In July, a South East Northumberland town is preparing to ‘Turn Back the Clock’ and welcome 80s pop royalty to a brand new free music showcase.
Bedlington is a town steeped in mining heritage and proud of its cultural roots, and on Saturday July 16th - Gallagher Park will welcome Northumberland Live in Bedlington as it opens its doors to international chart-toppers, JOHNNY HATES JAZZ.
Northumberland Live in Bedlington is supported by Northumberland County Council; with the event enjoying BBC Newcastle 95.4FM Digital as its official media partner.
Johnny Hates Jazz, have the pop music pedigree of a Bedlington Terrier as they scored crowd-pleasing international smash hits with songs such as “Shattered Dreams” (UK / No5 and US / No2) and “I Don’t Want to be a Hero” (UK / No11 and US / No31). The singles were taken from their debut album “Turn Back The Clock” which topped the UK Album Charts in 1988 and grossed a massive 4 million record sales.
The family festival - Northumberland Live in Bedlington - has been born out of the runaway success of sister festival Northumberland Live that for the past two years has drawn big crowds to nearby Blyth.
Cllr Val Tyler, Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture at Northumberland County Council said: “Northumberland Live in Bedlington promises to be great event. Events and festivals are a proven way of highlighting an area as being a great place to live, work or setup business; whilst also providing an opportunity for communities to celebrate together. With live music, street theatre and family entertainment - it should be a day both for the residents of Bedlington and visitors to enjoy.”
Johnny Hates Jazz is currently made up from two of the original band members, Clark Datchler (songwriter, vocalist, keyboards) and Mike Nocito (guitarist, bassist, producer). Mike Nocito is also famous in his own right for being a recording engineer on tracks by musical heavyweights Pink Floyd, The Police, The Cure, Duran Duran and the Thompson Twins. He even produced the Katrina and The Waves' single "Love Shine A Light" which won the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest.
Front man Clark Datchler, also enjoyed solo success away from Johnny Hates Jazz but he was always destined to be a star as he came from a very musical family, with dad, Fred, being in 50’s band The Stargazers – who were the first British band to reach No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart. His father also sang backing vocals for such greats as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles and Petula Clark.
Northumberland Live in Bedlington will take over the beautiful setting of Gallagher Park, where families will be able to stay for the full day and even bring along a picnic. Asides from the music there will be a fun selection of family entertainment and things to do from street theatre through to stalls selling locally-made goodies.
The organisers have some other big announcements up their sleeves so watch this space… Northumberland Live in Bedlington will be staged on Saturday July 16th from 11am until 9pm and is FREE!
Published on 24 March 2016 by Ben Robinson