Live Review

Hit the North Run Down

What a busy night. Following the previous nights’ entertainment for Meet the North, the town was buzzing with excitement. From the look of the wristband exchange queues they’ve managed to pull off a lineup that interests more than just teenagers too.

First up was The Pale White in the O2 Academy main room. For a band that usually headline the likes of Tynemouth Surf Cafe, they didn’t look out of place in a 2,000 cap room. Their songs, once again, didn’t feel out of place or small in such a big venue either. Drummer, Jack Hope, commanded the crowd with every beat he threw at them.

Reaction went down particularly well, the brooding lyrics and soaring guitars of the chorus giving the band a jolt of energy. I can’t decide if Deceiver or Second Place was my favourite from the set. On one hand Deceiver is such a mover and shaker, it’s probably my favourite song of theirs live or recorded but Second Place was so dark and slinky. When the chorus came around the atmosphere in the room was thick of tension just waiting to be broken through with that sharp guitar.

Next up we had Liverpool’ finest, The Night Cafe. Down in the cinema room of Town Wall made for a very intimate gig. There’s something rather lovely about this lot, it’s like their songs float and bounce their way to you. The odd catch of frontman, Sean Martin’s scouse accent in Mixed Signals seems oddly friendly while the melodies drift softly, making bodies sway.

I won’t like I hadn’t listened to much of them before that night but they were a game changer. To be turning out such effortlessly catchy songs so early in their career while maintaining that standard live just shows that they have what they need to go the distance. Watch this space.

After that I’d be lucky enough to catch the second half of Ten Tonnes at the Boiler Shop. There’s a bit of blues with him and it’s a pleasant bit of change from all the bands around him on the Boiler Shop lineup. Lucy has a scratchy guitar that just hits the sweet spot to match the tense vocal of singer, Ethan Barnett. The front row are lapping up every second of his set.

Despite it being a whole 12 months since their last show up in Newcastle and four months since their live hiatus began but Nothing But Thieves still inspire a devoted following.

Nothing But Thieves delve into their back catalogue for this gig while Joe Langridge-Brown starts turning out riffs like tricks and the crowd is lapping it up. There’s something intensely captivating about the way the band’s synergy. James Price holds the band together, leading when the instruments take over from the ebbing  flow of Conor Mason’s vocals.

Also they played a track from the new album by the name of I Was Made By Design. It’s uptempo but by no means upbeat. The vocals are deeper and more crashing than the first album, a little like Painkiller.

The night ended with a bit of High Tyde and a bit of Jaws. It seems I wasn’t the only one with that idea though as Think Tank had a queue forming at the door for Jaws. For all that songs like Stay In and Right in Front of Me are fan favourites, Connor Schofield and Co really get bodies moving with other songs like Just a Boy. Right in Front of Me was the best though, strong vocals and a pounding beat made the lyrics seem even more powerful.

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