WHITE LIES and BONIFACE | 04.02.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

WHITE LIES and BONIFACE | 04.02.2019 | Newcastle Boiler Shop | REVIEW and PHOTOS

White Lies and Boniface – 4th February 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

I was sat in a pub, around the corner from the venue before doors opened, there were many getting in high spirits with their VIP upgrade lanyards and T-shirts emblazoned with White Lies. There was an excitement brewing. We were celebrating White Lies fifth studio album and their tenth year in the industry. One fan really was in the spirits as he was covered head to toe in the merch stand!

Boniface - 4th Feb 2019 - Newcastle Boiler Shop
Boniface – 4th Feb 2019 – Newcastle Boiler Shop

Canadian quartet Boniface fronted by Micah Visser welcomed the early gig-goers, which there were quite a number of, giving us ‘indie sensibility and making it glisten.’ The two members on synths/keys with guitars were very eye-catching as they bounced around in their spots while Micah does mainly the static lead singer holding mic pose with added guitar and coming to life from time to time and at one point joining in on the keys. A very energetic performance and a choice support band.

Excitement and intoxication filled the packed Boiler Shop as the band stepped on stage and with the first glance of them chants of “Harry” came as opening track from their latest release starts and a singalong from the get-go to Time To Give. Harry McVeigh is a great frontman and genuinely seems pleased to be back in Newcastle as at every opportunity he is beaming with arms raised and gives the city a huge shout-out more than I have ever heard any band when interacting with a crowd.

There is a great mix of material from the new album ‘Five’ but songs from the back catalogue are greatly received too with the thumping Farewell To The Fairground being first up and when Harry asks the crowd to sing back they do it with so much passion, that you wouldn’t quite believe we are in a 1000 capacity venue. The sound is loud and the lights go from static blues, reds then bursts of other colours and strobes, which adds to the excitement of the night. As the night goes on many gig-goers try their best to get to where people had already taken the prime spots but those in them were not going to let them go without a fight. Luckily none of that happened as the majority just wanted to live this experience with other gig goers.

The chants for Harry come and go throughout the night but the other members are just as energetic with Charles Cave on bass and backing vocals and thumping out the energy on drums is Jack Brown. On this tour, the three-piece become a four with Tommy Bowen letting his fingers do the magic on the keys. But Harry’s charisma really does steal the show and at every opportunity his arms are up in the air as if to say, ‘let me embrace every single moment of this night just as much as you are,’ especially with the tenth anniversary of their first release and as he mentions this the crowd erupt. It’s a very nostalgic moment for the majority of the room as they remember how old they were when Unfinished Business hit the airwaves and they jump having the time of their lives. This feeling stays for the stand out track on the new album, Tokyo, and Harry feels this and is literally thumping his fist on his chest as the crowd get rowdier.

The whole night is full of energy. You wonder when you are going to catch your breath but that comes when Harry returns solo for the encore and sits behind the keyboard to play Change from the Big TV album and it is the quietest the crowd becomes. What a moment. But of course the night could not end like that and we are treated to the anthemic To Lose My Life and the loudest I hear Charles’ vocals. It’s good to have these guys back and being ever so humble. Ten years you say. Here’s to another ten.

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THE HOWL AND THE HUM and SAUVAGE | 24.01.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW

THE HOWL AND THE HUM and SAUVAGE | 24.01.2019 | Newcastle Cluny | REVIEW

The Howl And The Hum and Sauvage – 24th January 2019 – Newcastle Cluny

Review by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Has a band ever captured your attention purely because their name interested you? I know there have been bands that caught people’s eye because of this, even before you’ve heard the music; The Howl And The Hum are one of those bands. I caught their set at last year’s Twisterella Festival in Middlesbrough and they simply stunned me into silence. Their headline show at Newcastle’s The Cluny was a whole different affair to that show a few months prior but equally as entertaining.

