ROISIN MURPHY | 19.05.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ROISIN MURPHY | 19.05.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Roisin Murphy – 19th May 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Review by Lee Hammond. Photos by Victoria Wai

As a precursor to her slew of festival shows in the weeks and months ahead, Roisin Murphy decided to warm up for these in Newcastle. Opening tonight are duo Audiobooks, the pair initially don’t strike you as a typical duo and their music reflects that. Acclaimed and in demand producer David Wrench’s beats are crisp and clean, and they sound particularly pleasing in this wonderful venue. However, the same cannot be said for the bewildering Evangeline Ling whose vocals rather than enhancing the beats they sit atop, instead fail to enthuse.

Their sound is definitely unique but perhaps not in the right way, the culmination of their set sees Wrench shredding through a plethora of riffs whilst Ling screeches through the final track. The build up to Roisin Murphy’s set starts the best part of fifteen minutes before she even takes to the stage, a palette cleansing drone that slowly builds accompanied by looping visuals. As the lights dim and the band take the stage, Murphy makes her grand entrance opening with House Of Glass. This heavy number setting the tone for what is to come.

It’s a night of many costume changes, Murphy’s on stage wardrobe is truly impressive. Personal favourites Demon Lover and Ten Miles High featuring early in this superb set. However, by far the best costume and accompanied song is Plaything, as Murphy carries her silver ‘plaything’ around the stage. Sparking a significant crowd reaction as she twirls it around, it’s not just about that however as the song itself is particularly vibrant and packed with unbridled energy.

That is true of most of this fervent set, with Murphy barely stopping to draw breath the majority of the time. Without doubt she is in incredible form tonight, closing out her set with Overpowered and Flash Of Light you cannot help but be overcome by her style and manner. She has this crowd hanging off her every word, as they dance their night away. Roisin Murphy proves without a doubt how truly brilliant she is tonight with this insanely impressive set, it’s predominantly effortless her costume changes her relentless excitement all of which rubs off on to this elated crowd.


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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact



Hit The North Festival – 5th May 2019 – Review and Photo highlights

Review by Lee Hammond. Photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

It’s an early start but The Noise and The Naive successfully blow away any early cobwebs, this powerful duo tearing through an early set to an appreciative crowd. It’s difficult to fault their enthusiasm and fervour, they are indefinitely deserved of a much higher place up this packed lineup. That being said they undoubtedly won over a fresh set of fans this afternoon.

Such is the norm at this time of year Pip Blom opens the Think Tank stage this afternoon, another artist playing much lower down the bill than expected but she is also playing in Glasgow later today. Her set of grungy power pop is wonderfully executed, she and her band groove their way through these urgent and heartfelt tracks. Think Tank is packed to the rafters this early on, but it is certainly worth it. Her set is far too short but leaves everyone craving much more.

Los Angeles native Pearl Charles is next to grace the Town Wall stage, her dreamy Americana the perfect antithesis after two rowdy sets. Her supremely sweet voice emanating through this small room, casting her wonderful spell across everyone who quickly becomes mesmerised by her. With the likes of All The Boys and Sleepless Dreamer featuring in her set it’s hard not to be enamoured by her. This is definitely the perfect mid-afternoon festival set.

The Ninth Wave have continued to win over fans up and down the country, their sound has changed somewhat in the time they’ve been around as well as the band members. However, today their set is firmly routed in a dark groove as they thrill an enthused crowd who are all willingly and eagerly singing along to every word of songs old and new. They are certainly a band who are finally finding their footing and are quickly ascending the ladder to bigger things.

Next up are New York family band Bailen, the twin brothers and their sister. Are yet another breath of fresh air, settled somewhere between Fleetwood Mac and Vampire Weekend it’s a definite winning combination. The way the three of them harmonise together is exceptional, you quite quickly get lost in their wonderful songs as they have a wonderful sound. Without doubt they are by far one of the bands of the day even with so many other great things to come, we find ourselves completely blown away by them.

A band at the opposite end of the spectrum are next to take to the Think Tank stage, Lady Bird are one of the most talked about bands around right now. Today they make themselves known in spectacular fashion, with Think Tank one in one out there is barely any room to breathe. They take to the stage in typically upbeat fashion goading the crowd and whipping them up into an early frenzy. It’s quite clear that they’re proponents of a similar sound to IDLES, with a little Jamie T in there for good measure. It’s an intense and exciting set, they have an unrivalled power and passion alongside a spectacular stage presence. They are soon to be the band on everyone’s lips.

Sorry provide a completely different experience, their atmospheric tracks at times feel lost in the Boiler Shop. They struggle to gain the deserved gravitas from their intense sound, it doesn’t help that the sun is beaming in through the large windows. This feels like a set which would be much more at home in a small dark room, where the bands real passion has the ability to successfully permeate through the crowd. That aside, as Sorry warmed to their surroundings their set gathered pace, but it still lacked the urgency it needed.

The Blinders have consistently been one of the most talked about bands around, yet on tonight’s showing I’m still yet to understand it. Prior to taking to the stage they play out a call to arms but that’s where their political stance appears to end. Instead blustery fervour is backed by mediocre lyrics coated in reverb driven guitars. That said this is personal opinion, the rest of the crowd were head over heels for the Doncaster band.

Liverpool’s Zuzu was full of excitement as she bounced on to the stage, her enthusiastic stance has the crowd jumping and singing along from the off. Her excitement is truly infectious tonight as we get caught up in her glee as she bounds through her set with wild abandon. The same unfortunately cannot be said for Berlins’ Giant Rooks who really fail to deliver today, not through any fault of their own. You often see this through multi-venue events, they failed to pull any sort of crowd today. Despite putting on a show worthy of a sold-out crowd anywhere as they have the boiler shop quite literally shaking with the force of their sound.

