REEF | 20.05.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

REEF | 20.05.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | PHOTOS

Reef – 20th May 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – Extended photo gallery

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

To add to Kevs review for Britrock Must Be Destroyed here are some photos from Reef. They played a cracking set if somewhat a different paced one!

PHOTO GALLERY
Click a thumbnail to view the image slideshow

 


Photos Copyright Gordon Armstrong. For permission to use these images please contact G’s Gig Shots


View more photo galleries via our Music Photography Library

music-image

THE WILDHEARTS, REEF, TERRORVISION and DODGY | Britrock Must Be Destroyed | 20.05.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

THE WILDHEARTS, REEF, TERRORVISION and DODGY | Britrock Must Be Destroyed | 20.05.2018 | Newcastle O2 Academy | REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Wildhearts, Reef, Terrorvision and Dodgy – Britrock Must Be Destroyed – 20th May 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Review by Kevin Burdon, photos by Gordon Armstrong 

While I don’t recall “Britrock” ever actually being an actual thing back in the 90s and 00s, the label serves as a canny promotional tactic to package up four of the most prominent rock acts of the era on a single tour. Let’s face it, if the banner has brought together a lineup consisting of The Wildhearts, Terrorvision and Reef (rotating as headliners across the tour) with support from Dodgy, who’s complaining?! The strategy seems to have paid off nicely, with a very healthy turnout in the Academy on Sunday night.

On paper, Dodgy seemed to be a bit of a lightweight addition to the bill when compared to the rest of the lineup, but they performed well and got the night off to a good start.  It certainly didn’t hurt that they have a couple of classic hits (Staying Out for the Summer and Good Enough) in the arsenal to kick off the nostalgia vibe and get the party started and they got a really warm response from the steadily growing crowd.

Terrorvision frontman Tony Wright is probably one of the most energetic performers you’re likely to witness. He never stopped bouncing around the stage for the entire set, never seeming out of breath even when delivering the rapid-fire lyrics of Perseverance. The band were on great form and the audience were in fine voice too, assisting Tony heartily with the likes Alice What’s the Matter, Celebrity Hit List and Josephine. They powered through a set of hits (plentiful enough that they were able to leave out the chart-busting pop of Tequila in favour of some of the more hard rocking tracks), before spectacularly bouncy rendition of Oblivion brought a close to their phenomenal set, which on any other night would have justifiably worthy of the headline slot.

There had been a few critical voices in some online communities when Reef had been announced for this gig, and there was a sense that in certain quarters they had been written off before playing a single note. While they might not have been everyone’s proverbial cuppa at the start of the night, a confident performance of their groove-laden alt-rock certainly seemed to win over their doubters and the band got a great response from the crowd. The old songs Place your Hands and Come Back Brighter were very well received, but also the new material such as Revelation was impressive, with a much more straight up classic rock kind of vibe to it. Even some of the slower songs like My Sweet Love went down very well with what was a predominantly hard rock crowd, with frontman Gary Stringer impressing with his versatile vocal abilities throughout the set.

As a hometown show for Ginger & Danny, the Wildhearts were the obvious choice of headliner for the Newcastle date and as such got an additional 15 minutes of stage time. In an interview prior to the gig Ginger had promised to “only play the songs that will make the audience sing and dance”, and true to his word the next 75 minutes were stacked with the riffs and infectious melodies the band are renowned for. Hit followed hit followed hit without reprieve, and even the double whammy of Suckerpunch straight into Caffeine Bomb didn’t tire the crowd, who bounced and sang along loudly to every word throughout the set. The band have recently reformed after a few years’ hiatus, during which they’ve had to overcome several of their own individual personal battles (while still finding time to record some superb solo projects), and they seemed to be reinvigorated with renewed enthusiasm on stage. If this energy can be carried over into the recording of the new album then it promises to be an absolute belter. It was also a pleasure to see original member Danny McCormack return to the fold on bass duties, and he seemed to genuinely love being back on stage with the band. The hits continued, before finally the band closed out the superb set with fan favourite 29x the Pain and the anthemic I Wanna Go Where the People Go to a raucous reaction from the crowd. The Wildhearts have never been a band where you can predict what will happen next in their story, but you can guarantee that when they’re on stage and firing on all cylinders they’re unassailable.