Sauvage. Photo by Victoria Wai

Support of the night came from Newcastle quartet Sauvage, who sometimes go the other way with their namesake especially due to Johnny Depp and unfortunately not by the French translation of ‘wild!’ But don’t let that name get to you, they bought a solid half-hour set for the early gig goers with a mix of indie and psych sides. Each member had their own energy and you didn’t quite know who to focus your attention on. I heard a few murmurs of people in the crowd who had seen them before saying that was the best they have ever seen them play. I put my hands up as one of them. I don’t know what has happened over the past few months but something is definitely working for the better.

As with most headline acts those milling at the back soon came forward as The Howl And The Hum were ready to start. We were the hum waiting for the howl!

A few months ago I saw these guys play, it was dark and intense. The same came tonight, in the upgraded Cluny from Cluny 2, but there were a lot more stories to be told and not only through their music. Unlike the support act, The Howl And The Hum definitely had a ‘star’ of the band and that came from frontman Sam Griffiths. I mean most bands do have THAT frontman and he delivers. Not taking anything away from the other three members Bradley Blackwell, Conor Hirons and Jack Williams as the band is greater than the sum of its parts.

Hip swerving Sam guides us through a tight 45 minute set of atmospheric alt-rock as he tells us many of the songs are about possessions from sharks to bus tickets. It definitely had the crowd that bit more intrigued than if we were given a straight-up performance of their music and the usual patter you get from stage to crowd. The melodic sounds then big thumping bass and guitars mould into a very entertaining set that the crowd were thoroughly into.

‘Don’t Shoot The Storm’ is a song about not shooting bullets into a hurricane. Sam on top of his impressive ‘woo’s’ also gives us some great dance moves to participate with. Strangely the song that came about staring at the back of a Megabus while in a Fiat Punto, ‘Sweet Fading Silver,’ captivates the audience and sends a roar through the room but personally ‘Portrait I’ and ‘Godmanchester Chinese Bridge,’ were personal highlights to a highly entertaining night that I walk away with The Howl And The Hum as a musical possession to press play to every now and then.

JOHN PAUL WHITE and LYLA FOY | 27.01.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

JOHN PAUL WHITE and LYLA FOY | 27.01.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

John Paul White and Lyla Foy – 27th January 2019 – Gateshead Sage

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

John Paul White
John Paul White – 27th January 2019 – Gateshead Sage

John Paul White, a musician in his own right, but also known for his part in the musical duo The Civil Wars returned to Gateshead Sage for the third time and first time as a solo act. We were in for a stripped back acoustic treat and the audience could not have been any more appreciative.

Arkansas Dave kicked off the night interestingly in a different room to where the rest of the performances were held. Bringing a livelier and louder affair to the Northern Rock Hall. On hearing and seeing what was happening it made sense. Arkansas Dave had a full band with him and they belted out big sounds that had the room stomping their feet, which was a huge contrast to the next few hours ahead.

Lyla Foy - 27th January 2019 - Gateshead Sage
Lyla Foy – 27th January 2019 – Gateshead Sage

Lyla Foy was the main support for this whole tour with John Paul White and the audience gathered over to Hall 2 for the rest of the night. For those familiar with Lyla, what normally backs her music on stage is an electric guitar and keyboards, though as she took to the stage what was before us was a small keyboard and an acoustic guitar. If this was your first time seeing this ‘sub-pop’ artist then this was just as new for you as it was for those familiar with her material and it was, in simple terms, stunningly breathtaking. I have seen Lyla a number of times but this night it was like a whole new Lyla Foy was forming in front of me and the audience were also on her side that unless prompted to talk they were hanging on to her every word until her last note.

With a very quick changeover of ten minutes the audience gave a rapturous applause as John Paul White stepped onto the stage to kick off the night with new song, ‘I Wish I Could Write You A Song’. He stands centre stage throughout the night with just his guitar, he needs nothing more to make this show any more powerful than it is. The crowd is silent and there are a few tears being wiped from the outset, probably just as much as his kids felt when he sings of his love/hate relationship being on the road away from them with ‘The Long Way Home.’ As if the night could not make you tearier, he then performs ‘James’ which was inspired by Glen Campbell but written for his father.

