METRONOMY | 03.05.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

METRONOMY | 03.05.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Metronomy – 3rd May 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Here we are at the fabulous Boiler Shop as the Hit the North festival kicks off to see the wonderful electro-pop band Metronomy.

Metronomy first came to our attention many moons ago as a trio, supporting one of our favourite live bands the Infidels at the Newcastle O2 Academy. They had instantly made an impression on us as their unique and quirky sound instantly caught us, and they’d each had a light strapped to their chests, a pound shop gimmick that they synchronised whole routines together to. They got straight into our heads and when we saw them entering the public realm reimagined as a 5 piece and a whole new sound which still retained that unique goofiness that had struck us upon first encounter, we felt a pang of pride at what had evolved and that they still existed.

They emerge all pristine and in white, gentle-voiced and the crowd has grown and cheer as they give a fantastic and energetic performance. Everyone is dancing and having a wonderful time.

Joseph Mount has a gentle rapport and recalls that it’s been quite some time since they were last in Toon, and I am so pleased we got to see them right at the start of those formative days. They are a slick and brilliant live band that uplifted the crowd. A must see band that I am sure we will be seeing more of. Which is more than I can say for my ex-favourite band that introduced me to these guys in the first place.

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SKINNY LISTER | THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES | 04.04.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SKINNY LISTER | THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES | 04.04.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Skinny Lister | The Wood Burning Savages – 4th April 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

On the 4th of April Skinny Lister played the riverside in Newcastle after touring in Europe on their recent tour supported on this night by The Wood Burning Savages.

Starting off the night on the stage The Wood Burning Savages from Derry Ireland played a Great 45 minute set which included songs about real life delusion and upbringings from Ireland narrated by frontman Paul Connolly who also recollected the last time they were in Newcastle stating that there was more of the crowd on stage with them then in the actual crowd, they’ve been likened to the Manics before and Queens of the Stone Age, if you’ve never heard of them then they are worth checking out.

With just enough time to grab a pint at the bar Skinny lister vault themselves onto the stage, Lead singer Lorna Thomas wielding her flagon and holding it above her head like a trophy which would later get passed around the crowd to share the contents inside.

Lister have been pigeonholed into the punk category, I don’t see it myself all I can see is full on folk… full on folk turned up to 11 and at a blistering pace, with every song they play they seem to climb up another notch and the energy intensifies with all 5 of the 6 band members, the only band member unable to move being the drummer.

In the short time they were at the Riverside they seemed to cover more songs than I ever thought you could fit in a set, halting halfway through for a rendition of an old sea shanty song John Kanaka, willing the crowd to chant along with them, if you’re not tapping your foot at least whilst watching Lister then maybe live music isn’t for you, I left that gig with a smile and if you ever need a feel-good full energy gig then don’t delay and get along to see this band, you won’t regret that you did.

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STIFF LITTLE FINGERS | 15.03.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS | 15.03.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Stiff Little Fingers – 15th March 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Stiff Little Fingers - 15th March 2019 - Newcastle O2 Academy
Stiff Little Fingers – 15th March 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

If I’m honest this has been a punk band that I’ve missed.. totally missed, I’d heard of them but they’re a band that has never featured on my radar or in any of my playlists but I was there to catch them at the O2 in Newcastle along with a strong crowd this Saturday night.

In support of the stiff little fingers for the ignition tour is Eddie and the Hotrods who warmed the crowd with classics such as ‘Depression’ and Do Anything You Wanna Do finishing off with covers of The Who’s The Kids Are Alright and Gloria.

At this point the crowd is an eclectic mix, young, old, skinheads, mohawks, denim and Dr Martens on every other foot to welcome Stiff little fingers to the stage who opened with Law And Order followed by a deep cut .. at the edge was next to feature as Ali McMordie on bass covers the front and the back of the stage interacting with the crowd and Jake Burns takes centre stage with his emerald green guitar bathed in emerald green light.

