A new boutique music festival is coming to Durham this week thanks to a collaboration between Gala Theatre and Old Cinema Launderette.
The three-day festival will see a number of performances across the city, as well as at former Rex Cinema in Gilesgate Moor – now a working launderette, coffee shop and licensed bar which plays host to intimate gigs.
On Thursday, 21 September rock and roll band The Blockheads will perform at Gala, showcasing their hits including Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick, Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) and Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll plus many others.
The following day will see Edinburgh-born folk artist Blue Rose Code play tracks from his new album at Durham Town Hall, while on Saturday Sunderland’s Martin Longstaff – also known at The Lake Poets – will perform in Gala’s studio.
The festival will finish on Sunday with a show by Thea Gilmore, who after 15 albums has abandoned her trusty acoustic guitar in favour of an iPad and piano.
The festival will also see three gigs at the Old Cinema Launderette, with Thursday featuring an intimate performance from singer songwriter Mark Morriss, who had 14 top ten singles and three top ten albums while fronting indie rockers The Bluetones.
He will be followed by American artist John Murry (corr) the following evening, while on Friday Scottish writer and producer Andrew Wasylyk will showcase songs exploring his hometown of Dundee.
The launderette sessions were the brainchild of Richard Turner, who opened the Old Cinema Launderette six years ago and wanted to celebrate the building’s history.
“As the venue is so quirky we just started putting on music events and it has built from there – music has always been a passion so it started as a fun project,” he said.
“This festival is a natural progression in trying to bring more established acts to Durham. There are some great festivals around the country such as ‘Celtic Connections’ based in Glasgow which gave us inspiration.
“It’s great to work on a more professional level with Gala who have been putting on fantastic shows for years and it’s lovely to be able to bring artists such as Blue Rose Code and Thea Gilmore to the stunning Durham Town Hall, I just can’t wait!”