On the north shore of the river Tyne between North Shields and Tynemouth lie the Black Middens, a treacherous rock formation said in folklore to be thrown there by the devil in an attempt to curb the wealthy sea trade of Newcastle. However the trade was fierce and fulsome, the city and surrounding area flourished and for centuries the river swelled with heavy industry and cold steel commerce, which meant the devil never really fulfilled his dream there.
Arguably though, that devil may then have taken the form of an iron lady, dressed often in blue. She wrecked dreams, halted industry, stole milk from the mouths of children in learning, and all but killed the Tyne and other rivers, the veins and arteries that pumped the lifeblood of these islands.
But passions rise from the depths of despair. The downtrodden, the forgotten and the put upon, struggle and fight to be heard, and history shows that music is often the voice. Around 2010 four young lads at high school together in North Shields formed a collective voice for their passions in music. In the years that followed, they honed their sound, finding their own voice via a melodic and sometimes intense blend of modernist as well as traditional and punk rock. Their music has been shaped also by their surroundings, and with stark realism The Middens tell of kitchen sink dramas, social injustice and working class struggles. The current social and political climate has been soaked up and recounted in their own style. They write, play, and perform, well beyond their years. There are some wonderfully astute observations, tinged with humour and tragedy. Water features in many ways, running readily through the songs of the forthcoming debut album. How it can divide, unite, feed and kill. Just as water finds its own level, so it seems The Middens are beginning to find theirs.
Enjoy the poetry in the lyrics of Aaron Duff, but more so listen to the delivery in the songs, and enjoy what is a welcome and important addition to the rich history of deeply passionate music inspired by, and born on the banks of the river Tyne. Music, which reflects the nation as a whole in these difficult times, and music delivered with verve by The Middens, The Last Spawns of the Twentieth Century.
North Shields I England
Indie I Alternative Rock I New Mod
2010 - Present
Aaron Duff – Vocals/guitar
Jamie Thompson – Bass
Jack Coe – Drums
Paul Ellis - Guitar