Celebrate World Music Day in Newcastle
You don’t have to look far to see that Newcastle is a musical city; some of modern music’s most celebrated stars have come from the city – from the Animals to Dire Straits, Kathryn Williams to Maximo Park – and from the city buskers to the world-class music venues, Newcastle is blessed with a rich musical heritage and the venues to match.
To celebrate World Music Day on Tuesday 21st June, we highlight some of the best ways you can try, buy or enjoy music in the city; whether you want to be the next Sam Fender, replenish your record collection or enjoy the buzz of live music – there’s something for you in Newcastle!
PLACES TO TRY
Subwaves Music Studios, Eldon Square
Pledging to ‘teach the world music’, Subwaves Music Studio’s range of tutors can school you in all kinds of musical techniques. Whether you want to learn to play the guitar or how to sing, their expert tutors can teach the basics and help established musicians prepare for performances. Certified coaches will help you get the best out of your instrument, and they even have a world-class recording studio on site so you can show off your skills on tape!
JG Windows’ Windows Music Academy, Central Arcade
The city’s most famous and longest-running music shop isn’t just a great place to buy an instrument, CDs and DVDs or sheet music, they also have their own music academy! Providing one-to-one lessons for all ability levels and on instruments including guitar, saxophone, piano and much more, Windows Music Academy tutors are well versed in everything from rock and pop to jazz and R&B. So, whether you want to make a racket on a drum kit, learn the flute or clarinet, or brush up on your music theory, there’s a lesson for you!
Ready to take it to the next level? Back in 2001, Newcastle University was the first University to offer a degree course in Folk and Traditional Music; alumni have included the likes of Bellowhead, Emily Portman, The Shee, The Unthanks and countless more. The International Centre for Music Studies has a high-spec purpose-built recording studio and one of the largest music departments in the country. As well as the Folk and Traditional Music degree, you can gain a Music BA Honours (complete with a year abroad) or Contemporary and Popular Music BA Honours.
PLACES TO BUY
Guitar Guitar, Grainger Street
Proudly proclaiming to have the largest selection of guitars in Northern England, Guitar Guitar on Grainger Street have every axe you desire and more. Turn those shredding dreams into reality with their superb range of brands, many of them exclusive, while their dedicated acoustic floor is perfect for quieter tastes. Their in-store techs will help you get the best out of your instrument from advice to repair, and you can even trade your old gear for something new!
HMV, Eldon Square
One of the best known and most loved high street music stores, HMV has over a hundred years of retailing experience. At their huge Eldon Square store you’ll find an excellent range of CDs and vinyl as well as DVDs, games and music memorabilia like t-shirts and posters. Whether it’s the latest chart sensation or a classic album you want to discover, they’ve got you covered!
RPM, Old George Yard
Nothing beats the personal touch and at independent record store RPM, their knowledgeable and friendly staff can help you find what you’re looking for, no matter how deep the cut. They’ve been a staple in the city since 1988, so it’s safe to say they know their beats from their boops, and they sell a huge range of vinyl and CDs across all kinds of genres. They also repair and sell vintage radiograms and hi-fi separates.
PMT, Dean Street
Musical instrument chain PMT (which stands for Professional Music Technology) serves the city’s music community with aplomb. Stocking all manner of instruments, from guitars to drums and pianos to PA equipment, it’s pretty certain that if it makes a noise, they’ll have it! Their expert staff will share their knowledge about studio set-ups, recording software, how to get the best out of your instrument and how to make the most out of whatever budget you have.
PLACES TO ENJOY
Image by Paul Murray
The Globe, Railway Street
Did you know The Globe was the first bar and music venue in the UK to be owned and run by a music cooperative? This is one special space which exists for the love of music. Committed to providing an excellent live experience, and giving artists opportunities to perform on a lovely stage to an enthusiastic audience, the folk at the Globe know how to run a music venue right. A haven for roots, blues, folk, R&B and everything in between, it’s a great place to try something new or check out the hottest new thing on the scene. Our tips over the coming weeks include fist-pumping Latin band Los Chichanos on Sunday 26th June, art rock jazz band Yaatri on Thursday 21st July and pianist Paul Edis on Saturday 6th August.
O2 City Hall, Northumberland Road
It doesn’t get much more iconic than O2 City Hall; a favourite for musicians and music lovers for nearly a hundred years, the elegant concert hall has played host to a vast range of stars, from David Bowie to Roxy Music, Lindisfarne to Bob Dylan (where he famously brought his electric band on stage during the second set, prompting fans to walk out in dismay!). It’s still one of the finest places to see live music, with forthcoming shows featuring a diverse range of artists including Roger Daltrey (Sunday 26th June), The Prodigy (Monday 18th July), Sean Paul (Tuesday 23rd August), The Enemy (Friday 23rd September) and Ian Brown (Thursday 29th September).
World Headquarters, Carliol Square
Newcastle’s longest-running underground club, World HQ is beloved among music lovers for their inclusive attitude and world-class sound system. It’s certain they know how to throw a party, and the venue is a favourite with students, ravers and soulful groovers alike. The club is justifiably proud of their reputation as a safe and friendly space for clubbing and music lovers, and it’s a perfect place to spend a weekend night getting down on the dance floor! Recommended forthcoming events include Groove Is In The Heart, an hour-long yoga class soundtracked by soul, disco, Chicago house and techno on Wednesday 13th July, and Reasons to be Cheerful with eclectic DJ Hunee on Friday 9th September.
Hoochie Coochie, Pilgrim Street
Dedicated to all things funk, soul and jazz, Hoochie Coochie’s superb blend of live music, dancing and cool vibes is a hard one to beat. The intimate venue has played host to some big names including Chaka Khan, Candi Staton, Gregory Porter and Norman Jay, who have been wowed by its appreciative audiences and respect for musical authenticity. Top of the pops in the coming weeks are shows from legendary DJ Perry Louis on Friday 8th July and all-star funk supergroup The Brit Funk Association on Friday 19th August, or why not kick off your dancing shoes at their monthly swing dance social, with the next event taking place on Thursday 14th July.
So as you can see, no matter how you choose to celebrate World Music Day there’s a great experience waiting for you in Newcastle! Get out there and enjoy it!