The Northern Echo: What's On In The North-East

Stabat Mater, The English Concert, Sage Gateshead

The Northern Echo: BID DROPPED: The Sage Gateshead

11:37pm Friday 18th April 2014

EASTER at Sage Gateshead was marked by The English Concert under Bernard Labadie performing two contrasting settings of Stabat Mater – a dramatic meditation on the Virgin Mary’s suffering at the foot of the Christ's cross.

Having a ball with ABC

The Northern Echo: Bit of a foodie: ABC’s frontman Martin Fry

5:15pm Thursday 17th April 2014

AS a passionate foodie who loves to entertain, the Lobster Ball at Hardwick Hall Hotel, in Sedgefield, is the perfect gig for Martin Fry, the charismatic lead singer of 1980s new wave band ABC.

Ego on a plate

The Northern Echo: The Marco Pierre Steakhouse at Hotel Indigo, Newcastle

5:11pm Thursday 17th April 2014

THE most striking thing as you enter Marco Pierre White’s restaurant, within Hotel Indigo in the heart of Newcastle, is the man himself. Giant images of the celebrity chef adorn practically every wall, so any doubts you may have had of being in the wrong place are quickly dispelled.

American Friends

5:07pm Thursday 17th April 2014

THERE’S lots to report this week, as the local folk scene continues to offer us a grand variety of acoustic music, featuring artists from near and far.

Johnny Cash: Out Among The Stars

5:05pm Thursday 17th April 2014

THIS posthumous studio album release from one of the biggest icons in the world of country music debuted at Number 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and Number 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, selling 54,000 copies its first week and has sold 80,000 copies since being released in March.

Puccini: Turandot (Opus Arte OA1132D)

5:04pm Thursday 17th April 2014

Andrei Serban’s spectacular 1984 production of Puccini’s grandest opera Turandot, from the Royal Opera House. Andrei Serban’s vibrant production comes in stunning HD with American soprano Lise Lindstrom giving a brilliant performance of Turandot. She is ably matched by tenor Marco Berti.

Emil Gilels in Ensembles (MELCD1002210)

5:03pm Thursday 17th April 2014

This set features keyboard titan Emil Gilels performing works from various periods, including Mozart, Busoni, Haydn, Beethoven, Cui, Rachmaninov, Brahms and Babayev. Gilels is joined by wellknown piano and chamber ensembles in these recordings taken from original unreleased tapes. Hours of listening pleasure guaranteed.

Jacques Schwarz-Bart/Jazz Racine Haiti (Motema Music 233811)

5:01pm Thursday 17th April 2014

This remarkable blending of contemporary jazz and sacred Haitian Voodoo music is very much more successful than might have been expected. For jazz fans Schwarz-Bart’s rich tenor saxophone, Etienne Charles’s trumpet and pianists Milan Milanovic and Gregory Privat give more than enough interest providing a fully integrated setting for the voodoo chants and vocals.

Rachmaninov All-Night Vigil (BIS2039)

5:03pm Thursday 17th April 2014

The Netherlands Radio Choir, conducted by Kaspars Putnins, presents a coupling of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil and The Theotokos – a hymn to the Virgin that aims to exploit the skill of an accomplished choir with its fascinating mix of textures, tempos and wide range of dynamics.

Paul Bley/Play Blue (ECM 376 6190)

5:01pm Thursday 17th April 2014

This immaculately-recorded album captures the veteran pianist live at the Oslo Jazz Festival in 2008. His solo performance here epitomises his wonderfully free but structured playing on four originals plus the classic Pent- Up House. Superb playing and a magnificent piano, making every note resonate, combine to make an outstanding CD. I like the “anagram” too.

Bill Evans/Three Classic Albums Plus (Avid AMSC1119)

5:00pm Thursday 17th April 2014

These are three of the LPs which helped establish the reputation of the Bill Evans Trio. The earliest, Everybody Digs Bill Evans features him with Sam Jones and Philly Joe Jones while Portrait in Jazz and Sunday at the Village Vanguard (plus some different takes) introduce the short-lived but influential Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian team.

Fakes festivals are treble value

The Northern Echo: Fake Festival headliners Kazabian

4:55pm Thursday 17th April 2014

WHICKHAM, near Newcastle, has been added as a third date for the North East Fake Festival and will take place on Saturday, June 21, at Fellside Park.

