Published on July 7th, 2014 | by Alastair Gilmour0
Events, dear boy, events
What luck. Tim Healy introduces our packed programme of North East summer gigs and festivals. There’s something for everyone, as they say, and some of them involve enjoying ale in the sunshine
The North East’s favourite character actor has a message for Cheers. We made the mistake of handing Benidorm star Tim Healy a glass of beer when we met at Sandhaven Beach, South Shields. It’s not that he doesn’t drink beer, it was the amount he couldn’t cope with.
“Tell Cheers readers Tim doesn’t drink halves,” he said, not entirely un-seriously. He took a look and had a glug, all the same.
The idea was that a loveable personality like Tim Healy would be perfect for kicking off our 12-page section featuring the best summer gigs, festivals and events that the region can offer. Apart from enjoying live music, theatrical shows and community gatherings, Tim is an ambassador for the region and he has recently relocated from Cheshire to Northumberland with his partner Jo. He simply can’t stay away.
Tim Healy is probably best known for playing Dennis Patterson in the television series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and is currently Les/Lesley in the ITV comedy-drama series Benidorm. Les/Lesley is a transvestite (“I just play him for the money, I don’t really dress like that all the time.”)
“I’m glad to be back from Benidorm; it was far too hot and sunny for me,” says Tim. “The filming is full-on with 12-hour shifts making up what we call an 11-day fortnight. The first week we worked constantly from Monday till Saturday with Sunday off, then it was Monday to Friday with Saturday and Sunday off. It’s a lot of fun though – fun and laughter all the time. The characters in Benidorm are larger than life – on set and off – and they’re just like what you see in the real Benidorm. I got to the stage where I just wanted to see people with their clothes on. They go to the shops dressed like that.
“It’s also good to be back in Northumberland where we’re based now. We quite often get into The Blue Bell at Mickley which is my local. The new owners, Brian and Lorraine (Dodd), have really made a great job of it and the food is fabulous – we tend to have Sunday lunch there. Brian has a great reputation for taking pubs on and making them right.”
Tim’s distaste for half-pints becomes clear when he begins to reel off the places he enjoys having a (full) pint in. He says: “In my Live Theatre days we used to be in the Free Trade Inn all the time on Newcastle Quayside and I was in The Dyvels in Corbridge recently. It’s got a new owner too – a really nice guy called Gino who seems to be getting it right.
“But my favourite place is the Albert Edward Club in Hexham, just opposite the Abbey. I meet my mate there – the prices are good and it’s got a fabulous snooker table. I love playing snooker.”
Tim Healy is utterly beguiled by the North East and a man who does nothing by halves. Beer being one of them.
Mouth of the Tyne Festival
Tynemouth Priory and Castle, Tynemouth Station, Tynemouth Front Street
A celebration of world-class street entertainment, live music and special performances with children’s pageant and community groups. Features include Paul Weller, John Cooper Clark (Whitley Bay Playhouse), Lawson, The Neville Staple Band, Top Loader, plus local bands Jen Stevens And The Hiccups and Lisbon. There’s an HMS Tyne open day, too.
From July 11
Sun Down at Gibside Beer Garden & Pub, National Trust Gibside, Burnopfield NE16 6BG
Friday evenings all year round. Relax with local ales and snacks in the beer garden or stay cosy indoors while the kids explore the play area adjacent to the beer garden. Free entry.
July 14 onwards
The Edinburgh Previews
The Brandling Villa, South Gosforth NE3 1QL
Mondays are rubbish, aren’t they? Well, not anymore. For five weeks, all your entertainment problems are solved with some of the best comedians around who have humbly offered to use the two gaffs as a practice run for their brand-new Edinburgh Fringe Shows. For only £6 – less than the price of a pint on the Royal Mile – you can witness the fantastic Vlad McTavish (his 2005 Edinburgh Fringe show was a critically acclaimed sell-out), Carl Hutchinson (Beat The Frog World Series Winner) and Kai Humphries (So You Think You’re Funny Finalist/Comedy Central).
Tickets are available behind the Brandling Villa and The Tannery (Hexham) bars, or on the night. All start at 8pm. Sold out last year so if you snooze you lose.
Summer Tyne Americana Festival
Featuring The Jayhawks, Booker T Jones, Bettye Lavette, Steven Seagal Band and much more in this annual homage to rootsy music from the US. Local talent too from The Honey Bop Trio, Shipcote And Friends, Fickle Lilly and the Archie Brown Quartet. Film programme and street food.
