JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR | 24.03.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR | 24.03.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Joanne Shaw Taylor – 24th March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

I have somehow managed to miss Joanne’s previous Newcastle shows so this was my first live time seeing her live and boy I was not disappointed! With new album Reckless Heart only a month old Joanne treats the crowd to seven of its tracks through the set. Opening with the rockin’ In The Mood followed by the rollin Creepin’ the bar is set high very early in the night.

The band are locked in tight though and maintain the standard delving back into previous albums for Let It Burn and Wrecking Ball. However for me when they come back to Reckless Heart for The Best Thing I can’t stop myself having a bit of a dance (yep even on these old legs) with its wonderful funky soul feel, I am reminded of the likes of Galactic and Gary Clark Jr at their best.

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long is just one of those songs destined to become a classic, the solo is just jawdropping making you realise what a talent she is, no tricks, no whammy bar and very little effects, just technique, tone and pure feeling it’s one of those time you just have to applaud mid-song it’s that good. There are smiles all round on stage as the band play off each other and the infectious New 89 has everyone singing “you go your way I’ll go mine” before the walking bass line of title track Reckless Heart brings the tempo down a notch to a very appreciative Boiler Shop crowd.

The 90 minutes fly by and encores of Mud Honey and instrumental White Sugar see the night out. The latter sees JST absolutely channelling her inner Stevie Ray Vaughan to a tee (hope she won’t mind me seeing that) but still retains her own style. I know I said at the start I’d missed earlier shows but after this one, I will be doing my utmost not to do that again. I may be late to the party but at least I got there eh?!

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SLEAFORD MODS | 01.03.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SLEAFORD MODS | 01.03.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Sleaford Mods – 1st March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Sleaford Mods - 1st March 2019 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Sleaford Mods – 1st March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Review by Donna Wyatt. Photos by Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

We are standing in a packed, sold out Boiler Shop waiting for what is likely our top played current band in our household, the Sleaford Mods. Supported by LIINES, we had only managed to catch the last couple of songs due to having to trek back to our car to dispose of my backpack that was not allowed into the venue due to a recent policy change, but what we did hear was rocking, bassy and full of energy leaving us wishing a bag hadn’t caused such a controversy. So heads up if you are Boiler Shop bound!

I had been introduced to the Sleaford’s a few years earlier by a friend and I had been instantly hooked by the raw punk style fury and dripping sarcasm, spitting disaffected contempt and council estate life, corruptness and characters that I’d met on more than one occasion. This band blew me away with just how hooked into my generation they were, just how sick of all the shit and weary we are, voices sore from shouting. I instantly introduced them to the Mister knowing he was about to fall hard for this band, and I wasn’t disappointed as he ate the music alive. We had the pleasure of the front row at Beatherder festival 2017 where Sleafords headlined and watching the Mister dressed as Dorothy Gale dancing and singing with pure unadulterated joy to these lads will be one of my most enduring life memories. Fast forward 2 years and here we are again, front row poised and even headier having had the pleasure of popping along to the record signing and meeting Jason and Andrew earlier that day.

Sleaford Mods - 1st March 2019 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Sleaford Mods – 1st March 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Andrew takes up his stance with the laptop and a beer, and spends the night looking like he’s having the time of his life, his stripped back beats that encapsulates hip hop, rave, electronica and pop but somehow weaves the same sarcastic humour as Jason’s lyrics with quirky notes and kazoo sprinkled into the mix, and you’ve gotta love anyone who gets a kazoo in there.

Jason is in full character as he belts out his performance with the skilled art of a poet. It would be easy to dismiss him as an angry post-punk performer but his clever play on words and sharp observations on the current state of affairs, his utter contempt and downright piss taking humour speaks to me more as a keen and talented writer who would be as likely to write a best seller as a top ten hit. His melodic voice goes from gentle and soulful up to furious screaming energy that can dissipate into silly humour dripping with searing sarcasm. At one point Jason proclaims how delighted and thankful they were that the album had reached number 9 in the charts, but I couldn’t help but laugh my tits off at just how much it sounded to my ears that this was a pure piss take and in reality they couldn’t give a damn toss about a number in a chart that means fuck all to our generation now.

To my utter delight when the set ended the guys exited stage left and were done. There was no encore and I liked that very much. Is there anything more wanky than jumping off stage and back on again for that one more song?

You may think Sleaford Mods are a bit marmite, but team Wyatt are big marmite fans!

