Updated March 2013
TOURS AND TICKETS
Bank Holiday Monday 6th May at 15.00
Tyne Idols Music & Movie Heritage Tour
Sunday 2nd June at 11.00
Festival of the North East
Tyne Icons Tour
Tuesday 4th June at 11.00
Festival of the North East
Tyne Icons Tour
Sunday 16th June
Fathers Day at 15.00
Tyne Idols Music & Movie Heritage Tour
Tuesday 2nd July
British light orchestral music - the soundtrack of our lives with Chris Phipps
SAGE BOX OFFICE
Bank Holiday Monday
26th August at 15.00
Tyne Idols Music & Movie Heritage Tour
Gavin Taylor RIP
Tyne Idols' Chris Phipps worked with Gavin Taylor for many years and has written the following obituary. The team at Tyne Idols would like to pass their condolences on to Gavins family at this difficult time.
Gavin Taylor, age 72, director.
The North East Born Director Who Drove 'The Tube'
Keith Crombie RIP
Keith Crombie, legendary Jazz Cafe man, passed away over the Christmas period and we thought that this film by Duncan Davis was a wonderful and fitting tribute to the great man. Heaven has a new doorman!
What is Progressive Rock? Chris Phipps dons a cape to find out!!
Join him on 6 November, 2012, in the Sage Gateshead Seminar Room at 7.00pm.
Updated 21 August 2012
In the late 1960s, pop musicians decided to exceed and test the limits of their talents — into a mercurial mix came Classical, Jazz, improvisation, Tolkien, Persian carpet roadies and other general weirdness! So was ushered in the decade of Prog Rock. Major record labels were forced to create new imprints for this underground revolution, audiences were forced to sit down and not dance, and bands blew astronomical budgets on revolving drum kits and classical orchestras. Terminal decline set in with the advent of punk — or did it?
Music historian and film maker Chris Phipps guides you through topographic tales of the truly innovatory and the truly awful peaks of the Prog Rock saga with audio clips and first hand memories. Was there progress or was it all pretension? Was it pop fighting for respectability? You can discuss this with your guide.
Loon pants and flower masks optional.
Tickets £7 from Sage Gateshead Box Office or from their website...
Special Movie and Music Tours at Popular North East Festival on Sunday, July 15......
Updated 12 June 2012
Visitors to this summer's Mouth of the Tyne Festival in Tynemouth will
have the chance to take a nostalgic journey through North East music and
movie history on board a grand old London Routemaster bus.
The exclusive coastal trips have been arranged by Tyne Idols Tours and
will be hosted by North East musician, and Tynemouth resident, Ray
The ex-Lindisfarne man has unearthed a wealth of fascinating music and
movie location gems for the two-hour experience that will include thirst
quenching 'comfort stops', special visual treats, a customised music
soundtrack and a promise to reveal the six degrees of separation between
the Duke of Northumberland and Sigourney Weaver!
"Any tour I guide tends to be laced with amazing anecdotes and insider
stories of the area simply because I was there and I'm just about the
only one who can still remember it!" said Ray.
"The Mouth of the Tyne is rich with music, theatre and television
history - North Shields, Tynemouth, Cullercoats and Whitley Bay have
connections with an abundance of pop culture heritage from Dire Straits
to the Likely Lads, Get Carter to Supergran and Stan Laurel to
Lindisfarne," he added.
The Mouth of the Tyne Festival kicks off on Friday 13th July in
Tynemouth and runs until Sunday 15th July with international street
performers and artists such as McFly and Heaven 17 headlining. Book online now......
Tyne Idols announces 'A Night on the Tyne' River Cruise on June 2, 2012!!......
Updated 27 May 2012
Join us for an evening of entertainment with Ray Laidlaw and Chris Phipps as your hosts
along with purveyors of fine Irish music and great Geordie songs, the Happy Cats, not to
mention a fine pie, peas and mash supper. (If you would prefer a veggie pie be sure to let
us know by mailing email@example.com)
Doors open at 7.00pm and our river boat will be leaving Newcastle Quayside Pontoon next
to the Pitcher and Piano at 7.30pm prompt. From Newcastle to the Fish Quay you will be
guided by Ray Laidlaw and Chris Phipps along the banks of the Tyne where you will find out
about the colourful music and movie heritage associated with the river.
