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Not So Many People…

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Damon Albarn wowed an intimate crowd in Newcastle last night (Dec 5th) following his sell out date in the region.

The show, which took place at Newcastle’s Boiler Shop, followed the release of brand new solo album ‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’, which was released on 12th November. The Newcastle date followed a host of other shows held in only intimately unique settings such as York Minster and Union Chapel in London.

The album, originally intended as an orchestral piece inspired by the landscapes of Iceland, was developed during lockdown into to eleven tracks which explore themes of fragility, loss, emergence and rebirth. The result is a panoramic collection of songs with Albarn as storyteller.

The 53-year old decided to embark on a solo tour after the industry struggles that were faced during lockdown. He said “I just felt like the beginning of this year was so grim and I had to do something to lift me out of those thoughts” he explained.

The Blur and Gorrilaz frontman performed an intimate hour long show with solo vocal and piano alongside a small orchestra as the room fell silent in awe from the start. The want or need for a support was absolutely not missed and suited the room so well. I’ve never been to a live show and heard a crowd so silently infatuated with one man and his piano.

Albarn mixed up the set at the sold out show with a few suprise stripped-back Blur tracks in the mix including ‘Girls & Boys’, ‘Beetlebum’ and ‘The Universal.’ They all went down as absolute crowd-pleasers to the much varied crowd.

‘The Nearer The Fountain, More Pure The Stream Flows’ is out now.

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Tyne Bridge to Close for Several Weeks for £41m Restoration

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Several weeks of overnight closures are planned in order to allow engineers to assess how bad a state the Tyne Bridge is in, before it can be restored to its former glory.

The long-overdue restoration is estimated to cost £41m in order to restore the bridge and refurbish the Central Motorway.

According to a local authority report, the inspection is expected to require the famous crossing to be closed from 10pm to 6am from June 13 to July 1. A number of roads underneath the bridge on the Newcastle Quayside are also due to be affected by the works – with closures due between May 16 and June 10 on Quayside, Lombard Street, Queen Street, and Akenside Hill from 8pm to 6am.

A Newcastle City Council spokesperson said: “We submitted a bid for £41.4 million to Government which, if approved, will enable a four-year maintenance programme for the Tyne Bridge and the Central Motorway to go ahead. As part of the funding process, we are required to carry out some initial works on the Tyne Bridge.

“This includes a full inspection of the bridge, so we can assess its condition and the scale of works required to finalise the costings and project plans to fully restore and refurbish this major structure. This needs to be completed ahead of funding being approved.

“As we need to inspect the entire span of the bridge, overnight closures may be required on the bridge and roads underneath it, so engineers can complete this work safely. Details on the programming are being finalised.”

The Tyne Bridge has not had any major maintenance for two decades and its much-needed refurbishment has been at the top of council officials’ to do list for years, in the hope of ensuring it is looking its best once again by its 100th birthday in 2028. However, it has been warned that the grade II* listed structure may have deteriorated into a worse condition than currently known and council bosses have warned that, like on other major projects like the Grainger Market’s roof repairs, the refurbishment may take longer than expected.”

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Seaburn and Roker Beaches Named Best Beaches in the Country in 2022

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Sunderland’s beaches have been named among the best in the country for the 11th year running.

Seaburn and Roker were both named as winners of the Seaside Award by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. The pair were once again handed Blue Flags, marking them out for their for their excellent water quality, cleanliness and attempts to constantly improve visitor amenities.

The Blue Flag awards, now in their 35th year, are issued by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and act as ‘a quality mark so visitors can be sure the beaches boast top-notch facilities and meet the highest environmental standards’.

Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for Vibrant City, said: “It is fantastic to see Sunderland’s beautiful beaches once again awarded the prestigious Blue Flag and Seaside Award.

“Flying these flags at Roker and Seaburn shows everyone who visits that our seafront has excellent quality bathing water and first-class facilities.

“We’re very lucky to have fantastic beaches with beautiful, clean water to swim and bathe in, and this national recognition is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in keeping our beaches clean, tidy and well-maintained.”

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Best of North East

Best Children Activities in the North East

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Looking for a way to entertain the kids for the day? Well, lucky for you, we have rounded up the best children activities in the North East.

 

Whitehouse Farm Centre

From donkeys and pigs to mice and rabbits, expect to meet all your favourite farm animals and more! Whitehouse Farm is also home to striped skunks, marmoset monkeys, harris hawks, bearded dragons, curly haired tarantulas – the list could go on and on. We won’t tell you them all, so there’s still plenty to be surprised by. However, we can’t resist telling you, you are in for a treat as you will even have the chance to handle and feed the animals!

Credit: Whitehouse Farm Facebook

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