Bring the Noise: Acoustic stars play hip-hop hits

clarisseWith: Bridie Jackson / Emily Portman / Fire Maidens from Outer Space / Christi Andropolis / Monster Ceilidh Band / Dirty Diamonds
Arts Centre Washington
Washington, United Kingdom
Friday, November 27 at 7:30pm

Folk versus hip-hop? Two cultures with no common ground?

Judge for yourselves as the best young folk talent in the North East bridge the gap. If you want to hear Public Enemy played on the English concertina, and fiddlers tackling NWA, tonight is the time and place to do it.



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 English fiddle, establishing a new voice for transatlantic folk music. Christi regularly appears with her musical partner, Dave Newey, one of the finest young folk guitarists in the country.


Emily Portman is a singer, writer and concertina player with a passion for traditional narratives. Best known for her interpretations of English folk ballads, Emily is one of the brightest young stars on the British folk scene, having worked with Waterson:Carthy, Shirley Collins and making regular appearances on BBC Radio 2 and Late Junction on Radio 3.

Her first album, Other Stories, will be released in early 2010.


Durham born musician-composer Bridie Jackson has been described as “a powerful performer with an otherwordly voice”, and mixes elements of classical guitar with blues and fado influenced vocal improvisation. One of the most original female singers in the region, Bridie has released her first EP on Urban and Eastern this spring, and her album will follow in April 2010.


Dirty Diamonds play ukulele, banjo, viola and stylophone and have appeared in grubby pubs, smart nightclubs and festivals across the North East. Songwriter Nicky Rushton was formerly a member of All Because the Lady Loves, and also plays in Mush with Sarah van Jellie. The line-up is completed by Richard Bliss on voice, strings and comedic banter. Their debut EP will be launched in late 2009.


Amy Thatcher, Carly Blain, Kieran Szifris and David de la Haye represent the hottest young Ceilidh band in the country, and have just released their first album, Make Me a Dancer. Their music is strong on tradition, but has elements of jazz, bluegrass and even the rave scene, with an audience that follows them across the north east and beyond.


Four young women with piercings, tattoos and dreadlocks, the Fire Maidens are steeped in folk tradition, but not hidebound by history. Joanna Lindsay-Dunn is a champion clog-dancer, while fiddler Cathy Geldard hails from the Shetland Isles. Singer Bethany Coyle is a local lass with a fine bluesy voice, and Lucy Coggle on bass and bodhran hails from Lincolnshire. They combine their local traditions with jazz, blues and pop influences, and are possibly the only folk quartet in the country to cover a Britney Spears song.

Tickets £7.50 / £5 (conc)
Call 0191 219 3455 for tickets

If you are travelling by public transport catch the M1 or M3 bus from Heworth Interchange or The Galleries


Alasdair Roberts with Bridie Jackson

With: Bridie Jacksonup-alasdair_roberts1

Star + Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, September 5 at 7.30pm

Tonight sees the return of two Star & Shadow favourites.

Joanna Newsom and Will Oldham collaborator Alasdair Roberts, now resident in Denmark, returns to the Cinema for a one-off special show.

He’s joined by the wonderful Bridie Jackson, recently described by Culture Magazine as “leaving audiences stunned and critics challenged”.

It will be a night of hard-focus folk and songs that tell stories you’ll never forget.

Alasdair Roberts
“While there are echoes of Incredible String Band’s motley eclecticism, the pained isolation of Nick Drake, and British traditional music, this music is original in every way” – BBC

Bridie Jackson
“A moving, decidedly dark strain of acoustic blues-tinged folk” – Metro

Alasdair Roberts:
Bridie Jackson:

Tickets: £7 members / £8 non-members (and available in advance from alt.vinyl)

Ghost Trace Stellar

With: Fishery Commission / Emily Portman / Les Coq Sportifs / Chip Tune Marching Band / Cathode / Nathalie Stern and others tbc

Star + Shadow Cinema424px-Ghostracestellar-poster-7
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Friday, July 17 at 7.30pm

The event centres around the invitation for bands, musicians, producers and DJs to perform covers, versions, remixes or interpretations of the 1920s and 30s out-of-copyright folk, blues, and jazz from the Open Music Archive. A series of live plugged and unplugged performances will be recorded and licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike, generating a new resource – free for use and reuse.

