Billingham’s Big Lunch & Music Celebration

Big Lunch Music FB
With budget cuts left, right and centre – this is residents doing it for themselves, or rather doing what they do best and work together to deliver fabulous opportunities for our community. So, what’s it all about?

Up and down the country communities are asked to try and organise their own celebratory event, where possible to coincide with Big Lunch on The Mall on 12th June 2016.

So believing ‘we can do that’…..a group of residents which we have christened ‘Billingham Connected’ met in ‘Seven’ above Asda, to discuss who we could unite our community and get ourselves on the map for really partying at the birthday lunch.

Paul Burgum, Managing Director of BCT Aspire was inspirational in bringing his expertise to the table and offering to pull together an outstanding line up of performers with an eclectic mix of music that would have mass appeal to families in and around Billingham and what a start he has made with the following acts already confirmed and a host of local talent from BCT Aspire itself.

Friends Together BCT & Dodgy

Dodgy’s Nigel Clark –  has confirmed to play at The Big Lunch – Celebrating HM The Queen’s 90th birthday in Billingham Town Centre on Sunday 12 June 2016.

Nigel emerged on the British music scene as the lead singer and bassist of the pop band Dodgy. The band Dodgy are best known for their hits “Staying Out for the Summer”, “If You’re Thinking of Me”, and “Good Enough”, with the latter single reaching No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart. Following the band’s split in 1998, Dodgy’s Nigel Clark went on to pursue a solo career, whilst the band continued to perform under a new line-up. Dodgy’s Nigel Clark’s solo work received positive reviews from Q magazine, and he released his debut album “21st Century Man” in 2006.

The original line-up of the band, including Dodgy’s Nigel Clark, reunited in 2007, released a live album, “So Far On 3 Wheels – Dodgy On The Radio and launched a tour. Since that tour, Dodgy have gone on to play a variety of festivals including Glastonbury, Guilfest, Beached Festival, The Galtres Festival, LeeStock Music Festival and Lakefest Festival amongst others, and released their first album in over a decade, “Stand Upright In A Cool Place” on Strikeback Records in February 2012. The release saw the band receiving rave reviews from the likes of MOJO, the Guardian and Q Magazine. So pleased that next up will be Billingham!!!!

This won’t be the first time that Nigel has linked up with BCT and its children having let the children join himself and the rest of Dodgy at shows in Northeast such as Saltburn Spa Hotel and The Georgian Theatre. The band even allowed members of the group alongside support from Bede College to perform & make the video to their single “This Love is Bigger Than Both Of Us” which is available on You tube. Himself a passionate music teacher and youth supporter Nigel is a great role model for young talent.

Samantha Durnan

 Samantha Durnan

Teesside singer-songwriter Samantha Durnan is taking time out of her busy schedule to perform in Billingham at The Big Lunch on Sunday 12 June 2016.


Sam, from Ingleby Barwick, will be playing with her full backing band and is excited about taking to the stage here locally.

Sam is used to performing as her years of gigging across Teesside have paid off as she has already supported the likes of Ed Sheeran, The Hoosiers and Beverley Knight. Proving that if you’re talented and work hard, you will make it.

Writing music from a young age, her influences come from the alternative rock sounds of Stevie Nicks, KT Tunstall and Michelle Branch which have helped her to develop her ever changing sound.

“My sound is constantly changing. I started out as an acoustic singer-songwriter and then my music just developed, I got more involved with using drums and guitars but am more guitar based. I play all the instruments myself and I’m now playing on a level where I try to introduce a whole band sound. I would say I’m more pop atmospheric now.’

Check out Samantha’s debut single, Who Would Have Thought – it’s fantastic!

Nathan Duff

Nathan Duff – Mouses

Nathan Duff and one half of Teesside duo ‘Mouses’ said he’s overjoyed to be a part of the upcoming Big Lunch on 12 June 2016 in Billingham Town Centre.

It feels like the region has very quickly taken Mouses to their hearts, which Nathan said ‘It’s been very surreal. Neither of us have really been in a serious band before so even recording, doing videos and interviews is all new to us – this past year has been a massive learning experience for us. I remember being ridiculously excited at our first radio play on Bob Fischer’s BBC Introducing show and recording it on my phone because I was that shocked. In that sense I’m super happy with how things have been going as it’s already gone much further than we thought it would.”

Nathan is another Billingham lad and gives up a large amount of time to teaching children as part of the team at BCT Aspire CIC on a voluntary basis. So on the day he will also be supporting his group performing on the same bill.

Ty Lewis 

Ty Lewis

Another Billingham young man who is currently flying with his own music career and a former member of the BCT group.

A voice this angelic very rarely escapes the lungs of a real human being… but 14 year old future heart breaker, Ty Lewis, also breaks the mould.With his teenage swagger and his cheeky command of this voice that he’s been crafting his entire life, Ty’s singer/ songwriting career is way ahead of simply fledgling. Like Justin Bieber before him, Ty takes the sweet tones and sharp note changes of his chords and performs soul/pop as successfully as his inspirations including Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Tori Kelly. Growing up watching music channels, having singing lessons since the age of 9 and learning guitar since 2013 makes Ty Lewis a force to be reckoned with.Having won Newcastle Children’s Talent Show and RU: Talented, the local area is paying close attention to Ty. In fact, the RU: Talented win resulted in one of Ty’s songs being played on TFM and Metro Radio, both part of one of the biggest radio groups in the UK.




BCT Kids

BCT Kids 

The guys from BCT will be of course also joining the fun and alongside their tutors be performing a set that get’s everybody involved in atmosphere of the event. With children from 8 to 16 all performing as one. The group who practice at the BCT Den on Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings are looking back to returning to the town centre after a two year break.


We will be confirming further acts!


So what do you need to do?

Firstly – make sure you put the date in your diary and that you come to the event, for an hour or the whole six hours that the acts will be on – whatever works for you and your family.

Tell everyone about it and let’s get our community really rocking!

Like all good music festivals you’ll need to bring your own food, although local stores will be open for most of the event, so if you don’t want to bring your own you can always buy something locally.

The Town Centre is a no alcohol zone, however, we are considering requesting a temporary event licence to give permissions, watch out for updates on our facebook page ‘The Big Lunch’ – we’ll let you know what’s going on.

If you are bringing food and would consider ‘over catering’ for maybe 2 – 4 people, we can ensure those in need will still be fed. Bring your own foldaway table and chairs – we will try and get some but they do cost money and definitely don’t come free, so if you’re able to bring your own, then please do so.

We will provide a range of activities for children too, from face painting to arts and crafts, mini golf etc. We also have More Life who are going to try and get us doing a community dance and of course Paul Burgum is going to try and get us to do a huge community sing along……..lots still in the planning but huge support from St Modwen’s the town centre owners, we’ve already had some offers of financial support through Queensway Dental, Peter English, Seven and Low Vision – if anyone else can offer financial help to cover the cost of the activities or all the equipment needed by the performers – then please contact email: or call 07770455651

Please remember this is a resident led event – we’ve no budget to call our own, just loads of heart to make it happen – shout up and please be prepared to help us make this the first of many music events here in Billingham Town Centre.


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