Now in its sixth year Teesside’s multi-venue all day music event returns on Saturday 4th April and with the last four years selling out before the day it might be advisable to pick up a ticket now with pre sale prices at a very reasonable £15. What do you get for your money this year?
The event takes place in Stockton using eight stages across the town’s best music venues. As ever there are bound to be some unfortunate clashes but with good planning and a willingness to keep on the move it should be possible to catch a few performances.
The Arc Stage arguably boasts the most recognisable headliner in the recently reformed The Ordinary Boys. We caught the band at the end of last year and were impressed. You can read our review of their Think Tank, Newcastle gig here. With the recruitment of Louis Jones from celebrated power-pop band Spectrals, The Ordinary Boys avoided sounding like a retro band upon their return. Recent single ‘Awkward’ illustrates the point. The band are due to take the stage at 9.30pm though all times are subject to change.
Awkward by The Ordinary Boys – appearing at The Arc Stage
Over at Ku Bar Leeds five piece The Pigeon Detectives will be closing the stage with their trademark indie rock swagger. The band’s last output ‘We Met At Sea’ was back in 2013 so perhaps they’ll be trying out some new material whilst also delivering their best know hits such as ‘Take Her Back’, ‘I Found Out’ and ‘I’m Not Sorry.’
I Won’t Come Back by The Pigeon Detectives – appearing at Ku Stage
At The Georgian Theatre Stage a new headliner had to be found in a hurry following the recent demise of The Amazing Snakeheads. But the event organisers didn’t panic and pulled off a coup by securing innovative post punks Clinic. Their live performances are not only musically noteworthy but can be a spectacle with band members often adorning surgical masks and other costumes to suit the occasion.
Miss You by Clinic – appearing at the Georgian theatre Stage
Fatherson are a band worth catching and they close proceedings at The Storyteller’s Stage. With a sold out show at Newcastle’s Head of Steam on 3rd April disappointed Geordies may wish to make the short trip to Stockton where their excellent Newcastle date support band Keep Breathing can also be seen at Storytellers at 5.15pm
I Like Not Knowing by Fatherson – appearing at the Storyteller’s Stage
Liverpool bands are well represented on the bill. We recently caught The Sundowners and our review can be read here. The band appear on the Arc Stage in the late afternoon. On their Facebook page they tip fellow scousers The Tea Street Band as ones to catch. They play Ku Stage before The Pigeon Detectives.
Disco Lights by The Tea Street Band – appearing at the Ku Stage
The best that Leeds has to offer can be sampled in the form of Allusondrugs who along with Post War Glamour Girls (regular readers will know them as our own personal favourite Leeds band) bring the Sun Inn Stage to a close. Autobahn are another Leeds band worth catching when they take to the Goergian Theatre Stage.
Jazz Funerals by Post War Glamour Girls – appearing at the Sun Inn Stage
North East bands are understandably well represented. We’d hate to pick out favourites but here’s some you might wish to see: Slow Decades (Storytellers); Broken Broadcast, Gallery Circus, Lilliput (HM Bark Endeavour Stage); Ilser, Mouses, Goy Boy McIlroy (Sun Inn Stage); Abel Raise The Cain, Weird Shapes (Ku Stage); Lisbon (Arc Stage).
The Green Room Stage has a particularly strong local line-up that includes Tissue Culture, Shades, Peculiar Disco Moves as well as one of the country’s best and most underrated indie bands, Martha.
Present, Tense by Martha – appearing at the Green Room Stage
Two of the region’s very best new bands are also appearing at this year’s event and we’d recommend you try to fit Slug and Kingsley Chapman & The Murder into your busy schedule. Kingsley Chapman’s former band The Chapman Family were well loved on Teesside and beyond and their demise caused much consternation. Similarly when fellow Teessiders By Toutatis lost (temporarily we hope) their main vocalist fans feared the worst but the remnants of both bands have emerged to form an exciting new band that draws on the intense energy of the former and the innovative craft of the later to great effect if debut song ‘Olympians’ is anything to judge by.
Olympians by Kingsley Chapman & The Murder – appearing at the Green Room Stage
Slug warm up the crowd for Clinic at the Georgian Theatre. We recently caught the band supporting Hyde & Beast and our reviewer was very impressed. You can read the review here. Ian Black’s band boasts several former members of brilliant Sunderland group Field Music (including Ian himself) so it’s hardly surprising that they create a sound that’s both warm, sexy and intelligent.
Cockeyed Rabbit Wrapped In Plastic by Slug – appearing at the Georgian Theatre stage
There’s over sixty bands to choose from at Stockton Calling so some good planning will be necessary if you’re going to fit in all of your favourites. We’ll be there to cover the event and one band we’ll be busting a gut to see will be The Neville Staple Band. Neville was a founder member of The Specials and Fun Boy Three before going solo and we can expect to hear songs that span his musical career including ‘Ghost Town,’ ‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum,’ and ‘A Message To You, Rudy.’
Farm Yard Connection by Neville Staple – appearing at the Arc Stage
We think you’ll agree that this year’s event is blessed with a fantastic line up. If you can go then do! If you can’t possibly attend then we’ll be on hand to review and photograph so keep your eyes peeled on our blog to see what you missed.
Previewer: Russell Poad