Festival is to turn back the clock

Johnny Hates Jazz
Johnny Hates Jazz

A chart-topping ‘80s band is to headline a free sumnmer music showcase in Northumberland.

In July, a South East Northumberland town is preparing to ‘Turn Back the Clock’ and welcome 1980s pop royalty to a new free music showcase.

Bedlington is a town steeped in mining heritage and proud of its cultural roots, and on Saturday, July 16, Gallagher Park will welcome Northumberland Live in Bedlington as it opens its doors to international chart-toppers, Johnny Hates Jazz.

Northumberland Live in Bedlington is supported by Northumberland County Council.

Johnny Hates Jazz has the pop music pedigree of a Bedlington Terrier as they scored crowd-pleasing international smash hits with songs such as Shattered Dreams (UK/No5 and US/No2) and I Don’t Want to be a Hero (UK/No11 and US/No31).

The singles were taken from their debut album Turn Back The Clock which topped the UK Album Charts in 1988 and grossed a massive four million record sales.

The family festival – Northumberland Live in Bedlington – has been born out of the runaway success of sister festival Northumberland Live which for the past two years has drawn big crowds to nearby Blyth.

Coun Val Tyler, Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “Northumberland Live in Bedlington promises to be a great event. Events and festivals are a proven way of highlighting an area as being a great place to live, work or setup business; while also providing an opportunity for communities to celebrate together. With live music, street theatre and family entertainment – it should be a day both for the residents of Bedlington and visitors to enjoy.”

Johnny Hates Jazz is currently made up from two of the original band members, Clark Datchler (songwriter, vocalist, keyboards) and Mike Nocito (guitarist, bassist, producer). Mike Nocito is also famous in his own right for being a recording engineer on tracks by musical heavyweights Pink Floyd, The Police, The Cure, Duran Duran and the Thompson Twins. He even produced the Katrina and The Waves’ single Love Shine A Light, which won the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest.

Front man Clark Datchler also enjoyed solo success but he was always destined to be a star as he came from a very musical family, with dad Fred being in 1950s band The Stargazers – who were the first British band to reach No 1 on the UK Singles Chart.