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SLOW READERS CLUB | 09.03.2019 | Sunderland Independent | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SLOW READERS CLUB | 09.03.2019 | Sunderland Independent | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Slow Readers Club – 9th March 2019 – Sunderland Independent

Slow Readers Club – 9th March 2019 – Sunderland Independent

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

I’ve never been to the Independent before so I didn’t quite know what to expect! This is a venue that has seen acts such as Kasabian, Glasvegas, The Zutons and The Maccabees play here so I was so surprised at how compact the room was.

I had arrived just as the support act were playing out their final tune and fought my way through a packed out crowd to as close to the front as possible, because it was so packed there was no access to the front of stage so taking photos was going to be challenging as I’m not the tallest of blokes, but I stayed in the crowd whilst the band completed their set up and enjoyed the crowd singing along in unison to The Smiths ‘There Is a Light That Never Goes Out’ before the band coming onto the stage to Donna summers 12” version of ‘I Feel Love’ (one of my all time favourite tracks)

The band received an excellent welcome onto the stage from the crowd with chants of ‘Readers’ which was repeated at different intervals right through the set, Luckily I manage to get a spot to the side of the stage to get photos just after the opening track ‘Fool for your philosophy’

I’d never even heard of this band before tonight so I was amazed at how good they were, they have just gone full time and have spent many years perfecting their sound and performance and the crowd loved it, I could have quite easily closed my eyes and imagined myself deep in a crowd of thousands as the sun is setting on a summer day at a festival with the warm glow on the back of my neck and the crowd singing back anthemic tune after anthemic tune from the Readers.

Don’t get me wrong, the small venue and packed out crowd of the Independent played the perfect role on the night but I was staggered as to why I’m not watching them play in a bigger venue and I know they have played the odd big stage and festival, but if they keep doing what they are doing then I’m sure they will have invitations to appear on the festival scene flooding in.

Setlist

  • Fool For Your Philosophy
  • Lives Never Known
  • Lunatic
  • Cavalcade
  • Start Again
  • Lost Boys
  • Forever in your Debt
  • Sirens
  • Supernatural
  • You opened up my heart
  • Plant the Seed
  • The Wait
  • Block out the Sun
  • Feet on Fire
  • I saw a Hhost
  • On the T.V.

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SLEAFORD MODS | 01.03.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SLEAFORD MODS | 01.03.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Sleaford Mods – 1st March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Sleaford Mods - 1st March 2019 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Sleaford Mods – 1st March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Review by Donna Wyatt. Photos by Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

We are standing in a packed, sold out Boiler Shop waiting for what is likely our top played current band in our household, the Sleaford Mods. Supported by LIINES, we had only managed to catch the last couple of songs due to having to trek back to our car to dispose of my backpack that was not allowed into the venue due to a recent policy change, but what we did hear was rocking, bassy and full of energy leaving us wishing a bag hadn’t caused such a controversy. So heads up if you are Boiler Shop bound!

I had been introduced to the Sleaford’s a few years earlier by a friend and I had been instantly hooked by the raw punk style fury and dripping sarcasm, spitting disaffected contempt and council estate life, corruptness and characters that I’d met on more than one occasion. This band blew me away with just how hooked into my generation they were, just how sick of all the shit and weary we are, voices sore from shouting. I instantly introduced them to the Mister knowing he was about to fall hard for this band, and I wasn’t disappointed as he ate the music alive. We had the pleasure of the front row at Beatherder festival 2017 where Sleafords headlined and watching the Mister dressed as Dorothy Gale dancing and singing with pure unadulterated joy to these lads will be one of my most enduring life memories. Fast forward 2 years and here we are again, front row poised and even headier having had the pleasure of popping along to the record signing and meeting Jason and Andrew earlier that day.

Sleaford Mods - 1st March 2019 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Sleaford Mods – 1st March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Andrew takes up his stance with the laptop and a beer, and spends the night looking like he’s having the time of his life, his stripped back beats that encapsulates hip hop, rave, electronica and pop but somehow weaves the same sarcastic humour as Jason’s lyrics with quirky notes and kazoo sprinkled into the mix, and you’ve gotta love anyone who gets a kazoo in there.

