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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PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS | 12.07.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | PHOTOS

PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS PIGS | 12.07.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | PHOTOS

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – 12th July 2018 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – 12th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

Here’s a full photo gallery from local legends on their support slot with the Oh Sees. What a gig!

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MAVIS STAPLES | 13.07.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop

MAVIS STAPLES | 13.07.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop

Mavis Staples – 13th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

During the first three songs, I had to stop taking photos and stand and just take in the fact I was in front of the legendary Mavis Staples and she was belting out Slippery People by Talking Heads as though it was her own and to be fair she smashed it! This was a night to savour and whilst the set did feature new songs from the latest album you still felt like you were totally familiar and at home with them all. I have to say I most impressed with how strong her voice still is. You expect a little wavering but nope not this lady she just hit everything spot on and effortlessly! Big shout to the band and backing singers too who were just brilliant.

After Take It Back Mavis explained that the song had been written for her by Benjamin Booker who had opened up the night earlier the mention of Ben’s name raised a large cheer Mavis then jammed the chorus of Bens’ Witness track which she guests on the album not realising Booker was side stage raising an even larger cheer she got Ben up and played the full track with her band just nailing it!

If You’re Ready, I’ll Take You There, Freedom Highway, talks of protest marches, Dr King, family, The Staples Singers etc gave the night a very very special feeling indeed! “A lot of love in the room” is often an overused phrase but not tonight! Love was most definitely in the air.

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BENJAMIN BOOKER | 13.07.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop

BENJAMIN BOOKER | 13.07.2018 | Newcastle Boiler Shop

Benjamin Booker – 13th July 2018 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Benjamin was here opening for legend Mavis Staples on a few dates and certainly did not disappoint! Unlike the last time he was here, this is not a full band affair it’s just Benjamin and guitarist Sam Cohen (who also produced Benjamins’ last album Witness) but the power of the songs from his two albums was not lost.

He has such a sweet soft soulful voice yet standing far back from the mic it still fills the room with ease and by the time he airs title track Witness the crowd are totally on board. I loved the stripped back versions of the songs and seeing Benjamin so obviously buzzing being on the bill with Mavis Staples but hoping he comes back for a headliner spot soon.

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