Summer Beer Festival
The Cumberland Arms, Ouseburn, Newcastle NE6 1LD
Not satisfied with providing 40 cask and 10 keg beers plus 30 ciders, the Cumby folks will be a hosting family friendly fun, an amazing line-up of the best home-grown music and extremely tasty food. Alongside traditional bees and ciders there are examples from brewers forging ahead with new ideas – including the brand-new Northern Alchemy microbrewery with its small-run, flavour-led beers. The weekend features Free Ping Pong, story telling from Doom & Bloom, funfair games and live music galore from Kentucky Cow Tippers, The Sandboys, Sharks Took The Rest, Tim Shaw and The New York Brass Band.
Diary date: August 3 brings the Baghdaddies out to play and on August 17 from noon it’s the Cumberland’s third annual free all-day outdoor music event with top performers including DJ Stagger Lee Fisher and Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra.
Venues across Newcastle
Celebrate the region’s LGBT community with this annual free festival.
Streets of Brass
Various venues around Durham (part of Durham International brass Band Festival, July 11‑20)
Durham’s International Festival of Brass returns with its party atmosphere. Among the street entertainers are Jaipur Kawa – fresh from Bestival and Glastonbury – with the riot of sound and colour that has made them the most sought-after band of their kind outside India (then you can seek out a pint of Thornbridge Jaipur IPA and head for a curry!). Also featuring the New York Brass Band with its powerful punch of relentless drums, rumbling tuba and wailing horns that form a smokin’, funky set.
A Taste of Teesdale
Raby Castle, Staindrop, County Durham DL2 3AH
Artisan food and drink producers with chefs in action, farming displays and the celebration of everything mouth‑watering from Teesdale’s finest.
Misty In Roots
Old Town Hall, Gateshead NE8 1HE, 8pm
Beloved of the late John Peel and pioneers of Rock Against Racism, Misty has set a benchmark for UK reggae. They remain one of the biggest names in roots reggae here at home and across Europe.
Clennell Hall Beer Festival
Clennell Hall, Alwinton, Northumberland NE65 7BG
Promises to be even bigger and better than last year which featured nine real ales and live music. The grade II-listed Clennell Hall is a historic manor house, now operating as a country hotel, situated near Harbottle, Morpeth. Wildlife abounds. Ten individual rooms include king‑size beds and modern bathrooms. Bunk rooms are available from £20pppn.
Details: 01669 650377 www.clennellhallcountryhouse.com
4th Battlesteads Beer Festival
Battlesteads Hotel, Wark, NE48 3LS
The doors swing open at 4pm on Friday July 25 with various timings until the beer runs out sometime on Sunday night (July 27). Live music includes the ever-popular Happy Cats, The Mudskippers and Alive And kicking.
Tickets £4pp includes commemorative glass and programme (Camra members £3). For accommodation
email@example.com or tel 01434 230209 asking for Katie.
Westovian Theatre, Ocean Road, South Shields NE33 2JS, 7.30pm
Comedy sketches performed by top North East actors guaranteed to bring fun and raise money for South Tyneside charity Cancer Connections. One of the sketches is Bobby Elliot, a piece written by celebrated duo Trevor Wood and Ed Waugh, first performed at the Sunday for Sammy shows at Newcastle City Hall in February. Micky Cochrane, the rising star of North East stand-up comedy, will host the event.
Tickets: £10 from the Westovian Theatre, 0191 4560980; Tourist Information Centre, Haven Point Sports Centre (0191 424 7788), Cancer Connections (0191 4565081) or tel 07751 246 176
Sunderland Air Show
Roker and Seaburn, Sunderland (and the skies above)
A great family day out at Europe’s biggest free air show. Featuring the Red Arrows.
Wylam Proper Beer Festival
The Tyne Bar, Ouseburn, Newcastle NE6 1LP
A tap take-over weekend with 17 Wylam Brewery ales and 10 real ciders across three bars, accompanied by street food and the famous Tyne Bar BBQ. Music from Big Ray & The Hip Thrusters and Archie Brown And The Young Bucks.
Details: 0191 265 2550 www.thetyne.com
The Strathmore Arms Beer Festival
Holwick, Middleton-in-Teesdale DL12 0NJ
The third beer festival in this quintessential country pub in the midst of Upper Teedale’s walking country. Great ales, terrific food and brilliant live music.
