Artists For Artists - James Leonard Hewitson's Top Evo Tips
There’s no denying it, eccentric Hartlepudlian James Leonard Hewitson produced one of the standout performances at Evolution Emerging 2016 and if we could relive it all over again we’d do just that! Unfortunately, we can’t, so the next best thing was to ask his top tips for this year’s event so without further ado, delve into them below.
1. You played last year – tell us about your experiences at Evolution Emerging Festival? What was your biggest highlight?
Just to clarify, I played twice last year. First with my solo project group early on in The Cumberland Arms, and then as part of Kingsley Chapman and The Murder, headlining Cluny 2. It was really hectic but totally worth it! Both crowds were fantastic.
My biggest highlight of the event... It was all a bit of a blur really as I'd handed in my last piece of uni work a couple of days before, but it was the start of summer, there was 40+ amazing acts on in my favourite part of the city, the beer was great, and I got to play and observe the hard work of other artists too... I also made some friends! I think being sat down outside of Cobalt around 2am with a crowd of 15 of my friends singing the chorus to one of my, then unreleased, songs, 'Dream Person', was something that really stayed with me, so I'm going to say that was my highlight. The whole event and after party was great fun, though.
2. Who would recommend to watch at Evolution Emerging this year?
Go and see an act you've listened to and like. Go and see someone who you haven't listened to at all (I do this at festivals sometimes, because we live in an age where so much music is accessible before we see the live show, I feel it ruins the magic of it all, possibly?). Go and see somebody who is playing early on so they have a more equal experience to the act who plays later - after all, the event is all about developing our region's emerging music.
Specifically, I'd urge people to go and see any of Mongeese, Sagaboi, Headclouds, Callum Pitt, Eat Fast and Cauls.
3. Do you have any tips for first time festival goers?
Obtain stage times/clashfinder in advance of the event so you can make a loose plan of how your evening will flow. Arrive to performances before they start, as the venues have limited capacities.
Some of the performances will be quite loud, so take some earplugs, or ask for some behind the bars at the event. I've got tinnitus from frequently not using earplugs at loud gigs and it's worth avoiding.
Try the the food and the drinks! Not only are local bands playing at the event, but a lot of local breweries and eateries have products available across the site. Beware the Wylam Jakehead IPA, it's amazing.
Stay safe, respect each other and travel home safely!