get-attachment.aspxOccult doom, vicious sludge, improvised noise rock… it’s all on the menu at this year’s GNAW Festival.

Richard Holmes got the lowdown. 
Last year’s Great North Amplifier Worship (GNAW) event marked something on a landmark for the Newcastle mini-fest: its third shindig saw Londoners Palehorse virtually level the Star and Shadow Cinema venue with an astonishing headline set, and Tyneside-based bands like We Are Knuckle Dragger turn in blistering performances. It put GNAW firmly on the map.

This year’s show – taking place on November 22, again at The Star and Shadow in Newcastle’s Ouseburn district – has a lot to live up to… but with a varied and finely curated line-up, it promises to offer plenty of aural treats for open-minded music fans.

Headlined by Devon’s spectral doomsters The Wounded Kings (who’ve been making a real name themselves in doom circles over the last year ) GNAW 4 boasts a six strong-bill, featuring talent both from across the UK and its own doorstep.

You can get your teeth into the post rock/metal of Leeds’ up and coming Sunw Sunwølf and the visceral, bottom heavy sludge of Glasgow’s Voe, plus some fuzzed out doom from Scottish quartet Atragon, looped drone/folk by Newcastle-based Nathalie Stern and crushing, improvised noise/metal courtesy of North East quintet Waheela. DJ Callan, meanwhile, will be manning the decks.

Regular GNAW organisers Waheela have this year teamed up with Inverted Grim Mill Recordings (responsible for bringing the likes of Coltsblood and Horse Latitudes to Newcastle) to co-promote the show. The partnership has paid dividends, as Waheela vocalist Adam Potts explains.

“Every GNAW is different and this year is no exception,” he said. “For the first time ever we are co-promoting the event with Inverted Grim-Mill Recordings. This has allowed the bill to be bigger than usual, with six acts instead of the usual five. There is such a diverse range of sounds this year! It’s going to be great.”

Inverted Grim-Mill Recordings’ Jonas Christ added: “Co-promoting is always good fun and it makes sense for local promoters to pool resources to make for a successful night. It’s always good to work on things with friends on the same wavelength!

“I haven’t missed a GNAW yet, it’s always an enjoyable evening of heavy sounds. Last year was particularly noise-rock based with Palehorse, Tide of Iron and Cattle in amongst the bill and I loved every minute! I always enjoy seeing what bands are pulled together, and I like the unifying theme of any particular GNAW – who knows what will happen next year? It’s fantastic to be involved in GNAW 4.”

Adam Potts concluded: “Although the line-up each year offers something different, the ethos of GNAW is always the same. GNAW is a home for acts who make interesting, challenging and heavy music. There is no specific formula for what a GNAW band should sound like. We like experimental acts and we generally look for volume, but within that there are a huge range of sounds that can be covered.

“What we have had every year though and what we will always look for are bands without ego, who are able to come together and help each other out for the love of playing music.”

GNAW 4 is on November 22 at The Star and Shadow Cinema, Stepney Bank, Newcastle, starting at 6.30pm. Tickets are £8 (advance, plus booking fees) or £10 on the door. For tickets visit