DEAD LIKE WOLVES | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Little Buildings | PHOTOS

DEAD LIKE WOLVES | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Little Buildings | PHOTOS

Dead Like Wolves – 5th April 2019 – Newcastle Little Buildings

Photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

A couple of weeks back I had the privilege to photo Dead Like Wolves in the penultimate Little Buildings gig. A great excuse to try some different things with flash πŸ™‚

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THE HUNNA | 04.04.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE HUNNA | 04.04.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Hunna – 4th April 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

In my last review of The Hunna I told of how I’d been blown away from the very first time I’d seen them by the strength of their fan base and tonight just reinforced that. These current dates are the rescheduled ones from then having to take time out due to taking legal action with old management. A lesser band could have lost the momentum they were gathering but not Hunna and after a brief thank you from Ryan for sticking with them the opening number We Could Be is met with a full O2 in unison screaming the lyrics at the band so hard I swear I could feel the sound on the back of my head as I took photos. Fever keeps the tempo ticking along at a nice rate but it’s the HUGE Still Got Blood dropped in early that’s got the goosebumps raised as high as the fists in the air!!

The Hunna - 4th April 2019 - Newcastle O2 Academy
The Hunna – 4th April 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

There’s almost a feeling of relief from the band as they finish each song to ecstatic response as if they really weren’t sure if their short time away had done damage. The few times that the β€œsituation” was mentioned it wasn’t done in any kind of smug manner but again in a thank you for believing in the band to the fans

Title track and Flickin’ Your Hair from the Dare album had the place absolutely jumping. There’s also an airing of new material too but like the first time I saw them when they had nothing released the kids knew the songs start to finish and relished every note. Y.D.W.I.W.M is angry rock ‘n’ roll anthem that I can see becoming a highlight of every live set with little touches of Rage Against The Machine tucked away in there

She’s Casual and Bonfire see the main set out and I can’t help smiling happily that the band have come through this tough episode and appear stronger for it. After a two-song encore, the guys headed straight to the merch desk to meet, hug and once again thank those fans who’ve made it worth the fight!

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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 SavagesΒ – 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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LARKIN POE | 06.04.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

LARKIN POE | 06.04.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Larkin Poe – 6th April 2019 – Newcastle Riverside – Review and photos

Review and photos by Rebecca Burgess

The world has seen its’ fair share of legendary pairings over the years; Simon and Garfunkel, Sam and Dave, Batman and Robin, Fish and Chips. A fine addition to this list is the Lovell sisters, Megan and Rebecca, who make up modern blues root-rock band, Larkin Poe.

With a name inspired by their great-great-great-great-grandfather, Edgar Allan Poe, the sisters combine their lyrical poetry with southern harmonies, foot-stomping riffs, slide-guitar and gritty vocals.

Before the set began, I met a gentleman camped out in the front row who had followed the duo, attending all of their shows on their 19 date UK tour. It wasn’t long before it was clear to see why.

Kicking off the show with β€˜Summertime Sunset’, the crowd were instantly transported from a wet and dreary Newcastle to the sunny land of Southern America. The lyric, β€˜I’m a bad little angel. I fell from grace’ from the catchy β€˜Trouble in Mind’ seems the perfect summary for the pitch-perfect harmonies provided by Slide Queen, Megan Lovell, which perfectly accompanied the raw vocals of younger sister Rebecca.

Showing that they can hold their own with the legends of blues and reinvent it in a modern era, the sisters put their own take on the Lead Belly classic, β€˜Black Betty’. As if this weren’t enough to secure their status as the future of blues rock, the duo followed with β€˜Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues’ from their most recent studio album, β€˜Venom & Faith’. The album itself contains the perfect mix of traditional style songs, with more modern influenced tracks such as β€˜Look Away’.

