HOME GATHERING 2017
Hoults Yard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2HL
Home Gathering, curated and presented by The Unthanks, returns for its third edition this September, with another thrilling line-up across two stages in Newcastle’s Hoults Yard – the post industrial site brimming with atmosphere and regional heritage that was so popular last year.
Having been generously shown the ropes in the first two years by local promoters SSD, The Unthanks are now hosting and running Home Gathering in characteristically independent style. We have no funding. No backing! So please come and join us in making this a brilliant, sustainable annual event!
The eclectic programme is topped by a special one-time-only performance of ‘The Bairns’ by Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, marking the 10th anniversary of the Mercury nominated album. Pianist Stef Conner appears to reform the Winterset, for one performance only!
Other festival highlights include a rare solo performance by the peerless Joan As Policewoman, an overdue Newcastle appearance from the beguiling queen of folktronica Beth Orton, and 6 Music favourites, Dutch Uncles. If The Unthanks are known for their political and socially conscious output, it should be no surprise to find on the bill the poetic subversive funk of The Blockheads (celebrating 40 years since the release of their classic New Boots and Panties album), the cutting social commentary of folk singer Chris Wood and original rude boy Neville Staple who along with new material brings to Home Gathering the number one hits of The Specials, still as culturally relevant today as they were to turbulent late ’70’s Britain.
Comic royalty comes in the form of Alan Partridge and Royale Family writer, Henry Normal, and Graham Fellows, the genius behind John Shuttleworth and Jilted John, who surfaces from the shadows of his beloved characters for a rare performance as himself.
Home Gathering is staged in the cobbled yard of what was once one of the most famous potteries in the world, located in Byker, a stones throw from Newcastle’s cultural Ouseburn quarter. Between funky indoor post-industrial venues, you may find yourself flash-mobbed by a swirling traditional dance team, or immersed in the throng of an impromptu chorus sing by members of The Unthanks, joining a masked children’s procession, or just taking some time out for top local food or hanging out at a gin or real ale bar.
Strength in depth comes from the beautiful, exceptional voices of captivating London folk singer Lisa Knapp, singer songwriter Scott Matthews and the highly underrated sometime Fernhill singer, Julie Murphy.
In addition to the special performance by Rachel Unthank & The Winterset of The Bairns, The Unthanks 10 piece line-up will top the bill on Saturday night, augmented at points by 100 singing weekenders in the audience, primed through morning harmony workshops to create what in the past two years have been spine tingling, unique moments. Having sung with just Rachel and Becky Unthank in workshops, the 100 strong choir dotted in the audience haven’t heard what the band are going to do, and the band haven’t heard the singers. The Unthanks band respond intuitively to the singers, who are gradually joined in song by the whole 1000 capacity audience, to create a wall of harmonic sound – an experience belonging uniquely to everyone present.
Start and Finish Schedule and Rough Outline
Nearer the time you’ll be able to check the Home Gathering website, for which artists are on which days. For now we can tell you that the festival will start at 7pm on Friday, run from 2pm on the Saturday, and on Sunday, Home Gathering will close with Rachel Unthank & The Winterset performing The Bairns (midday), followed by Beth Orton, who will finish at 3pm. This is the first year that the festival has extended into Sunday, but we have limited this to a lunchtime programme in consideration for those needing to be home in time to return to work on the Monday.
The festival website is live now with artist and ticket info
Tickets are on sale from 9th June
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset – ‘Felton Lonnin’ from The Bairns: