The Sonics – 10th May 2014, Newcastle Riverside
Tonight 60s legends The Sonics are playing Newcastle for the first time ever. It’s another great booking for the freshly revived Riverside, following Interpol and The (English) Beat.
The crowd is filling up and is warmed quite up nicely, ready for the last show of the band’s UK tour. The Sonics are world class and a hugely influential band, so much so that I find it hard to believe they aren’t gigantic. That said, I am very grateful I get to see them in an intimate venue. Credited with creating garage rock and paving the way for the punk scene, many still class them as the first punk band. Kurt Cobain cited them as an influence and they have been covered by many big names over the years including Franz Ferdinand, Pearl Jam, The Fall and The Flaming Lips to name but a few.
The band has three very strong, charismatic vocalists and some very well crafted pop-rock songs and classic covers done The Sonics special way. They riff their way through old faves and we are also treated to a bunch of tracks from their upcoming album. The new ones are familiar, yet fresh with that great timeless sound. The audience reacts strongly to the new material. ‘Have Love Will Travel’ goes down well and shows another influence, the very popular Black Keys. They trawl through classics such as ‘Boss Hoss’, ‘Money (that’s what I want)’, ‘Roll over Beethoven’, a fantastic version of ‘Louie Louie’, but what really gets the crowd going is the classic ‘Psycho.’
The band have people dancing and even pogoing and generally having a great time. There’s a really good mix of ages in the crowd, many young faces and a few people old enough to remember them from the 60s.
The Sonics left the stage to thundery applause. Great showmen with timeless songs.