A boutique music festival in Durham!
The Laundrette Sessions? Huh? Is this going to be a festival free of mud, but big on suds? Not quite, but anyone who knows anything about the live scene in Durham will have latched on to the fact that some of the gigs at this festival will take place in the city’s marvellous Old Cinema Laundrette, a retro laundrette and coffee shop located in the old Rex Cinema, that has played host to some storming gigs over the last few years. And for this brand new festival they’re hitting us up with some real good stuff including Mark Morriss, lead singer with the Bluetones (Thursday 21 September, 7.30pm, £20). His solo shows are always a treat as he mixes up solo stuff with Bluetones classics.
Also appearing at the Laundrette will be John Murry (Saturday 23 September, 7.30pm, £18), the cult US singer/songwriter who has been compared to Father John Misty, Mark Lanegan and Josh T Pearson; and Andrew Wasylyk (Sunday 24 September, 7.30pm, £13), the alias of Scottish writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Mitchell.
Elsewhere the festival will be lighting up the Gala Theatre with a special appearance from The Blockheads (Thursday 21 September, 7.30pm, £22). Starting out as the band behind Ian Dury, this legendary outfit have had Derek Hussey fronting the band since 2000 and are renowned for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Reasons to be Cheerful (Part 3) and Hit Me with your Rhythm Stick.
One of the region’s most heart-stopping acts The Lake Poets (aka Martin Longstaff) is also at the Gala (Saturday 23 September, 8pm, £16) and – trust me! – this lad is the real deal.
The trio of venues is completed by the Town Hall and here you will be able to see Blue Rose Code, who is Edinburgh born Ross Wilson, and an alt-folk star of real note (Friday 22 September, 7.30pm, £17) and the superb Thea Gilmore (pictured - Sunday 24 September, 7.30pm, £19). Since releasing her debut album as a teenager nearly 20 years ago, this singer/songwriter has gained global acclaim for making music, not only of extraordinary beauty, but of rare honesty and insight. Fill yer boots.Laundrette Sessions: Boutique Music Festival, Durham, 21-24 September. Tickets and info: galadurham.co.uk; oldcinemalaunderette.uk