Interview: The Rookery Collective
"Some of the maddest thing's have come from improvising, you'll be jamming away not even talking and you'll just hit this vein of pure musical gold out of nowhere. And for that to come from purely improvised music is so sick!"
Hanging out at the intimate and friendly 'Little Buildings', the vibe at the Rookery's latest jam session fits perfectly with the ethos of the guys behind the project. Smiling and inviting the lads were clearly invigorated by the potential that the night would hold and it was hard not to get swept up in the atmosphere.
Following on from their previous instalment at the Cluny in February, the new setting played host to some fantastic bouts of creativity as the session progressed, with the more intimate space only serving to add to a sense of community and cohesion that only music can bring.
The Rookery was founded by musicians Robert Nugent and Joey Swindells who became inspired by a Ted Talk delivered by old school punk musician John Rob on the: “DIY nature of punk and how if you want to do music, you pick up anything you can find and you make music happen”.
Wasting no time they rounded up as many musicians as they could and organised weekly performances at their local bar and now, just a few years later, they have a presence in no less than four cities across the UK.
I sat down for a quick chat with Joey about this project and what we can look forward to in the future...
What can someone expect from one of your jamming sessions?
"I don't think you ever know what to expect and that's part of the excitement. The main thing we want to get out of it is a good atmosphere for people just to come in, talk about music, play music and just improvise something special and exciting."
Did you find that your project has filled a gap in Newcastle's music scene?
"100%! because I never studied music could only ever just jam along, and there should be more projects that support that.
Some of the maddest thing's have come from improvising, you'll be jamming away not even talking and you'll just hit this vein of pure musical gold out of nowhere. And for that to come from purely improvised music is so sick!"
Have you found that the local venues have been accommodating and open to your ideas?
"Yeh I think as soon as you let them know what you're about and that you're taking it seriously they're buzzing to help you.
Little Buildings is making a big push to become a venue that's part of the scene, and these venues do this stuff because they love music and they love helping local projects."
What is the future of The Rookery?
"Well we've got a good foothold in Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Bolton, we've got four events planned before Christmas and potentially something pretty big in February as well...
So the plan is to do these shows until February and make the most of having a hub in these four cities because then we can pool people from different places and they can play shows anywhere affiliated with The Rookery.
It'll become a sort of network pushing the music scene forward, and if we can do it well good things will come from that!"
Keep your eyes peeled for further developments from The Rookery through their Facebook and Soundcloud pages.