo l l o w u s o n Fa c e b o o k , Tw i t t e r & I n s t a g ra m fo r our regular updates on events and competitions. Till next time Ta ke c a r e Wa y n e


O2 Academy Newcastle/City Hall Sage Gateshead Ocean Beach Pleasure Park Quasar Elite South Shields For all queries or if you would like to feature or advertise in NE Magazine email Unless stated otherwise all competition entries should be sent to win@ Plus you can catch up with us online for news, events, blogs, competitions and more at Follow us on Facebook - www.facebook. com/pages/N-E-Online-Magazine Join us on Twitter @NEOnlineMag1 And Instagram @neonlinemagazine

CONTRIBUTORS Peter Mann BSc Inside Mann Media & PR Madhouse Media SPONSORS Playhouse Whitley Bay Cineworld Boldon The Theatre Royal Newcastle


{THIS} {ISSUE} P6 Photography by Adam Kennedy P14 Chloe Chadwick P21 Chris Donald Nova Radio P24 Dean James P32 Caleb Hinnigan NFL Academy P38 NE AOTY Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion Living in Shadows P44 Cineworld Film Round Up P58 Platform Perform P66 Dave Hemingway - Sunbirds P72 Playhouse Whitley Bay P76 Northern Threads P80 Save The High Street P86 The 77 – Issue 2 5


Photography Photography by Adam Kenn dy Photography by by Adam Adam Kenn Kennee edy dy

Ace photographer, Adam Kennedy, shoots around the world House photographer for local, Tyneside venues the O2 Academy and O2 City Hall, esteemed photographer, Adam Kennedy, has taken photography to a whole new level over the past four months or so courtesy of a lightbulb moment, virtual project. Experienced, and well known in pretty much any place you can think of, well he is now, Adam is fast closing in 150+ virtual shoots, globally, during a period when everyone around the world is challenged, no dared, to be different. More accustomed to the stage, be they big or small, a global pandemic put paid to so much throughout 2020 and for the Gateshead photographer, like so many others, early wallowing during a lockdown period was certainly, and surely, settling in, until that lightbulb moment arrived. In the middle of the night, attempting to sleep (does he

count sheep or shutter speeds), Adam Kennedy came up with the concept of (attempting) a virtual photoshoot, and not just locally either – Adam wanted, and somehow challenged himself, to more. “I was just laid in bed one night, around 2am, and had that lightbulb moment,” explained Adam. “When I looked into it I could only find one other, similar reference, which was in the USA, but I thought I could take it a lot further. “The following day I found myself speaking with my friend Erja (Lyytinen), who’s in Helsinki, Finland, and, after a good chat, she told me to just go ahead and do it and to see how it goes. “She was the first shoot I produced (on April 23, some 2,000 miles away) and we both really enjoyed it.” “I was lucky to be the first one on Adam´s virtual shoot project,” continued Erja, a Blues/Rock guitarist. “When he (Adam) was telling me about this photography idea, I got immediately excited!

“We scheduled a time, which was of course when I was at home with my twin boys, which certainly gave the shooting its own challenges! But what was fun, we even included my boys in some of the shots. “In one of them they were playing Star Wars, me in the kitchen. “Overall it was so nice to actually do something at home and communicate and work with someone. “It felt for a few minutes like everything was back to ‘normal;’ Adam giving me instructions about how to pose with my Stratocaster. “It definitely gave both me and the photographer a burst of adrenaline, as we were both doing stuff that we enjoy. “After seeing the (finished) pictures, I could also tell, that restrictions definitely have impacted on all of us, on me as well, at least back then, when you didn’t know where this all was gonna go. “You felt a bit numb, spending so much time at home, forbidden to travel and play your music to people.


“I am very sure these photographs will be interesting to watch back after a couple of years and this project will have a deeper meaning, when we reminisce this time of being.” Confidence rising with such a positive start to a project that could, in all honesty, have gone any direction, Adam did a little early promo, but this has been a project that has needed selfpromotion, momentum being garnered more by word-ofmouth, and increasing shares across social media. And that’s how it’s progressed over the ensuing weeks, and months; not that Adam is complaining, well not yet anyway! “I’ve always had a passion for photography and studied it at college, but I wasn’t going to take anything for granted,” continued Adam. “I’ve just been really fortunate doing something that, at times, has been quite surreal, but, when this all started, and everything got cancelled, I begun to get bored and frustrated after a couple of weeks.” Those early stages of the project must seem like a lifetime away now, they’re certainly tens of thousands of air miles away. Not restricting himself to home soil Adam has circumnavigated the globe, quite emphatically really. But there’s never been any real goal, no end marker set. He’s just seeing how it goes. “My first thought was to get


around the world in eighty days although myself, and others close to me, thought that even that goal was an ambitious one,” stated Adam, who managed that feat somewhat easier than he, and others thought. “Now, when I look back, I think

of a day where I shot on three different continents which I’d like to think that I was ‘following the sun,’ or when I was transcending space and time with a shoot in Alaska, the subject only being available at 9pm her time on the Tuesday night, which meant I was shooting at like 6am on the Wednesday morning here.” Among the virtual shoots, Adam has found himself shooting the jammie dodger making Sarah Darling in Nashville, been on a brand new tractor with Zoeee Official in Glencoe, Scotland, travelled to the Far East, and to Africa, and that’s just for starters. And they’ve all had something to say, well most of them anyway. An idea transcending from the project is to turn it all into a book later in the year, that’s if he’s stopped by then. Country starlet, Sarah Darling, added: “It’s so inspiring watching creatives in Quarantine making gold out of an uncertain time.

“Adam Kennedy Photography is one of those, and I’m so honoured we did a fun kitchen FT shoot! “It’s honestly where I’m spending most of my time and it told a little story I’ll remember forever.” Zoeee Official meanwhile, herself also a Country musician, added: “Adam was just such an pleasure to work with; fun, extremely professional and super passionate about finding unique shots that focus on the subject while really capturing the moment, in all its complexities, using colour and most interesting light to achieve the best shots possible. “His attention for detail is impeccable. “We caught so many extremely beautiful photos together & I cannot wait for my next shoot with Adam!” He’s not been bias of genre either, let alone time-zones, opening up it to just about anyone, anywhere. He’s also not been looking for that photographers perfect shot either, not that that is easy considering how he’s doing shoots, it’s more to be a different kind of perfect, and more dependent on the subject than the stage, each posing different challenges. “I’ve had to let go of ‘looking for the perfect shot,’ it’s just about capturing a moment in time,” continued Adam. “It’s an historic time right now as well and probably the best time to capture them, about what music is like in 2020. “Part of the beauty of all this though has been about catching up with artists that I know, those I’ve worked with in the past and, from every shoot that I have done then I’ve got another three or four from; it started with a small list and has just snowballed, then I began to notice that it was becoming a global project.” In Italy, guitarist Eliana Cargnelutti, from Udine, said of being involved that: “Adam invited me to participate at this virtual ‘around the world’ photographic project, I find very special that he can enter the artists’ houses and photograph

the best of them. “It is a brilliant and very fun idea, and then the photo shoot was even more so! “I thank Adam very much because I really had some fun during this sad Italian lockdown and I‘m sure that I will thank him also in the future for having immortalized these unique moments worldwide. “Even the music thanks him and maybe one day his shots will also deserve a proper exhibition. Adam rocks!” Whilst in Germany, Blues singersongwriter Lisa Mills, from Freiberg, said: “I am hugely impressed with Adam’s creativity in doing this project. “I was intrigued after seeing some of his photos of other

Artists on Facebook and wanted to try it myself. “Although it was strange, not being ‘face to face’ for the shoot, Adam made me feel comfortable by talking naturally, engaging me in conversation and giving clear instructions. “Just goes to show, where there’s a will, there’s a way! And boy, Adam got some really nice shots. “I was especially surprised by the ones on the balcony--poignant and telling.” And just to show the scope the project has taken, be that in Osaka or Cape Town, Mumbai or Lagos, the musical theme has weaved an impressive thread throughout, Adam is creating a little piece of history along the way.



