Film makers seek funding for Riverside documentary

For 14 years – from 1985 to 1999 – The Riverside was Newcastle’s ultimate gig venue. Playing host to the likes of Nirvana, David Bowie, Radiohead, The Pixies and Pearl Jam as well as a host of other global superstars, the region’s music fans would flock to the intimate venue on Melbourne Street to see some of the best live performances ever to have graced the City.  With a capacity of just under 900 it was the smallest venue on David Bowie’s 1997 tour, Nirvana played their first ever UK show there in 1989 and live on national radio, Oasis’ 94’ gig had to be stopped after an audience member ‘lamped’ Noel on onstage.

These are just some of the memories that will be immortalised in a forthcoming documentary about The Riverside. Following the publication of their book ‘Riverside: Newcastle’s Legendary Alternative Music Venue’ in 2011, authors Hazel Plater and Carl Taylor have teamed up with local film makers Carol Lynnn, Ashley Horner and Production Company Pinball Film to make what they describe as “A beautiful and visually ambitious music documentary covering the roots of grunge to the birth of dance.” But first, they need your help…

This Friday (15th) is the official launch night of a campaign to raise funds to make the documentary. Following the ‘collective’ ethos of the venue itself, the filmmakers see this as an opportunity for those that enjoyed The Riverside over the years to come together and contribute to the creation of the film. Those that do donate will receive ‘perks’ ranging from signed copies of the book, official Riverside Tote bags and invites to the official premier.

Starting at 7:30pm at The Star & Shadow Cinema, you can watch archive footage from the Riverside as well as peruse and buy back issues of 80s and 90s editions of NME, Melody Maker and Sounds magazines. At the same time at 8pm the campaign will go live at http://www.indiegogo.com /rivfilm and   Riverside fans will have 30 days to make their donations.

Although initial production has begun, including getting the verbal interest of Billy Bragg, Fugazi and one of my favourite all time bands like ever, the outstanding MERCURY REV(!) the team are hoping to raise around £3000 to ensure they can cover the costs of star interviews as well as HD film quality production.

Furthermore, you can be in it too….on Saturday (16th) if you head down to Reflex Records on Nun Street between 1:30pm and 3pm you can meet Hazel and Carl and be briefly filmed talking about your favourite Riverside memory. The footage will be considered for inclusion in the film or the DVD extras.  You can follow the campaign on Twitter @rivfilm and over the weekend of 15th – 17th June, use the hashtag #rivfilm to tweet your Riverside recollections.

“Newcastle upon Tyne today is a different place because of Riverside.  Its legacy is the city’s vibrant independent music scene.”