Overall, the strategy of combining all of these bands paid off; it got a lot of punters through the door and made for a hell of a gig for those in attendance. Yet while there was an element of reminiscence and a nod to the 90s heyday about the tour’s marketing, there was nothing to suggest that any of these bands are mere nostalgia acts; They are all still exceptional live performers with plenty of new music still to offer.

PHOTO GALLERY
Click a thumbnail to view the image slideshow

 


Images Copyright Gordon Armstrong. For permission to use these images please contact us


View more photo galleries via our Music Photography Library

music-image

THE WILDHEARTS | Ginger Wildheart | INTERVIEW

THE WILDHEARTS | Ginger Wildheart | INTERVIEW

The Wildhearts – Ginger Wildheart talks to us about Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour and questions from fans!

Feature by Graeme J. Baty

Back in 1994, I saved up my pocket money and I bought a tape after hearing a crazy song on (probably) the Radio 1 Rock show. That song was Suckerpunch and the Tape was Earth Vs The Wildhearts. I think I played that bugger to death! Many years later I still love that album and the band. Local legends they are!!

It’s always great to see The Wildhearts and side-projects in any form. However, this tour is something of a different beast! The classic lineup is back in action and ready to tour the UK in May. Britrock Must Be Destroyed Tour brings not only the Wildhearts but other 90s favourites Reef, Terrorvision and now Dodgy have now been added to the bill. Something for everyone!

BRITROCK-MUST-BE-DESTROYED

Graeme caught up with Ginger Wildheart for a chat about the tour and other things, with some help from the lovely folk at All About The Wildhearts Facebook group!

How did the whole Britrock Must Be Destroyed tour come about? 

Our manager, Andy Farrow, invented it. He’s a canny businessman so he thought up an idea that none of the bands would have. It’s a killer bill, and The Wildhearts needed no more prompting than to just be asked.

Will the tour feature full Wildhearts sets? What material will be performing? Just older 90s stuff or a mix from all periods?

On this tour we will only play the songs that make the audience sing and dance. We want to win the prize for best crowd of the tour, and I’m pretty confident it’s in the bag.

The Wildhearts - Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015

Which band (other than yourselves) are you really looking forward to seeing?

All of them, it’s going to be a great evening of music.

What is the last gig you went to as a punter?

I don’t get a chance to go to half the gigs I’d like to, or I have some days off and don’t hear that one of my favourite bands just played my town. The last gig I went to was Sparks, which I took my little boy to. I want him to see all my favourite bands, while they’re going, to have something to compare current music to, for purposes of quality insurance.

What album or band are you currently listening to and just can’t get enough of?

I play music every day, usually all day. In the car and at home, my world is never silent.

The last CD I really became obsessed with was the latest Fratellis album ‘In Your Own Sweet Time’, which is fucking astounding. I had to start listening to the last Scaramanga Six album ‘Chronicle’ again to ween myself off that one.

The last vinyl album that blew me away is the last Bokassa album ‘Divide & Conquer’, which is just a relentless riff fest of magnificent proportions.

I also play a lot of older music, and right now I am listening to ‘Mock Tudor’ by Richard Thompson. A spectacular collection of songs, as are most of his albums.

I often look to your Twitter posts and feel inspired. It’s great to see a real person with passions and battles of their own. For the last 6 months or so I’ve battled severe depression and have found being open and honest is a great help personally and for those around me. You often touch on your own mental health issues. I find music is a huge lifeline when times are bad, what keeps you going and what advice can you give to those of us who struggle?

I use music as my medication. I also try to eat healthily and exercise, but I also drink, so that can be a bit of a grudge match.

I try to stay busy too, as isolation will put me straight back into my own head.