An Opera Singer, from Turin, Italy, Ilaria Lucille De Santis explained their own involvement in that: “I ran into Adam’s profile on Instagram by chance. “I really liked his live pictures, then I noticed he had just started an interesting project: virtual photoshoots of musicians during lockdown. “I thought it was such an interesting idea to keep creative in these hard times and make the most of what technologies can offer. “So I decided to drop him a DM, to get involved; and that’s what happened. “I’m so glad I’ve had the chance

to work with him: he’s a real professional and we had a real photoshoot while being miles away! “Plus the troubles of having me moving the camera following his instructions. Funny, creative and professional: I hope his projects gets the deserved attention.” In addition for Adam, there is the possibility of further pieces of work in the future, a book being one of them. After all, he’s got the images, his thoughts, and the thoughts of a number of the subjects who’ve been included in this journey. For now though, it’s just a case of seeing where it all leads in the

here and now, and who knows, maybe the 200 club is just around the corner. “There’s no end goal with this project though and nobody really specific I’d like to shoot either, just whoever is interested. Although I’ve got a few irons in the fire still but I’ll know myself when it’s time to stop.” You can follow Adam Kennedy’s progression via his Instagram akennedyphotographer/ and on Facebook https://www.facebook. com/akennedyphotographer/ (All images courtesy of Photography by Adam Kennedy)



Northern Country Queen, Chloe Chadwick, sets herself up playing the Devil’s Game


Up until a couple of years ago singer-songwriter, Chloe Chadwick, spent over a decade lighting up stages across the north-east, residing on Tyneside, and putting on a debut album launch at Newcastle’s Think Tank. Now she’s residing in Cheshire, but still has an aching for the comforts of home and one thing is for sure, when she dies head back north, she’ll be welcomed back

with open arms. With an Americana tinged alt/pop sound which effortlessly blends rock and country influences into a one woman touring act, Chloe has already racked up over 15 years on the road, at home, and abroad, both opening for, and sharing stages, with a host of artists ranging from Lady Antebellum to The Shires and Ward Thomas to Emmylou Harris. Now, after what seems a lifetime of three years away, the Northern Country Queen returns with a brand new single on August 14,

releasing the eagerly anticipated track, Devil’s Game. Upon the release of her debut album, Dustbowl Jukebox, back in June 2017, hopes were high for the musician that was dubbed the ‘Northern Country Queen’ by north-east press however, an extended sabbatical ensued, a one which would also see her head south, to the Cheshire town of Nantwich. The music has, fortunately, remained and Chloe has finally decided the time is right in which to return to the fold and release

new music. “I was burning the candle at both ends and just felt the time was right to have a break to recharge the batteries,” explained Chloe about her extended hiatus. “In performing over 200 shows, managing and promoting myself as an indie artist, working on my EP, debut album and two singles, I was working non-stop. “The break was initially longer than I anticipated, however I’m now back to doing what I love to do and I’m excited for the future.” Written and performed by Chloe Chadwick, and produced by Animal Farm Records, Devil’s Game is a bittersweet, mid-tempo, acoustic track; its poignancy sees it cover gambling, addiction and the eventual suicide of a woman who leaves behind a young family following a slow descent into selfdestruction.

Arriving with a pop-balladesque twist the single is a stunningly atmospheric addition to Chloe’s catalogue of sound as she continues to gain support from BBC Introducing, and other radio stations, the length and breadth of the country. Often touching on subjects close to the heart, Chloe’s back catalogue includes offerings like Stranger’s World, Feels Like Home, and her last single, Love Will Find A Way, all being prime examples of her musical path. “The song is based on a true story about a woman who took her own life because of her gambling addiction with the story having a poignant message that highlights the profound effects of gambling and addiction,” continued Chloe. “My music is maturing with me, and I have spent much of my time writing lyrics that I am passion-

ate about and that other people can relate to, true life experiences whether happy or sad. “Let’s face it, I think the majority of us have been through bad times in life, but it’s those times that make us come out stronger and speak up about our experiences! “I have seen the effects that gambling and addiction has on people around me, and so writing about it only enhances the message for people and gives those who have fallen victim of these subjects a voice.” In adding a slightly darker twist to the Chloe Chadwick persona, there’s certainly a bright future ahead and, with the promise of more to come, the next twelve months at least are crucial in the re-birth of Chloe Chadwick. “I’m definitely thinking more release over the next 6-8 months,” she adds.


“Then (climate depending) maybe a little tour either later this or early next year; the main aim right now, other than releasing Devil’s Game, is to increase my fan base and get more music lovers listening to my music.” Nominated for both the ‘Best Female Act’ and ‘Best British Act’ in 2017 at the British Country Music Radio Awards the seasoned songwriter has also collaborated with the likes of Kevin Dippold and


Canadian singer-songwriter Noble Taylor, writing songs for emerging artists. Now, she’s ready to emerge from her own shadows and go again, making up for a little lost time along the way. Devil’s Game, the new single from Chloe Chadwick, will be available on all digital platforms on Friday August 14. Keep up-to-date with all things Chloe Chadwick on social media

channels Facebook https://www. and Twitter https://twitter. com/chloechadwickuk and via the website


The Beautiful South Founder Member Dave Hemingway announces October Release For ‘SUNBIRDS’ Debut Album. The Beautiful South founder member Dave Hemingway has announced that his new band Sunbirds will release their debut album ‘Cool To Be Kind’ on 30th October 2020 on the independent label Nectar Records. Having retired from the live scene at the back end of 2016, Dave has been keeping busy with guitarist, songwriter and collaborator Phil Barton, with Cool To Be Kind signalling the arrival of the new band, new songs and a new sound. The music Sunbirds make takes on board all of the bands and artists Dave and Phil have loved over the years. It chiefly blends the musical instruments of rural America with an occasional twist of grungy guitars and sets them against lyrics that remain very much at home in the towns and cities of England. “Although a lot of the songs have a Country feel.” says Dave. “They’re down honky-tonks when you live still about life in England. You’re in Yorkshire.” going to feel a bit daft singing about pick-up trucks and low Produced by cult producer Teo


Miller, who was responsible for Daisy Chainsaw’s breakthrough single ‘Love Your Money’ and subsequently worked with The Pretenders, Placebo and Robert Plant, the album captures truthful, open-hearted, funny and sometimes painfully honest songs, turning the page to a new chapter for Dave Hemingway and The Beautiful South story. The formation of Sunbirds also sees the introduction of new discovery Laura Wilcockson on vocals and violin. Laura comes from a classical/orchestral, as well as folk background. If you’re lucky, you might spot her busking around Mansfield. Completing the four-piece line-up is session drummer to the stars, Marc Parnell. His CV has way too many names to go into here. Cool To Be Kind is the result of a few transitional years in Dave and Phil’s individual personal worlds. It tells tales that cover contemporary themes as well as age-old matters of the heart and soul - all viewed through the bottom of a recently drained pint glass. “There’s no exact science here,”


Hi Colin, welcome to NE, can


Chris Donald

Former BBC presenter Chris Donald joins Community Radio Station Nova Radio North East 102.5fm Viz magazine founder turned imaginary nightclub proprietor Chris Donald is moving his popular Friday night radio show from BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees to neighbouring community radio station Nova Radio North East. Chris has presented live from his ‘imaginary soul club’ at the BBC for the last four and a half years. Alas, the doors to the club closed in March as part of emergency schedules brought in across BBC local radio. Then in June the BBC told Chris his contract was not being renewed. “Initially I was told it was temporary, due to Covid-19” says Chris “but it has since become permanent, due to budget restrictions. I gather cuts are being made across all of BBC local radio and I know a lot of presenters are worried about their futures.”