The Mysterines are next in the Digital stage, it’s another fervent fuzz filled set. Lia is a true force to be reckoned with as she relentlessly grooves her way through the entire set, they’re a band who improve exponentially every time we see them. Their power and ferocity is incredible tonight they truly step up to the plate and wow this enthralled crowd. However, this is also where the evening takes a turn for the worse. Heading down to Riverside their programme is suffering from significant delays, Easy Life appear to have only just taken to the stage and are greeted by many bemused SOAK fans.

After waiting a significant amount of time we head up to see Lice, who prove to be one of the bands of the day. Jeering at people from the window of the Bridge Hotel, beckoning them in they quickly create a crowd. Their passionate own brand of punk rock is something to truly behold. Delivered with an angst and snarl, they prove why they deserve to be treated with a significantly higher regard. This enthusiasm, their madness and unbridled excitement is a real breath of fresh air. Without doubt one of the best bands of the day!

Heading back down to Riverside we find out that they are now running an hour and fifteen minutes behind, as SOAK finally takes to the stage Shame fans are beginning to fill the room. There is obviously a hefty disparity in styles and this unfortunately does not translate to the best crowd for the quiet Irish singer. She tries her best and gets through five tracks in twenty minutes before leaving the stage, it puts something of a dampener on what is otherwise an excellent day. The breadth of talent and style is incredible Hit The North have truly nailed it this year. In spite of any issues with timings as these things happen we really cannot wait for next year.


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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS | WHITE LEGS | 03.03.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW

DEATH VALLEY GIRLS | WHITE LEGS | 03.03.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW

Death Valley Girls | White Legs – 3rd March 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Review by Lee Hammond

Tonight arriving in time to see one of the North East’s finest new bands in the form of White Legs, it is the coming together of three of the finest musicians in the local area. It’s a powerful riff-laden opening, this trio is a true force to be reckoned it’s an aural onslaught as they power through a slew of impressive tracks. Their new single Cut It Away is an undoubted highlight of this short set, similarly, their set is over all too quickly but it certainly is not going to be the last time we catch the impressive trio.

With such an impressive opening act the bar is high for Death Valley Girls who quietly take to the stage, quickly launching into Abre Camino. It’s an impressive opening with band leader Bonnie Bloomgarden’s talents in full flow from the off, her individual voice bringing to life these dark Garage tracks. Their early tracks come thick and fast all delivered with incessant grooves and fervour. The beating rhythm section heart of Death Valley Girls is what drives this set forward at pace, Bonnie and Nikki dance their way through the set in equally impressive fashion.

The likes of More Dead and Death Valley Boogie really set the early part of this show alight, but it’s those tracks which they save for the end that really cause a stir. The likes of Disco possess hooks that permanently insert themselves into your brain, and you find yourself muttering the chorus in the middle of the night. The only problem with tonight’s set is certainly not on the stage but those ignorant enough to respect the bands between songs.

Fortunately, Bonnie is only too happy to deal with these gentlemen who interrupt her throughout, carefully reminding them as to who has the microphone. Closing out this relatively short set on the wonderful Electric High it rounds off an intense scuzz filled, rhythm-heavy wonderful set. The only problem is that it’s over all too soon, as we could have danced away the night to this brilliant band!

WHITE DENIM | BC CAMPLIGHT | 16.02.2019 | Newcastle Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

WHITE DENIM | BC CAMPLIGHT | 16.02.2019 | Newcastle Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

White Denim and BC Camplight – 16th February 2019 – Northumbria Institute

Review by Lee Hammond. Photography by Gordon Armstrong 

Nights like this are few and far between, tonight White Denim roll into town with the exceptional BC Camplight in toe. In his own right BC Camplight carries significant stature and tonight he proves it early on with a scintillating set, opening with Deportation Blues he kicks things off in a rousing style and retains that with the equally fervent I’m in a Weird Place Now. He does bring the mood down slightly with a solo version of When I Think of My Dog, yet he still retains his usual charm throughout.

He riles the crowd with his story of the former Home Secretary before launching into a brilliant rendition of Fire in England, before closing out this short set with I’m Desperate. BC Camplight well and truly warms up this crowd, but this is a mere aperitif compared to what lies ahead this evening.

White Denim take to the stage and barely waste any time with an idle chit chat, instead diving headlong into Backseat Driver. They barely stop for the first four tracks, each track more ferocious than the last as they provide a barrage of aural deliciousness unlike any other.

Fervent guitars coupled with relentless thunderous drums are something to truly behold today, Double Death and Ha Ha Ha Ha (Yeah) are early favourites in this mammoth set. Their unwavering energy coupled with their signature brand of garage funk has every member of this heaving crowds head nodding along in unison, as the band barely leave themselves time to blink between tracks. The likes of Real Deal Momma and Had 2 Know (Personal) follow each other in quick succession.

Towards the end of the set the bands tracks almost begin to blend into one as they retain such a ferocious pace, this is beyond impressive. By the time they reach the latter stages of the set you’d be expecting them to falter somewhat yet they continue with ease as they round off the set in typically ferocious fashion. It Might Get Dark and Shake Shake Shake providing more crowd favourites right at the end.

Their unrelenting enthusiasm, pace and excitement are what permeates throughout this exuberant Saturday night crowd, White Denim traversing genres with ease and relative simplicity also helps all whilst retaining their signature sound. There is no way to fault these guys in any way, many would guffaw at playing much longer than an hour but for White Denim they sustain an incredible atmosphere for two hours straight and give every member of this packed crowd their money’s worth and then some. Without doubt one of the finest live bands around right now!


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Images Copyright Gordon Armstrong. For permission to use these images please contact G’s Gig Shots

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