Jason is in full character as he belts out his performance with the skilled art of a poet. It would be easy to dismiss him as an angry post-punk performer but his clever play on words and sharp observations on the current state of affairs, his utter contempt and downright piss taking humour speaks to me more as a keen and talented writer who would be as likely to write a best seller as a top ten hit. His melodic voice goes from gentle and soulful up to furious screaming energy that can dissipate into silly humour dripping with searing sarcasm. At one point Jason proclaims how delighted and thankful they were that the album had reached number 9 in the charts, but I couldn’t help but laugh my tits off at just how much it sounded to my ears that this was a pure piss take and in reality they couldn’t give a damn toss about a number in a chart that means fuck all to our generation now.

To my utter delight when the set ended the guys exited stage left and were done. There was no encore and I liked that very much. Is there anything more wanky than jumping off stage and back on again for that one more song?

You may think Sleaford Mods are a bit marmite, but team Wyatt are big marmite fans!

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FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS | 01.02.2019 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS | 01.02.2019 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – 1st February 2019 – Northumbria Institute

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – 1st February 2019 – Northumbria Institute

Review by Donna Wyatt. Photos by Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Kicking off February on a white-out freezing night in Northumbria University, New York’s most loved Fun Loving Criminals brought the classically smooth funk that has been a soundtrack to our lives since the 90’s.

I remember the first time I heard Scooby snacks, probably one of their most notable and memorable hits, and how it instantly got into the psyche of a generation. Looking around the audience I saw an eclectic mix of people, perhaps reflective of the eclectic music on offer, as Criminals span a range of genres including rhythm and blues, hip hop, funk and soul.

Lead singer Huey Morgan had suffered an injury to his leg recently so had to remain seated, but his rapport was not diminished as his humour and mischievous personality shone from his red leather chair while he sipped on Remy Martin. Drummer, Frank Benbini (a Brit who recalled a year working at Spanish City and a special place in his heart for the North East) worked the crowd and won hearts instantly, not once fading into the background as he exuded great showmanship and banter, Whilst the equally charming Brian Leiser handled Bass, keyboards, Trumpet and Harmonica with ease and style and was quite the charmer, often cracking the whip to keep the boys on track and steering the tangents back to the music.

Huey was on top form despite a heady mix of brandy and painkillers and being stuck in a chair with his smooth voice and wit and had a plentiful supply of guitar picks to ensure a good few spectators took a souvenir home. The camaraderie between the 3 was tight and endearing whilst the music went through belting classics such as Loco, Fun Loving Criminals, Love Unlimited and Scooby Snacks and to more recent offerings from the latest album, Another Mimosa.

It was a banging set delivered in style and although it might have been a freezing cold, snow-covered night everyone left with warm fuzzy smiles.

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HEAVY LUNGS | 30.01.2019 | Newcastle Think Tank Underground | REVIEW and PHOTOS

HEAVY LUNGS | 30.01.2019 | Newcastle Think Tank Underground | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Heavy Lungs – 30th January 2019 – Newcastle Think Tank Underground

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Heavy Lungs – 30th January 2019 – Newcastle Think Tank

On the night that Boyzone played in front thousands at the Metro Radio Arena, I chose to spend my night Watching some proper music instead at Newcastle Think Tank. Following on from supporting Idles at Newcastle Riverside in October post-punk band heavy lungs arrived back in Newcastle to play at Think Tank as a part of their own UK tour, previously playing Nottingham the night before.

Heavy Lungs follow a long line of successful bands that have made the leap out of Bristol. Having only formed in the spring of 2017 they have already supported some big bands (such as pals Idles) and they are carving their own path through the British music scene.

Playing Downstairs in Think Tank’s Underground the rooms barren décor of heavy steel beams concrete and wooden pallet clad walls played the perfect backdrop to the four pieces set which included drummer George pummelling his kit through every song and vocalist Danny ponding on and off stage and more guitar riffs and bass licks than you can shake a shitty stick at.