Once everyone has tucked into their bait we will turn around in the mouth of the Tyne and
head back to Newcastle with the Happy Cats featuring ex-Lindisfarne frontman and
multi-instrument maestro Marty Craggs with a perfect mix of Irish and Geordie tunes
including Lindisfarne favourites — if you've ever witnessed the Happy Cats in full swing
then you'll know this promises to be a very lively night.
Book a party of 6 friends, colleagues or members of your family on selected Bus Tours and only pay for 4 tickets...... AVAILABLE NOW
Geoff Docherty's books
now available to purchase online......
Of interest to anyone with a love of music and local culture, both of Geoff's books are now available to buy online.
This #1 Bestselling book tells of how he brought some of the biggest bands of the '70s rock scene to the north east. Order 'A Promoter's Tale'......
......and its new follow-up, packed with behind-the-scenes tales of such legends as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Rod Stewart, Elton John and David Bowie. Order 'Three Minutes of Magic'......
Tour Programme for 2013
Tyne Idols Music and Movie Heritage Tours of NewcastleGateshead
Join us for a three hour tour of the music, movie and televisual history of NewcastleGateshead onboard our rather well know London Routemaster bus. Our history of the genre is peppered with anecdotes that only chaps who were part of the scene are authorised to share so with Ray Laidlaw or Chris Phipps we will not be short of a tale or two.Our guides on the tours are:Ray Laidlaw, drummer with legendary Lindisfarne and now involved in the production side of all things musical and creative.Chris Phipps, a name linked with over three decades of music on television including co-producer of Tyne Tees Televisions 'The Tube'
Festival of the North East - Tyne Icons Tour
A series of 3 hour tours around places of interest and connected to the heritage of the area, to be celebrated in June 2013 under the banner of the ‘Festival of the North East’, will be conducted by TyneIcons and organised by TyneIdols
Tours will be undertaken in a Routemaster London Bus with PA and commentary provided by Visit England Tourism Superstar 2012, Alan Fidler of EastCoast Tours.
The format will be similar to the highly popular TyneIdols musical and cultural heritage tours operated for the past three years.
A double-deck bus with hard top and sound PA system will take customers on a tour of important places of interest connected to a series of historical events/important locations in the history of the Newcastle and Gateshead area, with particular reference to the great Tyneside inventors of the Victorian era, who gave us many of the inventions that would change the life of people all over the world – George Stephenson – railway locomotives; Lord Armstrong – hydraulic power, armaments and water supplies for the city; Sir Joseph Swan – the incandescent light; Sir Charles Parsons – the steam turbine for electricity generation and ship propulsion.
Tours will be accompanied by musical references to the development of Tyneside and its industrial heritage.
The Lindisfarne Tour - unfortunately this tour has been cancelled for personal reasons.
The Lindisfarne Story is a concert celebrating the music and high times of Tyneside's most well-loved group and is being presented at Newcastle City Hall on 8th June.Tyne Idols have collaborated with the show's producer's and are presenting two special Tyne Idols Lindisfarne tours the day after, Sunday 9th June. In the late 1960's and early 1970's Tyneside was bursting with music makers, film makers and venues of all sizes. Tyneside was the catalyst that helped to create Lindisfarne's music.Find out what it was like to be part of that vibrant Geordie scene. Guided by Lindisfarne's Ray Laidlaw.The tour leaves from our usual bus stop outside of the Royal Station Hotel at the Central Station in Newcastle.
7 June 2012
The 9th June 2012 is the 150th anniversary of the first Blaydon Races, the event that inspired the song which would become the North East's unofficial national anthem. To celebrate that event Tyne Bridge Publishing and the Northumbria Anthology are releasing a DVD, a book, and a CD.