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WHITE LIES and BONIFACE | 04.02.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

WHITE LIES and BONIFACE | 04.02.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

White Lies and Boniface – 4th February 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

I was sat in a pub, around the corner from the venue before doors opened, there were many getting in high spirits with their VIP upgrade lanyards and T-shirts emblazoned with White Lies. There was an excitement brewing. We were celebrating White Lies fifth studio album and their tenth year in the industry. One fan really was in the spirits as he was covered head to toe in the merch stand!

Boniface - 4th Feb 2019 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Boniface – 4th Feb 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Canadian quartet Boniface fronted by Micah Visser welcomed the early gig-goers, which there were quite a number of, giving us ‘indie sensibility and making it glisten.’ The two members on synths/keys with guitars were very eye-catching as they bounced around in their spots while Micah does mainly the static lead singer holding mic pose with added guitar and coming to life from time to time and at one point joining in on the keys. A very energetic performance and a choice support band.

Excitement and intoxication filled the packed Boiler Shop as the band stepped on stage and with the first glance of them chants of “Harry” came as opening track from their latest release starts and a singalong from the get-go to Time To Give. Harry McVeigh is a great frontman and genuinely seems pleased to be back in Newcastle as at every opportunity he is beaming with arms raised and gives the city a huge shout-out more than I have ever heard any band when interacting with a crowd.

There is a great mix of material from the new album ‘Five’ but songs from the back catalogue are greatly received too with the thumping Farewell To The Fairground being first up and when Harry asks the crowd to sing back they do it with so much passion, that you wouldn’t quite believe we are in a 1000 capacity venue. The sound is loud and the lights go from static blues, reds then bursts of other colours and strobes, which adds to the excitement of the night. As the night goes on many gig-goers try their best to get to where people had already taken the prime spots but those in them were not going to let them go without a fight. Luckily none of that happened as the majority just wanted to live this experience with other gig goers.

The chants for Harry come and go throughout the night but the other members are just as energetic with Charles Cave on bass and backing vocals and thumping out the energy on drums is Jack Brown. On this tour, the three-piece become a four with Tommy Bowen letting his fingers do the magic on the keys. But Harry’s charisma really does steal the show and at every opportunity his arms are up in the air as if to say, ‘let me embrace every single moment of this night just as much as you are,’ especially with the tenth anniversary of their first release and as he mentions this the crowd erupt. It’s a very nostalgic moment for the majority of the room as they remember how old they were when Unfinished Business hit the airwaves and they jump having the time of their lives. This feeling stays for the stand out track on the new album, Tokyo, and Harry feels this and is literally thumping his fist on his chest as the crowd get rowdier.

The whole night is full of energy. You wonder when you are going to catch your breath but that comes when Harry returns solo for the encore and sits behind the keyboard to play Change from the Big TV album and it is the quietest the crowd becomes. What a moment. But of course the night could not end like that and we are treated to the anthemic To Lose My Life and the loudest I hear Charles’ vocals. It’s good to have these guys back and being ever so humble. Ten years you say. Here’s to another ten.

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YOUNG FATHERS | 22.01.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

YOUNG FATHERS | 22.01.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

 Young Fathers – 22nd January 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

I was first introduced to Young fathers last year, I instantly loved what I heard. I heard they were coming to Newcastle so I knew I had to be there.

The band were supposed to be playing this gig in December but due to illness they had to cancel, however, the rescheduled date of January 22nd soon came around and I’m at the Boiler Shop eagerly awaiting for them to come on stage. They were fifteen minutes late, it didn’t matter the crowd was more than ready and to be fair had waited long enough that an extra fifteen minutes made little difference.

The energy that the Young Fathers bring to the stage is mesmerising and infectious, almost instantly the crowd are responding. They’ve come a long way in the last ten years, from humble beginnings playing in nightclubs to a Mercury award-winning group this is a band that’s of the now and should be taken notice of.

It’s hard to put into words a night and a performance as flawless as this that I think I’m just going to leave it at that and finish of by saying that they were everything I was hoping they would be and much much more.

Setlist

  1. Get started
  2. Wire
  3. Queen is dead
  4. Feasting
  5. Toys
  6. Wow
  7. Get up
  8. Dare me
  9. Rain or shine
  10. Old rock n roll
  11. Low
  12. In my view
  13. Border girl
  14. Only God knows
  15. Lord
  16. Shame

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JON HOPKINS | 17.11.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

JON HOPKINS | 17.11.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Jon Hopkins – 17th November 2018 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Review Neil Ainger. Photography Gav Wyatt 

Jon Hopkins - 17th November 2018 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Jon Hopkins – 17th November 2018 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Enclosed in complete darkness, curtains drawn, alone and eyes closed I have pushed play on an album time and time again since its release and immediately felt at ease. From the very first beats of Singularity, time has seemingly slowed to the crawl of a much more manageable pace. I have been able to feel tension leaving my body and fears dissipate. It is a powerful sensation and something I experience less frequently as I age. That unique, emotional connection that I can make only to music. Music can make us happy, it can make us sad, it can inspire and motivate. It can heal and repair. It is the latter that has tied me to this record this year, as if I were desperately clinging to it like a life raft until the storm can be weathered. It is not just a record I have become a fan of but one I have depended on during the most stressful and traumatic year of my life.

