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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THE WILDHEARTS | RAGING SPEEDHORN | 03.08.2018 | The Plug Sheffield

THE WILDHEARTS | RAGING SPEEDHORN | 03.08.2018 | The Plug Sheffield

The Wildhearts and Raging Speedhorn – 3rd August 2018 – The Plug Sheffield

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

 

You can’t beat a good road trip gig, and you can’t beat a good Wildhearts gig… so when the band announced a couple of their own shows in between their summer festival appearances and then a road trip down to Sheffield was a no-brainer!

Raging Speedhorn live at Plug, Sheffield

Support band for the evening are the brilliantly named Raging Speedhorn, a band that have for some reason never crossed my radar despite their long history. That is something I will endeavour to put right in future though, as they put on a hell of a set. They may have possibly been a bit on the heavy side for some in the Wildhearts’ faithful, but the ferocity and precision of their set soon won over a good proportion of the crowd. Their impressive dual frontmen stalked the stage with ruthless intensity, while the band relentlessly delivered powerhouse riffs ranging from chaotically frantic to slow and doom-laden. Definitely a band worth checking out if you haven’t seen them before.

The Wildhearts were in awesome form, the band seeming to relish every moment of being on stage. Ginger was in particularly fine spirits, joking with the crowd and feeding off their energy and warmth. As always, the diehard crowd were in excellent voice and it seems you can always guarantee that there’s going to be party atmosphere at a Wildhearts gig.

As they did with their exceptional set at the Britrock Must Be Destroyed shows earlier in the year, the band decided to cram as many of their biggest songs into the setlist as possible (no mean feat given the quality of their back catalogue). Opening with Sick of Drugs and TV Tan, the band then stormed through a triple whammy of My Baby is a Headfuck, Suckerpunch and Caffeine Bomb.  Bassist Danny McCormack took the lead vocals on Anthem, which was a very nice inclusion in the set, and The Revolution Will Be Televised from the self-titled ‘white’ album seems even more lyrically relevant to the world of 2018 than it was when it was first released a decade ago. This evening’s show had a celebratory vibe to it, and the crowd sang along with virtually every lyric from beginning to end, particularly in the singalong section of Weekend and Geordie in Wonderland.

The classic encore of Greetings From Shitsville, 29x The Pain and I Wanna Go Where the People Go was a great way to finish the night and made the long drive back to Newcastle worthwhile!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen the Wildhearts live, but this gig was up there with the best of them. The band are tighter than ever before, and you get a sense that they’re genuinely enjoying every minute of playing live together again.

  1. Sick of Drugs
  2. TV Tan
  3. My Baby Is a Headfuck
  4. Suckerpunch
  5. Caffeine Bomb
  6. Vanilla Radio
  7. Nothing Ever Changes But the Shoes
  8. Red Light Green Light
  9. Everlone
  10. Nita Nitro
  11. The Revolution Will Be Televised
  12. Weekend (Five Long Days)
  13. Anthem
  14. Geordie in Wonderland
  15. Love U ’til I Don’t
    Encore:
  16. Greetings From Shitsville
  17. 29 x the Pain
  18. I Wanna Go Where the People Go

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STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES | THE MASTERSONS | 21.07.2018 | Sage Gateshead

STEVE EARLE AND THE DUKES | THE MASTERSONS | 21.07.2018 | Sage Gateshead

Steve Earle and The Dukes | The Mastersons – 21st July 2018 – Sage Gateshead

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

 

The excellent SummerTyne Americana Festival returned to the Sage for 2018, featuring loads of great acts both inside the main halls but also outside in the glorious sunshine. The Saturday night of the event was headlined by legendary songwriter Steve Earle and his band the Dukes.


The Mastersons

Support for Steve’s tour came from husband & wife duo the Masterson’s featuring the Dukes’ Chris Masterson (guitar/vocals) and Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle/vocals). The Sage audience were treated to a short set of sublime vocal harmonies (particularly Transient Lullaby which was absolutely beautiful) and terrific songwriting and musicianship. The couple created a really relaxed and humorous vibe on stage, and they warmed the crowd up well with their laid back set.

Steve Earle and The Dukes

The opening section of the Dukes set drew heavily from the band’s latest CD So You Wanna be an Outlaw, an approach which can sometimes alienate the casual listener who is there mainly for the ‘hits’, but Earle had no such problem on this occasion which is testament to the quality of the songs on the new album. The titular track, Looking for a Woman & Firebreak Line were particularly impressive in a live setting, while News From Colorado was immaculately delivered to a respectfully attentive Sage audience.

Steve was an entertaining host for the evening in a jovial mood, joking with a heckler that shouted out for a classic hit “you think I’m not going to play that one? You might not be awake to hear it…”.

There were plenty of classic Earle tracks in the setlist too, a goosebump-inducing rendition of My Old Friend the Blues led into a run of classics that included Guitar Town and I Ain’t Ever Satisfied. The rest of the set was nicely balanced between new songs and obligatory classics like Johnny Come Lately, The Galway Girl and of course Copperhead Road. The band closed the main set with an excellent cover of Hey Joe (complete with a cheeky dig at Donald Trump), but one of the highlights of the evening was a beautifully subdued rendition of The Girl on the Mountain at the end of the encore, bringing to a close an outstanding set.

It was my first time seeing a gig in the main hall of the Sage and it’s worth mentioning that the acoustics of the room are exceptional. The mix was almost perfect, allowing each instrument to shine through with remarkable clarity, which is vital when mixing a group of musicians of this calibre. Even Steve commented on the quality of the venue from a performer’s perspective.

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ARKELLS | 22.04.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy

ARKELLS | 22.04.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy

Arkells – 22nd April 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – Photos

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Supporting Frank Turner, Arkells deliver a deservedly confident performance. Their pop-rock approach going down well with the crowd. A nice touch was getting an audience member out of the crowd and getting him to play guitar for a song.

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