FLOGGING MOLLY | 06.12.2018 |  Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

FLOGGING MOLLY | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Flogging Molly – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

It’s a tall order to follow The Bronx, but follow it they did! Amid a barrage of lights and confetti cannons Celtic punk rockers Flogging Molly took to the stage and had the crowd bouncing up and down fists held high! That mix of Irish folk and ballsy punk just gets people going and the banjo-led anthem of Drunken Lullabies is aired early in the set to a huge reception! But the momentum is kept up throughout building up to a marvellous Seven Deadly Sins and What’s Left Of The Flag bringing a massive smile to face remembering all the times the club floor would vibrate to the stomping when we played it out!

The Fireball tour is always a joy to attend, always a great line up. I’m glad they’re only a once a year thing, when I saw how much the night had taken out of so many of the revellers. They’ll need that time to recover!

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THE BRONX | 06.12.2018 |  Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE BRONX | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Bronx – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

The Bronx - 6th December 2018 - Fireball Fuelling The Fire - Newcastle O2 Academy
The Bronx – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

I’ve often been told that The Bronx are one THEE best live punk bands out there but until tonight I’ve only ever seen the side project El Mariachi Bronx. Holy crap man, the information I’d been given was not wrong! Absolutely ferocious!!

Kicking off with Unholy Hand, Sore Throat and Shitty Future the band were taking no prisoners! The 14 song set was 100% full on from start to finish, both the band and the crowd were wild. The guitar riff from Knifeman, in particular, sparked off crowd surfers and circle pits, much to smiling frontman Matts’ delight. So much so he performed They Will Kill Us All from the centre of a full-on mosh pit.

Closing the set with History’s Stranglers I have to say that The Bronx are one of the most exciting bands I’ve seen in a long time I even said to a friend “good luck to the headliners trying to follow that”.

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FACE TO FACE | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

FACE TO FACE | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Face To Face – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

The screen shows a projection stating “So Cal Face To Face Est 1991“ 1991?! It is hard to believe that it’s taken 27 years to get Face To Face to Newcastle but they more than made up for it with a blistering set of melodic punk! I always tip my hat to punk drummers they have their work cut out for them but Danny Thompson absolutely smashed it. I reckon if he had a pedometer on he’d have done at least a marathon in distance!

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ALL SAINTS | 12.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ALL SAINTS | 12.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

All Saints – 12th December 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

After their ‘comeback’ album Red Flag in 2016, the excitement following 1990s girl group All Saints has gone from strength to strength and another album followed in the Summer of 2018 titled Testament with a tour following. It was not only a night of nostalgia but also a night proving that there is more to Shaznay Lewis, Nicole Appleton, Natalie Appleton and Melanie Blatt as they rounded off the tour at Newcastle’s o2 Academy.

As the introduction kicked in the atmosphere was intense. People milling by the bar literally pushed to the barrier as we were given a mini megamix intro as all four ladies stepped onto the stage following the band kicking off with the flirtatious Bootie Call. From the get-go you could see they were all on a high as much as the audience. The night called for us all to have a great time and that we did; from the die-hard fans to those reliving their youth.

It was a great mix of songs. They proved just how strong they were vocally especially with all the jumping around on top of their choreographed moves. What was admirable was watching them up there having the best time. It’s been highly documented of that famous feud and for fans like myself, we are so grateful that their friendship stood the test of time, that when their first single, I Know Where It’s At, makes the setlist the Academy erupts as “everybody wants to hang out at (their) party.” But at every party, you do need to catch your breath and latest single, After All, brings us back down and maybe on the verge of tears.

All Saints really do not get the credit they deserve as vocalists and songwriters, namely Shaznay Lewis. Listening to their music is one thing but when you get to see people perform the music that resonates with you, it is a feeling that really cannot be described. That is a true testament to these ladies and proves that there is room for them to be constantly relevant to the music industry.

Another great thing about seeing All Saints perform live is that (to most people who only know the singles) it could be said that Shaznay and Melanie are the ‘lead vocalists’ with Natalie doing her share and Nicole gets the ‘speaky’ part in that famous song. But this could not be further from the truth and it is great to see them ALL do their part. Collectively their harmonies blend brilliantly; individually they are just as perfect.

