NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH - NEWCASTLE
We’re Pit Pony, a five-piece rock band recently signed to Leeds based Clue Records. Hailing from all across the North East (Teesside, Durham, South Shields, Newcastle & Northumberland) we all now call Newcastle and Gateshead home. Here’s our take on this wonderful city.
We obviously have a few big hitters from Tyneside doing really well at the minute, Sam Fender and PigsX7 spring to mind, who despite being really different we both really love. Under that though the area really is packed with local talent of all different genres. Smote, Ceitidh Mac, Wild Spelks, Martha Hill, Hector Gannet, Me Lost Me, No Teeth, Ghost/Signals we could go on and on, and that’s just Tyneside, there’s even more in Sunderland and beyond.
BANDS & ARTISTS
For a relatively small city, there’s some great spaces. In previous bands, we’ve used the likes of Blast Recording Studios and Polestar in Byker which are both brilliant, but in Pit Pony we’ve recorded everything at Blank Studios on Warwick Street and we can’t speak highly enough of the place. Especially Chris McManus who has worked on all our stuff. Who as well as being amazingly talented is literally the nicest chap in town.
STUDIO AND RECORDING
Everything tends to centre around the Ouseburn area which sits between Heaton/ Byker/Shieldfield and a short walk from the city centre. It’s littered with venues and bars such as The Cluny, The Cumberland Arms, The Tyne Bar, Ernest, Cobalt Studios and Brinkburn Brewery to name a few in a very small area. Special mention though to Zerox on the Quayside who since moving from their previous shoebox sized venue next to the central station has created a fantastic genrespanning, wholly inclusive bar and venue space which is definitely everyone’s new favourite spot in town.
VENUES AND HANGOUTS
You might know the city had some bother recently with a large promoter who was exposed for some pretty disgusting work practices. Thankfully in the aftermath of this lots of the brilliant independent promoters who have long been doing great things really seem to be thriving. The likes of Wandering Oak, f54 and venues like The Boiler Shop & The Cluny continue to push boundaries and bring a massive range of global acts to the city.
We have some cracking record shops in the city centre. RPM and Reflex Records have long been favourites and have great reputations far beyond the region. Beyond Vinyl is a more recent addition and JG Windows in the beautiful Edwardian Central Shopping Arcade is both a record and instrument shop so always worth a visit. Top billing here goes to Heaton’s Curvy Sounds. A lovely family run business that as well as selling new and second hand instruments does the best guitar setups and restorations in the area. I think the three of us with guitars have all used Curvy Sounds for setups and modifications in the past and there’s a reason there’s always a waiting list for their services.