Ex Catfish and the Bottlemen guitarist in Newcastle as part of new venue opening

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The city centre venue is set to open with an all-female battle of the bands to kick off the weekend.

Jonathan 'Bondy' Bond, formerly of the award-winning band Catfish and The Bottlemen, will be in Newcastle this Friday as a judge for the free to enter 'Road to Hardwick' battle of the bands competition to help mark the official launch of the city's latest music venue, Newgate Social.

Based in The Gate and taking the space of The WonderBar, Newgate Social is a new 450 capacity venue in the city centre and will host the first of its live music programme this weekend with a live competition of emerging North East music.

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The panels will include the likes of Bond, Generator national music agency chairman David Haley, BBC radio presenter Shaak, the female led events company Marisam and a whole host of high profile names from the music sector.

The winner of the 'Road to Hardwick' competition, which will see a series of heats being played out over the coming months and starting on Friday, April 19, will result in the winner bagging a main stage spot at Hardwick Festival as well as a whole host of other perks including a free recording session at a leading music studio and a press and PR campaign from industry pros.

Friday's first heat will feature an all female line-up which will include some of the North East's most promising young stars including the Amy Winehouse inspired Jenny Dean, rock n roll outfit Pretty Velvet, singer-songwriter Tilly Lockey and the Boston-born MTV star, Sabrina Kennedy.

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Speaking ahead of today's new venue reveal and Friday's Road to Hardwick launch Bondy, who now fronts a new band called The Safest Place, said: “I can't wait for Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing the new venue and checking out some great acts.

“The Road to Hardwick is a great idea and I'm pleased Newgate Social and Hardwick Festival is supporting new music in a positive way. I've never been a judge before, so it'll be a new and exciting experience for me.”

Free tickets for the showcase and further information can be found through the venue’s website.

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