'Passin' the Folks Alang the Road' DVD
Tyneside born actor Craig Conway (Our Friends in the North, Doomsday, Vera Drake) stars as Geordie Ridley in award-winning director Geoff Wonfor's film about the writer of the Blaydon Races. Shot on Tyneside, the film tells the story of how ex-pitman Geordie Ridley became the toast of the region's music halls and came to write Newcastle's ultimate anthem. The DVD also features a previously unreleased 40 minute archive film of the 1962 Blaydon Races centenary celebrations shot in and around Newcastle and Blaydon, plus a performance of the 2012 version of Blaydon Races with new lyrics commissioned by BBC Radio Newcastle, performed by international opera star Graeme Danby and students from the Newcastle Performing Arts Academy.
'Gannin' to Blaydon Races' Book
Dave Harker's fascinating book looks at the lives of Tynesiders in the mid 19th century and explains how the rise of heavy engineering and radical politics combined to create the perfect environment for Geordie Ridley to ply his trade as a popular songwriter.
'Gannin' to Blaydon Races' CD
Highly respected musicologist Vic Gammon has gathered together a stellar cast of folk music heavyweights including Johnny Handle, Benny Graham and Stewart Hardy to record all 17 of Geordie Ridley's original songs. Vic has researched existing sheet music and traditional melodies to ensure that the songs are presented as near as possible to the way Tynesiders would have heard them when Geordie sang them himself.
For further information go to www.northumbriaanthology.com and Tyne Bridge Publishing.
25 November 2011
- Tyne Idols presents a very intimate gig with Rab Noakes!
- Big River Big Songs DVD — You can buy this ideal pressie online!
- Tyne Idols Tour Gift Vouchers — what a cracker!
- Having a party or a company 'do' — how about this for an idea!
Since our 2011 season of tours came to an end in September we've been keeping ourselves
occupied with a few private bus parties, we sponsored the wonderful sparkly 'day after
Bonfire Night' Firework Display on Whitley Bay seafront where the Tyne Idols Routemaster
was pumping out tunes all evening and Ray Laidlaw, Geoff Wonfor and Billy Mitchell have
completed an incredible project call 'Big River Big Songs'. Read on......
Firstly, we are particularly pleased to announce a very intimate gig by a Scottish
singer and guitarist of exceptional talent. Rab Noakes will be playing at Porters Cafe
Bar, Tynemouth Metro Station on Sunday 4th March 2012. If you were lucky enough to have
been at the Michael Marra gig earlier this year at Porters then you'll know how much of a
treat this will be.
Rab Noakes first visited Tyneside from his native Fife to perform in Whitley Bay in
1969/70. It was then that he met Lindisfarne and a mutual friendship and admiration was
forged. A songwriter of remarkable skill, two of his early songs, 'Together Forever' and
'Turn a Deaf Ear' were recorded by Lindisfarne and Rab toured with them as support on
many occasions. He was a founder member of Stealers Wheel with Gerry Rafferty and then
went on to make many solo albums both in the UK and USA. He moved into radio and
television production in the 1980's but has recently revived his performing and recording
career and features regularly at events like Celtic Connections. Don't miss this rare
We only have an allocation of 30 tickets for this special event so if you'd like to book please click here! For more about Rab go to this site.
Big Songs Big River — A labour of love from Ray, Geoff and Billy.
The North-East of England has produced some wonderful music and there's nothing that the
people of the region appreciate more than their own 'home grown' talent. Big River Big
Songs features music inspired by the River Tyne and the people who live along its banks,
from the hills to the sea.
'Fog on The Tyne', 'Water of Tyne', 'Big River', 'Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinnie', 'Blaydon
Races' and 'Local Hero' are some of the thirty songs performed by Sting, Jimmy Nail, Joe
McElderry, Brian Johnson, Sir Thomas Allen, Claire Rutter, Lindisfarne, Tim Healy, Alun
Armstrong, Denise Welch, Jill Halfpenny, Charlie Hardwick, Graeme Danby, Chelsea
Halfpenny, Billy Mitchell and many more. The songs are presented in styles ranging from
classical to folk and music hall to rock. Eric Robson and Charlie Hardwick supply the
background to the songs and songwriters illustrated with breathtaking aerial film and
fascinating archive photography. These unique performances create something very special,
the biggest collection of Tyneside songs ever released on DVD.
The team behind Big Songs Big River are award winning director Geoff Wonfor, producer Ray
Laidlaw and musical arrangements from Billy Mitchell. 75% of the profits from this DVD
will benefit the Not for Profit company and charities; The Northumbria Anthology, the Sir
Bobby Robson Foundation, the Sunday for Sammy Trust and the Rainforest Foundation.
