Nightmares On Wax – 22nd June 2018 – Sage Gateshead
By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)
I watched the crew place two huge armchairs, a massive leather sofa, an ice bucket complete with champagne and glasses on the stage, then they meticulously setup the drum kit, keyboards and mixers you just know it’s gonna be a relaxed affair. Nightmares On Wax have long been a go-to of mine when I just want some chilled out but not completely ambient vibes yet I have never managed to see them live so I went in already excited especially as their latest album Shape The Future is up there with their best. Tonights gig wasn’t just part of an album tour, it was also the beginning of The Great Northern Soundtrack at the Sage, a week-long celebration of music curated by Lauren Laverne and also the opening night of the Great Exhibition Of The North.
Before the set gets underway NoW’s main man George Evelyn completes the living room vibe by setting light to what looks like an entire pack of incense sticks and wafting the smoke around each of the musicians “station ” creating a chilled atmosphere but at the same time looking like a shamen warding off evil!!
The set features many of the newer album tracks like Back To Nature, Citizen Kane Tell My Vision and of course the title track but they also delve into the back catalogue with the likes of Les Nuits (one of my all-time favourite tunes ) and each enhanced with some stunning visuals on a huge screen and two large HD TV monitors behind the band.
While I was already totally captured by the performance what really made my night was when the band came out to take their places I thought I recognised the male singer and as soon as he sang I knew right away it was Leigh Steven Kenny formerly of LSK and he has sung with Faithless too. Now not taking anything away from Sadie Walker who sang beautifully all night I was totally blown away with Leigh’s performance He has a voice I have loved for a long time and it hasn’t changed a bit so this was like a double bonus for me !!
The standing pit at the Sage was full of people totally losing themselves in the music as expected but the usually reserved seated audience were up tonight too I haven’t seen the aisles that full with dancers for a long time if indeed ever.
In a spot where most artists would come out after the set and bang out another tune George instead takes the time to inform and explain a charity they are involved in called Last Night A DJ Saved My Life which was set up by another DJ pal of NoW to try and help get clean water supplies and wells to impoverished areas in the world and help out children in crisis check it out here lastnightadjsavedmylife.com
The night closes with Da Feeling and is very apt as everyone in the place has it!!!
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