He tells us of his upcoming release which is, he jokes, is of course called ‘The Hurting Kind,’ which sends a laugh throughout the audience. That is what is noticeable with John Paul. He can break our hearts and have us crying with his deliverance but he then comforts us in between the songs with this chat that has us laughing. What a character he is. He also later quips that a request came in for ‘Hey Jude,’ and you could ‘feel the pain’ from the audience but luckily it was a joke and he actually gives us a cover of the Dan Seals, ‘Everything That Glitters Is Not Gold,’ which also subconsciously made him the artist he is today rather than the rocker he dreamed of being. Another cover comes at the end of the night with ‘Can’t Get You Outta My Head,’ from his favourite band ELO which gets a nod of approval from the crowd and a rapturous applause once again and with a few screams leads for him to return to the stage for a finale with ‘This Life,’ a special kind of John Paul White love song.

John Paul White gave us everything and the audience of Sage 2 could not have been more perfect. In fact, he says we are “so sweet and quiet, (and does) not take it for granted…it’s actually quite terrifying.” As a gig-goer, when I am at these kind of gigs, this is all I could ever want. Though there was one thing missing for me personally. John Paul gave his support act Lyla Foy a shout out as they happen to duet on a song on her latest album, Bigger Brighter, called ‘Bring Flowers’. I am unsure how many people knew of this prior to the gig, but I knew and when it was mentioned I thought we were going to see it brought to life with both of them on stage but it wasn’t to be. It would have been a perfect addition to a perfect night, so maybe one day it will be.

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ANOTHER SKY, BETH MACARI, TALK LIKE TIGERS | 19.01.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ANOTHER SKY, BETH MACARI, TALK LIKE TIGERS | 19.01.2019 | Gateshead Sage | REVIEW and PHOTOS

 ‘New Year New Artists’ with Another Sky, Beth Macari, Talk Like Tigers, Nick Roberts – 19th January 2019 – Gateshead Sage

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Sage Gateshead hosted ‘New Year New Artists’ from 17th-20th January to celebrate, ‘the UK’s most exciting contemporary musicians,’ from folk, classical, jazz, world music and indie, with Blank Slate covering the Saturday night programme that was hosted by BBC Introducing North East.

A wonderful noticeable thing of the night, is that the three acts: Talk Like Tigers with their electro-pop, Beth Macari with her funk-soul vibes and Another Sky with their dark, cinematic sounds, helped to pull in an audience of varying age proving that music really does bring people together, as throughout all three acts the majority of the audience remained.

Nick Roberts, presenter of BBC Introducing North East provided tracks to warm us up and entertained between sets. Some did wonder if he was presenting his show on BBC Newcastle at the same time as it was a noticeably North East soundtrack.

Twin duo Talk Like Tigers opened the night, harmonising tightly over electro pulsating beats from their simple set-up and slightly choreographed moves. They are very sleek and engaging throughout with their catchy numbers that have the crowd dancing, even to slightly darker sounding sounds.

Beth Macari has a powerful voice, backed by a funky band. I have seen Beth in the past and it was apparent that there was something there, but it has been a while since I have seen her perform live and tonight, I was left with my mouth on the floor as it seems she has gone from a solid 8 to a 12/10 in my books. She has a charisma that matches her music and her band is just as engaging. If you want to dance and be blown away a night with Beth Macari could do it.

Headliners of the night were London four-piece Another Sky with bassist Naomi being the North East connection. They first came to my attention when they supported Laurel on her tour late last Summer. Catrin’s voice has won critical acclaim and that is what captured me first. I almost likened them to a dark and heavier version of London Grammar, who I love but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, that voice is deep like Hannah Reids and the music is atmospheric but that is where the comparison ends…that is if anyone has ever found that comparison bar me!

