Nadine Shah | Annabel Allum – 8th July 2019 – Mouth Of The Tyne Festival at Whitley Bay Playhouse
Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)
In its 15th year, Mouth Of The Tyne festival kickstarted on the Monday before the string of nights at Tynemouth’s Priory with a headline show from North East’s own Nadine Shah. Nadine’s voice is not only deep, soulful and raw but also a voice of power and a voice to be heard especially as she mixes in old and new material including some from the Mercury nominated Holiday Destination for this night at the Playhouse in Whitley Bay.
Nadine has never been shy of speaking her own mind. From the moment she is in front of the microphone you feel her words pull you in and are immediately transfixed on the messages in her music. She tells us about how Holiday Destination ‘got legs and gained momentum’ but there is still so much more to do’ and urges the audience to ‘leave the gig with positivity and charge your activism.’ Watching some of the audience members in the crowd you could see that they were taking on this message. Nadine engages her audience for every second she is on the stage with her band. She has a ‘power stance’ as she performs and sometimes sways like a heavyweight boxer ready for the fight, a bit like shall we say, floating like a butterfly and a sting of a bee, as she stares out into the audience. It’s a stare that locks you in and engage with the message she is sending out.
The performance is very honest and open throughout the evening. We get to see the other side of Nadine in her warm, down to earth and personal approach in making sure everyone has a drink and toilet break to a shout out the nurses from the NHS who are there this night. She also tells us about the cancellation of her last tour as she needed time out and she recognises many ticket holders from those dates are in the audience but there are also many faces that she does not recognise, proving that Holiday Destination, although it didn’t have the ‘Adele factor’ of reaching the masses, it was definitely getting the message out there. That is how strong music is and seeing it performed by someone with such a genuine passion for every word she sings sends out a more powerful message.
The crowd is stirred by this and in this dark room you can see the outlines of bodies standing up echoing the performer before them. Roars are loud between songs especially when she dedicates Mother Fighter to the most inspiring and bravest woman she knows, her mother, and to Raghda who spurred on the song. Nadine is pumped throughout the night and as she closes it out with Out The Way she jumps off the stage and runs through the audience to the back of the room then back down onto a speaker on the stage. You can feel the energy and it pulsates through everyone witnessing it.
The same can be said of her support Annabel Allum (unfortunately I missed opening act The Dawdler). Most of the audience are in their seats and some rush back from the bar to catch her set as she and her band take to the stage in their boiler suits not too dissimilar to how you would imagine Maverick, Goose and I guess Ice Man from Top Gun but they carry it off with confidence. I am guessing most of the audience actually have no idea who Annabel Allum is but getting to take photos from the aisle for the third number you could feel they were taken by her and the energetic deliverance of the music.
Energy, power and passion. If I had to sum up this night of music those are the three words that would do it.
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