A DIRECTOR has launched a film fundraising bid, to help pay tribute to the history and culture of Newport’s music scene.

Nathan Jennings, who is originally from Newport, will make his directorial debut with the independent production ‘The Rock of Newport’.

The film will tell the story of the social and cultural impact of the music scene in Newport over past decades, with a particular focus on the venue TJs, and how its “raw, loud music” changed the lives of thousands.

On Record Store day this weekend, the director revealed the title of the film and launched an online fundraising page appealing for financial backers.

In a statement on the page, Mr Jennings said the documentary will explore the legacy of a “self-supportive independent music scene, whose sounds and stories captivated all over the world”.

“This is the story of Newport’s musical heritage, including many rare tales and unseen interviews,” he said.

“So far we have the support of local councils, journalists, MPs and respected artists, as well as the support from the family of John Sicolo (owner of The Legendary TJs), and his friends and former staff, who were involved in TJ’s for so many years.”

Independent record traders, venues, musicians and businesses, including former members of promotion company Cheap Sweaty Fun, are among those to pledge their support.

TJs was founded in 1971, and graced by some of the biggest names in music history - developing a reputation that led the New York Times to dub it as the ‘New Seattle’.

It was home to everyone from Oasis and the Stone Roses, to Muse and Greenday in its time.

Mr Jennings added: “This story looks into the lives of the community, documenting their friendships, the hardships and struggles, the excitement and joy of the good times overcoming adversity.

“It seems everyone has an interest in this project, and many people want to be a part of it, whether they be local Welsh bands or multi-million record selling artists, including some of the most influential and respected punk/rock/alternative musicians of all time.”

The fundraising page for The Rock of Newport will be open until May 22. A total of £410 has already been donated toward its £20,000 target.

Backers can donate for a range or rewards, from signed posters to downloads of the film.

Visit: www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-rock-of-newport-film#/