Bonus for the die-hards is the medley of ‘never before played live’ songs with All Hooked Up, Alone and Take The Key. I have said die-hards a few times but I believe 90% in attendance definitely knew the words to these album tracks. I think as an artist, it must be a great feeling when people sing back the words you wrote and for the fans there is a connection when you get those few moments of singing together.

Pure Shores peaks the night and it is party atmosphere in full swing. In the past, this song has been the finale of the night. It’s hard to describe the feeling but it really keeps you on a high that you cannot come down from. Things are a bit different for me personally this night, as a merry fan seemed to love it as much as me, that he pushes in the tiniest of gaps and tries to elbow my shoulder to discomfort so I move. Not the thing I want to write in a review but sometimes it needs to be said and there is no need for people to do this, especially when they tower in height over you. Pure Shores IS my song and nothing was going to spoil this moment for me, so a huge credit to the security who saw this and for letting me hold onto ‘my moment,’ and having the encore to enjoy. And what an encore. From the epic Love Lasts Forever to a hip-hop break, then into one of the biggest crowd participation moments ever with Never Ever. Yes, ‘a few questions that I need to know,’ is how can Shaznay, Natalie, Nicole and Melanie top this? Well, there are more chapters to be written about this Glorious story and I have all the Black Coffee’s ready for it!

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LOST IN STEREO | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

LOST IN STEREO | 06.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Lost In Stereo – 6th December 2018 – Fireball Fuelling The Fire – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

This years Fuelling The Fire tour sponsored by Fireball whisky was back at the Academy recently and once again gave people a fantastic five-band lineup at a very affordable price! Sadly due to time constraints, I didn’t see the opening band who won a battle of the bands contest to open the show but I’m sure the judges chose an appropriately cracking opener!

Lost In Stereo take to the stage and their youthful enthusiasm knows no bounds with energetic punchy pop-punk anthems that given a little time will be belting out as headliner encores.

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LUCERO | 04.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

LUCERO | 04.12.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Lucero – 4th December 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Lucero kicked off their UK tour here in Newcastle to an appreciative crowd in the Academy’s second room. Their latest album Among The Ghosts has been on heavy rotation in my house since receiving the advance copy. So I was really looking forward to hearing the tunes live alongside old favourites. The band take to the stage in a relaxed fashion and give us the title track from said latest album. It’s a beautiful piece of Alt-Country and the crowd are already behind the band 100% one track in.

Ben Nichols smiling tells us they haven’t really prepared anything and considering it’s the first night of the tour and they may be under-rehearsed but watching them effortlessly play more new tracks like Cover Me and Bottom of the Sea and old favourites Texas and Tennessee and Slow Dancing makes you think he’s pulling our collective leg or they maybe are just THAT good!!

It’s such a relaxed feel to the night they seem to be just plucking titles at will or at fans requests and nailing them! Nights Like These a particular highlight for me made me realise something I’ve never noticed before. Such is the strength and emotion in Ben Nichols’ vocal there is no other backing vocal from any other band member there’s literally one mic stand on the stage and I can’t remember the last time I saw a band do that! The musicianship is second to none the band playing their hearts out and feeding from each other throughout the set.

The set is heavy on the latest release as expected but another absolute gem comes in the form of Ben performing his solo song Last Pale Light In The West on his own telling us it’s what he sings to his little girl to get her to sleep I can’t think of a better way to spend a winters Tuesday night hope it’s not as long a wait to get them back here

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BROTHERS OSBORNE | LUCIE SILVAS | 27.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

BROTHERS OSBORNE | LUCIE SILVAS | 27.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Brothers Osborne and Lucie Silvas – 27th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Kevin Burdon (Kevin Burdon Photography)

Brothers Osborne have been on my list of bands to see for quite a while, ever since Spotify randomly served me up ‘Shoot Me Straight’ on a “Discover” playlist one day. Since then I’ve had both of their albums on near constant repeat, hooked in by the perfect mix of outlaw country-rock, vividly descriptive lyrics, TJ Osborne’s distinctive deep voice and John Osborne’s incendiary guitar playing.

Support for the evening was provided by the critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Lucie Silvas, promoting her new album E.G.O. It’s hard to pin Lucie’s style down to one particular genre and you could tell she has a wide variety of influences, her set was a mixture of pop, country and soulful blues.

Opening song ‘Kite’ had a really funky bassline and got the audience dancing, and this was followed by a stripped down piano-led ballad ‘I Want You All to Myself’ which was beautifully delivered and highlighted Lucie’s stunning voice.