Soon it was time for the Slide Queen to take centre stage, with a rendition of Son House’s β€˜Preachin’ Blues’, proving that the sisters were some of the finest musicians to come out of America in recent years. The US flare was further shown with β€˜Freedom’ before it was time for the multi-instrumentalists to invite a banjo into the mix with β€˜California King’ and a cover of β€˜John the Revelator’. It is fair to say the that sisters are a perfect example of authentic Southern blues, root-rock.

Slowing it down a little, Rebecca provided a beautiful vocal to the touching ballad, β€˜Might as Well Be Me’. Further demonstrating the sister’s musical versatility, the duo perfectly transitioned back into the bluesy β€˜Black Echo’ and foot-stomping β€˜Hard Time Killing Floor Blues’.

Taking time out in the set to talk about mental health, something close to the sister’s hearts, the origin of the meaningful and mesmerising β€˜Mad as a Hatter’ was revealed, with the pair hoping that the lyrics could help others get through the hardships of mental illness, as it has done for them.

β€˜Run for your money’ was a perfectly applicable title as the crowd undoubtedly would be heading to the merch stand on their way out to bag themselves all of Larkin Poe’s bluesy back catalogue, with not even the β€˜Blue Ridge Mountains’ able to stop them.

Closing of the set was a rendition of AC/DC’s β€˜Wanted Woman’ before a stripped back and raw encore of Robert Johnson’s β€˜Come on in My Kitchen’ transporting the whole venue to a rocking chair on a white decked front porch in Georgia.

Edgar Allen Poe famously said; β€˜All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.’ Well, this night was a dream that the Newcastle crowd certainly didn’t want to wake up from and the sisters too can start to dream big as success is certainly in their future.

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WARD THOMAS | THE WANDERING HEARTS | 06.04.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

WARD THOMAS | THE WANDERING HEARTS | 06.04.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Ward Thomas | The Wandering Hearts – 6th April 2019 – Gateshead Sage

Ward Thomas – 6th April 2019 – Gateshead Sage

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

β€œIt looks like heaven….It’s picture perfect paradise.” The first and third lines of Lie Like Me from country-pop twins Ward Thomas opens the show and this is what it feels like and definitely doesn’t β€œfeel(s) like hell” like the second line of the song suggests as everyone that took up the standing area were packed in tight to get close to the action and from the get-go nearly everyone is singing as loudly as they can to the new numbers blending into the older ones with ease.

A lovely moment (with no disrespect to the amazing band) is when Catherine and Lizzy have the stage to themselves to give a heart wrenching stripped backed performances of Cartwheels, No Fooling Me and Deepest You; the latter welcoming Billy their guitarist back. You get to really feel the emotions in their harmonies. It really is a testament to singers when they can sing in this way and sound pitch perfect to the recorded versions or better in the case of Ward Thomas. But if you are familiar with Ward Thomas you know they can’t keep you sitting down for long and the upbeat numbers are dotted around the setlist which works brilliantly. The majority of the crowd came to dance there cares away and even those that had to settle for the upper tiers were on their feet as crazy as those in the standing area. Credit to those guys, as I wouldn’t want to be on my feet that high up! I am unsure how we could have cranked up the atmosphere any more but we did with I Believe In You as claps tripled in volume and more audience members lent their voices to the singalong.

Another medley comes but this time with songs from their first album From Where We Stand with The Good And The Right, A Town Called Ugley and Push For The Stride, which is probably as close to honkey-tonk country as we get. And oh, you could just feel the power more so in their vocals with the last song of this medley. It sure got my heart thumping as mad as the beat of the drum. You could definitely feel those who were seated were ready to get on their feet.

My personal highlight came with Rather Be Breathing. Since getting their latest album it’s one of the songs that really gets to every bone of my body. From the beat and the β€˜whistles’ in the darkness of the room before the lights came on I actually had to hold back the tears. I can’t describe the actual feeling but it’s definitely one of those songs for me.

You really couldn’t fault the setlist. Catherine and Lizzy brought everything to the table and covered what they could from all three albums in this hour and twenty minutes with Carry You Home not only closing the night but the whole of the UK Restless Minds tour. If you wanted to witness perfection this would be close to it.

