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Newport music exhibition to showcase city’s rich musical history

22 Feb 2023 3 minute read
Newport Rock Collecting is a new exhibition launching at Newport Museum and Art Gallery

A project showcasing Newport’s rich music history is to launch this week at the city’s museum and art gallery.

Newport Rock Collecting – 40 Years of music: An audio archive of experiences in Newport, is staged in partnership with Newport Museum & Art Gallery and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Winding Snake Productions have led a social history project to document Newport’s rich musical legacy between 1970 and 2010. Celebrating the bands, gigs, and venues, which sent generations of Newportonians into the night with their ears ringing.

The project has involved collecting memorabilia, capturing audio, and creating animations. All brought together in the fantastic exhibition – ‘Newport Rock Collecting’. Highlights include exhibits from Joe Strummer, Crazy Cavan, Jon Langford, Dub War, 60ft Dolls, Terris, Elastica and Goldie Lookin Chain.

Labelled the ‘new Seattle’ in the 1990s, Newport was a burgeoning international hub for rock and alternative music. With the likes of David Bowie, Van Morrison, The Stone Roses and The Sex Pistols all having played in the town, Newport has been a rock ‘n’ roll hub since the 1970s.

The renowned TJs nightclub became Newport’s equivalent to Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club and as well as playing host to Catatonia’s music video for their hit single Mulder and Scully, it is also where the apocryphal story of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain proposing to his girlfriend Courtney Love came from after her band, Hole, played there.

Newport boasted successful home-grown artists of its own – including The Darling Buds, 60ft Dolls, Dub War, Novocaine and Terris, Goldie Lookin’ Chain – as well as nurturing up and coming Welsh talent Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers and Super Furry Animals.

Now, thanks to National Lottery funding, the Newport Rock Collecting project led by local film and media company Winding Snake Productions will make sure that memories of Newport’s famed music scene live on in the city.

A brand new exhibition at Newport Museum will feature recordings of real life stories with local residents reliving some thrilling nights in the town’s independent venues.

60ft Dolls

Coupled with vivid animations and memorabilia, this newly created exhibition will allow visitors to rekindle their memories, while younger music fans will learn a thing or two about the city’s enthralling past.

Amy Morris, leading the project from Winding Snake Productions, said: “We’re so excited to capture people’s memories of Newport’s rock and alt scene – which is vital at a time when the social makeup of the city is changing and things are being forgotten.

“Of 40+ venues to visit back in the day, now there are a small handful of independent venues dedicated to rock and a lot of young people living here now won’t know what music used to mean to Newport.

“With the help of local people, we want to make sure that the beating heart and soul of Newport – its music – lives on in people’s memories.”

Newport Rock Collecting opens at Newport Museum & Art Gallery on Tuesday, 28th February and runs until Saturday, June 10th. It is free entry. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm; Saturday, 9.30am to 4.30pm. Find out more HERE

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1 year ago

How is Skindred, from Newport, not getting a mention?

1 year ago

When Ian Brown wore a Cardiff City shirt in Newport and nearly started a riot, with half of Monmouth there with free tickets.

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