NEWS

Feature: 20 Gigs North East Highlights from 2018

07/01/2019

Catfish and The Bottlemen at This Is Tomorrow Festival -25/05/18

“…Every song on the setlist felt like a highlight, all of them sang word for word by the adoring fans in attendance… Despite only McCann being on stage at the time, he a 15,000 strong band facing him that sang every lyric, leaving him only the job of being an overwhelmed backing vocalist. “Thank you so much, this is absolutely incredible Newcastle” McCann remarked more than once during the set – and we couldn’t put it any better ourselves, the opening day of This Is Tomorrow was absolutely Incredible.”

Words: Johnathan Ramsay

Photo: Dean Hindmarch

Read full review here... 

JUNGLE (HTN OPENING PARTY) AT THE BOILER SHOP – 04/05/18

“Sonically, Jungle sounded amazing – as if they’d literally just pressed play on a CD player and pretended to play their instruments. It was incredible to see such a layered and complex sound being replicated live with surprising ease; credit to the stagehand that had to swap everyone’s guitars around after every song.

…According to Noel Gallagher, Jungle are one of the best British bands around right now – to be honest he might just have a point. Jungle have perfected a unique sound that stands out from their contemporaries and their live show comes close to perfection, what more can you ask for?”

Words and photo: Johnathan Ramsay

Read full review here...

THE PALE WHITE AT RIVERSIDE – 27/01/18

“The Pale White are a corporal, sonic thrill, an adventure of riffs, hooks and hellacious swagger. By the time a thumping medley of ‘Reaction’ brings the set to a close, it’s clear The Pale White have triumphed in one of Newcastle’s most revered venues.

While they’ve supported bands like Band of Skulls and Maximo Park, it is evidently clear that support slots will be a thing of the past. 2017 has been a memorable year for the trio and they have started 2018 in the best way possible, but one can’t help feel that future years will eclipse the blossoming start the lads have already made.”

Words: Matthew Thomas

Photo: Dean Hindmarch

Read full review here... 

 

The Pale White, Riverside 2018.

simone felice at the cluny 2 – 15/05/18

“Felice’s intensity can sometimes be intimidating, but there’s no doubt he plays with it. ‘They’d Hang Upon My Every Word,’ is up next, and he’s right. We do. This is spoken word Felice. Quoting from the “scripture” that is the inlay sleeve of his new record’s vinyl release, it’s a long and winding tale. It’s like a preacher’s sermon, without ever feeling preachy. Felice in a nutshell…

Felice can’t help but leave us on a high though, and it’s the spiritual kind, rather than on something pharmaceutical. ‘Union Street’ – from 2015’s ‘From The Violent Banks Of The Kaaterskill,’ – recalls Springsteen at his most uplifting and down to earth, before ending with epic album closer ‘War Movie.’”

Words: Paul Broadhead
Read full review here... 

THE SNUTS AT THINK TANK? – 04/10/18

“Armed with his guitar and signature bottle of Buckfast in hand, Snuts frontman Jack Cochrane swaggered on stage with an air of unspoken confidence. It was as if he already knew that the next half an hour would be one of the most captivating live shows that anyone in the room had ever witnessed.

“I love that people in Newcastle can actually understand us” said Cochrane, after openers ‘Matador’ and ‘Manhattan Project.’ These conjured an incredible atmosphere for the entranced crowd. It was an atmosphere that became palpable when the first chorus of ‘Glasgow’ reverberated around the venue.”

Words and photo: Johnathan Ramsay
Read full review here... 

ANNA CALVI AT BOILER SHOP – 03/10/18

“Calvi moves in a serpentine fashion, both when playing the instrument in her possession and as an overall performer. Her facial expression is menacing. She navigates the fretboard at lightning speed. Sometimes it’s with sliding, sometimes with rapid chord changes and melodies.

Her strumming style also greatly varies – from finger picking to using a pick and moving her hand in a circular motion, isolating each string pluck as though she’s playing a harp. Her skills, vocals and presence are something otherworldly. So much so that you can almost envision that she has made some kind of pact with the devil.”

Words: Tessa Bury

Photo: Victoria Wai

Read full review here...

EMBRACE AT RIVERSIDE – 29/03/18

“‘Gravity’… goes down a storm. As does ‘Ashes’ from the same album, 2004’s Out Of Nothing. It’s an apt song for a band that has risen from the ashes on more than a few occasions… new single ‘Never’ sees Danny duetting with Eevah’s Nicole Hope Smith for what – along with ‘Where You Sleeping’ – is the strongest song on the new record.

