Welcome to the website of Big Figure Promotions - named after the drummer in Dr Feelgood, John 'The Big Figure' Martin - which is a music promotion based in Marske by the Sea near Saltburn in North Yorkshire. Steve Harland is the music obsessive behind it which commenced in September 2012 when he hosted Gemma Ray at Stockton's Georgian Theatre. Steve was a regular at Middlesbrough Rock Garden between 1979 - 1981 and Stockton's Dovecot Arts Centre 1985 - 1990, two now sadly defunct but much missed music venues on Teesside that helped shape his and many other folks' music taste. He also subscribed to Jon Storey/Nick West's Bucketfull of Brains fanzine in the eighties and nineties and Lindsay Hutton's Next Big Thing fanzine was also a big influence.
Steve has worked with various local promoters since September 2010 and also on his own. In total he has promoted 135 concerts which started when he commenced promoting live music with Dave Griffiths & Gary Mcgee under the guise of Rock Garden Revisited, named after a well known local music venue from many years earlier. This lasted for three years before several co-promotions; initially a couple of one-offs with Leigh Sayers & Tim Oxnard, then half a dozen shows with the late Barry Simpson, a couple of solo promotions, then with Martin Mathers for another three years and some 40 concerts. He now promotes with his wife Wendy Archer Harland.
Starting out at Stockton's Georgian Theatre & The Green Room but In May 2015 the decision was made to relocate permanently to Westgarth Social Club in Middlesbrough. There have been one or two gigs at other venues when the Westgarth hasn't been available but its ran professionally by Stephen Callaghan and housed two rooms for live music. Sadly it closed down abruptly in February 2023. Things have now gone full circle with shows taking place at the Georgian Theatre, Green Room, Sticky's and NE Volume Music Bar in Stockton on Tees and later this year further afield in Darlington and Sunderland.
May 2019 saw us celebrate our 100th concert with The Membranes since we commenced promoting live music. Highlights of the year included The Godfathers, Eight Rounds Rapid and The Delta Bombers from Las Vegas playing to a near capacity upstairs room on a Sunday evening in July the day after Kubix Music Festival near Sunderland.
2020 we only managed to host three shows before the Coronavirus Pandemic took a hold and we had to cancel several events. Last year we managed two 'socially distanced' events featuring Helen McCookerybook in Stockton on Tees and Paul-Ronney Angel of The Urban Voodoo Machine at the Westgarth. The Membranes headlined a seven band line - up in September but it wasn't a success financially. The Courettes attracted a decent crowd in October then The Nightingales staged a sold out event upstairs. Our homage to John Peel also returned in November with 1919, Inca Babies and The Wolfhounds and we finished the year with Riverside Rebellion in December. Sadly our gig with TV Smith playing a solo show at the refurbished NE Volume Bar in Stockton on Tees was a victim of the uncertainty of Covid in Scotland as our show followed two events in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
2022 saw us welcome established bands like The Men They Couldn't Hang and a sold out show with The Chameleons to the Westgarth and Martin Stephenson played a solo show. Both The Courettes and The Delta Bombers returned to the venue to play to good crowds. We also hosted Imperial Wax which included two former members of The Fall though the turnout could have been better. Our Gun Club Tribute staged at NE Volume Music Bar was a great success. We hope to do a similar event next year celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Cramps 'Smell of Female' mini album. Rescheduled shows with the Blue Orchids and The Godfathers have also taken place. We ended the year on a high with successful shows featuring The BellRays, Newtown Neurotics and Punishment of Luxury/Rubella Ballet.
So far 2023 has seen us host Richard Strange (solo), Wasted Youth, His Lordship and The Chameleons. We have TV Smith in September and a host of familiar names returning to Teesside.
Over the years we have been able to bring international bands like Barb Wire Dolls, Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, The Courettes (twice), Fur Dixon's WTFUKUSHIMA, The BellRays (four times), The Delta Bombers (twice), The Devils, Tav Falco's Panther Burns (twice), Turbulent Hearts & Twin Guns to the Westgarth and we hope in the future we can once again bring bands from further afield to put Teesside on the map as a vibrant place to watch live music.
We would like to thank the following photographers / video footage who allow us to use their images on this website: Mel Butler, Craig Casson, Mark Cartwright, David Hayhoe, Phil Roberts, Dave Shaw, Malcolm Such & Steve White.
Thanks for continuing to support our endeavours, it is greatly appreciated by us and remember - long live the music !