Live Review

Gig of the Year

Unlike Album of the Year (which you can read here) you’ll be glad to know this one actually has a winner. There was lots of competition from a lot of bands and a lot of venues but if there’s one thing to be said here it’s that you should support your independent artists and venues. Small local venues are the first step on a lot of artists’ steps to success.

Our winner is Lucy Rose at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle


Lucy Rose’s third studio album comes with an accompanying documentary. The album and the video document the singer’s trip around South America on a fan sourced tour. Tyneside cinema is already a remarkable little venue, being an independently run cinema in a refurbished grade II listed building. The old auditorium felt like just the right kind of place to watch a documentary like this and then to have such a warm intimate performance to follow.

Rose has a way of performing that coyly warrants the full attention of everyone in the room. She is an enigma, difficult to ignore. Her simple acoustic performance filled the auditorium in such a way that was cosy and bloody lovely.


Our runners up are Two Door Cinema Club, Circa Waves and Saint Motel.


Two Door never shy away from a lairy crowd. In one of their first outings since their hiatus the band stormed Newcastle’s O2 Academy, packed out with fans who’s ages span at least three decades. Their setlist hit the sweet spot, playing all the old fan favourites from Tourist History and Beacon whilst slipping in newer tracks which fans bopped about to anyway like they’d known the words for years.


Circa Waves finesse their way through 90 minutes in front of 500 teens chomping at the bit for some action. Their debut Young Chasers is nothing short a summer masterpiece so naturally with the sweat of Northumbria SU’s basement, all the lads get stuck in, tops off as the pit opens up. Of course none of this fazes the band who’s drummer was brave enough to crowd surf in a dingy at Glastonbury this summer. Circa Waves prove themselves time and time again to be one of the best live bands around at the minute.


Saint Motel’s AJ Jackson has a showmanship that carries the whole show. With a setlist that requires an inhouse sax player Saint Motel really put on a show that’s designed to make you move, once again AJ Jackson being no stranger to busting a move on stage. In songs like ‘For Elise’ and ‘Cold Cold Man’ it’s clear that Saint Motel’s songs are not just created but engineered to maximise their effect live.

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