But the future of the imaginary soul club is assured. Chris was approached by Neil Kipling, manager of Community Radio Station Nova Radio 102.5fm, who offered Chris a chance to reopen the doors of his imaginary nightclub right in the heart of Newcastle city centre. “The studio is yards from the Bigg Market, so there’ll be more of a party atmosphere than there was at the BBC. The only person I spoke to regularly at the BBC was the night security guard” says Chris. “The face of BBC local radio seems to be changing, with less locally produced shows, and less local input. I’m looking forward to working with Nova Radio North East, who have an enthusiastic, dedicated team who are all in it for the same reason. They believe in local radio”. Neil was delighted when Chris accepted his offer to join the Nova team and is looking forward to working with him. “ Chris joining Nova is really exciting for me. It’s a major milestone in our growth and development as

a local station. There are more surprises on the way over the coming months from Nova but wow what a way to start” Chris brings with him regular features including his ‘Charity Shop Album of the Week’, the ‘Northern Soul Siren’ and the ‘Horn of Plenty’. His first show on Nova Radio North East Chris Donald’s Imaginary Soul Club - will be on Friday 7th August 10pm-1am. You can Listen to Nova Radio North East on 102.5fm in Newcastle and Gateshead, online at www. On your smart Speaker or download the Nova Radio NE app from the Google Play Store. Programmer of Nova Radio North East Dean Wears said “The way things are going community radio stations such as Nova Radio North East are very much the future of local radio, and we look forward to welcoming Chris and the real listeners of his Imaginary Soul Club to Nova Radio North East 102.5fm.


Synth sci-fi Sapien Trace




In supporting the Musicians Against Homelessness cause, Newcastle trio, Sapien Trace, and electro synth-rock band, are continuing their upward surge in sound, beginning with the release later this month of their new single, More Than I Can Give. Fronted by Mark Dickinson the trio also features that of Alex Brand (guitar, bass) and Dan Baldwin (drums) they came about somewhat accidentally between late 2016 and early 2017, performing a couple of gigs a month ever since, that’s alongside Mark and his solo sessions, just for added awesomeness. “Yeah, myself and Alex met at a Halloween party a few years back,” explained Mark. “Then, in the February the following year, Dan joined in the fun and we’ve been performing a couple of gigs a month ever since. “At the beginning we were more a heavier metal sound though due to the musical influences on Alex. We were more into your likes of Korn etc so that was pretty much at the forefront of what we did. “Fortunately we’ve calmed the sound down a bit since then.” Quietly moving along behindthe-scenes over the past three years, releases gaining mixed reviews they have seen The Crack labelling them as being ’Sci-fi rock at its finest,’ whilst NE Volume went a little crazy when

inviting music lovers to ‘Imagine Rammstein and The Prodigy meet at a party in space with Pendulum driving,’ “The last gig we performed (with Moodbay in mid-January) was one of the best we’ve done,” Mark continued. “It was a great experience with some new people. I will admit though, it has been a little difficult at times, doing all this, although we’ve also managed to ascertain some pretty decent reviews.” Now, with their impending new single, More Than I Can Give, set for mid-February release, the lads jumped in and recorded their new offering at Blast Studios, Newcastle, ready for the launch party at Beyond Vinyl in town. “The track itself is about your unrequited love,” added Mark. “It kind of shows how you rebuff that in a nicer way and is an idea that evolved from a few people that I know have experienced these types of situation and Twitter n over the years. “Going into Blast Studios, it was such an easy day as well. One which went quite quickly. “We all had a good laugh and had some rather bizarre conversations, something which we all wanted – we even found out that our drummer, Dan, is something of a pool shark! “We’ve gone through a lot though, but that’s good and we’re already working on some new material.” Along with the single launch party on February 21, Sapien

Trace enter the Battle of the Bands competition over Ashington way on March 5, then a week later head to The Globe in Newcastle to perform the Musicians Against Homelessness gig alongside AXLS, The Floral Detectives, and Holy Braille – an eclectic mix of musicianship. Expected to be “a mashup of deep house and synthwave pop” Sapien Trace have their single launch party at Beyond Vinyl, Westgate Road, Newcastle, on February 21, check the event page via events/1886579848152288/ More Than I Can Give will be available on all platforms and you can keep up-to-date with all their usual happenings via their website https://www. and social media platforms Facebook htt p s : / / w w w.fa c e b o o k . co m / sapientracers/ and Twitter (Image credits to Kai Eden, David Wala, and Paul Murray)



Hi Dean and welcome to NE, can you tell our readers a bit about yourself? Yes mate so my full name is Dean James Stobbs, so you see where the stage name comes from! I’m 44 years old, married to the same suffering lady for 26 years, have two grown up kids and up to now 5 grandkids. I was born and raised in South Shields (still live here). You are already an established musician and have even made your mark over in the U.S. how did you get started in the music industry? At 21 I picked up the guitar for the first time, I have always played in

bands with friends from a really young age and was a singer. Once I learned a few chords my pal asked me if I wanted to start having a jam and out of that we started our first duo called very imaginatively ‘The Sandancers’. We played all over the North East in small pubs and working men’s clubs for beer tokens etc. We were playing Pink Floyd, the Verve, Oasis, America, Paul Weller and Nirvana etc, just music that we liked really. I think this this is how all artists and bands should start. After this I played in a couple of bands until I was around 28 and got a real job in mental health nursing. After

not playing for around 5 years I decided to start playing the originals circuit and concentrating on my own material as a solo artist. After a few years having a great time and meeting some amazing people on the local scene I was just about to quit music as it was getting hard to play and work full time for little money or recognition. Out of the blue I got a message from a local promoter that I had played for over the years and he said he was starting an indie label up called Forgotten City Records and asked if I would like to sign with them. From that I released my debut album on my


40th birthday at Independent in Sunderland, did a short tour etc which saw me support Mark Morrison from the Bluetones and Hyde and beast, absolutely great times. It was at this point that the Black Dogs had formed by fusing myself and another band on the label called Crease, from Boro. That label got me a slot on a blues festival in Sunderland ran by George Shovlin and it was there in a tiny room I was spotted by a photographer who had a friend that was starting a label off in the UK and the US. After my contract ran out with FCR and the label disbanded I ended up signing with GEM UK label and my second album with the Black Dogs was recorded in Sunderland and sent to the labels contacts in the US to be mixed and mastered. We got lots of radio play and did a lot of great gigs in the North East,


then again the label folded but reimagined itself and reformed as Autumn Records in America. It’s a long tale I suppose but that’s how it all started. So how did the whole U.S. thing come about? My second album Truth was nominated for an HMMA (Hollywood Music and Media Award) and got through first round of the Grammys. My wife and I decided that this opportunity wasn’t going to happen again so we went out to LA and did the whole red carpet thing. I didn’t win that night but had such an incredible experience that it literally wrote the new EP. For the record I found Hollywood a pretty horrendous place with huge social problems with homelessness and drug and alcohol problems. In my opinion the place is very broken.

