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Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Stockton Calling 2019 A Preview...

It's that time of year again and Stockton's premiere multi-venue festival is vastly approaching. 2019 marks ten year since Stockton Calling began and in that time the festival has grown to becoming one of the most respected and loved of its kind bringing a series of well-known artists and underground unsigned acts to the town. Everyone will tell you that Stockton Calling is one of the most anticipated days in the northern music scene calendar and this year's is no different. The promoters have been working tirelessly around the clock for the last year to ensure this year's SC is the best to date and looking at the line up it's definitely going in the right direction to attain that title! So without further a do, let's check out who you NEED to see this year...

This year's festival sees 9 venues showcase over 70 bands all in just one day. The venues include; Music Lounge, The Green Room, The Georgian Theatre, Room 21, KU Bar, The Vault, Storytellers and of course the infamous Arc which this year is named Arc 1 (Main Stage) and 2019 welcomes the addition of a 250 capacity stage named Arc 2 based on the ground floor of the centre. This year's headliners are serious head-turners and are bound to pull in a sold out crowd come Saturday 20th April. Over at The Vault we have Feva, at The Storytellers Plastic Mermaids, at Arc 1 Sunderland indie legends The Futureheads, at Arc 2 one of the best up and coming bands in the country The Orielles! That's only the beginning... at The Green Room there's Be Quiet Shout Loud, at The Georgian Theatre British Sea Power, over at Room 21 local lads Avalanche Party and finally at Ku Bar a band who played 2015's festival and are very well-known round these parts Reverend and the Makers! A simply superb selection of headliners which will be dragging people from all corners of the U.K. to hear them do what they do best, play live...

The Green Room

Headlining The Green Room are local favourites Be Quiet. Shout Loud! bringing their brand of lively indie pop they are sure to get any room dancing and they're sure to have their hardcore local following along for the ride. Alongside them we have the likes of Ten Foot Tom and the Leprosy Crooks, Leopard Rays and Salsola all of whom are sure to draw a crowd to the superb little venue that is The Green Room. Be sure to get yourselves along at some point during the day.

The Vault

Over at The Vault your headliners are geordie indie boys Feva who have had several support slots for fellow geordies doing well for themselves The Pale White on their recent UK tour. Feva bring with them their unique brand of anthemic guitar music which has turned the heads of many a punter and muso across the country. They're the perfect band to close the show at this stage, ensure you get in early for this set and it will be rammed. Alongside Feva are the likes of Club Paradise who splice together their infectious blend of dance and indie which get's even the grumpiest person in any given room tapping their foot. Faux Pas, Far Caspian and Sleep Tape are just some of the other artists you'll have the chance to see at this stage which is quickly developing cult status.

The Storytellers

Topping the bill over at tellers is The Plastic Mermaids who have been gaining a reputation for their electro-synth charged tunes which catch the attention of anyone in a 5 mile radius. They're one of those bands who you won't be seeing in venues of this size before long so make sure you're sussed and at this one! Another band I'm really digging who will be gracing The Storytellers stage are Talkboy, their chilled almost surf-rock style of guitar music has subtle hints of the great Belle and Sebastian there's something really special about a dual male/female vocal! VC Pines, Dancing on Tables and Crystal are among the other artists on display who will definitely make your day that much better!

Room 21

Room 21 has been home to some outrageous sets from many a top band since it was introduced. Last year saw The Spitfires, Vida and Social Room take the rood off... This year will be no different with local boys Avalanche Party looking to play another blinder of a headline set, one thing which they are no strangers to with their recent Twisterella 2018 headline slot. Alongside them we have Hartlepool boys Lost State of Dance who bring their eighties esque power-pop indie which is bound to have the floor moving from back to front. Local girl Megan Dotchin is also on the bill here, her sublime vocal combined with effortless guitar playing is something you really have to come and take in. This preview wouldn't be complete without a mention for the truly outstanding Emily Capell, a friend of Move On Up she has gone from strength to strength in the last eighteen months releasing her 'Who Stands With Latasha Harlins?' which gained wide critical acclaim nationwide. Her trappy, sassy character moves through the audiences and draws you in from the off. She's eveything Lily Allen and Kate Nash tried to be with a relevant 2019 edge and voice which needs to be heard on a wider scope. See this girl, get to this stage!

KU Bar

Ku's always been a boss stage at every SC to date. It's one of the hubs of the Teesside music scene and continues to grow its rep for showcasing many of the countries most notable and unsigned artists. Headliners Rev and the Makers are no strangers to Stockton Calling with a slot back in 2015. The Rev can make any crown bounce from back to front with their catalogue of hits 'Heavyweight Champion Of The World', 'Bandits' and 'Open Your Window' to name but a few. Rev and the Makers have plenty in their artillery to have KU rousing. Then there's ZUZU and she's proper boss! Her hook-centric brand of guitar music is filled with attitude and swagger and she epitomises just how good the female artists of the UK truly are! Her vocals are filled with scouse sass and seduce the ears to the stage. Hartlepool boys Para Alta are on the bill with their reputation growing by the day after a string of This Feeling dates. Another one to watch are The Reytons with their tales of teen anecdotes reminiscent of some of Yorkshire's finest. Can you guess who?

The Georgian Theatre

The Georgian once again holds host to some great names, British Sea Power to name one band who are certain to draw punters to the recently refurbished venue. Indie legends in their own right and with tunes spanning across the last decade and beyond they're bound to pull a blinder of a headline set for the people lucky enough to be in attendance. WhenYoung, ChildCare and Just Mustard are some of the other names which are definitely worth dipping your ears into. The Georgian can get full quite quickly so head down early for your band of choice to ensure you don't go home disappointed.


The Futureheads return to Teesside after what seems like forever. The Sunderland boys  have been big on the indie scene for over a decade with the likes of 'Hounds of Love', 'The Beginning of the Twist' and 'Decent Days and Nights' occupying many an iPod playlist over the years. They're ridiculously good live and always throw 110% into every gig they do. Expect hits, album tracks and big guitar anthems. Tom Mouse Smith is one of the youngest and most talented performers I've had the pleasure of seeing in the last few years. The kid's got serious bottle and has supported the likes of James Bay and The Charlatans to name but a few. As he gets older he's going to continue to grow and progress as an artist, catch him on his journey at SC this year! Detroit Social Club and Plaza are just two more artists that I could bang on about and that's not even the full stage line up, make sure you get along to this Teesside institution.

Arc 2

For the first time 2019 sees the newest stage added to the vastly growing Teesside multi-venue festival, Arc 2... Headliners The Orielles top the bill and it's safe to say they are one of the most exciting young talents to make their way onto the scene in years. Their concoction of house, indie, psychedelia and dance is serious joy to the ears and their live performances are buoyant, exuberant and definitely some of the best you'll see in the UK from any band. joining them are the likes of Lucia and Retro Video Club  who both bring many different, rousing cards to the table.

Overall, Stockton Calling 2019 is a multi-venue festival which is vastly becoming one of the best of its kind in the country, get your tickets here as it WILL most definitely be a sell-out!  


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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger