To celebrate the quarter of a million milestone the next couple of posts include messages from contributors to the blog.
Mond Cowie (ex-Angelic Upstarts) ‘Well done on the milestone Gary, great achievement, it was a pleasure being involved. I love reading the posts, it brings back so many great memories of gigs, bands, friends and pigs heads! What a blast we all had eh…long may it continue.’
Lou Taylor (Satan, Blind Fury, Heaven or Hell) ‘Extremely proud and honoured to have been asked to contribute to the Alikivi Culture and Music Blog, it’s so amazing that we have someone with enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to the scene – long live the Alikivi Blog !’
John Gallagher (Raven) ‘Congrats on hitting that 1/4 million mark.. and telling so many cool stories of our NE music scene!!!’
Emma Wilson (Singer/Songwriter) ‘When I released my first EP Gary offered to do a piece for the North East culture blog. Since then he has approached me at every milestone of my career – often even before I have decided to start my promotion he messages me “Get your info over to me”.
He helps promote me and often gives me a cherished page on his magnificent blog enabling my music to reach a huge audience. As an independent artist the exposure I get from Gary’s blog is invaluable. Thank you Gary you always get the exclusive x’
Tom Hill (Geordie) ‘Gary you put some great stuff on the blog and I always enjoy reading it…keep it coming mate’.
Dave Ditchburn (Brass Alley, Geordie, Talisman) ‘I’ve never been one for interviews, mainly because I have a terrible memory and sometimes get mixed up with dates and people. When Gary asked me to do the honours I was a little bit dubious but he has a great technique and makes you feel right at home. As usual since then I have remembered and forgotten again a hundred things that could have been part of the story. I think Gary does a fine job and long may he be able to keep it going. I very much enjoy reading his interviews’.
Lorraine Crosby (Singer/Presenter) ‘So thrilled to have been part of this amazing blog. Thanks so much for a great interview Gary x’.
Ed Waugh (Writer & Theatre producer) ‘What you’ve done is an incredible job of recording North East cultural and social life in your tremendous blog. It’s a fantastic feat achieving 250,000 hits but I’m sure the millionth hit will not be too far away.
I look forward to reading every interview, not least because I lived through most of what you write about and it gives a fascinating perspective of what other people were doing at the same time. Not only that, you’ve recorded history for future generations – what a magnificent legacy! Keep up the great work’.
Ray Spencer MBE (Director, The Customs House) ‘Alikivi is a rare and beautiful thing. Not seeking praise for its self but always a celebration on the subject. Gently incisive interviews cut to the heart of the subjects beliefs and motivation without them even being aware they had sat in the psychiatrists chair’.
Steve Dawson (Geordie) ‘Gary is a staple of North East cultural awareness. Working tirelessly to keep the region’s heritage of music, art and local celebrities of all genres alive and kicking in living memory. Long may he continue.’
Jan Graveson (singer & actor) ‘The North East runs in my veins. I’m a proud miner’s daughter and absolutely love where I am from and the people. It’s incredible really that while as a teenager most of us were in bands, performing, singing, playing music. It wasn’t until I moved away from my beloved North East that I realised not everywhere is like that.
I learnt over the years that it’s all about the ‘soul’ of the people and the inherent talents passed through families, the strong communities and passion that creates such love. Thank you Gary for being so devoted in showing the world what we, of the North East are all capable of !’
Dave Taggart (Belinda Carlisle, Danceclass) ‘Well done Gary. The North East culture blog is going from strength to strength. Keep it going and spread the gospel to the ‘yoof ‘ out there that there was and still is a thriving music scene in the North East’.
Jim Sculley (former Musician, Promoter & Manager) ‘Wow ! That’s some achievement Gary. But I’m not surprised to be honest. I’ve read almost every interview and most other things that you’ve written and never felt the urge to stop reading or to question or doubt what you’ve written.
Everything feels right, obviously written from the heart and absolutely smacks of the truth. You’ve laid out in words what you know to be the North East’s fabulous past, culture and heritage. Whether it be music, the arts, everyday life or it’s wonderful characters albeit sometimes wacky, but always funny, likeable and very musically talented.
You’ve done a fine job these last five years Gary and our area owes you a huge debt of gratitude for keeping us in the spotlight. I hope fervently that this is just the beginning and there’s a lot more to come. This is not bluster buddy – it’s from my heart.’
Phil Sutcliffe (Sounds/Mojo music journalist & author) ‘North East culture reaches out around the world in the endless circle of seeking and finding inspiration and using it and sending it back out again with a different accent. Lit the fire under me when I lived in Newcastle during the ‘70s. Keeps on rolling around and around (until the seas run dry?) Congrats and keep on keeping on!’
Sheila Graber (Animator) ‘Gary is a very experienced and well respected documentary maker so he fully understands the process involve in making any art form – this makes him a great Blogger.
He asks all the right questions and summarises answers into a readable and interesting form. He has been a pleasure to work with over many years – here’s to the next 250,000 viewers’.
Davy Little (Axis, Pauline Gillan Band, Lies of Smiles) ‘Congratulations on a wonderfully informative blog. Nearly 5 years, 250,000 views, a wonderful depiction of the lives/culture/music/art of the North East.
Artists, Photographers, Animators, Sculptors, Writers, Poets, Musicians, Playwrights, Broadcasters, Journalists, Authors, Actors, Entertainers, Stage crew, Tech Crew, Managers, Promoters, Film Makers, Record Company execs, the full gamut of the North East’s incredibly creative community can be found here, stories that will evoke the full range of human emotion.
From the Animals to the Tygers of Pan Tang, from the Dark Arts of the Stasi to Postcards from Spain. An incredible body of work’.
Richard Laws (ex-Tygers of Pan Tang) ‘Congratulations Alikivi for reaching the landmark of a quarter of a million readers and shining a spotlight on North East music and culture. An outstanding achievement’.
Big thanks to all you lovely people…keep spreading the love !