Music In The Park
National Trust Gibside, Burnopfield NE16 6BG
1pm-4pm (gates 10am)
Bring deck chairs and picnics for live music on The Avenue every fortnight. Also August 10, 24 and September 14, 28 (Vieux Carr Jazzmen).
Details: 01207 541820
Crown Posada, Side, Newcastle NE1 3AJ
The Crown Posada is to host the amazing Rat Brewery from Huddersfield for a Meet The Brewer Ale Weekend. Beers promised include Coffin Rat, a brand-new American IPA made specially for the Crown Posada, plus White Rat, All Rat Jazz, Black Rat Porter, Ginger Rat, Anthrat’s Rat, King Rat, Drowned Rat, English Rat, Ratatouille and Rat Crafted IPA, a guest keg beer.
Brewers Paul Spencer and Robin Moss will be around to kick it all off on the Friday evening and the event will last until the beer runs out – then presumably rat’ll be rat.
Details: 0191 232 1269
Boiler Shop Steamer
Stephenson’s Works, Sussex Street, Newcastle NE1 3PE
The monthly Boiler Shop Steamer is one of the North East’s must-do events – combining street food, live music, local ales, pop-up boutiques and whatever else turns up. Make a note for the first Friday and Saturday of every month.
Carts Bog Inn, Langley, Hexham NE47 5NW
Clever name for a real ale and music festival in this country pub with live music and BBQ– bog standard it isn’t.
Join pub and beer enthusiast Eric Larkham on a stroll around the Ouseburn, Newcastle, pubs. Hear about their history and listen to a few personal anecdotes – plus enjoy a drink in some of them. Meet outside Blackfriars@Ouseburn, opposite The Tanners Arms at 7pm (finishing up at the Free Trade Inn). Early starters can meet Eric at The New Bridge on New Bridge Street from 6pm where he will no doubt explain which bridge the pub is actually named after.
Newcastle and Gateshead – various venues
The ever-popular annual event’s outdoor helping invites you to enjoy local, food, drink and ambience at its best. Experience the Food Heroes Market, Naked Feasts, Found Fish, Urban Foraging, Smoking Hot, Pasta Passion, Secret Vegan Dinner Party, Fish Quay Feast and loads more. And you could do worse than join Cheers editor Alastair Gilmour on a four-venue pub walk (August 15 and 16) with a bit of culture thrown in.
The Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) Great British Beer Festival
Olympia Exhibition Centre, London
More than 55,000 people sampling 900 real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers with plenty of entertainment and food to enjoy. GBBF tickets are now on sale, with single tickets for each full day and ‘season tickets’ available – all cheaper than paying on the door. Camra members receive an additional discount on all tickets.
Trade session tickets for licensees, brewers and other industry representatives are available (August 12, noon‑5pm).
This year is promises to be the best Great British Beer Festival ever with everything from limited edition brews and one-off specials from some of our best known real ale breweries, to award-winning favourites from microbreweries across the UK and even an American cask beer bar.
Barclays Premier League, 3pm
Newcastle United v Manchester City
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland
August 16 onwards
A full summer of sheepdogs, horse trials, beer tents and farming’s finest folk. August 16: Allendale Agricultural Show (www.allendaleagriculturalshow.co.uk). August 20: Bellingham Show (www.bellinghamshow.co.uk). August 25: Glendale Show (www.glendaleshow.co.uk). August 30: Weardale Agricultural Show (www.weardale-show.co.uk). September 6-7: Wolsingham and Wear Valley Agricultural Show (www.wolsinghamshow.co.uk). September 13: Bowes Agricultural Show (www.bowesshow.co.uk).
The Tyne Cruise 4th Annual Rock ’n’ Roll Charity Bike Ride
The Schooner, Gateshead to the Boathouse, Wylam and back (10.30am-4.30pm)
Approximately 25 miles, mostly off-road, with refreshments stops at Hadrian Border brewery; the Boathouse, Wylam; Black Bull, Blaydon; Tudor Rose, Dunston, raising funds for Daft As A Brush and Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
Cost: £15 includes a bacon sarnie (veggie option), tea or coffee at the start, a pint of real ale, buffet food, a T-shirt and live music at the finish – plus that warm feeling knowing that you’ve just had a great workout and done your bit for two very worthwhile charities.