With ‘Love Is A Basic Need’ being their seventh album – but their first in four years – it’s an almost uncomfortably packed Riverside tonight, but there isn’t a single person that doesn’t join in with the uplifting and rousing anthem, the evergreen ‘The Good Will Out.’ The “La la la’s,” can surely be heard all the way back to Embrace’s West Yorkshire home. “Tough crowd?” Maybe. But Embrace still have enough in the old cannon to turn adversity into triumph.”

Words: Paul Broadhead

Photo: Victoria Wai 

Read full review here...

REBECCA FERGUSON AT TYNE THEATRE – 20/02/18

“Stepping on the stage, Rebecca Ferguson lights up the grand venue in her shining outfit like a glitter ball. Getting the party started with ‘All That I’ve Got’, members of the audience were out of their seats from the get-go. She sang effortlessly with stunning smoky velvet vocals. Continuing with ’My Best’ through to ‘Glitter and Gold’, she gives a shout out to the “Geordies being such a nice bunch.”

Slowing down with ‘Shoulder To Shoulder’ I closed my eyes for a few seconds to actually feel the emotion in Ferguson’s vocals. She is definitely one of those rare gems where you could strip away the music and just let her voice take you to another dimension.”

Words and photos: Victoria Wai

Read full review here...
Rebecca Ferguson

ISAAC GRACIE AT THINK TANK? – 01/02/18

“Gracie and his band then take to the stage and within moments of starting the crowd are in awe. Opening with ‘All In The Mind’ and ‘That Was Then’ everyone seems content, except for Gracie. “There’s always that little circle. Can you come in close? I wanna see you” says Isaac, encouraging his crowd to get involved. It was clear he wanted this to be an intense and intimate show. Riling the crowd up and bringing them down to pin drop silence with the first note of each number. It’s been a while since I have been to a gig where the beer flows freely amongst the majority and yet they retain the ability to be silent during the numbers. But there’s something about Gracie that commands your attention.”

Words and photos: Victoria Wai

Read full review here...
Isaac Gracie, Think Tank, February 2018.

THE NIGHT CAFE AT THINK TANK? – 05/02/18

“Tonight, the Night Cafe prove they can have the showmanship and the charisma to continue their summit of the indie scene. Lead-singer Sean Martin entices the crowd in a subtle way, swaying gently and gazing into the crowd with a great deal of nonchalance. Crowd-favourite, ‘Mixed Signals’, an end-of-summer ballad entangled with licks which are contrasted perfectly with 60s-inspired bass lines, arguably wins highlight of the set. The track is a journey through the heartbreak of a shattered relationship.”

Words: Matthew Thomas

Read full review here... 

PUBLIC ACCESS TV AT JUMPIN’ JACKS – 15/02/18

“Public Access TV have that kind of New York cool that you expect and hope to see from any band that makes it over from the east coast of America. They rock the leather and look good doing it and more to the point, put on a great energetic live show.

…In a live setting, they sound much like their own band with their own sound. Sure, ‘Rough Boy’ still sounds very much like the Ramones and ‘Shell No 2’ is reminiscent of Beach Boys melodies, but ultimately, whilst each song on the album has its own identifiable influence, live the band sound like the sum total of all those influences combined.”

Words: Paul Broadhead

Read full review here...

 

SUNFLOWER BEAN AT RIVERSIDE –  28/03/18

“Opening with the dirty rock riff-e-rama and new album opener that is ‘Burn It,’ it’s clear that they don’t intend to take prisoners. ‘Come On’ from debut record ‘Human Ceremony’ continues in a similar vein; all vintage Rock ‘n’ Roll, instant melody and to-die-for chorus. Removing her jacket to reveal a quite stunning black evening dress, vocalist and bassist Julia Cummings is this generation’s Debbie Harry. She has the same New York cool vibe, where every move is as subtle as it is devastating. Meanwhile, guitarist and Simon Amstell look-a-like Nick Kivlen leaps around in an all-white boiler suit whilst drummer Jacob Faber is the coolest musician to sport a moustache since Husker Du’s Greg Norton.”

Words:Paul Broadhead 

Photos: Victoria Wai 

Read full review here...

LETS EAT GANDMA AT RIVERSIDE – 05/04/18

“It’s a bold move for Let’s Eat Grandma to head out on tour prior to the release of their new album, ‘I’m All Ears’, and it’s a bolder move to open the set with five straight tracks from said album. Newly backed by a live drummer, lead single ‘Hot Pink’ is quite stunning, showcasing a new louder and more structured Let’s Eat Grandma. It’s all Charli XCX-style pop, abrasive and full of hooks and an instant chorus. In other words, it’s clearly very different to what we might have expected from the two girls from Norwich. ‘It’s Not Just Me’ is poppier again; the tall slim Rosa Walton and petite Jenny Hollingworth stood fast at their mutual keyboards, trading vocals, fixing the audience with subtle glances.”