And as long as I have a guitar around I can write my feelings into song. Writing songs has saved my life countless times, and continues to do so.

Do you find your illness affects how you write and perform music?

I think it makes me more prolific, as I have plenty of emotional information to work with most of the time. Writing as much as I do can be a drain on some, if you’re my manager or a casual fan, but you have to understand that I have to do this. I don’t write music just to sell it, I often write to help myself through a bad patch. That’s when I find myself at my most prolific.

Fan questions!

Lee Foster asks…
Can you turn up CJs guitar?!

If he had to stand next to Danny’s bass cab he’d fucking turn up too.

The Wildhearts - Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015
The Wildhearts – Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015

Andrew Holmes asks a few questions…
Are you surprised that you have a very loyal following after all these years?

I’m very, very honoured. I’m not surprised because I never stopped working, making music and playing live, and that was always a sign of a career musician as far as I was ever concerned. Full-timers don’t get proper jobs, we make this work. I treat my supporters with respect too, so while I feel very lucky and I don’t feel surprised.

After the new album is released next year, is the intention to tour the hell out of it and its a success will there be more albums in future?

For The Wildhearts? I hope to record a new album every year.

Any plans to record ‘Stop us if You’ve Heard This One Before” Volume 2?

Nah, I don’t think so. I mean who knows, right? Maybe someday we’ll discuss it and thinks it a great idea, but for now the plan is to get ourselves back on the map, and we need fresh, new music to do that.

How are songwriting duties tackled for the new album? All Ginger or are the others involved too?

Everyone is contributing. Obviously I’m contributing more than the others, but that’s just because I’m a workaholic and I shit songs out every day. I can’t expect anyone else to maintain that kind of pace.

Scott Turnbull asks…
What colour packet should cheese and onion crisps come in?

Green.

Steve Clark asks…
Is it harder to come up with cracking tunes after all these years of knocking them out, or do they still flow out?

They still come thick and fast.

I dunno how, but I don’t run out of inspiration, and if I’m inspired by something then it sounds like music in my head. It’s a very fortunate curse to have.

Steve Dodd asks…
Is it awkward at festivals when you’re on the same bill as bands/band members you have bad blood with?

I’m not sure I have bad blood with any band members anymore. I sometimes can’t be around extreme drinking and threatening behaviour, being a father, but my concern always comes from a place of love. I have people who don’t speak to me anymore because their partner doesn’t get along with me, and that’s just loyalty, I get it.

But there’s no musician I wouldn’t walk up to and say hello.

Lewis Sellers asks…
Will SG5 ever be resurrected?

I honestly don’t think so. It’s something I did at the time, and I enjoyed it, but it was an age thing. Wanting to wear funny gear and blow things up. I’m very much more basic these days.

Niall O’Conner asks…
The new album you’re starting work on will be the first full album recorded by what most fans consider to be the ‘classic lineup’. Any pressure? Or is it exciting?

No pressure at all, the songs are already written, for the most part. And we’ve rehearsed them, and they sound fucking great.

There is only excitement. I honestly can’t wait to see what our album sounds like with these four elements. It’s a supergroup of extreme people, perfect for times as confusing as these.

The Wildhearts - Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015
The Wildhearts – Newcastle O2 Academy Sept 2015

The tour arrives in Newcastle on the 20th May 2018 at the Newcastle O2 Academy!!

Britrock Must Be Destroyed

Reef | Vukovi – Newcastle Riverside April 2015 – REVIEW

Reef | Vukovi – Newcastle Riverside April 2015 – REVIEW

Reef and Vukovi – Newcastle Riverside, 6th April 2015

Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015
Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015

Review by Graeme J. Baty

It’s Easter Sunday and also Tyne & Wear Derby day in the football. Which could mean some very rowdy punters tonight! Thankfully the audience were in great spirits and there were no drunken incidents just people out to enjoy some good old rock and roll!

