Focus on folk

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AUGUST has been a bit of shaky month so far, with two new music festivals going under before they’d even got started.

 Leave Me Here Festival and Newcastle’s Ignition were both cancelled at the 11th hour, leaving artists and fans alike disappointed.

 Not to be beaten, a large proportion of bands due to play Ignition banded together and put on gigs across the region.

 The biggest event was organised by Something Else Productions at The Cluny in Newcastle, which showcased some of the brilliant acts that would otherwise have been missed over the weekend.

 If you’re suffering festival withdrawl, however, don’t worry.

 The weekend of August 27 to 29 sees Wearside play host to Sunderland Folk Festival; two days of traditional, modern and indie folk music. Primarily based at St Peter’s Riverside, events will be popping up all over Sunderland.

 The festival will also host instrument workshops and a song-writing competition.

 On the releases front, August sees the unveiling of records from the region’s top bands.

 South Shields based gloom-pop act The Union Choir released its debut single Eleanor through locally-run label Cottage Industries on August 15.

 Indie-pop quintet Hollywood and Vines is set to re-release its single “Welcome to the Ocean Beach Fair”.

 First released in April, the self-produced debut single sold so well it’s prompted a re-release, this time coming with a B-side recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios.

 Psychedelic duo Hyde and Beast finally launch their highly anticipated debut album Slow Down. To celebrate, the band will play an album launch gig at Newcastle’s Cluny2 tomorrow, with support from Chased By Wolves.

 The record is already garnering impressive reviews and is available to pick up now.

 Catch the band with its full six-piece line-up at Split Festival on September 17 and 18, more info at www.splitfestival.com.