• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Punk rockers from all across the region have united together to help the homeless at Christmas with a new version of Ralph McTell’s hit, Streets of London. 

The idea of a CD to raise funds for Newcastle’s People’s Kitchen was the brainchild of punk couple Tony and Karen Houghton from Blyth. The pair by day are artists and by night adopt the characters of Sewer Rat and Karen Khaos where they front punk covers band The Pretty Anarchists who play all around the North East.

Using their network of contacts in the music industry, the pair recruited singers from other local punk bands to record a few lines Band-Aid style. The three tracks on the CD were recorded in two studios’, Jason Vare’s Shagnut Studio in Bedlington and at BoomChang Records in Newcastle, which is run by ex Lindisfarne bassist Stephen Cunningham before being duplicated for release by ST UK.

Every aspect of the recording has been carried out free of charge by local businesses and all proceeds from the sale of the CD will go directly to The People’s Kitchen.

Tony and Karen hope that the CD will sell well and raise much needed funds to help the vulnerable people of Newcastle.

“When you see people sleeping rough in the snow and rain, it makes you realise how lucky we all are with our warm homes and well stocked food cupboards. I wanted to make people stop and think about the needs of others and for them to buy the CD so that more funds can go to this deserving charity,” said Tony.

As well as The Pretty Anarchists providing vocals and music for the single, bands from all across the North East provided their singers for the recording.

Singers from the following bands were involved:

Logoz from Ashington, Tyneside band, The V’s, Billingham based, Zeitgeist 77,  Sunderland’s Spitfire Bullets, Gateshead based The Band for Disease Control and Prevention and Cramlington’s  All Out


Peesh from Ashington band, Logoz enjoyed the experience, “ We all love performing but when you know that you are also raising awareness and helping others it makes it all the more worthwhile.”

The CD also includes a punk version of Fairy Tale of Newcastle and a track written by Karen with guitar accompaniment by Michael Oliver about a real homeless person called Tommy No Shoes. Guest musicians on the CD include Richard Craig on Accordion and Tony Machin on Mandolin.

During the recording session, sponsors and representatives from The People’s Kitchen joined in with the chorus making their personal mark on the fund raising CD.

David Yellowley. Trustee with The People’s Kitchen was delighted to take part in the making of the CD and he embraced the unusual way of raising funds.

“These guys have hearts of gold and everyone is enjoying themselves making this record. We’ve brought some of our friends with us today who were once homeless so that makes this recording very poignant for us all.”

The CD, costing £5 for three tracks is now available from the bands, various record stores around the region and online via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/PKCD

The video can be seen here:



Studio Time – BoomChang Records Newcastle

Studio Time – Shagnut Studio Bedlington

Duplication of CD’s ST UK

Printing of CD sleeves – Command Print Amble

Design – Sewer Rat Design

PR and media – Highlights PR

Radio support – Radio Northumberland, The New Wave with Newman Show with Keith Newman, Punky Paul Storey, Lisa Etherson

Video, Blog and documentary photography – Clemmy Scotswood and Jill Bee

Media Photography – The Bigger Picture Agency

Blank CD’s – Coversure Insurance Newcastle

Additional support from Bliss Blyth