Stereolab – 20th June 2019 – Boiler Shop
Review by Lee Hammond Photos by Gavin Wyatt
After a decade away the much loved Stereolab have finally returned, and so far on their tour they’ve wowed crowds across the UK and Europe. As they arrive in Newcastle tonight there is an excitement tinged with tension in the air, after the band had to cancel the previous two shows on the tour. However, the show tonight is still to go ahead, opening are Tomaga whose motoric beats quickly hypnotise this crowd into synchronised toe-tapping.
The duos incessant beats set the tempo for the rest of the night, the only issue being the pair seem to have one set groove and don’t deviate from that. It means that their set feels a bit flat, fortunately the same cannot be said for Stereolab who are welcomed to the stage with a rapturous reception by the packed crowd. Opening with Come and Play in the Milky Night they instantly have the crowd under their spell. Lætitia Sadier taking time out to thank the crowd in between songs as they erupt when she announces French Disko early in the bands set.
This set is packed with classic tracks and this is the first that invokes a huge sing-along from the entire crowd. These classic tracks making everyone swoon, the beautiful disco beats ringing out throughout the beautiful venue as the sun sets outside. The likes of Miss Modular and Ping Pong have similar effects on this crowd, both are tracks which prove why Stereolab have been lauded as so influential. Both tracks sound absolutely incredible tonight and have everyone dancing.
It’s rare in such a miserable and divided world to see such jubilation and excitement filling a room, but Stereolab achieve this with relative ease tonight. As their set builds to a climax the tracks become increasingly emphatic before they close out with Lo Boob Oscillator, this wonderful track caps off their set brilliantly. It’s euphoric tone enthusing the crowd the bouncing beats providing the perfect close to their set, which at times felt like a slow burn but in actual fact this was perfect as they gently ramped up the tempo to this amazing finish.
They use a similar tactic for the encore opening with The Extension Trip and closing out the night with the awesome John Cage Bubblegum. Tonight Stereolab are truly out of this world, a truly welcome return!