Speaking of perfection, as if Ward Thomas fans would not be satisfied enough with just seeing Ward Thomas, I would say they made about half the room more ecstatic with Americana’s other sweethearts The Wandering Hearts as their support act. AJ Dean, Chess Whiffin and Tara Wilcox played a solid harmony blazoned set with songs from their critically acclaimed debut album Wild Silence. They played last years concourse stage at SummerTyne festival in the same venue and just like that day the queue to meet them was crazy. I believe it was still quite a length as showtime for the headliners was getting closer. Let’s just say if you WANT an audience just put both Ward Thomas and The Wandering Hearts on the bill and you WILL get those numbers and one helluva atmosphere.

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BARNS COURTNEY | 04.04.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

BARNS COURTNEY | 04.04.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Barns Courtney – 4th April 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Having had some of his songs featured in movie soundtracks, video games, TV programmes and sports campaigns it’s no wonder the first time you actively listen to or see Barns Courtney you think you know the songs already but that’s not the only reason. In this short explosive set opening for The Hunna, Barns absolutely won the whole crowd over with catchy songs that get stuck in your head for days. The foot stomping Glitter and Gold, the air punching Champion, alongside new single 99 just three examples of why he is currently getting 40+ million streams of his songs.

It’s hard to define the style too, is it pop? is it rock? is it funk? is it indie? and the simple answer is yes! There’s definitely a party air around the bands’ stage presence with Barns channelling every known rock frontman in his own style. Definitely a huge rock star in the making!

Reading the social media pages a lot of the crowd are actually going for Barns as well as headliners The Hunna but he certainly gained a lot of converts too.

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ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | ELIZABETH LIDDLE | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | ELIZABETH LIDDLE | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Art School Girlfriend | Elizabeth Liddle – 5th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Have you ever been to a gig where everything feels complete and then at the end of it you think, β€˜what just happened?’ I have been to gigs where I have had β€˜moments’ and there are only a handful, yes I can actually count them on one hand, where I have become so immersed in the gig that I have forgotten most of it because each second was perfect. I had people come talk to me before and after the support act and headliner. I remember those parts but tell me to describe the gig for you and I am a bit lost for words. Thankfully I managed to grab a setlist to trigger some moments.

So, Friday 5th April at Cluny 2, what can I tell you?

Local girl Elizabeth Liddle opened the night. She quietly took her place behind the keyboard where her fingers glided over the keys giving us gorgeous melodies with her silky powerhouse vocals. They held the audience captivated and most of them hidden in the seated area at the back of the venue. It was a dreamy set so why would you not want to sit back and relax but as her name gets known there’s no doubt in my mind there will be more bodies in the room that they will want to get closer to the action.

Elizabeth Liddle – 5th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Credit to all that turned up to this venue to see this artist on this date as before Art School Girlfriend was announced I had my heart set on another show that was rescheduled, then another was announced and a few more that I would have loved to have gone to but as soon as I saw this show scheduled I knew that there was only one I would and could attend and those that joined me also knew that there was only one show to be at especially after hearing what they had to say afterwards.

The room took a moment’s silence as the electro pulsating beats of Distance opened the show as Art School Girlfriend, AKA Polly Mackey, and her band settled on stage and a few more bodies took to the floor area. After each song the audience sent rapturous applause and a few thumping yells of β€˜yes!’. We are a relatively smaller crowd than I anticipated but we made sure our appreciation was heard as ASG sends us into a whirl of electro dreamscapes from the opening number to the last note. We get the tracks from her previous two EPs, Measures and Into The Blue Hour, and are also introduced to the latest single Come Back To Me and an even newer one called Diving.

