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Group beats great sounds

Whitley Bay Playhouse will be hoping to drum up lots of support for the show it is hosting tomorrow.

Whitley Bay Playhouse will be hoping to drum up lots of support for the show it is hosting tomorrow. Entertainment Editor Gordon Barr has the details. Japanese drums will pound out at a theatre tomorrow. Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers are at Whitley Bay Playhouse for one night only.

Thundering rhythms on huge taiko drums interweave with the delicate and expressive shinobue bamboo flute.

Using the flutes and percussion to weave through the mighty drumbeats, they create expressive music that ranges from the lyrical, to the sinister, humorous, hypnotic and heart-pounding.

Add to this variety of sound, visuals, choreography, athleticism, dramatic lighting, and costumes either post-apocalyptic industrial or in gorgeous earthy silks, to create a thrilling event.

The concert aims to captivate with its passion, exuberance, humour and intensity, taking the audience on a journey through a myriad moods. From the heart-pounding excitement of Ikkyo, the dark sinister otherworld, to the hypnotic Phoenix and the happy festival atmosphere of Matsuri, there promises to be something for everyone.

The drummers' technique comes through intensive training in Japan under top taiko masters, with Mugenkyo developing a style that is their own.

Retaining the traditional spirit of taiko, yet creating a thoroughly contemporary sound, Mugenkyo are forging a new path with their innovative approach.

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, as the UK's first and only professional touring taiko drum group, have spearheaded the growing movement to develop taiko drumming as a European art form, both through artistic collaborations and their extensive touring programme.

Performing more than 100 concerts a year, the group has built a solid reputation for hard-hitting energetic performances since its establishment in 1994.

The name means "limitless reverberation" and reflects the belief that taiko has no limitations, musical or geographical boundaries; the reverberations of taiko are able to spread throughout the world.

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers were founded in 1994 by Neil Mackie and Miyuki Williams who trained in Japan.

Well-established on the festival circuit, they have performed at Cork, Marlborough, Glastonbury, Henley, Bridgnorth and other outdoor events including BBC Proms in the Park and the 2003 Rugby Cup Final. They have also appeared on TV and radio programmes and even in a Bollywood film.

NTickets are £13 full, £12 easecard, £11 concs and are available from the box office on (0191) 252 3505.

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