Category Archives: Uncategorized

ICENI in concert

With: Lady Caroline Mary
Star & Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Friday, July 15 at 8:00pm

Great pop songs have lives of their own. That’s why the best live on into the future, and get covered, deconstructed and rebuilt. They sound like they’re easy to write, and that makes them the hardest of all to compose.

But Iceni seem to do exactly that. They have a brain for pop that creates tunes that stay in your head, and that are radio AND dancefloor friendly. They’re the best chart band you’ve never heard of.

While the upbeat joyousness of Fleetwood Mac, Abba and 10cc runs like a spine through their music, there are other milestones. Bassist Lindsay works as a jazz singer, and Liz Corney as a singing teacher. “We’ve other influences” she says, but “we never pre-plan writing a pop song. The way we are as people means that everything we write seems to be up-tempo. There’s no navel gazing”

They headline a showcase gig in the Star & Shadow Cinema on July 15, playing in the screening room, where the intimate space creates an atmosphere unrivalled in Newcastle, and where Iceni are sure to be appreciated for their superb songwriting talent.

Support comes from Lady Caroline Mary (“hilarious and highly accomplished” – Narc):

Tickets: £5 on the door.

Songs from the Pits and the Coast

Johnny Handle
With: Johnny Handle & Chris Hendry / Fire Maidens from Outer Space
Star & Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Friday, November 19 at 8:00pm

Johnny Handle is a major influence on many of the younger guns of the UK folk scene.

A legend in his own lifetime, a singer whose voice, rhymes and rhythms were shaped by his experience of fifteen years in the mines.

Twenty-five years after the Great Miners’ Strike, Johnny’s performing a set of mining and work songs to help us gird our loins for the struggles to come.

Having now teamed up with Chris Hendry, their set will cover songs from that other defining aspect of the North East – our coast.

This will be Chris and Johnny’s first gig at the Star & Shadow, and they’re sure to benefit from the up close and personal feel of the cinema bar – very much a traditional style folk song space, and a great setting for the mix of performance, song, repartee and story that is their trademark.

In support will be the mighty Fire Maidens from Outer Space: five women with folk fury on their minds.

Tickets: £5 / £4 (concessions)

Tango ’til they’re sore: A night of Tom Waits songs for Oxjam

Tango ’til they’re sore: A night of Tom Waits songs for OxjamUrban & Eastern Tom Waits poster
With: Bridie Jackson / Christi Andropolis / Lady Koo and her Kooky Kitchen / George Welch / Miss Danby
Cumberland Arms
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, October 23 at 7:30pm

What could be better than a night of songs by Tom Waits to raise money for Oxjam?

Long the champion of the underdog, Waits has given voice to the street people, the little man, the ordinary Joe. Tonight his music will celebrate the giving spirit of Newcastle, as six of the City’s finest musical acts give their own take on a songbook unequalled in variety, wonder and mystery.

In 2010 Bridie became a fully fledged bandleader and arranger, and is now forging a reputation as a musician. The acoustic guitar still emerges from time to time, but her musical background is now more likely to be bassoon, harp and violin. Her recent musical experiments have extended to hip-hop, arranging songs like Let’s Get it On in Public (Kelis) and Survivor (Justin Timberlake) for a five piece choir, and Destiny’s Child’s Survivor for voice and cello. Tonight she tackles the Bard of the Bowery.

Hailing from New York State, Christi Andropolis is a singer and fiddler whose musical inspirations range from the Southern States of the US to the UK, exploring connections between traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic. From delta blues to Appalachian tunes, she combines the influence of her American roots with a flair for Scottish and Eng…lish fiddle, establishing a new voice for transatlantic folk music. Having already toured extensively in her native U.S., Christi is fast becoming acclaimed on the UK folk scene with expressive vocals, dynamic fiddling and on-stage charisma.

