The MEOKO heart and soul lies in London, where we are based, but with so much going on in the capital it can be easy to forget what our neighbouring cities are up to.
Well it’s time to shine a light on some exciting regional haunts that deserve not to be overlooked. In our new series, we welcome a trusted expert from each city to shine a light on where they work, play, eat, drink and most importantly, live.
In this unique and personal insight into the smaller scenes out there, we urge you to open your eyes to what the rest of the UK has to offer, and take a venture out of the capital.
For number two we head up north to Newcastle with the help of Alexandria, Kathryn Dodds, Genevieve Taylor and Michael Johnson of techno outfit Ghetec, event promoters and blogging acid enthusiasts, these guys have been causing a stir on the sweaty dancefloors of Newcastle since they formed over a year ago, with exciting plans for the future.
Be prepared to discover a darker side to the Newcastle you thought you knew..
How long have you been living in Newcastle and how did you end up there?
For me (Alexandria), it was a move that needed to be made. I loved music and needed to get out of the small town i lived in and explore, meet like-minded people and experience city life. It was a very important move. Gen moved over from Belfast for university, then Mike and Kathryn are pretty local from Heaton and Sunderland. Meeting these Guys has been so important, most definitely fate!
Are there any stereotypes in Newcastle that you think need banishing?
I think we all know what they are hahah but lets not focus on that side of the city!
Tell us about the first place you bought a record in Newcastle…
Beatdown records – on all four counts haha!
Where is your favourite place to pick up records at the moment?
586 records is this QUALITY new shop in some office blocks on Pilgrim street. Just how it should be, tucked away, boxes on the floor full of wicked tunes, cheap prices and the friendliest owner, Antony. Known for throwing some of the best parties in Newcastle over the last decade – Reverb and Suono – he can be always found DJing quality techno, house and downtempo grooves around Newcastle. Another would have to be Earworm in york, I have had some amazing acid and Detroit techno from there, once again ran by some great guys who have created a welcoming hangout for vinyl lovers.
Is there anywhere in particular here that played a part in influencing your sound when forming Ghetec?
Not a specific place so the speak, its the city itself we’ve been inspired by, its beautiful!
Our choice bookings, is a combination of all of our four tastes, which is glued together by a love for cutting edge, experimental techno(New and Old) and head spinning 303.
The aim is push up and coming artists and support those who we feel don’t get enough credit. Previous guests Lo Shea, Sunil Sharpe and Regal are all amazing artists and the parties are totally passion fuelled with a true love and belief in what we do.
Tell us about the nightlife in Newcastle…
The thing is… I lived in Newcastle for a year, so i can only comment on what I have seen in that period of time. It seems that currently a lot of nights and promoters are in competition with one another, the Facebook bitching status culture has more time invested it into the nights themselves!
We’re just not into that, its not a competition and we’re happy for all of the other nights, we just do ours a little differently in the sense we keep it all off Facebook, the DJs name doesn’t pull the crowd in, the atmosphere we create does.
We’re really inspired by how people ran nights back in the day, that’s what we respect and love. The reason why its invite only and there’s no Facebook event, each location is different and you get a text a few hours before with directions to the location. We don’t care what anyone else thinks, Its ran for one reason only and that’s all four of us having this massive
urge to contribute as a collective by putting amazing artists on we otherwise wouldn’t see in Newcastle!
Who has inspired and supported the night throughout its formation?
There’s a guy who does all of our artwork and videos called Oisin O’Brien. He runs this amazing night/label in Belfast called DSNT and his work is ground breaking, it really is. We have his full support and we always turn to him for advice, we aspire to have something like he does one day.
Chris Bungoni & Rob rain are cousins and local Djs, they put on some incredible parties and there Djing is incredible they warmed up our first guest Lo Shea for 4 hours and the crowd loved them, they are charming, play groovy records and have that level of communication with the crowd when playing, that wins everyone over!