Ghost Trace Stellar will feature specially created sets of covers featuring amongst others: Fishery Commission, Les Coq Sportifs, Chip Tune Marching Band, Cathode and Nathalie Stern along with archive DJ sets and a discussion with Open Music Archive and Polytechnic examining the implications of Free/Libre and Open Source models of creative production and distribution.

“The music industry sees the public domain as a wasteland of material with no value. We on the other hand, see the potential in these collectively owned recordings. By activating this public resource we bring together a constellation of neglected melodies and lyrics to reanimate the ghosts in the archive and build a new resource – free for reuse in the future.”

Established by Simpson and White, Open Music Archive is a collaborative initiative to source and distribute music recordings whose copyright has expired. The project aims to share the existing resource and to build a larger archive in open collaboration with others. The archive aims to distribute this music freely, form a site of exchange of knowledge and material, and be a vehicle for future collaborations and distributed projects.

The event opens up a temporary channel for music, exchange and discussion that operates beyond individual proprietary and commercial interests.

For more information on Creative Commons please see-

ENTRY: Free!

Woodland Recordings Showcase

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With: Birdengine / Kristin McClement / Hiawatha Telephone Company
Star + Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Friday, June 26 at 7.30pm

Brighton-based record label Woodland Recordings have a reputation for releasing haunting, intense, spectral folk with a distinctly British sound, influenced by the cosmic folk of the late-sixties, Sarah Records, and the Basement Tapes.

They’ve worked with and released material by Sons of Noel and Adrian, Mary Hampton, Men Daimler and Hamilton Yarns.

Tonight, the Star & Shadow present three helpings of beautifully handmade alt-folk from:


Birdengine project a trinket world through a distorted folklore lens – hybrids of animal and human slipping off the tongue with mystical economy, feeding the imagination in half shadows. Strange narratives, an alchemic voice and Spanish tunings.


Distinctive, spellbinding voice, the aural equivalent of one of those remarkable slow motion films of a bird in flight, alights on a gently rippling accompaniment that plucks and strums…


Lo-fi pop acoustica, influenced by as much by Postcard Records as the Harry Smith Anthology.

Tickets are £5 members / £6 non-members.

Swinging UK & The Mood Man

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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Friday, June 19 at 7.30pm


SWINGING UK parts I and II (1964)

Filmed at Shepparton Studios in 1964, the SWINGING UK films were two shorts intended to bookend features at your local fleapit.

Featuring the cream of Ready Steady Go regulars, shot in glorious technicolour, and beautifully filmed by the greats of British film making talent (including a young Nic Roeg as a cameraman), the SWINGING UK films feature The Animals, The Applejacks, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, The Cockneys, The Four Pennies, The Hollies, Lulu and the Luvvers, The Merseybeats, Millie, The Magil Five, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Tornadoes, and The Wackers.


The Joe Loss Orchestra was one of the most successful big band acts in British pop history, spanning both the swing and pop eras, and with over twenty Top 20 hits throughout the sixties.

Hits included the 1966 World Cup theme, the theme from the Thunderbirds, and timeless versions of David Rose’s “The Stripper” and “March of the Mods”.

The Joe Loss Orchestra, despite being rather squarer than the beat groups of the sixties, continued to perform at the NME Poll Winners Awards throughout the sixties, and Elvis Costello’s father, Ross McManus, sang with the Orchestra, and can be seen in The Mood Man.

With films, DJs and dancing, this night promises to prove once and for all that there was more to the sixties beat scene than the Beatles and the Stones.

With: DJ Michael Clunkie, Miss K, Lord Leigh Park

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Tickets are £3 for members / £4 non-members


Lights … Camera … Actionettes!actionettes
With: The Actionettes / Frankie & the Heartstrings / Beat Girl (film)
Star + Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, June 13 at 7.30pm

London’s premier dancing girls THE ACTIONETTES dancestep across the Watford gap to return to the Star and Shadow after their memorable performance at ‘Lulu’s Pension Party’ last year for an actionette packed night.

plus …

Live music from local heroes FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS, a 35mm film screening of BEAT GIRL, starring Gillian Hills, Adam Faith, Christopher Lee, Shirley Anne Field AND Oliver Reed; and plenty of spinning discs a go-go plus a pre-show dance class for those arriving with two left feet.
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The Actionettes are an all-girl 60s dance troupe based in London, who choreograph their own synchronised routines to songs by 60s girl groups, such as the Shangri-Las, Ronettes, Marvelettes and other 60s icons such as Nancy Sinatra and Dusty Springfield.

“We don’t do it for cash or for fame – but for the love of dancing, dressing up, cheap glamour and each other. We’re ‘strictly amateur’ – no-one has experience in dance, except for years on the dance floor every Saturday night.” says Actionette Crepe Suzette.

Formed in January 2000, the Actionettes run their own club, Sophisticated Boom Boom and say they “want to create a 60s-kitsch brand of synchronised dancing, costume, attitude and the strong feminine celebration of all shapes and sizes”

They’ll be joined at the Star and Shadow by the Action Men, all-male gogo dancing princes of pop, who’s mission is to “assert their psychedelic masculinity in this post-feminist age” and to “liberate the hosts of shoe-gazing and corner-hiding men into a new dawn of northern-soul-meets-Ok-Go!”
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BEAT GIRL (aka Wild for Kicks) Dir: Edmond T. Gréville, 1960, GB

Probably the best British juvenile delinquent movie ever made, Beat Girl is so sleazy it’s irresistible.

Starring opposite a young and delicious Oliver Reed, Gillian Hills plays a gorgeous but rebellious teenage girl who has beatnik friends, goes to wild parties, and performs stripteases for the local hoodlums.

A great slice of the sixties scene in England, this corker also stars Christopher Lee, who plays a sleazy nightclub owner who knows a good body when he sees one.

Opening credits:
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The sexiest thing to come out of Sunderland since Barry Venison, the Heartstrings combine fifties songmanship with seventies glitter-pop shouts, and look like a deviant svengali’s dream of a sixties beat group.

Well dressed, as good looking as they come, Frankie & the boys will twang your heartstrings like a Primark bra strap!
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Bring your dancing shoes!

£5 members/£6 non-members

Work Songs

Work Songswork-songs-poster-1
With: Fire Maidens from Outerspace / Bridie Jackson / Cornshed Sisters / John Egdell / Gem Andrews / Emily Portman
Star + Shadow Cinema
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Saturday, May 2 at 7.30pm
(all proceeds go to to assist imprisoned trade unionists)

Following the success of our themed nights on Murder, Drinking, Christmas and … well … shagging, Work Songs celebrates the trials and tribulations of the work place, and at the same time raises money for, an organisation that raises awareness of workplace conditions around the world, and the plight of imprisoned trade unionists.

Starting the evening with the Ealing classic, I’m All Right Jack, we are then joined by the best musical talent the North East has to offer.

Check out this array of talent:

Fire Maidens from Outerspace:
Bridie Jackson:
Cornshed Sisters:
John Egdell:
Gem Andrews:
Emily Portman:

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I’M ALL RIGHT JACK (Boulting Brothers, GB, 1959)

Starring Ian Carmichael, Richard Attenborough, Terry-Thomas and Peter Sellers, I’m All Right Jack is a cynical take on labour relations in post-war Britain.

Sellers plays one of his best-known roles, as the trade union shop steward Fred Kite, and won a Best Actor Award from the British Academy. The rest of the cast included many well-known English comedy actors of the time.

In this classic Ealing comedy, the trade unions, workers, and bosses are all seen to be incompetent or corrupt to varying degrees. The film is one of a number of satires made by the Boulting Brothers between 1956 and 1963. Curiously, some trade unionists have rather enjoyed it in an ironic way, since the shop steward Fred Kite is the most interesting character, and it was one of the few films of that time to deal even halfway seriously with trade unionism and factory life.

Excerpt from I’m All Right Jack:
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Tickets are £5 for members / £6 non-members
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