JASON LYTLE | MALOJIAN 20.05.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | PHOTOS

JASON LYTLE | MALOJIAN 20.05.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | PHOTOS

Jason Lytle | Malojian – 20th May 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

Here’s an extended photo gallery from a recent gig I covered for NARC Magazine. My first time seeing Malojian and I was spellbound from the start. I’ve adored Grandaddy for the best part of two decades and it was incredible to hear these songs in such a stripped back fashion. Casting a new light on old songs and I came away with more appreciation of them. Such powerful compositions that worked tremendously well as solo pieces. Just a magical night.

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MASSIVE WAGONS | 12.05.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | PHOTOS

MASSIVE WAGONS | 12.05.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | PHOTOS

Massive Wagons – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

Review and photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

Since Massive Wagosn were also incredibly fantastic to photo I decided to do an separate and extended gallery of their set with The Wildhearts

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TOWERS OF LONDON | 12.05.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | PHOTOS

TOWERS OF LONDON | 12.05.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | PHOTOS

Towers Of London – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

Review and photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

Since Towers of London were so incredibly fantastic to photo I decided to do an separate and extended gallery of their set with The Wildhearts

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THE WILDHEARTS | MASSIVE WAGONS | TOWERS OF LONDON | 12.05.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE WILDHEARTS | MASSIVE WAGONS | TOWERS OF LONDON | 12.05.2019 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Wildhearts | Massive Wagons | Towers Of London – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

The Wildhearts - 12th May 2019 - Newcastle Riverside
The Wildhearts – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

Review and photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

Well what can I say about this gig? The final night of The Wildhearts triumphant tour for the launch of their 2019 album Renaissance Men and some might say (not us at Blank Slate we’ve always been massive fans!) unexpected return to the big time.

Towers of London – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

There was tremendous showmanship on display from the support acts. In fact, both Towers of London and Massive Wagons proved an absolute hoot to photo. So rather than just share a couple of pics from their sets I will add full photo galleries of each band’s set in separate features πŸ™‚

Towers of London have also reformed and are enjoying themselves immensely by the looks of things. They ended their set with members of Massive Wagons joining them onstage for underpants dances and backing vocals on Fuck It Up. MW followed with their own set of high kicking rock anthems to a packed Riverside crowd, fans clearly here in numbers nice and early to see all of the bands.

Massive Wagons – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

It’s myΒ first time seeing The Wildhearts live in about 3 and a half years, although I’ve interviewed and covered solo shows during this gap, this is the first time I’ve been able to get to one of their gigs due to gig clashes, ill health or general bad luck!

The Wildhearts – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

It’s a privilege to get the chance to photo and review a band that I’ve followed since I was about 14 years old when I heard Suckerpunch for the first time. They will always have a little spot in my heart with their catchy and timeless back catalogue of classics and barrage of riffs that send shivers down my spine each time I hear them.

The outro of Everlone is a great example of that, one of the finest pieces of rock riffage I’ve ever encountered. Which is no mean feat when you break down that song riff by riff, it’s shear quota of classic riffs eclipses many bands entire careers in just one song. It appears tonight second song in, nice and early. There was the expectation that they might not play some of the Earth Vs Material prior to the tour since they’ve played that material very heavily for its 25th-anniversary last year.

The Wildhearts know how to deliver a setlist with a selection that is sure to keep the diehards happy and entertain the casual fans. I haven’t bee able to get Dislocated out of my head for nearly a week now. It’s a pure slice of 2019 perfection, ‘I feel dislocated from your world’ is a sentiment I can relate to far too much. The world needs The Wildhearts. It’s a brutal barrage of a song that slides effortlessly into singalong choruses that only The Wildhearts can pull off. The more I hear it the more I adore it.

The Wildhearts – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

It’s an ecstatic night and the whole band appear to be having the time of their lives. It was great to see Danny back there and grinning away. It truly is a remarkable sound that this gang of four chaps can make, the love for them is on clear display from the sold-out Newcastle crowd. Singing and dancing away for the entire set. Including the new numbers which gain a rapturous reaction.

The Wildhearts – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

Renaissance Men will feature on many rock albums of the year list and quite rightly so. The Wildhearts were always super popular in Newcastle but now there’s an air of excitement and maybe some ‘I told you so’ smugness from the fans who have followed them religiously for years since they’re now getting more attention from media and a wider audience.

The Wildhearts – 12th May 2019 – Newcastle Riverside

The Wildhearts in whatever shape or form have always been brilliant and will always be one of Britains best rock bands. They deserve every ounce of praise they’ve earned from this tour and album. What a gig!

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DEAF KIDS | RAKTA | CAVE SUNS | 24.03.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

DEAF KIDS | RAKTA | CAVE SUNS | 24.03.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Deaf Kids | Rakta | Cave Suns – 24th March 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Deaf Kids – 24th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Review and photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

Cave Suns stepped in atΒ late notice to fill the support slot. TheyΒ are a band that many pals on the local scene have recommended to me over the years, yet I’ve never had the chance to see them. I made sure I was there for doors to rectify that! Rumbling psychedelia but with a twist, the songs are much more progressive and meandering, in a very good way. Rather than straight repetition the songs lock in a grove but are much more adventurous in exploring the theme of the song and weave a sonic journey, whilst incorporating elements of traditional rock which is quite exhilarating and occasionally their songs reminded me of Barrett period Pink Floyd.

