GNE Gift Guide: Gift Ideas For The Music Trendsetter


Struggling to find a gift for the person in your life who is always listening to the hottest new bands, months before they hit radio playlists? This year, we’ve got you covered. Give the gift of discovery this Christmas with our selection of the best new bands to catch in the North East in 2020…

Black Midi- 18/02/20- Riverside, NEWCASTLE 

The weird and wonderful Black Midi were catapulted into the public realm this year after that performance at this year’s Mercury Prize Awards. Spearheads of London’s emerging experimental rock scene and dubbed as a “new type of British guitar band” by Pitchfork, the four-piece offer an almost undefinable sound that culminates in anarchic live performances. Improvisation plays a huge part in Black Midi’s eccentric live shows, so you’re never sure what’s going to happen next. Make sure you head down to Riverside next February to catch a show you’re not likely to see again soon!


Hotel Lux – 21/02/20 – Think Tank?, Newcastle

If you’re searching for a gift for someone who’s into pub rock over prog rock, Hotel Lux are the perfect choice for you. 

After cutting their teeth at some of the UK’s most loved festivals including The Great Escape and Y Not, the Portsmouth quartet have released a series of bold and brash tunes that skilfully reflect the current state of affairs. Recently signed to Nice Swan Records with label mates Sports Team and Dead Pretties, the bands gritty lyricism and raucous guitar hooks have solidified them as one of the most intriguing bands who are touring in 2020. If you’re buying for someone who likes to be ahead of the curve, this is a show that shouldn’t be missed!


The Orielles – 25/02/20 – Riverside, Newcastle

Heavenly recordings have birthed some of the most noteworthy alternative artists in recent times, including Temples and The Wytches. One of their more recent signings, The Orielles have already proven themselves to be definitive ‘ones to watch’. 

Inspiration spouts from far and wide for the Halifax band, with everything from cinematic samba, 70s disco and and deep funk being cited as references for their all-embracing sound. 2018 saw them gift a highly acclaimed album, ‘Silver Dollar Moment’.  In 2018 the band played sold-out shows across the U.K and festivals including Latitude and End of the Road. Their show at Riverside on February 25th is sure to be a scorcher. Grab your tickets before they’re gone!


King Nun – 21/02/20 – Think Tank? Underground, Newcastle

Although King Nun have been on the gig circuit for quite a while, they’ve only just graced us with their debut album, ‘Mass’. The band’s musical offerings have evolved from their lively and vibrant early outputs into a darker, more developed sound that has been described as “akin to Nick Cave reworked by My Chemical Romance” by Dork magazine. Signed to Dirty Hit who have had huge success with artists including The 1975 and Pale Waves, they’re in good company. With jarring vocals and intensified basslines aplenty, King Nun offer an alternative sound that defines the angst of a whole generation. If you’re looking to get in on the action, King Nun hit Think Tank? Underground next February 21st. 


nina burrell


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