KRIS BARRAS BAND | JACK J HUTCHINSON | 08.02.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | PHOTOS

KRIS BARRAS BAND | JACK J HUTCHINSON | 08.02.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | PHOTOS

Kris Barras Band | Jack J Hutchinson – 8th February 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Photos by Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Kevin Burdon was at The Cluny for a night of outstanding blues! Check out the photos from the show.

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THUNDER | DAN REED | 06.02.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THUNDER | DAN REED | 06.02.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Thunder and Dan Reed – 6th February 2019 – Gateshead Sage

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Thunder live at Sage Gateshead

Dan Reed opened the evening, abandoning the funky riffage of the Dan Reed Network for a more laid back acoustic style. He’s not an artist that I’m massively familiar with, but his set was very impressive and his vocals were superb, particularly on an acoustic cover of ‘Holy Diver’, which he dedicated to Ronnie James Dio.

Dan Reed live at Sage, Gateshead

You could tell by the response from the crowd that he had a lot of his own fans in attendance, but his excellent performance did a good job of winning over a lot of the Thunder faithful too. Even solo on an acoustic guitar he still brought some funk with ‘Get to You’, before finishing his set with a beautifully delivered acapella rendition of ‘All My Loving’ which received a standing ovation from sections of the audience.

Thunder live at Sage Gateshead

Thunder were touring their new album, Please Remain Seated, which sees them revisit songs from throughout their career and give them a new minimalist arrangement. If you’re familiar with Thunder’s live show, the idea of them doing an unplugged set in an all-seated venue might seem a bit strange… A band famous for their hard rock anthems (that are made for dancing) playing acoustically in an all-seated venue is one of those concepts that can go one of two ways, and I was curious to see how it would turn out!

I’ve seen Thunder play all of their hits on umpteen occasions over the past 15 years, so the prospect of them playing a non-standard setlist with some curveball selections and different interpretations was something I’d been really looking forward to. I’d deliberately avoided listening to the Please Remain Seated album prior to the gig, as I wanted to reserve judgement of the reimagined songs for the live performance, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The set began with only Danny Bowes and Luke Morley on stage, delivering a stunning stripped back version of ‘Love Walked In’, with Morley on 12 string acoustic and Bowes bringing out a much more subtle and nuanced performance to the well-worn classic. The rest of the band joined them on stage for an almost country-ish version of Stand Up, and the mood was set for the evening. The atmosphere on stage was very loose and relaxed, the band joking with the crowd and each other between songs.

Thunder live at Sage Gateshead

The minimalist genre-swapping arrangements were not only refreshing to hear, but they also gave the band a chance to cut loose and show what they could do and experiment a bit more on their instruments than they would normally in a standard Thunder set. Chris Childs on bass was particularly impressive on a chilled-out jazz version of ‘Girl’s Going Out Of Her Head’ – one of the biggest stylistic surprises of the night if you’re familiar with the frenetic, riff-driven original version!

A slow bluesy version of ‘Loser’ further proved the point that a damn good song is a damn good song regardless of how it’s arranged, and it gave Morley a chance to lay down some more sumptuous lead guitar work.

The setlist blended the songs from Please Remain Seated album with other reworked arrangements from their back catalogue. Classics like ‘River of Pain’ and ‘Higher Ground’ were given fresh legs with the new versions and got the crowd singing along loudly, while newer songs like ‘Resurrection Day’ really stood out in the live setting.

My personal highlight of the night was an outstanding delivery of ‘A Better Man’, with Danny Bowes showing he’s still one of the best classic rock voices in the business. It was immaculately observed by the packed Sage crowd and you could have heard a pin drop in the quiet sections, everyone was so transfixed on the performance.

The band closed the set with a sensational arrangement of ‘Low Life in High Places’, which has always been one of their best-written songs, and the stripped back orchestration added extra weight to it. Starting with just vocals and piano it gradually built up to the powerful chorus and instrumental section, including a guest appearance of a choir, who were suddenly illuminated behind the back curtain. The band left the stage to a standing ovation, promising to be back soon with a fully electric set.