Another Sky then took a leap forward with an appearance on Later with Jools Holland, which seems is why many of the audience were there on this night. Of the three acts Another Sky’s set seemed more intense but in a different way of that term as many of the audience actually stood further back from the stage to get a fuller scope of every band member. They have an energy I cannot quite describe yet but every member is remarkable. Stereotypically, many people want to be up close to musicians in this environment – Another Sky had us wanting to feel the atmosphere of the whole room that people were moving their bodies in the shadows and the back actually became more cramped than the front! It was a case of you had to be there. It might have been a one-off and I am glad I witnessed it. Dark, intense and atmospheric might be the way I could describe Another Sky. However, whatever, I say put them on your ‘ones to watch’ list.

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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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CLOVES | 11.12.2018 | Islington Assembly Hall | REVIEW and PHOTOS

CLOVES | 11.12.2018 | Islington Assembly Hall | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Cloves – 11th December 2018 – Islington Assembly Hall, London

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

I first saw Cloves (aka Kaity Dunstan) on a whim back in February 2017 after hearing her track Everybody’s Son back in 2015. I just happened to be in the right city at the right time. There was a buzz that night and those feelings came flooding back as the lights went down in Islington Assembly Hall. The crowd murmured in anticipation as the band of three played what felt like an orchestral introduction before Cloves appears, then she is on stage and as soon as she sings the opening to Wasted Time, my stomach is in knots, never mind how Cloves herself is feeling. From the get-go the night is raw and emotional. To me this is how most gigs should feel as she glides from one end of the stage to the other and at times grabbing the mic stand as she sways.

The music then takes a more upbeat feel with Bringing The House Down as the lights get brighter but still fit the mood of what Cloves’ music is about. That is Cloves down to a T! The lights compliment the music and it gets under your skin! This is why Cloves rates high on my radar; her music is simple yet complex and full of fire and passion. It is REAL! It is LIFE!

I had three albums down as ‘albums of the year’. That was up until April, then Cloves debut came in October here in the UK and it may have claimed the number one spot. Seeing her debut album One Big Nothing come to life on stage really gets into every bit of your body. We go from the stripped back songs to the big thumping sounds and her vocals are effortless and fragile. You cannot help but to get lost in the moment – or these 50 minutes or so we get of her.

The added bonus of this night though is that on top of her album tracks we get a brilliant cover of Mazzy Star’s, Fade Into You, and the way she performs it, she could probably claim it for herself as knowing the original or not, she makes it her own. She claimed the night as soon as she stepped on stage then onto the crowd singing back the ending to Better Now. And it is her personality on that stage that you wish those that were just a bit too loud in the room could have been quieter as her songs and her performance definitely deserved the attention. Luckily the acoustics of Islington Assembly were perfect that most of the time it did not bother you.

Cloves was made for this stage and many are starting to get it. Those in the room already know it and the night is ours, that we wanted more after she and her band run off stage after the title track from the album. Luckily, Cloves hears us and returns with her guitarist and she asks, “is it alright if we do Everybody’s Son?” The room could not have asked for anything better and we are feeling it as the room then feels still. And I am exhausted from the emotional journey I have just been on. I am left breathless and my heart is in a million beautiful pieces coming back together and beating in my chest.

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SNOW PATROL | 05.12.2018 | Newcastle Metro Arena | REVIEW and PHOTOS

SNOW PATROL | 05.12.2018 | Newcastle Metro Arena | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Snow Patrol – 5th December 2018 – Newcastle Metro Arena

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

The last time Snow Patrol played Newcastle back in 2012 was my first time seeing them live. Back then I remembered lights, lights and lights. Fast forward to December 2018 for their latest album Wildness and if you were as impressed as me, then were not let down.

The Earth catching the Sun is what greets us on screen then Chocolate from the 2004 album Final Straw has the crowd roaring their approval. Take Back The City follows and the strong crowd sings back in unison on this opening night of the tour.

You cannot fault anything with a Snow Patrol gig. They take everything into consideration. There are no big screens blocking any view, just one big projection that gives one spectacular visual after another for each song. There are times where it looks as though the band are in a box but the show designer(s) are definitely aware of where the audience are and make sure everyone gets their money worth. The setlist covers everything for every Snow Patrol fan that we are even treated with songs that they ‘haven’t played in a long, long, long time,’ including How To Be Dead.