Memories are made of this

The Northern Echo: Erika Poole and Josie Cerise plays two characters coping with the battle to overcome dementia

4:45pm Thursday 17th April 2014

ERIKA Poole and Josie Cerise are getting used to working together. Having appeared together in Cartoonito TV’s Ha! Ha! Hairies for preage children, they were reunited – sort of – in Ceebies series Grandpa In My Pocket. They both appear in the series, but separate episodes.

By George he’s got it

The Northern Echo: A good fit: Alistair McGowan has the Henry Higgins characteristic of being interested in language

4:41pm Thursday 17th April 2014

LIKE most people of his generation, Alistair McGowan explains, he was more au fait with My Fair Lady than George Bernard Shaw’s drama Pygmalion on which the musical is based. Now he knows the play very well because he’s starring as professor of phonetics Henry Higgins in a touring production of Shaw’s work, having played the role for three weeks in London’s West End three years ago.

The Amazing Snakeheads - Amphetamine Ballads

4:31pm Thursday 17th April 2014

BUBBLING beneath the surface of ‘New’ Glasgow – with its Commonwealth Games-inspired gentrification of the dilapidated East End – there lies a society no less isolated now than before the men in sharp suits appeared.

The Menzingers - Rented World

4:30pm Thursday 17th April 2014

THE fourth album from US punk rock/pop band The Menzingers smashes into life, all guns blazing with opening track I Don’t Wanna Be An A Anymore. Full of attitude and packed with quality, this bodes well for the rest of the record. Bad Things and Rodent follow with less urgency but still possess plenty of catchy guitar and vocals.

Asia - Gravitas

4:18pm Thursday 17th April 2014

SINCE 2012’s XXX, this band have undergone yet another line-up modification. Guitarist Steve Howe has departed the fold and been replaced by Sam Coulson, and the sound has changed, too, although it is still recognisably Asia.

Eels - The Cautionary Tales Of Mark Oliver Everett

4:17pm Thursday 17th April 2014

THIS could almost be called a concept album, built around a particular love affair which frontman Mark Oliver Everett, otherwise known as E, had and threw away, only to later regret doing so. Whether you choose to heed his advice, or simply wallow in a beautiful collection of melancholic laments is up to the listener, but either way, this album will leave them feeling rewarded.

The Afghan Whigs - Do To The Beast

4:16pm Thursday 17th April 2014

IT’S been 16 years since the last Afghan Whigs album, but frontman Greg Dulli is typically bullish from its first note. On crunching opener Parked Outside, he bellows: “If they want something more, give ’em something new.” A reinvention is questionable, but this is a polishing of the band’s brand of emotionally-wrought soul rock.

Extra Cash in the attic

The Northern Echo: Johhny Cash

4:12pm Thursday 17th April 2014

THE first notable album issued after an artist’s death was Otis Redding’s The Dock Of The Bay, in 1968, just a few weeks after he’d died in a plane crash. Buddy Holly also died in a plane crash, in 1959, and there have been compilation releases by him ever since. Tupac Shakur, gunned down in 1996, has now released more music since that fateful September night than when he was alive. Jeff Buckley and Eva Cassidy are other notable examples.

Stabat Mater, The English Concert, Sage Gateshead

The Northern Echo: The English Concert. Picture by Richard Haughton

3:24pm Thursday 17th April 2014

Easter at Sage Gateshead was marked by The English Concert under Bernard Labadie performing two contrasting settings of Stabat Mater – a dramatic meditation on the Virgin Mary’s suffering at the foot of the Christ's cross.

The Walton Sextuplets At 30 (ITV1, 9pm)

The Northern Echo: FAMILY OF EIGHT: The Waltons rom left, Jennie, Ruth, Kate, Mum Janet, Dad Graham, Hannah, Luci and Sarah

9:58am Thursday 17th April 2014

GRAHAM WALTON is a man who has had to put up with being the last in the queue for the bathroom for much of his life and he won’t have won an argument for the past 30 years, that’s for sure. But he wouldn’t swap his six daughters for anything.

Posh Pawn (C4, 8pm)

9:57am Thursday 17th April 2014

THANKS to the recession, pawn shops spring up on just about every major UK high street. Perhaps more interesting is the less exposed world of high-end pawnbroking, the subject of this series.

