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BBC 6 Music Festival: Three-day event gets off to a flying start with Bryan Ferry and Maximo Park

The Washington-born Roxy Music legend spoke to Lauren Laverne at The Cluny, while Paul Smith led the North East charge at Sage Gateshead

Following a storming opening gig at the 02 Academy Newcastle on Friday night, the BBC 6 Music Festival continued to bring a diverse and crowd-pulling bill of music, conversation and generally brilliant people to Tyneside on Saturday.

The War on Drugs, Mogwai, Sleater Kinney and Interpol tested the foundations of the Academy with a succession of sets to kick off the three-day event in style.

Follow live updates from the whole weekend of events here

Safe to say there were more than a few husky voices on Saturday morning as crowds reconvened in Newcastle’s Ouseburn for the first of two Festival By Day schedules offering more treats than it was possible to see.

The first of these - and some might say the most special for a North East audience - took the form of a one-to-one chat between one of the region’s best known music presenters and a bona fide music legend who hails from the same parts.

Lauren Laverne interviews Bryan Ferry
Lauren Laverne interviews Bryan Ferry

A packed audience in Cluny 2, including a number of notables from the region’s music scene like Maximo Park’s Paul Smith, Ross Millard of Futurehead fame and Field Music’s David Brewis, were treated to half an hour in the company of Roxy Music frontman and celebrated solo artist, Bryan Ferry as he chewed the fat with fellow Wearsider, BBC 6 presenter Lauren Laverne, talking about his early music influences and career.

Ferry could be seen peeking around the corner as he was introduced as the ‘centrepiece’ of the Festival By Day bit of proceedings, which is bathing Tyneside in alternative music and widespread attention over the weekend.

The 69-year-old - who was looking his usual über cool self, dressed all in black - revealed he was well into the festival swing, having been in the audience at the 02 Academy launch gig.

“I caught a bit of The War on Drugs and Mogwai, which I enjoyed very much... although they were a little bit loud for my taste,” he laughed.

Ferry said he still thought of the North East as home in many ways, despite having lived in London for the best part of half a century.

There was a packed Cluny audience for Lauren Laverne's interview with Bryan Ferry
There was a packed Cluny audience for Lauren Laverne's interview with Bryan Ferry

“It was a big part of my life growing up and studying here,” he said. “I saw many of my musical heroes here - Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie... so many people. I spent a lot of time in the New Orleans Jazz Club and the Club A’GoGo on a Thursday night.

“It’s great to be back on such a beautiful day.”

Read: BBC 6 Music Festival - Absolutely everything you need to know

The chat was the first of a cherry picked programme of In Conversation... events at the venue throughout the day, with the likes of Hot Chip and Royal Blood - both performing at the evening BBC 6 Festival event at Sage Gateshead on Saturday - also on the afternoon chat schedule.

Straight after Bryan Ferry, a feast of local music stars were waiting in the wings to talk to Lauren about making music in and from the region.

Lauren Laverne interviews Paul Smith, Nadine Shah, Ross Millard Beth Jeans Houghton and David Brewis
Lauren Laverne interviews Paul Smith, Nadine Shah, Ross Millard Beth Jeans Houghton and David Brewis

Paul, Ross and David moved from their audience seats to the stage and were joined by singer songwriters Nadine Shah from Whitburn and Beth Jeans Houghton, who will be performing at the Boiler Shop on Sunday morning.

All five were more than happy to share their experiences with Lauren, who is, of course herself, the former front woman of Sunderland band, Kenickie. David’s baby son William even had his two penneth from his seat in the crowd.

Other Ouseburn venues - The Cluny, The Star and Shadow Cinema and The Cumberland Arms - welcomed the likes of legendary performance poet, John Cooper Clarke, a crowd of North East comics like Simon Donald and Kate Fox as well as music from artists such as Joanna Gruesome, Tom Robinson, Slug and Sleaford Mods during a jam-packed programme of entertainment, which was broadcast on BBC 6 Music throughout the day.

And we haven’t even got to the night-time bit yet.

Follow live updates from the whole weekend of events here

With a line up which included the aforementioned Maximo Park, Royal Blood, a Kate Tempest and Eliza Carthy mash up, Ghostpoet, Hot Chip, The Fall, The Cribs and Gruff Rhys to name literally but a few, it’s unsurprising tickets for the Festival’s Saturday night at Sage Gateshead were snapped up in minutes when they went on sale earlier this month.

Music lovers were spoiled for choice as almost 20 acts and DJs began their takeover of Hall One, Hall Two, the Concourse and Hall Three at the venue.

Then it will be up to the Boiler Shop in the Stephenson Works behind Newcastle Central Station for a late night event featuring Gilles Peterson, Mary Anne Hobbs and Jamie XX.

Sunday is going to see more of the same as a day and night programme see the likes of Neneh Cherry, The Charlatans, Gaz Coombes, Beth Jeans Houghton and Rob Da Bank take to the stage.

Don’t forget to keep your eye on our regular updates for Festival highlights.


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