Set Fire To The Third Bar stuns the arena into almost silence as Martha Wainwright appears magnified and flickering on the screen behind the band and Gary Lightbody gets to duet with her. If this doesn’t give you goosebumps I am not sure what gig you were at.

Snow Patrol - 5th December 2018 - Newcastle Metro Arena
Snow Patrol – 5th December 2018 – Newcastle Metro Arena

This tour definitely was given a run over with a fine tooth comb, as the show we get seems to be the work of a perfectionist. The visuals on the screen to the lights and to how each song followed each other gives us the perfect run of emotions. We knew when to be silent and we knew when we could really belt out a tune as Open Your Eyes followed to the more mellow Run; the song that really put Snow Patrol on the map with thanks to Jo Whiley giving it its full 6minute spin all those years ago on BBC Radio 1.

Snow Patrol - 5th December 2018 - Newcastle Metro Arena
Snow Patrol – 5th December 2018 – Newcastle Metro Arena

Perfect and time are the words I have described this night and more so with Life On Earth as Gary tells us, it’s the song that ‘kicked his arse’ in the five years it took writing it but with that time we get to see it performed in all its glory as red light fills the arena like a red mist over us as a spaceship orbits the Earth on the screen. It is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed at a live show. Of course, Chasing Cars makes the setlist and everything about it is stadium-worthy.

Snow Patrol - 5th December 2018 - Newcastle Metro Arena
Snow Patrol – 5th December 2018 – Newcastle Metro Arena

What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get? comes after an encore. I mentioned the word perfect but the night is not without hitches, first off there was the 20minute delay to the show starting and then Gary’s falsetto goes during this encore, but to me, those hitches make the show more real. You felt how he was singing! And then just like that we are back to perfect as the show closes with Just Say Yes and it definitely felt like a YES moment what I was seeing on stage and on the screen to the lights filling the arena magnified how I felt listening and seeing Snow Patrol right before me in the same room.

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HINDS | SPORTS TEAM | 04.12.2018 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

HINDS | SPORTS TEAM | 04.12.2018 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Hinds and Sports Team – 4th December 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

What can I say about Sports Team? Interesting might be the word. Entertaining might be the another. And they can sure put on a show and the crowd slowly filling in were feeding off the vibe of a frontman jumping about, throwing moves like Mick Jagger and then on the other spectrum a keyboardist almost vacant unless he was playing the tambourine, then he might have took a little walk around the stage. The other four members fill the bits in-between. If you hadn’t heard of Sports Team prior to tonight, you might have been taken by the show over than the music, like me. Whatever it is though, I would definitely say they are worth the watch and next time I might take in more of the music than the visuals as put both together would be worth a bet!

“Hi we’re HINDS and we came here to rock,” states the banner behind the band and that they did. They’re a relatively new band, as a four-piece they bring an infectious indie-lo-fi-pop vibe to the Riverside and just before they start their set Carlotta Cosials notices how cold it is along the banks of the Tyne and how much hotter it is inside the venue and then later how quiet the crowd is, as they entered the stage and in between songs. However, the latter statement could not be further from the truth as there was definitely a lot of jumping about from the crowd as well as from the band themselves.

Watching the four-piece is like happiness in your soul especially that smile of drummer Amber Grimbergen. Does she ever stop smiling when hitting those skins? In fact, the whole band just don’t stop smiling, even when Ade Martín has problems with the bass they are laughing and engaging with the crowd. Hinds are just all about fun. In this hour-long set we are given songs from both albums, Leave Me Alone and I Don’t Mind and bought to life they fit in choreographed moves that are just as punchy as their songs.