The impressive Boiler Shop venue in Newcastle has rapidly expanded in its popularity and its value to the city over the last two or three years and on this night it was filled with an infectious and exciting buzz of anticipation which could be felt throughout Nathan Fake’s bold hour-long support set. With 15 years of experience, Nathan Fake is no ‘standard’ support offering, if there ever really is such a thing, but rather an integral part of the evening. After 60 minutes of his intense, techno-infused grind the venue is at capacity and I’d swear that the energy in the air is potent enough that I could hear it audibly crackling. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to him afterwards for long enough to shake his hand and thank him for his set. Although the subsequent exchange was very brief he also seems to be very pleasant and this certainly adds to his charm.

From his humble beginnings playing keys for Imogen Heap in 1998, collaborating with Brian Eno and touring the world with Coldplay, Jon Hopkins journey to this, the promotional tour for his fifth solo record, has been one of twists and turns. When it seemed as though his career as a solo artist may never truly get off the ground, Hopkins could have easily found himself earning a solid living as a producer. This could have even proven to be a fruitful path to take. I feel, however, blessed on this night that this never happened and over the last ten years his career has simply gone from strength to strength. 2013s Immunity was a crowning glory. A reward for a steady ascent to the summit of his craft. It was met with widespread acclaim and following it up a whole five years later was always going to be challenging.

Jon Hopkins - 17th November 2018 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Jon Hopkins – 17th November 2018 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Those first beats of Singularity therefore are an immediate relief as well as the knife that cleanly cuts the electric tension of a capacity crowd, as the opening 20 minutes or so of the set are dedicated to his latest triumph. The title track serves as a slow and peaceful build into the albums lead single, Emerald Rush, which is met with a raucous cheer. Neon Pattern Drum is similarly received and is truly blissful in its delivery. Hopkins drives tirelessly through a consuming, trademark set of vigorous yet joyous bangers that are guaranteed to have a sweaty capacity venue both dancing and occasionally to be afforded a moment to breathe and bathe in the euphoria of the moment.

Hopkins makes very grounding and human music, taking sharp turns from energetic techno and percussive IDM to joyful, gentle piano music. It is the fragility and the vulnerability of his minimal piano music I would argue his set is lacking but there remains moments of a very real and intimate beauty in the remainder of his set, which featured some of his more prominent tracks in the back catalogue, such as Open Eye Signal, Collider and Luminous Beings.

During Emerald Rush, I find myself closing my eyes. Enclosed in complete darkness once more I could swear I am taken back to that all too familiar state. A feeling of standing alone, despite the heat of bodies as people dance around me. Completely at ease, despite the excitable atmosphere in the air. A feeling of time slowing down, solidifying a moment in time that frankly I wish would never end. It is a state in which life’s colossal and critical tests and trials are made to feel so small and insignificant that one is filled with a motivating reassurance that they can easily be overcome should you simply be able to survive just one more day.

Jon Hopkins live is a triumphant and jubilant experience. It is a warm and comforting exploration and celebration of the complex range of human emotion. It is the party we’ve been waiting all week for. It is the escape from all that is weighing on our minds. It is, frankly, whatever you need it to be. Whatever that may be, it is evidence that Hopkins is still very much on top of his game and, for me personally, I left thankful for what I had been given, for that which I encounter less and less, for that indescribable and overpowering emotional connection to music that little else can quite live up to.

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GLASVEGAS | 24.10.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | PHOTOS

GLASVEGAS | 24.10.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | PHOTOS

Glasvegas – 24th October 2018 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Glasvegas made their second appearance in Newcastle this year, following their surprise slot at this years Hit The North Festival. This time around they played the Boiler Shop to mark their 10th Anniversary. Gav Wyatt was there to capture it!

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DEATH IN VEGAS | 26.07.2018 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

DEATH IN VEGAS | 26.07.2018 | Boiler Shop Newcastle

Death in Vegas – 26th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle – Photos

Death in Vegas – 26th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

I’ve been experimenting with different genres this year and this gig caught my eye. I’m only very vaguely aware of DOV but it was enough to entice me down to check them out. Dark, strobing Boiler Shop made for the perfect setting!

An opening DJ set from Dixon Avenue Basement Jams got the punters dancing!

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