A week of Violets ...

Back in late February, Violets saw us open the doors to a week of all female programming just as the skies opened and buried us under a blanket of snow! Other than Harleighblu and Portaits which had to be postponed until late April, Cobalt welcomed a plethora of tremendously talented female (and a few male!) artists and musicians, singers and song writers in a desire to address the imbalance within the wider music industry. From the serenity and poise of Kathryn Williams and The Breath to the bombastic sonic visual phenomenon of the Lone Taxidermist, the week took us on an amazing journey and we would like to thank everyone who braved the weather to support those that performed and our still very young venue. As we continue to develop our programme here, we hope this event will be seen as a marker, indicative of everything we are trying to do at Cobalt. A safe space that welcomes all to a variety of events that reflect the diversity and complexity of life today

With special to thanks to everyone that performed at Violets:

A big thank you to Cameron Craggs for putting this film together.

Finally, a huge thank you to The Arts Council and Generator for funding this project.




Innovation for Artists, Makers and Creatives

Free, hands on workshop hosted by Alphabetti Theatre:

Roadmapping (n): a collaborative strategic planning process to determine future vision and define concrete goals.

What is it?

Coming up with ideas is the easy part - selecting and implementing an idea is more difficult. In this two-day workshop we’ll work together to explore your own practice and how innovation tools can propel you towards new creative possibilities. You’ll outline your challenges, plans and goals in a constructive, collaborative environment and gain the knowledge and confidence to apply roadmapping techniques in your own practice.


Newfolk at Cobalt: folk with a twist debuting next week with Alabaster de Plume

So our new folk night is almost here. We've called it Newfolk. The intention is to seek out and loosely explore the blurred boundaries of contemporary folk at the points where it meets other genres.

 Newfolk debuts next Thursday Nov 2nd at our cosy venue and we have the immense privilege of kick starting it with  Alabaster De Plume supported by the powerful electronic folk of Me Lost Me (I Lost My) and poet Matt Miller.

Much has been said about this extraordinary performer. The media's full of praise for his work,

“Totally unique… Very, very brilliant indeed” – Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3
“A reminder of how vital and adventurous music can be” – Laura Barton, The Guardian
“Majesty” – Q Magazine
“Takes the biscuit” – DJ Magazine
“Mercurial Delights” – Clash Music

Ahead of Alabaster's performance at our venue, journalist Matt Miller had a chat with him, so we can get a better understanding of the man behind the artist and the name,

"...Intimately interested in other people, he began the interview with the first question, asking me how I want to make people feel with my own writing. Warm and fuzzy, I tell him, before firing the question back. His answer?

“I want to make people feel strong. I think there’s a lot of effort and a lot of resources, money and time put into making us feel divided and weak. Something like Brexit happens, and I see that there is a failure on our part as artists – it is our responsibility to bring people together and to empower them...”

For the full interview on NARC MAGAZINE go to: http://narcmagazine.com/interview-alabaster-de-plume/

News from Our Resident Artists: Rachel Clewlow Exhibits at Platform A and Northern Print...

"My Paths are My Ideas of Imagination" is the title of this exhibit by Cobalt resident artist Rachel Clewlow, currently on at the Platform A Gallery in Middlesbrough. 

This exhibition traces a very personal journey across urban landscapes. As the title suggests, Clewlow maps out her walks through real and imagined routes in Newcastle, London and Rochdale, which she then weaves into her works through painting and printmaking, to create a unique visual language. 

Large scale, meticulously detailed, with a clean, well-studied colour palette, and a very precise handling of geometrical shapes and lines, which makes Clewlow's art all the more alluring.

If you can't see it in person, visit Platform A online here: http://www.platformagallery.net/shows/my-paths-are-my-ideas-of-imagination/

Here's a review of the exhibit by Hellen Shaddock: http://helenshaddock.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/rachel-clewlow-at-platform-a.html?platform=hootsuite

Newcastle folks, you can catch her work at Northern Print until October 28th:


Tashi Llunpo monks collaboration with Blackmoon1348 supported by Noize choir confirmed

We are delighted to welcome Tashi Lhunpo monks with Blackmoon 1348 to Newcastle and Noize Choir have also agreed to play an improvised gong and voice session. This will be a journey into sound and a very special evening of multidimensional music

BlackMoon1348 in collaboration with the Tibetan Tashi Lhunpo Monks create a huge cinematic spectacle, combining the spiritual insight of Tibetan chants and mantras, the sound of the dungchen (Tibetan Longhorn) gyaling (Tibetan Oboe) and percussive ritual instruments with BlackMoon1348's sub-harmonic drone and throat singing.

Experience an insight to Tibet and its ancient sacred traditions- a journey to the spiritual Himalaya through mantra, meditative chants, and traditional Tibetan instrumentation.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration, and celebration of cultural diversity.


Noize Choir
The Noize Choir is a performance ensemble that was formed in 2011 by Newcastle based artists Lindsay Duncanson and Marek Gabrysch. It involves a loose collective of noise enthusiasts with a common desire to use the human voice free of the traditional restraints of typical choral settings, language or musical notation. Their work is based on a shared fascination with science, culture and landscape. They indulge in phenomenological explorations of museum collections, or imaginings of our geological past. Replicating and experimenting with the sound of machines or the natural world, Noize Choir continually find ways to push and pull the idea of what a choir can be. Noize Choir have composed and performed in French churches and on Austrian radio, at the Baltic Centre for contemporary arts, The Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle Upon Tyne, and the Grade II listed Preston Bus station.

At Cobalt they will peform an improvised gong and voice set.



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We need your help to soundproof Cobalt!

Since converting the wood workshop into a pop up venue in October 2015, we've programmed and hosted a number of events from live music and DJ's to story telling and urban planning groups. It's brought a very welcome stream of new people into a public space at Cobalt providing opportunities to converse, engage, celebrate and dance!

However ... since applying for a permanent premises license in January the whole landscape has changed. A single noise complaint from a nearby resident student has seen a number of events cancelled as the council are now very reluctant to issue any more temporary event notices until we meet the terms set down by the license agreement. A key part of this is noise reduction and while we were expecting to have to do work in this respect, the enforced timetable and cancellation of events has made it very difficult.

So we've set up a crowd funder which will enable us to keep moving the project forward and ensure the doors open again for all the wonderful things we have planned! 200 capacity venues are virtually non existent in Newcastle, especially those that are artist led with a DIY aesthetic and spirit. We've had tremendous support from many of those that have attended events and we're confident that the community will want to see this project survive so please click on the link below for more information and to pledge whatever you can afford. Nothing is too small and there are a host of rewards up for grabs!