Words: Paul Broadhead 

Photos: Victoria Wai 

Read full review here... 

EDITORS AT NORTHUMBRIA INSTITUTE

“Yet it was the nostalgia of ‘Papillion’, which almost spilled out into an Ibiza-dance-rave during the instrumental. The festival-feel of ‘Munich’ received a raucous reaction from a packed house, many of the fans clearly long-time admirers of the Brummy quintet.

With the option to ignite a crowd whenever they please with precise synth-ridden explosions, a handful choruses that beg you to singalong and a frontman who doesn’t allow any respite, the question of whether Editors are capable of headlining arenas was not only answered at Northumbria Institute, it was laughed out of the room. It’s only a matter of time surely.”

Words: Johnny Rogerson 

Photos: Sam Wall 

Read full review here...

darlingside at the cluny – 12/05/18

“After a brief exit from the stage, they closed their set with a two-header encore that celebrated both the old and the new. They started with Orion the atmospheric penultimate track from their most recent album before bringing it home with the catchy fairy-tale inspired Blow the House Down from their self-released sophomore outing ‘Pilot Machines’.

As they made their bows and left for the bar, it took some time for the applause to die down. No surprises there really, it was a night of exceptionally talented musicians showcasing the best modern folk has to offer.”

Words: John Patterson
Read full review here... 

 

Pale Waves at Westgarth Social Club – 23/02/18

“Lyrics dealing with the darker aspects of love against a sparkly soundtrack that sounds fresh from a coming of age film are the two things that make Pale Waves great.

‘There’s a Honey,’ was the final track of the night. Although The Westgarth is a sturdy little venue, when the whole crowd jumped along to this one the floor was shaking so much I wondered if it would give way. Fortunately the venue is still in one piece and I’m living to tell the tale about this fantastic show.”

Words: Tessa Bury

Read full review here... 

THE GO! TEAM AT RIVERSIDE – 16/02/18

“The dancefloor is a sweatbox and thankfully The Go Team’s vocalist Maki is here to help us take a break with her cooler than school laidback girl-pop on ‘The Answer’s No – Now What’s The Question?’ The question is, can it get much better than this and the answer is an emphatic yes. ‘Semicircle Song’ sees Ninja encouraging audience members to call out their names and star-signs which provides no end of amusement from a girl who can work a stage like nobody else. This is Ninja style!”

Words: Paul Broadhead

Photo: Simon Lowe
Read full review here... 
The Go! Team, Riverside, February 2018.

WE ARE SCIENTISTS AT RIVERSIDE- 22/10/18

“Ultimately, the set is mostly made up of tracks from their debut and most recent albums. Newer songs like ‘One In, One Out’ and ‘Now Or Never’ sit comfortably alongside indie disco anthems like the evergreen knock-out ‘It’s A Hit’ and the music-noir that is ‘This Scene Is Dead.’

…It’s been a great set and great to see We Are Scientists enjoying themselves again. Their enthusiasm and geeky cool is always infectious and long may it remain.”

Words: Paul Broadhead

Photo: Sam Wall 

Read full review here... 
We Are Scientists

MAHALIA AT THINK TANK? – 18/03/18

“Playing a venue like the relatively intimate Think Tank, it’s easy to think that we’re watching a yet-to-be-discovered artist. So it’s mind-blowing to remember that Mahalia’s final, and possibly strongest, track – the excellent alcohol-fuelled vibes of ‘Sober’ – has been streamed over two million times. Perhaps it’s a sign o’ the times though. Whatever, it hardly matters. Because after tonight’s performance, you get the distinct impression that Mahalia would be well on course to become a pop superstar, whatever the generation or decade.”

Words: Paul Broadhead

Photos: Victoria Wai 
Read full review here... 

 

 

CAPE CUB AT THINK TANK? – 24/02/18

“We were already onto a great night of music when the crowd packed in tighter and closer in time for frontman Chad and his boys took to the stage. They opened with with ‘Keep Me In Mind’ the crowd continued to become a bit more animated.

At one point, Chad asked if anyone has seen them before. The first timers were edging it that bit louder than returning ‘Cubbers.’ From the start you could hear a nice sing along coming from both sides though.

It’s easy to understand the draw to a Cape Cub show. The catchy sounds of their indie pop get you instantly.”

Words and photo: Victoria Wai 
Read full review here... 
Cape Cub, Think Tank?

Make sure you’re there for all of the live music highlights in the North East as they unfold in 2019. Check out our listings for all the hottest gigs and festivals taking place over the coming year… 

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