It has taken me about a hundred years to get round to listening to this collection of music boasting the cream of the Newcastle and Sunderland music scene. And what do you know? The opening track is by now new darlings, The Futureheads, who I incidentally don't see what all the fuss is about. Mind you, their flavour-of-the-month status could have well been predicted; they are the most predictable group on the entire compilation. Is it now the in thing to rip-off The Jam? No wonder the ale's cheaper up north; I would have to get sloshed to excited about this lot.
Perhaps I was subconsciously putting off listening to this after all.

Other songs that are not my cup of tea for crimes of blandness, inducing extreme boredom or just plain pointless noisemongery include 3rd Planetarium (though their song, "Who wants to have a fight with me?" brought back wonderful memories of games of thumb wars gone by), Drawn By Lines (regardless, self-professed "hard" teenage boys would gladly take a battering in a mosh pit for this emo-esque band), The Unit Ama (tell me, what is the point of having a ten minute long introduction to a song?) and This Ain't Vegas (too right it damn well ain't! Actually, they weren't that bad). I was also undecided about Electronic Eye Machine. Their track "Waiting at your window" sounded like Blur's "Countryside Ballad Man" sung in their Leisure hey-day. Are the haircuts as laughable? It remains to be seen.

Still, shock horror, there are some artists I would actually recommend from the North-east. And the awards go to… Red Monkey (something a little unusual; uncomfortable yet intriguing indie madness with killer female vocals), Neville Clay (nice and simple alt-country, story telling genius which would nicely accompany anyone sitting in a field in a tent. Caked in mud. Hoorah), Lake Me (reminded me a little of Belly- girl power and all that; slow, soothing and quite enjoyable), The Amateur Dramatics (begins as something of a Velvet Underground pastiche and becomes yet more kooky and irrepressibly catchy) and, last but not least, Brilliantine. What can I say? They have written a tune which chugs along like Thomas the Tank engine on his most exciting adventure. Just to prove I don't hate all music. How'ay the lads. Though you don't rock quite as much as The Wildhearts.

Anna Claxton