LADY KOO and HER KOOKY KITCHENA combination of style, substance, tweed, banjolele and tea-drinking madness, Lady K and her Kooky Kitchen are a three-piece renowned for taking exuberant delight in salacious songwriting with all the joy and humour of old-time music, playing 1920s and 30s style Tin Pan Alley and ragtime in the spirit of Mae West, Ruth Etting and Fanny Brice.


Tango til they’re sore!


With: Ladies of Midnight Blue / Iceni
Star and Shadow
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, October 16 at 7:30pm

Earlier in the year, the Slits brought their whacked-out mix of punk, reggae and avant-funk to the Star and Shadow. As wonderful as they were, one crucial element was missing; main songwriter Viv Albertine.

“I was asked to rejoin the Slits about three or four years ago” she says. “I absolutely said no. No way. I didn’t feel that it was relevant at all”

In fact, it had been nearly twenty years since Albertine had even picked up a g…uitar, when she started to play solo shows again last year. Having felt that the Slits had become “Ari’s band”, she still acknowledges the profound impact that the band, and the punk movement, had on her life.

“Everything that I write really comes back to the Slits. We were very strict, as were a lot of punks, that every note that you played and every word that you wrote had to be true and I still hold to that maxim”. She says she can only write about love and sex, but her songs now reflect her experiences as a 55-year old artist and mother.

While less intensely “out there’ that Ari Up’s new Slits, Albertine’s solo work is still aggressively visceral, and none other than Courtney Love recently acknowledged Albertine’s place in the riot grrrl pantheon when she said “Viv established a place for women in the punk scene way before ‘girl’ became ‘grrrl’”

Albertine will play at the newly refurbished Star and Shadow, supported by Dominican / Jamaican / New Jersey funk duo Ladies of Midnight Blue [], and Newcastle’s highly rated Iceni, on an all-female bill.


With: Dirty Diamonds / Lady K and her Kooky Kitchen
Cafe de l’Arte, Quayside
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00pm

Ever mused on the relationship between Test Cricket and hip-hop? Lapsang Souchong and NWA? A bowlful of Schermerhorn Flake and ‘busting a move’

These are the concerns of Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer, a one-man mission to introduce hip-hop to the Queen’s English. He calls it Chap-Hop.

A bastard cross between Terry-Thomas, Chuck D and George Formby, Mr B has spent the best part of a decade in an attempt to bring some manners back into popular culture. This dopest of fellows takes to the stage with his banjolele and stiff upper lip to perform ditties about pipe-smoking, cricket and sexual misadventure, as well as some more well-known pieces from the world of hip-hop, re-worked in true Chap-Hop fashion.

With a handlebar moustache, boating blazer and cravat, Mr.B has played recitals across the UK and explored Johnny Continent in the past two years – from the Glastonbury Festival to Club NME in Paris. He’s been described by Tom Robinson as “pure genius” and his recent video ‘Chap-Hop history’ received over 100,000 hits in its first week on youtube.

He headlines a night of brandy drinking, good manners and phat beats at the Cafe de l’Arte on May 12 2010, supported by Newcastle’s own Dirty Diamonds, and Lady K and her Kooky Kitchen.

Dirty Diamonds play ukulele, banjo, viola and stylophone and have appeared in grubby pubs, smart nightclubs and festivals across the North East. As queer and traditional as a ten-bob note, they’ll shock your maiden aunt, but she’ll know exactly what they’re referring to! Imagine Hinge and Brackett (plus Handle) appearing on League of Gentleman. Their debut EP, GAYDAR ALERT, was launched in late 2009.

A combination of style, substance, tweed, banjolele and tea-drinking madness, Lady K and her Kooky Kitchen are a three-piece renowned for taking exuberant delight in salacious songwriting with all the joy and humour of old-time music, playing 1920s and 30s style Tin Pan Alley and ragtime in the spirit of Mae West, Ruth Etting and Fanny Brice.

Advance tickets are £6.50 (including booking fee) and available from Paypal