THUNDER | DAN REED | 06.02.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THUNDER | DAN REED | 06.02.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Thunder and Dan Reed – 6th February 2019 – Gateshead Sage

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Thunder live at Sage Gateshead

Dan Reed opened the evening, abandoning the funky riffage of the Dan Reed Network for a more laid back acoustic style. He’s not an artist that I’m massively familiar with, but his set was very impressive and his vocals were superb, particularly on an acoustic cover of ‘Holy Diver’, which he dedicated to Ronnie James Dio.

Dan Reed live at Sage, Gateshead

You could tell by the response from the crowd that he had a lot of his own fans in attendance, but his excellent performance did a good job of winning over a lot of the Thunder faithful too. Even solo on an acoustic guitar he still brought some funk with ‘Get to You’, before finishing his set with a beautifully delivered acapella rendition of ‘All My Loving’ which received a standing ovation from sections of the audience.

Thunder live at Sage Gateshead

Thunder were touring their new album, Please Remain Seated, which sees them revisit songs from throughout their career and give them a new minimalist arrangement. If you’re familiar with Thunder’s live show, the idea of them doing an unplugged set in an all-seated venue might seem a bit strange… A band famous for their hard rock anthems (that are made for dancing) playing acoustically in an all-seated venue is one of those concepts that can go one of two ways, and I was curious to see how it would turn out!

I’ve seen Thunder play all of their hits on umpteen occasions over the past 15 years, so the prospect of them playing a non-standard setlist with some curveball selections and different interpretations was something I’d been really looking forward to. I’d deliberately avoided listening to the Please Remain Seated album prior to the gig, as I wanted to reserve judgement of the reimagined songs for the live performance, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The set began with only Danny Bowes and Luke Morley on stage, delivering a stunning stripped back version of ‘Love Walked In’, with Morley on 12 string acoustic and Bowes bringing out a much more subtle and nuanced performance to the well-worn classic. The rest of the band joined them on stage for an almost country-ish version of Stand Up, and the mood was set for the evening. The atmosphere on stage was very loose and relaxed, the band joking with the crowd and each other between songs.

Thunder live at Sage Gateshead

The minimalist genre-swapping arrangements were not only refreshing to hear, but they also gave the band a chance to cut loose and show what they could do and experiment a bit more on their instruments than they would normally in a standard Thunder set. Chris Childs on bass was particularly impressive on a chilled-out jazz version of ‘Girl’s Going Out Of Her Head’ – one of the biggest stylistic surprises of the night if you’re familiar with the frenetic, riff-driven original version!

A slow bluesy version of ‘Loser’ further proved the point that a damn good song is a damn good song regardless of how it’s arranged, and it gave Morley a chance to lay down some more sumptuous lead guitar work.

The setlist blended the songs from Please Remain Seated album with other reworked arrangements from their back catalogue. Classics like ‘River of Pain’ and ‘Higher Ground’ were given fresh legs with the new versions and got the crowd singing along loudly, while newer songs like ‘Resurrection Day’ really stood out in the live setting.

My personal highlight of the night was an outstanding delivery of ‘A Better Man’, with Danny Bowes showing he’s still one of the best classic rock voices in the business. It was immaculately observed by the packed Sage crowd and you could have heard a pin drop in the quiet sections, everyone was so transfixed on the performance.

The band closed the set with a sensational arrangement of ‘Low Life in High Places’, which has always been one of their best-written songs, and the stripped back orchestration added extra weight to it. Starting with just vocals and piano it gradually built up to the powerful chorus and instrumental section, including a guest appearance of a choir, who were suddenly illuminated behind the back curtain. The band left the stage to a standing ovation, promising to be back soon with a fully electric set.

Credit to Thunder for taking a chance and trying something new, rather than just doing another standard “hits” tour, and it genuinely felt like witnessing something special on stage. The experiment paid off!

Setlist:

Love Walked In
Stand Up
Miracle Man
River Of Pain
Future Train
Blown Away
Girl’s Going Out of Her Head
Higher Ground
Empty City
A Better Man
Fly on the Wall
Just Another Suicide
Bigger Than Both of Us
Loser
Serpentine

Robert Johnson’s Tombstone
She’s So Fine
Resurrection Day
Low Life In High Places

PHOTO GALLERY

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Images Copyright Kevin Burdon Photography. For permission to use these images please contact us


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ANOTHER SKY, BETH MACARI, TALK LIKE TIGERS | 19.01.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ANOTHER SKY, BETH MACARI, TALK LIKE TIGERS | 19.01.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

 ‘New Year New Artists’ with Another Sky, Beth Macari, Talk Like Tigers, Nick Roberts – 19th January 2019 – Gateshead Sage

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Sage Gateshead hosted ‘New Year New Artists’ from 17th-20th January to celebrate, ‘the UK’s most exciting contemporary musicians,’ from folk, classical, jazz, world music and indie, with Blank Slate covering the Saturday night programme that was hosted by BBC Introducing North East.