15,000 Kids and Counting (C4, 9pm)

9:57am Thursday 17th April 2014

IN the space of only five years, the number of children waiting to be adopted has doubled. Now, with 15,000 on the list at the time of the last count, child protection figures are more daunting than ever.

The Wildhearts/Von Hertzen Brothers/Hey! Hello! at the 02 Academy, Newcastle

9:55am Thursday 17th April 2014

IT’S a strange situation when the lead singer of the headlining act ends up being his own support band. Yet Geordie frontman Ginger Wildheart has achieved just that with Hey!

Law & Order: UK (ITV1, 9pm)

The Northern Echo: STARRING ROLE: Bradley Walsh, left, and Ben Bailey Smith

9:51am Wednesday 16th April 2014

BEN BAILEY SMITH is not the first rapper to take a lead role in a cop series. Ice-T is a regular in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in the US but he is the first in UK TV history.

How to Get a Council House (C4, 9pm)

9:50am Wednesday 16th April 2014

THE series returns to give us another look into the struggle of a life on benefits. In the London borough of Tower Hamlets, hundreds of families who are out of work and reliant on benefits face eviction because of the Government’s welfare reforms.

The Hunt for the Boston Bombers (C4, 10pm)

9:49am Wednesday 16th April 2014

ON April 15, last year, the Boston Marathon got under way, with runners waiting through 26 seconds of silence for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting the previous December.

Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead

9:48am Wednesday 16th April 2014

CHEERFUL, delightful, lighthearted – and yes fun, is how the concert programme notes described Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto.

Happy Days Sunderland Empire

The Northern Echo: STAGES ROLES: Cheryl Baker, left, and Heidi Range

9:47am Wednesday 16th April 2014

I LOVED those happy days watching The Fonz, and a trip down memory lane seemed the perfect antidote to the trials of the day. What more could you want? The answer, unfortunately, is less.

The Big Allotment Challenge (BBC2, 8pm)

9:43am Tuesday 15th April 2014

AMATEUR stitchers have The Great British Sewing Bee, cooks have MasterChef, and people who can make really nice bread have The Great British Bake Off, so it was probably about time that the nation’s gardeners got a chance to show off their skills.

British Gardens In Time (BBC4, 9pm)

The Northern Echo: CULTIVATION CHALLENGE: The Great Allotment Show with, from left, Fern Britton, Jim Buttress, Thane Prince and Jonathan Moseley

9:42am Tuesday 15th April 2014

THIS four-part series takes a close look at four iconic gardens created during four very different eras – each garden offering a fascinating window into a different century and the people that created it.

Embarrassing Bodies: Live from the Clinic (C4, 8pm)

9:42am Tuesday 15th April 2014

DOCTORS Christian Jessen and Dawn Harper are back for a new run of the show in which they diagnose health issues live in the studio as people too embarrassed to visit the private clinic of their own doctor choose instead to air their medical laundry on telly.

Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums (Dave, 10pm)

9:41am Tuesday 15th April 2014

YOU can run but you can’t hide from Dara O Briain. It seems the comicturned- presenter is everywhere at the moment.

Suzy Bogguss at Gateshead Old Town Hall

9:40am Tuesday 15th April 2014

NASHVILLE’S Suzy Bogguss made a brilliant return to the area when Charlie Chadwick (upright bass), Verlon Thompson (acoustic guitar, slide, and harmonica) partnered her vocals, acoustic guitar and, on one song, Jew’s harp.

Later Live – With Jools Holland (BBC2, 10pm)

9:41am Tuesday 15th April 2014

VIEWERS of a certain age will remember Neneh Cherry, the Stockholm- born vocalist who was the face and voice of 1988. Her smash Buffalo Stance was played around the UK, while her other hits included Man Child and Seven Seconds.

John Casken Presents: Late Mix, Royal Northern Sinfonia at The Sage Gateshead

9:39am Tuesday 15th April 2014

COMPOSER John Casken took the audience on an enthralling personal musical journey, linked by aspects of dreams, landscapes and hidden dramas.

Rich Hall – The Arc, Stockton

The Northern Echo: Rich Hall is coming to the Harrow Arts Centre

11:58pm Monday 14th April 2014

SHORTLY before 8pm they were just Bill the engineer and Sarah the chemical analyst.