Cave Suns – 24th April 2019 – The Cluny

Next up is Rakta who are on tour with fellow SΓ£o Paulo band Deaf Kids. They got off to a bumpy start with some technical problems and apparent lack of adapters for their two pin plug amps! Thankfully Cave Suns came to the rescue and helped with a bass head. Once they were sorted it was a case of heads down and rumble on. The lights are super low, with a faint red glow silhouetting the band. Remarkable percussion keeps the band entertaining, I suppose it’s one of the downsides of keys, there isn’t much visually to engage the audience, although watching the pedal twiddling was quite impressive. The heavy reliance on delay pedals (I must admit) did wear a little thing by the end of their set. There’s only so much DD3 you can take and it became a bit repetitive for me. That minor criticism aside, they were quite unique and an excellent pairing with Deaf Kids.

RAKTA – 24th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

On to the main event; Deaf Kids brought their outrageous sound that is quite remarkable from just a three-piece. Punk rock song structures with an extra element of chaos.

Deaf Kids – 24th April 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

The rhythm section drives the band insatiable bass coupled with some spectacle percussion and d-beat goodness. They’ve been going for a good while now and have increasingly become more adventurous with their sound. Echos of what Rakta are doing with delays and a myriad of guitar pedals, ofΒ which guitars and vocals are processed! I don’t know if its the power of the guitars but this immediately feels more engaging than Rakta and I find myself drawn in and utterly hooked. Templo do Caos is sheer perfection and a great introduction to their sound for the uninitiated.

A remarkable night of fantastic bands. All with their own charm and unique sound. It’s proven quite tough to find the words to explain tonight. I am a bit lost for words. Maybe some swear words followed immediately by awesome. Yeah, it was a f*****g awesome night!!

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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. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

I walked into the venue with a strong sense of dΓ©jΓ  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 ofΒ 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 isΒ 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 GlathomΒ 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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DEAD LIKE WOLVES | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Little Buildings | PHOTOS

DEAD LIKE WOLVES | 05.04.2019 | Newcastle Little Buildings | PHOTOS

Dead Like Wolves – 5th April 2019 – Newcastle Little Buildings

Photos by Graeme J. BatyΒ fromΒ Blank Slate Creative

A couple of weeks back I had the privilege to photo Dead Like Wolves in the penultimate Little Buildings gig. A great excuse to try some different things with flash πŸ™‚

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THE TWILIGHT SAD | MICHAEL TIMMONS | FISKUR | 02.03.2019 | Glasgow Barrowland | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE TWILIGHT SAD | MICHAEL TIMMONS | FISKUR | 02.03.2019 | Glasgow Barrowland | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Twilight Sad | Michael Timmons | Fiskur – 2nd March 2019 – Glasgow Barrowland

The Twilight Sad – 2nd March 2019 – Glasgow Barrowland

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

I think I’ll have to make this the last time I review The Twilgiht Sad. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to objectively review the band since I am ridiculously biased! Have they become an unreviewable juggernaut? This Barrowland gig seems like it’s been a long time coming. When they played here back in December 2015 that became one of the greatest gig experiences I’ve ever had. They’re back a few years later to another sold-out audience.

Fiskur – 2nd March 2019 – Glasgow Barrowland

Fiskur open the proceedings with a warm and light set before the impending doom and gloom of the headliners. Glasgow based project featuring a few familiar faces; Ross Clark, Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit) and Christopher McGarry (Three Blind Wolves). There’s quite a good turn out early on to catch their splendid set.

Michael Timmons – 2nd March 2019 – Glasgow Barrowland

Michael Timmons follows as main support and he’s gathered quite a few fans among the diehard TTS followers, myself included! Having caught his set with them at Leeds Brudenell last summer. He’s since gone on to support the band across Europe. He treats a very courteous and attentive audience to a selection of songs from his debut Bone Coloured. The song ‘Material’ proves a highlight of his short set, that one gets me every time, just beautiful. He ends the set with an incredible barrage of cathedral reverb with a sound that cuts right into your soul. Quite an impressive achievement for a solo act. A great reminder that I really need to dig into my pocket and get a copy of that record!

The Twilight Sad – 2nd March 2019 – Glasgow Barrowland

I won’t say too much about the headliners. If you were there you’ll know how good it was. I drove six hours through rain storms and battled a few inner demons to be here (a huge thank you to the lovely people that talked me into going x). Worth every inch of effort. This marks my tenth time seeing them and remarkably this show has increased my admiration for the band. I walked away from the show with a feeling of euphoria and gratitude. I’m grateful I’m alive and able to witness a show like this. Perhaps that is the way I should view the experience? Rather than describing songs or light shows, perhaps it really is the feelings that matter. Throughout the epics highs and epic lows of my life, The Twilight Sad have been a firm part of my soundtrack for the last 8 years and they are simply one of the greatest live bands of our generation. That euphoria is magic and might explain my unwavering love for the music.

The new material is absolutely stunning in a live setting. They’ve grown to become one of Scotland’s most beloved bands and made a very welcome return with new album It Won/t Be Like This All The Time on Rock Action Records earlier in 2019. I/m Not Here gets the biggest crowd reaction of the new songs, with fans out singing James with sheer volume and enthusiasm. That brought a huge smile to my face.

The setlist is a dream come true, with lots of favourites in there but predominantly features the strong new material. There are two distinct highlights of the set. There is nothing that will send shivers down your spine quite like hundreds of people signing (in a Scottish accent too πŸ™‚ ) Cold Days from the Birdhouse. It is, of course, Keep Yourself Warm that brings the biggest reaction. No tears for me this time, just pure love for a great song performedΒ flawlessly.

I’m hoping for more UK shows later in the year, who knows maybe another Barrowland show? Now that would be amazing. Such is the love for TSS in Glasgow I’m confident they could have sold out a few nights in a row. I’ll settle for this one perfect night though. Here’s to my next ten TTS gigs!

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