A NEW album featuring work of local artists and bands during lockdown has been launched at a special event in Darlington.

Release from Lockdown is the culmination of a project designed and delivered by The Forum Music Studios to support artists and enable them to professionally record songs they wrote during lockdowns.

Many musicians took pen to paper whilst in lockdown, however, the cancellation of gigs left them without the income to produce and record the songs.

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The Forum stepped up with support by designing a project to help them produce, record and promote their songs and hosted a special showcase event on Friday (October 29) to launch the album.

The Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Cyndi Hughes, said: “It was brilliant to be at The Forum to meet some of the artists that appear on the album and experience their performances live.

“I am incredibly proud of The Forum and its hard work in attracting Arts Council funding for this important project, which gave these musicians purpose and hope during the dark days of the lockdowns.”

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Allison Mckay, Managing Director of The Forum, said: “This has been such a special project for us all, it was a privilege to work with such a talented team of local musicians and artists. Trying to co-ordinate the project was challenging with the ongoing restrictions and the need to keep our team safe, however we are all thrilled with the outcome. Kirsten Yates also deserves credit for her project management and amazing artwork.”

All artists involved received a copy of the album and the event was filmed and will be uploaded to The Forum’s Youtube channel.

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Arts Council England provided funding for the project and The Forum created a team of professionals to assist in the process.

These included local songwriter and vocal coach Hayley McKay and The Forum production team, Matt Eland and Chris Davison.

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Guest producer Jez Larder was also among the mentors and has previously engineered songs by David Bowie and Amy McDonald.

Creative Darlington commissioned local artist, Kirsten Yates, to design the album cover for the project.

Local artists and bands involved in the project included Adele Watson & Jak Moore, Alisa Todd, Caitlin Morrow & Ed Gill, DNA, Fires of Freya, Gary Miller, Jack Turner, James Hughes & Maria Winter, Nellie’s Temple, Pink Muin, San Niguel, Succour, Rabindra Singh, Reece Hanrahan and Scott Penman & Whiskey Haze.


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