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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MOGWAI | 24.11.2018 | Leeds O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

MOGWAI | 24.11.2018 | Leeds O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Mogwai – 24th November 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Mogwai – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Mogwai announced their final UK tour for 2018 and it came as a bit of a welcome surprise. This marks my third time seeing them this year, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen them over the years. That said, I still find myself getting incredibly excited when they tour. This one was extra special and unmissable due to the fact that my other favourite band The Twilight Sad are opening. That’s all the persuasion I needed, I grabbed some tickets on the presale and promised myself I’d just go as a punter and watch the band. As the show grew nearer I flip-flopped and decided I need to photo this show! There’s something hugely rewarding about photoing a band you’ve adored for years, it’s a buzz that I haven’t found elsewhere in life.

Mogwai – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Since there was no Newcastle spot on the tour I decided to go for the 200-mile round trip to Leeds. I’m pleased to say it was worth it, the band are in remarkable form at the moment, recent soundtrack album Kin has proven a welcome addition to my record collection and they played one track from it tonight, the pop-rock gem of an earworm We’re Not Done is positively the catchiest thing they’ve ever released. I’ve had it in my head for about four days now! They follow that with the fantastic Party in the Dark, another hugely catchy song.

Don’t Believe the Fife is quickly becoming an all-time fave for me and it’s been pretty consistent in setlists since the beginning of the Every Country’s Sun tour. It lulls you into a steady mellow pace then right hooks you with a huge wall of guitar at the crescendo. Perfection.

Setlist;

  • Yes! I Am a Long Way From Home
  • Friend of the Night
  • We’re Not Done
  • Party in the Dark
  • Old Poisons
  • Crossing the Road Material
  • Rano Pano
  • Don’t Believe the Fife
  • Auto Rock
  • Remurdered
  • Every Country’s Sun
  • Like Herod
  • Helicon Pt1
  • We’re No Here

One of the things I absolutely love about seeing Mogwai is the setlist surprises. Yes, there’s the standard songs that you expect to hear such as Remurdered but there’s an air of excitement with not knowing what treats you’ll get. So many classics from their back catalogue, it rewards the megafans who go to all the gigs.

Like Herod raises the hairs on the back of my neck as that bass line begins. Strobe lights pummel my senses, coupled with the sheer volume it’s an overwhelming experience, I close my eyes and with the strobes, I can see lights dancing on my eyelids, that’s a fantastic sensation. I really wish more bands would embrace lighting as part of the show experience, not too much mind, Mogwai have the balance about right. Light and sound, dark and bright, quiet and loud.

Mogwai – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

We’re No Here ends the night to great cheers from the crowd. Mogwai masterclass of no-nonsense performance, just letting the music speak for itself. This is the third time I’ve seen them this year and to be honest I wish I’d done more. I did head into this gig wondering if I’d be able to write anything, what more can say? Remarkable band. I head off back to Newcastle not content with that dosage I blast Mogwai all the way home!

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THE TWILIGHT SAD | 24.11.2018 | Leeds O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE TWILIGHT SAD | 24.11.2018 | Leeds O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Twilight Sad – 24th November 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

The Twilight Sad – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

A night in Leeds with two of the greatest Scottish bands of all time! It’s an early start for TTS since it’s a Saturday and there’s a 10pm venue curfew. That doesn’t deter the TTS Fans who are down here in numbers to support the lads.

Their slow and steady trajectory is building to a long-awaited new album which is out early 2019. With sold out shows all over Europe now, the secret is out. Gone are the days of turning up and paying on the door.

The first time I saw them was in 2011 with Mogwai at the Gateshead Sage, my ticket from the show above for nostalgia purposes! That night hooked me in and I’ve been a fan ever since. Despite technical issues on the night, they made a memorable impression, I went and bought both of their records the next day. That’s what they do. You see them, you’re blown away, you come back to the next show with more pals and let them in on the secret.

Hard graft, great support slots and damn good songs have paid off. They’re now labelmates with Mogwai on Rock Action Records. Truly a band on the rise. I can’t think of a band that deserves success more than these humble chaps. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of them in 2019. New album ‘It Won/t Be Like This All The Time’ is out in January and a full UK tour is anticipated.

The Twilight Sad – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

The Twilight Sad take to the stage, it’s really dark, moody vibe with nearly no light, just a whiff of smoke and the occasional strobe. With the band performing in silhouette for much of the show.

The set is a lean 45 minutes, so there’s no messing about. Highlights include new material I/m Not Here and VTr which are both becoming firm live favourites. Seb’s percussion propels VTr to another level, impossible not to lose your shit to this one.

The Twilight Sad – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Videograms, I have to admit is a bit lost on me. A minor change of direction soundwise but it seems to be growing on me with each listen. Its sound is highly synth-led, Cure Depeche Mode, INXS type vibes show the band have grown and diversified from the bludgeoning wall of guitar sound that I fell in love with back in the day. There’s something magic in the new sound, but I must admit I adore that wall of guitar noise! However, it does add balance to the set, giving a softer edge and adding a welcome respite. I need to hear it in context of the record, give me a few more plays when I get my hands on the LP and I’m sure it’ll grow on me.

Their version of the classic Keep Yourself Warm gained the most enthusiastic response from the crowd. I’d love to hear a live version of this released, it’s simply wonderful.