Lucie mentioned that at a meet and greet earlier she’d been talking to some fans who’d recently lost someone special to them, so she delivered a breath-taking acapella verse and chorus of ‘Forget Me Not’ in their memory. I was standing close to the fans in question and I could see how much the gesture meant to them- it was a beautifully touching moment.

A surprise inclusion of the Jackson 5’s ‘Who’s Loving You’ was skillfully performed, before Lucie closed her set with the title track from her new album ‘E.G.O’ and received a very warm ovation from the crowd.

Headlining at O2 Academy for the first time, the Brothers Osborne are touring their latest album Port Saint Joe. The band were last here as support for the Cadillac Three and it seems that word had spread since their last appearance, with a sizeable crowd awaiting them in the packed out main hall.

Opening with kickass party song ‘Drank Like Hank’, Brothers Osborne were on great form. The Brothers have the rock n roll combination frontman/lead guitarist archetypes nailed down, and they front an excellent band of musicians. TJ has an understated charisma as the frontman, and his voice is deep and powerful without being domineering, while John on lead guitar always plays the perfect piece for the song, from slow tasteful blues licks to more intricate well-crafted extended solo sections.

The band kept the energy up with a storming rendition of ‘Shoot Me Straight’, the two brothers’ vocal harmonies locked in tight, and John Osborne showcased his impressive guitar playing in the first extended lead break of the night.

The setlist was perfectly balanced and showed the depth of brothers’ songwriting abilities, from soulful ballads like ‘I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)’ and ‘Pushing up Daisies’, to an awesome slide-blues jam in ‘Down Home’, to more upbeat songs about the finer (and simpler) things in life in ‘Greener Pastures’ and ‘Rum’. Their vocal harmonies shone throughout the set, especially on their Dierks Bentley collaboration ‘Burning Man’, and the whole band were impressively tight throughout. Additional credit must go to the sound engineer, as the overall mix was crystal clear and TJ’s deep, sonorous vocals cut through with clarity in a cavernous venue where that can be notoriously difficult to achieve.

There was a brief respite in the set for a short acoustic section, including ‘Tequila Again’ and a stunning rendition of ‘21 Summer’, with a cover of Steve Earle’s ‘Copperhead Road’ included for good measure. A personal highlight of the evening was an epic delivery of ‘Stay a Little Longer’, which started as a beautiful country pop tune that finally building into a massive rock instrumental crescendo in which John’s exquisite guitar playing took centre stage.

The main set was rounded off with ‘It Ain’t My Fault’, complete with an extended jam in the mid-section which gave the rest of the band a chance to show what they could do too, plus some more impressive guitar playing from John. The band left the stage but the audience weren’t satisfied to let the evening end there, singing the main riff from ‘It Ain’t My Fault’ loudly until the brothers returned for a 5 song encore, in which Lucie Silvas joined the brothers on stage to duet on a beautiful rendition of ‘Lovin’ Me Back’.

The audience were given one final opportunity to lose their voices with a cover of John Denver’s ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ brought to a close probably the most impressive gig I’ve seen in 2018 in terms of overall atmosphere and performance (no mean feat in a year that has included Steve Earle, Blackberry Smoke, Iron Maiden, plus my all-time personal favourites The Wildhearts and Volbeat).

Note: At the time of writing it has just been announced that Port Saint Joe has been nominated for the Best Country Album Grammy, further proof that this is a band that’s on their way to greater heights!

Setlist:

  1. Drank Like Hank
  2. Shoot Me Straight
  3. I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)
  4. Weed, Whiskey And Willie
  5. Greener Pastures
  6. Down Home
  7. Rum
  8. Burning Man
  9. Tequila Again (acoustic)
  10. 21 Summer  (acoustic)
  11. Copperhead Road (Steve Earle cover)
  12. Stay A Little Longer
  13. It Ain’t My Fault
  14. Pushing up Daisies
  15. Pawn Shop
  16. Lovin’ Me Back (with Lucie Silvas)
  17. A Couple Wrongs Makin’ It Alright
  18. Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver cover)

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TYGERS OF PAN TANG | 15.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

TYGERS OF PAN TANG | 15.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Tygers of Pan Tang – 15th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Great to see the Tygers on home ground (ok Whitley Bay is a few miles down the road but you know what I mean!) opening up for The Dead Daisies at the Academy. A pure slice of hard rock, an absolute spot on choice to get the crowd ready.