Your first solo E.P. was released a few weeks ago (July 15th), it’s not your first music release though, so tell us a bit more about the Solo E.P. and how it came about? So I quit my job last September to try and concentrate on music and learn more about the industry and started a music degree in Shields

College. When the pandemic hit I had already started to learn how to record myself and put what little money I had into building a small studio at home. Originally this record was supposed to be a Dean James and the Black Dogs Album but because of the lock down it turned into me spending 3 months recording at home and sending the stems back and forward to the US to my Producer Geoff Wilbourn and we came up with Dean James Unplugged. What has the response been like so far? The response has been fantastic so far, great reviews and I’m making more contacts in the industry every day. It’s really exciting I always have one eye on the horizon, planning my next record and gigs etc. it’s in my DNA without music I’m just a shell of a man plodding on. The first release was “Mother” which is a real gritty and honest song, the lyrics really resonate with the current time we are living in. Is that important to you with your song writing? It’s everything to me, I’m not going to write about going to the club and dancing, I struggle to write love songs. I think that love is 80%

pain and 20% bliss. I suppose it’s partly my life experience having to overcome a lot of stuff personally but also when I worked in mental health I was witness to the most darkest side of humanity, pain, abuse and death. I always try to inject hope into my songs no matter how dark the subject matter is because I truly believe the world is an amazing beuitiful place, the world is definitely yin and yang, you have to have balance, you cannot have light without darkness

and vice versa. Your second release “Blunge” is a mix of Blues and Grunge, is this a whole new musical genre you are trying to create or just a happy accident? Two genres stick out to me growing up, Blues and Grunge, people have really struggled to put me in a box, I absolutely love the sadness and simplicity of blues, losing your woman, drinking your sorrows away and life just being about you and your dog! Grunge on the other hand totally changed my life from the first time I came in from school and the news announced that grunge had arrived on the scene with a new band called Nirvana. Grunge was so angry and heavy that I just immersed myself in the whole scene. If you grew up in the 70s I suppose punk would have had the same effect. So why Blunge? I suppose I want to fuse the two genres as it describes my sound when I play with band. My favourite stand out song is


“Summertime”, for some reason that’s the one that keeps staying in my head. Is there any song that others have said really stands out for them or is it too early to tell? Everyone seems to have different favourites which is great for the record. I don’t really have a favourite as the next song I write is always my best song haha. I know Alive, Ghosts, Mother and Blunge are getting Blues airplay. The last 4-5 months have been a bit of a nightmare for people with Covid-19 striking the world and causing all kinds of havoc, for musicians it has meant the loss of touring and even recording with others. How much has it affected you? Last year I did about 30 shows which is great for an indie artist but this year I had about 20 shows booked by February including a festival in Halifax and the main stage of the Great British Rhythum


and Blues Festival near Manchester. We also had a lot of leads in Scotland for the first time. Really this was gonna be my income this year alongside my student loan and I was hoping to tour the summer but I’m in the same boat as everyone else really. So what is next for you or is it a case of waiting to see how things pan out with Covid and the government restrictions? Ive just been asked to play some outdoor gigs in Scotland and ive been speaking to a PR guy that would like to work with me on this EP so things are starting to open up for me again slowly. God knows what this pandemic has in store, I can only provisionally make plans. You said you are back at collage, what has it been like being a more mature student? Scary, I’m in a class where the rest

of them are cool 18 year olds with leather jackets and shades and I’m actually older than the head lecturer haha. It was a struggle at first but the young people there are great and I’m still a kid at heart to we get on, it’s still a bit weird watching them down double vodkas in the pub when all I want is an IPA! And to be honest if I was as good a musician as these lot when I was their age, I would have been famous at 21 and dead by 27. Would you recommend the course to others that are interested in music? Definitely, its ran by a great team and is very relaxed. And the amount of time I get off is amazing, ive learned so much from recording technology to how to sing properly and anything in between. It’s the best thing ive done in years. What has been the best thing

about doing the course for you? Ive actually got time to write more and play every day, being in work full time really had me stretched, I think my own mental health has improved as I’m far less stressed. I actually really enjoy doing the assignments as I always felt I wasn’t clever enough to do them in the past and that was what stopped me from doing any further education. I remember being petrified giving up my job, I felt like I was letting my family down financially and was just chasing a dream that I was too old for. It was all a lie that my self-esteem was telling me. I honestly love everything about it. What advice would you give to any up and coming musicians just starting out on their journey? Play and write every day, you’re not going to get any recognition in the industry as a covers player, remember that music is an art form and you must create your own art. Use music as therapy for yourself and I promise it will end up therapy for someone else. And never quit!! Music wise who would you say are your biggest influence? Paul Chambers, Gary Buckingham, Bernie Jackson, Dougie Morgan, Steve Tenant, Joe Peterson, Tony Bengtsson and Jen Stevens These are all local musicians that I either used to roadie for as a kid, have watched as a punter or have played alongside, I always wanted to be like them, to be performing and losing myself in music, these are the people that have set the fire in me. Famous people like Shawn James, Bob Marley, Nirvana, System of a Down, John Lee Hooker, Fats Dominio, the list is endless because I like all music, I struggle with

musicals though. If you could sing/perform with anyone past or present, who would it be and why? I would want to be Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden without a doubt, but I would love to have been in the old juke joints in the 20s and 30s in America singing the Blues with any of the old greats. Tell us 3 random facts about yourself? I love super hero films I continuously battle with an ingrown toenail I love corned beef Where can people follow you and keep up to date with tours and future releases? Dean james@facebook www.deanjamesandtheblackdogs. com Instagram

deanjamesandtheblackdogs/ Click HERE for YoutTube How can people get hold of your new E.P.? You can stream it live on all major platforms Buy it from itunes Buy it from me at a gig on cd Buy it from Is there anything you would like to add? Support live music if you can, it’s a rich part of our culture and thank you to all the amazing people that have been part of my journey, labels, promoters, photographers, magazines, radio stations and reviewers. And finally my amazing family that have supported this dream. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us and we look forward to seeing live hopefully soon. all photos by Michael Brady logo by Steve Kirkwood


NERG is the biggest retro gaming event in the North East, held at Gateshead Stadium over the course of 2 days, this event is as big as it gets for retro gamers or just the big kids re-living their youth playing the games they used to play, after all, they don’t make them like they used to. 2017 will be the fifth year of NERG and it will be a big one. With 100 video arcade machines, 35 pinball machines and 60 consoles and computers this really is an event you do not want to miss!. The event is held over the weekend of 1st & 2nd of July. Entrance is £15 per day or £25 for the full weekend. Children aged 5-13 years can also get in for only £10 on the Sunday. All the machines are set to free play so once you pay the admission fee, it’s free gaming all day., so no need for those pockets full of change. CLICK HERE TO TICKETS ONLINE.



or you can pay on the day if the event hasn’t sold out. More details can be found at w w w.northeastretrogaming. com Machines are announced on a regular basis through the social feeds so make sure you keep checking to see what games will

be there, though with so many we are sure your favourites will be there. CLICK HERE FOR FACEBOOK For Twitter - @NERGOfficial



Caleb Hinnigan

Years of hard work beckons if Durham teen, Caleb Hinnigan, is to live out his dream At just 16-years-old, County Durham athlete, Caleb Hinnigan, suddenly has the prospect of an extremely bright future ahead of him. Just over two years ago sporting endeavours, and motivation to participate, were proving a little hard to come by for the young teenager having tried his hand at a couple of sports.

and tasted a little international experience with trials for the GB Development U17s in Skelmersdale, Merseyside, Caleb’s American Football career, as fledgling as it may be, took an upward turn. Now at an impressive 6ft 5ins and 22st, the 16-year-old has been the recipient of a dream call-up, to the NFL Academy in London, the North East Academy of American Football saying the following after the news broke late last month –

However, a chance meeting with Northumberland Vikings’ Scott Kersey changed the destiny of young Caleb and he’s grown into the sport, in more ways than one.