Admittedly, I was tired coming to this gig but on hearing many positive things about them nothing was going to stop me from being here and although I am not that familiar with their catalogue of songs except their current single, British Mind and also Bamboo. Whether you’re clued up or not on Hinds there is no doubting you will be hooked after your first time. Those that were ‘quiet’ before definitely weren’t as the show went on. We even had Ana García Perrote come to the barrier and even get close enough to ‘almost kiss a girl,’ at the barrier. And if that wasn’t enough Carlotta actually comes into the crowd and onto the bar belting out a tune.

Hinds are infectious, fun, and engaging. If they are on the bill get listening to their music before heading out and get more involved in the show as to bop around is one thing but to bop around and singing their songs gives it that extra element and it definitely got me out of the slumber that I was in before the show started.

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HOLY MOLY AND THE CRACKERS | 30.11.2018 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

HOLY MOLY AND THE CRACKERS | 30.11.2018 | Newcastle Riverside | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Holy Moly and the Crackers – 30th November 2018 – Newcastle Riverside

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Holy Moly and the Crackers - 30th November 2018 - Newcastle Riverside

There was quite a buzz as I arrived at the venue. Many had gathered early from a varying of ages. Holy Moly and the Crackers were kickstarting the weekend for many at the Riverside in Newcastle.

Opening the night we have local band Portraits. I saw these guys recently supporting another band and something felt a bit flat that night. Not with them, but the night in general. This night was very different! They gave their all again but everything seemed more free-flowing and every member on the stage felt pumped with energy. There was definitely something in this Friday night air.

Moments before Holy Moly and The Crackers came on the floor space literally packed in every inch and spirits seemed very high. Lights down and smoke filling the stage and I felt the audience’s excitement in me! Holy Moly are Newcastle based and they have been on the scene for a quite a few years now. I am Newcastle based. Heard the name for years. This would be my first time seeing them though I have crossed paths with a few members at times.

Holy Moly & The Crackers - Riverside, Newcastle - 30th Nov 2018 - 39

The venue erupted as soon as the music started from both the crowd and the band. It was pure electricity pumping through me as I watched what was going on in front of me. Every member on that stage was infectious with energy. It was a solid set from start to end.

Holy Moly & The Crackers - Riverside, Newcastle - 30th Nov 2018 - 34

Leadman Conrad Bird was unstoppable. He covered every part of the stage and up close with every member of the band. How he kept his breath throughout is amazing especially as he was also on the trumpet and guitar. In fact that goes for every member, it just so happens Conrad was covering space more, as we had Ruth Patterson’s arms everywhere when she wasn’t conducting the fiddle. Accordion player Rosie Bristow was almost doing acrobatics as she played with Nick Tyler on his electric guitar jumping up and down behind her then Jamie Shields slapping da bass and Tommy Evans drumming like all possessed drummers do! Piece this all together and it is one of the most exciting things to witness at a live show.

We are given many songs from the back catalogue including Cold Comfort Lane which featured in the blockbuster Ocean’s 8. River Neva brings a real ‘knees up’ affair but to be honest the whole night is one big knees up. And if that wasn’t enough we are treated to some new songs such as All I Got Is You to acrobatics moves in Upside Down courtesy of their circus performing friend Hannah.

It sure is one big party with Holy Moly and The Crackers and we end with Devil & The Danube…..if only they were allowed…as not even given the chance to completely walk off the stage the chants for one more come quick, fast and loud, that Ruth and Conrad remain on stage for a beautiful duet called Ain’t That Enough. Maybe the quietest song of the night but the energy is still the same as Ruth’s vocals get the chance to shine that bit more and are complemented by Conrad’s huskiness. The venue is at high intensity that when the song finishes the other band members run back on stage and play us out with the stomper that is Mary.

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ANNA PANCALDI | BRYDE | LYLA FOY | 24.11.2018 | Hemelvaart Ayton | REVIEW and PHOTOS

ANNA PANCALDI | BRYDE | LYLA FOY | 24.11.2018 | Hemelvaart Ayton | REVIEW and PHOTOS

Anna Pancaldi, Bryde and Lyla Foy – 24th November 2018 – Hemelvaart Ayton

Review and photos by Victoria Wai (Victoria Wai)

Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy - 24th November 2018 - Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland
Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy – 24th November 2018 – Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland

There are some artists you can see time and time again and it is always refreshing, take the artists Bryde and Lyla Foy for instance. I only saw them play the night before prior to this gig. This gig was last minute as it was a ‘day off’ but their friend Anna Pancaldi had a solo gig with no supports so traveling an hour plus up the A1 sounded great, for them and for me.

