MONSTER TRUCK | 07.12.2018 | Newcastle Metro Arena | PHOTOS

MONSTER TRUCK | 07.12.2018 | Newcastle Metro Arena | PHOTOS

Monster Truck – 7th December 2018 – Newcastle Metro Arena

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

It’s always frustrating when the city hosts great gigs on the same night. Tonight there were four that I can think of (possibly more actually) that would have been up my street, but you can’t do them all as they say! However, you can try to do the next best thing and time it so you catch some of the bands. So I managed two of the three band bill at the Arena tonight!

Monster Truck opening up on this current Black Stone Cherry tour set things in motion with the title track of their latest album True Rockers and waste no time getting things warmed up during their brief 8 song set. It’s a nicely balanced choice of songs over their three albums giving any new listeners a fair idea of their sound Old Train from the first album being a personal favourite. By the time newer songs Evolution and Devil Don’t Care have sunk in they finish up their time with bangers She’s A Witch and The Lion with a promise of a headline return next year (dates announced a few days later) and have firmly hooked a large section of the crowd who have been pouring in throughout! It’s sometimes a shame the three band bills have to stipulate such short (early) sets BUT it gets the bands exposure and gain new fans.

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THE CADILLAC THREE | 07.12.2018 | Newcastle Metro Arena | PHOTOS

THE CADILLAC THREE | 07.12.2018 | Newcastle Metro Arena | PHOTOS

The Cadillac Three – 7th December 2018 – Newcastle Metro Arena

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Also on the bill with Black Stone Cherry were The Cadillac Three a trio (obviously) hailing from Nashville. Due to time constraints of dashing from one venue to another (for The Magpie Salute) I only managed to catch the three songs I was in the pit photographing. That said, I thought they were class high octane Southern Rock n Roll who I will definitely check out again. I’m not going to try and review based on the three songs other than to say for a 3 piece they make some noise! Enjoy the photos.

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THE MAGPIE SALUTE | 07.12.2018 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE MAGPIE SALUTE | 07.12.2018 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Magpie Salute – 7th December 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

The Magpie Salute - 7th December 2018 - Newcastle Riverside
The Magpie Salute – 7th December 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

After a quick visit to the Arena up the road it was a quick scuttle down to the Quayside to see The Magpie Salute at Riverside venue. There was no way I wanted to miss any of this, I mean three members of The Black Crowes in a band that had released one of my favourite albums of the year… errrr no chance!

Kicking off with title track High Water it’s immediately evident that this is a band comfortable with each other, no histrionics, no massive opener just a fantastic song based around a rolling melody and wonderful harmonies which never dropped through the next seventeen or so songs. The guitar play between Rich Robinson and Marc Ford is a masterclass in less is more. Some beautiful slide playing and solo trading but without entering the world of shred.

By the fifth song the band are paying homage to their heroes and drop in Pink Floyds Fearless and Neil Youngs Big Time, before showcasing solo material from Marc and Rich.

A short acoustic set starting with Sister Moon and a lovely version of CSN’s You Don’t Have To Cry followed by the first Black Crowes of the night Lay It All On Me breaks the set up nicely and again highlights the vocal harmonies. Speaking of which the revelation of the night for me was vocalist John Hogg, I love the album and liked his previous band Moke but never expected him to nail it so well live he was just outstanding! At one point I was positive he was channelling Get Your Wings era Steven Tyler!!

They delve into the Crowes catalogue even further once back into electric instruments (One Mirror Too Many for example) and finish on a stomping Send Me An Omen leaving an audience just awestruck. So many people stating it was their gig of the year following it and I have to agree it was definitely up there!

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FLOGGING MOLLY | 06.12.2018 |  Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

FLOGGING MOLLY | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Flogging Molly – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

It’s a tall order to follow The Bronx, but follow it they did! Amid a barrage of lights and confetti cannons Celtic punk rockers Flogging Molly took to the stage and had the crowd bouncing up and down fists held high! That mix of Irish folk and ballsy punk just gets people going and the banjo-led anthem of Drunken Lullabies is aired early in the set to a huge reception! But the momentum is kept up throughout building up to a marvellous Seven Deadly Sins and What’s Left Of The Flag bringing a massive smile to face remembering all the times the club floor would vibrate to the stomping when we played it out!

The Fireball tour is always a joy to attend, always a great line up. I’m glad they’re only a once a year thing, when I saw how much the night had taken out of so many of the revellers. They’ll need that time to recover!