“Everyone involved at the North East Academy would like to say congratulations to our very own Caleb Hinnigan, who has been offered a place at the NFL Academy, and will be moving to London for the next 2 years!

Two years on, and having played for both the North East Giants,

“Caleb joined the North East Giants in 2018 as a total newcomer

to the sport, and under the guidance of our coaches grew in confidence as he was taught the game, taking to the field for his first competitive National Leagues season in 2019 as part of the North East Giants u17 team. “Following this, he was successful in making the GB u17 development squad at the end of 2019 and was set for big things ahead of the 2020 season, working hard in the off-season with consistent S&C sessions, continuing to show impressive commitment both on the field and off. “We are delighted that his hard work has paid off and wish him the very best with this amazing opportunity.” That ‘amazing opportunity’ sees Caleb, in early September, move to


London just two years after taking one of the biggest chances he’ll ever take, but what’s his take on it all??? “I was a bit nervous when I first started (at the Giants) as I’d never had any vested interest in the sport (American Football),” began Caleb.

“I really enjoyed it though whereas with other sports I’d tried previously there was nothing there for me, that and my size didn’t really help matters. “But I’ve never had, or found, anything that would answer me.” Tough going early doors, Caleb, to the surprise of himself, his parents Lynette and Kevin, and sister Samantha, stuck at it, knuckled down, and worked hard, and all that has paid off in double-quick time. “Everyone there made me feel welcome from the very beginning,” continued Caleb. “Mind, my fitness levels needed increasing but Coach (Ben) Johnson, he saw something in me and I’m really thankful for that. “Especially as I hadn’t played many, if any, sports; I’ve really enjoyed it though, stuck at it, and


in any weather.” In learning something new, it’s always going to take time, highs and lows, pitfalls, but the learning of a new sport, more one that was as technically advanced as American Football, is one that will be up there alongside say, chess – a game of strategy, rules and regulations galore. Teams within teams, offense and defense lines, even in the smaller

squads used at the lower levels on this side of the pond but Caleb has stayed the course, and learnt to do so on a daily basis. “I’ve found myself playing in four tournaments, as well as getting the chance to attend GB Development trials,” added Caleb. “Yes, it’s been a big step up for me and totally new when compared to even the training sessions, so I’ve to go in there quick, and hard. “But I’ve enjoyed facing the bigger lads as it poses bigger challenges, and it feels better taking them down (he laughs); the GB trials were a fantastic experience and Coach felt I had the ability to go for it, it was enjoyable and I gained a lot of confidence from just being there.” As for the future, Caleb’s confidence sky-rocketing in July although he, and the family, still can’t believe the reality of the situation, sees him being picked up by the NFL Academy, and a possible future Stateside all of a sudden on the horizon. The whole possibility of heading over the pond come 2022 certainly adds a whole new dream into Caleb’s life, a one which he’s ready

to grasp with both hands. “I’d love to be able to get to America and gain a scholarship, that has to be the goal,” concludes Caleb. “I also know I have to work as hard as I can to get to that dream, so that’s what I’ll do.”



NERG is the biggest retro gaming event in the North East, held at Gateshead Stadium over the course of 2 days, this event is as big as it gets for retro gamers or just the big kids re-living their youth playing the games they used to play, after all, they don’t make them like they used to. 2017 will be the fifth year of NERG and it will be a big one. With 100 video arcade machines, 35 pinball machines and 60 consoles and computers this really is an event you do not want to miss!.

The event is held over the weekend of 1st & 2nd of July. Entrance is £15 per day or £25 for the full weekend. Children aged 5-13 years can also get in for only £10 on the Sunday.

event hasn’t sold out. More details can be found at

All the machines are set to free play so once you pay the admission fee, it’s free gaming all day., so no need for those pockets full of change. CLICK HERE TO TICKETS ONLINE.


or you can pay on the day if the



[ne 2020 artist of the Year]

Gilby & Champion are Living in Shadows In building towards what will be a first album release in seven years, award winning musician, Zoe Gilby, alongside multi-instrumentalist husband Andy Champion, bring forth their eagerly anticipated, Living in Shadows project. Opening with the first single from the album, the exquisite track, For The Day, Zoe and Andy’s new project sees the duo move, albeit

slightly, away from their usual jazz forte as they look to follow in the traditions of the great alt pop and progressive rock artists, whilst containing a reflection of their jazz backgrounds. Inspired by the migration of birds, the first single from the project came to Zoe with the fluttering of wings across the evening skyline. “Like most of the songs we write, I start with a melody idea and then start writing lyrics,” began Zoe.

“Once I’ve got something fairly structured I take it to Andy and the composition begins to take place. “With this one (For The Day) the inspiration itself is taken from the migration of birds and is simply, the promise of a new journey, the sense of a new beginning.” That promise, the prospect of new beginnings, certainly doesn’t mean the Tyneside-based pair will be moving away from the jazz scene,


In following their own path, one which can reach both crossroads, and take off in differing directions, the musical path presented by Zoe and Andy continues to know no bounds. Throughout what has been a global pandemic climate during the majority of 2020, at least five months of it, curtailing all live performances across the globe, they’ve kept themselves going, as other musicians and fellow creatives have had to, by producing ‘live’ performances on Patreon, but helping out where they’re able to do so as well. A recent outing at The Globe Newcastle in mid-July (Zoe and Andy’s first stage performance since March) has followed home showings for both the Langtoun Jazz Festival (a fundraiser for the Kirkcaldy foodbanks) and the Oxford Festival of the Arts.

far from it, this is more a continued creation of further options on their musical pathway in order to continue an upward progression.

“I took that idea to Andy (Champion, multi-instrumentalist) and he composed and arranged this beautiful, dynamic piece.

“The initial melody idea sketched out in my mind and the lyrical idea came to me whilst I was lying on our bed gazing out of the window and a flock of migrating birds sailed by, continued Zoe.

“It became clear that more lyrical content was required so I continued to write and composed the lyrics for the bridge section.

“I was struck by that image of the flock taking to the sky as a protected group about to embark on an adventure.


“We needed to portray not just the imagery of the beautiful, graceful shape commanding their direction but also the desire that we humans, long to know where they are going and to follow their path.”