The Twilight Sad – 24th Nov 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

They close on And She Would Darken The Memory, which sends shivers down my spine and fists pumping in the air. It’s all over too fast, just a little slice of perfection. There are no tears for me this time around, the Leeds Brudenell show (head here for that write up) was very cathartic experience with my own mental health battle this year, music has saved me. I’m back to that lovely feeling of sheer euphoria from a Twilight Sad show.

With a bill like this, it’s easy to forget that I’m actually here to see two bands! Oh yeah, Mogwai are still to come! A full review and photo feature for that very soon.

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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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JOHN FAIRHURST | 14.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

JOHN FAIRHURST | 14.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

John Fairhurst – 14th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

John Fairhurst – 14th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny

John Fairhurst returned to Newcastle performing alongside highly skilled percussionist Toby Murray. They make a formidable duo, with Toby’s drumming driving and propelling the songs to another level.

Set highlights include a storming version of Breakdown and the Hendrix blues jam vibes of I’m Coming Home. Hungry Blues calls on the ghost of Dr John, proving that Fairhurst is a powerful vocalist with deep gravelly tones that would sound more at home in the Delta than from good old England.

John Fairhurst – 14th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny

John is probably the greatest British bluesman around at the moment and the few who were here tonight were richly rewarded. I have to admit being utterly bored by the likes of Joe Bonamassa, whilst technically highly impressive it lacks that important factor; the feel and that’s what John Fairhurst has in spades whilst remaining technically a great player. What’s more perplexing is the popularity of those types of acts when the real raw and powerful blues music seems to slip mass attention, it’s an unjust world I suppose.

There is more to follow from John and his band, they’ll be back in 2019 with the release of their long-awaited album after a short break to spend time with his family. It’s been such a long time since I heard a good blues band and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I’ll make damn sure I catch him on the next tour!

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CARL STACEY PROJECT | 30.10.2018 | Newcastle Trillians | PHOTOS

CARL STACEY PROJECT | 30.10.2018 | Newcastle Trillians | PHOTOS

Carl Stacey Project – 30th October 2018 – Newcastle Trillians

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Here’s an extended photo gallery from CSP’s latest gig!

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EMMA RUTH RUNDLE and JAYE JAYLE | 07.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

EMMA RUTH RUNDLE and JAYE JAYLE | 07.11.2018 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Emma Ruth Rundle and Jaye Jayle – 7th November 2018 – Newcastle Cluny 2 – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Emma Ruth Rundle – 7th Nov 2018 – Cluny

Some magic from Sargent House arrived in Newcastle on a dark and wet November evening. Jaye Jayle and Emma Ruth Rundle appear as perfectly complementary musical tour partners.

The room is in complete darkness, lit only by a few lamps attached to mic stands. This ensures full attention is on the artists, the crowd is impeccably behaved tonight, listening to every word and sound attentively, with warm applause during respites.

Jaye Jayle – 7th Nov 2018 –

Evan Patterson’s deep and gravelly tones often remind me of Mark Lanegan, albeit with a much more diverse vocal range. They come on to the stage to perform No Trail Path One with its hypnotic piano loop, which leads seamlessly into the second part of that piece No trail Path Two which is a highlight of the record for me. Coupled with Todd Cook’s amazing bass tone it never fails to send shivers down my spine.

Jaye Jayle PHOTO GALLERY

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The Jaye Jayle band have formed quite an endearing musical bond with Emma Ruth Rundle, having recorded and toured together for some time. Emma mentions that they’ve been on tour for 2 months now and it’s becoming slightly surreal for them. Both bands sound unique and yet cross over quite seamlessly. In their own musical World.

Emma Ruth Rundle – 7th Nov 2018 – Cluny

It’s a short but perfectly formed setlist, constituting mainly of new material from On Dark Horses, but with a few older songs added to the mix. Apathy on the Indiana Border proves a highlight of the set along with the spine-tingling Light Song.

Setlist

  • Dead Set Eyes
  • Fever Dreams
  • Apathy on the Indiana Border
  • Protection
  • Marked for Death
  • Darkhorse
  • Control
  • Light Song
  • Heaven
  • Shadows of My Name

Both bands have that perfect Sunday morning chill vibe. I came into the show feeling a down and depressed like a dark cloud was following all day, this music soothed and relaxed me, which is quite a remarkable feat.

Emma Ruth Rundle PHOTO GALLERY

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TURBOWOLF | 04.11.2018 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

TURBOWOLF | 04.11.2018 | Northumbria Institute | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Turbowolf – 4th November 2018 – Northumbria Institute – Review and photos

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Turbowolf – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

I found out Turbrowolf were supporting Killing Joke on their UK tour the day before the show. I felt both excited and a bit confused if I’m honest. On paper, it doesn’t seem like an ideal musical paring but the chance to see two fantastic live bands in one night is great in my books! Turbowolf are such an amazing live band that I can see why they were chosen. After all, it shouldn’t really matter what genre of music as long as it’s good, right?

Turbowolf – 4th Nov 2018 – Newcastle Northumbria Institute

Turbowolf are performing as a three-piece without bassist Lianna Lee Davies as she’s recently become a parent. Although they lacked that low end they still dazzled and put in a rather brilliant performance.

I felt for them, the Newcastle audience really made them work for their applause, but credit where credit is due they won people over, slowly and steadily as each song finished the audience appreciation and enthusiasm increased! I guess that’s the strength of the band, although they aren’t as heavy or intense as Killing Joke the strength of their songs and showmanship wins out and I’m sure they’ll gain some new fans from this tour.

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