Musical Roots artwork celebrates pop and rock legends

Published Thursday 7 November 2019 at 14:49

A musical street art project has been unveiled to mark 60 years of legends who have graced the stage at King George’s Hall.

‘Musical Roots’ is a series of specially designed grates around the bases of the new trees on Blakey Moor and Northgate and celebrates six decades of greats and cult icons to have played at the venue.

The project is focused on popular music and the designs based on a selection of artists that have played at King George’s Hall since the 1960s – one tree grate paying homage to each decade.

Led by the Townscape Heritage Project and local typographical artists Stephen Caton, the street art builds on research from a previous project ‘1973 When Bowie came to Blackburn’.

Archives at King George’s Hall, together with online databases, fan clubs, memorabilia and newspaper articles were used to research a list of gigs.

Some of the world’s most influential bands and artists of the 20th century have played at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall – from the Beatles to Bowie, The Stone Roses to The Courteeners and the full list of names is, quite simply, incredible.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t space to include every single gig, so a small team of local music lovers and people from the town’s music scene were enlisted to help select those that best represent each decade.

The project did however make sure a few of Blackburn’s home grown legends and talents were recognised  with The Burn, Bradford, New York Tourists, Sky Valley Mistress, The Illicits and The Torrents all being included.

Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:

It’s a brilliant idea to celebrate Blackburn’s musical heritage in the design of the new public space around Northgate. Picking the final list was good fun and we hope that residents and visitors will have as much fun examining the list of the bands that are included and arguing about those that have been left out.”

Pete Eastwood, local music producer and one of the selection team said:

King George’s Hall is a great venue with a great history of music legends and touring bands gracing the stage, so a very positive move to highlight these special nights and to tip our hats to the fabulous acts past and present.”

The grates are part of the major improvement scheme that has introduced new high quality stone paving, planting and street furniture to create a more fitting environment for the iconic Grade II Listed concert hall.

The project has been delivered by the Blakey Moor Townscape Heritage Project, a joint investment by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund to transom the historic heart of Blackburn of Blackburn Town Centre.

Works to restore the adjacent Blakey Moor Terrace are next and hoped to start by the summer.



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