I realised during Uncomfortable Month that I was actually singing along at a mild volume to every word besides Diving. Until this night for a while I have skilled the art of lip-syncing as I have noticed at a few gigs my fellow gig-goers can over-sing the artist which can get annoying but the sound was loud enough that I didn’t realise I was actually singing until I mouthed my favourite lyrics of ASG’s which is, β€œYou’re so shy, I could kill you out of love.” I even caught myself smiling at this point too. It’s a lyric that just GETS me!

There have been a few gigs I have been looking forward to going into 2019 but this gig was the one that I anticipated the most and I don’t know why but after the night I knew I was right to trust that gut feeling. A few I spoke to afterwards eagerly waited to try and talk to Polly after the show. I say try as some then left without a word as she left them speechless.

I am unsure if these words are really a β€˜review’ so to speak but what I can say is that from havingΒ  seen Art School Girlfriend at a festival and a rowdy showcase where people were queuing to get in (and many missing her set due to the numbers) to a solo support show for another artist and two headlines of decent audience numbers in Newcastle, every performance has been quite euphoric and the most recent one tops them all. Art School Girlfriend will soon be mouthed from the lips of more people and the best thing about it is that she is so humble that I don’t think she realises just how great she is and how the music captures others souls.

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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 β€˜Depression’ and Do Anything YouΒ 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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CLEAN CUT KID | TOM SPEIGHT | 31.03.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

CLEAN CUT KID | TOM SPEIGHT | 31.03.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Clean Cut Kid | Tom Speight – 31st March 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

It’s always quite tough being the support act as you never know who will turn up for your set and if they will like you, as many if not all would have bought a ticket to see the headline act. On this night Tom Speight would open for Clean Cut Kid.

Tom and accompanying musician Lydia Clowes gave us a stunning set, but on the mention that he was going to be on Radio 2 soon, there was almost a flat response but then a mention of Glastonbury quickly followed and the reaction was the complete opposite. With that we definitely knew what type of crowd we were dealing with and as the set grew so did the audience that he won over especially with the Phil Collins cover β€˜In The Air Tonight,’ with Lydia giving the drum part a good going. We had a bit of crowd participation with phone lights and the duo coming into crowd for a song titled Joni and a special guest appearance from frontman of the headliners, Mike Halls, giving some impressive backing vocals along with Lydia. The crowd were not prepared for that and it was a bold move that when he ended his set a lot were genuinely quite sad.

Ironically, or maybe not, Clean Cut Kid open with the song Goodbye from their latest album, Painwave and if that is how you say goodbye I think we need more of it – an upbeat melody with sad lyrics actually works especially in the Clean Cut Kid way.

As with any headliner, the floor space immediately fills up closer to show time and the hardcore fans were already in place with Clean Cut Kid over their chests for all to see (in T-shirt form) and with a big booming β€˜hello Newcastle’ from Evelyn the vibe was set. Evelyn tells us that she is originally from down the road which gets a huge cheer. The new songs went down well and those that knew the words were mouthing them with such passion as they bounced around while others were literally smiling throughout in awe of the energy. As a photographer I was actually lost as to where to point the camera, as I wanted to make sure I caught this energy in a still frame. Hope I’ve caught this for you.

Mike does most of the talking throughout the night and has us laughing even through the sad moments of when he describes, β€˜Hayden, Give Love’ and β€˜Jason.’ Clean Cut Kid actually say that the new album is, β€œreaching out to the listener and saying β€œok let’s talk about these things we’re not meant to say out loud,” and what better way to β€˜talk’ than through the power of music. And with the power of music, there’s actually a dedication to new bassist Gaz who fell out with Mike for a good few years. The crowd laugh but we are told it is a true story as we go into the mellow β€˜Brother Of Mine.’ I can’t help but stress how many people were smiling but if you really heard the lyrics, WOW! And tonight reflecting on it that is how β€˜Red Green Black’ came to me especially the lyric, β€œbut then the colours went away like the memories fading fast.” Hearing it on record is one thing then hearing it live with the people that wrote it takes it to another level.