Entry and sponsorship forms available from The Schooner, South Shore Road, Gateshead, NE8 3AF. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 0191 477 7404
Bill Quay Cricket Club Beer Festival
Hall Terrace, Bill Quay, Gateshead NE10 0TT
Number one of hopefully a long series organised and hosted by Bill Quay Cricket Club in association with the club’s main sponsor, Jarrow Brewery. Around 50 different real ales and an outdoor marquee where live music acts will perform across the weekend – including Steve Daggett, The Revolutionaires, Skatoons and Ivan Campo. An open-top limo will dispense spirits and champagne, while stalls and BBQ will feature. Beer list yet be confirmed, but will include a wide range of styles and strengths. Early indications are that many of the participating breweries will be sending a unique recipe, brewed especially for Bill Quay.
The Boathouse Bank Holiday Beer Festival
Station Road, Wylam, NE41 8HR
The multi award-winning Northumberland hostelry – pub of the year and cider pub of the year – once again hosts its famous August Bank Holiday extravaganza. With 15 handpulls and a big Hadrian Border presence, it’s one of the beer events of the summer. Beers are always sourced well, so look out for some absolute crackers.
Details: 01661 853431
Middlehaven Dockside, Middlesbrough
An accessible cultural event aiming to help break down cultural barriers and stereotypes often associated with people with disabilities. Spearheaded by care specialists Keiro who have experience of running accessible music festivals. With more than 30 acts on two stages, the line-up includes The Feeling, The Lake Poets, Chloe Howl and Big Beat Bronson. The festival, in association with Middlebrough FC, Middlesbrough College, TFM, Thirteen Group, PD Ports and the High Tide Foundation, uses music as the foundation to get people from all walks of life together to enjoy a fun-packed carnival atmosphere.
Sound Waves 2014
Bents Park, South Shields. Gates open 4.30pm
Stellar cast includes Texas, All Saints, Gabrielle and Lulu James.
Bay Horse Inn Beer & Music Festival
Bay Horse Inn, Stamfordham NE18 4PB, 4-11:30pm
Beer and cider from seven breweries including: Wylam, Black Sheep, Hadrian Border, High House Farm and Tyne Bank with live music from Acoustic Magic. Food served from 4pm.
Details: 01661 855469 www.bayhorsestamfordham.co.uk
Town Moor, Newcastle, 12noon-6.30pm
The annual free celebration of Asian culture with music, dance, arts, crafts – and, of course, food.
Manor House Inn Beer Festival
The Manor House Inn, Carterway Heads, near Shotley Bridge, DH8 9LX
This place has seen a lot of ale come and go since the 1700s so its beer festival promises to have a bit of provenance. Local produce used is some of the finest the North East can supply (customers even forage mushrooms and catch a trout or two for the kitchen) and its commitment to good beer is just as keen – and locally-sourced. The pub’s renowned food will be tailored to a festival-style offering.
Details: 01207 255268
Bernicia Festival 2014
The Customs House, Mill Dam, South Shields NE33 1ES
An all-day celebration of the region’s musical community, Bernicia provides an alternative to mainstream pop-based events, a chilled-out atmosphere, and a historic location. More than 20 acts, so let’s hear it for Hyde & Beast, The Lake Poets, Vinyl Jacket, Grandfather Birds, Tissue Culture, PlayLounge, Cohesion, Mouses, Ajimal, This Little Bird, Skylark Song and Ryan Bird. Free, but tickets via a lottery system.
Great North Run and Great City Games
The world’s most high-profile half-marathon hits the record books with its millionth finisher.
Berwick Beer Festival
The Parade, Berwick TD15 1DF
Now in its seventh year and part of the Berwick Slow Food Festival, the event attracts thousands of visitors from around the UK. The marquee on the green opposite the town’s Barracks will offer a huge range of local beers and a chance to explore Berwick’s malting history. Street Food Street linking the Beer and Food Festival areas will give visitors an even wider choice. Organised by The Barrels Ale House, Berwick, and the local branch of the Slow Food movement.
Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead NE8 4JB, 10.30am-4pm
High quality vintage fashion, textiles and homeware from the 1900s to the 1980s. Pop-up café. £2 entry on door. www.newcastlevintagefashionfair.co.uk
Craft Beer Calling – an international craft beer festival
The Boiler Shop, Newcastle NE1 3PD
More than 50 leading craft breweries assembled under one roof, plus 200-odd national and international cask and keg beers. Meet The Brewer sessions, world-class DJs, artisan cider cellar, gin bar, plus a sumptuous street food market. Beers include The Yeastie Boys from New Zealand, St Erik’s (Sweden) and Lagunitas (US); Beavertown, Weird Beard, Hanging Bat, Big Lamp, Allendale and Wylam.
Music via Mr. Scruff and Greg Wilson.