Heavy Lungs are a great band to see live and if they keep playing gigs at the pace they play their music then I’m sure they’ll soon pick up a big following and go far.

Setlist;

  • Half full
  • Jealous
  • Roy
  • Blood Brother
  • Motorhead
  • Stutter
  • Charmer
  • Bangalore
  • Descend
  • Unfaithful one

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YOUNG FATHERS | 22.01.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

YOUNG FATHERS | 22.01.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

 Young Fathers – 22nd January 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

I was first introduced to Young fathers last year, I instantly loved what I heard. I heard they were coming to Newcastle so I knew I had to be there.

The band were supposed to be playing this gig in December but due to illness they had to cancel, however, the rescheduled date of January 22nd soon came around and I’m at the Boiler Shop eagerly awaiting for them to come on stage. They were fifteen minutes late, it didn’t matter the crowd was more than ready and to be fair had waited long enough that an extra fifteen minutes made little difference.

The energy that the Young Fathers bring to the stage is mesmerising and infectious, almost instantly the crowd are responding. They’ve come a long way in the last ten years, from humble beginnings playing in nightclubs to a Mercury award-winning group this is a band that’s of the now and should be taken notice of.

It’s hard to put into words a night and a performance as flawless as this that I think I’m just going to leave it at that and finish of by saying that they were everything I was hoping they would be and much much more.

Setlist

  1. Get started
  2. Wire
  3. Queen is dead
  4. Feasting
  5. Toys
  6. Wow
  7. Get up
  8. Dare me
  9. Rain or shine
  10. Old rock n roll
  11. Low
  12. In my view
  13. Border girl
  14. Only God knows
  15. Lord
  16. Shame

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Gav Wyatt 2018 music roundup – FEATURE

Gav Wyatt 2018 music roundup – FEATURE

Gav Wyatt selects his highlights of 2018!

2018… What a year! I joined Blank Slate right at the end of 2017, accepted into something which was a personal stepping up in levels for myself. I’d previously cut my gig photography teeth working with the local charity Oxjam across the Northeast covering small gigs and the festival they hold in October, but Blank Slate was an opportunity to move up a gear and I wasn’t going to say no!

Top gig photos of 2018

My end of year review mostly focuses on the images I’ve captured from the gigs I’ve attended, I didn’t move into the world of reviews until right at the end of the year with Sumo Cyco and whilst I’ve only managed to actually get to eight gigs but it feels like so much more, so lets begin.

Don Broco – 19th February – Northumbria University

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My first introduction into ‘the pit’, and what an introduction! me and four other photographers clambering over each other for position all trying to capture the best angle. I was nervous if I’m honest, to begin with but once the band came on stage you can’t help but to fall in love with your position and Enjoy the show. The band themselves played to a young crowd with an energetic frontman filled with a dazzling light show which included everything the crowd came to see them for.

Belly – 14th June – Whitley Bay Playhouse

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90’s indie band Belly visited the northeast and played in front of a sell out crowd at the Whitley Bay Playhouse, another first for me for venues. A good crowd, Mostly middle-aged saw belly perform music from the 90’s, you could feel the sense of nostalgia in the air and the band performed a well-rehearsed set which you could tell they had done a thousand times before interacting well with the crowd.

There was a small hiccup when Tanya dDonellystopped the show with an issue with her monitor which she thought she’d fixed only to stop everything a further two times until she knew it was perfect, I liked that touch and the crowd gave her and the band all the patience they needed to get it right to continue.

