Anderson, Alistair


As a touring soloist, Alistair Anderson is internationally acknowledged as the master of the English Concertina and a fine exponent of the Northumbrian Pipes. He delights audiences with traditional music from Northumberland and beyond, as well as his own music, which has grown out of his love of these traditions.

He founded Folkworks, an organisation that helped to change the face of folk music, with large numbers of young people discovering traditional music, song and dance through their summer schools, workshops and education projects. Folkworks became one of the two founding partners of The Sage Gateshead and Anderson continued as its Artistic Director until 2008. Working with the Music Department of Newcastle University, Anderson developed England’s first degree course in folk and traditional music, launched in Sept 2001.

He has collaborated with jazz musicians, written for a mixed ensemble of Northumbrian and Moravian musicians, and spent October 2010 touring South Africa with traditional Xhosa musicians, singers and dancers. The success of his varied performance and composing work grows out of his deep understanding of traditional music, balanced with an adventurous sense of its constantly changing nature and creative potential.

Connolly, Laura

Laura graduated from Newcastle University in 2005 with a degree in folk and traditional music and was the first person ever to gain a degree in foot percussion as a first instrument. For five years she worked as a music practitioner in the Early Years Learning Department at The Sage Gateshead and also freelances as the lead creative practioner of the ‘Movers & Shakers’ group who work mainly with primary schools. Laura is a Northumbrian champion clog dancer and is a member of The Demon Barber Road Show, was the best live act in BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009 and Best Live Act in Spiral Awards 2010. In December 2010 she took the leading part in a BBC Channel Four clog dancing programme presented by Charles Hazelwood.
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Alistair Anderson, concertina
Wendy Doyle, steel pan
Laura Connolly, clogs
Adam Cogdon, DJ/decks
Steel Quake - Steel Pan ensemble of Sage Gateshead

This is a unique musical collaboration between one of the UK’s most talented steel Pan musicians, one of the most respected composer/musicians in the traditional music field, a DJ, clog dancer and youth steel bands drawn from across the North East.

‘I have always loved the joyful dynamic sound of steel pan bands. Working with Wendy Doyle and Steel Quake, the wonderful young band from rural Northumberland, gave me a real insight into their musical potential and the opportunity to explore whole new
soundscapes.’ Alistair Anderson

‘Being part of New Music Biennial allows this unique collaboration between our young Steel Pannists, led by the hugely talented Wendy Doyle, and North East traditional music via the composer Alistair Anderson to develop further and will engage the artists in the whole musical process in ways which they will find both challenging and uplifting. The Sage Gateshead


For more information about all 20 pieces of the New Music Biennial, visit our page:



Sage Gateshead New Music Biennial

Panning for Gold was commissionned by Sage Gateshead.




Panning for Gold by Alistair Anderson, […] featuring a steel band, clog dance and concertina, proved so charming and uplifting it made you want to dance.’ The Observer


Produced with the support of partners and funders:

New Music Biennial Partners


The performance of Panning for Gold was recorded live by the BBC at the South Bank Centre, London on 6 July 2014 and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 between 7 and 13 July 2014.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL201408
Release Date:
4 August 2014