TEN EIGHTY TREES | DUNES | SING AGAIN SYREN | 20.04.2019 | Think Tank Underground | REVIEW and PHOTOS

TEN EIGHTY TREES | DUNES | SING AGAIN SYREN | 20.04.2019 | Think Tank Underground | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Ten Eighty Trees, Dunes, Sing Again Syren – 20th April 2019 – Think Tank Underground

Ten Eighty Trees – 20th April 2019 – Think Tank

Review and photos by Graeme J. Baty from Blank Slate Creative

I walked into the venue with a strong sense of déjà vu tonight, in the most positive way. Dunes and Ten Eighty Trees played together last year and that was a fantastic night. So when this show was announced a huge smile appeared on my dial! The lineup promised to be a power trio of power trios.

Sing Again Syren – 20th April – Think Tank Underground

First up a new band on the local scene who are making a bit of a name for themselves; Sing Again Syren. Tonight is my first time seeing them and I had no doubt they’d be something special for this lineup. I wasn’t disappointed.

A three-piece of highly accomplished players jamming with some distinctive hard rock with a hint blues thrown in for an irresistible sound. As they walk on stage I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but by the time they closed their set they left a few people with jaws on the floor. A fantastic rhythm section and a distinct low-end groove. Guitarist Eliza Lee stole the show with her incredible shredding. The entire band are incredibly skilled. Impressive to note that they’ve only been going since late 2018, if they push their stage presence forward a bit I sense great things ahead for this lot. I’d definitely call Sing Again Syren as ones to watch out for.

Dunes – 20th April 2019 – Think Tank

Syren’s warmed the audience up nicely and next up came high impact riffage of Dunes! What can I say about Dunes? Well, they are the band I’ve seen the most in recent years. In fact, I’ve entirely lost count, definitely in double digits now and becoming difficult to honestly review them since they’re always on top form and I am a bit biased, to be honest, I love DUNES!

This fact aside they never fail to impress. If anything they’ve become stronger and more defined as they moved to a three-piece. The band might be endlessly compared to that American band but they’ve knuckled down and made their own identity which is far greater than the recent output of said band. That identity is good old killer riffs and witty lyrics, you can help but love their sound.

A new album is in the bag and coming out later in 2019. We were treated to a few of the tracks from it including Take Me To The Nasties and my current earworm Denim Casket. They closed their set with a long epic version of Illegitimate Hulk. If you weren’t a Dunes fan before tonight’s set, you are now! Proper mint!

Ten Eighty Trees – 20th April 2019 – Think Tank

Ten Eighty Trees headline tonight celebrating the launch of their new single Casual Habits. It’s a stellar turnout for them and the room is buzzing. That buzz is absorbed by the band and reciprocated with a phenomenal show. The sheer enthusiasm and energy of the band is utterly intoxicating. Frontman Nathan knows how to work a crowd and appears to be having the time of his life up there, striking endless amounts of rock poses. His high energy antics proved a delight to photograph.

Every now and again you’ll catch a band and they blow you away. It doesn’t happen as often as it used to for me. I’ll put that down to middle age! It happened when I saw them in late 2018 with Dunes. However, Ten Eighty Trees seem to have stadium rock written all over them. Although their music is fairly undefinable and incredibly diverse there is that magic there and some densely crafted songs that evolve and intrigue, the more you listen to them the more you like them. It’s a magic that could propel them to a much wider audience.

Each member of the band demands your attention. Drummer Michael Mather endlessly smiling and pulling faces while bassist Lewis Glathom powers through the setlist, not to be outdone he drives the songs, mixes up styles and even lays down the funk at times. Such a fantastic rhythm section!

The Ten Eighty live sound is much more intense than their super slick recordings would suggest. Adding a sense of drama and dirt to it. Very powerful but you’re brought back down to earth with catchy singalong choruses, it’s all too easy to get swept along with them and lose your shit. Something Feral is a great example of this, killer rock riffs coupled with a sucker-punch of a singalong “Ohh Owoh!”.

