So you guys know me as The Culture Vulture – I’m your one stop shop for cultural information, happenings and the queen of championing creative projects and people. However, I’m only as good as my network and the people in it – I’m constantly out there seeking information and keeping my ear to the ground. I started two years ago, just a love of going out and cultural goings on with a passion to champion people, places and projects whilst doing my own stuff.
Now my network and cultural knowledge in the cultural sector is second to none. In fact, if I ever went on mastermind, I’d want it to be my specialist topic. I spend an insane amount of time on social media – it’s my job to know the happenings, to seek out opportunities, create connections and have a good overview of the movers and shakers, emerging and exciting happenings. It means that I discover lots of things and exciting people on social – some of whom are doing thriving and vibing things in the sector but I’ve actually never met. Weird right? Admiring their work from a far whilst their work and content becomes a core part of my knowledge bank. Any type of admiring from a far sounds creepy to me – but I’m the proud queen of creeping.
So as The Culture Vulture – you guys know I’m all about championing and seeking out the gems, the new venues, the gigs which you attend and you know you’ve just seen something magical and of course, local artists! On the flip side, I’m also going to see Taylor Swift in May and I’m literally buzz light years about it. But when I think of the North East and music for recommendations and gig suggestions – I think of NE Volume! It’s a great in print and digital publication, that covers lots of real reviews and editorial about the North-East music scene.
Their reviews are written by real people, the venues are many familiar favourites and some new gems, the gigs covered make me so proud of our cultural scene and many a time, I’ve taken a chance on an unknown and LOVED IT.
I love Crack Mag but NE Volume are doing something a bit special and have totally cornered a niche. Their passionate ever-growing readership and thriving online community of music lovers is a testament to the fact they are doing something mega special.
So, I digitally caught up with NE Volume founder Lee Allcock (one of my 2018 new years’ resolutions is to meet in person), to find out more about NE Volume and where it all started!
What is NE volume?
NE Volume is a FREE North East music and culture magazine that is stocked in 250+ outlets right across the region (nevolume.co.uk/outlets) and is also available to download at nevolume.co.uk/magazine.
Tell me about you and the beginnings of NE Volume?
I’ve always been passionate about music, especially local bands and artists, and my dream was to become a music journalist. I studied Journalism at Teesside University, volunteered for some other local music magazines while working as a content writer, and I was then given a small grant by Teesside University to start my own business. Of course, I quit my job immediately and the rest is history.
Quitting your job to pursue your dream is right up my street – so what was your motivation for the business, like me – you’re a bit of an workaholic – you must love what you do!
It hasn’t been easy, and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but I absolutely love what I do and I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I support local bands, cultural events, and North East businesses for a living and that keeps me motivated.
There’s the Crack, Narc and others – I love NE volume but do you want to tell my readers what makes you and the publication different?
We’re actually the ONLY music and culture magazine based in Teesside. And, although Teesside is a pretty large area, I felt that The Crack and NARC weren’t really showcasing this area so I wanted to help.
So tell me what was your highlight of 2017 in terms of NE Volume?
To be honest, the fact that we’re still here and running in an internet-based world has got to be the highlight for me. It’s been a tough road, but with the support of so many bands, independent businesses, music venues, our loyal readers, my designer, and my writers, we’ve been able to continue to support the local music and culture scenes – and that makes it all worthwhile.
Of course, I have to ask this question – what’s been your favourite gig?
Liam Gallagher at Metro Radio Arena. Okay, it’s not a small local gig (which I also absolutely adore) but Liam was in his element from start to finish and he had the crowd in the palm of his hands.
What’s your ‘one to watch’ for 2018?
Local band, The Pale White. They’re set to play at Riverside in Newcastle this month and it’s already sold out. They’ve also supported the likes of the Libertines and they’re destined for big things this year – I’m sure of it.
The Pale White
Who is your fave soloist?
Samantha Durnan; her beautiful lyrics and stunning vocals really do pull on the heartstrings.
You also have a cultural corner within your publication, I’ve written for it before as the Culture Vulture (yey!) – but what are your plans for this?
My plan is to increase the number of cultural articles we cover over the course of 2018. We’ll also be looking to review theatre productions and comedy gigs as well as interview comedians and artists.
OK so say I’m in a band and I want to get an NE volume review – what should I do?
Don’t be afraid to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org including some background about your band and a link to your material and we’ll do all we can to arrange for your release to be reviewed.
You recruit lots of new aspiring writers and journalists – what’s your recruitment process?
It’s very simple: just send an email to me at email@example.com including your CV and a paragraph about your favourite aspect of the North East music scene and I will get back to you within 2 days maximum.
What are you up to for 2018?
I’m actually going to start my own radio show (fingers crossed) so I’ll be looking for local promoters, bands, soloists, and independent venue owners to join me for a chat. Again, if you’re interested then please email me and I’ll be happy to liaise with you.
Well that’s lush and Lee has already asked me to be on his radio show (I do love the sound of my own voice so obviously I jumped at it) so something to look forward to! Make sure you check out the current edition of NE Volume – it’s a treat!
Until next time Culture Vultures.