Culture Club

Issue 96

John Milton Peacock - Owner, Alfie & Fin's Bar in Tynemouth's iconic Land of Green Ginger.

When he’s not promoting gigs in his own bar, he also organises other events such as the emerging music festival Coast Fest. Here John tells us about his taste in music, art and culture.

Who is your favourite author and why?

I’m not much of a reader and she’s not an author as such, but I always remember the anthology book we studied for our GCSEs with a poet called Carol Ann Duffy. One particularly stood out called ‘Valentine’, which is about an onion of all things. It’s pretty deep.

What would be your three Desert Island Discs?

Being around so much great music growing up this is a difficult one. There has to be an Oasis record in there, I’m pretty fond of Be Here Now. I went on the bus up to town for the first time to buy that one with my mate Cliffy I think. Those were the days. I love ‘Down In Albion’ by Babyshambles, it’s 16 songs long (probably four too long) but it’s an absolute masterpiece. I’d also have the Red Beatles number 1’s album as well, just because it’s the Beatles. Unbelievable.

Who is your favourite film star and why?

Anyone who knows me will know that my favourite actor of all time is Macaulay Culkin. It’s a borderline obsession. Those two Home Alone films as a kid were just the best. Everybody wanted to be Kevin, including me.

What are your top three films?

I have to say ‘Home Alone 1 & 2’, I love them in equal measures. I also really enjoyed the ‘Eddie the Eagle’ film and a film that stars John Favreau called ‘Chef’. It’s absolutely class. I guess I love an underdog story. It feels like my music festival, ‘Coast Fest’, is the underdog at times but I kind of like it that way.

Which poem left a lasting impression on you?

Aside from ‘Valentine’ that I mentioned above, I used to love a poem called ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling. They played it in the BBC at the end of the France World Cup back in ’98 and it gave me goosebumps. You can still find it on YouTube actually and I still watch it from time to time when I need a boost or things aren’t going so well. Back then my dad told me that it was the guy who made the cakes and I believed him for a very long time, pretty much until Google was invented.

What box sets have you enjoyed?

Box sets…there are so many…for work at my venue, Alfie & Fin’s, we do a lot of themed quizzes, we like to write our own and my partner insists that we watch every episode of every chosen theme. The latest one was a ‘Friends’ quiz. It’s a classic and everyone has seen it 1000 times but every time you watch you find something new that is hilarious. We’ve recently done a ‘Sex in the City’ and a ‘Ru-Paul’s Drag Race’ quiz. They wouldn’t usually be my typical choice of box set but I actually got quite into them.

Who is your favourite artist or performer?

It’s got to be Oasis, I grew up on them and was lucky enough to see them live on a number of occasions. Unbelievable memories. The kind that shape you, you know?

What is your favourite venue?

Aside from my own, Alfie & Fin’s (shameless plug) I would have to say the Cluny in Ouseburn. It was where it all started for me being a concert promoter. I put my first run of notable shows on there back in 2005 with The Cribs, Longblondes, Kubichek. It was a great time for new bands then. I used to read the NME at work on a Friday in the call centre and book bands from my BT email address. I got fired from that job. I didn’t do a lot of work for them. It really gave me the promoting bug and I’m still doing it after all this time.

Which musical instrument do you particularly enjoy?

It’s got to be guitar. I mean I can play it with a small amount of success but never good enough to play in a band or anything. I did try, and I was very quickly handed a bass and told ‘press this’. I did alright though, we toured about a bit and had some great times.

From the world of Arts and Culture who would be your ideal dinner party guests?

I could literally go on forever with this but if I had to choose one it would have to be Glastonbury Festival founder, Michael Eavis. I’d love to pick his brains and listen to his festival stories. Actually, he could bring his daughter Emily along as well. She seems like an interesting lady and I bet she’s got some great stories too. Maybe I can blag a guesty off them. I went to the festival once in 2008 and I’ve not been successful since.

To find out more about Coast Fest 2024 or to donate to help the festival

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