Laggin’ Behind choral performance

Laggin’ Behind? took place in November 2017 at The Tyne Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

It was a  free evening with choirs, photographs, film and instrumental music exploring the impacts of living in fuel poverty.

Alongside food banks and homelessness lurks the ever-present threat of fuel poverty for families, and people of all ages who are cold in their own homes and who are without the resources to change their condition.

‘Lagging Behind?’ was a specially commissioned suite for choir and band inspired by new and archive film and photographs:  a creative exploration through imagery and music of the changing housing landscapes in the North East of England from the 50’s until now.



4 Corners Music Composers Ken Patterson & Richard Scott  collaborated with Amber Films to produce the work, responding to old and newly digitized photographs in the AMBER Archive, including Sirkka Liisa Kontinnen’s recent work ‘Byker Revisited’, T.Dan Smith’s own photographs of the transformation of the West End, John Davies’ images of the brutalist towers of the 70’s and the paintings of mining family life by Herbert Cooper.

Further material included newly filmed testimonies outlining the experience of fuel poverty and poor housing conditions, as well as a filmed interview of T.Dan Smith himself.

The songs were performed, live on stage, by a massed choir of Heaton Voices and Wansbeck Voices with individuals from other choirs warmly invited. Members of Meze MundoChili Road BandTenth Avenue Band and the Newcastle People’s Street Orchestra make up the LAGGIN’ BEHIND band with lead professional musicians Gerry Hunt (sax, guitar etc., Grand Union Orchestra), Steve Luck (keyboards), and Keith Hill (Uberloon Muckenfuss).

The songs and music have been published and distributed to other choirs for future performance.



Published on 09-03-2018
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