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Local Music: Where to find it, how to get it and how to best support it.

As a writer for Newcastle Live, I listen to a lot of music. I mean a lot. In fact all of us here spend the majority of the time with headphones strapped to our ears, actually some of us are usually balancing two sets of headphones at once, plus a speaker somewhere in the background as well. We’ve also started a new series called the top 5 bands you should be listening to this week, this has also become a source of passionate discussion for a lot of Novocastrians, we’re a town of passionate people after all.

In line with this, I’ve had a lot of questions in regard to where I find my music. How do I find all of my music? How do I discover new artists and keep up with everything that’s going on around me in the music world? I’m that person in a group of mates constantly sending links, lyrics, screen shots anything I can get my hands on, to spruke about new music, particularly new local music.

Bandcamp:

This is pretty much my very first go to, when I have the time to dig through lots of new music. The reason this is my go to, is that it’s one of the few sites that is specifically targeted towards assisting and promoting artists as opposed to hunting for profits. I’m a big advocate for supporting artists, and you should be too. Yes, it’s a massive site and not everyone has countless hours to get lost in the rabbit hole of new music. If you’re on the hunt for some new flavour – of the local variety – try this link: https://bandcamp.com/tag/newcastle you will get some UK artists mixed in but… you’ll also find the likes of dave., Jen Buxton, Rachel Maria Cox, Paper Thin, Fritz, The Gooch Palms and Trophy Eyes just to name a few. And the best part is, the money you spend on Bandcamp, goes back to the artists. You can also buy merch, pledge your support, and keep the band you love the most, doing the thing they love the most.

Triple J Unearthed:

I will advocate for this website and this platform until I am no longer able to string two words together – touch wood that day never comes. Think whatever you like about the the National Youth Broadcaster but… There should be no denying that Triple J Unearthed is an incredible platform, and the people behind that delightful little corner of the world, care about YOU and YOUR music. It is a treasure trove of deliciousness, and better still, you can put your #newystuff blinkers on and search specifically for artists in Newcastle. Unearthed has done a whole heap of cool stuff to support a massive handful of local artists, notably RAAVE TAPES, Rachel Maria Cox and Introvert, as well as providing a whole bunch of airtime to some local artists including Paper Thin, Brightness, Just a Gent and Ceilings just to name a few. Also, hot tip for any budding music writers out there, the lovely people at Unearthed read your reviews, and your words matter, and this can lead to many doors swinging open for you in the future.

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Rock Up Early

They aren’t just the support act, these are the bands and the artists who hail from your home town. I know how hard it is, when it’s cold and gross outside, and you’re staring down the barrel of an eight episode long Netflix binge but… rock up early to see the local act cut their teeth on the big stage. You never know, in six months time, that same band might be the headliner. 

Open Mic Nights

I first saw Bofolk Ballico perform at an open Mic night at the Hamilton Station Hotel, and I fell in love with his music in an instant. I also bugged him incessantly until he would take my money for his CD. I also met a wonderful community of like minded people, who just happen to all be talented musicians. This is the kind of raw talent you can’t find behind a screen, or on the poster of a major gig and these are the artists who need your support the most. It’s also a chance for you to experience music in a very specific way. All of the artists who jump up on stage pour their unfiltered heart and soul onto the stage, purely because they love to perform. A simple google search will lead you to a whole bunch of open mic nights scattered about town.

The Edwards Record Store.

The wonderful gentlemen that sit behind the counter at the Edwards Record store hold in their hot little hands an absolute wealth of knowledge, particularly about the local music scene. They also make an effort to stock hard copies of hits from your home grown favourites.

Right here, on Newcastle Live

Writing about local artists is something I am personally particularly passionate about, and I try and throw as much weight as I can, behind a variety of local acts and get them flowing through your headphones. This is pretty much why I spend a big chunk of my time on the hunt for new local music. Have a local act you’re particularly passionate about? Let us know! I love hearing about new acts, in fact I relish it! Think we’ve missed something or someone in our top 5? Tell us! Content is good and new music is even better.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

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