Play Hard

Friday, we’re in love… With Sage Gateshead’s new livestream concert series

What’s that? You can get cheese and wine hampers with your ticket, too? Count us in…

Written by High Life North
Published 05.05.2021

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how much we love live music.

Seeing gig after gig cancelled or rescheduled over the last 12 months has physically hurt our hearts. And while we’re not quite ready to jump into a sweaty, fist-pumping mosh pit just yet, Sage Gateshead have made live music that little bit more accessible until we are. And they’ve thought of everything.

Starting this Friday (7th May), Sage Gateshead will begin a new programme of live-streamed concerts which will bring some of the best musicians in the world to our living rooms. And it’s ever so appropriately titled – New Beginnings triumphantly marks our society’s slow return to live music, and we couldn’t be more thrilled

Now, we all know an army marches on its stomach, so it’s only fitting that this pitch-perfect parade of musical artistry will be supported by scran from a stellar local business. Collaborating with Sage Gateshead on New Begininngs is Blacks Corner: speciality delicatessen and high-end eatery and wine bar that (for those of you who don’t know this already) have steadily been redefining the British cheese and charcuterie market since they opened back in 2015.


With the Blacks Corner At Home With Sage Gateshead dining packages – all of varying sizes, we may add – subscribers to the livestream concerts can order a special hamper that Blacks Corner have specially designed for the occasion: think a selection of the finest meats, cheeses, crackers, conserves and a cheeky bottle of wine (or two) thrown in there for good measure, all delivered to your door before the concert starts. Now we don’t know about you guys, but that basically sounds like heaven to us!

But enough about the pre-show refreshments (although we could literally talk about that side of things aaaaall day) – here’s what to expect from the livestream series itself.


New Beginnings comprises four livestreamed concerts, each of which include a variety of musical genius to enjoy and all are tied together with celebratory performances from Sage Gateshead’s own orchestra, the Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Each concert, different support artists – all from the North East – will be stepping back into the spotlight. Newcastle’s finest soul and funk outfit Smoove & Turrell will be kicking things off this Friday, before the Royal Northern Sinfonia embark on a specially-designed programme of music their own members have selected for the first time ever on Friday 14th May. We’ve heard Piazzolla’s sultry, tango-infused Four Seasons is in the mix, as well as some lesser-known pieces that promise to shine a light on underrepresented composers.


We’re excited for Friday 21st May, where we’ll see both experimental genius Kris Haplin and emerging solo artist SL Walkinshaw take to the stage. Kris, who makes music as Dyskinetic, is a disabled musician who uses MiMu Gloves so unbelievably cleverly that he’s able to make both electronic and rock music simply by using hand gestures (with the help of some pretty badass futuristic technology). SL Walkinshaw will also be bringing innovation to the stage. One half of Tyneside experimental duo, Ten Sticks, he uses field recordings and acoustic instruments to create ambient soundscapes that promise to feel both crazily familiar while also, at the same time, brand new.


The final instalment of New Beginnings comes on the final Friday (28th) of May, where we’re cordially invited into a hot, sultry summer’s evening in small-town America through the performance of Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915. John Wilson’s Summer Songs sees Gateshead-born (and RNS regular) John join the RNS to conduct works by Delius, Richard Rodney Bennett, Copland and, of course, Barber

Safe to say, our musical cups overfloweth. But that’s not all – Sage Gateshead have also put together a playlist of music that they feel showcases what New Beginnings means to them and their artists. The pieces of music chosen reflect upon Spring, nature and, most appropriately, fresh starts, meaning there’s definitely something for everyone to connect with.


We’ve already got our tickets and our Blacks Corner hampers are en route as we speak… Won’t you join us?

To find out more about Sage Gateshead’s New Beginnings programme, visit their website

Prices for the Blacks Corner At Home With Sage Gateshead hampers start at £37.50. To order yours, visit Blacks Corner’s website

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