REVIEW: Stockton Calling festival, various venues, Stockton

Medics were among the bands who played at the sold-out Stockton Calling festival. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

Medics were among the bands who played at the sold-out Stockton Calling festival. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

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Stockton Calling left music fans spoilt for choice on Easter Saturday, as the sell-out event attracted hundreds from across the region to the town's venues.

Stage headliners, including Reverend And The Makers and Blossoms, were complimented by a strong and varied cast of local bands, with more than 70 appearing on stages dotted around the centre of Stockton-on-Tees.

Kingsley Chapman and the Murder were among the acts as the Stockton ARC Centre. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

Kingsley Chapman and the Murder were among the acts as the Stockton ARC Centre. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

With tickets sold out by Friday evening, some latecomers were left disappointed, and even the less-hyped venues were left to operate a one-in, one-out system due to the high demand.

The blustery conditions on Teesside - and the occasional heavy downpour - threatened to put a dampener on the day, but spirits remained high, and the event remains perhaps the North East's most essential annual music event.

The main stage, located at ARC Stockton Arts Centre, opened with Matt Wilde - formerly of Teesside exports Young Rebel Set - and later featured the noir pop of Kingsley Chapman and the Murder, complete with flashy gold shirt "from a charity shop".

Leeds indie pop maestros Vitamin also appeared in the afternoon to a slightly sparser crowd, despite their rising star and a sound akin to that of chart-toppers The 1975.

Leeds indie-rockers Vitamin sound like chart-toppers The 1975. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

Leeds indie-rockers Vitamin sound like chart-toppers The 1975. Pic: Katy Blackwood.

But Reverend and the Makers were the headliners, performing well-worn hits including Heavyweight Champion of the World, and capping off a busy - and rather alcohol-fuelled - day for many of the event's attendees.

Elsewhere, Ku Bar proved popular, headlined by rising stars Blossoms, who proved so popular a booking that those keen to see them were advised to travel to the venue to see the band before them.

Teesside's ever-energetic rock duo Mouses were among the venue's other highlights, while the nearby Storytellers pub featured evening sets from Plastic Mermaids and Dancing Years.

Musiclounge featured red-hot Hartlepool band PLAZA and the fabulous rock of Velvoir as two star attractions, drawing strong audiences to the awkwardly-designed venue in the afternoon and early evening.

Other highlights included local talent Cape Cub and singer-songwriter Natalie McCool at The Vault, Dutch Uncles as headliners at The Georgian Theatre, and Warm Digits and Antlez on the NARC. stage at The Green Room.

And The Jar Family headlined at Room 21, six months after their own festival at Hartlepool Marina provided Teesside's strongest alternative to this event.

After this sell-out success, Stockton Calling is certain to return in 2017, with ticket and line-up announcements likely to begin later this year.