Lo Shea kicked off our parties and was our first guest, he was nothing short of incredible. He has always been behind our ideas and said he felt so at home playing for us, he’s great. And of course, everyone who comes the Gheteckerssss haha we’re one big family!
And any track/artist that you think sums up the local sound?
Joonipah (Johnny Phethean) is probably at the forefront of the younger generations sound, we would all say. He’s a really talented producer, he makes a range of things but primarily cutting edge bass and he sums up everything that is good about British techno really.
Another person who is perhaps the most influencing to me personally is Chicago Damn (Gavin McClary) he taught for a while at Newcastle College, I learnt a lot from him there. He makes some really raw, filfhty, music for the soul, however his last album was different. It was so cleverly thought out like this fresh acidic, whirling experimental techno so to speak. You never know what to expect with him, and his music is just real, ‘Experiments must continue’ was his last album I would recommend checking out, along with my favorite release of his ‘The filth’ on his own imprint Chicago Damn.
Where is the place to go to let your hair down?
Intermezzo cafe, which is attached to the Tyneside cinema, its a favorite with amazing coffee and snacks, and highlights some of the quirky tucked away places Newcastle has to offer.
9 Bar is a great coffee shop too! Hoochie Coochie on a night, a brilliant live music venue, with a warm welcoming atmosphere, the best funk/soul music, beautiful cocktails plus the owners ethics are spot on ”WE DONT PLAY REQUESTS AND WE’RE NOT SORRY”. Haha you must visit!
What is the first club in the city you went to? Who did you see/what kind of night was it ?
For me it was Tessela in cosmic ballroom, that was a really good night.
For me (Kathryn) it was a Jaunt party at Legends back in 2010. Jaunt consistently put on good bookings both in Newcastle and London and their nights have helped shape my music taste today.
Where is the best place to go for a comforting meal the day after a heavy night out?
NUDO – in china town. Its a cozy little Chinese/Japanese restaurant, with a mouth watering menu and warming jasmine tea :).
If we wanted a cultured day out where would you recommend us to go?
The Tyneside Cinema firstly, a gorgeous old fashioned cinema where you can feel the subway pass under your feet as your watching film. Comfy seats too! Then take a stroll down the quayside and enjoy the view Newcastle has to offer.
Is there anywhere we should avoid in Newcastle?
The big market haha although there are some good restaurants there. Cafe neon is gurrrrrd.
Tell us about the place where you met your closest friend in Newcastle ?
Beatdown records. Haha the collective spot for record lovers and i’ve met many great friends at Newcastle college.
Where/what is the most picturesque place in town?
The monument, looking down Grey Street, at Christmas time. Magical.
Spending a Sunday afternoon in Tynemouth. Nothing beats browsing the market, catching some sea air and the best fish and chips to blast away a rough morning after!
Where/what is the place you go in town that is your guilty pleasure?
Bubble cha for Taiwanese bubble tea (its crackers) and waffles!!
Good Times Sandwich Co – quirky little cafe on beautiful Grey Street with a massive choice of fresh lunches daily – best jacket potatoes and lattes in town. Their little record player provides a soundtrack to city workers on their lunchbreaks – every day theres a different record on from Miles Davis, Pokey La Farge to The Clash the Timewriter and classic soul compilations. The owner Tommy is a proper music head known for putting on mischievous parties and djing all over the toon warming up for the likes of Joey Negro and Dimitri from Paris.
What are the local artists/nights/labels you think we should know about?
Artists- Joonipah, Hedgewald, chicago damn.
Nights – CTRL, Noc Noc, Box, Jaunt and if you’re into your funk and soul ……. Souljam at WHQ is a winner with resident selectors pulling out some of the biggest grooves around. World Headquarters is also a great club full of friendly familiar faces and a wonderful ethos for supporting independent nights and upcoming DJs across the North East
Check out the Ghetec blog here.
Details of there next party below, sign up to the Ghetec mailing list for invites and more information…
Written by Eileen Pegg
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