I'm glad to say that recently the scene up there has really matured, with several bands already hitting the road and a couple of high profile signings. It's partly due to increased attention and new sources of inspiration like The Futureheads from nearby Sunderland and Maximo Park from Newcastle, I'm sure, but Teesside is its own place with its own strong identity and the bands there reflect that background.
The latest addition to the roster of bands that could compete nationally is Just About Done. They're also noteworthy as another example of a band using myspace to get a demo out to their friends as soon as they get home from the studio. I'm looking forward to the proper release on Concrete Atlas records soon.
Disclosure: my brother runs Concrete Atlas. I still like the new Just About Done song though.