It’s amazing how quickly The Little Buildings in Newcastle has become the beating heart of the live music landscape of the North East; this tiny venue has hosted gigs from bands from far and wide and has a reputation for a great atmosphere and line-ups that put bigger venues to shame.
I was devastated to hear that their future may now be in jeopardy. Having built this family business from the ground up, it seems that the lease on the building will increase substantially from April 2019 and this, sadly, could mean the end.
I spoke to some local artists from a range of music genres who are proud to call this place home.
Twist Helix have almost legendary status, with their powerful electronic anthemic tunes wowing audiences all over Europe and, of course, at the Little Buildings too: “Every song from our ‘Ouseburn’ album was written within those walls and we still can’t believe this message that gentrification destroys arts communities is bearing true. The Little Buildings has been our home since day one and we’re gutted that the space is under threat.”
The band added: “As a group, we feel the ladder is being kicked from under emerging artists before they’ve climbed its first rungs. We wanted a scene and Little Buildings gave us one; an affordable accessible space for bands to promote shows, plan tours through gig swaps, and it quickly became a common denominator that formed friendships between many of the North East’s emerging bands.
It is a no-frills space, but it is loved. It offers audiences a chance to see touring bands long before they make it big, and it also caters for niche, left-field and experimental groups who will remain small but influence musicians locally to diversify and stay fresh.”
Altostratus is an instrumental metal band currently on the brink of releasing their first album. They played The Little Buildings in November: “We love The Little Buildings. Over this last year, it’s become an important space for us and other heavy bands in the region due to the closure of other small local venues such as Jumpin’ Jacks. That and the encouraging influence of Mr. Allan Scorer have led to what’s become the focal point of the local music scene – a place where emerging bands like us can play intimate shows in a positive environment.
“Although it’s meant a lot to the local metal community, The Little Buildings also provides a safe space for emerging artists of all other genres and styles due to their accepting nature and willingness to put on any local music acts. Anything and everything goes on in there: we’ve seen some mad s**t in that place, and we absolutely love it! It will truly be a loss to the community to see them go.”
Elephant Memoirs are a well-established three-piece alt/rock band from Newcastle who hired The Little Buildings earlier this year to launch their EP, ‘No Pressure – No Rush’. They added: “Little Buildings is what music venues should be: it has atmosphere and passion and it’s rough around the edges and all the way through which shows that it’s all about the artists and their music. It creates its own music scene even if it only exists for one night in one venue. We love the place.’
There is so much love for this venue amongst musicians and gig-goers alike and it would be a massive loss to the North East’s cultural present and future should the curtain come down.
Whatever happens, you must get to a gig at The Little Buildings to experience this great place while you still can.
To sign the petition to try and help stop the gentrification of Ouseburn, head to change.org and search ‘Stop the Gentrification of The Ouseburn, Save The Little Buildings’.