STAN set to be pulling in the festival crowds

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A band once likened to ‘Crowded House on steroids’ will be among those pulling in the crowds at the first Northumberland Live music festival.

Visitors are being encouraged to pull up a deck chair and bring along a rug to the free family event on Saturday, 23 August from 12 noon until 8pm at the Mermaid car park by Blyth Beach.

Among those taking to the stage before headliners The Christians are local band STAN. This north-east guitar four-piece have an uncanny knack of producing ‘insanely catchy’ songs which ‘simultaneously tug at the heartstrings while exercising the brain.”

They have also been labelled as “a powerhouse of pop and country music”.

The band, formed in Newcastle in the late 90s, was memorably described at an early appearance as like Crowded House on steroids! Former punk and jazz drummer Dave Pipkin pulled together the threads that make up STAN. He found singer Colin Burrows and bass player Rob Tickell and completed the set with guitarist Dave Kennedy who has played with a whole variety of musicians during his career and was signed to Charisma Records with the band 21 Strangers, managed by the late Chas Chandler (The Animals and Jimi Hendrix fame).

STAN has released four albums to date, working along the way with members of Hawkwind and Tygers of Pan Tang. They have supported a diverse range of artists from Brian May (Queen) to The Zombies and have entertained crowds of tens of thousands as a part of the live music along the route of The Great North Run.

There’s still time to be taking the stage alongside STAN and the other bands in our competition to find the best musicians in the county. If you know of a band or are in one then go to to find how to submit your video entry before the end of July.