All in Music

Velvoir: The Machine

The creations draw us to the humans, but to go on making the creations the humans need to fit into the Machine and to fit into the Machine they need to make certain sacrifices. This is the third and last piece on Velvoir, which deals with what it means to sacrifice everything to fulfil your dreams.

Velvoir: Creations

Overt sexuality, gender ambiguity and a hypnotic range of sound textures: these are some of the ingredients that come to mind when one thinks of Velvoir. As one of the most forward-thinking bands in the North East (and possibly in the country), what they embody goes much deeper than a desire to shock. This is the first of three pieces in which I aim to explore the power of their music.

Cellar Door: Backstage Pizzazz at KU Bar

Are gig nights really as thrilling from the band's perspective as they may seem? Having written about the production of Cellar Door’s music and the members themselves, I joined them at several gigs to experience it from their side.This piece will focus on two of their gigs at KU Bar: one as part of the highly successful return of XFEST and another as a supporting band for The Hummingbirds.

Cellar Door: Life and Times

Cellar Door make the necessary sacrifices to create and maintain a professional image as a band not so much with widespread success as the ultimate goal but for the sake of doing something worthwhile, tangible and enjoyable as a group of friends. No wonder they describe themselves as simply “five lads from Teesside making alternative indie music”. Nothing more, nothing less. But there is more to these five lads than meets the eye as I discovered while exploring the lives and times of Cellar Door.

Lost State of Dance and Enjoyment

A last look at the story of Lost State of Dance — the band known for bringing back the 80s to the North East. — capturing two live performances of their music in two locations: Darlington and Stockton-on-Tees. These performances represent the fusion of four different people and their outlooks on life in a space of time that is meant to be enjoyed and remembered by many people.

Cellar Door: From Pig Pen Rehearsal Studios to Blast Recording

It was once said that "of all the phrases in the English language, of all the endless combinations of words in all of history, that 'cellar door' is the most beautiful." That is what Cellar Door, five lads from Teesside, decided they wanted to capture in their music: the most beautiful combination of sounds possible. And this is a glimpse into the writing and recording of those beautiful sounds ...

I came. I saw. I heard. Mouses.

Almost a month has passed since The Georgian Theatre hosted perhaps one of the most anticipated and talked about local music events of 2016: ‘The Mouses Album’ launch. It was not simply a string of anticipation connected to the release of their debut album, nor even to the upcoming live performance and all the wonderful wacky details expected from a Mouses's gig. For many there, mostly local supporters and bands ...

Monday Nights at Grizzo's

For several Monday nights I ventured into the centre of Hartlepool to join the members of Lost State of Dance in their weekly band practice. While most Hartlepudlians were busy preparing their dinner or having their first pint of the week, a tiny percentage of the town’s population broke the monotonous life cycle of work, eat, sleep. Entering the tumultuous wave of artistic expression ...

Part II: Velvoir — Pirates of the Night

The moment Velvoir — the pearls of the Stockton Pirate Festival — dropped into the Musiclounge, a barely noticeable ripple of anticipation tore through the air as if they were spectres from another world. One look at them makes one wonder whether each member would not belong better in a different band: the lovely gender-ambivalent lead singer, the pretty-boy guitarist, the hard-core bassist and the melancholic-looking drummer. In appearance as much as in their music, there is no doubting that they are more than just unorthodox. They are deviant visionaries. And it works in a richly disturbing and sexually charged way.

Dipping into Local Music: ‘Hot City Nights’ by LSD

Lost State of Dance performed songs from their new EP ‘Hot City Nights’ at TSOne in Middlesbrough on the 30th of June. The final act of a rather quiet ‘manic night of original live music’ was introduced as one of the ‘funnest’ bands around. And for good reason. Their music ignited the languid mood hanging over the pub’s Chesterfield sofas like morning fog — a match flicked into the dark. Vibrant notes streaming from the ensemble of synthesizers, guitars, drums and Daniel Drinkwater’s vocals electrified the sheer drizzle outside.

Rising Music Hub of the North — Cat's First Taste of Local Talent

Cat entered the lady's bathroom which was as quiet as the empty nightclub. Only the vibrant rush of water from a broken tap echoed off the tiled walls. Live music was clearly not high on Stockton’s priority list on that Friday night. Neither was appreciating the exceptional range of Northern and Southern musical talent. Cat felt a strange tug, however, as she heard a non-distinct melody emanating from the only occupied cubicle ...

On the 10th of June I joined the small crowd gathered at Ku Bar to listen to three remarkable bands. Engaging performances - magnetic, intense, raw - being transported by a range of different styles and cheap cider made for an unforgettable first taste of live British music.