56. Playing important shows for free
WHQ & outdoor Free events
We never really plan to, as we are always so busy, but the last couple of years we’ve been involved playing music at big outdoor events every Spring / Summertime.
(Editor’s note: Newcastle Unity Festival crowd)
We are a strong culture now in 2017 & we want our multiracial WHQ Groove to reach as many people as possible.
Playing free, open air events in the sun, is a great way to assist us in making sure that happens.
The Newcastle Unity Festival
In 2015 it was the free, anti racist, sun drenched, Newcastle Unity Festival in Leazes Park.
Unsure as to how they were able to make a flyer in December, guaranteeing sunshine in May & then actually pull that off..?
This was a fab do which WHQ sponsored & played a pivotal role in funding & organising, along with the support of all our Festival Committee, Trade Union & Anti Racist chums.
As you can see from the movie a little further down, our chums Ms Dynamite, Akala, Panjabi MC, Natty & many others, totally rocked the Park…
It was amazing, as thousands & thousands of people turned out to party, take a stand against racism & celebrate Unity with us, in the most sensational & politically significant, outdoor party there’s ever taken place in the city.
(Editors note: Here is the movie shot on the day & there’ll be a separate page telling the full story of this amazing event appearing on this site real soon)
We also played at the first ever Lindisfarne Festival, later that Summer, up at Beal Farm on the Northumberland coast, which was a great event.
The Soul Food Yard Party at The Tyne Bar
In Spring 2016 on the May Bank Holiday, we played an all-day 10 hour set at The Tyne Bar in the Ouseburn Valley (see Bars We Really Rate).
This was an epic, epic day.
Here’s how it came about…
(Newcastle legend, who for years has been the glue that binds everyone together)
… does the food at the Tyne & she asked us if we’d maybe play the Bank Holiday down there.
We’ve known her since we were kids, & when you add that into the fact that we worked with Fred the owner, in the early days of the Trent, the answer was always going to be a great big yes.
So that’s exactly what it was, a great big massive yes & we threw all our contacts & Crew into promoting the event & knocking up fly publicity…
The event was supported by thousands of friendly, peaceful people who passed through the party at one time or another during the day.
Playing for ten hours is a big ask, so we drafted in one of our apprentice young gorillas, Jackie Soul Jam…
(Great Ape in his own right, in the newer patches of jungle)
… to come with us.
That way, we could have a widdle, a few kisses & a couple of little breaks over the day.
When you get a golden opportunity like this one land in your lap, you play your mates in…
That’s how we do things at WHQ.
We knew from all the hustle we put into the promo that it was gonna be really well attended & this was one of those events where the magic happened…
WHQ itself is good enough, but WHQ in the open air is quite a thing to behold.
We built it slowly throughout the day, playing so much quality music it was ridiculous.
By the evening, it seemed like the whole city was outside & the place went off.
We always play events like the all ones on this page for free, as favours…
Because favours, are what the Newcastle we live in runs on & always has.
It’s an honor enough to be asked, so we take no payment, as we just wanna get our groove out there to the people & hang with old friends.
So it was great to touch base with Fred, Dee, Sammy & their crew & deliver so many friendly people so much musical happiness.
This really was one of those days..!
We now know what we’re gonna get up to this Springtime & will be announcing all that caper real soon.
Judging on our recent track record, guaranteed sunshine & thousands of happy people basking in it, will be at the very least, standard.
There’s talk of a second Unity Festival in 2019, but it’s a massive commitment, so we’ll just have to see how busy we are.
Things are nuts at the mo, with so many amazing shows happening in the Club.
Harambe Pasadia Festival
This is a wonderful 4-day camping festival that’s been running the past few years, getting bigger & stronger with each passing year.
Unfortunately for us, we missed 2015 as it landed smack on the weekend we were running around like mad headless chickens putting together The Unity Festival, but we did go up & play for them in 2016 & it was really, really great.
This Festival has a lush community vibe & we were happy play & happy to help. If you’ve not been before deffo check out 2017’s event.
It’s a little known fact that we regularly play weddings too.
Not as a job or anything, just for friends of ours who’ve met in the Club, whose wedding parties wouldn’t be the same without that WHQ musical vibe.
Our Club & groove is a love thing & a natural outcome of all that love, is that people end up in relationships with people they meet here.
When you’re getting married it’s a massive rip off…
Everything costs the earth, DJs, Bands, Venues, you name it – they’ll have your eyes out.
That’s where we come in, as all we require is basic expenses, like beer, accommodation, equipment & The World Headquarters Uplifting (Love) Groove, is right there from your first dance.
Playing weddings keeps you sharp…
At least one crazy thing you weren’t expecting always happens, so we always bring our A-Game, secure in the knowledge we’ll smash it regardless.
Last year we were spinning at our chums Kelly & Danny’s wedding in Marbella…
We were chilling at the pool before the party & we encountered these two dudes.
At first we were sure we’d seen them somewhere before, but we just couldn’t think where..?
After a long while, the penny dropped..
It’s Joey Fritzel & young Pablo Piccasso innit..? Check them…
Lot’s of Dj’s think they are ‘above’ playing weddings, but that’s just because they don’t fully understand what’s involved, in actually dedicating your entire life to playing quality music, whenever & wherever possible.
If you are into bringing people together through music, things don’t really peak any higher.
Playing weddings has taken us to some amazing places, all over England & to Ireland & Spain too. Feel free to ask us anytime.
We can’t always do it for you as we’ve got a Club to run, but if we can, then we might just..!
The Happy couple…
The two best wedding venues in the north that we have played at are Newton Hall, up on the cost at Newton by the Sea, where they really have the style & a cool, modern take on celebration day. Fab staff too.
The other really outstanding one is one we were only just playing at the other night.
It’s called The Wedding Barn, at a place called Gilling West in Richmond, near Darlington.
If you are thinking of tying the knot, they are our top two tips for you to check out. We’ve played them all around here & seen the day & set up at loads of way inferior places.
Honestly, on every level, those two are by far the best & the coolest within a sensible distance of Newcastle.
We have had some amazing wedding parties with great, great friends & even after all these decades in the game, our ‘willingness for weddings’ thing, is another way we approach music & Club life, that just comes naturally.
Playing important shows for free every now & again, as favours, is really cool.
For both love & cool political causes, it keeps us closer to the true spirit of the music & life that we believe in.
The spirit that teaches to always keep in touch with the light – if you want to keep on shining.