Credit to Thunder for taking a chance and trying something new, rather than just doing another standard “hits” tour, and it genuinely felt like witnessing something special on stage. The experiment paid off!

Setlist:

Love Walked In
Stand Up
Miracle Man
River Of Pain
Future Train
Blown Away
Girl’s Going Out of Her Head
Higher Ground
Empty City
A Better Man
Fly on the Wall
Just Another Suicide
Bigger Than Both of Us
Loser
Serpentine

Robert Johnson’s Tombstone
She’s So Fine
Resurrection Day
Low Life In High Places

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JIMMY EAT WORLD | 30.01.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW

JIMMY EAT WORLD | 30.01.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW

Jimmy Eat World – 30th January 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon 

Jimmy Eat World are one of those bands whose songs provided the soundtrack to key moments of my formative years, but I never got the opportunity to see them live. I’d lost touch with their music since about 2007, but when the chance came up to review them at their recent show in Newcastle I jumped at it.

The band opened with “Sure and Certain” from their most recent album Integrity Blues, then launched into “I Will Steal You Back”, before they provided me with the first ‘goosebumps’ moment of the night when the opening riff for “Big Casino” kicked in.

While it may be the case that their 00’s output is the stuff that resonates most with me, Jimmy Eat World are by no means a nostalgia act and some of the material from the newer albums sounded great in the live setting – newest single “Love Never” shows the band are still writing great quality songs that can hold their own alongside the classics. One of the most impressive songs of the night was “Pass the Baby”, a musical tour de force which starts deceptively quietly but builds into a massive crescendo with riffage that Tom Morello would be proud of.

The band played a diverse set from across their career, including many of the massive hits you’d expect – “Futures”, “Work” and “Always Be” were stunning to finally hear live, but the highlight of the set for me was a stunning rendition of “Hear You Me”. It’s one of those songs that gets under your skin when you first hear it, and it was beautifully delivered with the crowd singing along to every word.

The band finished the main set with Bleed American, before returning for a 3 song encore of massive anthems from the Bleed American album, A Praise Chorus, Sweetness and (of course) The Middle. A really triumphant way to end an excellent night.

Setlist:

Sure and Certain
I Will Steal You Back
Big Casino
For Me This Is Heaven
Futures
Polaris
Pain
Pass the Baby
Get Right
Always Be
Lucky Denver Mint
Hear You Me
Love Never
Dizzy
Blister
Work
23
Bleed American

Encore:
A Praise Chorus
Sweetness
The Middle

BROTHERS OSBORNE | LUCIE SILVAS | 27.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

BROTHERS OSBORNE | LUCIE SILVAS | 27.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Brothers Osborne and Lucie Silvas – 27th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Brothers Osborne have been on my list of bands to see for quite a while, ever since Spotify randomly served me up ‘Shoot Me Straight’ on a “Discover” playlist one day. Since then I’ve had both of their albums on near constant repeat, hooked in by the perfect mix of outlaw country-rock, vividly descriptive lyrics, TJ Osborne’s distinctive deep voice and John Osborne’s incendiary guitar playing.

Support for the evening was provided by the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas, promoting her new album E.G.O. It’s hard to pin Lucie’s style down to one particular genre and you could tell she has a wide variety of influences, her set was a mixture of pop, country and soulful blues.

Opening song ‘Kite’ had a really funky bassline and got the audience dancing, and this was followed by a stripped down piano-led ballad ‘I Want You All to Myself’ which was beautifully delivered and highlighted Lucie’s stunning voice.

Lucie mentioned that at a meet and greet earlier she’d been talking to some fans who’d recently lost someone special to them, so she delivered a breath-taking acapella verse and chorus of ‘Forget Me Not’ in their memory. I was standing close to the fans in question and I could see how much the gesture meant to them- it was a beautifully touching moment.

