Music plays a vital role in the economy and culture of local communities. It is not only meant to generate economic revenue and provide alternative career paths, but also to enrich an area and attract tourists. The North East is one of the regions in the UK that contributes the least to the overall revenue of the country’s music industry. It provides the least full time jobs in this industry and evidently attracts the least number of music tourists. Yet, the region does not lack musical talent. On the contrary, since my arrival here I have met various inspiring and talented musicians in a short span of time.
However, for any newcomer to the local music scene, and in particular live music events, there is very little guidance regarding these musicians, their style of music and what one might expect by attending one of their gigs. The live music scene and the potential of turning Stockton and Middlesbrough into ‘hot’ music tourist locations seem to be a key aspect of attempts to regenerate the Teesside area in particular. Don’t these bands therefore deserve to be better promoted?
Small and insignificant as it may seem, I embark on the North East Band Project, an ongoing project to capture the essence of remarkable North Eastern musicians’ lives. For each band, I present three articles recording their stories, their inspiration, their efforts and their dreams.