Ten Eighty Trees are still a fairly new band but with huge promising potential. I shall enjoy watching these rise through the ranks. Tonight the had the audience eating out of the palm of their hands and singing back word for word. This is a new generation of Newcastle bands that aren’t afraid to do their own thing and refuse to fit into the standard boring indie music that has plagued the local scene for the last few years. The future is bright, the future is 1080! What a night.

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TEN EIGHTY TREES headline Think Tank April 2019 | GIG NEWS

TEN EIGHTY TREES headline Think Tank April 2019 | GIG NEWS

Ten Eighty Trees headline Think Tank April 2019

The hotly tipped Ten Eighty Trees have announced a headlining local show with a stellar lineup! A great chance to catch them at a small venue before they hit the big time. They play Think Tank Underground on the 20th April with Dunes and Sing Again Syren.

And Dunes Seapig. Which was proudly shot by us! Book us at blank-slate-creative.com/video-services/music-videos

ARAN GLOVER TRIBUTE (Richard Mcmahon, Waheela, Dunes and Dragnet) | 12.01.2019 | Newcastle Cluny

ARAN GLOVER TRIBUTE (Richard Mcmahon, Waheela, Dunes and Dragnet) | 12.01.2019 | Newcastle Cluny

Aran Glover Tribute – 12th January 2019 – Richard Mcmahon, Waheela, Dunes and Dragnet

Aran Glover Tribute 2019

It’s now a few months since Aran left us and it’s still not sunk in. Friends of Aran decided to pay tribute to the man the best possible way; a loud gig! There was an incredible turnout, so many familiar faces and I’m told that the evening raised over £1300.

We Are Knuckle Dragger - ArcTanGent Festival - Bristol
We Are Knuckle Dragger – ArcTanGent Festival – Bristol

The night was in support of a great cause – If U Care Share Foundation. Which is cause very close to my heart. I’ve battled inner demons for most of my adult life, only in the last twelve months have shed my shame that the illness brings and I now talk openly about it. Talking has helped me a lot, I nearly lost the fight and I’m very lucky to still be here.

I’m also lucky to have met some incredible people in my time as a gig photographer, particularly at the time of regular Knuckle Dragger gigs; 2013-2014. There was such a rich amount of diverse talent in the region at that time and Aran regularly supported and hosted local bands and introduced me to quite a lot of amazing acts.

wakd – Oct 2013

The Drone album launch (above) remains one of my favourite gigs of all time and that album is still in regular rotation, an absolute beast of a record, I bloody adore it. Their achievements aren’t anything to scoff at, it’s mind-boggling to think that a little 3 piece band from Newcastle have recorded with the likes of Ross Robinson and Steve Albini.

I had some great times with Aran, I think we bonded over our love of heavy music and our fondness for the alcohol. I was lucky enough to go on the road with WAKD mk II, braving rainstorms, broken tents, awol drummers, exploding amps and killer hangovers at Arctangent Festival in 2014.

I always hoped WAKD would return, they were magic. In summer of 2014, I did an unreleased photoshoot of the new lineup (in drag too!) as we waited for the other band members to arrive Aran played me some demos on his old school mobile phone. The sound quality of the phone was terrible but the songs were anything but! Arctangent clearly had an influence on him and he was writing some amazing math-rock/ASIWYFA style songs.

Aran always had a hug and a smile when you bumped into him. You could talk to him about anything, he was one of the good guys. I’m heartbroken that he’s gone but eternally grateful for having known him. A wee legend. I miss him greatly.

We Are Knuckle Dragger
We Are Knuckle Dragger

I promised myself I’d just go to the gig and watch the bands, but last minute decided I’d take my camera for old times sake. There was a richly diverse set of acts, some touching acoustic songs from Richard Mcmahon. Having not seen them in years last time. I’d forgotten just how potent Waheela are as a live act, they are one of the Northeasts best-kept secrets. Our beloved Dunes (all decked out in WAKD t-shirts) brought the riffs with a fast stomping set. Finally, we had Dragnet back from a 6-year gap and they were incredible.

