The year 2019 was a landmark one for songwriter Richard Hawley. His ninth studio album, Further achieved his joint highest chart entry at number 3, he co-created a musical based on a collection of his songs which played at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, and he celebrated his twentieth anniversary as a solo artist. In the two decades that have elapsed since he jettisoned band life, first with The Longpigs and then as Pulp’s guitarist, the 52-year-old songwriter has forged one of the most singular careers in modern music. As well as releasing a string of solo albums that have managed the rare feat of being both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, Richard has worked with a host of impressive collaborators – such as Arctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, Elbow, Texas and Paul Weller, alongside personal heroes that include U.S. guitarist Duane Eddy and Nancy Sinatra. His breakthrough album Cole’s Corner earned him a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize, and perfectly demonstrated the emotional pull of his songwriting – soul-searching songs about real life, about genuinely loss, and about love – all wrapped in warm musical textures and the detailed, smooth production.
NASUWT Riverside Band
The band was founded in 1877 and was formerly known as the Newcastle Brown Ale Band. They rehearse in Pelton Fell, Chester-le-Street and have an active diary of concerts and contests. This includes recently placing fourth out of 18 bands in the Senior Cup competition in Blackpool. The band also competes regularly in the Scottish Open Contest as well as the North of England Regional contest in which they frequently place in the top of the table, resulting in trips to the national finals at the Albert Hall. One of Durham’s most popular bands, they are skilled performers who are always keen to collaborate and take on new challenges.
Field Music have always been a unique proposition; brothers Peter and David Brewis have stood apart from tired rockist and rock and roll tropes, consistently questioning what it is to be a band and ploughing a furrow that, since their 2005 debut, has been theirs and theirs alone. With eight full albums, plus numerous commissions and side projects under their belt, and a Mercury Prize nomination along the way, Field Music continue to find ways to surprise and delight. The recent, hugely acclaimed 2021 album Flat White Moon scored them their third top forty album, firmly cementing them as one of the UK’s most treasured musical ventures.
The Trevor Horn Band
Said to be ‘the man who invented the 80’s’, Trevor gained international acclaim following his 1979 hit single Video Killed The Radio Star, written with his band The Buggles. A culture defining event, the track was a worldwide success, reaching number one in the singles charts in 16 different countries, spawning the MTV culture that defined an era. Horn was briefly the lead vocalist in progressive rock band Yes, before he decided to focus his attentions on production work. He has since worked with the likes of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Seal and Robbie Williams among many others over a career which has seen him win three Brit Awards, a Grammy and an Ivor Novello award. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011 for his services to the music industry.
Ibibio Sound Machine
Fronted by London-born Nigerian singer Eno Williams, Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West-African funk and disco and modern post-punk and electro. Weird and wonderful folk stories, recounted to Eno by her family as a child in her mother’s Ibibio tongue, form the creative fabric from which the band’s unique musical tapestry is woven. Evocative Nigerian poetic imagery set against an edgy Afro-Electro soundscape gives the band a unique space within the current wave of modern Afrocentric sounds sweeping across the globe.
YolanDa is an award winning musician who has garnered praise for her delicious fusion of reggae, jazz and soul. The talented saxophonist has toured with the likes of Billy Ocean, The Temptatins, Courtney Pine and Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, and also has her own CBeebies TV series, YolanDa’s band Jam. She is also co-presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends with Clive Anderson. Musician, charity ambassador, TV and radio presenter… whatever she turns her hand to, she excels.
Black Dyke Band
With a heritage stretching back to 1855, the Black Dyke Band’s pedigree is unrivalled. Over 350 recordings and many national and European competition titles have made them synonymous with musical excellence. Their record of achievement can be considered without parallel in the brass band world. Many players have been world-class soloists in their own right, and when they have come together under the Black Dyke banner, they achieve pure quality.
Cable Street Collective
The London-based seven-piece make rhythm-driven, African-influenced sunshine music that they call Carnival Pop. With an ear for a catchy tune and a stomping beat, they have been tearing up dance floors and festival stages up and down the country for years. Pulling on influences like Congolese Soukous and South African Kwela as well as sounds from closer to home such as Primal Scream, and the Stone Roses, they have built up a stellar reputation as a live band.
The London Street Band
A unique ensemble who play current and classic pop hits, alongside New Orleans Mardi Gras music. Taking influences from bands such as Young Blood and Rebirth Brass Bands, they’re guaranteed to get everyone moving from the first note. Comprising of some of the best instrumentalists in London whose collective CV includes: Rag’n’Bone Man, Take That, Rudimental and Martha Reeves. If you want a high energy band, look no further.
New York Brass Band
New York are North Yorkshire’s only contemporary New Orleans inspired brass band. A powerful team of some of Yorkshire’s finest musicians, they pack an arsenal of percussion, sax, trumpets, trombones and sousaphone with a massive and varied repertoire at their fingertips. Without gimmicks or backing tracks, they blur the line between band and audience by inviting the crowd to become part of the show. Sunshine or rain, indoors or out… NYBB always get the party started.
This multi-award winning, progressive brass band from London are part choir, part chamber orchestra, part avant-rock troupe, they create a truly unique musical experience; melding elements of jazz, punk, and art-pop. With irregular but irresistible rhythms, big choral harmonies and triumphant horns, their exuberant shows are something to behold.
Renegade Brass Band
Renegade are a twelve-piece who combine a big brass sound with hip-hop vocals and beats; and have built a huge reputation for their high-energy live show. They’ve played packed-out shows at venues around the UK and Europe, and their unique sound and energy has seen them support acts such De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Grandmaster Flash and Public Enemy. They are a hit with festival crowds across the world.
Riot Jazz Brass Band
Riot Jazz Brass Band hail from the streets of Manchester, and since 2008, they have been spreading unconditional love and irresistible energy across the nation. The nine-strong troupe is comprised of three trumpets, three trombones, drums, sousaphone, and are fronted by MC Chunky. Sheer enjoyment and passion emanate from these musicians as they party on stage with their re-interpreted dancefloor bangers.
Ben is a Mackem composer who studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He has also received mentorship from composers Param Vir and Stuart MacRae. Since graduating, Ben relocated to Glasgow, where he currently resides; working as conductor, musicologist, teacher and composer. His music reflects his North-Eastern heritage, and how disability impacts the world around him, or his working-class upbringing.
Chisato has created, performed and taught internationally, including 3 years as a company member of CandoCo Dance Company. She has been involved in aerial performances at London’s Paralympic Opening Ceremony and Rio’s 2016 Paralympic Cultural Olympiad. Chisato approaches choreography and performance making from her unique perspective as a Deaf artist, experimenting and exploring the visualisation of sound and music.
Dr Aaron McPeake
In 2002, Aaron had to abandon a long career in stage lighting design, due to the loss of most of his eyesight and returned to arts education and practice on a full-time basis. He has been awarded a first-class honours degree in Arts, Design and Environment from Central Saint Martins (2005), Post-Graduate Certificate Learning and Teaching (2011) and a PhD from Chelsea (2012).