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THE JAPANESE HOUSE | ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | 19.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE JAPANESE HOUSE | ART SCHOOL GIRLFRIEND | 19.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Japanese House and Art School Girlfriend – 19th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Amber Bain headlined Newcastle O2 Academy to a very excitable crowd. I was one of those excitable ones as there is just something about the production that Bain puts into her project The Japanese House that when I listen to her music, it’s like riding an emotional rollercoaster. I have seen her perform live once prior to this date and watching her is almost trance-like, well for me at least, as a lot of the crowd gathered at the front are in a different kind of state that makes them scream and wanting to reach out and touch Amber. I guess that could also be considered trance-like but as I said, an emotional rollercoaster, it definitely is!

Art School Girlfriend

My excitement hit another high before walking into the venue. I somehow missed the memo that a fairly new act going by the name of Art School Girlfriend was the support act of this tour. ASG has a similar vibe to TJH but maybe more so on the ‘chill vibe.’ I first saw ASG at The Great Escape earlier in the year and people were lucky to get in to see her. She was high on the list of ‘ones to watch.’ She also headlined her own tour a few months prior to this support slot. Both times, she was with a full band. However, on this tour, she’s flying solo and was just as mesmerising. Her performance didn’t feel any less complete than if she was with a full band. I was stunned into silence but sadly, half the crowd were immersed in their own conversations. ASG was the perfect opener to this night and seeing her perform solo was a wonderful surprise.

The crowd pushed closer to the stage when The Japanese House appeared. A low tempo opener introduction put an excited silence over them as smoke and blue light filled the stage then the first sight of Amber sent them into a frenzy as she and her band opened with Face Like Thunder. Bain interacts with the crowd from the get-go as she shouts out ‘How you doing?’ to little waves, winks and smiles to members of the audience. The same interaction is given to her band as she shares a laugh here and there to even a drink!

Mid-way through the set we are given new tracks Lilo and Follow My Girl and the fans have already been studying the lyrics as you can not only see a lot of them mouthing the words but also hear a good few sing along with Amber. It is like this with every song of the night, each song also met with screams of appreciation. Then there were the handful like me that are simply in awe of getting to not only hear but to see Amber on stage as The Japanese House.

Every note delivered feels very emotive yet effortless at the same time. Most of the crowd sing their emotions loud but for some, singing along sometimes feels like you are detaching yourself from what you are really feeling, if that makes sense. There are times when I sing my heart out (very badly) at gigs but at a gig like that of The Japanese House (and the support of Art School Girlfriend) I feel ‘absolute chill’ that my body feels like it is in another place and time until the house lights go on. I guess you could say it feels like euphoria.

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THE DEAD DAISIES | 15.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE DEAD DAISIES | 15.11.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Dead Daisies – 15th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

The Dead Daisies - 15th November 2018 - Newcastle O2 Academy
The Dead Daisies – 15th November 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Supergroup The Dead Daisies rolled into town to bring their Rock n Roll show to the Geordie massive and played a whopping 2 hour set to their delight!

Boasting ex-members of Motley Crue, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy their pedigree is never in doubt. This time around another new member Deen Castronovo (ex-Journey/Wild Dogs/Bad English and more) is behind the drum kit and oddly enough receives the biggest reaction with chants of Deeno Deeno spontaneously erupting through the set!

Opening with their take on Sensational Alex Harvey Bands Midnight Moses, it set the tone for the night with the band tipping their collective hat at many of their classic rock heroes (The Who, The Stones, Deep Purple and more) between tracks from their latest album Burn It Down and previous releases Make Some Noise and Revolution.

John Corabi is like the ringmaster of this rock ‘n’ roll circus as Doug Aldrich and Marco Mendoza and founder member David Lowy cover every inch of the stage throwing shapes aplenty and riffs for days!!

The set is split into two with an acoustic break in the middle which brings Castronovo to the mic to belt out Rod Stewart’s Maggie May alongside their own Set Me Free / Something I Said and the Beatles Let It Be.

For the most, I preferred the band performing their own tracks like Evil, Resurrected, Song And A Prayer, but the guys looked like they were having a great time with every tune! The crowd certainly got their entry fees worth with a 23 song set. Personally, I could do without the covers but as I said earlier who am I to criticise when the band and crowd seem to love them in there.

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