If Patreon has been what has kept them going through all this, alongside the day job, then Living in Shadows will continue to see massive strides forward being taken, a consensus in a project that in itself deals with the concept of movement and transition. “It (For The Day) encapsulates a

great deal of what the (upcoming) album is about and feels like it is a springboard that personifies the concept of that body of work,” adds Zoe. “It wasn’t a conscious decision to ‘step away from the jazz,’ more a natural transition. “That being said, there are still a lot of jazz influences (you’d expect no less) with our new sound. “It is certainly more freeing to compose and record without worrying if it sounds like a certain genre or not. “(And) just to make the music that is in our hearts, without concerning ourselves with what pigeonhole it needs to fit into.” The jazz will certainly continue though, that much is guaranteed. Twelves Stories may have been the last full album release, back in December 2013 (it seems so long ago now), but there is also the tantalising expectation that comes with Zoe’s other project, Aurora, an instrumental composition of American trumpeter and composer, Tom Harrell. Scheduled for release itself earlier this year, Aurora, and Living

in Shadows, could well lead to a stunning double-ending to what has been an unprecedented year already, and go a long way to cementing the legacy of Zoe Gilby. and Twitter or via www. and

For The Day, the debut single from the Living in Shadows project by Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion, will be available to download via all digital platforms on Friday 31 July. Featuring new social media platforms, Living in Shadows can be found on Facebook via https://




We have double the fun now as we have teamed up with Cineworld Boldon and the new Cineworld Dalton Park to give you a quick run down on a few films that are coming soon and really have got us excited. Plus make sure you check out their Facebook page to keep up to date with their daily competitions and updates. Boldon and Dalton Park

Cineworld Boldon Tyne and Wear, located at Boldon leisure park, has undergone a full refurbishment. And we’re delighted to announce that your new-look cinema is now open, on the same day that Cineworld cinemas in England re-open their doors. What is Superscreen? Superscreen’s breathtaking multidimensional sound is powered by epic Dolby Atmos speakers will make you feel like you’re right there in the film. Having opened in December 2017, Superscreen’s combination of state-of-the-art projection and huge screens means every second is a beauty to behold. Guests can supersize their experience with multidimensional Dolby Atmos sound and 4k film projection on a massive wall-to-wall and ceiling-high screen (which is taller than a double decker bus


at 17m x 7.3m). And to make the launch of this new look cinema extra special, Cineworld Boldon has revealed some exciting offers that will be available from opening day, including classic film screenings from just £5 in standard screening rooms, and less than £9 for the new Superscreen. Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster Tenet will be showing in Superscreen from 26th August, and we’re also

screening classics such as Back to the Future and Harry Potter. What else has been upgraded at Cineworld Boldon Tyne and Wear? The refurbished cinema will also debut a new Starbucks, refurbed standard screens with new seats, and state-ofthe-art updates to the foyer and concession stands where customers can purchase a selection of their favourite movie snacks.


TENET Release date: 26 August 2020 Running time: 120 minutes Armed with only one word -- Tenet -- and fighting for the survival of the entire world, the Protagonist journeys through a twilight world of international espionage on a mission that will unfold in something beyond real time. Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Aaron TaylorJohnson, ClĂŠmence PoĂŠsy, with Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh Director: Christopher Nolan CLICK HERE TO BOOK TICKETS & WATCH THE TRAILER.



Bill & Ted Face The Music 01 September 2020 Once told they’d save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find


themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.

Lundy-Paine, Billie Logan William Sadler, Hal Landon Jr. Director: Dean Parisot

Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette




Wonder Woman 1984 02 October 2020 DC Comics biggest female superhero is back on the big screen where she belongs. Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder

Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah. Cast: Gal Gadot ,Connie Nielsen, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, Robin

Wright, Kristen Wiig Director: Patty Jenkins CLICK HERE TO BOOK TICKETS & WATCH THE TRAILER



Black Widow 28 October 2020 A film about Marvel’s Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity


Director: Cate Shortland

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, O-T Fagbenle




Unlimited Card Love Cinema. Join the club - £17.90 a month. You will receive... Preferential Discounts Unlimited members get 10% off all food and drink bought in-cinema at any time of day, every day!* Plus, you’ll also receive discounts for all nonfilm screenings such as Live Opera in HD, Live National Theatre, Live sport in 3D and live gigs etc. (All discounts subject to terms) Get access to Exclusive advance screenings

As an Unlimited member, you can be among the first to see great movies at our special screenings. Just keep an eye on our Unlimited newsletter for your invitation. Discounted Meals & Shopping Unlimited members benefit from exclusive deals set up by their local cinema*. These offers vary from cinema to cinema, but are a great way to save pennies. (All deals are subject to terms) *Until further notice

Watch as many films as you like Are you mad about movies? Feed your fascination by watching as many films as you like at Cineworld every month from just £17.90. There’s literally no limit to the number of times you can visit! Apply for your card now at www.unlimitedcineworld. com/uk/pages/apply. aspx?step=1 using promo code RAF-63KG-29XM-00SB31WU.


Coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8 the region’s Lucinda Grange (formerly of Hartlepool, now New York City) saw some of her finest work, from the project ‘Backwards and in High Heels,’ included in the Donna Karan – Urban Zen exhibition in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. Beginning on March 8 and running through until April 7, Ms. Grange’s most prized project, entitled as ‘Dancing with the Stars’ included in the exhibition ran by the ArtLead Her platform, a vision founded by Mashinda Tirfere. Supporting and promoting only female artists, ArtLead Her aims to help level the field in the art world, where the gender bias is very strong and, being part of what is Women’s History Month will help envelope that consensus. Speaking of her prized project, ‘Backwards and in High Heels,’ Lucinda said: “It is a quote in reference to Ginger Rodgers. “Fred Astaire, her male dance partner, would get more fame, fortune and attention than she did, yet she did everything he did, backwards and in high heels. “This project started with two selfportraits on the Chrysler Building (Midtown Manhattan, New York) and gradually grew as I photographed women I know and admire in places you wouldn’t expect


to see anyone - let alone a woman, looking strong and extravagant in a dress! “The aim of this project was to question stereotypes women are often subjected to, and instead highlight the strength and power

of these women.” To be included within the exhibition, for Lucinda, is something she is excited about and follows immediately after her solo exhibition, ‘City Cross-Section’ which was held at the Lyle O. Reitzel Contemporary Art Gallery and finished late-February. In the new exhibition at the Urban Zen Lucinda exhibited an image, ‘King Woman,’ which depicts Ingrid Silva, lead dancer for the Dance Theatre of Harlem. “In this picture, Ingrid is on point on the ladder of a water tower on a NYC rooftop. “Ingrid grew up in Brazil, a very humble beginning, and now she’s the dance company’s top dancer, traveling the world, following her

passion. “She is now performing to crowds of thousands despite the many obstacles that have been in her way. “Not only is she Brazilian, she is also black and petite, very far from those who one might expect to see as the lead dancer. “Her sheer willpower, dedication and determination got her all the way from living in Brazil, to being one of the top dancers in this city. “My aim was to capture the feeling of this inspiring person and her story in this one single image.” Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. It is celebrated during March in the U.S. the U.K. and Australia, coinciding with International Women’s Day on March 8.



Byrne & Scott launch Darlington’s performing arts studio, Platform Perform Masterminded by that of Miss Fiona (Head of Dance, Fiona Scott) and Miss Jade (Head of Drama, Jade Byrne), Darlington’s new performing arts academy, Platform Perform, will officially open its stage doors in early September. Prior to that the ladies will thrust themselves into the spotlight with a series of week-long, virtual workshops beginning on August 10, for five days, Platform Perform will host a series of West End and TV Show workshops consisting of a host of celebrities as they prepare for the launch mere weeks later. One of those workshop celebrities, Jonny Labey, said of his own session: “The class will partly be teaching some classic flamenco and salsa techniques mixed with using choreography taken from

the smash hit west end musical Strictly Ballroom as well as fusing all that with contemporary! “So a mash-up of styles and will be vibrant and fun; I can’t wait to meet the platform perform students and DANCE in the summer sun.”