A surprise inclusion of the Jackson 5’s ‘Who’s Loving You’ was skillfully performed, before Lucie closed her set with the title track from her new album ‘E.G.O’ and received a very warm ovation from the crowd.

Headlining at O2 Academy for the first time, the Brothers Osborne are touring their latest album Port Saint Joe. The band were last here as support for the Cadillac Three and it seems that word had spread since their last appearance, with a sizeable crowd awaiting them in the packed out main hall.

Opening with kickass party song ‘Drank Like Hank’, Brothers Osborne were on great form. The Brothers have the rock n roll combination frontman/lead guitarist archetypes nailed down, and they front an excellent band of musicians. TJ has an understated charisma as the frontman, and his voice is deep and powerful without being domineering, while John on lead guitar always plays the perfect piece for the song, from slow tasteful blues licks to more intricate well-crafted extended solo sections.

The band kept the energy up with a storming rendition of ‘Shoot Me Straight’, the two brothers’ vocal harmonies locked in tight, and John Osborne showcased his impressive guitar playing in the first extended lead break of the night.

The setlist was perfectly balanced and showed the depth of brothers’ songwriting abilities, from soulful ballads like ‘I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)’ and ‘Pushing up Daisies’, to an awesome slide-blues jam in ‘Down Home’, to more upbeat songs about the finer (and simpler) things in life in ‘Greener Pastures’ and ‘Rum’. Their vocal harmonies shone throughout the set, especially on their Dierks Bentley collaboration ‘Burning Man’, and the whole band were impressively tight throughout. Additional credit must go to the sound engineer, as the overall mix was crystal clear and TJ’s deep, sonorous vocals cut through with clarity in a cavernous venue where that can be notoriously difficult to achieve.

There was a brief respite in the set for a short acoustic section, including ‘Tequila Again’ and a stunning rendition of ‘21 Summer’, with a cover of Steve Earle’s ‘Copperhead Road’ included for good measure. A personal highlight of the evening was an epic delivery of ‘Stay a Little Longer’, which started as a beautiful country pop tune that finally building into a massive rock instrumental crescendo in which John’s exquisite guitar playing took centre stage.

The main set was rounded off with ‘It Ain’t My Fault’, complete with an extended jam in the mid-section which gave the rest of the band a chance to show what they could do too, plus some more impressive guitar playing from John. The band left the stage but the audience weren’t satisfied to let the evening end there, singing the main riff from ‘It Ain’t My Fault’ loudly until the brothers returned for a 5 song encore, in which Lucie Silvas joined the brothers on stage to duet on a beautiful rendition of ‘Lovin’ Me Back’.

The audience were given one final opportunity to lose their voices with a cover of John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ brought to a close probably the most impressive gig I’ve seen in 2018 in terms of overall atmosphere and performance (no mean feat in a year that has included Steve Earle, Blackberry Smoke, Iron Maiden, plus my all-time personal favourites The Wildhearts and Volbeat).

Note: At the time of writing it has just been announced that Port Saint Joe has been nominated for the Best Country Album Grammy, further proof that this is a band that’s on their way to greater heights!

Setlist:

  1. Drank Like Hank
  2. Shoot Me Straight
  3. I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)
  4. Weed, Whiskey And Willie
  5. Greener Pastures
  6. Down Home
  7. Rum
  8. Burning Man
  9. Tequila Again (acoustic)
  10. 21 Summer  (acoustic)
  11. Copperhead Road (Steve Earle cover)
  12. Stay A Little Longer
  13. It Ain’t My Fault
  14. Pushing up Daisies
  15. Pawn Shop
  16. Lovin’ Me Back (with Lucie Silvas)
  17. A Couple Wrongs Makin’ It Alright
  18. Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver cover)

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REEL BIG FISH | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

REEL BIG FISH | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Reel Big Fish – 6th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Reel Big Fish returned to Newcastle O2 Academy with Less than Jake. Kevin Burdon was there to capture it!

