ABOUT

SYNOPSIS

We saw the teddy boys in the 1950’s, flower power in the 1960’s & punk rock during the 1970’s, young people with diverse musical addictions attempted to indulge themselves with their passion for music & alternative lifestyles.

In the early 1980’s during the socio-economic changes that were engulfing the population and set within the backdrop of civil unrest during the miners-strike, Newport had a different sound emerging from within. It was no longer the sounds of existing industry or of the bustle of a thriving shipping port or the steelworks that echoed young peoples drab existence.

A full-fledged self-supportive music scene was founded by a collective of positive minded people, born from the origins of a small record stall in Newport provisions market. These people had the attitude of promoting shows for the people, bringing the town together all through a mutual love of music.

This would set the bar & hundreds throughout the years would soon follow this ‘scene’. With TJ’s at the helm, it would go on to became the alternative venue in the 1980’s to the working men’s clubs, discotheques & youth clubs that hosted live music in Newport up until then.

Many internationally recognised artists & bands were attracted to this scene making regular appearances to the town. A scene that caught the attention of the New York Times in the mid-90’s, who described the vibrant scene & christened Newport as ‘The New Seattle’.

This story looks into the lives of the community who have devoted their life to this scene, documenting their friendships, the hardships & struggles & lets not forget the excitement & joy of the good times overcoming adversity.

WHO WE ARE

Nathan Jennings

DIRECTOR

Nathan was born in Newport. He has a portfolio of work behind him primarily as an Editor in Post-Production; having also worked in a variety of disciplines & roles in features, shorts, corporates & broadcast. Since an early age he started cutting music videos for his old band when he was 15 years old. Nathan's youth saw him locally witness a great music movement & has been waiting for the right opportunity to credit this story it rightly deserves on Film. This will be Nathan's directorial feature film debut.

    Alex Macleod

    CAMERA OPERATOR

    Alex has been making films since he was young, & music since before then. He picked up his first video camera up at 7 years old, & joined his first band at 17. He’s been making films & music ever since. Alex has been been employed as a freelance camera & editor in the north since graduating from Salford Uni. He has worked for clients such as the BBC, MTV, Channel Four, MUTV & others. He has worked on everything from acclaimed short films & longform documentaries to BBC Sports news packages & high-end corporate productions.

      CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN VIDEO

      WHY NEWPORT?

      WHAT MAKES NEWPORT SO SPECIAL

      WHAT MAKES A MUSIC SCENE?

      Well undoubtedly its Music at the centre of it. So with the huge influx of local bands and touring musicians that came to Newport from around the world this was a daily routine for many years.

      We will be speaking to some of the greatest names in musical history about their firsthand recollections, memories, and what made it so appealing to perform in Newport over the years.

      SO WHO WILL WE BE SPEAKING TO?

      Aside from the musicians, we will be talking to the people from Newport (and further afield) that played a part in Newport’s musical foundations.

      Almost 40 years ago, a small market stall record shop opened, it was called Rockaway Records. The first ‘go to place’ in Newport to get to your punk rock records and to be around people like yourself.

      This was the breeding ground from which during the miners-strike in 1984 would give rise to Cheap Sweaty Fun Promotions – a collective of gig promoters who would go on to be one of the most long-lasting live gig promoters in Newport for 30 years putting on over 326 shows altogether for its gig-goers.

      The legacy of John Sicolo’s life and impact on live music in Newport will never be forgotten. When he decided to start serving live music in TJ’s Disco (as it was known in mid-1980s) things would never be the same again. His family and closest friends have given us their approval and consent on the Film.

      I REMEMBER GOING TO THAT CLUB AND SEEING ……

      Live music has been around it Newport for the last 70 years. How did it start? Why did some of the greatest Rock/Punk/Heavy Metal/Ska/alternative and Pop (whatever you want to call it) legends of all time perform here at the array of venues, clubs, bars, discotheques and even parks?

      SO WHAT MUSICIANS ACTUALLY PLAYED IN NEWPORT?

      Here are just SOME of the few