Tips for Evolution Emerging - Joel Thomson (Apologies, Young Liar)
Following on from regional tips with the likes of John Martindale and Nick Wesson, we caught up with The Cluny venue manager Joel Thomson and asked for his Evolution Emerging 2017 top picks. A major figure in the local music scene, both as a performer (Young Liar, Apologies) and promoter (The Great Northern), Joel gives us the all important lowdown below!
What are your thoughts on Evolution Emerging Festival and the current state of the North East music scene?
I've been involved with Evolution Emerging in some capacity ever since it started. Whether I've performed with one of my bands or been on-site working at The Cluny it's always a fantastic day. Generally, everyone is in a great mood all day, both audience and artists. And even the bar shifts I've worked in the past have all been really enjoyable. One of my favourite things about it is watching every musician based in the Off Quay carrying things around all day with huge grins on their faces.
The North East music scene at the minute is probably in the healthiest state I can remember since I started putting gigs on 12 and a bit years ago. There seems to be more bands focused on gigging, recording and touring than ever before. And everyone seems to be in at least three bands. Which, like the old saying goes, 'You're not in a band in Newcastle until you're in three bands in Newcastle!'
Who would recommend to watch at Evolution Emerging this year?
Apologies, Penguin, Mongeese, Eat Fast, Apologies, Headclouds, Cauls, Sagaboi, Twist Helix, and Apologies. (Failing that, anyone playing at The Cluny or Cluny 2!)
3. Do you have any tips for first time festival goers?
I would say for people new to the area it's a perfect opportunity to find your way around and see what each venue and bar is all about. Obviously the best pint is at The Cluny, with a wide range of local cask ales and guest craft beers, as well as the best stocked soft drinks/mixers fridge in the valley. Budvar is available for the incredibly reasonable price of only £4.00 a pint and regulars will also be delighted to hear that we now have Guinness back on draught!