At just 27-years-old Labey is perhaps best known for his performance of the BBC Eastenders character, Paul Coker, between 2015 and 2016 whilst also having been seen in Dance, Dance, Dance (winner of Season One), and the X Factor Celebrity, in recent years.


College, Leeds, the pair embarking upon three years of musical theatre, the pair have enjoyed differing, but equally enjoyable paths in their respective careers in the arts. Miss Jade went down the acting route, enjoying a number of roles on both screen and stage, including parts in Inspector George Gently, Mount Pleasant, and Casualty, prior to, in recent years, writing and producing and performing the stage show, Pricks; Miss Fiona meanwhile took to dancing, and a global path which saw her travel to Tenerife, India, and for a couple of unforgettable years, partaking in choreography and cabaret in France, recently settling into a teaching role at the Sonya Marie Academy of Dance. “I love dancing and Love teaching,” beamed Miss Fiona. “I can’t wait to get back into the studio whether that be in a full classroom setting, or in one-toone situations. Jonny finds himself taking a central position with a midweek spot for his Strictly Ballroom Theatre Workshop, whilst being joined throughout the week by that of Philip Hill Pearson and Jonny Dixon (TV Workshop), Ryan Jenkins (Commercial Workshop), Ben Harris (Musical Theatre Dance), Jodie Steele (West End Wicked Workshop), Danni Dee (Adult Dance) and Shanaya Atkinson Jones (Pop Vocal Workshop), running between August 10-14. If you’re going to begin something new then you may as well begin it in style, and that is just what Miss Fiona and Miss Jade are set to do with the arrival of Platform Perform, an idea which, in all honesty, has been a number of years in


the making.

“And the initial goal is that this is for everybody and that we’re “It’s took us a few years but we’re finally here,” explained Miss Fiona. offering Platform Perform so that young people can eventually be mentored towards professional “This current situation gave us auditions.” both the chance to sit down and talk about doing this. “We’d love to be able to go out there and pass on our experiences to other, future performers.” “Now is the right time, and more to be able to have a normal(ish) job,” added Miss Jade. “We can offer up something truly amazing, especially considering the experience we have together.” Having met each other at SLP

“You don’t need any prior experience either,” Miss Jade divulges in the beauty of Platform Perform, “and we’ll be basing it more on the differing age ranges, in ‘platforms,’ moving from one level to another as they get older – unless they require the challenge of being moved up a level.”

Platform Poppets (ages 3-5 years)

In regards the differing platforms on offer, Miss Fiona and Miss Jade offer the following –

Platform Perform - invited students only

Platform 1 (ages 5-8 years) Platform 2 (ages 8-11 years) Platform 3 (ages 11-14 years) Platform 4 (ages 14+ years)

On the second day of the virtual workshops, world renowned director and choreographer, Ryan Jenkins provides a Commercial Workshop and Q&A, he said: “I am so excited to dance with these amazing kids. “I have seen them dance already and know that they are extremely talented; I hope they are ready #WERKIT, because they are worth it!” Having, rather excitedly, claimed

premises on a long-term contract at The Northern Echo Arena (next to the DBMA Darlington gym) Miss Fiona and Miss Jade have plenty of space at their disposal for the array of classes in which they’ll be offering. “There’s so much uncertainty out there at the moment that we wanted to be able to bring forth some light in that we will come out of this with renewed positivity,” explained Miss Fiona. “The main thing, more now, is the safety of the children so we are willing to wait for certain classes to occur, or be able to have stricter regulations in place, like the summer school, certain workshops and taster sessions.” Their dream now, combined with the frustrations of those looking at doing something within the arts, then in doing something like this, really well, will see the pair able to


deliver what they’ve learnt, in their Darlington home in the northeast, and not having to travel further afield, whilst also paying substantially high fees in order to do so. Opening on the Monday with Jonny Dixon, Philip Hill Pearson will be providing a TV Workshop to which he said of the opening virtual session: ““Jonny and I are looking forward to working with Platform Perform. “Both of us worked in Television and Theatre at a young age and have since gone on to find very different paths into the industry. “We hope to pass as much knowledge as possible; hints, tips and answer some questions along the way. “I hope Platform Perform is a great success and wish Fiona and Jade the best of luck. I worked with Jade on her first professional job. Exciting things to come!” Running Monday – Saturday the vast array of classes on offer can be

found via www.platformperform. whilst more infor-

mation regarding the upcoming workshops and the celebrities giving them, is here Interested in Platform Perform? Keep up-to-date via social media platforms, Facebook https:// and Twitter PlatPerform or via the website at “We hope to see you all at the Arena very soon!”







The Beautiful South Founder Member Dave Hemingway announces October Release For ‘SUNBIRDS’ Debut Album. The Beautiful South founder member Dave Hemingway has announced that his new band Sunbirds will release their debut album ‘Cool To Be Kind’ on 30th October 2020 on the independent label Nectar Records. Having retired from the live scene at the back end of 2016, Dave has been keeping busy with guitarist, songwriter and collaborator Phil Barton, with Cool To Be Kind signalling the arrival of the new

band, new songs and a new sound.

Produced by cult producer Teo Miller, who was responsible for The music Sunbirds make takes on Daisy Chainsaw’s breakthrough single ‘Love Your Money’ and board all of the bands and artists Dave and Phil have loved over the subsequently worked with The years. It chiefly blends the musiPretenders, Placebo and Robert Plant, the album captures truthcal instruments of rural America with an occasional twist of grungy ful, open-hearted, funny and guitars and sets them against lyrics sometimes painfully honest songs, that remain very much at home in turning the page to a new chapter for Dave Hemingway and The the towns and cities of England. “Although a lot of the songs have a Beautiful South story. Country feel.” says Dave. “They’re still about life in England. You’re The formation of Sunbirds also going to feel a bit daft singing sees the introduction of new discovery Laura Wilcockson on about pick-up trucks and low down honky-tonks when you live vocals and violin. Laura comes from a classical/orchestral, as in Yorkshire.” well as folk background. If you’re


listing: 1. Meet You On The Northside 2. Hatred Lies In The Ruins Of Love 3. Holiday Monday 4. Gene Kelly 5. Insert Answer Here 6. The Black Sea 7. When I’m Gone 8. Beautiful People 9. Longcuts 10. Big Moneymaker 11. Please Yourself 12. Stars Still Shine Sunbirds ‘Cool To Be Kind’ album is available from - https://sunbirds. and from the 30th October also available from Amazon, HMV, Spotify and iTunes. Sunbirds are: Dave Hemingway – Vocals Phil Barton – Guitar Laura Wilcockson – Vocals & Violin Marc Parnell – Drums

lucky, you might spot her busking around Mansfield. Completing the four-piece line-up is session drummer to the stars, Marc Parnell. His CV has way too many names to go into here. Cool To Be Kind is the result of a few transitional years in Dave and Phil’s individual personal worlds. It tells tales that cover contemporary themes as well as age-old matters of the heart and soul - all viewed through the bottom of a recently drained pint glass. “There’s no exact science here,” says Phil. “We’re just enjoying ourselves and expressing whatever we want, whether it’s about love, greed, social isolation or Gary


Lineker’s crisp adverts”. ‘Cool To Be Kind’ - album track

For more information on Sunbirds, please visit the links below: Website Facebook https://www.facebook. com/ Twitter Instagram https://www.instagram. com/sunbirdsmusic





Lockdown live performances, home school activities, competitions, giveaways, helping local food banks, working together with local businesses, lighting up a our beloved theatre and St Mary’s lighthouse.... These past few months have been extraordinary and we really want to thank you all for your continued support. We will get through this and we will see you all again. Just a quick reminder to our customers that original tickets purchased for Playhouse Whitley Bay shows remain valid for all rescheduled events.