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LESS THAN JAKE | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

LESS THAN JAKE | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Less Than Jake – 6th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Less than Jake returned to Newcastle O2 Academy with Reel Big Fish. Kevin Burdon was there to capture it!

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ZEBRAHEAD | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

ZEBRAHEAD | 06.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Zebrahead – 6th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Orange County legends Zebrahead hit the Academy on tour with Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake. Full photo gallery by Kevin Burdon!

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JUNKYARD | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

JUNKYARD | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Junkyard – 2nd November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

There was no shortage of energy when Junkyard took to the stage. The band hit the ground running put on a very animated show, covering every inch of the stage. The LA hard rock veterans delivered a very confident performance and largely went down well with the crowd, even if they may have been a little on the ‘heavy’ side for a one or two in attendance.

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THE QUAKER CITY NIGHT HAWKS | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

THE QUAKER CITY NIGHT HAWKS | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

The Quaker City Night Hawks – 2nd November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Quaker City Night Hawks - 2nd November 2018 - Newcastle O2 Academy
Quaker City Night Hawks – 2nd November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

The beards and denim were out in force as Blackberry Smoke opened their Find a Light UK tour in Newcastle. Opening band The Quaker City Night Hawks set the Southern flavour for the evening, with their laid-back bluesy sound. While not the most energetic band to watch, the band’s tight musicianship and impressive vocal harmonies shone through, and the crowd gave a warm response to their chilled out Southern Groove.

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BLACKBERRY SMOKE | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

BLACKBERRY SMOKE | 02.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Blackberry Smoke – 2nd November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Blackberry Smoke – 2nd November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Blackberry Smoke are on the road promoting their new album Find a Light, and such is their confidence in the quality of the new material they opened their set with a new song Nobody Gives a Damn, then kept the tempo up with a double whammy of Leave a Scar and Good One Coming On.

Blackberry Smoke are often touted as the heirs to the Southern Rock throne once Lynyrd Skynyrd finally hang up their hats, and based on tonight’s performance you can see why. They are the complete package, combining excellent musicianship, superb songwriting and relatable, down to earth lyrics. The band were on exceptional form, musically on point and with a setlist spanning their entire career with a couple of extended jams thrown in for good measure.

The new songs like Run Away From It All and Medicate My Mind fit neatly into the setlist alongside the staple classics such as Shaking Hands with the Holy Ghost and Restless, and the die-hard Newcastle crowd were in fine voice on Ain’t Got the Blues and One Horse Town.

There was a brief lull towards the end of the set when there was a bit of maintenance required on the kick-drum, but not to let that spoil the evening Charlie Starr led the band on a very impressive slide guitar driven blues jam while the repairs were carried out. He’s such an enthralling guitar player to watch, effortlessly fluid with a superb ear for melody, I could have easily just watched him play solos all night… My personal highlight of the set was a beautiful rendition of the Whippoorwill, musically subdued and perfectly executed, and the vocal harmonies between Starr and Paul Jackson were sublime.

After playing for the better part of two hours, the band finished the main set with another new song Lord Strike Me Dead, the band returned to the stage for an encore of Sunrise in Texas and Ain’t Much Left of Me, finishing just in time for the venue’s curfew at 11pm. Given the mood on stage it seemed that the band would have played all night if they’d been allowed to, and the response of the crowd as the band left the stage suggested that they would have waited all night to hear it too.

Setlist:

  • Nobody Gives a Damn
  • Leave a Scar
  • Gone One Coming On
  • Waiting for the Thunder
  • Crimson Moon
  • Let It Burn
  • Medicate My Mind
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Shaking Hands with the Holy Ghost
  • The Whippoorwill
  • Payback’s a Bitch
  • Restless
  • Run Away From It All
  • Ain’t Got the Blues
  • Flesh And Bone
  • One Horse Town
  • Lord Strike Me Dead
  • Sunrise in Texas
  • Ain’t Much Left of Me

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