Let’s go Mad for one last series

4:07pm Monday 14th April 2014

YOU’D think the cast of Mad Men would have plenty to say about their roles in the seventh and final series of the glossy drama, but they’re all being rather quiet. Could it be that they’re afraid of facing the wrath of Matthew Weiner, the creator and writer of the award-winning show, set in the hubbub of the advertising world of 1960s New York?

Time for the golden buzzer

The Northern Echo: Another vintage year: Judges Alesha Dixon, David Walliams, Simon Cowell and Amanda Holden

4:03pm Monday 14th April 2014

THERE’S bound to be tantrums and plenty of tears, but will there be talent? Simon Cowell and co certainly think so – though they don’t always agree on its form. Cowell might be a dad now, but it’s doubtful he’s softened, so watch out for the scathing remarks when he joins David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden on the judging panel as they scour the nation for new talent once again.

‘I play a female Hitler’

The Northern Echo: Playing evil: Kate Winslet

3:57pm Monday 14th April 2014

WHILE Kate Winslet isn’t known for making diva demands, the Titanic star does keep the costume and props departments on their toes on the set of her new action film, Divergent. The Oscar-winner was five months pregnant with her son, Bear Blaze, when she shot the blockbuster, meaning every effort had to be made to disguise her growing baby bump.

Reach for the stars

The Northern Echo: Spectacular: The North Pennines have some of England’s darkest skies

3:55pm Monday 14th April 2014

THE first of a series of ten training days to help tourism businesses in the North- East capitalise on the region’s star-gazing potential are open for bookings. The events, designed to promote the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), are being provided by the Animating Dark Skies project partnership.

Monument Valley iPhone/iPad, £2.49

3:35pm Monday 14th April 2014

YOU haven’t played anything like Monument Valley before, on a console, let alone a smartphone. That statement should hopefully spark a well-informed App Store rush, but read on for even heartier levels of app anticipation.

Desert delights

The Northern Echo: Peaceful: A walkway at the Canyon Ranch resort

3:40pm Monday 14th April 2014

MY therapist asks: “How’s the hose pressure working out for you, Leanne?” I gulp back an inappropriate giggle and peek out from underneath a cool flannel to see the masseuse pummelling my body with a water jet.

Trials Fusion Xbox One, £31.99

3:34pm Monday 14th April 2014

TRIALS, much like Minecraft, is one of those games that has found a place in gamers’ hearts not because of what’s offered from day one, but for what it allows you to do for years to come.

The Elder Scrolls Online PC, £34.99

3:34pm Monday 14th April 2014

OPEN-ENDED, online and right on the money, RPG explorers who’ve had their feet up since exhausting every inch of Skyrim’s vast virtual world had better pull those boots on again, and get ready for the the next benchmark in The Elder Scrolls’ evolution.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition PS4, £36.99

3:33pm Monday 14th April 2014

ON its eighth iteration, and showing no signs of growing tired with age, the latest Dynasty Warriors outing offers up a stunning tactical action game following the stories of the kingdoms of Wei, Wu, Shu and Jin through the actions of historical military and political figures of the time, as they fight to gain control over the Three Kingdoms of China.

The kindest cut

The Northern Echo: New lease of life: Cherry Laurel ‘White Marble’ just coppiced

3:32pm Monday 14th April 2014

GO to the front pages of every Royal Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopaedia of Garden Plants and you will discover a visual guide to the 12 pruning groups, the different techniques recommended for pruning the plants covered in the encyclopaedia.

Trading faces

The Northern Echo: Finding a trusty tradesperson isn’t always easy

3:27pm Monday 14th April 2014

THERE can’t be many who haven’t had a bad experience with tradesmen – and, yes, let’s face it, it’s usually men because tradeswomen are pretty thin on the ground. Problems can range from the relatively minor but extremely annoying, such as not turning up and not telling you they’re not turning up, to the much more serious, such as abandoning the job halfway through, leaving you thousands of pounds out of pocket and with a home that may not even be habitable.

Don’t let renting cramp your style

The Northern Echo: Temporary hooks and picture strips providing a display of pictures

3:22pm Monday 14th April 2014

OUR home should be a place where we can truly feel ourselves and show off our style and taste – but millions of us are living in someone else’s property, with all the limitations that imposes. Tenants have to cope with decor choices that aren’t theirs and landlords’ rules on what they can and cannot do to rooms. To add to the frustration – especially for decor divas – current spiralling house prices mean it could be years before many can make the giant financial leap onto the property ladder.

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