Pussy Riot – 21st August – Newcastle Riverside

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Pussy Riot, famous for all the right or wrong reasons, depending on your opinion, arrived in Newcastle just after performing at the Edinburgh Fringe. I didn’t know what to expect with this but what the crowd got was a wonderful piece of performance art centred around the performance drawn from band founder Maria Alyokhina’s memoir; Riot Days, about her imprisonment in the Gulag following a protest action in 2012 in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

Rudimental – 19th October – Newcastle O2 Academy

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A band that’s been together now for eight years brought their drum and bass act to the Newcastle Academy, a step up in size for venues for me, if I’m completely honest I thought I had struggled with this one photography wise however the band were as good as they’d sound in your living room and the crowd loved them, they got everything they came to see.

Glasvegas – 24th October – Boiler Shop

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The Boiler Shop! A stunning venue. Filled with a two-tone light show and the haunting melodies of Glasvegas on the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Glasvegas’. The band were sublime

Soul ll Soul – 4th November – Sage Gateshead

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Soul ll soul arrived in Gateshead to perform for the thirty-year anniversary tour, thirty years on from Back to Life and the band still sounded just as good. A night for many to reminisce on where they were thirty years ago with the crowd mostly dancing along, finishing the set with Back to Life.

Jon Hopkins – 18th November – Boiler Shop

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Without question my gig of the year, I had been introduced to Hopkins earlier in the year by a good friend and I was blown away with what I heard. So when I heard that he would be making his way into Newcastle for a Gig I had to go and I was not disappointed accompanied by a stunning display of visuals projected onto the screen behind Hopkins his heavy bass and electronic synths echoed and permeated through the boiler shop crowd. If you haven’t seen the review on Blank slate then check it out because no amount of what I say will ever match it.

Sumo Cyco – 3rd December –  Newcastle University

Finishing the year with the Canadian Punk metal band Sumo Cyco, My first review of the year, and having never had the chance to see this band perform all I can say is that I’d jump at the chance to see them again, Skye Sweetnam leading the line of the four-piece band that were providing support for the headliners CKY, a perfect finish to a great year being able to work with some great people!

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SUMO CYCO | 03.12.2018 | Newcastle University | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SUMO CYCO | 03.12.2018 | Newcastle University | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Sumo Cyco – 3rd December 2018 – Newcastle University

Review and photos by Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Monday 3rd of December and we see Canadian punk rock band Sumo Cyco return to Newcastle to play in front of a growing crowd as one half of a double support for CKY. the headliners. They followed Bullets and Octane who themselves warmed the crowd up with some heavy riffs and great vocals. They got out into the crowd and at one point were stood performing on the bar.

A brief turnaround and Sumo Cyco catapulted themselves onto the stage. I’ve never seen Sumo Cyco before and I’d been told that they are great to photograph and I wasn’t disappointed, the opening song ‘Sleep Tight’ sees them launch into a quick guitar riff accompanied with bass before lead vocalist Sky ‘sever ’Sweetman walks onto stage in a full-length Black catsuit and contrasting long blonde hair which, by the chorus, she’s thrashing about on stage.

Third song in and they give the crowd their cover of System of a Sown’s B.O.Y.B which is well received, however the crowd isn’t fully on board just yet and it takes Sever venturing into the crowd to create her own mosh pit around her.

A few songs later and she’s crowd bound again, this time on the shoulders of one of the members of the audience and directing him to the bar, where she orders herself a shot to down. When she’s returned to the front, she’s not quite finished yet and she returns to the centre of the floor to instruct the crowd to get down low with her,  by this point the crowd are well on board and happily go along jumping up when the beat kicks back in with her.

Their finale is ‘Fighter’ which ends an energetic set that was faultless, you can tell that they are an award-winning line up and that is why they’ve been asked to support some of the greatest bands on the scene, though personally, I feel that they would quite easily sell out shows as headliners in themselves, with kicking riffs and an enigmatic and energetic frontwoman that knows how to work a crowd.

Setlist:

  • Sleep Tight
  • Anti-Anthem
  • B.Y.O.B.
  • Undefeated
  • Rivalry
  • The Broadcasters
  • Free Yourself
  • Move Mountains
  • Fighter

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stick around to see CKY but if you have to follow that then you better be bloody good and if you get the chance to go and see them then do so, because if they are up this far north again I will be!

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