Opening Times
Box Office
This Week our Box Office phone lines are open 12noon – 5pm Tuesday to Saturday. The building itself will remain closed until further notice.

☎️ 0191 443 4661
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Opening Times:
Box Office
This Week our Box Office phone lines are open 12noon – 5pm Tuesday to Saturday. The building itself will remain closed until further notice.

☎️ 0191 443 4661
📧 [email protected]

 →  Media Room  →  Artists lined up for Summer Studios 2019

Artists lined up for Summer Studios 2019

Posted on 17 June 2019


A mix of musicians from all over the UK will be descending on Sage Gateshead this summer to work on new material, learn from industry experts and develop their practice in world-class facilities.

Artists including Frankie & the Heartstrings, Martha Hill, John Pope, Beyond Albedo, Big Joanie, Dorian Cloudsley and M G Boulter are among the 20 successful applicants for Summer Studios 2019.

Sage Gateshead’s Summer Studios is a free, week-long residency (August 5-18) for music creators from all genres and backgrounds to be able to produce new work or prepare for a performance.

Throughout the week, musicians have access to rehearsal studios and facilities; the opportunity for a professional photoshoot and the chance to create a promotional film; as well as one-to-one sessions and clinics with industry experts.  Previous workshops have featured professionals from Sony Music, NARC Magazine, i-D Magazine and Funky Fly Music amongst others.

Last year’s musicians included The Futurehead’s Ross Millard, who took the opportunity to work on some of his own music and Talk Like Tigers whose music career is currently at a high with a forthcoming new single and gigs booked.

Sage Gateshead is one of 40 PRS for Music Foundation Talent Development Partners. Its Summer Studios, run in association with NARC. magazine, form part of a wider programme of talent development at Sage Gateshead, providing opportunities for a broad range of musicians working across different music genres.

Newcastle-based musician Martha Hill writes hard hitting alt-pop with a social conscience. A talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, she grew up in Scotland but after travelling around Europe with her music settled in the North East and began to pen a series of pop songs, drawing on the influence of left-field artists such as Little Dragon and Sylvan Esso.

Martha said: “I am excited to have an entire week dedicated to developing my music within an establishment like Sage Gateshead. I am really looking forward to learning from the industry and other artists, as well as having the time set aside to work on new music.”

John Pope, improviser and composer based in Newcastle, plays the double bass, bass guitar, musical saw and occasionally dictaphone. An artist with a diverse and expansive creative practice, John funnels a lifelong engagement with jazz, funk, rock music, pop-culture and mysticism through the “cracked vessel of the free improviser”. He has performed and recorded with folk artists, jazz-fusioneers, free improv legends and at least one genuine rock star.

I am very excited to be a part of Summer Studios this year!” he said.

“The opportunity to dedicate some serious time to new creative ventures, surrounded by like-minded musicians and supported by Sage Gateshead is a huge benefit to any artist trying to make dynamic new work in this era of challenges and austerity. I’m looking forward to exploring my practice as a composer and trying out new ideas with a brand-new line-up of improvisers and I’m hugely grateful to Summer Studios for extending the invitation.”

Beyond Albedo are a Leeds/Sheffield-based improvisatory retro-futuristic synth-jazz four-piece. This jazz/EDM quartet make original music that is exploratory and experimental, but also energetic and danceable. All members bring both traditional and genre-pushing elements to the band’s exciting sonic mix, resulting in a sound that draws from the jazz tradition while pushing it in exciting new directions.

They said: “We are so excited to dedicate time to writing new material at Summer Studios and we’re so grateful to Sage Gateshead for giving us this opportunity. We’re also really excited to meet all the other artists and mentors throughout the week.

Big Joanie are a black feminist punk band based in London, who formed in July 2013. Big Joanie formed to make powerful music but also to create a continuum for black punks by presenting a strong, powerful vision of black womanhood and talking about black punks who came before us.

A spokesperson said: “Big Joanie are looking forward to having the space and time to reflect on their previous releases and work on developing a new sound that will take them to their next album. We’re also intrigued about learning about the business side of the music industry.

Dorian Cloudsley is a Scottish guitarist and composer whose music takes influence chiefly from the worlds of jazz, electronica and classical music. He is the bandleader and founding member of award-winning fusion collective Fat-Suit and plays as a sideman in many guises, most regularly for folk singer/songwriter Beth Malcolm. He spends most of his time between London and his native Glasgow, staying involved in both scenes and collaborating with musicians who excite him wherever possible.

Dorian said: “I’ve been planning to make a solo record for some time now and have been collecting ideas which don’t fit into the other projects I am a part of. I intend to use the week at Summer Studios as a writing retreat and my first focussed push towards making this happen.

“I want it to be distinct from the other bands I am involved with and being in a completely new space surrounded by new people will hopefully provide an ideal backdrop for this. I’d also like to make full use of the workshops offered – it can be a solitary world as a freelance musician and any time people are willing to offer words of advice, I am happy to listen!”

M G Boulter is a singer-songwriter living on the Thames coast in Essex. His song-writing charts the suburban experience and the importance of the everyday as a means of inspiration. His second full length album With Wolves the Lamb Will Lie was listed as one of the Best Folk Albums of 2016 by the Daily Telegraph.

He said: “The Summer Studios project is an exciting opportunity for me to not only have the time and space to work on my songs but also have the chance to collaborate and learn from musicians and artists in other genres. The river Thames has been a big inspiration on my music for many years and spending time by the Tyne and physically exploring a new environment, seeing new people and places will inspire me no end.”

Frankie & the Heartstrings, debut release was a 10″ 7 track live EP 12.09.09, released on their own Pop Sex Ltd records in a limited edition of 500 in November 2009. The following month they followed it up with a double A side 7″ single Hunger/Fragile released on Rough Trade. That month they played their first major tour supporting Florence & the Machine!

Following a four-year hiatus we will use the opportunity Summer Studio has offered to cross the T’s and dot the lower-case J’s on a fourth studio album,” they said.




For further information, interviews or images please contact:

Gaynor Ellis, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. [email protected] T. 0191 443 4690

Emily Taylor, PR and Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

  1. E. [email protected] T. 0191 443 4617  M. 07793 762 879



Notes to editors:

 Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences and for the North.

Every year it welcomes more than two million visitors. More than 400 concerts featuring all kinds of local, regional and international music, take place all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region, with 190,000 people of all ages taking part in over 10,000 music classes and workshops.

The iconic building, designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia and is a place where emerging artists are nurtured through dedicated programmes and festivals.

As a charity, the support it receives helps to ensure everyone in the community can experience the joys of music.


Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.