Reef are a band that hold so many memories for me. Not just me, speaking to people at the venue they seem to have a warm place for the band in their hearts. My personal story involves my backpacking days and drunk dancing on tables screaming along until I lost my voice in Byron Bay to their classic hit ‘Place Your Hands’. It was a great time of my life and that song instantly takes me back to that trip. Today also marks 21 years since Kurt Cobain passed so the day has truly been a nostalgic one for me, looking back on some of the music from my mid to late teens. So yes here I am totally ready for a hit of retro guitar riffs and I’m curious to see what new material they have. Reef have split and reformed (a trend that, I must admit is becoming rather tiresome) with minor lineup changes. They feature one of the greatest and most underrated voices of the last 20 years; a timeless rock vocalist with a raw mix of blues, soul and funk. So let’s see if they’ve still got it.

Openers Vukovi from Scotland tried very hard to wake up the audience and with not much of a response. Maybe the crowd had too many shandies during the football or the shock of the first warm day of the year? Either way the audience seems a little bit uninterested, which is a shame as they played a great energetic set. Maybe they’re not quite rock enough? They remind me of Marmozets, albeit a much more radio friendly version. Four or five songs into their set they finally seem to wake people up and gain a reaction. They gathered momentum and won the audience over. Newcastle crowds can be tough to impress!

Vukovi - Newcastle April 2015
Vukovi – Newcastle April 2015

On to the main show. Classic Black Sabbath songs blast out the PA before they come on, warming me up quite nicely. By the time Reef take to the stage the venue has filled substantially, not too many that you can’t move/see, not too few that there’s no atmosphere; just the perfect balance. It looks not far off a sell-out which is impressive considering the timing of the show.

Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015
Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015

Immediately I am stunned at the power of the songs and the performance. They have indeed ‘Come Back Brighter’, or should that be come back bikers? As vocalist Gary Singer and Jack Bessant bass player now sport rather awesome beards.

They get the uber hit ‘Place Your Hands’ out of the way early in the set. I wonder if that’s a bold move. It certainly would clear out the one hit wonder fans. Pleasingly the audience appear hooked and people stay. It is so easy to label them as a one hit wonder, which is painfully inaccurate. One glance of the setlist tonight and there are many fine tracks on there from throughout their career. I Would Have Left You’,’Yer Old’, ‘Higher Vibration’ and ‘Summers in Bloom’ to name but a few. The audience are absolutely loving the show, chanting “Reef! Reef! Reef!” in-between songs.

Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015
Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015

They ended their main set the song with THAT RIFF from THAT ADVERT. It was amazing to hear that track played live even with a tuning gaff they restarted the song and stormed onwards. After a good 75 minutes on stage I was truly buzzing, I just wanted more. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited seeing a band. Perhaps because I wasn’t expecting much more than another reformed act dragging out old songs? Maybe, but I am happy to say that I was very wrong. Reef just made my top 20 bands I’ve ever seen (that’s a fair achievement as I see around 200 bands per year!).

Setlist Reef - Newcastle 2015
Setlist Reef – Newcastle 2015

The sound tonight is tremendous, It is a pummelling attack of bass and guitar hooks. A huge credit is due to the sound engineers and the new PA at the Riverside. This is how a live show should sound. I shouldn’t get excited, this should be standard, sadly that has not been the case in Newcastle for a long long time. Until now we just didn’t have a large venue that can cope with anything slightly heavy. My last few shows at the Riverside have really impressed me. Rock is back on the menu in Newcastle!

Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015
Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015
REEF – April 2015 – Newcastle Riverside

REEF – April 2015 – Newcastle Riverside

Reef – Newcastle Riverside, 5th April 2015

Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015
Reef Newcastle Riverside April 2015

Reef unexpectedly became one of the best bands I’ve ever seen! Check my full review here.

PHOTO GALLERY
Click a thumbnail to view fullscreen.

Setlist Reef - Newcastle 2015
Setlist Reef – Newcastle 2015

Images Copyright Blank Slate Creative. For permission to use these images please contact us or visit our FAQ for more info


View more photo galleries via our Music Photography Library

music-image