With new items from your favourite brands inc C.P. Company, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, adidsd Oroginals and more arriving daily make sure you keep checking the website CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST PRODUCTS 76












**Attention Small Business Owners** 1000’s of small businesses across the UK qualify to reduce their annual energy bills by a massive 40%! Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity. To find out if your business qualifies, you simply click the below link Switch & Save on your current energy rates.


SAVE THE HIGH STREET - IN THE SPOTLIGHT: THE SWEET PETITE The Sweet Petite is owned by Laura Graham, 32. The Sweet Petite are a unique bakery set in a stylishly vintage Rice Beaufort horse trailer. Laura established her business in 2014 after deciding to create her own five tier wedding cake just days before her wedding day, “soon after our big day, I started Sweet Occasions, making cakes became more than a hobby but after a few years I wanted to do more” 

Laura said. She searched the market for the perfect shop to run her business from but she didn’t have any luck, “I saw a gap in the market for something different – a mobile bakery” The search for a van or trailer to operate from led Laura and her husband, Thomas, to The Cotswolds where she discovered a Vintage Rice Beaufort. Laura said

that it was, “in perfect condition and so we brought her home and began the conversion to The Sweet Petite.” The plans for the conversion were then drawn up and in the space of several months, Laura and her husband completed the changes in Summer 2019. Laura told us that, “since then we have attended events at gorgeous locations such as Wynyard Hall, selling a selection of tasty homemade cakes and bakes. We only use the best ingredients and we get fantastic feedback. We’ve had our first wedding bookings now too” Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Sweet Petite’s events were cancelled, “we had to think of a way to adapt our business and so we started a delivery service. I built a website and an online shop where customers

could check out and pay securely” Laura provides a contactless delivery service whereby she leaves the boxes on the customers step and moves back when they are collected. “We offer a hand written card option and we receive some lovely messages. A lot of the deliveries are gifts and I think it’s been a great way for people to stay connected – to make sure that those who have had to stay alone, knew someone was thinking of them. We have been really lucky as the delivery service has been a huge success – we are reaching twice the amount of customers than we were pre lockdown” When asked what her plans were for after lockdown is over, Laura said that, “we have been given permission to finish the Summer season at the pitch by the Victorian Tram shelter at Seaburn. As soon as the weather picks up again we will be there! We are also looking forward to attending some more events later in the year if it’s safe to do so. No matter what happens, we are excited to be doing what we love and we look forward to what the future brings” You can contact The Sweet Petite via the following links: Website:



ALL ROUND TO THE HAIRY BIKERS’ FOR A NIGHT OF COOKING CONVERSATION WITH SI KING AND DAVE MYERS TICKETS ONSALE 10AM FRIDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2018 National Treasures Si King and Dave Myers, aka The Hairy Bikers have announced a huge nationwide tour. With their irresistible enthusiasm, An Evening With The Hairy Bikers will be an epic night of cooking and conversation. Big hearted, down-to-earth cooks with a love of good food, Si and Dave have been cooking


together for more than twenty years. They have created haute cuisine dishes with Michelinstarred chefs and travelled the world in the pursuit of great food. They’ve also explored the length and breadth of the British Isles to discover brand new recipes and create their own fresh takes on cooking classics. The stars of several hit television shows, they are the UK’s most popular cookery duo with series including The Hairy Bikers’ Mediterranean Adventure, The Hairy Bikers’ Cook Book; Best of British; The Hairy Bikers’ Mississippi Adventure; Everyday Gourmets; The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of and two major

prime time series of Mums Know Best all drawing millions of audiences. No strangers to the live arena, The Hairy Bikers performed their sell-out Big Night Out show in theatres across the UK in 2010 and completed another ambitious nationwide theatre tour in April 2013. Tickets for The Hairy Bikers are on sale Fri 28 Sep from 10am and can be purchased online at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).

Ali Boxing & Fitness Gym. Local gym based in Darlington. Boxing classes for all abilities, box for fitness, mixed & ladies only classes. 1-2-1’s, small groups, fight prep & much more. Ali Boxing & Fitness Gym , Clayton’s Yard, Tannery Lane, DL1 1SH Darlington Follow On FACEBOOK htt p s : / / w w w.fa c e b o o k . co m / AliBoxingUK/



**THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVERISSUE TWO IS IMMINENTLY INBOUND** Do you remember as a kid, when the summer stretched out way before you? A carefree time when ‘being back by tea-time’ was the only rule and your biggest worry was the newsagent selling out of your favourite comic’s Summer Special? It’s back! The ‘77 ‘Summer Special’ is coming and will be delivered in time to save your summer packed with stories from today’s hottest talent, tomorrow’s stars and the coolest creators from your childhood. Missed the Kickstarter Order your copies from Get My Comics https://getmycomics. com/Release/Indie/The77 where you can buy the standard issue or either of the two amazing variants. Featuring: V by Steve Bull and Ade Hughes Prodigal by Mal Earl Jericho-5 by Dan Whitehead and Paul Jason Holden Martian Law by Brendon Wright The Collector by Steve MacManus

and Charlie Gillespie The House that Never Was by Kek-W and Conor Boyle Division ‘77 by Dave Heeley and Sinclair Elliott Trompe La Mort by Dave Bedford and Andrew Richmond Penny Pentagram by David Thomas and Jon Roydon Gut Crawlers by Dan Whitehead

and Paul Williams The Cell by Bambos Georgiou and Andy Sawyers Skate Worm by Ben Conan Cullis and Morgan Gleave Undertow by Joe and Jerry Dunn Ghastly United by Barrie Tomilison and Neil Blackbird Sims Sgt. Shouty by Lew Stringer Lifeboat by Ian Gibson



ROMESH RANGANATHAN COMES TO THE CITY HALL FRIDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2019 WITH A BRAND NEW SHOW TICKETS ON SALE 10AM FRIDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2018 Romesh Ranganathan is back with a brand-new show, The Cynic’s Mixtape, and it’s his most brutally honest show yet. Fresh from The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, A League Of Their Own and Judge Romesh, he’s putting showbiz aside to deliver a carefully-curated

selection of all the things he has found unacceptable since his last tour, including why trying to save the environment is a scam, why none of us are truly free, and his suspicion that his wife is using gluten intolerance to avoid sleeping with him. Romesh’s cynicism has become his trademark, but since being nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2013 Edinburgh Comedy Awards this deadpan humour has become one of Britain’s most respected and popular comics. Now, though, it’s time for the

Asian Provocateur to return to his stand-up roots for a while – there’s things he needs to point out, discuss and have a good moan about. Care to join him? Show drops 2019, don’t miss it. Tickets for Romesh Ranganathan are on sale Fri 28 Sep from 10am and are £26.50. Tickets can be purchased online at www. or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge)