By Jill Heslop
Friday 10 Jun 2011 16:13:00
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Shipyard Songwriters is bringing Un-Convention to the North East for the first time. Spread over two days the festival will combine a series of events looking at the art and creative processes behind songwriting. Unconventional spaces around the High Level Bridge in Newcastle and Gateshead will be occupied for a weekend of new works, talks and performances by some of the best emerging and established songwriters around.

11th – 12th June 2011

The Mining Institute, Morden Tower, The Central & The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle & Gateshead

+ Official Festival Pub at The Head of Steam

Tickets and information from www.shipyardsongwriters.com

We are delighted to welcome two of Chemikal Underground’s finest songwriters Aidan Moffat and Adrian Crowley to round up each night of the festival. Representing song-writing from the nations of Scotland and Ireland respectively, they will give us their own unique modern slant on the human condition.

On Saturday night at the Mining Institute, three highly regarded local songwriters – Jez Lowe, Pete Scott and Brenda Heslop (from Ribbon Road) will discuss how the writers of the past such as Joe Wilson and Tommy Armstrong influence them as song-writers today and what of their way of writing can we carry forward into the 21st century? The discussion will be followed by a concert with the writers who will illustrate their points in performance.

Arthur 2 Stroke will be bringing Sunday night at the Central to a storming close - his organisation Anti Pop was a leading light in Newcastle's late seventies punk/new wave scene. Chris Donald, inventor of Viz Comic and a life- long fan, cites Arthur as a key inspirational influence, and the first ever Viz Comic featured Arthur 2 Stroke and was sold at the Gosforth Hotel.

In 2007 Arthur and his longstanding side kick WM7 got together with popular local band The Pioneers of Mediocrity and in 2009 Arthur 2 Stroke’s Big Black Bomb was created, performing material from Arthur’s original back catalogue of Punk, Ska and Northern Soul delights. We are delighted that fellow anti-pop Middlesbrough veterans Shrug will be supporting – once seen never forgotten!

Launching the festival on the Saturday afternoon at The Mining Institute and The Bridge will be an opportunity for North East based songwriters to show their song-writing wares, with sets from Richard Dawson, Cath and Phil Tyler, O’ Messy Life, The Winter Hill Transmission, By Toutatis, John Egdell, Ian Hunter and Paul Campbell, plus a special appearance from Liverpool-based award winning playwright and songwriter Lizzie Nunnery to round off the afternoon.

Lizzie will also be performing on the Sunday afternoon at Morden Tower as Shipyard are delighted to work with Liverpool based Almanac to create a theatre production written especially for Un-Convention Tyneside. Commissioning some of the most exciting local and national songwriters, musicians and writers - 'Stories in the Walls – A Happening in the Tower' will create a piece of real collaborative theatre, where the songs and music are an integral part of the performance. Playwrights Susan Mulholland, Lizzie Nunnery, Lindsay Rodden and Jeff Young are joined by some of Newcastle's finest music experimenters: Claude Werner on clarinet and double bass, songwriter Martin Heslop, percussion from Christian Alderson and Vidar Norheim on vibraphone.  Responding to Morden Tower, the ghosts of the city walls, and the poetry that has breathed life into this extraordinary place, the company are delighted to be able to incorporate into the show the fabulous poetry of Tom Pickard, who pioneered the underground poetry movement in the city.

Add to this, talks on song-writing by veteran North East songwriters Pete Dale and Nev Clay as well as Sunderland’s own Ross Millard from The Futureheads, an official ‘songwriters pub’ at The Head of Steam the perfect place to go and have a post-festival drink and other artists still to be confirmed and it’s a canny nice festival for the North East.

For more info:  jill@shipyardmusic.com

What is Un-Convention?

Un-Convention is a global grassroots music and creative community – that meets physically and virtually to share ideas; discuss and debate cutting edge issues around music, technology and creativity; and facilitates members engagement with their peers.

Un-Convention has happened 17 times around the globe in 2 years and has another 20 events planned for 2011. Un-Convention happens in 5 continents and in cities from Swansea to Sao Paulo. Un-Convention involves 1,500 artists and bands, 16,400 participants, 36,000 gig goers and 140,000 people online per year. 40% of people attending Un-Convention are from disadvantaged backgrounds. It happens in some of the most amazing spaces including The Roundhouse and The Southbank Centre.

Visit www.unconventionhub.org  for more details

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