To buy this DVD online click here.
If you're wondering what to buy the person who's got everything then give them a couple
of Tyne Idols Music and Movie Heritage Tour gift vouchers. A snip at £15 each, these are
valid throughout our 2012 season to be used on any tour. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with how many vouchers you would like, the address you would like them to be sent to, a
contact number so that our account folk can call you and take payment by card over the
phone, and your pressie worries are over for another year! So simple!
Need to organise a party? Why not hire the Tyne Idols bus for a Music and Movie
Heritage Tour of NewcastleGateshead. You can have our Tour or we can customise it to
include your preferred watering holes, certain genres of music, you can choose which
presenter you would like (or indeed have them both!). With the bus being able to
transport 60 passengers and a three hour tour starting at £550, we can even terminate the
tour at another venue of your choice so that the party can continue. For more details
Phew, that's it for now, but don't forget to keep visiting this site to keep
up to date with what's being planned!!
Press Release: New DVD launched — Big River Big Songs — The Tyne......
23 November 2011
The North-East of England has produced some wonderful music and there's nothing that the people of the region appreciate more than their own 'home grown' talent.
Big River Big Songs features music inspired by the River Tyne and the people who live along its banks, from the hills to the sea.
'Fog on The Tyne', 'Water of Tyne', 'Big River', 'Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinnie', 'Blaydon Races' and 'Local Hero' are some of the thirty songs performed by Sting, Jimmy Nail, Joe McElderry, Brian Johnson, Sir Thomas Allen, Claire Rutter, Lindisfarne, Tim Healy, Alun Armstrong, Denise Welch, Jill Halfpenny, Charlie Hardwick, Graeme Danby, Chelsea Halfpenny, Billy Mitchell and many more.
The songs are presented in styles ranging from classical to folk and music hall to rock. Eric Robson and Charlie Hardwick supply the background to the songs and songwriters illustrated with breathtaking aerial film and fascinating archive photography. These unique performances create something very special, the biggest collection of Tyneside songs ever released on DVD.
The team behind Big River Big Songs are award-winning director Geoff Wonfor and producer Ray Laidlaw. 75% of the profits from this DVD will benefit the Not for Profit company and charities: The Northumbria Anthology, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the Sunday for Sammy Trust and the Rainforest Foundation.
Big River Big Songs — The Tyne — MWMDVD78 available from 18th November from www.mawson-wareham.com
Press Release: Tyne Idols and Newcastle City Hall announce association......
Great news...... Tickets for Tyne Idols Music and Movie Heritage Tours and Tyne Idols 'Evening with...' events in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust are now available from Newcastle City Hall Box Office as well as online via our own Booking Page...
After working closely with the City Hall during our 2010 season we have decided that we like each other so much that we're 'cosying up' even more, this is a very natural progression because we love NewcastleGateshead, the music heritage associated with the region and above all we love live music!
Newcastle City Hall has put an exhibition of music memorabilia together to enhance the Tyne Idols backstage visits even more. Some amazing relics from the hall's rich heritage are now on display and available for Tyne Idols tour passengers to drool over when our tours stop off at the hallowed ground.
Ray Laidlaw, Tyne Idols guide and Lindisfarne drummer, said "I've had a long relationship with the City Hall over the years including playing there 134 times and it really is a special place to anyone associated with music in our region. It's a great highlight of our tours when we arrive at the City Hall, everyone has their own special memories of their favourite gigs there and the best part of this is that so many incredible memories are shared when we bring our tours here."
For further info, interviews or photos, call Paul Irwin on 07860 747354 or e-mail email@example.com
Press Release: Spring Updates from Tyne Idols
We've just celebrated the fantastic Get Carter 40th Anniversary in association with the Tyneside Cinema......
The Tyne Idols Routemaster had a full day of Get Carter Location tours on Sunday, 13 March, all of which were completely sold out.
