fri 03/07/2020

English Journey Revisited, AV Festival, Newcastle | reviews, news & interviews

English Journey Revisited, AV Festival, Newcastle

English Journey Revisited, AV Festival, Newcastle

J B Priestley's damning of Newcastle, revisited by Northerners and Southerners

Alan Moore performing at the Southbank Centre, London 2007Andrew Bulhak
The description of the AV Festival’s closing event was vague in the promotional material. Going only by the promise of “music/performance,” and the undeniably odd combination of Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair with performance musicians including the guitarist from drone doom band Sunn O))), expectations were hard to form. The organisers must have realised the mystery - four sheets of A4 were thrust into our hands last night by ushers upon entry as a means of explanation, although the itinerary was hardly kept to.
Despite this, Hall Two of The Sage, Gateshead was packed out, including the scant standing room left at the back. It was evident that Moore and Sinclair fans were out for the rare opportunity of seeing the self-proclaimed “psycho-geographers” live in the city. They were back, after long absences, to renounce J B Priestley’s damning of Newcastle in English Journey (1934). Indeed, it wasn’t so much England that was being revisited as the North East, and this was not so much a revisiting as a paean of praise.

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Well this review felt a little limp, I personally loved the event. Perhaps you witnessed some of the team that were involved in the event leaving as they were required else where but I certainly did not observe many people leaving as you've stated. I think you crave an angle and the obviously fashionable one was of desperate satire. And I'm itching to say something utterly juvenile like 'Fucking Southerners.'

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