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THE BRONX | 06.12.2018 |  Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE BRONX | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Bronx – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

The Bronx - 6th December 2018 - Fireball Fuelling The Fire - Newcastle O2 Academy
The Bronx – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

I’ve often been told that The Bronx are one THEE best live punk bands out there but until tonight I’ve only ever seen the side project El Mariachi Bronx. Holy crap man, the information I’d been given was not wrong! Absolutely ferocious!!

Kicking off with Unholy Hand, Sore Throat and Shitty Future the band were taking no prisoners! The 14 song set was 100% full on from start to finish, both the band and the crowd were wild. The guitar riff from Knifeman, in particular, sparked off crowd surfers and circle pits, much to smiling frontman Matts’ delight. So much so he performed They Will Kill Us All from the centre of a full-on mosh pit.

Closing the set with History’s Stranglers I have to say that The Bronx are one of the most exciting bands I’ve seen in a long time I even said to a friend “good luck to the headliners trying to follow that”.

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FACE TO FACE | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

FACE TO FACE | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Face To Face – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

The screen shows a projection stating “So Cal Face To Face Est 1991“ 1991?! It is hard to believe that it’s taken 27 years to get Face To Face to Newcastle but they more than made up for it with a blistering set of melodic punk! I always tip my hat to punk drummers they have their work cut out for them but Danny Thompson absolutely smashed it. I reckon if he had a pedometer on he’d have done at least a marathon in distance!

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LOST IN STEREO | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

LOST IN STEREO | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Lost In Stereo – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

This years Fuelling The Fire tour sponsored by Fireball whisky was back at the Academy recently and once again gave people a fantastic five-band lineup at a very affordable price! Sadly due to time constraints, I didn’t see the opening band who won a battle of the bands contest to open the show but I’m sure the judges chose an appropriately cracking opener!

Lost In Stereo take to the stage and their youthful enthusiasm knows no bounds with energetic punchy pop-punk anthems that given a little time will be belting out as headliner encores.

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LUCERO | 04.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

LUCERO | 04.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Lucero – 4th December 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Lucero kicked off their UK tour here in Newcastle to an appreciative crowd in the Academy’s second room. Their latest album Among The Ghosts has been on heavy rotation in my house since receiving the advance copy. So I was really looking forward to hearing the tunes live alongside old favourites. The band take to the stage in a relaxed fashion and give us the title track from said latest album. It’s a beautiful piece of Alt-Country and the crowd are already behind the band 100% one track in.

Ben Nichols smiling tells us they haven’t really prepared anything and considering it’s the first night of the tour and they may be under-rehearsed but watching them effortlessly play more new tracks like Cover Me and Bottom of the Sea and old favourites Texas and Tennessee and Slow Dancing makes you think he’s pulling our collective leg or they maybe are just THAT good!!

It’s such a relaxed feel to the night they seem to be just plucking titles at will or at fans requests and nailing them! Nights Like These a particular highlight for me made me realise something I’ve never noticed before. Such is the strength and emotion in Ben Nichols’ vocal there is no other backing vocal from any other band member there’s literally one mic stand on the stage and I can’t remember the last time I saw a band do that! The musicianship is second to none the band playing their hearts out and feeding from each other throughout the set.

The set is heavy on the latest release as expected but another absolute gem comes in the form of Ben performing his solo song Last Pale Light In The West on his own telling us it’s what he sings to his little girl to get her to sleep I can’t think of a better way to spend a winters Tuesday night hope it’s not as long a wait to get them back here

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Gordon Armstrong 2018 music roundup – FEATURE

Gordon Armstrong 2018 music roundup – FEATURE

2018… what a year!!

I’ve chosen my favourite photos of the year, mostly for what they mean to me rather than their “photographic prowess” so to speak. It’s been a funny old year in my personal life but one constant thing that has been a positive throughout (apart from the wife family and friends, obviously) is live music. Whether it’s a local band playing to a bunch of mates or a field of thousands I have had an absolute ball at these events

Top 15 photos

These are in no particular order as I really can’t do that when there are so many different aspects sizes and genres to each one.

