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Best Gigs of 2018

5. Pale Waves at Boiler Shop, Newcastle
Manchester-based goth pop band Pale Waves have had a massive year, with the release of their debut album My Mind Makes Noises. They set about touring the album from September, hitting Newcastle early on.

The band kicked things off with a bang, starting their set with ‘Television Romance’, a bold choice that paid off. Their set and the gig was fun, their energy on stage transferring to the crowd. The encore of ‘My Obsession’ and ‘There’s a Honey’ was well received, as Pale Waves concluded a great gig, despite how bad the Boiler Shop is laid out as a venue. I didn’t need a great big steel pillar in the middle of my photos x

4. Sam Fender at Newcastle University, Newcastle
Local lad Sam Fender returned to his hometown to conclude his UK tour in November. Each song was met by a wall of sound from the crowd, singing along and matching Fender line for line.

Standout songs were ‘Play God’, the wonderful ‘Leave Fast’, written as a reflection of working class life in the North East, and of course, the phenomenal ‘Dead Boys’, which is a hauntingly poignant song when played live.

Sam Fender. Some boy.

3. Laurel at THINKTANK?, Newcastle 
Laurel released her fantastic debut album – and my favourite of the year – back in August and brought it on the road, hitting Newcastle along the way.

Laurel’s elegant guitar riffs matched her haunting vocals effortlessly, as they captured the attention of the crowd. Tracks such as ‘Lovesick’ and ‘Adored’ are high points, but the acoustic and slower songs such as ‘Sun King’ show more of what Laurel has to offer.

2. The Tea Street Band at Gullivers, Manchester
Liverpool’s The Tea Street Band released their second album four years after the release of their debut. The four piece rolled into Manchester in mid-November, warning the soul and beating the blues.

The band kicked things off with ‘Summer Days’ from their first album, a song that got everyone bouncing. The bouncing didn’t stop as the band went from strength to strength, going through songs from their new album. Highlights were the brilliant ‘Marseille Blues’ and ‘Only Love’, but it’s ‘Disco Lights’ from their debut that got the biggest reaction.

1. Liam Gallagher at TRNSMT Festival, Glasgow
Everyone’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll star burst onto the main stage to headline the Saturday at TRNSMT festival in Glasgow over the summer. Off came t-shirts, out came cursive lyric tattoos (that we may never unsee), up went warm pints.

His set was predominantly Oasis based, with only five songs from his solo effort As You Were. They all drew a good reception, in particular ‘Wall of Glass’, but it was the encore that really kicked things off.

All the Oasis big hitters, including ‘Cigarrettes and Alcohol’ – which was interrupted by some fella climbing a speaker stack – ‘Supersonic’ and ‘Live Forever’, which Gallagher dedicated to James Morrison, a local teen who passed away earlier in the year. The set finished with ‘Wonderwall’.

Jump, ya shitbag.

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