Before the night ends we get a storming trio from their debut album kicking off with title track β€˜Felt’ then β€˜Pick Me Up’ before the mini encore that gives us, as the kids say β€˜a serious bop’ with β€˜Vitamin C’ and the β€˜kids’ have the whole room jumping with not only the infectious guitar hook but the song as a whole. But the ultimate ending of the night comes with, β€˜Emily,’ and I mean that in the sense it is such an anthemic tune. The crowd singing, β€œthere’s a hole in your heart,” is a special moment as I round off my March gigs with a song that β€˜takes depression completely for what it is, and doesn’t try to make it seem less important than it is, but discusses it in such a raw and pure manner,’ as Mike has described it previously. I did not want to be seeing Clean Cut Kid this night. I wasn’t ready to have these danceable tracks come to me with their deep lyrical meanings as March 2019 was a month I really wanted to give up a lot of things but music and the added bonus of live music with my camera kept something positive ticking away inside me. This night Clean Cut Kid made me have a night out in my happy place and quoting Mike on the night he says β€œit’s like playing in your living room,” as they were so chilled and I like many was chilling and bopping our cares away.

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UFO | 28.03.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

UFO | 28.03.2019 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

UFO – 28th March 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy – UFO Last Orders 50 years and 50 photos

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Walking into the pit I’m still looking at the half-empty pint and brass bell that is on top of the amps and stupidly thinking β€œI can’t remember any UFO song featuring a bellβ€œ then it dawns on me just as the last bars of intro music Faith Healer (SAHB) are leaving the PA and a crew member starts ringing the bell very loudly …. of course! IT’S LAST ORDERS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. The clever cheeky nod to the boozy tales of old and the final farewell after 50 years of making some wonderful music.

Three generations of UFO are acknowledged in the first three songs with Mother Mary (Schenker era) We Belong To The Night (Chapman) and Run Boy Run (current axeman Vinnie Moore) and from the outset it’s plain to see that whilst they could easily (and lazily) just come out and perform Strangers In The Night in full (and to be fair that would actually work for the sold out Newcastle crowd tonight!) however, they have other ideas up their sleeve pulling out Venus from 1995’s Walk On Water followed by a blistering Lights Out, a song most bands would keep back as an encore but such is the quality of UFOs legacy they can afford to bang it in here early on!!

It has to be said Vinnie Moore absolutely played his heart out every single song of the set. It’s not an easy task taking on some of the most revered guitar parts in rock history but he does it with just the right amount of feeling, tone and shred to make it his own but never shying away too far from the original.

Phil Mogg has still got one of the best voices around with no signs of faltering after 50 years in the band Baby Blue being a case in point an absolute showcase for him singing over Vinnie’s acoustic melody before the song kicks in properly.

All the big guns are out tonight Only You Can Rock Me, Cherry, Too Hot To Handle. But a brooding Burn Your House Down gives Vinnie a chance to shine and shine he does tearing out the solo as if it was his last!

You’d think going to a bands 50th year tour would make you feel a bit old but far from it there were all ages there loving every bit of it and when Paul Raymond’s keyboards intro to Love To Love kicked in I was a kid again fist in the air β€œmisty green and blue β€œ top of my voice !!!

Rock Bottom as always sees the set out with the guitar /keyboard back n forth from Moore and Raymond stretched to limit all the while being superbly backed by the fine rhythm section of Rob De Luca on bass and UFO veteran Andy Parker on drums

It’s never a UFO gig without Doctor Doctor getting the crowd bouncing and a rousingΒ Shoot Shoot ends not just the night but that’s the last ever UFO gig in Newcastle. That thought saddens me a lot but I can be happy knowing I’ve seen them many times in many guises and this was quite a fitting end. Yeah there were tracks I’d have liked to heard again but as I said earlier the quality of the back catalogue is so good they’d have to do a Springsteenesque length set to include it all.

TIME AT THE BAR LADIES AND GENTS SEE YOUR DRINKS OFF PLEASE

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