A wonderful noticeable thing of the night, is that the three acts: Talk Like Tigers with their electro-pop, Beth Macari with her funk-soul vibes and Another Sky with their dark, cinematic sounds, helped to pull in an audience of varying age proving that music really does bring people together, as throughout all three acts the majority of the audience remained.

Nick Roberts, presenter of BBC Introducing North East provided tracks to warm us up and entertained between sets. Some did wonder if he was presenting his show on BBC Newcastle at the same time as it was a noticeably North East soundtrack.

Twin duo Talk Like Tigers opened the night, harmonising tightly over electro pulsating beats from their simple set-up and slightly choreographed moves. They are very sleek and engaging throughout with their catchy numbers that have the crowd dancing, even to slightly darker sounding sounds.

Beth Macari has a powerful voice, backed by a funky band. I have seen Beth in the past and it was apparent that there was something there, but it has been a while since I have seen her perform live and tonight, I was left with my mouth on the floor as it seems she has gone from a solid 8 to a 12/10 in my books. She has a charisma that matches her music and her band is just as engaging. If you want to dance and be blown away a night with Beth Macari could do it.

Headliners of the night were London four-piece Another Sky with bassist Naomi being the North East connection. They first came to my attention when they supported Laurel on her tour late last Summer. Catrin’s voice has won critical acclaim and that is what captured me first. I almost likened them to a dark and heavier version of London Grammar, who I love but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, that voice is deep like Hannah Reids and the music is atmospheric but that is where the comparison ends…that is if anyone has ever found that comparison bar me!

Another Sky then took a leap forward with an appearance on Later with Jools Holland, which seems is why many of the audience were there on this night. Of the three acts Another Sky’s set seemed more intense but in a different way of that term as many of the audience actually stood further back from the stage to get a fuller scope of every band member. They have an energy I cannot quite describe yet but every member is remarkable. Stereotypically, many people want to be up close to musicians in this environment – Another Sky had us wanting to feel the atmosphere of the whole room that people were moving their bodies in the shadows and the back actually became more cramped than the front! It was a case of you had to be there. It might have been a one-off and I am glad I witnessed it. Dark, intense and atmospheric might be the way I could describe Another Sky. However, whatever, I say put them on your ‘ones to watch’ list.

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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact victoriawai.co.uk


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LORD HURON | MALENA ZAVALA | 28.10.2018 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

LORD HURON | MALENA ZAVALA | 28.10.2018 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Lord Huron and Malena Zavala – 28th October 2018 – Gateshead Sage

By Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

I’m not going to lie, I attended this show as soon as I saw Malena Zavala as the support. She came to my attention when I was seeing another band play at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen last August and she blew me away with her hypnotic sounds of dreamy vocals and extended instrumentals. I also caught her at Hit The North and The Great Escape earlier in the year with a bigger band and on this night she was stripped back to a three-piece band who we were told had only been like that a few weeks prior and it felt tight. The whole set was stunning and they had captured the hearts of those in attendance.

Onto the main act, Lord Huron. If it wasn’t for Malena, this band would have slipped through my hands, so thank you Malena! I was pretty much blown away and caught up with the energy of the standing area of Hall One. They filled up Hall One with intense energy with their Indie Rock sounds tinged with blues. Lead singer Ben Schneider moved freely when he could cross from one side of the stage to the other and sometimes losing his hat through the sheer passion in his performance.

You could feel this passion in the other members too but they were more stuck into their positions. And if lights are your thing when you go to gigs then a Lord Huron show will not let you down as it was one of the most spectacular light shows I have seen and with the added smoke it added to the intensity of one of the most stunning shows I have seen in this venue – from support act to main act – this night had it all. If you were like me and this was your first experience of Lord Huron or if you have yet to experience Lord Huron, take it from me, you will NOT be disappointed both musically and visually.

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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact victoriawai.co.uk


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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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