Hemelvaart is just past the border into Scotland and a little hidden gem in the village of Ayton and is known as a bier cafe and the beer is worth the drive (but do stay so you don’t drive after sampling the fine stuff!). Pair this with fine music then you are onto a great night.

Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy - 24th November 2018 - Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland
Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy – 24th November 2018 – Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland

Lyla opens the nights proceedings. The set begins with the final track; With The Night from her current album Bigger Brighter and it is such a soothing performance. If the lights had been dimmed more and there was a fire lit, what a cozy night it would have been. The audience are a very quiet bunch and seemed too polite to say anything, which in a way is good as we could hear every beautiful note Lyla gives us.

The first few songs Lyla performs are on keys and then moves to the guitar. After a few tuning problems we hear Impossible, which actually featured in an animated series called Bojack Horseman! A bit of tweaking here and there, we got a slightly different version for those familiar with Lyla’s music but non-the-less and being  the natural talent that she is, it was a wonderful end to her set.

Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy - 24th November 2018 - Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland
Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy – 24th November 2018 – Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland

There’s no messing with Bryde as she manages to squeeze in seven songs into her short set with a mix of songs from her debut album, Like An Island, and a few EP tracks. We begin with Handstands and even get the quieter tracks like Wait. The audience remain their quiet selves and again this is a bonus. Over the past year I have seen Bryde a number of times and mainly backed by a band but this tour sees her solo and it is amazing. She looses non of her charm being solo. In fact her performance is that bit more captivating. I would say much more but I also love it when she plays with the band. The chemistry she has with the band is bounced off the audience instead on this night. We also get the wonderful cover of Bombay Bicycle Club’s Flaws as a duet with Lyla. Hearing them together is something to be witnessed and it’s great that I can say that I have had the privilege of seeing it performed twice.

Anna Pancaldi is a new name to me and an added bonus to the night although it was her headline show as I had come on the back of the Bryde and Lyla Foy tour. Being a music fan, especially of live music, I always try to get to see all acts on the bill and my original reasonings for being at the Hemelvaart show was the reverse of most people in attendance. We all got more than we bargained for.

Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy - 24th November 2018 - Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland
Anna Pancaldi with Bryde and Lyla Foy – 24th November 2018 – Hemelvaart Ayton Scotland

An acoustic guitar accompanies Anna’s soulful tones as she opens with Promise We’ll Never Grow Old. Anna is also quite a character and in between songs we get stories of misheard Anne Marie lyrics to accidental roadkill and to finding the comfortable silence in between songs. Yes, there was that silence again but it definitely was at one with the room. Anna gets to showoff her talents more so and if you had her emotional charged vocals you would too, and we get an acapella version of Can’t Help Loving Dat Man from the musical Showboat and ends her set unplugged. Her set is very stripped back (as it is for Bryde and Lyla). After hearing the songs in this environment and then hitting the streaming sites to hear the full sound, it was definitely a pleasure to hear Runaway and Stay Right Here this way.

Bryde pointed out earlier that we were getting three female artists who are three very different artists. Lyla had her dream-pop, Bryde gave us her fierce and fragile indie and we finish on a more soulful vibe with Anna. In recent times there’s been a lot of talk of diversity in the music industry in that more female musicians should be placed higher on the bill at festivals and even headline them. What tonight proved at Hemelvaart is that there’s enough diversity amongst female artists that this should not even come into question. All three artists on this night are worthy of those much talked festival slots and airplay. They are actually better than some that gain those headline slots!

PHOTO GALLERY
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Images Copyright Victoria Wai. For permission to use these images please contact victoriawai.co.uk


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