In fine Tyne Idols tradition, we had special guests who joined us for the tour and amazed our passengers. Mike Hodges, director of Get Carter, and our very own North East born actor who's first movie part was in Get Carter, Alun Armstrong, joined Tyne Idols' Chris Phipps with the commentary, regaling us with anecdotes and meeting the lucky passengers.
And, as another surprise, on board the bus we had our versatile 'house band', The Carterettes, providing their rendition of the music soundtrack featured in the movie. It really was surreal to be at the location of the Las Vegas Guest House in Gateshead and hearing the eerie score being played live from our onboard PA.
We're kicking off our Summer season of Tyne Idols Tours for 2011......
......on Sunday 24th April. There are a few changes since last year's tours which include a look at some fantastic City Hall music memorabilia, and some highlights of the Get Carter Tour will be included in the new route along with many other surprises and the occasional 'special guest'.
And as if that wasn't enough, there will be several 'Evening with...' events at the Vermont Hotel, Newcastle......
......throughout the summer starting with 'An Evening with Simon Donald'. That's right, him off the Viz presents 'Fart Jokes Bought Me Sports Cars' with all profits going to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Simon will perform some of his stand-up and indulge in a Q&A, guaranteed to be a great evening. The date for this event is Sunday 24 April at 7.30pm.
Surely there can't be more you're thinking......Wrong!
'A Night on the Tyne' will taking place on Saturday 4 June, 2011!
A summer evening River Cruise with a guided Musical Heritage Tour and live music from our house band as we travel down the Tyne with both Chris Phipps and Ray Laidlaw as your guides, we'll be calling in at the Fish Quay at North Shields to collect fish suppers for everyone, all followed by a Very Special live gig as we travel back up the Tyne.
Join Billy Mitchell and Ray Laidlaw for fish 'n' chips with Mr Phipps and a musical 'Night on the Tyne' you'll never forget!
......to this website for other 'Evening with...' events, and news of our special tours in association with the Sage Gateshead for their SummerTyne Americana Festival Weekend in July which will also feature live music on board from some of the artists performing at the Sage that weekend.
Keep in touch — the Tyne Idols Team would love to see you soon!
For further Tyne Idols press info please contact Paul Irwin on 07860 747354 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Press Release: Tyne Idols Visit to City Hall Unearths Hidden Treasures
As part of the Tyne Idols Tour, passengers visit a couple of venues in the city and one venue was in for a pleasant surprise last weekend.
When the Tyne Idols routemaster bus lands at Newcastle City Hall, the passengers are normally welcomed by manager of 30 years, Peter Brennan, who gives a brief chat and history of the wonderful venue; he then invites questions from the Tyne Idols passengers.
One curious passenger asked if the City Hall had an archive, to which Peter replied that it didn't but that is something he would like to achieve during his stint at the City Hall. This comment was noted by another guest and, the very next day, the Tyne Idols office received a telephone call from a lady called Kate Lewis......
Kate's father was a gentleman called Louis Leider, managing director of AE Cooke of Saville Row in Newcastle who acted as booking agents for the City Hall during the '50s and '60s; in turn Kate was often 'roped in' to help with programme selling and suchlike. Over the years Kate has built up an amazing collection of programmes and posters, many signed by the greats, and she now wishes to donate these to the City Hall as the first step towards creating an archive for the public.
Ray Laidlaw, Lindisfarne drummer and guide for Tyne Idols Tours said: "This is the great thing about Tyne Idols Tours, it brings real fans and lovers of North East music together, we all end up conferring and it's incredible how many folk have a story to tell. This may well be the catalyst needed to set up an accessible and lasting archive for the City Hall, what a wonderful prospect."
Chris Phipps, former producer of Tyne Tees Television's 'The Tube' and Tyne Idols guide added: "We're working on an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Get Carter and through Tyne Idols Tours, meeting everyone, we've managed to get in touch with Deana the nightclub singer from the movie, and a gentleman who was involved with organising transport which will bring a very personal touch to 'An Evening With Get Carter'. It's great fun as you never know who is going to be on the bus and the priority with these tours is to get everyone involved and feeding back."
If anyone is sitting on a piece of the City Hall history and would like to be instrumental in creating an archive that will be on view and available to all, please e-mail Tyne Idols at email@example.com or contact manager Peter Brennan at Newcastle City Hall.