Here’s a handful of photos from a bloody brilliant night. Huge credit to the bands and organisers. I’m sure he’d be proud of you all 🙂

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DUNES | TEN EIGHTY TREES | TOO CLOSE FOR MISSLES |  17.11.2018 | Think Tank | PHOTOS

DUNES | TEN EIGHTY TREES | TOO CLOSE FOR MISSLES | 17.11.2018 | Think Tank | PHOTOS

Dunes | Ten Eighty Trees | Too Close For Missiles – 17th November 2018 – Think Tank

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Dunes – 17th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Think Tank

These days I don’t get enough time to go out and enjoy local bands as much as I’d like but this one was unmissable. It was a great night. Lots of new Dunes tunes! I’m really looking forward to hearing their debut album, which should be out in 2019. Ten Eighty Trees were a ridiculous amount of fun and Too Close For Missiles even won me over despite my usual animosity towards pop-punk! All bands to watch out for!

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EUREKA MACHINES to play the Cluny

Eureka Machines to play the Cluny in September

It’s no understatement to say that these finely dressed chaps are one of the best live acts you’ll ever see.

They’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the band and have a new album out too. They play the Cluny 2 on 14th Sept 2018. Added bonus of our pals in Dunes and Logoz supporting!

DUNES | 22.05.2018 | Newcastle Think Tank | PHOTOS

DUNES | 22.05.2018 | Newcastle Think Tank | PHOTOS

Dunes – 22nd May 2018 – Think Tank Newcastle – Photos

I was feeling a bit down in the dumps until I heard Dunes were playing! I popped in for their set and left my low mood behind! Three new songs tonight from their upcoming debut LP. Very very nice! This is the first time I’ve seen them properly (other than on our shoot for the Seapig video) this year. It’s hard not to like their music, easily my favourite local act in recent years.

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DUNES EP 2 – REVIEW

DUNES EP 2 – REVIEW

Dunes EP 2

Review by Neil Ainger

Dunes released their first EP only last year. Short and packed full of energy, the release showcased the Newcastle trios brand of compact and infectious desert rock. The grainy guitar tones and thunderous drumming, as well as a keen sense of melody, are somewhat reminiscent of large parts of the Queens of the Stone Age catalogue.

Not even 12 months later and the band are back, offering their latest release and second EP. The new release offers much of the same as far as style goes. Still compact, EP2 boasts another 5 tracks that walk the line between desert and stoner rock while expanding on what came before it.

While describing the guitar tone as grainy was no insult, the new material bites that bit harder and with a little more clarity. The result is a release that continues the knack for writing contagious choruses while packing a more explosive punch.

Opening track Everything is OK is a ray of light. Upbeat and defiantly positive, it encompasses the bands approach to easily-digested and irresistible hooks with a pop sensibility, laced with biting stoner riffs. There’s even a rather superb use of hand-clapping.

Seapig is probably the most melodious track on the record, with a tuneful chorus and subtle vocal harmonies before the band break it down into a groove and perhaps their meanest riff to date. There is more groove to be found on Simian Circus along with a furious, machine-gun-like bass and Black Bridge is textbook, brooding, Kyuss-style desert rock.

Bringing the record to a close with the pacy, psychedelic outro to Illegitimate Hulk I’m left to conclude that while the latest EP is very much a continuation of the first, it’s the result of a band growing in ability and fine-tuning their craft, in capturing the energy of their live performances on record and in showcasing their strengths in the studio. EP2 suggests that when the time comes for a debut full length, the strides forward taken here should help to ensure that it is as good as it can be and personally I can’t wait to hear it.

Dunes EP 2 is out now available on CD and download here

 

DUNES – August 2017 – Think Tank Newcastle – PHOTO FEATURE

DUNES – August 2017 – Think Tank Newcastle – PHOTO FEATURE

Dunes – August 2017 – Think Tank Newcastle

This lot again?! Think they’re the band I’ve seen the most in 2017 by far! I can confirm they’re still mint

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