Groundculture – Think Tank Newcastle. This was the ep launch night and was absolute carnage! The lads have gone strength to strength since this getting great support slots and reviews. I love this image as it sums up the madness of the night

Elrow – Live from Times Square Newcastle. I was really out of my comfort zone going along to this as I don’t really know the dance scene at all. This was a huge outdoor event and I had a blast once there despite the weather! Interactive event with dancers, stilt walkers etc huge production with stuff happening right through the day whilst DJs kept the throng dancing away in the rain.


The Stranglers/Therapy? O2 Academy Newcastle. An absolutely fantastic double bill, I couldn’t have been happier shooting this!


Dave Hillyards Rocksteady 7 – Think Tank Newcastle. This was one of those gigs that was always going to be good but surpassed expectations! The combination of Slackers Sax man Hillyard and the gravelly desert rock vocal of Sean Wheeler came together so well to bring a night of summery ska and dancehall vibes to the toon


Kaiser Chiefs and Vintage Trouble – Hardwick Live. Possibly my biggest outdoor event this year I love these two images Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson totally telegraphed the jump having stood on the drum kit a good verse and a half everyone in the pit kinda stood poised waiting but I think some may have got bored as I was expecting the jump shot in everyone’s reviews but didn’t see any! Even Tees Life website nicked it for their online feature haha! Vintage Trouble of course always deliver live and make for great photos but I love this one of Ty over the lip of the stage staring straight down the lens.


Mastersystem – The Cluny Newcastle. The tragic loss of Scott this year affected so many of my friends it was difficult to even finish editing the photos for a while. I chose this one as it summed up that night of joy and laughter at one of the years best gigs (and album releases).


Random Hand – Think Tank Newcastle. Random Hand were kind of adopted by Newcastle a long time ago their brand of ska punk was welcomed by all of us who loved that scene. After a bit of a hiatus, it was fantastic to get them back to their second home and finally get a shot of Robin flying which wasn’t just a passing foot or backside

Little Steven – Whitley Bay Playhouse. Legend Steve Van Zandt brought a 14 piece band to the theatre and smashed out a massive set of soul blues rock mixing covers and original material giving the seaside venue a feel of a night at something like the Apollo in Harlem at its height !


Sam Fender – Think Tank, Hit The North Festival – Sam was the surprise guest opener of the HTN festival and you could see then that this lad is going to be absolutely huge! The venue was packed at midday for him and he killed it! Arena level shows won’t be that far away from the way this year has gone for him.


Benjamin Booker – Boiler Shop Newcastle. Opening up for soul legend Mavis Staples Ben was fantastic. His mix of gospel, soul and punk made for one of my albums of 2017 and seeing him again live made it even better.


The Wildhearts – O2 Academy Newcastle. I love this shot of Ginger it captures all of his enthusiasm in what he does and loves! Got some lovely feedback from him and the band about my photos from this gig too


Coheed and Cambria – O2 Academy Newcastle. I’ve chosen this one as it’s one of those “you just never know” shots! I very nearly deleted it on first glance then tinkered a bit with the edit and thought it looked ok. I posted it and got some of the best comments I’ve ever had.


Dan Reed Network – Riverside Newcastle. I love black and White I think it can bring out detail that can sometimes be missed in colour – this one in particular the raw emotion in Dan just didn’t have the same effect in its original version


Arcane Roots – Think Tank Newcastle. This was the bands farewell tour and for me a full circle with the band as I first saw them in this same venue 5 years ago. This shot is of the last notes of the last song they’ll ever perform there and the image just resonated with me


Alice In Chains – Leeds O2 Academy. My first ever “waiver“ concert where I had to sign a contract to take photos and have them approved. Had to shoot from the crowd half way back and I was already nervous as hell about trying to get shots of one of my favourite bands of the last few decades! Did ok though and the management approved 35 out of 45 photos submitted so I took that as a big win!


The Month Of May – possibly the maddest month of the year I shot 45 bands ( or thereabouts ) Even I called myself an idiot that month haha But still had a mint time and would do it again.

Here’s to 2019 bringing more opportunities to continue this crazy hobby and hopefully getting better at both photographing and writing as I go 🙂
Merry Xmas everyone and a happy healthy clicky new year.

TYGERS OF PAN TANG | 15.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

TYGERS OF PAN TANG | 15.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Tygers of Pan Tang – 15th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Great to see the Tygers on home ground (ok Whitley Bay is a few miles down the road but you know what I mean!) opening up for The Dead Daisies at the Academy. A pure slice of hard rock, an absolute spot on choice to get the crowd ready.

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