FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS | 01.02.2019 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS | 01.02.2019 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – 1st February 2019 – Northumbria Institute

Fun Lovin’ Criminals – 1st February 2019 – Northumbria Institute

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

Kicking off February on a white-out freezing night in Northumbria University, New York’s most loved Fun Loving Criminals brought the classically smooth funk that has been a soundtrack to our lives since the 90’s.

I remember the first time I heard Scooby snacks, probably one of their most notable and memorable hits, and how it instantly got into the psyche of a generation. Looking around the audience I saw an eclectic mix of people, perhaps reflective of the eclectic music on offer, as Criminals span a range of genres including rhythm and blues, hip hop, funk and soul.

Lead singer Huey Morgan had suffered an injury to his leg recently so had to remain seated, but his rapport was not diminished as his humour and mischievous personality shone from his red leather chair while he sipped on Remy Martin. Drummer, Frank Benbini (a Brit who recalled a year working at Spanish City and a special place in his heart for the North East) worked the crowd and won hearts instantly, not once fading into the background as he exuded great showmanship and banter, Whilst the equally charming Brian Leiser handled Bass, keyboards, Trumpet and Harmonica with ease and style and was quite the charmer, often cracking the whip to keep the boys on track and steering the tangents back to the music.

Huey was on top form despite a heady mix of brandy and painkillers and being stuck in a chair with his smooth voice and wit and had a plentiful supply of guitar picks to ensure a good few spectators took a souvenir home. The camaraderie between the 3 was tight and endearing whilst the music went through belting classics such as Loco, Fun Loving Criminals, Love Unlimited and Scooby Snacks and to more recent offerings from the latest album, Another Mimosa.

It was a banging set delivered in style and although it might have been a freezing cold, snow-covered night everyone left with warm fuzzy smiles.

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HEAVY LUNGS | 30.01.2019 | Newcastle Think Tank Underground | REVIEW and PHOTOS

HEAVY LUNGS | 30.01.2019 | Newcastle Think Tank Underground | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Heavy Lungs – 30th January 2019 – Newcastle Think Tank Underground

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Heavy Lungs – 30th January 2019 – Newcastle Think Tank

On the night that Boyzone played in front thousands at the Metro Radio Arena, I chose to spend my night Watching some proper music instead at Newcastle Think Tank. Following on from supporting Idles at Newcastle Riverside in October post-punk band heavy lungs arrived back in Newcastle to play at Think Tank as a part of their own UK tour, previously playing Nottingham the night before.

Heavy Lungs follow a long line of successful bands that have made the leap out of Bristol. Having only formed in the spring of 2017 they have already supported some big bands (such as pals Idles) and they are carving their own path through the British music scene.

Playing Downstairs in Think Tank’s Underground the rooms barren décor of heavy steel beams concrete and wooden pallet clad walls played the perfect backdrop to the four pieces set which included drummer George pummelling his kit through every song and vocalist Danny ponding on and off stage and more guitar riffs and bass licks than you can shake a shitty stick at.

Heavy Lungs are a great band to see live and if they keep playing gigs at the pace they play their music then I’m sure they’ll soon pick up a big following and go far.

Setlist;

  • Half full
  • Jealous
  • Roy
  • Blood Brother
  • Motorhead
  • Stutter
  • Charmer
  • Bangalore
  • Descend
  • Unfaithful one

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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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SUMO CYCO | 03.12.2018 | Newcastle University | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SUMO CYCO | 03.12.2018 | Newcastle University | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Sumo Cyco – 3rd December 2018 – Newcastle University

Review and photos by Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Monday 3rd of December and we see Canadian punk rock band Sumo Cyco return to Newcastle to play in front of a growing crowd as one half of a double support for CKY. the headliners. They followed Bullets and Octane who themselves warmed the crowd up with some heavy riffs and great vocals. They got out into the crowd and at one point were stood performing on the bar.

A brief turnaround and Sumo Cyco catapulted themselves onto the stage. I’ve never seen Sumo Cyco before and I’d been told that they are great to photograph and I wasn’t disappointed, the opening song ‘Sleep Tight’ sees them launch into a quick guitar riff accompanied with bass before lead vocalist Sky ‘sever ’Sweetman walks onto stage in a full-length Black catsuit and contrasting long blonde hair which, by the chorus, she’s thrashing about on stage.

Third song in and they give the crowd their cover of System of a Sown’s B.O.Y.B which is well received, however the crowd isn’t fully on board just yet and it takes Sever venturing into the crowd to create her own mosh pit around her.

A few songs later and she’s crowd bound again, this time on the shoulders of one of the members of the audience and directing him to the bar, where she orders herself a shot to down. When she’s returned to the front, she’s not quite finished yet and she returns to the centre of the floor to instruct the crowd to get down low with her,  by this point the crowd are well on board and happily go along jumping up when the beat kicks back in with her.

Their finale is ‘Fighter’ which ends an energetic set that was faultless, you can tell that they are an award-winning line up and that is why they’ve been asked to support some of the greatest bands on the scene, though personally, I feel that they would quite easily sell out shows as headliners in themselves, with kicking riffs and an enigmatic and energetic frontwoman that knows how to work a crowd.

Setlist:

  • Sleep Tight
  • Anti-Anthem
  • B.Y.O.B.
  • Undefeated
  • Rivalry
  • The Broadcasters
  • Free Yourself
  • Move Mountains
  • Fighter

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stick around to see CKY but if you have to follow that then you better be bloody good and if you get the chance to go and see them then do so, because if they are up this far north again I will be!

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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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SOUL II SOUL | 04.11.2018 | Gateshead Sage | PHOTOS

SOUL II SOUL | 04.11.2018 | Gateshead Sage | PHOTOS

Soul II Soul – 4th November 2018 – Gateshead Sage

Soul II Soul - 4th November 2018 - Gateshead Sage
Soul II Soul – 4th November 2018 – Gateshead Sage

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Soul II Soul celebrated a huge milestone with their 30th Anniversary. Gav Wyatt was there to capture the spectacular show!

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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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RUDIMENTAL | 19.10.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy – PHOTOS

RUDIMENTAL | 19.10.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy – PHOTOS

Rudimental – 19th October 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Here’s a photo feature by Gav from Rudimental’s recent Newcastle gig!

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PUSSY RIOT | 20.08.2018 | Newcastle Riverside

PUSSY RIOT | 20.08.2018 | Newcastle Riverside

Pussy Riot – 20th August 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

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BELLY | 14.06.2018 | Whitley Bay Playhouse

BELLY | 14.06.2018 | Whitley Bay Playhouse

Belly – 14th June 2018 – Whitley Bay Playhouse – Photos

By Gav Wyatt (G.Wyatt photography)

Gavin captures 90s legends Belly as they hit The Whitley Playhouse earlier this month!

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