Blue Öyster Cult | The Temperance Movement – 23rd February 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

A headlining act in their own right The Temperance Movement were here tonight setting the mood for one of rock music’s greatest acts; Blue Öyster Cult. They waste no time in getting the crowd going with Only Friend and Caught In The Middle and for the next 40 minutes deliver a fiery set of blues-soaked rock n roll. Phil Campbell’s voice just gets stronger every time I see them and the band just gel together brilliantly on tracks like A Deeper Cut and set closer Midnight Black leaving the crowd wanting more!

The Temperance Movement – 23rd February 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy

The intro rings out and the band take to the stage the dark blue lights making it difficult to make out anything but shapes and shadows but there’s no mistaking the image of Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma centre stage sharing a lifetimes friendship fist bump signalling Blue Öyster Cults’ return to Newcastle. Tattoo Vampire gets things underway and for the next 100 minutes we are in the palm of their hands! The big MTV era hit Burnin’ For You is aired early in the set sandwiched between older Secret Treaties cuts Career of Evil and Harvester of Eyes all of which are met with the same joyous reception.

BOC are no strangers to Newcastle having even recorded some of the tracks for Some Enchanted Evening at a City Hall show way back in the day, so it’s great to see them still rocking to a full house here after almost 50 years as a band (despite multiple line up changes) I was a bit disappointed that our Toon crowd voted against Shooting Shark when Bloom put two songs up for public choice though!

Dharma is outstanding tonight both vocally and musically especially on Last Days Of May where he absolutely knocks it out of the park! But it is, of course, Don’t Fear The Reaper that causes the majority of the crowd to lose their minds. Regardless of the reasons why people know this song, be it long time fan TV/movie soundtrack or THAT sketch (even Eric was mimicking the “more cowbell”) it’s a great song it’s got everything memorable riff melodies sing-along chorus AND that ferocious solo never gets old! And yeah I got fed up of hearing it in clubs and pubs radio etc BUT never tire of it live!

However BÖC are more than just THAT one song – Godzilla is still possibly of the first and finest stoner rock blueprints, Hot Rails To Hell (handled brilliantly by guitarist and keyboard player Richie Castellano) is just pure Garage Rock ‘n’ roll and Black Blade co-written with Michael Moorcock is sci-fi storytelling at its finest. These amongst many many others high light the bands versatility which is why they’ve lasted the test of time Aptly Cities On Flame (with Rock ‘n’ Roll) brings the night to a close and I’m hoping we get that promised new album sooner than later and maybe one more tour out of the guys for the 50th celebrations.


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Images Copyright Gordon Armstrong. For permission to use these images please contact G’s Gig Shots

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