REVIEW: Boiler Shop Steamer, Newcastle

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Sometimes events in the Toon are worth having to brave the last Metro home for.

And the monthly Boiler Shop Steamer is just that.

Head through Newcastle’s railway arches to the rear of Central Station and you’ll find yourself in the Stephenson quarter.

Steeped in history, it played a pivotal role in the region’s industrial revolution heritage as the birthplace of Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive.

Like most other buildings of this ilk, it’s now being given a new lease of life with a revolution of a different kind - arts and culture.

Once a month, this refurbished shed is taken over by street food stalls and musicians for The Boiler Shop Steamer.

Colourful characters and lively entertainment amass under its historic rafters while chowing down on gourmet burgers, sushi, katsu and other fine fare.

We visited on a Friday night where you can expect to pay £4 on the door between 5.30pm and midnight. This price rises depending upon guest DJs, but daytime events are usually free.

The genre of music also varies- from jive to bass - but foot-stomping blues was the theme on our visit.

We got there in time to catch Sunderland blues musician George Shovlin and George Lamb. George has been on the local blues scene for decades, but despite his Mackem roots, has a soulful, gritty voice that transports you to the bayous of the Deep South.

The staging is simple, with just a few paper lanterns dotted around the place and strings of light bulbs festooned between the beams, but it helps to create the feeling that you’ve just stumbled across a secret DIY event in some kind of trendy New York loft space.

As the sun set through the deep warehouse windows, couples took to the concrete floor to dance the night away.

Those of us with two left feet huddled around the bar areas.

Drinks prices were cheap and cheerful at just £4 for a Bloody Mary or you can pick up a steamer tequila for a fiver.

Beer aficionados will also be impressed by the hearty tipples on offer from Wylam Brewery who specialise in real ale and craft beers.

The Boiler Shop Steamer usually takes place on the first weekend of the month, but you’ll need to keep your ear to the ground, it’s not usually announced until the last minute.