The Ninth Wave began our Hit the North and what a start it was. The Scottish two piece captured attention with their clashing abrasive punk attitude and shoegaze-y synth sounds.
Duo Haydn Park-Anderson and Amelia Kidd worked in perfect harmony to give and take, particularly in the stomping new track ‘This Broken Design’.
A brisk walk over to Think Tank? for Bare Roots was made worth it immediately by the huge riffs breaking through the packed out room. Their classic rock sound drew out an eclectic crowd but one thing everyone in the room seemed to agree with is that massive songs like new single ‘Away Too Long’ were just too good to just stand still to listen to, everyone was moved by the music.
Red Rum Club gave a performance so good it’s hard to put together the words to describe it. They were humbled by the crowd not only knowing the songs, but getting up to dance to do so.
Their unique brand of Americana served as a change of pace in the day with energetic numbers like ‘TV Said So’ and ‘Cassanova’ raising both the tempo and the temperature in the room.
The main room of the O2 Academy has never looked so lively as it did for FEVA, and rightfully so as the band show off their rock and roll telly-out-the-window antics as frontman Sam Gibbons climbed around the edge of the room on the doorframe. One thing for sure can be said of FEVA, they know how to keep a crowd entertained.
Scouse gem Zuzu played her was through a set of endearingly sweet pop rock than not even her meanest expressions could harden up. Bigger tracks like ‘Can’t Be Alone’ take cues from the indie giants that had come before her to be a tuneful crowd pleaser.
HalfNoise received a small but lively reception in at Think Tank. Frontman Zac Farro was a live wire, jumping about the stage, bashing his tambourine off anything within a three foot radius. There was a tangible energy in the room as the band grooved through an all-star set that ended on ‘Scooby’s in the Back’. What a band.
Up in the top floor of the O2 Academy we found APRE. Their set was composed of slick pop that the duo delivered with style. Along with their band, APRE were sharp, effortlessly creating atmospheric pop in a room that can feel a little soulless at the best of times. Frontman Charlie Brown looked most at home whilst dancing round the stage, carefree.
Blaenavon drew a small but dedicated crowd for their headline set at Boilershop that saw them play a mixture of material from 2017’s That’s Your Lot and their upcoming album Everything That Makes You Happy.
The addition of a second guitarist added a certain ‘je ne c’est quoi’ to older songs like ‘Lonely Side’, where the more delicate moments felt even more so and the choruses felt explosive nearly.
The final stop of our tour of Hit the North involved a second trip to Brewdog for Lucia. By the time the band began the venue was comfortably uncomfortable, plenty of people more than willing to make one final trip of the night for the Glaswegian four piece.
Running through a screaming set, if looks could kill then the front row would’ve been gone by the end of ‘Melted Ice Cream’ that saw enigmatic their frontwoman get down on her knees to scream out “why do you hate me?” as she entered the crowd. An incredible, visceral end to the day.
Featured Image Credit: Jamie Noise