The North East's Music Underground Is Blossoming
The North East of England is often unjustly overlooked, yet it contains a thriving, fervent music community.
The nexus of communities stretches from Newcastle through Sunderland and Middlesborough, encompassing some of the surrounding towns and villages.
An underground network based around co-operation and mutual assistance, festivals such as Hit The North are doing a phenomenal job at platforming this, and connecting it on a national and international level.
Clash writer Becca Fergus details a few key voices from the North East.
- - -
Renowned for her delicate yet enthralling vocals, IMOGEN is an artist deep-rooted into the fabrication of the North East scene.
Having swapped the Tyne for the Thames in recent years, the singer-songwriter made notable waves with her debut EP ‘Faze Green’, which featured the beautifully melodic stand out track ‘White Lines’, and with the addition of a live percussion and brass band to accentuate her developing sound, she continues to delve into a far more intricate, jazz-infused nature.
Her latest offering ‘I Wish I Were You’ is a slick and sultry exploration into the concept of esteem; the battle of infatuation with others and the confusion of wanting to be them or be around them.
A bold transition from her usual style, the single is an exciting taste of what’s to come for one of the North’s most promising artists.
- - -
Making an explosive mark on the North East scene is North Shields musician and producer Jango Flash.
Describing himself as ‘kamikaze pop’, the artist fuses textured riffs with an analytical eye on everyday life, concocting a sound that is wonderfully written whilst retaining it’s edge. Channelling his personal encounters into creativity, their single ‘Acting On The Telephone’ depicts the brutally honest effects of alcoholism in a manner that still manages to be delicate.
Now complete as a five piece band and with an upcoming EP ‘Money and Medication’ being released this month, Jango Flash are daring to observe the subjects we struggle to talk about musically; a resolute breath of fresh air into the industry.
- - -
A South Shields singer-songwriter whose impeccable talent has shone a light on the seaside town, Brooke Bentham is an artist that is destined for success. Her down to earth attitude and ability to write about relationships in a manner that isn’t smothered by the cliche is beyond refreshing, and her recently released album ‘Everyday Nothing’, produced by close friend Bill Ryder-Jones, has been met with widespread acclaim.
With thundering ballads such as ‘Perform For You’, which combines both desire and frustration in a toxic relationship, and the sweet-tempered serenade of ‘Baby Lungs’, it is a body of work that presents her uniquely captivating way with words, which tied with her vocals, makes her an unstoppable force to be reckoned with.
- - -
A Festival, A Parade
Christened after a song penned by Cincinnati's melancholy music makers The National, A Festival, A Parade have made a rather raucous impact upon the Newcastle scene.
A sublime blend of post-rock riffs, cathartic drums and moody yet poetic lyricism, the four piece’s EP ‘Stay Away From Me’ is a showcase of their powerful sound, with features such as ‘Cold Shower’ and the nine minute titular track flaunting their distinctive style.
With new music out this year and two tours with Tyne and Wear’s treasure Sam Fender under their belt, it is an exciting time for the outfit.
- - -
The Pale White
Acclaimed for their unparalleled energy, The Pale White are Newcastle’s resident rabble rousers.
The three piece’s frenetic style paired with their lyrics that wouldn’t go amiss being echoed back in their thousands at arena venues has made them universally successful, with songs such as the adrenaline induced ‘Swim For Your Life’ and fan favourite ‘That Dress’ soaring replays into the millions.
Following slots at Glastonbury, the success of their headline UK tour and recent support slot for Sam Fender’s European leg, their latest infectious offering ‘Polaroid’ teases a further release this year from Tyneside’s best trio.
- - -
Words: Becca Fergus
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.